Book Review: The Traveller: Book One of the Fourth Realm Trilogy by John Twelve Hawks
by Steven Craig Hickman
A few years back I picked up John Twelve Hawks Fourth Realm Trilogy and thXJRHTFFPmisconstrued its overall theme and put it down (for whatever reason?). Not having a connection to my library (being packed up in the move) I found a copy of his first book in a friend’s home and borrowed it for a little light fare at night. I wish now I’d of read this work years ago, for Hawks’ – whether that is his real or appellate name – is a good storyteller and the work as a foray into urban fantasy works.
A few years back I picked up John Twelve Hawks Fourth Realm Trilogy and thXJRHTFFPmisconstrued its overall theme and put it down (for whatever reason?). Not having a connection to my library (being packed up in the move) I found a copy of his first book in a friend’s home and borrowed it for a little light fare at night. I wish now I’d of read this work years ago, for Hawks’ – whether that is his real or appellate name – is a good storyteller and the work as a foray into urban fantasy works.
Hawks is able to weave a tale around a world in which most of what we take for granted is not as it seems – and, yet, he doesn’t just copy the usual paranoid conspiracy crowd, but rather transforms his critical apparatus to shape a narrative around a world in which Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon has become ubiquitous due to our electronic age.
It’s a tale in which there is a secret history of the world in which humans (as in most conspiracy thought) are pawns, sleepers divided into subnormals or drones (criminal elements, poor, excluded, etc.) and normals or citizens (the basic consumer world of late capitalism). Along with this are three groups of hidden agents and their enemies that play our a dramatic history of freedom and fate over the lives of all others on the planet.
The first group is the Travelers: humans who have been gifted with the ability (much like Shamans, Mystics, Sufi, Hindu, Shivaite, or any number of magical, occult, new age astral thought…) to concentrate their psychic energy (astral body) into light and through trance travel into other realms, other worlds. There seems to be four barriers of based on the elements that must be overcome for the traveler to enter into actual other worlds: air, fire, water, earth. Each with certain obstacles to overcome, etc. The Traveler can apparently take a talisman with them (as in the novel the twin brothers who become enemies have Japanese katana’s as Talisman’s).
The second group are Harlequin’s who have since at least the rise of the Knight’s Templar’s protected the Travelers. The Harlequin’s much like the Japanese ninja’s are adept in various martial arts and magical techniques, gymnastics, strategies, and multivalent in weapons, secrecy, anonymity.
The third group is the Pathfinder’s who are those that have the ability to awaken the Traveler’s through 99 special techniques that have been collected in a special book past on from master to pupil.
What was interesting in the first book is Hawk’s ability to make not only the character driven story of interest, but his ability to drive it forward and create an intriguing cast of characters that are not just the typical pasteboard stand in’s but actual full fledged creatures one can empathize with. Very few writers of thrillers have that ability. Most novels are boring and predictable and the characters never become real on the page. Another aspect is that Hawks though didactic in intent doesn’t beat you over the head with polemical statements, but instead allows the story to unfold the message in natural terms and at appropriate times.
The story itself is based around a young woman, Maya, and her struggle with and against the legacy of being a Harlequin. Raised up by her father, Thorn, a man who spent his life in the service of protecting Travelers was recently crippled in an incident involving an ambush set up by a secret group named the Brethren who have for centuries sought out both Traveler and Harlequin and Pathfinder alike with one goal: to murder them and instigate a world wide order of control over the unknowing sleepers: citizens and drones.
For Maya the struggle began as a young girl in her teens during a specific trial in which her father leads her into an ambush with a group of Brethren forcing her to fight or die. She has been trained by him in all the deadly arts of combat and perception and makes quick work of her assailants, but in so doing is disgusted by what she’s become and abandons both her father and the life of the Harlequin for years. Barely keeping in touch with her father she’s led a life of a citizen as best she could during the intervening years until she is summoned to meet with him in Prague.
She comes to Prague and rejects Thorn’s proposal that she take up her rightful place in the Harlequin world, go to America and defend two brothers who have recently emerged from the underground and find and protect them before the Brethren do. But even as she leaves the building returning to her hotel she discovers that things are amiss, something is not right and returns to her father’s hideout to find him and his new student have been murdered. Not only that murdered by that he has been killed by a genetic monstrosity unleashed by the Brethren and their emissary Nathan Boone, head of security using “splicers” or hyena’s that have been genetically altered to feel no pain, and to have one goal – hunger for flesh and blood.
Needless to say this awakens in Maya a deep seated hatred of the Brethren to the point that all she wants now is revenge on those who did this to her father… the rest of the story you will want to read to find out more.
The story is fast paced and has some interesting plot twists and turns, a thriller that will keep you turning the pages as well as in depth characters who make the world feasible. All in all I found the book a delight and instructive, a fable about our prison planet and the corporatocracy of global capitalism and the Deep State of rogue organizations, power, and money that unhinged criminal cartels seem to pervade our failing democracies as we enter a period of authoritarian rule and strong media fictions that cover our world in stagecraft rather real news. A world where those in power work against democracy and shape a vision of world order in which the few rather than the many have the power and control and seek total dominion over every aspect of our existence. A Total Surveillance Society based on human security, lies, and deceit.
Once you accept our inherent ability to say no, you begin to see history in a different way. History isn’t a chronicle of the lives of kings, or their modern equivalents. It’s the story of a continual war between the people and institutions that have power and that core group in each new generation that decides, “I don’t accept your right to that power, your authority.” And this isn’t just a political and social rebellion. The conflict includes those people who challenge the status quo in science, technology, literature, and art.1
As Eric Jensen said a few years back the voices tell you that those in power have your best interests at heart. The micro-chips (RFID’s, etc.) are to reduce theft, the cameras to increase security, and the MRIs, well, if you have nothing to hide, what are you afraid of? A world where everything you own is chipped: mobile phones, refrigerators, sports shoes, etc. all the consumer goods surrounding you connected to ubiquitous receivers at the local market, the airport, the downtown total surveillance network, etc. A world completely constructed as they say to protect you and your children. A world that will soon track every aspect of your daily life from waking to sleep, scanning your clothes which will have these dust mite chips embedded, and the medical info chip you hang round your neck or wrist. In a generation your children will grow up knowing no other way, knowing nothing of a world without chips and scans and surveillance.
Even the thoughts in you head may come not from some unconscious process but rather from a machinic system. As Jense says: “Another article, written not so long ago, began with the unforgettable first line: “Those voices in your head may be real.” It went on to say that scientists have been able to develop the rapacity to project a beam of sound so focused that only one person can hear it. It can be transmitted from hundreds of yards away. The military is of course extremely interested in this technology. Microwaves can also be used to transmit sound. Pulses can be beamed into your head, such that you might think that you’re hearing them, or even thinking them. These pulses could be shaped into words, into thoughts. 2
Jeremy Benthem once proposed the infamous Panopticon which was never built, but the notion of a total surveillance society began with his blueprint. In it he foresaw a way of infusing the whole of society with such a mind over mind apparatus for “punishing the incorrigible, guarding the insane, reforming the “vicious, confining the suspected, employing the idle, maintaining the helpless, curing the sick, instructing the willing in any branch of industry, or training the rising race in the path of education: in a Word, whether it be applied to the purposes of perpetual prisons in the room of death, or prisons for confinement before trial, or penitentiary-houses. or houses of correction, or work-houses. or manufactories, or mad-houses, or hospitals, or schools. ” (Jensen, p. 9)
The point here is to make the whole planet into an open prison in which the inmates would be jailor and jailed one and all. Just the notion that you cannot hide, that you have no privacy, that your life 24/7 is under the scrutiny of machines, AI’s that can monitor, track, modulate, and filter every piece of data and information about you and your actions, your desires, wants, needs. All this would allow the prisoner to mind his own life without the need for any other external agent other than his own fear of the System. “Hence,” as Michel Foucault wrote, “the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility I hat assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should he caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers. To achieve this, it is at once too much and too little that the prisoner should be constantly observed by an inspector: too little, for what matters is that he knows himself to be observed; too much, because he has no need in fact of being so. In view of this, Bentham laid down the principle that power should he visible and unverifiable. Visible: the inmate will constantly have before his eyes the tall outline of the central tower from which he is spied upon. Unverifiable: the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at anyone moment; but he must he sure that he may always he so. In order to make the presence or absence of the inspector unverifiable, so that the prisoners, in their cells, cannot even see a shadow, Bentham envisaged not only venetian blinds on the windows of the central observation hall, but, on the inside, partitions that intersected the hall at right angles and, in order to pass from one quarter to the other, not doors but zig-zag openings; for the slightest noise, a gleam of light, a brightness in a half-opened door would betray the presence of the guardian. The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen.”3
Yet, unlike the literal Panopticon proposed by Benthem the new ubiquitous and invisible Panopticon is a Tower of Electronic surveillance hidden in every object of our capitalist society with all its smart devices from toaster ovens to automobiles, ticket stations to ATM’s. And someday the corporations will engage their employees to embedded such health chips with one’s life history into a small under the skin adaptor that can be read by any and all machines connected to the Surveillance State. Of course we scoff at such things now, saying our civil liberties will always be protected, yada yada ya…. but will it? Will a generation of two down the pipe remember such things? Will they due to terror, war, insecurity, etc. be willing to sacrifice privacy for protection? Will they?
What John Twelve Hawk’s does well in his fable of our modern surveillance society is to underpin the corruption of the Deep State, this rogue world of secrecy, surveillance, black ops, the collusion of corporate and government in its seek total command and control of the populace, along with the exclusion and extrication of any thought-freedom and powers of mind that could awaken people from their sleep in capital, luxury, and erotic wish fulfillment. Even the point of keeping democracy on the edge of oblivion, the charade of politics and stupid leaders, the monetary crisis, the wars, the terror, the all-pervading sense of fear and apathy, all this destruction of the modern world is part of the plan to keep us locked into a need for protection, security, and enslavement to the System.
The essay is taken from:
An interview with Tony D. Sampson
By Obsolete Capitalism
Introduction by Rizosfera
Tony D. Sampson is reader in digital media culture and communication based in East London, and deals with philosophy, digital culture and new media. His work focuses on an unconventional intersection where political analysis meets the theoretical aspects of digital media and social behaviour, shaping the world of our contemporary era. Writing on substantial components like viruses, virality in communication, contagion and behavioural imitation, the brain and neuroculture in this “rotten world” built on an accelerated bond of technology and ideology of value and proﬁt driven markets, Sampson catches, with a forward looking attitude, some “substantial issues” of the clash between control and technology, society and individual or collective freedom, shaping him not only as a brilliant new media theorist but as an essential political thinker as well. To scan his new book ‘The Assemblage Brain’ (Minnesota Press, 2017) is therefore urgent to understand the important challenge we will face in a very near future.
Tom Petty, the rocker best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is dead at 66, CBS News has confirmed.
The legendary musician suffered a full cardiac arrest and was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home Sunday night. He was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and put on life support, reports TMZ.
Petty rose to fame in the 1970s with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The group put out several hits, including "American Girl," "Free Fallin'," "Breakdown," "Listen to Her Heart" and more. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Read more, below
This workshop requires an application. Please see directions below.
TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2017
Graduate student workshop: Being and Event
3 – 6 p.m.
The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room, Columbia University
WEDNESDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2017
Alain Badiou: “Immanence of Truths”
Lecture on the forthcoming third volume of his ontology Being and Event
Introductory lecture: Kenneth Reinhard UCLA
Friend Center Lecture Hall 101, Princeton University
THURSDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2017
Graduate student workshop: Logics of Worlds
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Chancellor Green Seminar Room 105, Princeton University
In order to celebrate Alain Badiou’s major new work The Immanence of Truths, two graduate student workshops will be organized at Princeton and Columbia Universities. The workshops will introduce students to the basic concepts of Badiou’s ontological system, addressing sequentially his key works Being and Event and Logics of World. The workshops will be capped by Badiou’s public lecture introducing his forthcoming book The Immanence of Truths.
The lecture on the 18th of October is open to the public.
To apply for the workshops, please send your name, departmental affiliation, and a brief description of your research interests and particular interest in Alain Badiou’s work. Please state also your language proficiency. (The workshops will be held in English, but French proficiency is preferred.)
The applications can be sent to email@example.com by October 1st.
Selected participants will be notified by October 12th, 2017.
Readings will be sent to selected participants via e-mail.
Alain Badiou, Being and Event, transl. by Oliver Feltham; (New York: Continuum, 2005)
Alain Badiou, Conditions, transl. by Steve Corcoran; (New York: Continuum, 2009)
Alain Badiou, Logics of Worlds: Being and Event, Volume 2, transl. by Alberto Toscano; (New York: Continuum, 2009)
Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy, transl. by Norman Madarasz; (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999)
Alain Badiou, Second Manifesto for Philosophy, transl. by Louise Burchill (New York: Polity Press, 2011
Alain Badiou is a French philosopher and playwright. He is a professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Philosophy of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and one of the founding members of the Faculty of philosophy of the Université Paris VIII. His major works include the two volumes of Being and Event and Being and Event 2.: Logics of Worlds. His philosophical oeuvre connects continental and analytical philosophical traditions along with his reflections on set theory and contemporary mathematics. The third volume of Being and Event is to be published in 2017/18 under the title The Immanence of Truths.
Kenneth Reinhard is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA. He is the author, with Slavoj Žižek and Eric Santner of The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (U. of Chicago Press, 2005), and with Julia Reinhard Lupton, of After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis (Cornell UP, 1993), as well as articles on Freud, Lacan, Levinas, Henry James, Jewish Studies, and the Bible. In 2004 he founded the University of California Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory. Together with Susan Spitzer, he is currently working on the translation of Alain Badiou’s seminars and his forthcoming book Immanence of Truths.
Events organized by Nick Nesbitt, Professor, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University and Columbia university graduate students committee: Jana Berankova, Leah Pires, Nick Croggnon, Helene Quiniou
Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society; The Heyman Center for the Humanities; Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture; Department of Art History and Archaeology, Department of French and Romance Philology Princeton University, Department of French and Italian
The article is taken from:
Pain has been a model of solidarity in the three days since the fear assaults that killed 14 individuals in Barcelona and Cabrils. That number is presently known to incorporate the seven-year-old Julian Cadman, who had double British-Australian nationality and whose drawing in picture has been on front pages. He had been absent since the savage vehicle assault on Thursday evening. On Sunday morning the ruler and ruler drove the grievers at an administration in La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona's house of prayer, which, maybe incomprehensibly in the conditions, was brought about by Antoni Gaudí as a paeon to confidence and patriotism. More than 1,500 individuals pressed the congregation, while close-by Las Ramblas kept on being a concentration for sorrow and resistance.
In any case, behind the solidarity, Spain's national union confronts a bigger number of worries than in most European nations. No less than eight of the fear based oppressors seem to have experienced childhood in one residential community, Ripoll. Their appalled families are pointing the finger at Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam of one of the town's mosques, for radicalizing their children. The little group, where one of every 10 inhabitants is a vagrant, is in a condition of stun to find that football-adoring children who showed up altogether OK with their Spanish character set out on such a deadly course. Police, who are examining what they now say was a plot to dispatch a tremendous dread assault, are endeavoring to set up whether the imam passed on in a gas blast that obliterated a house last Wednesday.
The Spanish royal family issued a surprisingly emphatic proclamation: “They are assassins, criminals who won’t terrorise us. All of Spain is Barcelona.”
A large number of against prejudice demonstrators overwhelmed the boulevards of Boston on Saturday, overshadowing a social affair of white patriots in the city and activating fights with police yet keeping away from the genuine brutality that damaged a comparative occasion seven days sooner in Virginia.
An alleged "free discourse" rally by a long shot Right gatherings had been booked to keep running until 2 p.m. (1800 GMT), yet a half-hour before that police escorted its members — whose numbers gave off an impression of being in the handfuls — to wellbeing past a throng of hostile to bigotry dissidents.
Authorities assessed that the turnout came to around 40,000 demonstrators. Experts said there were an aggregate of 27 captures, for the most part for threatening behavior against the police, and tumultuous lead. Flying photographs demonstrated the last gathering filling one of Boston's primary avenues for a few squares, in a tremendous overflowing of against bigot supposition in this firmly Democratic northeastern city.
Counterprotesters walked through the city to memorable Boston Common, where many assembled close to a bandstand deserted right on time by preservationists who had wanted to convey a progression of discourses. Police vans later escorted the traditionalists out of the range, and irate counterprotesters fought with equipped officers attempting to look after request.
Individuals from the Black Lives Matter development later challenged on the Common, where a Confederate banner was scorched and dissenters beat on the sides of a police vehicle.
Later Saturday evening, Boston's police office tweeted that nonconformists were tossing jugs, pee and shakes at them and requested that individuals freely cease from doing as such.
Jerry Lewis, one of Hollywood’s most famous comedians, died Sunday at the age of 91
The unbelievable performing artist, comic, artist, maker, screenwriter, and chief had a decades-in length vocation that incorporated a comic association nearby Dean Martin and an over the top nearness in such movies as "The Nutty Professor" and "The Bellboy." The Las Vegas Review-Journal's John Katsilometes reports that he passed away at 9:15 early today at his home in Las Vegas.
Lewis experienced numerous medical problems in late decades; he experienced open-heart surgery in 1983, surgery for prostate malignancy nine years after the fact, showed some kindness assault in 2006, and managed pneumonic fibrosis for a long time. He and Martin controlled the dance club scene all through the 1950s, however their inevitable split wasn't precisely agreeable.
Born on March 16, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey, Jerry Lewis grew up performing in a vaudeville family. He met vocalist Dean Martin in 1945, and they built up a satire demonstration and performed in dance club like the Copacabana. At the point when their routine hit a nerve with gatherings of people, the couple went from making $250 seven days to $5,000, and Lewis never thought back. He soon made a fruitful change into film with 1949's My Friend Irma, which would prompt a series of parts in well known movies and TV appearances.
On Monday, the sun will vanish — for a brief timeframe — crosswise over America.
For a concise minute, day will swing to night. Creatures of all shapes and sizes will go into their evening schedules. Stars and planets will be noticeable, and streetlights will turn on amidst the day.
Here are a portion of the things you should think about the aggregate sun based overshadowing happening August 21.
"The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up, and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality. It's been described as peaceful, spiritual, exhilarating, shocking," said Brian Carlstrom, deputy associate director of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate.
As per NASA, encountering an aggregate sun based overshadowing where you live occurs about once in 375 years. In this way, unless current solution progresses significantly in the following couple of years, you won't not make it to the following one.
The last time anybody in the United States saw an aggregate sun powered obscuration was very nearly 40 years back, on February 26, 1979. It's been much longer - 99 years - since an aggregate sun based overshadowing crossed the nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The aggregate obscuration on June 8, 1918, go from Washington to Florida.
What exactly is a total solar eclipse?
Not at all like a lunar obscuration, when the moon goes behind the Earth's shadow, a sun based overshadowing happens when the moon goes between the Earth and sun and throws its shadow on the planet. As appeared in the delineation over, this shadow is involved two concentric cones – the bigger penumbra, which from Earth just demonstrates the sun halfway blocked, and the substantially littler umbra, which obstructs the sun totally.
You'll need special glasses to view it
As we're likely all mindful, taking a gander at the sun is a difficult ordeal. On Aug. 21, a great many individuals will be stretching out their necks towards our closest star to witness the sun powered overshadowing, however be cautioned: DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT SPECIAL GLASSES. Affirmed "Overshadowing Glasses" sift through 100 percent of unsafe ultra-violet, 100 percent of hurtful infrared, and 99.999 percent of extreme unmistakable light.
While those in the limited way of totality will have the sheltered chance to see the overshadowing for a couple of minutes without security glasses, every other person should wear them consistently. The uplifting news is, they're shabby and accessible for arrange from an assortment of legitimate sources. Snap here and here to see a few choices.
North Korea cautioned Sunday that the up and coming US-South Korea military activities are "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."- CNN said
Pyongyang additionally proclaimed that its armed force can focus on the United States whenever, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US terrain can "dodge the merciless strike."
Trump this week applauded North Korean pioneer Kim Jong-un, after he didn't complete on a risk to flame rockets in waters off Guam, a U.S. region with an extensive maritime base found 2,200 miles upper east of North Korea.
North Korean media said Kim was would hold up to see the U.S. reaction before choosing whether to give the request to flame. U.S. authorities have swore the military activities will proceed this week as arranged.
"The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting," said an publication conveyed by the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
"The Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises will be like pouring gasoline on fire and worsen the state of the peninsula," the newspaper said.
Cautioning of a "wild period of an atomic war" on the promontory, it included: "If the United States is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else's doorstep far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever."
Seoul and Washington have said the to a great extent PC reproduced UFG work out, which goes back to 1976, will proceed as arranged, however did not remark on whether the drills would be downsized with an end goal to ease strains.
Around 17,500 US troops will take part in the current year's drills — a reduction from a year ago — as per numbers gave by Seoul's safeguard service.
However, South Korea's Yonhap news organization detailed the partners were reflecting rejecting an underlying arrangement to acquire two plane carrying warships to the landmass to participate in the penetrate.
South Korea's best military officer said Sunday that the present security circumstance on the promontory was “more serious than at any other time” in the midst of the North's becoming atomic and rocket dangers, and cautioned Pyongyang of hardhearted striking back against any assault.
“If the enemy provokes, (our military) will retaliate resolutely and strongly to make it regret bitterly,”said General Jeong Kyeong-Doo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his inauguration speech.
China, North Korea's most essential partner and exchanging accomplice, has repeated calls for quiet amid the present emergency. It has communicated disappointment with both Pyongyang's rehashed atomic and rocket tests and with conduct from South Korea and the US that it sees as heightening strains.
Killer Mike, Lady Gaga, Questlove, John Darnielle, El-P, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and many more condemn the president
In the fallout of savagery prodded by a racial oppressor showing in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump censured brutality "on many sides" without particularly counseling racial oppressors. In a public interview today, Trump multiplied down on his underlying remarks, ascribing fault for the occurrence to "the two sides" and, all the while, comparing the "alt-left" to the KKK and neo-Nazis. Many individuals took to online networking to react in outrage and skepticism to the president's announcements, including various noticeable performers.
Reactions on Twitter:
Curious about what happened between the original “Blade Runner” and its sequel?
A 180-degree video display helped fill in the gaps during the Warner Bros. San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday. The journey sets up the sequel, set 30 years in the future in a dystopian Los Angeles where the police are trying to find illegal replicants. The whole “Blade Runner 2049” story is laid out on roadto2049.bladerunnermovie.com.
Moderator Chris Hardwick asked the sequel’s director Denis Villeneuve why he took the job. “I didn’t want somebody else to f— it up,” he responded.
Ryan Gosling made minor waves for comparing his experience on the movie to being “on a football team with the Avengers.” Hardwick jumped in to let the audience know that Gosling meant to say “Justice League,” prompting laughs.
The cast was dodgy when it came to plot details. When asked if the sequel will answer fans’ questions about the original, Harrison slyly replied, “It doesn’t matter what I think.”
Later, he teased, “The original film explored the ethics of the creation of replicants and their utility and we further develop those themes in the story … but I’m not going to tell you anything about it.”
But it was an audience question directed at Harrison that got the biggest response when he was asked if his goal is to reboot every major franchise. “You bet your a— it is,” he joked as the audience roared.
The panel also screened a short clip from the movie, in addition to releasing new trailers for “Ready Player One,” “Justice League” and a first look at “Aquaman.”
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The 74th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 9.
The Venice Film Festival has announced the full roster of its main competition jury, which will include actress Rebecca Hall, “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright, and Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi, whose “On Body and Soul” won this year’s Berlin Golden Bear.
They will decide the fest’s main prizes alongside French actress Anna Mouglalis, Mexican film director and producer Michel Franco, Australian film critic David Stratton, Italian actress Jasmine Trinca, and Hong Kong-based film director and photographer Yonfan.
As previously announced, four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening will preside over the main jury, the first woman since 2006 to head the panel.
The festival also announced Sunday that U.S. director John Landis will head the jury of the new Venice Virtual Reality section, which organizers tout as the first-ever competition for VR works launched by a major film fest.
Of the main competition jurors, Franco, whose latest feature as a director is “April’s Daughter,” produced 2015 Venice Golden Lion winner “From Afar” by Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas. British actress Hall most recently starred in Brooklyn-set romantic comedy “Permission,” which bowed positively at Tribeca, while her countryman Wright (pictured) is making a splash in the U.S. with “Baby Driver.”
Mouglalis (“Coco Chanel”) plays the lead in upcoming horror thriller “The Most Assassinated Woman in the World.” Stratton is a television personality and former Variety reviewer, and also the subject of the documentary “David Stratton: A Cinematic Life,” which screened recently at Cannes. Trinca scooped this year’s best actress award at Cannes for “Fortunata.” Yonfan has written, directed and produced 13 often sexually daring movies, including melodrama “Prince of Tears,” which competed in Venice in 2009.
The festival also announced Sunday the jury members of its Horizons section, which is dedicated to more cutting-edge fare. Italian auteur Gianni Amelio (“The Stolen Children”) will oversee a panel consisting of Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad, whose “Tales” won the 2014 Venice best screenplay prize; U.S. director Ami Canaan Mann, whose “Texas Killing Fields” competed on the Lido in 2011; Irish-Scottish director Mark Cousins, best known for his 15-hour documentary, “The Story of Film: An Odyssey”; Argentine screenwriter Andres Duprat, whose “The Distinguished Citizen” just won multiple nods at the Platino Ibero-American Film Awards; Belgian director Fien Troch, whose “Home” took the 2016 Horizons best director prize; and French writer-director Rebecca Zlotowski, whose “Planetarium,” starring Natalie Portman, screened in Venice last year.
French director Benoit Jacquot will head the Lion of the Future jury, which will hand out Venice’s award for best first feature. The other members of the jury are British film lecturer and BFI film programmer Geoff Andrew; veteran Hong Kong-based producer Albert Lee; Italian actress Greta Scarano (“Suburra”); and Greek director Yorgos Zois (“Interruption”). The award recognizes the best debut feature across all competitive sections at the festival and comes with $100,000, to be divided equally between the director and the producer.
Landis will be joined on the VR jury by French screenwriter and film director Celine Sciamma, who directed “Tomboy” and penned “My Life as a Zucchini,” and Italian actor and director Ricky Tognazzi (“Ultrà”).
Italian director Giuseppe Piccioni (“Not of This World”) will preside over the jury of film students who award the Venezia Classics Awards for best restored classic and best documentary on cinema.
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Paintings were seized following a tip-off from the Art Loss Register
Artwork by Cecil Beaton, Francis Bacon in his studio, 1960, Made of gelatin
Spanish police say that they have recouped three works by Francis Bacon that were stolen from a private home in Madrid in June 2015. Five works by the Dublin-conceived craftsman were evacuated amid the assault.
As indicated by the BBC, the three unidentified works, which have a place with Bacon's colleague José Capelo, were recouped following a tip-off from the Art Loss Register, the London-based stolen workmanship database. The UK association was reached by a person in Sitges who needed to confirm one of the works. Spanish police did not react to facilitate enquiries.
"The return of the pictures is testament to the benefits of international cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement agencies. That these pictures have now been recovered through the skill of the Spanish police, after the Art Loss Register had identified them, and following the circulation of details of the loss via Interpol, is a perfect example of the value of such collaboration," says James Ratcliffe, director of Recoveries & General Counsel at the Art Loss Register.
Ten individuals have so far been confined regarding the theft; seven captures were made in Madrid a year ago and three more individuals were captured in January.
Bacon’s triptych, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1963), the first portrait of the artist’s longtime lover, fetched $51.8m at Christie’s New York in May.
Photo by Alexander Schneider
I waver between thinking game-maker and animator David O’Reilly’s masterpiece, Everything, is something more than a video game and not a video game at all. Playing it feels much more like looking at a painting, or perhaps taking a psychedelic meditation retreat. In the game, the player takes turns controlling hundreds of individual objects and entities that are cartoonish abstractions of our own reality, from giraffes to microconidia to continents, clouds and eventually galaxies. Eventually, one is able to create madcap worlds-within-worlds where a murder of crows might dance with submarines beneath the ocean, or a planet-sized record player plunks out strange noises in space. (There are, interestingly, no human beings roaming O’Reilly’s worlds.)
Two elements lend this beautiful but absurd experience some real weight. The inclusion of hours of joyful and thought-provoking lectures from the great philosopher Alan Watts, and the expansive score from electronic musician Ben Lukas Boysen and contemporary classical composer/musician Sebastian Plano. Their pieces—anchored by Plano’s emotive cello and expanded by Boysen’s towering, organic ambient structures—are otherworldly and full of wonder. They swell and fade unexpectedly as the player tinkers, and they evoke something more than just beauty. They evoke awe. It is a remarkable experience, and the resulting Everything soundtrack—on the venerable Erased Tapes label—stands on its own as a startling piece of art. We spoke to Boysen and Plano via video chat, as they were drinking beers at Boysen’s home in Berlin.
WHAT TO LOOK AT THE MIEFF EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE ELECTRO-THEATER
From July 20 to July 23, Moscow's "Electrotheater Stanislavsky" will host the II Moscow International Festival of Experimental Cinema. In addition to the actual film and video art in his program, multimedia events like the performance of Dmitry Volkostrelov or the widget set by the Dutch researcher Esther Ulrus, who is engaged in the reconstruction of fossil film manufacturing and processing technologies (in Stanislavsky she will create a video composition on four 16 mm projectors). In general, the program of the festival is very extensive (there are only four retrospectives here). Vasily Koretsky - about what movie can not be missed on MIEFF under any circumstances.
Retrospective of Toshio Matsumoto
Toshio Matsumoto, one of the important figures of the Japanese "new wave" of the 1960s, is known primarily for his feature film "Funeral procession of roses" - a rather scandalous (at one time) picture describing the world of Tokyo's bohemian and half-light (the main character of the expressive "Procession" is a transvestite prostitute). In addition to the "Procession" in the filmography of Matsumoto - three more full-length paintings; However, the director's experiences in the big cinema had a character, rather sporadic and inconsistent. Exercises in the tight frame of the film format are only weak reflections of Matsumoto's experiments in video art and multimedia theater. His video works, on the contrary, demonstrate the meaningfulness of the method and the integrity of the reception. In the first half of the 1960s he was a documentaryist trying to give the social dock a poetic and not a publicistic form (similar black and white chronicles of the working people Tkachi Nishizdin and Stone's Song, a color film-essay "Mothers" shot on creative business trips In the USA and France). By the end of the decade, Matsumoto switched from poetic realism to pop art, parodying Duchamp and Warhol ("Metastasis") with the help of Scanimate's latest visual synthesizer or by assembling a chronicle of parties in a chaotic semblance of a music video. In 1973, the "Mona Lisa" was brought to Japan from the Louvre, and Matsumoto removed his most probably video work - "Mona Lisa", composed of a series of various reproductions of the portrait, processed by Scanimate.
translated from Russian by Dejan Stojkovski
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Andrés Muschietti's hotly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King's It will open the Fantasy Filmfest in Munich, Germany. The festival runs September 6 - 16.
The festival's 2017 lineup already includes a number of eagerly awaited titles, including Paco Plaza's (REC) Veronica, Cannes premiers such as The Villainess and Sicilian Ghost Story, as well as the Japanese box office hit Memoirs of a Murder.
Other genre titles include Joe Lynch's Mayhem, Danish vigilante thriller Darkland, shark attack flick 47 Meters Down and many more.
Get thee to Germany!
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The whole concept behind 10+ Years Later is to revisit films about which time has potentially changed your opinion. When perusing David Lynch's filmography, I found myself routinely thinking, “Of course Dune is terrible,” and ignoring it to the extent that I could. But really, if one hardly remembers a film at all, and one likes or loves everything else that a filmmaker has done, doesn't one owe said film a second watch?
I consider Lynch to be my favorite living artist. I can find value in just about everything he's produced, even when it's a television commercial or a thinly-veiled transcendental meditation manifesto. In college I wrote an (overly long, and surely fawning) essay about his fascination with the duality of blonde girls-next-door and brunette femmes fatale.
In preparation for it, I re-watched every movie of his save for The Elephant Man, The Straight Story, and Dune. While I have always liked the first two, I never thought Dune was worth another thought, and Lynch's own admission of failure has tidily validated my avoidance.
Now, though, Lynch is enjoying both success and the sweet freedom of total creative control on Twin Peaks: The Return. For the third season's premiere, he basked in a standing ovation at Cannes, the same festival at which his work was booed 25 years ago at the screening of Fire Walk With Me. At 71, he has finally (long overdue) found a medium that suits him, a studio that trusts him, and an audience that will follow him. The sting of Dune's failure has hopefully diminished. So, in the interest of potential revisionism, let's give it one more look.
It's somewhat difficult to critique Dune in 2017, when all of its flaws and shortcomings were already laid relentlessly bare by critics upon its release over 30 years ago. And if not difficult per se, the task is surely unnecessary and redundant. Most negative reviews of the era focused on the film's incoherence, its tedious pacing and its general lack of intrigue. For Lynch devotees (especially looking back on the film and trying to reconcile it amongst his oeuvre), the complaints tend to hinge on its directorial anonymity: its seeming lack of Lynchian DNA.
For the moment, I will attempt an objective look at Dune as a film -- rather than specifically as a Lynch film. This should not be hard for me to do, because I had always followed Lynch's lead in writing it off as a project he never should have been involved in. This article assumes the reader has seen the movie, and there are spoilers ahead.
Royal Albert Hall, London
The orchestra’s second Proms appearance this year saw Joshua and Alisa Weilerstein lead a smartly restrained recital of of Pascal Dusapin’s concerto
Intensity and introspection … Alisa Weilerstein. Photograph: Chris Christodoulou/BBC
Outscape, Pascal Dusapin’s concerto for cello and orchestra, was the novelty in the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s second appearance at this summer’s Proms. The concert was conducted by Joshua Weilerstein, and his elder sister Alisa was the soloist in the piece Dusapin composed for her, which she had premiered in Chicago last year.
The title, the composer says, “carries the musical project within itself”, and though the word “outscape”, coined in the 19th century by Gerard Manley Hopkins, seems now to carry multiple meanings, Dusapin construes it in the sense of escaping elsewhere and finding one’s own path. That’s the journey undertaken by the cello in the concerto. There’s no hint of traditional concerto dialectic, no confrontational to and fro between soloist and orchestra, but instead the sense of two independent protagonists who sometimes move towards each other or exchange roles, yet always preserve their distinct identities.
The first half of the 27-minute, single-movement work is restrained and introspective, with the ruminating solo cello shadowed first by a bass clarinet and then by a succession of other instruments in the orchestra. The level of activity and the expressive intensity, increase in the second half, though a lot of that busy detail went missing in the Albert Hall; listening later to the BBC’s binaural recording was far more involving. By any standard, it’s a demanding challenge for the soloist, who is allowed very few chances to rest, though the long tendrils of melody that the cello spins do make the most of Alisa Weilerstein’s rich tone, and she projected them intensely.
Does anyone combine violence, wistfulness and total goofballery like David Lynch?
Richard Horne beats up his grandma, takes all her money, calls her a cunt and skips town, but not before killing Miriam, the perky schoolteacher who witnessed him run over that kid a couple of episodes ago. Anyone not believe Richard is the spawn of Evil Cooper, who probably raped Audrey while she was in a coma?
Nasty cop Chad intercepts a letter Miriam warns Richard she’s sent to the Sherriff in the event of her meeting with an accident of some kind—I guess making fun of the Log Lady and sneering at Andy and Lucky isn’t all he’s good for.
Ben Horne fields an (understandably) hysterical call from Sylvia. Things are as strained as ever. She’s enraged that the main thing he wants to know is whether Johnny was hurt. He’s enraged that she wants more money. Exhausted, Ben asks his married assistant Beverly to dinner.
Shelley Johnson’s daughter seems to be reliving her mother’s life with Leo. Harry Dean Stanton sings the cowboy classic “Red River Valley.” Janey-E discovers her husband looks a lot better with no shirt on than he used to. Dougie, um, hits the jackpot in a whole new way (Man, Janey-E is a screamer!)
Meanwhile, in Vegas, Lynchian comedy ensues as a casino showgirl attempts to swat a fly, ultimately cracking thug-boss across the cheekbone with the remote. He’s fine. She is a tearful wreck for the rest of the day. The casino thugs discover that the guy who made Ike the Spike finally “step on his own dick” is none other than “Mister Jackpots.” In the casino, Dougie’s crooked co-worker comes to tell the Thuggie Thuggerson that the “enemy” who kiboshed his insurance arson scam was indeed also the nefarious, if seemingly addlepated, Douglas Jones. Sinister clouds gather over Los Vegas.
Figuratively. Because Vegas is a desert.
Glazunov was renowned for his portraits, illustrations, and religious depictions of Russian history
Artist Ilya Glazunov
Ilya Glazunov, one of Russia’s most popular and controversial artists, passed away on Sunday at the age of 87. A native of St. Petersburg, he graduated from the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. After winning the Grand Prix of the International Competition of Young Artists in Prague in 1956, he held his first solo exhibition in Moscow.
Glazunov was renowned for his portraits of famous personages, both Russian and foreign; illustrations for works of Russian literature; and later in life, religious and nationalistic depictions of Russian history. His enormous canvases are filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of figures depicting the gamut of contemporary and historical figures, from Prince Igor to Monica Lewinsky.
In 1976, Glazunov painted one of his first and best known historical works, “The Mystery of the 20th Century.” In it, an atomic bomb explodes over depictions of Nikolai II, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Vladimir Lenin, Adolph Hitler and Charlie Chaplin, among dozens of other leaders and cultural figures. Hovering above is an image of Christ, and standing in prison clothes is the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. For the ideological crime of depicting Solzhenitsyn, the Central Committee of the Communist Party considered exiling him from the Soviet Union. Instead, he was sent to Siberia to paint portraits of the workers of the Baikal-Amur Railroad.
On his return to Moscow, Glazunov continued to paint monumental canvases. By then, society and the political system were falling in sync with his views. In 1986, a large solo exhibition of his works was held at the Manege Exhibition Hall, and in 2004 a museum of his art and his personal collection of icons opened opposite the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
Glazunov was the founder and rector of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, the artistic director in charge of the restoration of the Great Kremlin Palace and a vocal supporter of the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. He was the recipient of many state and foreign awards, including People’s Artist of the USSR, the State Prize of the Russian Federation, and the UNESCO Gold Medal for "outstanding contribution to world culture."
Glazunov will be buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery.
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Works by Dmitry Plavinsky and Andrei Tarkovsky in a virtual ancient church belfry. AZ Museum Press Service
If you are in the city center and need a break from contemporary reality, crawl over the ditches and around the construction barriers and make your way off Pushkin Square to the Theater of Nations’ New Space, a 19th century two-story building that has been artfully reconstructed into exhibition spaces.
Until July 20 you can see “Breakthrough to the Past,” an unusual exhibition about two brilliant artists and their work in the 1960s. Organized by the Anatoly Zverev (AZ) Museum and the Dva Andreya Foundation, it presents two artists who worked in different media and never met, but whose work and world views have much in common.
The show presents filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and artist Dmitry Plavinsky. More specifically it highlights Tarkovsky’s film "Andrei Rublev" and Dmitry Plavinsky’s etchings and paintings done at the same time and, in some cases, in the same places as Tarkovsky was filming. In the 1960s both artists were drawn to Russia’s ideologically forbidden religious past, to what the curators call the “aesthetics of icons as the manifestation of the Christian world view, as a path for spiritual development and inner freedom.”
The idea of the exhibition was suggested by Polina Lobachevskaya, director of the AZ Museum, and first received rather skeptically by her colleagues. Maria Revyakina, director of the Theater of Nations, found the project utterly “unexpected.” Zoya Koshelyova, academic director of the Dva Andreya Foundation dedicated to the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, at first “couldn’t see the two artists together.” But over time, everyone not only came around, but embraced the pairing, which was then produced as a multimedia project by Natalya Opaleva.
A new commission by Barbara Kruger for the V-A-C Foundation's Palazzo delle Zattere gallery in Venice (Photo: courtesy of the artist, Sprüth Magers and Mary Boone Gallery)
Another influential foreign patron is building an art empire in Venice, joining the ranks of the French luxury goods tycoon François Pinault and the Italian fashion giant Miuccia Prada. The Russian gas billionaire Leonid Mikhelson is launching a gallery in the 19th-century Palazzo delle Zattere with a show of Soviet and contemporary art during the opening week of the Venice Biennale (Space Force Construction, 13 May-25 August). Mikhelson’s Moscow-based V-A-C Foundation will run the new space, which will host two temporary exhibitions a year.
The gallery will be free to enter, unlike Pinault’s two Venetian museums, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, and the Prada Foundation space, Ca’ Corner della Regina. “All of our exhibitions and activities at Palazzo delle Zattere will continue to be free of charge and open to everyone,” says Teresa Iarocci Mavica, the V-A-C Foundation’s Italian-born director.
The foundation, which Mikhelson established in 2009, has organised annual exhibitions in Venice since 2010. Mavica says that the Palazzo delle Zattere will not house its own collection of international and Russian contemporary art. “It will be a more permanent space for us to be able to continue our work with new generations of artists in Russia and worldwide, offering them an international platform on which to produce and show their work,” she says. A spokeswoman declined to discuss the future programme.
Unbelievable movie producer George A. Romero, the father of the cutting edge film zombie and maker of the momentous "Night of the Living Dead" establishment, has kicked the bucket at 77, his family said.
Romero passed on Sunday in his rest following a "brief however forceful fight with lung disease," as per an announcement to The Times given by his long-term delivering accomplice, Peter Grunwald. Romero kicked the bucket while tuning in to the score of one his most loved movies, 1952's "The Quiet Man," with his better half, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and girl, Tina Romero, next to him, the family said.
Romero's companions and partners in his Image Ten generation organization pooled their assets to make the film. Impacted by Richard Matheson's novell, I Am Legend, the high contrast film recounts the account of a gathering of individuals caught in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who fall prey to a swarm of the undead.
The film was said to be a critique of capitalism amid the counter-culture period of the Sixties.
Romero co-composed and coordinated "Night of the Living Dead" in 1968, which went on to become a cult-classic.
The film started the zombie film kind and impelled five continuations as a major aspect of Romero's "Dead" film series.
Following quite a while of the Living Dead, he coordinated movies including There's Always Vanilla, Season of the Witch, and The Crazies, albeit none had the effect of his initially film.
Some of his non-zombie movies of the '70s and '80s increased more consideration in the short-run. These included Knightriders - about jousters who re-authorize competitions on bikes - and the collection Creepshow composed by Stephen King.
Among his different movies from the 1990s were Monkey Shines, Edgar Allen Poe adjustment Two Evil Eyes, in a joint effort with Dario Argento, The Dark Half and Bruiser.
He official created and refreshed his own particular screenplay for Tom Savini's 1990 revamp of Night of the Living Dead. Also, Romero even showed up in The Silence of the Lambs.
He was initially set to coordinate the wide screen port of survival-frightfulness computer game Resident Evil, yet left the venture because of imaginative contrasts.
His fourth Dead motion picture Land of the Dead was made in Toronto in 2005, featuring Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento and John Leguizamo.
Born in the Bronx, Romero's father was Cuban and his mother Lithuania. He graduated Carnegie He additionally taken a shot at computer games and composed comic books. Mellon University in Pittsburgh, at that point started shooting shorts and commericals including a portion of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood."
He is survived by his wife Suzanne and two children. The family asks for their privacy to be respected at this time.
Director Václav Kadrnka, photo credit: Jan Handrejch
After fifteen years, the main competition at the Karlovy Vary festival has been won by a domestic entrant. Václav Kadrnka's meditative drama on fatherhood Little Crusader captured the five-member main jury's attention the most and along with the Crystal Globe for best film it also received a financial award of 25 000 dollars. "I'm overjoyed. There was a lot of uncertainty in the film from the beginning; it was a long journey. I'm glad that our film has created emotions," said the moved filmmaker.
The special jury prize went to the drama on the trauma of the war in Yugoslavia Men Don't Cry by Bosnian director Alen Drljević. The directing prize was won by Slovak filmmaker Peter Bebjak, who was presenting his film The Line at the festival. The award for best actress went to Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire together for the drama Birds Are Singing in Kigali. Russian actor Alexander Yatsenko was selected as best actor for his role as a doctor in the Russian film Arrythmia. The five-member jury also award two special recognitions – to the American romance Keep The Change for the best debut and to Romanian actress Voica Oltean for best starting actress for the film Breaking News.
In the competition East of the West, the imaginative road movie How Viktor "the Garlic" took Alexey "the Stud" to the Nursing Home by Russian director Alexander Hant was successful. A special jury prize was earned by the film Dede, which takes place in Svaneti, a stark mountainous region in northwestern Georgia, directed by Mariam Khatchvani. The award for best feature-length documentary went to the Spanish film Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle. The documentary jury awarded a special prize to the film Atelier de conversation by Austrian director Bernhard Braunstein.
The Právo Audience Award was awarded to the American crime drama taking place on a Native American reservation Wind River starring Jeremy Renner in the main role. The movie's protagonist received a Festival President's Award from Jiří Bartoška at the closing ceremony. "I hope this prize doesn't mean that I'm old already?" asked the two-time Oscar nominee. "It's a wonderful honour. Thanks to Mr Babuška, because of whom this festival is alive, and all the staff," added the Avengers star. A KVIFF President's Award was also received by Czech director Václav Vorlíček, who during his thanks recalled the first showing of his comedy The Girl on the Broomstick at Karlovy Vary.
The fifty-second Karlovy Vary IFF was attended by 13 734 accredited visitors – of those 11 544 with festival passes, 398 filmmakers, 1165 film professionals and 617 journalists. Over the course of the festival there were 505 film screenings and a total of 140 067 tickets were sold. A total of 207 different films were shown. Next year's 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF will take place from 29 June to 7 July 2018.
by Alissa Simon
A deliberately paced tale with a visually mannered style that keeps viewers at arm’s length and distances them from the full impact of the tragic proceedings.
Reportedly inspired by Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” the downbeat Azeri drama “Pomegranate Orchard” from Armenian-born director Ilgar Najaf is a deliberately paced tale with a visually mannered style that keeps viewers at arm’s length and distances them from the full impact of the tragic proceedings. Set in rural Azerbaijan, it revolves around the return of a prodigal son with ulterior motives whose reappearance in the bosom of his family after a 12-year absence significantly changes their way of life. Further festival travel is possible, but programmers will likely find it less charming and engaging than Najaf’s previous feature, “Buta” (2012).
Aging Shamil (Gurban Ismayilov) is becoming too infirm to maintain the family pomegranate orchard, which has long been his pride and joy and whose saplings are highly valued by other growers. There are many who would like to buy him out, but the old man refuses all offers.
Shamil shares his house with his daughter-in-law Sara (Ilahe Hasanova) and visually disabled young grandson Jalal (Hesen Aghayev). His beloved elder son died in a car accident some years previously. Following that tragedy, his black-sheep younger son Gabil (Semimi Farhad), Sara’s husband, left town without a word.