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  • Myths & Legends: Heroes In Kind
    the sons of the Achaeans bear it as judges and guardians of the decrees of heaven so surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter they shall look fondly for Achilles and shall not find him Homer Iliad 1 224 240 To the modern reader Achilles paints Greek heroes as a bunch of indolent man children Heroism itself Achilles kills a Trojan prisoner Public Domain A matter of murder There s also the killing For us killing is the mark of a villain or a bona fide anti hero Raised as we are on Batman s one rule it s a Big Deal for a hero to cross that line Even Captain America doesn t kill in The First Avenger and he s fighting in World War II one of the times we readily accept our on screen heroes killing people The Greeks had no such reservations Their heroes are martial by definition the idea of being a warrior was so fundamental to their heroic archetype that heroes were almost always soldiers and when they weren t they were still really good at fighting Paris is skilled with a bow but is mocked for his lack of front and centre fighting ability better a bastard than a bowman a joke people still like to make about Hawkeye While we ve become squeamish about our heroes using lethal force we ve maintained martial focus Not many heroes are soldiers but every mainstream superhero movie revolves around the hero s capacity to literally fight some force of evil It reflects our morals around killing that even in dire circumstances killing is the Thing that Heroes Do Not Do Though it does leave us in the odd position of having to believe that no one died during 120 minutes of the hero s wanton destruction Batman is completely harmless Warner Bros Stories require conflict Heroes need a framework of adversity in which to fight and triumph something against which to struggle otherwise they re just people in outlandish costumes Both ancient and modern superhero stories tend to ground this in physical conflict but the Greek way feels more honest We leave ourselves with the dissonance of saying selflessness is good killing is bad while depicting behaviour which says might is right Our myths reflect us It s not an astounding revelation that the stories we tell mirror our perceptions of our ideals Our heroes are mighty and selfless but they don t kill The Greek s heroes were just as mighty but fought for more codified rewards honour and booty We hold our heroes to a different standard but the framework is the same We like to think of ourselves as clean handed people who prize selflessness but are unwilling to give up a fascination with violence which is at odds with that We still cling on to some fundamentals of classical heroism juxtaposing them with modern ideals We may hold our heroes to a different standard but the legends of the classical

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/04/myths-legends-heroes-in-kind/ (2016-02-15)
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  • George Lockett, Author at Litro Magazine
    Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/george-lockett/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Force Majeure and the Artifice of Control
    reconcile what she sees as her husband s deep cowardice with the man she thought he was Her frustration which she tries to keep under wraps simmers up when she and Tomas are with other couples These excruciating scenes of public humiliation and domestic unravelings make for some of the best moments in the film Ebba displays the icy beauty of a Bergman actress particularly that of Ingrid Thulin Cries and Whispers The Silence She is an actor who quietly watches and without a word manages to convey her every thought Kuhnke s performance expresses something creepier He is not an innocent and even his tears it turns out are fake Östlund delivers a strange ending Unfortunately what is played out after the moment of danger whilst insightful and gripping seems to then escape the director s control The film s inscrutable logic falls away It is all the more noticeable because the first two thirds of the film are so perfectly water tight This is a film in search of an ending and Östlund can t seem to settle on one When the family leaves the resort we see them on a bus with other holiday makers The driver incompetently lurches around hairpin bends narrowly avoiding sheer drops Ebba in a panic insists that the driver let her off She doesn t take the children with her She commits the same crime of which she rightly accuses Tomas Yet it is not clear what the director is saying here Are we to believe that because the danger in this case is simply perceived by Ebba and not necessarily real it is acceptable for her to flee leaving the children behind Or are we to questions the idea that there is one set of rules for a woman and another for a man I was baffled Just as I was baffled by what comes next The passengers file off the bus and do a sort of Nights of Cabiria style ponderous walk Tomas lights up a cigarette and comes clean to his family about being a smoker gone are the pretences Now that they have seen themselves nakedly for what they are she neurotic and prone to publically shaming her husband and he cowardly unfaithful and manipulative they can finally let it all hang out Then the camera lands on the young Fanni Fanni Metelius who we know from previous scenes is having an affair with a much older married man Mats Kristofer Hivju Is the director trying to convey in this shot that the mess of relationships is destined to live on in future couplings Is he making the point that we all start off thinking we will be different as do Fanni and Mats that our marriages and relationships will be pure an untainted by the darker forces that lurk within us only to be proven wrong when our flaws eventually surface That ultimately it is impossible to keep our natures under control I wasn t sure Yet

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/03/force-majeure-and-the-artifice-of-control/ (2016-02-15)
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  • If Life Could Write: Thoughts on Boyhood
    just thought there would be more And then Mason Jr drives off into the sunset a future of his own to carve out moment by moment Boyhood recognises that being born posits a question why And no one can duck it Sometimes events make the question vivid for a moment as when a mother sees her son walk through the door to college as blasé as if he was strolling to the shop to buy a pint of milk Or when Mason Jr experiences rejection for the first time his high school girlfriend tiring of his morose musings on the futility of everything and ditching him for the local lacrosse star Mother and son stop and look for answers but Boyhood has the integrity to offer none in response As Mason Sr the kind vaguely feckless father puts it when his son asks him what the point of everything is Everything I sure as shit don t know Neither does anyone else We re all just winging it Indeed After he read War and Peace the Russian journalist and writer Isaac Babel said If life could write it would write like Tolstoy You can t get much higher praise than that Boyhood may not have the magisterial scope of War and Peace and the safe suburban world it charts provides material less epic than the Napoleonic Wars but Babel s words apply to it as well And by presenting life on screen with all its little events and its big question it transforms it into art and gives it some nobility and beauty which is the best we can hope for At close to three hours this is a long film but like the subject it charts it goes by all too quickly Who knows if it was the film of the year or not Perhaps that depends on what you go to the movies for But people should go to see it because whoever they are it is about them It is about us Coltrane as a boy a junior a lad a young buck a teen a youth a man child a man About Harry Waight Harry Waight is in his twenties and spent his youth travelling around the world in pursuit of his parents He returned to England to study history at university He currently lives in London plotting to escape again In the meantime he enjoys writing about things he has read watched or heard Mail More Posts 3 Comments comments Prev VAULT Festival 2015 Love to Love to Love You Next This Is Wonderland The Carrollian Lure of the Circus Related Posts Generation Y at Work 2 WhY Part I One Monkey Don t Stop No Show at the Tricycle Theatre We have a position in society mister an Here In My Car Autobahn at the King s Head Theatre Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/03/if-life-could-write-thoughts-on-boyhood/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Interview with Hyena director, Gerard Johnson
    in the cinema too long then by any means watch them by any other means LITRO How did you start into filmmaking GJ There were more shorts than the two that are out there Completely self trained really Just grew up surrounded by films and film culture from a very early age I ran on commercials and music videos for a time learned what I needed to learn on that side of it then went to work in the editing world I learned how to edit and make my own films in an editing facility And just completely did it off my own back I was very driven to make features LITRO Just after making Tony you said the next film you were making was going to be an English version of Bad Lieutenant do you think it came out that way GJ I think it s more Lieutenant than bad Lieutenant because they re all bad LITRO Maybe not all quite as bad as they are in this film GJ I don t know They re all tainted by corruption in one shape or form LITRO Is that the angle you were taking with this is that a message GJ The film came about from four years of research In fact longer than four years if you take the inspiration for Hyena which is somebody that me and Peter knew over 10 years ago So it s been a long time in the making and obviously the amount of research you do dictates how the script turns out LITRO What kind of research did you do and was it all shot in Queensway GJ It was all shot in West London and Queensway I was living there at the time and I used to spend a lot of time in Queensway and around that area I thought not since Performance has there been a film shot in West London that captures what West London s all about I think we ve got the Notting Hills and everything else that s not the West London that I know I think it s an incredibly photogenic part of London that s underused When everyone else goes to East London now it s become like edgy But I find West London is very interesting there are lots of secret societies and things going on LITRO Such as GJ If I told you they wouldn t be secret Laughs LITRO Give us a flavour GJ Around that area there are lots of little secret clubs and it s just really fascinating For instance Queensway has the highest concentration of transexuals outside of Brazil Now not many people are aware of that but you only need to spend a bit of time around there Did you know that LITRO No I did not no GJ Laughs When you re a filmmaker you re allowed to do research on things that are a little bit untoward You can get away with it And that area

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/03/interview-gerard-johnson-hyena-director/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Birdman and the Art of Madness
    are they especially in tune with the universe in a way that we normal folk cannot fathom Most filmmakers tend towards the latter interpretation if only because they aspire to be regarded as artists in the same light but the ambiguity always remains because few filmmakers want to label themselves as crazy Thus the film industry s fascination continues each writer and director is free to add their own interpretation of the mad artist phenomenon to screen because no one has yet fully answered the question The closest they ever seem to get is that art can help overcome madness and we should sympathise with the tortured souls of these singular creators Handily there will always be a long queue of actors and producers willing to help get these films made since they are the meatiest of roles to play and the best chance at getting noticed in awards season after Presidential dramas and Holocaust accounts it seems There tend to be two chief aspects to the approaches taken by filmmakers to the question of the mad artist One is to propose that madness inspires expression through art the other is that the all consuming passion of art is maddening Consequently the two most popular ways to portray artistic madness are to either focus on an anonymous character who goes mad Black Swan or deliver a study of a historical artist with a known psychological disorder The latter tends to reflect the truth more honestly Shine A Beautiful Mind but this also produces the most ambivalent conclusions since few biopics are willing to unsympathetically condemn their subjects as simply off their rockers The former allows for the most creativity in depicting delirium and this is what Birdman chooses to do Birdman s tone is set from the first frames However what sets Birdman apart is Iñárritu s fearlessly comedic tone As is often the case in this genre Keaton s brilliantly played character is presented as different to begin with but here his nutso nature is established from the opening shot so that the entire endeavour could be seen as the product of a disturbed psyche Birdman s ambivalence is established from the first frame allowing for a pleasingly surreal trip down Kooky Lane The joke doesn t stop there in a cleverly meta fashion it also satirises the standard satires of mad Hollywood Rather than merely suggesting you have to be mad or ruthless to succeed in the creative business it suggests that creativity itself is madness By having the plot centre around film stars staging a play adaptation of a Raymond Carver story Birdman conflates the worlds of prose fiction theatre and film in one big mess of lunacy Perhaps most subversively Birdman s conclusion suggests that madness is actually a positive force that can ease the pain of creation but its ambiguous ending could be interpreted to mean precisely the opposite So Iñárritu manages to simultaneously fulfil and subvert the standard requirements of the mad artist sub

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/02/film-birdman-and-the-art-of-madness/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Robin McConnell, Author at Litro Magazine
    directs himself to his best performance in years in this dark and powerful adaptation of Oscar Wilde s play Read more Litro Arts Culture Feature Film M 1931 by Robin McConnell Fritz Lang s M is significant not just as a lesson in the craft and history of moviemaking but as a timeless treatise on civilisation s most disturbing and overlooked issues Read more Litro Arts Culture Feature Film A Night At The Cinema In 1914 by Robin McConnell The BFI has restored this wonderful collection of silent short films that British audiences would have seen at the start of the First World War Read more Robin McConnell The author has 10 posts published in Litro Magazine Robin is an obsessive film fanatic and occasional person When he is not watching films or editing Litro Film Media he can be found writing and producing the Alltime channels on Youtube He is often distracted by the need to write scripts and short stories Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/rfjmcc/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Enemy and the Psychology of Infidelity
    Mary Laurent each adding only sourness to his existence He s not satisfied that much is clear So what the hey Adam sneaks into Anthony s agent s office calls his apartment a couple times all the while becoming accidentally obsessed and increasingly confused and all with good reason Anthony it turns out is borderline a slicker apex twin of Adam By the time we re properly introduced we ve learn some unsavoury facts about Anthony s past his pastimes and his relationships He s married to Helen Gadon with a baby on the way When Adam starts calling and confusing the situation Helen becomes suspicious that he s been cheating again It s not long before Anthony s up to much worse with Villeneuve cranking up the tension on a tetchy score The dreamlike developments trade effectively on the film s surface confusion Logically judging by his dreams Adam and Anthony are more familiar with each other than they think All is and is not what it seems Where Enemy departs from the familiar theme of infidelity is presenting these two lives as concretely separate and the relationships unconnected It s uncanny the plot though seeming familiar deviates still from the standard trajectory employing a nightmarish filmic language building on its themes nonverbally and contradicting it in dialogue Villeneuve is aware his audience is wise to well worn twists and creates a truly startling final shot but he rushes to the finish For a picture that s assembled with such precision one event in the third act is the piece s only weakness Still intriguing is Villeneuve s deft blurring of perspective which half of the pair are we watching with Adam Anthony s mother Rossellini appearing to reveal clues Perhaps she is the key to the entire piece Anthony s told You re not a man you re nothing Direct references to history control and totalitarianism may present a dual meaning at what cost does a man retaliate against his transgressor Anthony is determined to destroy his softer other while Adam himself rises against aggression and surprises himself Remarkable too is Enemy s confident pacing It s a relentless chokehold of a film chock full of heavy symbolism becoming almost wilfully impenetrable and encouraging aptly a second viewing Interpretation seems very much Villeneuve s intention and simple answers there are not Fidelio as many have interpreted Eyes Wide Shut may not be the password here Adam Anthony s dissatisfaction runs deeper than a lack of commitment There aren t very many solutions offered up to this male type s conundrum of relationship control or his loss of masculine identity It s a pattern It repeats as Adam says to his class Though Enemy may suffer from a somewhat weak final act with its final shot the cycle begins again It repeats And with this Villeneuve adds a different dimension to the simple cheating husband and for once it isn t just about the sex About Declan Tan Mail

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/01/feature-film-enemy/ (2016-02-15)
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