Can the Moon ever appear as a frownie in the night sky?

Frownie MoonThe Moon scenes in the picture are from two popular Hollywood movies. The lower one is from the movie “Joe Versus the Volcano” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and the second one is from the classic “Lawrence of Arabia”.

My OCD with geometry and astronomy made me unable to ignore the fact that the Moon was “frowning” in both scenes. When shooting movies, it is usually easier to add a Moon into a starry night scene rather than to wait for it to come out and align itself perfectly for the screenshot. It made me think about how careful the CGI team were (or not) with their implementation of the positioning of the Moon when the producers asked them to provide them with a night scene and the crescent Moon in it. Is it possible the CGI team would have just placed the Moon in the shot without thinking about which way it would be facing? I think they very likely they did.

Continue reading

Is Don Jon really into “her”?

Don John and HerWhat does Jon’s girlfriend Barbara in the movie Don Jon have in common with Theodore’s girlfriend Samantha in the movie “her”? Nothing really. Except that Scarlet Johanson plays the girlfriend role in both movies. These two female characters are in fact, total polar opposites of one another.

Jon is an outgoing, confident “good old fashioned guy” who, after “pulling” a different woman every weekend attempts to create a relationship with Barbara who had been waiting to ride off into the sunset with her “Prince Charming”. On the other hand, complex, heartbroken and likely depressed Theodore, after separating from his wife Catherine (a divorce that he still resists), starts falling in love with an unusual, smart and personalized futuristic operating system called Samantha.

Both movies show how personal and unique every connection is. No relationship can ever be shaped from the outside-in, and whenever people do that, things just seem to go badly. Jon was in love with Barbara because she was “the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life”. Meanwhile, Theodore was in love with Samantha who had no physical body at all. Where does one start when it comes to attraction?

Continue reading

Why can’t villains in kids’ movies ever find love?

Villains never find LoveOnce we label someone evil, we are very easily prone to conclude that all that’s left for them is to be punished. When we decide they have wronged us, they don’t deserve love, nor any kind of understanding. Because, when someone is “evil”, no amount of kindness and empathy will work on them, so they must be either penalized, locked away or killed. But if we like someone or they are close to us in some way, they seem to often get leave-way on this, even if they end up doing similarly “bad” acts. Classic Disney movies tend to especially perpetuate this way of thinking and behaving. Here are some movies I’d like to explore, especially since I just recently finally saw some of these cartoon classics:

The Little Mermaid

Continue reading

K. Robinson, W. Smith, S. Stallone, M. Motoki and the Pursuit of Happiness

Ken RobinsonKen Robinson delivered one of my favorite TED talks to date.  His simple message explains how important it is to cultivate creativity within us and our children and also how important it is to recognize our natural aptitudes that give us full meaning and then pursue them. I am also impressed by how naturally he draws in his audience with humor and then switches back to important matters.

His points explore shortfalls of the western educational system and how it affects and suppresses people’s creativity, their ability to grow, change, see things anew and not take things they are used to for granted. Overall, he suggests a revolution in our education, not just a reformation but a transformation and it’s exciting that so many people are getting on board with this vision! Ken’s work reminds me of the writings of Alexadner S. Neil I had read many years ago, about a self-governed school called Summerhill, which he’d started at the beginning of the last century in Suffolk, England. Visions toward the betterment of our education had sparked my interest and passion ever since then.

Continue reading