Daily Archives: May 13, 2014

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01 E22: Beginning of the End

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This is it, the exciting season finale of the series that would not die. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been quite a roller coaster this season with a slow start and a rocky ratings road, but it’s finally found its groove, and is headed toward its exciting climax. Phil Coulson and his Agents of Nothing put it all on the line to take on Hydra and former comrade Ward in “Beginning of the End.” Meet me after the jump for my review of the “S.H.I.E.L.D.” season finale.

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Over and Over: Time-Traveling Classic Je t’aime, je t’aime

Claude Rich stars with Olga Georges-Picot in Alain Resnais’ dense, reflective Je t’aime, je t’aime

Claude Ridder wanted to end it all. Too bad he couldn’t get it right, a bullet fired into his chest merely landing him in hospital, one more botched suicide left to contemplate his problems and failures. How lucky for him then to be given a purpose, chosen by a mysterious corporation as the first human guinea-pig for their experiments with time travel. As one scientist explains tartly, “It works if you’re a mouse.” With nothing left to lose, Claude is cavalier about revisiting his past. Appearing at TIFF this Thursday, May 15th, Je t’aime, je t’aime (1968), is director Alain Resnais’ exquisite exploration of time and memory. Given the opportunity to relive his past, Claude dives in, quite literally, to a beachside ocean from a year before. It being time travel, what could possibly go wrong?

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H.R. Giger – 1940-2014

One of my earliest memories is staring, with abject horror, at an image of a large, slick worm with razor-sharp teeth thrusting out from the page through a man’s burst and bleeding chest. My father owned an illustrated version of the Alien script, and it was full of photographs from the film. I knew I shouldn’t have been looking at that book; it was a taboo. This was my introduction to the creations of Hans Rudolf Giger, the Swiss surrealist painter who died yesterday, tragically, in hospital after falling down a stairwell.

Giger AlienGiger spent most of his life bringing nightmares to life with intensely disturbing subjects and landscapes that gave pleasure through their utter wrongness. You’d find landscapes of dead babies, flesh-like deserts, gateways to terror, and creatures of unknowable horror made even more disturbing by their all-too recognizable genitalia. His paintings, particularly those framed in his biomechanoid phase, reminded me of industrial music: layers and layers of strangeness that could be viewed on macro- and microcosmic levels. There was also a very dark sense of humour in a lot of his work; through the twisted and brutalized forms were comical faces and situations – from Timothy Leary’s open, laughing mouth and brilliant, maelstrom-wrought eyes to a porcine, lascivious Aleistar Crowley wearing a dunce cap. Every time I look at one of my Giger books, I spend a lot of time looking at every painting. I discover something new each and every time.
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