Sex, suicide, torture: are arthouse movies genuinely so sophisticated? | Catherine Shoard

Despite their image, many of todays highbrow movies are merely the cinematic equivalent of exploding fireworks

North Korea is not a regime whose selections one is generally eager to endorse. Yet my compassions were with that country at the start of the year, when its New Years Eve firework showing was universally pooh-poohed. Whats with all the flash, cackled other nations. You call that a spectacle, scoffed Sydney, merrily illuminating the fuse on 4m-worth of sparklers.

Fireworks can, obviously, be spectacular. Their culture origins in seventh-century China, where they were intended to scare off evil spirits, are to be respected. And yet an understated showing Pyongyang ran for sporadic bangs with synth soundtrack is not something to dismiss. Rather, one goggles at the hubris elsewhere, where millions in public funds are sent up in smoke; this at a time of spiralling homelessness, massive spending cuts and instructions that we all mug up on first aid lest we fall victim to rather more malevolent blasts.

Everyone already knows that fireworks are fantastically dangerous( this 31 December there was a fatality in Hawaii, there were mass casualties in Malaysia, and rocket assaults in Hamburg and Malm ); that they are enormously polluting( in Munich, revellers bathed in an atmosphere that had 26 times more sooty particulates than the EUs recommended safe limit ); and that they frighten animals, children, the frail and indeed anyone who isnt lucky enough to be able to sit unblinking through an endless loading of explosions.

But fireworks are also, Id argue shock value aside quite boring. At least if they dont carry special spiritual import for you, or if youre over the age of two, or after the first 10 seconds or so. Rather, they seem to be a throwback to a time when suns in the sky were a significant distraction. When a night of bonfire tales was the nearest you could get to bingeing on a box defined. Before amusement had, for better or worse, evolved. Thats why Ive never been especially desperate to find a display through to its climax. Theres merely so many oohs you can manage before “youre starting” thinking about your shopping.

We live in an age uncertain about its level of primitivism. Liberals bemoan a resurfacing of basic intolerance. The world is going backwards, they fret. Kneejerk anxieties have quashed reasoned debate. Yet liberals are people too and, as such, just as susceptible to the primal pulls. They too embrace fireworks one thing going for them is their egalitarianism.

And when it comes to more contemporary forms of amusement, they too are animals at heart. The likes of The Girl on the Train and the fictions of Katie Price are belittled as litter, but in fact this seasons most acclaimed arthouse movies also rely on some fairly tabloid drives.

JACKIE
Natalie Portman in Jackie, a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Take Jackie, Pablo Larrans biopic of the first lady in the aftermath of JFKs assassination. It is a brilliant, moving examination of sorrow and national fairytales, with a central performance by Natalie Portman that will win her the Oscar. It is another movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock.

Likewise, Sundance sensation Christine offers an intriguing look at the machinations of a regional news outfit in 1974, with an intense central turn by Rebecca Hall as a woman combating mental illness. Its hooking, though similarly that of a documentary released on the same subject last year is that its about a real-life newsreader who committed suicide live their lives air.

Much of the publicity, as well as buzz, around Silence, Martin Scorseses latest movie, boils down to the extreme weight loss of its superstars and actually yucky forms of torture suffered by their characters. Even Moonlight, Barry Jenkins drama about a bullied gay man at three stages of his life which has been universally championed by right-thinking cineastes cant fully duck accusations of titillation. It is beautifully played and shot, highly sensitive, politically and emotionally incisive; but its success does also come down to the audiences investment in the sexual activity, or absence thereof, enjoyed by its protagonist.

Brutality is as key an ingredient of high culture as low. More, even. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might have been the biggest movie of last year, but not a drop-off of actual blood is insured, much less a snog. Being preoccupied by sexuality or demise does not make art any lesser , nor the person or persons watching it any baser. What does degrade though are those claiming sophistication while still lapping up big bangs and soaps about the sex hangups of a really ripped fella with a rackety mum.

North Korea did not wholly opt out of devoting the crowd some kneejerk thrills, of course. It only pandered this desire in a much more modest style and, in doing so, exposed the ravening appetite across the rest of the world, as well as some strange double standards about what constitutes entertainment or worthwhile utilize of the public purse.

So, hooray for those low-key explosions a few nights back. Unless of course North Korea is just saving its big gun for later in the year.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Sex, suicide, torment: are arthouse cinemas genuinely so sophisticated? | Catherine Shoard

Despite their image, many of todays highbrow movies are simply the cinematic equivalent of exploding fireworks

North Korea is not a regime whose options one is generally eager to endorse. Yet my sympathies were with that country at the start of the year, when its New Years Eve firework showing was universally pooh-poohed. Whats with all the flickering, cackled other nations. You call that a sight, scoffed Sydney, merrily lighting the fuse on 4m-worth of sparklers.

Fireworks can, plainly, be spectacular. Their culture origins in seventh-century China, where they were intended to scare off evil spirits, are to be respected. And yet an understated display Pyongyang ran for sporadic bangs with synth soundtrack is not something to dismiss. Rather, one goggles at the hubris elsewhere, where millions in public funds are sent up in smoke; this at a time of spiralling homelessness, massive spending cuts and instructions that we all mug up on first assistance lest we fall victim to rather more malevolent blasts.

Everyone already knows that fireworks are fantastically dangerous( this 31 December there was a fatality in Hawaii, there were mass casualties in Malaysia, and rocket assaults in Hamburg and Malm ); that they are enormously polluting( in Munich, revellers bathed in an atmosphere that had 26 times more sooty particulates than the EUs recommended safe limit ); and that they frighten animals, children, the frail and indeed anyone who isnt lucky enough to be able to sit unblinking through an endless loading of explosions.

But fireworks are also, Id argue shock value aside quite boring. At least if they dont carry special spiritual import for you, or if youre over the age of two, or after the first 10 seconds or so. Rather, they seem to be a throwback to a time when illuminations in the sky were a significant distraction. When a night of bonfire narratives was the nearest you could get at bingeing on a box defined. Before entertainment had, for better or worse, evolved. Thats why Ive never been especially desperate to watch a display through to its climax. Theres merely so many oohs you can manage before “youre starting” thinking about your shopping.

We live in an age uncertain about its level of primitivism. Liberals bemoan a resurfacing of basic bigotry. The world is going backwards, they fret. Kneejerk dreads have quashed reasoned debate. Yet liberals are people too and, as such, just as susceptible to the primal pulls. They too espouse fireworks one thing going for them is their egalitarianism.

And when it comes to more contemporary forms of amusement, they too are animals at heart. The likes of The Girl on the Train and the novels of Katie Price are belittled as litter, but in fact this seasons most acclaimed arthouse cinemas also rely on some fairly tabloid drives.

JACKIE
Natalie Portman in Jackie, a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Take Jackie, Pablo Larrans biopic of the first lady in the aftermath of JFKs assassination. It is a brilliant, moving examination of heartbreak and national fairytales, with a central performance by Natalie Portman that will win her the Oscar. It is also a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock.

Likewise, Sundance sensation Christine offers an intriguing look at the machinations of a regional news outfit in 1974, with an intense central turn by Rebecca Hall as a woman combating mental illness. Its hook, though similarly that of a documentary released on the same subject last year is that its about a real-life newsreader who committed suicide live their lives air.

Much of the publicity, as well as buzz, around Silence, Martin Scorseses latest movie, boils down to the extreme weight loss of its superstars and genuinely yucky forms of torture suffered by their characters. Even Moonlight, Barry Jenkins drama about a bullied gay man at three stages of their own lives which has been universally championed by right-thinking cineastes cant fully duck accusations of titillation. It is beautifully played and shot, highly sensitive, politically and emotionally incisive; but its success does also come down to the audiences investment in the sex activity, or absence thereof, enjoyed by its protagonist.

Brutality is as key an ingredient of high culture as low. More, even. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might have been the biggest movie of last year, but not a fell of actual blood is ensure, much less a snog. Being preoccupied by sex or demise does not make art any lesser , nor the person watching it any baser. What does degrade though are those claiming sophistication while still lapping up big bangs and soaps about the sex hangups of a really rent fella with a rackety mum.

North Korea did not wholly opt out of giving the crowd some kneejerk thrills, of course. It merely indulged this desire in a much more modest route and, in doing so, uncovered the ravening appetite across the rest of the world, as well as some strange doubled standards about what constitutes amusement or worthwhile utilize of the public purse.

So, hooray for those working low-key detonations a few nights back. Unless of course North Korea is just saving its big gun for afterwards in the year.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Sex, suicide, torture: are arthouse movies truly so sophisticated? | Catherine Shoard

Despite their image, many of todays highbrow movies are merely the cinematic equivalent of exploding fireworks

North Korea is not a regime whose choices one is generally eager to endorse. Yet my sympathies were with that country at the start of the year, when its New Years Eve firework display was universally pooh-poohed. Whats with all the flickering, cackled other nations. You call that a spectacle, scoffed Sydney, merrily lighting the fuse on 4m-worth of sparklers.

Fireworks can, obviously, be spectacular. Their cultural origins in seventh-century China, where they were intended to scare off evil spirits, are to be respected. And yet an understated display Pyongyang went for sporadic bangs with synth soundtrack is not something to dismiss. Rather, one goggles at the hubris elsewhere, where millions in public funds are sent up in smoke; this at a time of spiralling homelessness, massive spending cuts and instructions that we all mug up on first aid lest we fall victim to rather more malevolent blasts.

Everyone already knows that fireworks are fantastically dangerous (this 31 December there was a fatality in Hawaii, there were mass casualties in Malaysia, and rocket assaults in Hamburg and Malm); that they are enormously polluting (in Munich, revellers bathed in an atmosphere that had 26 times more sooty particulates than the EUs recommended safe limit); and that they frighten animals, children, the frail and indeed anyone who isnt lucky enough to be able to sit unblinking through an endless load of explosions.

But fireworks are also, Id argue shock value aside quite boring. At least if they dont carry special spiritual import for you, or if youre over the age of two, or after the first 10 seconds or so. Rather, they seem to be a throwback to a time when lights in the sky were a significant distraction. When a night of bonfire stories was the nearest you could get to bingeing on a box set. Before entertainment had, for better or worse, evolved. Thats why Ive never been especially desperate to see a display through to its climax. Theres only so many oohs you can manage before you start thinking about your shopping.

We live in an age uncertain about its level of primitivism. Liberals bemoan a resurfacing of basic bigotry. The world is going backwards, they fret. Kneejerk fears have quashed reasoned debate. Yet liberals are people too and, as such, just as susceptible to the primal pulls. They too embrace fireworks one thing going for them is their egalitarianism.

And when it comes to more contemporary forms of entertainment, they too are animals at heart. The likes of The Girl on the Train and the novels of Katie Price are disparaged as trash, but in fact this seasons most acclaimed arthouse films also rely on some pretty tabloid drives.

JACKIE
Natalie Portman in Jackie, a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock. Photograph: Twentieth Century Fox

Take Jackie, Pablo Larrans biopic of the first lady in the aftermath of JFKs assassination. It is a brilliant, moving examination of grief and national fairytales, with a central performance by Natalie Portman that will win her the Oscar. It is also a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock.

Likewise, Sundance sensation Christine offers an intriguing look at the machinations of a regional news outfit in 1974, with an intense central turn by Rebecca Hall as a woman battling mental illness. Its hook, though likewise that of a documentary released on the same subject last year is that its about a real-life newsreader who committed suicide live on air.

Much of the publicity, as well as buzz, around Silence, Martin Scorseses latest movie, boils down to the extreme weight loss of its stars and really yucky forms of torture suffered by their characters. Even Moonlight, Barry Jenkins drama about a bullied gay man at three stages of his life which has been universally championed by right-thinking cineastes cant fully duck accusations of titillation. It is beautifully played and shot, highly sensitive, politically and emotionally incisive; but its success does also come down to the audiences investment in the sexual activity, or lack thereof, enjoyed by its protagonist.

Brutality is as key an ingredient of high culture as low. More, even. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might have been the biggest movie of last year, but not a drop of actual blood is seen, much less a snog. Being preoccupied by sex or death does not make art any lesser, nor the person watching it any baser. What does degrade though are those claiming sophistication while still lapping up big bangs and soaps about the sexual hangups of a really ripped fella with a rackety mum.

North Korea did not completely opt out of giving the crowd some kneejerk thrills, of course. It just indulged this desire in a much more modest way and, in doing so, exposed the ravening appetite across the rest of the world, as well as some strange double standards about what constitutes entertainment or worthwhile use of the public purse.

So, hooray for those low-key explosions a few nights back. Unless of course North Korea is just saving its big guns for later in the year.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

5 Tools That Will Set You Up For New Years Resolution Success

The new year will be here before we know it.

While about half of us build solvings, many of us do not follow through with them.

Ive compiled a handy listing of five products that might help you make this years resolves more successful.

Studies present the top three solvingswe make are to lose weight, get organized and save more money.

The following products focus on these three areas 😛 TAGEND

1. Evernote

Evernote is a free downloadable application for your computer, with a mirrored website and mobile app interface as well.

It is free, but it does have a paid version for economically more advanced users who need more storage space.

The free version includes everything you need to get started, though.

The beauty of Evernote is you can save just about anything scenes, documents , notes, etc. all in one place.

The potentials are endless. You can also share your content with other Evernote users.

This application can help you get organized with all of your projects, whether it’s writing that book youve always wanted to write, keeping your expense receipts all in one place, coordinating your clients or collecting ideas to renovate your home.

The best part is, whether you update Evernote on your phone, your laptop or the Internet, all three versions of Evernote update at the same time.

This is so incredibly convenient while you’re leaving the store.

Just snap a picture of your expense receipt and upload it from your phone.

When gratifying a new potential client, you can add his or her contact information somewhere besides your contacts, so you can easily find it again.

Whileorganizing research for a book, you can keep all of your notes and art for each chapter in its own separate notebook.

Evernote is the ultimate organizational tool for people who are on the go.

For a free organizational application, it is by far the best one on the market.


2. Passion Planner

If you havent heard of Passion Planner, you are certainly missing out.

Angela Trinidadhas put an amazing spin on the standard planner.

Each week provides motivational quotes, an region to brainstorm, both personal and professional to-do listings to fill out and a place to reflect on what went well that week.

We all need to take time and celebrate our accomplishments.

Most of us skip over an accomplishment and only move on to the next one.

She also provides a space at the top of each day for you to write your focus.

Each time you open Passion Planner, you are reminded to stay on track.

Passion Planner also has a Pay It Forward system, where you can either offer a planner for someone who may need one but cannot afford it, or you can sign up to receive one.

It is so rare these days to find something that is not only handy, but also serves as a catalyst to assist those in need.


3. Self-Help Books

There are two personal developing volumes on the market right now that can dramatically help you generate resolutions and follow through with them successfully.

7 Steps To Being A Phenomenal Woman” is a motivational self-help volume for women that will get you motivated and organized in every region of your life.

The author starts off by helping you find your purpose in life.

She teaches you how to guess more positively, figure out a nutrition and fitness plan that will fit your lifestyle, develop a healthy body image, embrace your sexuality and situated and achieve goals.

The best part is, the language is cheeky and colorful.

Its definitely not a boring read. This is a must-have for any woman looking to accomplish something in 2016.

The Power of Habit” was listed as one of the top 10 personal development volumes for men to read.

This book offer research on why and how we develop habits, how to break those habits and how to replace them with new ones.

It isnt merely a dry how-to book.

It really digs into the human psyche and discusses experiments that have been testedon human behavior.

It is a fascinating read, and it’s perfect for anyone who is trying to kick a bad habit in 2016.


4. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is a free app and a critical asset for anyone looking to lose weight in 2016.

You start off by creating a profile where you choose your goals.

You not only write your goal weight, but also how quickly you want to lose pounds.

You then start logging your food as you eat it, and it gives you a breakdown of nutrients and calories for everything you eat.

You will also enter any exercise you do that day, and it subtracts out the calories you burned off.

Ittells you if you are on track for meeting your weight loss goals.

Beyond simply calories, it gives you a breakdown of your macros, which are your protein, fat and carb ratios.

Keeping an eye on these ratios is critical to losing weight the healthy way.

If you are eating the right amount of calories but not enough protein, you will lose fat.

But, you are able to also lose muscle in the process.

While you should definitely watch your fat uptake, you need to make sure it doesnt drop-off below 20 percentage, since your body needs fat to function properly.

( Just make sure you are eating the very best fats .)

You can also set aims for your macro ratios and see how you are doing as you eat throughout the day.

Most people want to aim for a 40:30: 30 ratio( proteins to carbs to fat) to lose weight at a healthy pace and keep their diets at manageable levels.


5. Mint

Mint is a free website and mobile application system that keeps way of your finances for you.

Once you load in your bank account information, it automatically ways and reports your spending habits to you in real time.

This gives you a quick glance at how much money you are spending on food, gas, apparel and anything else.

For those with a New Year’s resolution of spending fewer and saving more, this application will allow you to see which areas you are spending the most and help you adjust your budget accordingly.

Mint also allows you to track your bills, building it easy to never miss a due date again.

This cuts back on late fees.

You can also add your credit cards, investments and anything else financial you would like to track.

Mint genuinely helps you get your finances together.

If you have financial objectives in 2016, Mint is definitely a program you need to be using.

With these products, you can move into January armed with appropriate tools are required to crush your goals in 2016.

Make it your best, most productive year yet.

Read more:

Sexuality, suicide, torturing: are arthouse movies genuinely so sophisticated? | Catherine Shoard

Despite their image, many of todays highbrow movies are merely the cinematic equivalent of exploding fireworks

North Korea is not a regime whose selections one is generally eager to endorse. Yet my empathies were with that country at the start of the year, when its New Years Eve firework display was universally pooh-poohed. Whats with all the flash, cackled other nations. You call that a spectacle, scoffed Sydney, merrily lighting the fuse on 4m-worth of sparklers.

Fireworks can, obviously, be spectacular. Their culture origins in seventh-century China, where they were intended to scare off evil spirits, are to be respected. And yet an understated showing Pyongyang went for sporadic bangs with synth soundtrack is not something to reject. Rather, one goggles at the hubris elsewhere, where millions in public funds are sent up in smoke; this at a time of spiralling homelessness, massive spending cuts and instructions that we all mug up on first assistance lest we fall victim to rather more malevolent blasts.

Everyone already knows that fireworks are fantastically dangerous( this 31 December there was a fatality in Hawaii, there were mass casualties in Malaysia, and rocket assaults in Hamburg and Malm ); that they are enormously polluting( in Munich, revellers bathed in an atmosphere that had 26 times more sooty particulates than the EUs recommended safe limit ); and that they frighten animals, children, the frail and indeed anyone who isnt luck enough to be able to sit unblinking through an endless loading of explosions.

But fireworks are also, Id argue shock value aside quite boring. At least if they dont carry special spiritual importation for you, or if youre over the age of two, or after the first 10 seconds or so. Rather, they seem to be a throwback to a time when sunlights in the sky were a significant distraction. When a night of bonfire stories was the nearest you could get to bingeing on a box set. Before entertainment had, for better or worse, evolved. Thats why Ive never been especially desperate to consider a showing through to its climax. Theres only so many oohs you can manage before you start thinking about your shopping.

We live in an age uncertain about its level of primitivism. Liberals bemoan a resurfacing of basic intolerance. The world is going backwards, they fret. Kneejerk fears have quashed reasoned debate. Yet liberals are people too and, as such, just as susceptible to the primal pulls. They too embrace fireworks one thing going for them is their egalitarianism.

And when it comes to more contemporary different forms of entertainment, they too are animals at heart. The likes of The Girl on the Train and the novels of Katie Price are belittled as trash, but in fact this seasons most acclaimed arthouse movies also rely on some fairly tabloid drives.

JACKIE
Natalie Portman in Jackie, a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Take Jackie, Pablo Larrans biopic of the first lady in the aftermath of JFKs assassination. It is a brilliant, moving examination of sorrow and national fairytales, with a central performance by Natalie Portman that will win her the Oscar. It is also a movie whose chief sell has a lot to do with watching someone wash famous brains off their frock.

Likewise, Sundance sensation Christine offers an intriguing look at the machinations of a regional news outfit in 1974, with an intensive central turning by Rebecca Hall as a woman combating mental illness. Its hooking, though likewise that of a documentary released on the same subject last year is that its about a real-life newsreader who committed suicide live on air.

Much of the publicity, as well as buzz, around Silence, Martin Scorseses latest movie, simmers down to the extreme weight loss of its stars and truly yucky forms of torture suffered by their characters. Even Moonlight, Barry Jenkins drama about a bullied gay man at three stages of his life which has been universally championed by right-thinking cineastes cant fully duck accusations of titillation. It is beautifully played and shot, highly sensitive, politically and emotionally incisive; but its success does also come down to the audiences investment in the sex activity, or lack thereof, enjoyed by its protagonist.

Brutality is as key food ingredients of high culture as low. More, even. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might have been the biggest movie of last year, but not a drop of actual blood is considered, much less a snog. Being preoccupied by sex or death does not make art any lesser , nor the person or persons watching it any baser. What does degrade though are those claiming sophistication while still lapping up big bangs and soaps about the sexual hangups of a really rent fella with a rackety mum.

North Korea did not entirely opt out of dedicating the crowd some kneejerk thrills, of course. It just indulged this passion in a much more modest route and, in doing so, uncovered the ravening appetite across the rest of the world, as well as some strange double criteria about what constitutes entertainment or worthwhile employ of members of the public purse.

So, hooray for those low-key explosions a few nights back. Unless of course North Korea is just saving its big gun for subsequently in the year.

Read more: www.theguardian.com