Some of us are movers, some of us are shakers, and some of us are Shirkers.
Shirkers (Netflix) – This is from the most recent Netflix documentary; A brilliant, lush and beautiful film that also unfolds into a compelling mystery. Sandi Tan filmed a road movie in 1992, and watched her mentor Georges Cardona steal it from her. She called the film Shirkers, referring to those who avoid or neglect responsibilities. Her quest to find the film becomes part of a story to settle her demons and those of her friends who lost everything as well. Bold, audacious, and thoughtful, Shirkers is brilliant and a fascinating tour of Singaporean film. Terrific and a must for film buffs. 9/10
The Hunt For Red October – Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin are at their best in the a great remake of a classic Tom Clancy novel. Connery plays Captain Ramius, head of the Red October Submarine, heading straight for the US Coastline. Baldwin as Jack Ryan believes that there is more to his motives than their appears. While it is missing some critical parts from the novel itself it is still pulse-pounding, and the story opts for a more realistic spy thriller that stands the test of time. While by no means a perfect film, it is great entertainment nonetheless. 8.3/10
Some part of him blames me… though he knows it was good counsel (515).
Catelyn continues to struggle, and her pain begins to seep into every interaction she has. She believes she has lost her sons, which create a feeling of undying attachment to Robb. She also feels she must be stronger for him, as the fragility of his life in war is higher than ever. So, everything, feels in some sense pained. How do I please my son and protect him all the same? How can I give him good counsel without losing his trust? Catelyn is walking on a tight-rope, and her lack of omnipresent knowledge of the wellbeing of her children makes things that much more painful for the reader.
Catelyn is by no means perfect, and her consist rejection of Jon Snow is understandable but harsh for Jon. He is not at fault for her fathers adultery, and yet she feels he is somehow part of the wrong. Yet her pain toward her children is palpable and understandable, as it would be a tough dilemma for any of us to work with. All we can do is hope for the Starks, and hope that everything will be okay. Something tells me it will not be.
*The following contains spoilers from A Song of Ice and Fire/A Storm of Swords*
“How can it be treason to kill Lannisters, when it is not treason to free them?” asked Karstark harshly. “Has your Grace forgotten that we are at war with Casterly Rock? In war you kill your enemies. Didn’t your father teach you that boy?”
Is all truly fair in love and war? How do we decide what is too far in war and what is fair game? War is humans at their worst, choosing to kill each other in sake of defending a name, a purpose, an idea. When do we go to far and where do we draw the line?
Robb is faced with an incredibly tough decision here after seeing one of his lords brutally murdering two of their captives, Tion Frey and Willem Lannister, both of whom are enemies. Lord Karstark took their in response to his children’s lives being taken from him. An eye for an eye seems maybe reasonable, but Robb argues that they died in honorably on the battlefield and that this was pure murder. This was treason and therefore the message needed to be sent that this was not allowed.
This is painful as Catelyn made the decision to release Jaime Lannister in order to on the off chance he maybe able to retrieve her daughters. This caused Karstark to do this and send out a hunting party for Jaime with the promise that whoever captured him would be given his daughter Alys; and with that a claim to Karhold. This was disobeying a direct order, and yet it in some sense feels slightly reasonable on both sides. Both Catelyn and Rickard are dealing with the death of their children in similar ways. Catelyn believes her sons to be dead causing her to act irrationally in order to retrieve her daughters. Rickard Karstark views this release as a horrible affront to his children’s legacy, and decides to take vengeance in a horrific way.
Is this treason or vengeance? I can understand the trap this put Robb in, and while I am not sure I would have had the guts to execute him, it is a brilliantly executed chapter dealing with the consequences of love and war. What makes this series terrific, is its ability to bring out the pain in seemingly heartless decisions, and this chapter is absolutely terrific showcase of conflict and pain.
*The following post contains spoilers for the A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Series*
‘And did you see where I was seated, Mance?’ He leaned forward. ‘Did you see where they put the bastard?’
Jon Snow is someone who is full of conflict, whether that be because of how he was treated or what he represents. As a bastard child, he is evidence the worst part of Ned’s character, and is a painful scar for the family. No one more painfully recognizes this than Catelyn, who treats him as a scar, one to be ignored in order to prevent bringing out what it represents. Ned had flaws, and her refusal at times to understand that leads her to treat her bastard son with contempt.
None of this however is Jon Snow’s fault, and so he has constantly lived knowing the pain he represents to his family but cannot do anything to change it. He decided to go to the wall, to make something of himself, to not live as destructive reminder but a positive influence. He took an oath, swore allegiance, and promised to live by the decree of The Night’s Watch, only for it to be taken from him once again.
In this moment it is hard to know if he means every part of what he is saying or if he is trying to win over the free folk. I think he believes a good portion of it though, and it seems fitting for all that he has been through. Did you see what happened to me? Every time I try to do something whether it be honorable or not I get thrown away. And for what? I am a bastard child but that was not my choice.
Now Jon Snow sits across from Wildlings who are an enemy of the one organization that gave him purpose. This once again was not necessarily a choice of his own, and now the one thing that meant anything to him is now seemingly gone. Maybe he is pretending and trying to play double agent, but that must be upsetting. It remains to be seem (AGAIN I HAVE NOT WATCHED THE SHOW!) whether he will eventually believe in the cause of the free folk, but for now there seems to be some foreshadowing in that direction.
*Spoilers from the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire*
I am currently reading A Storm of Swords and just recently finished A Clash of Kings, the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, more commonly known as Game of Thrones. As I am reading I will try to leave behind some of my favorite quotes and attempt to discuss some of my favorite moments and what they mean.
This quote is from a scene where Cersei addresses Sansa regarding her desire and belief in love:
‘Love is poison. A sweet poison yes, but it will kill you all the same’ (761).
It is so easy to approach love with so much cynicism, and for Cersei, one of the easiest characters to hate in this series, it becomes clear how much pain she has experienced in relationships. She loved her twin, and she was forced to watch him win relics as she was dispersed to the sidelines to marry someone she did not love. Choosing to love someone else is tough, and at times we can seem to be giving our vulnerabilities for nothing in return. Why should we love others when so often we stand to be more hurt in the end? I have often told myself that the beauty in those moments is worth any pain that may come after, but for so many people it is not. She recognizes that for every moment of beauty, pain can follow, and in her experience the pain is always worse.
What makes this series exceptional is not just the political intrigue and grand scale, but the individuals that populate these conflicts. Portraying Cersei as an evil queen is easy enough, but allowing her moments to show her scars is truly breathtaking storytelling.