Since the start of 2015, I have seen 222 films at the cinema; that’s one every three and a half days give or take. I can count on two hands (and maybe a foot) the number of times I have been with another person. I have heard all of the archetypal queries and opinions on this habit and they usually boil down to “but don’t you like other people’s company? or “don’t you like to talk about the film afterwards?” Admittedly these have died down slightly as I have moved from school age through university, but occasionally I still encounter some raised eyebrows.
In association with Glasgow Film Theatre
Park Chan-wook’s new film relocates Sarah Waters’ Victorian crime novel Fingersmith to 1930s Korea, which at the time was under Japanese rule. This period drama tells the story of Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim), her suitor Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha) and her new handmaiden Sook-Hee (Tae-ri Kim) in a Rashomon-esque fashion. First we are shown events from the perspective of Sook-hee, then of Hideko and briefly, but also intermittently, of Fujiwara. When Sook-hee comes to the mansion of Kozuki, an elderly Korean with a love of erotic fiction, a hatred of his own country and a basement which inspires terror into anyone who sets foot in it, she is introduced to the buildings and its inhabitants, including Hideko. On Sook-hee’s first night in the house she comforts Hideko after a nightmare and from this point onwards the two women seem to share a connection – one which only grows stronger throughout the film – but the arrival of the count, who woos Hideko at every opportunity, appears to make Sook-hee bitter and jealous.
Airbus announce plans to create driverless flying car
Multinational aerospace corporation Airbus, through their Silicon Valley outpost A^3, has announced plans to create a “a self-piloted flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport.” Initial testing of Vahana, the name Airbus have given to this ambitious new project, is set to take place by the end of 2017; a clear demonstration of how serious the company are about revolutionising urban transport.
In association with Glasgow Film Theatre
Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda is the mythical protagonist of Pablo Larraín’s fantastical biopic Neruda. When President Gabriel González Videla (Alfredo Castro) outlaws communism in 1948, Neruda (Luis Gnecco), who was the leader of the communist party at the time, is forced into hiding. Videla orders policeman Óscar Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal) to find him, an order which sets in motion a cat and mouse chase between two characters who are at once so different in physical appearance, political view and social position, and yet strangely alike in their philosophical soul searching. Gnecco and Bernal embody the two men in a way which suggests that they were born to play these roles. Where Peluchonneau is slender and sharp looking, Neruda is portly and flamboyant and where Peluchonneau is introduced as a man with a keen sense of duty and patriotism, Neruda is wild, reckless and self obsessed.
On 17th January, shortly before leaving office, President Barack Obama commuted the majority of the 35 year prison sentence that Chelsea Manning was given in 2010 after being convicted of leaking classified documents regarding American military activity around the world, many pertaining to action taken in the war in Afghanistan, to Wikileaks. As a result, Manning is set to be released in four months’ time. The leaking of the Afghan war logs was perhaps the most significant act of political whistleblowing in American history, and launched Wikileaks into the public sphere. However, it is not a new phenomenon and so we must look back almost 250 years at some of the landmark cases of political whistleblowing.
On the 19th July last year, MPs voted to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, after a speech by the new Prime Minister Theresa May and a discussion in the House of Commons. However, it has recently come to light that a missile test carried out by the Royal Navy in June suffered a serious malfunction. The missile, unarmed, was supposed to follow a course from submarine HMS Vengeance on the coast of Florida towards west Africa, but at some stage the missile radically changed direction, turning back on itself and heading towards the American east coast. It has emerged that the Prime Minister may have been informed about the test failure – it seems likely that she was, given her position as PM – and moreover, that she failed to inform the House of Commons of it prior to the vote on Trident’s renewal.
In the next few decades the nature of human civilisation is going to change drastically, and in almost every conceivable field. Technology businessman Gordon Moore observed in 1965 that the processing power of our computers and to an extent our overall technological capabilities roughly doubles every 12-24 months, and this has held true up until the present and is expected to hold true for at least another decade. If this exponential growth were to continue for another 40 years, then we will be operating in an entirely different paradigm to the one we currently work within. Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now occurring at a staggering pace, and driverless cars look as though they will be the new norm in not too long. Furthermore, there will be upwards of nine and a half billion people on the earth, a 30% increase from today which will put massive pressures on the environment, on food and water sources, and on energy production.