All entries for April 2007

April 17, 2007

Satan's Tango

Movie image
5 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I don’t really do reviews, which is probably why I’ve never written on my blog. But I suspect any thoughts commenting on the film in question could be considered a review, so I’m going to claim this as such. (Note to self don’t self-contradict in the opener)

Other-disclaimer: minor spoilers, nothing you need not know before you watch.

So I got round to watching Satantango on Sunday evening. No mean really – its a 7 hour film, so finding the time in one block to actually watch it is a worthy achievement in itself. That patting you’re hearing is my hand on my back. Many films have had people comment on the nature of the effect that they impose upon their audience, however, I doubt many of them are related to the length.

This is an important point because the thing that struck me most about Satantango wasn’t its story or characters, despite the former being interesting and the latter all well developed. The real impact comes from the aura of complete cynicism towards both mankind and the nature of politics that emanates from this film.

The bulk of the film’s plot revolves around a the political machinations of a group of villagers attempting to get away from their qualid lives. This tale is extolled in two components: the first one critiques individualism, the second collectivism. Neither comes off lightly. Nor do the villagers, who are portrayed, as in the opening scene, as a group of cattle desirous of direction and control.

Within the context of broad daylight after a sunny Tuesday – one can question these assertions that Bela Tarr puts forward. Whilst watching the film, however, one’s cognitive abilities are suppressed by his stark cinematography, dark narrative, and stress inducing runtime. Here one realises the power of the cinema – the power to manipulate one’s view of humanity.

Interesting to note at this juncture the narrative of the two films most often cited in connection Satantango. Gus Van Saint’s Jerry and Elephant – the former about two two youngsters without food in the desert and the latter about a high school murder (coincidentally topical). Perhaps its not just the extended takes and discordant background noise that are referenced.

At this point its worth admitting that I do value the aesthetic and visceral elements of cinema as much as the more intellectually stimulating. I proffer this a reason for my liking of Cronenberg’s blood baths and Woo’s vacuous, but elementally beautiful slow motion set pieces. Even on this level Satantango fails to disappoint. The extensive scenes of characters, and animals, simply walking around being tracked by the long camera shoots are ofe not on this front, particularly when the character has ‘the wind at their backs’.

April 15, 2007

Local Council Elections

On the 3rd May the local council elections are a gogo, people on campus will have been registered to vote within the ward of Wainbody. Here’s some useful election information:

The incumbent councillor who is up for the vote in your ward is Conservative Cllr Tim Sawdon

You can find out how to write to him here

The local party website for the main parties are at:

Liberal Democrats

This is the result of the last election for cov council.


1. The Tory and Libdem websites seem very content filled. The lib dems spending a lot of time saying how Tory and Labour rule has made cov worse off. The Labour Parties’ website seems very lacking in information, for example this is what they to say about my ward.

2. Its incredibly easy to find out superficial information about local politics. Praise here should go to google and all three parties for having websites up and running. Thankfully they seem to appreciate that its 2006 and people are busy.

3. The electorial commission point to the BBC website for information on the results of elections.

4. The last time, before 2006, that the Tories controlled cov was 1978.

5. You don’t have to be British to vote, if you a member of the commonwealth of EU and live in Britain then you can be registered to vote. I wonder if the university auto-registers these people like it does for people holding a UK passport?

April 11, 2007

Iraq getting worse

Its such a commonly held view thats its almost boring to talk about now, but the thing that struck me about the Red Cross Report that the BBC kindly put a news story up about was the quote that they extracted:

“I saw a four-year-old boy sitting beside his mother’s body, which had been decapitated by the explosion. He was talking to her, asking her what had happened”

April 2007

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