Forums > Social Chat > what books/films/music have most expanded your experience of the world?

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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:hmm, well... as i poked through all the old posts, learning about who you all are and what makes you tick (and apparently some of you tick really, really loudly), i realized that i hadn't come upon any thread mainly concerned with some form of cultural media that's impacted your lives.

so in the service of stirring up and sharing the memories of things that have made us into the people we are... here goes!

(and preeze don't hate me because i'm linking to amazon. they're just the easiest for me to link to for info. if you want to buy something, please support your friendly local bookstore!)

here goes...

#1 - Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. a dialogue between a gorilla and a man, concerning how and why humans have molded the world into what it is today; after you read it, you will examine society a bit differently than you do now, i can almost promise you. the book was originally given to me by another wandering soul, and it had 5 names scribed inside the cover. i read it, added my name to the list, and passed it on... absolutely the perfect book for that sort of thing. there's also a website which has to do with the ideas in the book. also, the movie Instinct was loosely based on Ishmael.

#2 - The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene. basically, just what it sounds like. the author has assembled a rather concise, and extremely readable, list of basic laws regarding different techniques of power exchange in relationships - personal, business, what have you. i know many people are turned off by the concept of having power over other people, but what better way to know your enemy? and for those of us who have no problem with the concept of affecting the world around them in more subtle ways... it's quite the instruction guide.

#3 - Quantum Psychology and Sex, Drugs and Magick, both by the brilliant Robert Anton Wilson. the first is absolutely a must-read for anyone truly wanting to learn a different way of interpreting human behaviour, and the second is filled with interesting anecdotes and thoughts on the subjects of its title.

#4 - Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle, by Matthew Woodring Stover. really gritty, noirish sci-fi/fantasy hybrid goodness! not gonna write a synopsis on this one as it didn't exactly change my life, but it deserves mention. the characters feel wonderfully real, and the first book is relatively straightforward... the second ends up getting dealing with the nature of reality. interesting stuff, and i had to force myself to read it as slowly as i could so that it would last longer!

#5 - Be Here Now, by Baba Ram Dass. friendly psychedelic 60's statement on mindful existence from the former Dr. Richard Alpert, PhD., tripping buddy of Tim Leary etc. pretty much the best and most enjoyable modern book concerning how to live a conscious life. i found this one day in the depths of a depressive cycle, and damn if it didn't remind me of all the things i knew and had forgotten long enough to let the world get me down.

#6 - Fight Club. can't talk about it.

#7 - Neon Genesis Evangelion. no, not the best anime ever made - that honor belongs to Dragon Half - but certainly one of the 'deepest.' 8 DVD's and 2 movies worth of mind boggling giant mechabeasties and manipulating the nature of existence and whiny kids saving the world and kabbalistic references and despair and love and insanity. eva fans tend to be pretty vehement about their adoration for the series, so discuss with caution when in the presence of an otaku.

#8 - Tool. viciously unrelenting aural consciousness expansion masquerading as radio friendly rock. there's some pretty revolutionary stuff in there... pay attention to the words and the math of the music.

#9 - Liber Kaos, by Peter J. Carroll. not really a good introduction to chaos magick if you're totally unfamiliar with the concept, as a lot of references won't connect. however, if you have a naturally curious mind, are able to process information as you gather it (rather than organizing it first) and want some insight into the more interesting and somewhat "scientific" concepts of magick/reality manipulation, it's well worth a read. yes, i love stuff that has to do with fiddling around with the nature of reality. what of it?

of course, there's lots more - different artists and such, and comics, and storytellers (/hug Garrison Keillor - the Book of Guys has the best story ever: The Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus, in which the god of wine and sensual indulgence turns...50) - but i think this is quite enough from me, thank you. probably too much, but hey... maybe it'll get one of you to read something new, and change the way you think a little bit. if so, it's all worth it. now your turn to give me too much to read!

sharing is fun~
-k.


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:good god. i just noticed how *#$^ing long that post was... all hail insomniac posts.

i should award free eyedrops to anyone who bothers reading all that crap!

>_<

-k.


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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fluffy napalm fairy
fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land
Member Since: 12th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3638
Posted:Wow! Great thread

Not really sure about how stuff has influenced me. I always like the books with a lot of optimism and enthusiasm, even in the face of a lot of suffering.

I was watching a program about Christopher Reeve last night. From superman to Quadraplegic when he fell off his horse. But I got to thinking he is more superman now than he ever was in the film - he can't breath and relies on a ventilator, yet he keeps trying, day after day to exercise his diaphragm so that one day he won't need to be entirely dependent on a machine. I thought it was amazing - even when chances of success are almost nothing he keeps going.

mmmmmmm......I also think the film eXistenZ has affected me quite a lot. very, very trippy one that. Makes me wonder about realtiy and everything......

eep! Shut up fairy and leave this to the intelligent ones.... lol


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:Fairy, you're plenty damn intelligent enough! now talk more, dammit~

*sigh* no, i can't get to bed. =\ but i thought of another movie that's currently up there with Fight Club.

Waking Life follows a series of dialogues, most of them involving a young man who is apparently dreaming the whole thing. it's essentially a stream-of-consciousness movie with direction - exploring (what else) the ever-popular nature of reality, human interaction, motivation, and the rest of the philosophical spectrum. the most notable thing about the movie is that while it was filmed, the entire movie itself is animated - they went frame by frame and had several different artists animated it all. i believe it was all done in flash, so it has an interesting hovering/trippy quality to it... once your eye gets used to it, tho, it feels entirely natural, and you realize that it's as close as a moving picture on a flat screen can get to representing actual vision. some very nifty tricks they pulled, too, with inserting brief images into, say, strands of hair - images that reflect the subject of the speaker's words.

interesting stuff, and again too many words from me. oh well - never stopped me before.

-k.

[ 11. February 2003, 03:48: Message edited by: KaosDancer ]


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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Magnus
member
Location: Bath, UK
Member Since: 5th Sep 2002
Total posts: 279
Posted:Yes, I need to read Ishmael.

In no particular order;

Celestine Prophecy
Conversations with God
What Dreams May Come
Fight Club
The Matrix
www.fastseduction.com


Magnus... pay it forward

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Fire-N-Water
member

Member Since: 2nd Jan 2003
Total posts: 36
Posted:Book - "This Perfect Day" By Ira Levin
My mom had a collectable hard cover edition that she got when she was in high school and that I read and re-read all through my teens. It is a tale of New World Order, Big Brother Style, and how one person takes down the system by reading between the lines - literally. My mom's birthday is coming up, maybe I should replace her book this year. It was totally knackered (and then lost) when I was done with it.

Movie - "Walkabout" By Nicolas Roeq
This movie plays on the differences between industrial life and natural life. The differences between understanding through technology and knowing through nature. In the film, two children are taken from their urban environment by their father and left to fend for themselves in the Australian Outback. If anyone watches it (or has seen it), send me a note about why you think the father left the children in the first place.


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_Stix_
_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:hmm the Celestine Profercies would also be on my list.. so would be the Tenth Insight.. I've also read quite a few of my moms books on Buddhism that she got from Thailand in the 70's very insightfull and not full of some of the european B/S that you get in books of that type these days..

I've also read quite alot of Carlos Castineda.. he twisted my brain along with Timothy Leary.. I've read lots and lots - I quite like the Tao of Pooh and the other books that go in that series.. can't for the life of me think - I'm at work I should be thinking of other things...

I'll check and post again when I get home..


I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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_Stix_
_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:Oh two more - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World - is amazing considering that he wrote it in the 30's!

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:MisStix - have you read Island, also by Aldous Huxley? it's a really interesting counterpoint to his previous perspective in Brave New World. of course, it was written thirty or so years later, after much psychedelic adventuring.

if you haven't read it, i strongly recommend it.

now get back to work!

-k.


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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_Stix_
_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:Argh.. WORK.. I hate it..

but anyhoo.. no I've not read that.. but now I will! Many thanks..

(where is the 'nose back to grindstone' smiley?? I need one of those..)

Also been thinking that some of the Phycology (sp) text books that I've read have probably done more harm then good as I tend to over analyse things now.. the human brain - don't try to decifer.. but the body language is something I'm really keen on and use everyday.. but I digress.. ok ok ok work I'm comin..


I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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The_Pirate_Dyke_Boy
The_Pirate_Dyke_Boy

HOP Lord of the Pirate Admiralty
Location: Canterbury, UK
Member Since: 5th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1079
Posted:Suggested viewing, reading:

"Simulacra and simulation" by Jean Baudrillard
"Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintainance" by Robert M. Pirsig
"Fight Club"
"The Matrix"
"The Lord of The Rings" by JRR Tolkein
"Sophies World" by Jostein Gaarder
"The quoteable Oscar Wild" bby Oscar Wilde

so yah, here it is


D.B.
X x X x X

Ship off the starboard! sound general quarters! noise and light discipline! man the cannons! GET ME THE RUM!

Master of the Free Hug Program

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:As for music, I could never even assume to narrow it down, for it all has something to offer I feel. Sure what I listen to depends on my mood but rarely can I single out specific songs that will move me my whole life, because my life is rather like a movie, with an ever changing soundtrack.

The other two I will have to put alot of thought into since I am effected and moved by all forms of art, so that to name any that had a real impact on my life is a true challenge. Thank you for that.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Changed the way I look at life:

Movie/Album: Pink Floyd's "The Wall".

Book: Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day" (Holy crumb, you read that too?!) And that scientific book on chaos theory "Chaos" that was popular a while back.

Website: Home Of Poi

Periodical: The Onion

Hrmmm... I'm sure there are more...


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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will_uk
member
Location: UK
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 83
Posted:This is a wicked thread. I'm definately going to look into some of these titles.

In my (humble) opinion, everybody should read a book called 'The Fabric of Reality' by David Deutsch (sp?). The man takes four cutting edge theories about the world and shows how they are deeply linked. Then he weaves his own view of the universe. Fascinating and contraversial stuff, the man is years ahead of his time. Changed my world.

Oh and 'Men are from Mars, women are from Venus'. Very interesting and absolutely applicable. Didn't read it in time to save my last relationship though.....

William


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FireSpirit
FireSpirit

Classic 90's Fire Dancer... Poi, Staff, Doubles, and Breathing
Location: South Lake Tahoe
Member Since: 29th Mar 2001
Total posts: 743
Posted:Great Tread!!

Now Books, O'God I have a lot of them and Mis Stix said a few:


Celestine Profercies/ Tenth Insight
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Alot of Carlos Castineda!!
The Way of the Peacefull Warrior
Illusions
Rolling Thunder
Tao of Poo
Many Lives, Many Masters
Crystal Enlightenment

But I love fiction too:
The Hitch Hikers Guide (all of them)
Tolken's, Hobbit
& Lord of the Rings
C.S. Lewis~ Narnia books
Alice in Wonderland ~ & Behind the Looking Glass
Herry Potter
Just to name a few influences.

Movies are:

The Matrix
Lord of the Rings
Star Wars
The Quiet Man
The Karatee Kid (when I was a boy)
Catty Shack
All of Josphe Camble's teachings~ Power of Myth, The hero cycle, Many Masks, ect.
The Wall had a Great impact too!!
Bible Stories and Movies taught me alot whe I was young.
I could go on and on. My Mom has over 500 movies at home!!

Music was:


Cat Stevens

Motzart, Chopain, Back, Betoven
Most any Opera... Carmin, The Messija
Sacred Spirit II

Pink Floid
Led Zepplin
Ani Difranco
Crosby, Steels, Nash
Dave Mathews and Bella Fleck
Ray Charles
The Rainbow Connection ~Kermit~ It's not easy being Green


I could go on and on. I love music!! But these are a few that Lift my soul!

There is a whole lot that makes me up I guess??

Thanks for the intrest

~Fire Spirit


FIRE IS ALIVE!
IT LIVES AND BREATHS!
IT CONSUMES, AND DISTROYS!
BUT WE CONTROL IT,
AND DANCE WITH FIRE!!

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Jonathan Livingston Seagull...

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:wow, lots of responses!

but rather than just let this be a "hmm, i liked this and this and this," try to list WHY you enjoyed a piece of literature or music or film so very much!

everybody always asks what things people like for some vague general sense of shared interests. i'm asking what's changed the way you look at the world. if you can, try to verbalize how it's changed you - that's the interesting part!

*hug* commnunity,
-k.


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:Hagakure

PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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Itsgottab
member
Location: NZ
Member Since: 7th Nov 2001
Total posts: 244
Posted:charlie you blazing inferno you, the seagull has returned. i can't beleive it charlie you surprise me today, thankyou evermuch.

i meet this guy paul when i was 19 he had a pretty big impact on me to the present. i enjoyed carlos castineda at that time but later found it was fiction and had forgotten most of the riddle anyway.

movies thou 'bad boy bubby' that was a classic aussie movie

miss kaosdancer you are in some need of serious sleep

[ 11. February 2003, 11:41: Message edited by: Itsgottab ]


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KaosDancer
member
Location: wash. dc | the space between s...
Member Since: 5th Feb 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:
wHAt makEs YOu sAy tHAt?

i've only been up about 28 hours so far. sometimes i'll get a wild insomniac hair up my ass and just... not sleep. like, ever. sometimes it lasts a day or two, sometimes five.

go go gadget psychosis~



-k.


:[ Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. :[ Reaching out to embrace the random. :[ Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. __/( tool: lateralus )/

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Axis
member
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 4th May 2001
Total posts: 171
Posted:2001:A Space Odyssey

The stargate sequence has defined the nature of my whole life, no joke. I am obsessed with the manipulation of light within space (poi, film, photography, fire, pyrotechnics all of what i do stems from Kubrick and Douglas Thrumball's vision).

Axis


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DeepSoulSheep
DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:How do you guys think the Matix changed you lives??? You do realise the Matrix isn't real don't you?? Isn't it? Errr, shit I hope it is anywho. tis my favourite movie though....

2 books immediately spring to mind....
1) the Alchemist
2) Pay it forward


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Axis:
the manipulation of light within space doesn't that include pretty much everything anyone ever does (wearing different colour clothes, moving and so on)...?

anyway, my pickiness aside for the moment i don't know about life changing but...

book: vurt by jeff noon gave me fresh views on dreams and drugs

film: mulholland drive by david lynch made me rethink my whole opinion of 'what a good film is'


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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simian
simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London
Member Since: 11th Oct 2002
Total posts: 3149
Posted:Book: "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig

This is going to sound like such New Agey rubbish, but this book "Really opened my eyes to different ways of thinking". Stop laughing, it did, ok? Plus its got motorbikes, an incredible experimental narrative structure, motorbikes, a fascinating view of the relationship between Traditional Eastern and Western philosophy and a bit on a mountain. What more do you want?


Book: "Philosophical Investigations" by Ludwig Wittgenstein

This is a pretty short, easy to read book. It main theme is about the way that humans think and interact being dictated by our language, and the consequences of that. Its very good.
WARNING: Do not attempt to read anything else by Wittgenstein. He wrote this one at the end of his life, after he'd stopped being really obtuse and boring. Reading stuff he wrote before this could well make you tear out your eyes and fling them out of a window. possibly.

Film: "Gummo" by Harmony Korine

Everyone I've ever shown this film to has said it was rubbish, it didn't make sense, and that they thought all the characters were really nasty and unlikeable. In all likelihood you will agree. I liked it though, you bastards.
Its a film for people who treat films more like paintings than stories, and like Coleman's saying about Mulholland Drive, it showed me a different way to enjoy films.


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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ivan..
ivan..

member
Location: Halifax, NS
Member Since: 12th Oct 2002
Total posts: 165
Posted:Ivan's list of books/movies/music

books...
top 3
the man who planted trees - jean giono
the art of war - sun tzu
halloween tree - ray bradbury


also in no particular order....
smoke and mirrors/watchmen/anything by h.p. lovecraft/shorts by harlan ellison and stephen king/ etc... i read to relax as well as expand my mind.. i liked the celestine prophecy it was a good laugh and the sequel " i need nore money " was just as entertaining ..

music...
the decline - nofx
tommy ( 2 Lp set) - the who
secret world live - peter gabriel

and lots of new stuff and lots of old stuff
i still don't have an apreciation for rap .. but thats just me


movies/T.V

law&order/oz/homicide(rip)/the new dragnet
the quiet man
maverick

anything with mel gibson/ bruce willis ... actors that can really take a punch ( and get beat up good )


books movies and music are for entertainment
i read some spiritual books and the bible when i want to question my faith .. and watch discovery chanel/learningchane/A&E when i feel too stupid...


i am not defined totally by the way i choose to entertain myself


thats right i look like an albino ape that has had a bad day.. go ahead say something stupid... i dare ya !

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ivan..
ivan..

member
Location: Halifax, NS
Member Since: 12th Oct 2002
Total posts: 165
Posted:oh my god i forgot to mention the prestige and the deptford trilogy and the chrysalids and enders game .. maybe i should stop

thats right i look like an albino ape that has had a bad day.. go ahead say something stupid... i dare ya !

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Fire-N-Water
member

Member Since: 2nd Jan 2003
Total posts: 36
Posted:Thank you everyone for sharing so many of the suggestions with all of us! I found a copy of Brave New World at the library this weekend. Definitely interesting so far. They are calling in Jonathan Livingstones Seagull and should have it this week. Looking forward to that, too.

And I thought of a few more myself!

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Read the introduction before the book, definitely. It is quite a set up to hear that the author was not the person who strove to have it published, it was his mother, because he was dead. His mother found the novel in his things after he had passed on and she was the one who went to professors and so forth with her sons novel. Finally, after a long time of persisting, the mother got a teacher to review the novel and he loved it. The professor took it upon himself to push the book into print and it won the Pulitzer Prize. And it is hilarious. Just a rip roaring good time. I was on a plane when I ate this one up laughing out loud all through the flight! Highly recommend it.

"Man Bites Dog and here is a review I found of it: "MAN BITES DOG (C'est arriv prs de chez vous) is a Belgian movie directed by Rmy Belvaux in 1992. Rmy and his crew are shooting a documentary about Ben, a serial-killer who will explain in front of the camera his technique and his tricks. Ben will also produce the picture when Rmy runs out of money. Soon, the crew takes a more and more important part in Ben's bloody journey. " ---- remember while you watch it that it is just a joke.

I dont know if these pieces changed my life forever, but they sure charged my emotions while I was experiencing them.


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DaiTenshi
member
Location: Stillwater, OK
Member Since: 27th Sep 2002
Total posts: 104
Posted:What a thought provoking thread.... I've never actually thought of it really.

Hmmmmm, me gets to work!

Processing
...
...
...

In high school, of all the books they required I read, the only ones that meant a thing to me were Animal Farm, 1984, and Lord of the Flies (god I hated Tess of the d'Urbervilles). Most of the stuff I read in my spare time is scifi stuff, big machines, interstellar politics etc; intriguing but nnot all together enlightening. Have to say that Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Shogun (well, anything by Clavell, love his stuff), and The Book of Five Rings have all meant something to me. Everyonce in a while a professor can sneak a pretty enlightening tome into the mix though; Nawal El Saadawi's "Woman at Point Zero" is pretty damn hard to forget.

Movies, fairly standard list: Fight Club, Dogma, Chasing Amy, The Hidden Fortress. Buffy, Black Heaven, Ghost in the Shell.... ah a child of the modern media.

Anywho, very interesting.


No one knows me like I do.

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