Category Archives: movies

Renaissance of cinema

When did you have that feeling, if you ever had it at all? I think it is part of the ageing process, you have to be over 50 to get it. You see, we see Netflix and we often see Bluray’s (or DVD’s) of the old master, but in both cases, at present I still cannot get the real masters. Claude Lelouch’s ‘Les uns et let autres’, the bluray of Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton), or even ‘My little Buddha’ with Keanu Reeves. They are all masters, all in their own right they brought an amazing story to the screen. I was there at the premiere in the Hague when Les uns et les autres made everyone jump to their feet at the end giving a wide applause, it as the first time I saw that happen, it was the first time I experienced it. Not merely the music by Francis Lai and Michel Legrand. The cast which included James Caan, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert Hossein, Jean-Claud Brialy and so many others, a story for the ages. Tim Burton gave new live and a much stronger life to Sleepy Hollow, yes Johny Depp played the big role, but he was surrounded by others and when you see Christopher Lee play the small part of the judge, a small role by a giant, you should figure out that you are hading to something amazing. I have more reasons for this, apart from seeing it 3-4 times on the big screen when it came. It also introduced me to the teaser trailer to the first Harry Potter film, a name I had not heard before that day, but the crowd went insane that night. Sleepy Hollow, with amazing music brought to life Washington Irving and his Legend of Sleepy Hollow. These to giants are not alone. In all the need to reinvent the wheel the streamers are all forgetting the originals, or perhaps the originals as I remember them, Keanu Reeves as Siddhartha, a story of Buddhism, a religion I knew then, and optionally still now know very little about. Yet the movie showed more, it opened a door (for me) and that part is important, to all. When a movie, or a story makes for an open door in your mind, you get to peak at what is out there. Me? I am a pranking person. So I would like to go into the office of Jean-François Mirigay of Monaco and introduce myself as police commissioner Ludovic Cruchot of the St. Tropez police department to inspect the troops no less (fake papers required, and fluent French knowledge too). Why? Because Louis de Funes was that funny, we forgot about him did we not? The old masters are almost forgotten, but I will not let that happen whilst I still live. It is also the need to see Belmondo in Flic ou voyou (or Le guignolo) again. Yet there are no discs, there is no Netflix version. One would hope it will be remastered, perhaps a new version of those movies, but these movies are about the not so PC 70’s, 60’s and in some cases 80’s. 30 years of cinema almost forgotten, mainly because Hollywood does not care about what passed, it cares about the next quarter. Yes, it does and in the Covid age, I get that, I do not oppose it, but is that enough of a reason to forget the greats? When we see ‘French’ and movies, some will revert to Emmanuelle and Silvia Kristel, but French movies had so much more. There was Catherine Deneuve with Indochine (1993) about the age before Vietnam became a reality. Cinema has so much to offer, but I fear that too many have forgotten how we got there and that is such a shame, because I have not even scratched the surface of what was. Even in my native Netherlands, I was (until I moved to Australia) unaware of Rutger Hauer’s Bride Flight. That made sense as it is a 2008 movie, but the movie told me a lot that was not taught in the schools. I knew about the 1953 London to Christchurch air race, all Dutch kids hear the story of the race, but the race was merely the beginning and we get to see more, also how the Dutch moved and took their values with them, some never embracing the local values and cultures. And I am not asking you or telling you to embrace it all, I merely offer the idea that you consider the old master, old masters of cinema. A group of people that are too soon to be forgotten as we see another batch of Netflix and Disney plus releases. So when we see names like Timothy Spall, we tend to grasp straight to the Harry Potter series, yet we forget that he stood out in Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise (aptly renamed by me as death of a vacuum cleaner salesman), it is actually there that I saw in him an optional Lucius Malfoy (I had just read the third book), a stage that is not set against Jason Isaacs (who did a brilliant job), it is merely the thoughts that we entertain when reading a book is much wider than the cinema offers, the cinema offers the view of the director (optionally filtered by the producers), the book let the mind work it all out and the filtered views of the past still matters, especially when experts in their own field like Louis de Funes, Derek Jacobi or Jean Paul Belmondo give their view for us to see. I feel that players like Netflix and Disney are forgetting that, when we merely focus on the spreadsheet and what needs to be achieved, the past is lost and that is never a good thing. The funny part is that this impacts games and movies to a similar degree, which is an odd revelation, but there you have it. So whilst we are all debating how precise Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven really was, we forget that, or perhaps never knew that Balian of Ibelin (c. 1143 – 1193), also known as Barisan the Younger was a real person who surrendered Jerusalem to Saladin on October 2, 1187. Until the movie was made, I wonder how many knew what the setting of Jerusalem in those days were. Books are not merely the foundation of movies, movies are a source to investigate what was and in this Les uns et les autres stands out, it is pure fiction, but the story touches on real musical icons. People like Édith Piaf, Josephine Baker, Herbert von Karajan, Glenn Miller, Rudolf Nureyev and a few more are given life in this story in the most eloquent way, the old masters have so much to teach us, lets make sure that we do not lose these lessons before it is too late, a spoonful of Alain Delon anyone?

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Sapphire or Tourmaline

This all started some time ago, but it resurfaced as I started to replay AC Origin. In lockdown land any change of gaming is a well desired one and AC Origin is actually quite good. But that is merely the start, as I was playing (and as some missions are identical to the first time around) my mind wandered to a delusional IT manager in the early 90’s (1991 I believe). He stated “a resource shared is revenue doubled”, it is that idiotic level of fortune cookie wisdom that as actually rewarded, I never got that part. Yet there was a small gemstone of truth there, but not where he thought it was. As we make a jump to another place it is time for a question. How many real simulators are there? As far as I can tell there is one, only one. Nearly all others are games. The only one true simulator is made by Microsoft and it is the Flight Simulator, currently known as FS2020. Isn’t that surprising? A whole range of games but no one truly dug into the real of simulators. It tends to be really really hard, too hard for a lot of them. 

Yet here we get to see the light, Ubisoft has options (well it always had them, but more often they were ignored), yet with AC Origin they opened a door and now we have a ballgame. What if AC origin is merely the start of a dynasty game, a true simulator about life in Egypt? They have nearly all the graphics ready, the maps need adjustment and the spacing needs to change (like 1:9), so that every area is at least 900% in size but consider a true simulator where you are the beer merchant, the farmer, the fisherman, the embalmer, the priest and above all other arts, the overwhelming pressure of the gods and a monarchy that shows little to no mercy, a true first comprehension of what life was about then. And you cannot do it all, a stage where you get assigned a map where you were born and a role you were given, you have some choices as did the people then, but their options were very small, they had little choice. A true historic simulator and guess what? There are none. It has never been done before and I reckon that no one ever considered it to this degree, the technology stopped them, but with Google Stadia and Amazon Luna (and 1-2 alternatives) it is now possible. Even as I still believe that “a resource shared is revenue doubled” is utter nonsense, there is a gem of truth there. Some resources can be used again and that does not mean that revenue is doubled, but the second stage becomes easier and with hardship out of the way there is no reason not to contemplate a path none dared to walk and there is also the second ego reason, being first somewhere counts, being the first who gets it right to this degree is massively rewarding, others will have to fight to equal what you pulled off and it will vex them to no end. Will it happen? I do not know, as I said, this has never been done before and that is also the most rewarding part, especially for Ubisoft if they go there. The educational value is enormous. We are smitten by movies like the Mummy (Brendan Fraser edition), the 10 commandments, Rome, Spartacus, Cleopatra and it fills the mind with what could be, but people like Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey, Belgravia) has opened to some degree our eyes, just like the Vatican game I had in mind. This simulator could wake up an entire generation. Just like Steven Spielberg did with Jurassic Park. Who did not want to see the Triceratops? We have a similar fascination with the Roman and Egyptian era, yet books and movies is all we have and now we could for the first time get a true simulator. Yes, I will agree that it is not for everyone, but there is another upside to cloud gaming. We are willing to try a lot of games when it is included in some package, and there lies the gemstone. Apart from those who want to see Egypt is the past, there is another group of people who want to try everything. It is merely the sense of us as we explore and especially explore when it costs nothing extra, we are nearly all like that.

Will it happen? Time will tell, it usually does.

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Franchise to the left

And legend to the right, we all have been in that setting; we all have had grander then life dreams and imaginations. For me it started when some British bloke brought a new level of fear to the cinema (Alien), it could be the American that made us afraid to go swimming (Jaws), yet for the most we all have had that moment. For some reason that feeling got awake again with the setting of Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel, directed by William Eubank. I am talking about the movie Underwater. I am trying to make sure that I am not giving away the plot, because the movie is well worth watching. We all have made fun of Kristen Steward, not because of the girl, but because of the franchise. I have nothing against the franchise and even as I have never read the works of the writer, I get the feeling that she is well worth reading, I got that sense when I saw the movie the Host. Anyway, I got the limited Twilight edition of Charlie’s Angels (one additional romantic scene, ha ha ha) and that was that. But she shines like a well cut diamond in Underwater, the cast is awesome and the movie is a lot better then anyone realises, because in my case Underwater took me back to the original feeling of unease that Jaws and Alien instilled, I actually missed that feeling and it got me thinking. We all look at the Middle East, we all saw Aladdin, but there is a lot more than the proverbial Argo. What if we dispense with the musical dreaded scene of the room in the dark, what if the dark becomes a much larger stage, a stage where you will not sleep, never ever again with the lights off?

That was the setting I contemplated, but it never gave me the idea, the idea was already there, yet in this case the idea altered a little. I am talking about the concept of the Ifrit. Then today (yesterday as well) when I was replaying AC Origins, I stumbled upon the idea again, it was when (in the game) I entered the city of Letopolis (and the story behind it) and it gave me the idea in more degrees. Yet I was contemplating the city of Per-Amun and the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC). A stage where we see the confrontation of Egypt and the Achaemenid Empire. Now consider that an Ifrit was held captive in Per-Anum, it was taken and moved to the western province of their domain in the city of Gerrha, in a secret tomb under houses the prison of the Ifrit was kept and lost when the caretakers fell ill and it was forgotten, that prison is found after 2500 years by a western teacher exploring his connection to Islam and he is filled with the rage of a demon held captive for 3000 years. We now have a stage where Islamic doctrine might hold a solution, but the wielder is in doubt of his faith and in the mean time the rage of the Ifrit takes on a turn of another nature. When we consider that the larger stage of the Achaemenid Empire is now Iran, Gerrha is (now) in Saudi Arabia and we are confronted with a demon, not merely in thirst of blood, but also a stage of intrigue setting up a war of Saudi Arabia against Iran we get a new stage, one never seen (as far as I know). We look at horror, but what if horror is set (drenched) in political settings, as well as religious ones? Especially when we consider “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it.” A stage which we get from ‘Heavenly Journeys, Earthly Concerns: The Legacy of the Mi’raj in the Formation of Islam Routledge, 2004’ by Brooke Olson Vuckovic. We have all the markings of what could be an awesome franchise, yet as far as I can tell, no one looked in that directions, I wonder why. 

5 large streaming houses, a dozen large studio’s and no one looked or contemplated this direction of ideas? I merely watch movies, I am not (and never really had the notion of becoming) a movie director, I am for the most a storyteller and an analyst. Yet the idea of creating something totally new (not the first time) is both appealing and overwhelming. So as I (and others too) consider looking to the left hoping we have created a new franchise, we also look towards the right hoping to see the shimmer of the ‘legendary label’ in this all storytellers are the same, we love the idea of any new story we create, but to create one that becomes legendary as other great storyteller did before us is always in the back of all our minds, we all want to become the next Rowling, Tolkien, Hubbart, Sheckley or Clarke. We always want to measure how close we got to our idols, as far as I can tell, there is no exception to that rule and every storyteller has his or her own idol, the achieved person that drives us. All that and the thought of knowing the person who overhauled the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis and whatever they found under there is always the wink towards the unknown. Some merely see the “outstanding example of an ancient Roman burial ground”, yet what if this happened before and what if we ignore the old saying to keep buried what was buried? What happens when you open the door to someone who can traverse the seven stages of the Jahannam? And what happens when someone figures out that there is more to The Remorse of Orestes?

The Remorse of Orestes

We see overlaps and connections in Islamic stories that connects to Christianity (Gabriel) and Greek (Furies), what if this is not a casual link? You see most film makers never seemingly looked deeper into that side of things, why not? If they are more becoming about streaming and franchises, I think the Middle East has a whole range of stories that open up more and optionally also a larger audience. 

#JustSaying

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Changing perspectives

As I was about to lose sleep again, the BBC helped me out with an article in a very different direction. The headline ‘Actor Riz Ahmed wants to stop Hollywood’s ‘toxic portrayals’ of Muslims’. And he is right, for the most there has been too much toxic portrayals. When I try to find an alternative direction, my mind comes up with a title like Traitor, an amazing piece of work by Don Cheadle, I do not believe that to be a toxic movie, it stands out as a Muslim finds a way to stop bloodshed in a very innovative way, the end is to be seen again and again. I came up with ‘How to assassinate a politician’ which might be toxic, but I saw it as a response to ultra right discrimination and unacceptable levels of anti Muslim actions. Yet it is about Riz Ahmed, and when we see “The progress that’s being made by a few of us doesn’t paint an overall picture of progress if most of the portrayals of Muslims on screen are still either non-existent or entrenched in those stereotypical toxic two-dimensional portrayals” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-57438750), he is right, there is another side given to us by Ali-Baab Khan “Muslims live all over the world, but film audiences only see a narrow portrait of this community, rather than viewing Muslims as they are: business owners, friends and neighbours whose presence is part of modern life”, there I see nothing new.

I have friends who are business owners, friends who were neighbours and still friends who live far away, they are Muslim and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet it is not merely about the narrow portrait, you see I have always considered myself well educated (three University degrees) and a whole range of experience all over the field, yet until a little after the Charlie Hedbo event I learned that the image if Mohammed was never to be displayed, it was a massive no-no in Islam, I never knew that, my schools never told me that. Now the era was out there that until I went to high school, I had never met a Muslim and even then I did not notice him for the fact that he was by himself a lot and I was in high school. Yet the knowledge behind Charlie Hedbo gave light to my version of ‘How to assassinate a politician. Yet the stage was that I did not meet any Muslims until 1982 when I entered the Middle East, and in all that the teachings of the Catholic Church that was given to us in nearly all schools was about the evil saracens and us the good christians saving Jerusalem. So was it when Ridley Scott made Kingdom of Heaven (2005) that we woke up? Some woke up a little early, but a lot of us still haven’t woken up and those who rely on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to give us the real news we will be up for a rude awakening. So as some give us “The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry” we need to recognise that it comes with the added “Most of the film’s characters are based on actual people to varying degrees. Some scenes were heavily fictionalised, such as the attack on Aqaba, and those dealing with the Arab Council were inaccurate since the council remained more or less in power in Syria until France deposed Faisal in 1920”, and as we take notice that there is no real actual and factual representation and this was until way deep past 1991, we see that not only does Riz Ahmed have a case, it is a much larger case than anyone can fathom, even if he is that one Muslim downing the Empire (a Rogue One joke). For me the massive filtering by the media gave me the clue that things are not right for almost a decade, but that means that for the longest time I was not aware of the party that was playing and that bothers me a lot. Does that not bother you? If you are in a small village like Hilversum (Netherlands) and you lived there all your life and you never looked around you might miss it too and you would be forgiven, I take it harder because I am supposed to be intelligent enough to see things, but there too is the crux, the media is a much larger problem in all this and they are banking on people staying asleep for as long as possible, and that gives light to the movie Syriana, a movie with 5 stages and the more you know the more brilliant that movie comes across. Does this help Riz? No, I do not think it does, but it does show that his claim is a lot more solid than we would have given it credit, and that matters too.

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God, the sequel

Yup, it all started two days ago. I left you all with some impressions, yet the stage was larger. We cannot set omnipotence without foundation , well we can because I am here, but I am that one exception to the rule (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). The others (Hades, Poseidon and Zeus) they grew their powers. We tend to make fun and call some settings ‘fabrications’, there we see “Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld)” The gods got a decent role in Homer’s illiad, and more wrote about them in all kinds of ways, yet when you dig down and dig to the past several people, people who had never had contact had similar writings. It is trivialised by people who have internet and mobile phones, yet in the old days they had no contact, in no way were groups of people with no levels of contact ever stating the same believes and adhering to the same rules. Perhaps there is something to be said in “he was appalled by human sacrifice and other signs of human decadence. He decided to wipe out mankind and flooded the world with the help of his brother Poseidon. After the flood, only Deucalion and Pyrrha remained” and it is not the only time, even the first time that floods were a larger stage of cleansing. So why? Consider that power grows and power is gotten from somewhere. If Aristaeus got his powers from bees, what happens if people abuse bees? A stage we might not consider, but in a stage where power was important, the abuse of sky (Zeus) and waters (Poseidon) would inflict the wrath of these two. That is the stage we seek!

If we can create a god (ourselves) it needs a power foundation, the smaller the creature, the more simplistic their needs, the easier their power is milked. Hence the 6 animals I gave two days ago. So when we get to “both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing powers of honey, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world; on some Minoan seals, goddesses were represented with bee faces”, with this I personally reckon that the German Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1845) was a lot closer to the truth with his view on it and it is important that any game has some handle on the past. Anchors in how power is distributed, how it is gained. If not, then Zeus, Poseidon and Hades could never have defeated Cronos, their father. 

Now consider the paths that Ezio Auditore and Bayek of Siwa undertook (two actual masterpieces), how they grew their powers and abilities. Would it be any different for deities? No matter how the had the ability to do so, they still needed to grow their powers, we all do and now we have a handle on us and on the character we play. Yet if we want something that is larger than life as such some sandbox trip is needed, choices are to be offered. Whether a person has the bee, the wasp or the termite. It starts with a foundation and that foundation grows towards a power base and a weakness, we all tend to look towards Athens for inspiration, but those who do tend to forget to look towards Poseidonia, a ‘village’ on Siros. When we see the elements shown we need to wonder how it was possible and there we have a setting towards the power base of a deity. If Ambrosia is food for the gods, or is it the food that creates gods? One might fuel the other. These thoughts are below the creation of a game, as we set the stage to a larger stage, we need to consider what gives foundation to that stage. A brilliant example is Horizon Zero Dawn, and soon its sequel. We chase in the first game what created the game, we see that there was a machine that creates larger than life events, but there is always a shoe in the cog (Hades). Any stage needs checks and balances or it becomes a fuelled stage of disbelief, even whilst you play it. That was the brilliance that led to Ezio Auditore, a stage we understood (historically speaking). As such, when you figure out that the events in Ancient Greece and ancient Iran (Mesopotamia) are not unrelated, how long until the cogs connect? 

As such we see can see out minds evolve the new god game, but is it a god game or forging a deity? There is a difference and even as the Atari ST, Playstation one, two and three needed us to make mental jumps, the Playstation 5 is now advanced enough to make us see the difference and play accordingly, the specifics are now in our grasp making for a much larger stage of handling evolution. And I reckon that over time cloud gaming will take it to the next level. And in all this Ubisoft was not alone, consider the path that the God of War took, and even he was not alone. It was a path and we forgot about that part in god gaming. We merely have the maker of the games (Peter Molyneux) and his examples Populous and Black and White as examples, but what if growth is a stage that encompasses both? Setting a different sandbox environment might be the way to go and we finally have hardware that can take us there. 

How it done? That is up to the game makers, you can’t expect me to do everything. You need to get creative and make the next stage of excellent gaming, because if we leave it up to Ubisoft it will be anyones guess what excellent gaming looks like and it will end up being below par and we have seen enough games like that. 

So get to work, get to the drawing board and consider the stage we play (entire Greece), what we can do short of everything and start considering what makes power grow. If you are done with that hold it against the deities of Egypt, Aztec and Inca deities and see how you hold up. You see checks and balances is where it is at. That is what makes people choose and it will make them come back for a second and third time. A game played three times over, that is the stage of a legendary game in the making.

Hesiod

As such in this story I left two clues. They were Deucalion and Pyrrha. Why were only those two spared? If you look at the historic writings (Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, Apollodorus) some things add up and some do not. Now, we can allow for creative views and that would be OK, yet Homer (Ionia, 900 BC), Hesiod (Cyme, 725 BC), Ovid (Sulmona, 43 BC) and Apollodorus (Athens, 180 BC). People that can never have been connected in time, also consider that with our options of preservation, we do not have books that last 300 years and that is whilst we have all kinds of machines that allow for mass replication, that did not exist before the 14th century. A whole range of places most of them more than a life time of travelling away, yet the similarities are almost astounding. When you consider those elements, consider what more there I and what is making these sotries survive, now consider what you need to make a game of THAT magnitude survive the onslaught of players and their increased need of perfection, have a great day.

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A different setting to stage

This is a weird day, well for me it is. For over a week I have been having the weirdest nightmares and until last night I had no idea why. We all have stress, we all feel down, yet this was not it, or at least not as far as I know. I tried to target my dreams, but that did not help, not one bit. So, I decided to give in and in that process I got an idea. It is set to a number of stages and it is not something that can easily be made into a game, but a movie? Perhaps.

Introduction
The introduction is not into the story, it is into a few thoughts that are linked. In the first stage we have a pyramid, each tooth has a letter, there are the letters A, D and E. It is the foundation of war that goes back to Julius Caesar. A soldier has three options and each option can move into the other option. There is Attack, which can move into defence, or evade. Defence, which can evolve towards attack or change to Evade and there is Evade which can evolve into Attack or move to defend. This has been a given for 2,000 years, longer even. Yet there is another side to battle. Its premise can be Subterfuge, Tension and Suppression. The final triangle is the line of assassination, we can call what there is and how, but the proper assassination has three stages. The first is segregation, there is a boatload of options and the method can be direct or indirect. The second stage is separation, when segregated the person can more easily be separated, separated means no support anymore and that leads to assassination. Yes, we have all seen the clever movies, the larger stage of split second actions, but real life does not offer that, there is always a problem and the closer the calls the larger the problems become. There has not now, not ever been an exception to that.

Political
In the political field the first to are eagerly used, in one stage can can dance from one to the other, yet as the media became an option, most efforts were set to both stages, So there was an attack, a defence and an evade, each using an element of Subterfuge, Tension and Suppression. The benefit was that the target would need to rely on others, the second benefit was that if a person is a one man show the media would show that person like a raving loon, mission accomplished.

The OC
The OC is not a play on California, it is Organised Crime and that is where my nightmare took me. It links to the first direct questions ‘When is a sting not a sting?’, the answer is simple, when it is a stage towards something else (extermination). So what happens when we set an open target, someone who is able to take a massive amount of damage. As the OC head realises that they are looking at the wrong player and that the player is not a player at all, we see the stage follow, you cannot defend against an enemy that does not exist. If means that actions were in a stage of subterfuge and suppression at the same time. So as the players are trying to figure it out, the OC head is baited to send out teams, as they are not aware who they are looking for they become vulnerable. And that is when the game changes. These teams were segregated and separated, and the third stage you know.

So as 1-3 teams are dispensed, the focus goes back to the OC head, who feels safe in his or her house. And now the stage of tension is added. What we do not immediately see, the bodies were disassembled (with a blade), legs and arms in three pieces, the chest with a hole initially created with a large spike to suck out the blood, and the head. The pieces are placed in one of the rooms (the living room is best) especially a room with a marble floor. The pieces are placed all over the floor and then 4-12 times 4.5 litres is poured on the floor making a one inch bath of blood. The moment you see that in the house and as the blood sinks into the marble, it will not go out, the OC head will feel a massive amount of tension and the house will no longer offer safety and security. The stage of initial segregation is complete. 

And as we look into the mind of the nightmare, I got to see a stage I was not happy about. A stage of people pushing and what happens when that one person is pushed over the edge. An entirely new approach to the devil made me do it, the insane person who was able to hide their insanity and now we see that this person is in the passenger seat, someone else is driving. The OC group woke up the wrong person and this was only the beginning. 

We forget about that part, the part where everyone fit the same pattern, but with population pressures, unforeseen issues (COVID), job issues, age discrimination, and several other segregating factors, it is not that it will happen some day, I am decently amazed that it hasn’t happened already. And that is the stage I faced and wondered how it is moving, that is a stage that is never ever in a stable or in one location. And the players who bank on sheep forget that these demons look just like any other sheep and that is the risk they take, but what happens when the risk taker has no comprehension on what is released? What happens when the stage includes political friends and industrialists? 

It is merely the start of something new, optionally a movie or a mini series, but hopefully after writing this down I get some decent sleep. Being creative is tiring to say the least. 

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A staircase not finished

I feel like I am in a two story apartment, but I cannot get to the other floor because the staircase was never finished, I can get up, but not all the way, I see the other floor, but I cannot get there. Perhaps you have had that feeling. I got that when I saw Defying Gravity season 1, a season 2 was never made and it saddens me. The story had a great start, plenty of mystery and we saw (through CGI) walks that reality is not ready for (Venus). The story seems Wonky, but I feel that there will be more, or there should be more. Especially in light of what I am setting up (Keno Diastima), I feel that it is important to know what more there is. I feel that there are two reasons. The first is that I want to remain original, which as far as I know, I am. The stage of the story is now in (rough lines) in season 3. Three seasons all eight episodes all seasons 2 double episodes of (hopefully) nearly an hour. In ones mind time works differently, the min seemingly wants to use the big brush when you revisit thoughts again and again (highly annoying). Even as the series is making a wink at Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C. Clarke, 1973) it is not a copy, it has its own storyline, but the idea of getting confronted with a place with alien symbology mesmerises me. For me season 1 was the hardest, I wanted to keep one surprise to the end of season 1 and to make sure that the setting was not too boring (it has the speed of a Stephen King story), so it is not about high action and most other series rely on Reagan, ehh, I meant ray-guns to settle the score is enticing, but I want the psychological element to be much more important. It is what enticed me to Defying Gravity. It is also something I had hoped to continue, perhaps it drove me to set the stage to Keno Diastima, but it is a stretch, you will see that in episode three (at the end). Yet no matter where we are, the stage of loneliness, abandonment and isolation, being pushed in one direction and connection to another person, in a place where only 8 are (and 8 added later on) gives us more to consider, gives me more to probe and that is in setting where we need to consider that scientists and business driven people tend to not ever connect. The business person requires the push of profit and gain, the scientist yearns for discovery and verification. You might think that I am exaggerating. Yet consider the dominant outgoing task oriented person (sales) versus the reserved steadiness people oriented person (support), that is not a conversation that connects, often it never ever connects.

I have seen it too often, one is all about profit and sales, the other about making sure the person got the right tool to get the job done. Now put these two in a place where they do not know where the are, what they are doing and how they got there and watch the sparks fly. Now give them a basic sign.

It is like the Dutch reading board that we used in the first grade in 1968. Now give that same reading board to a person 25 years older, change the images and make the text Sanskrit, all whilst the images are optionally text as well. You might find the parts of the text you need, but what do they mean? And everyone around you is in your shoes, they are all at a loss, so how to get momentum and the insight that you are doing something right? 

That is the stage we optionally see and to get to the better spot to make progress we need the staircase, but how to voice the symbology to get a staircase? And that is merely the beginning of a larger stage that goes in a direction you never foresaw. So how will the journey continue? I feel that it continues by making every choice and adventure and one of verification. Perhaps it will never continue, perhaps it becomes another Defying Gravity, another Dollhouse, which was on route to optionally become great, if only season 3 had become a reality. And perhaps it will be the winning ticket and Keno Diastima becomes a complete story with 5 (or 6) seasons. I have no idea, but it is something to work towards. For me it is a way to fix/jumpstart my creativity and I need that as I have two more 5G devices to consider, getting the total sum to 5 devices (1 now public domain).

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Ketchup with the past

Yup, a wordplay and I am always happy to make wordplays. I think it was the Monty Python team who instilled that part in me. I reckon they came at the right time. One might say that it was a ‘Papers having been a place for the Great Charter’, the latin joke gains perspective once you add ‘great’ to the equation of a ‘shitty place’, but that is merely me trying to find the joke in all the wrong places. It brought me back to a situation I thought of before. It is added with the thought that when you decide to steal a billion dollars YOU WILL BE FOUND! Unless everyone realises you are dead, the loot is gone or if the theft was never detected in the first place and it is that last part that matters. 

In 1495 Girolamo Savonarola started something that would later be known as the bonfire of the vanities. In that event works by Albrecht Dürer, Giovanni Bellini, Luca Pacioli, Michele Giambono and at least a dozen others, from these makers some works made it to today, but not all. A lot was burned by the people adhering to the words of Girolamo Savonarola. Books and pantings that would now value at a billion plus. So what would happen if (massively sci-fi and fantasy) we could step through in the minute before it happens and replace these works with forgeries? The forgeries would be burned, the originals saved. It is not the only moment that this happened. There was Kristalnacht (9–10 November 1938) and more importantly the Library of Alexandria that had in excess of 200,000 scrolls holding the works of Plato, Homer, Aristotle, Apollonius of Rhodes, Aristarchus of Samothrace and many more. Some survived but a lot were lost to the flames, what do you think that a scroll, a first edition to a work by Didymus Chalcenterus, the man that inspired Cicero would fetch? I reckon you are millions short in your estimate to the value of such works. Parts were burned (allegedly accidentally) in 48 BC? After that there was another issue where Caliph Omar had another go at the same library, now in 642 AD. How much was lost? So there is no foundation in reality, but in fantasy? Three jobs in two places with a loot amounting to that could fetch well over $4,000,000,000 and no one is the wiser, history was written and 2,000 year later that loot is no longer hot and wanted, so what could be gotten? History is filled with events where we see that fires and natural events caused havoc, and what stops the inquisitive minds to seek out those ‘forgotten’ treasures? 

So, this has no bearing on reality and its setting, and as far as I am concerned, the creative mind merely needs to dream, realistic or not, we tend to dream (sorry Scarlett Johansson). For me it all started with Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith in ‘Bonfires of the Vanities’, it was an entertaining movie, but it was there (1990) when I learned of the origins of that name and some Italian prophet who enticed people to burn art, the lowest form of censorship. That day I learned (again) that Adolf Hitler wasn’t even original, he got the idea from an Italian. It also intersected with the thoughts that censorship burning  have no positive outcome, it never does, what existed was lost, we could never see the ‘feigned’ negativity of the works and learn for ourselves. It is perhaps the only reason I opposed the banning of ‘Mein Reich’ not because of the work, I never saw or read it. We can never make up our minds if we do not see the negativity of the work. All these so called ‘wise people’ stating that it is better for us, we have learned that these people are all about forwarding their own positions at the expense of EVERYONE else. And we lose the option to learn.

We can search the red book of Mao and wonder in that same way what some were trying to hide from us. We saw the posters, the presented imagery by the Chinese in those days, but we never got to learn what was wrong and why things were wrong. I reckon that the what and why are connected, but from me that would be speculation. You see, we should have learned something from the trial of Socrates in 399 BC. We are told (from primary school onwards) that he was given the “death sentence of Socrates was the seemingly legal consequence of asking politico-philosophic questions of his students, which resulted in the two accusations of moral corruption and impiety”, yet in that we were never told what these politico-philosophic questions were in the first place, we were too young? It was too complex? We didn’t learn, merely that some questions get you the death penalty and there is a larger failing there. If we cannot learn, how can we move forward? In that same setting in school we were never made aware of ‘Apology of Socrates to the Jury’ by Xenophon of Athens, if so would we have learned anything more? 

We need to catch up with the past at times, although it was a snow globe that gave me the idea how to push a meltdown to nuclear reactors, actual positive inventions are clouded by censorship. And the times is filled with those examples, so what were we not allowed to learn then and have we learned now? Do not take the work from power players proclaiming to know, learn it for yourself. You might pick up a few ideas on the side and that might give you your first big break. It is up to YOU to decide what to do, and as long as you have peace with whatever path you take, that will be all that should matter to you. 

In the past we were inspired by books and music, then we got records and electronics, then there was the internet, but it will be limited to what you are allowed to see, I reckon that the really nice parts are hidden in what you were not allowed to see because people decided what was good for us. I do accept there are premises where censorship is a given (read: a must) and essential to protect the vulnerable groups and I do not oppose that, I merely wonder who gets to make certain calls, especially in the case of political censorship. Yet overall I spend a nice day day dreaming of a situation and it passes the day. Optionally I came up with a new movie, not bad for a simple Sunday in May. 

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Create history with history

It is a stage I have been pondering about. To get there, I need to tell you how I got there, I do believe it matters. I wrote articles of the Afreet in the past. I was introduced to them in a game called Archon 2 by Electronic arts (30 years ago). Archon was a sort of battle chess. Consider chess, but you do not ‘conquer’ the piece when you hit it. It starts a battle between the two and the victor is left standing. So like chess pieces each one has abilities, not to move, but to fight (the higher the chess piece, the stronger his or her ability to fight). The additional part is that black pieces are stronger on black squares, white pieces are stronger on white squares and the board also has a collection of squares that rotate colour from dark to light and in the other direction in several stages. As such standing still there is a dangerous undertaking. The Ifrit, or afreet is like a whirlwind and quite powerful, its opposition is the thunderbird. That was my introduction to the Afreet. Over time I learned more, but that is the start. So when we see time travel stories we tend to go to places, yet what happens when time comes to us? What happens when time becomes a defence mechanism? What happens when the Afreet go back to defend the sands they love, defend the places that threw them out, but in this case as they return they fight for the people? It is merely one part of the setting. 

An Afreet has been part in several series, usually as a temporary antagonist. Yet what happens when the world is dying to a much larger degree, because of our stupidity and the Greek gods come back to defend what they believe is the world of their making? In that setting what happens when the gods of the dead unite in a struggle? Hel (Nordic), Hades (Greek), Afreet (Arabic), Yama (Hindu), Shinigami (Japan) and Mictlantecuhtli (Aztec) they unite because the people are killing the earth, which will then no longer feed them the souls that sustain them. In this they start via the Afreet to start larger wars and to push for population control. 

As the push into one direction we see the battlegrounds move from the Middle East and India to Western Europe and America. The movie shows us the evil and the bad that people do under the excuse ‘the devil made me do it’ (thanks to Tom Ellis for reminding me), yet what happens when there really was some form of devil (afreet) pushing people?

A series that shows the horrors of death, direct, blunt and overwhelming. A stage that has inspiration from some of the horror movies and series, but it is overwhelmed by the interaction of horror and war movies, which apart from Jacob’s Ladder has never happened, and a more brutal version is a little overdue. And it goes beyond of what we see, what happens when it re-inspires faith in people? Are these gods of the dead the safety valve for the other gods?

It is just a thought, but I cannot remember where different ideologies interact to a much larger degree and that in itself makes for a new level of TV history, does it not?

Just a thought, have a nice weekend, optionally one not involving death. And before you think it is an outrageous idea, consider India has 22,000,000 covid cases, another 4200 died in the last 24 hours and over 3 million in total have died of this disease and Australia is opening the borders with India over some bleeding heart stage. So the people (and media) making Prime Minister Scott Morrison a pariah for taking the tougher decisions. As such when the Indian variant runs blatantly through  Australia as per June 2021, feel free to sue those bleeding heart media people. Catering to shareholders and stakeholders by relying on flames and avoiding the harsh realities of choices that Narendra Modi of India refused to make should come with a price-tag, should it not? So whilst he decides to spend $1.8 billion on parliament renovation (not essential oxygen needs), we see the larger inactions, and I have written about it for days, the media avoided it all, but the media is all about happy family pictures and how it is such a sad discriminatory setting. Make sure that your court case includes the reporters and media that relied on flames whilst avoiding a lot of data, because as per June it could be the death of your child, brother, sister, partner or parent. 

So as many rely on the blame game, I merely came up with a new TV series (the creative part in my DNA) and there is every chance that Covid will have a definite presence, with 3,279,018 deaths, how could it not be?

So all hail to the gods of death and try not to choke on your tea or coffee this weekend. 

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Brain what?

Today I stopped (via YouTube) to watch one movie that I had not seen for some time. Who could pass up the chance to watch Natalie Wood again, in this movie with Louise Fletcher and Christoper Walken it is all about recording the brain. The movie Brainstorm (1983) is all about what is not possible and it is done well, the story takes a little dip when the military gets involved (like it was in the 80’s) but overall still an entertaining movie. I wondered what would happen if some young upstart (new director) gets to talk to a decently financed producer and makes this into a mini series for whatever streaming service takes it. A friend of mine (yes, I actually have those) wondered why I am not going that distance myself. Well, I turned 59, I am not a director, I do not feel that I would make a decent director and starting a new career as well as getting schooling at 59 is not my idea of retirement preparations. 

So as I was pondering that field we were not meant for show business, apart from the optional new anime by Ridley Scott where I am considering to do the Dutch voice over, there is no real flame to go that distance. Yet, in that same setting I was wondering the advances that Electroencephalography has made (if any), you see that is still an important part, if there is to be any real AI in computing, a better recollection and parsing systems is required and Electroencephalography might be the only technology that gives (at some point in time) a more human (or is that humane) setting towards AI. That drive could be part of the brainstorm mini series. It is not the weirdest idea, the writer Bruce Joel Rubin did make a real good script, he was also behind Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, and Deep Impact (and a few more), as such this man has earned his stripes. But the nagging feeling that the movie left behind beckons exploring. The 80’s was a great era for loopy ideas, but not one for deeply thought through options. I reckon that these movies are all under investigation by the streaming houses as remaking IP tends to be a lot cheaper than making new IP. The fact that this movie is almost 40 years old gives it the forgotten tender group.

Yet in all this we need to wonder if this all we are, are new IP settings (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) so rare that remaking is all we can do? There are almost 130 million books out in the open, is finding new IP that hard? The producers seem to clamp down on the bestseller lists and when the going gets tough they fold (example: Percy Jackson series), yet in all this the world has so much more to offer. It had one additional thing to offer, because my mind got the better of me. It started with me reading a part wrong ‘One idiot abroad’, this was accentuated with the slightly ‘psycho’ look of Stephen Merchant. It showed two additional people and the thought came ‘One won’t make it out alive’ and I giggled. That is a popcorn moment, it is reality TV that I would watch, especially when death becomes a factor. Consider all these celebrity survival games. We all get it, there needs to be a winner, but let’s be honest, should the losers survive? 

There is no way that you haven’t had  similar thought at some point. It is almost as corny (and perhaps essential) as letting an anti-vaxxer Twitter influencer die of Covid-19, some things are just meant to be and should that person be allowed to deprive actual victims of essential oxygen? We are setting the stage that the makers have given us and we twist that setting a little more. It is almost like walking into a bookshop and placing some of the Stephen King books ‘the Stand’ in the non-fictional section, there is a little demon on our shoulder whispering “You can do that, do not be the pussy you usually are”, and at some point we just give in.

If we are out thinking patterns, is it not equally so that intelligence will be shaped by the quirks we give into? Yet what is the stage where we record these impulses and can they actually be recorded at present? If electroencephalography is the way to that, is it not also the way towards an actual AI? If a biochemical computer can be mapped and truly be understood, is that not a first step in creating a silicon version to do something similar? Yes, I understand that they are not the same, but to get the other version working, it needs to be able or an effort needs to be made to mimic the other version, that has been true for the longest time. You see, mimicking also shows what goes wrong and when we understand, truly understand why it is going wrong, we can work towards new levels of innovation.

The path to innovation is never a straight line, only according to some person with a business degree and basic knowledge of Excel, they think it is a simple formula, but the rest, those treading innovation will tell you it is something different entirely, perhaps a new Brainstorm might reveal a lot more scientific paths than we give the art credit for.

Speaking of credits, those who follow me, let it be known that a certain counter is at 21,447, as such certain revelations will not take much longer.

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