Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A very roundabout review of 'Tron Legacy'

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  • nzlemming,

    Eye sex
    Waits for me
    Like a mongrel waits
    Downwind on a tight rope leash

    (just for Leo ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Disney made an anti-corporate film in 1982. There's not a chance it's going to make one in 2010.

    Which begs the most interesting question about Avatar -- did anyone in the largest media corporation on Earth actually read the parts of the script where the entire human race has become a genocidal military-industrial complex? (Or Titanic come to that -- where a rapacious corporation racks up a pretty impressive body count in the class war.)

    But I digress, yes Leo is a very astute film critic. Tron Legacy has a fucking awful script, but I think the deeper problem is that it's a sequel that's too damn reverential to the original and in all the wrong ways. Yes, it was kind of cool seeing all the design elements of the original getting a digital scrub up and I'm glad I paid way too much to see it in Imax. But it would have been nice to see a point of view -- an attitude -- that would have given things like Michael Sheen's Lady Gaga-trapped-in-Ziggy-Stardust's-body turn somewhere else to go.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I won't go and see the new Tron, just because I love Jeff Bridges. And. let's face it, I'm not the demographic for this sort of movie. What I did want to say is that you and Fiona have done, and are doing, an extraordinary job with your boys. I remember first meeting them, and thinking what delightfully polite and sweet young men they were, and on second meeting, having that view reinforced. To see Jim become this large man (looking scarily like his Dad) sitting down to eat with us, and Leo, sitting at his computer, surrounded by a phalanx of small and medium sized boys all in his thrall? Priceless. Whatever you are doing, you are obviously doing it well.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Stephanie Chilcott,

    I have an ASD friend, 19 going on 20 and with no hope of employment. She struggles daily with trying to find a job so I applaud your children and their support system which has identified strengths they will be able to turn into paid work. Just getting an interview with simple work experience is almost beyond her. WINZ is no help: will pay her to go to some waste of space tertiary course, but no assistance with getting to work experience in the nearest city. Her family is small and supportive but her birth date is against her in many ways - born a few years later and maybe her future would be different.

    Thanks for sharing and bringing your readers up to date with your sons progress at 'integrating' into our hard-with-difference society. We've learnt to be tolerant of race etc but are not yet tolerant of those who are different like my friend and your sons. All the best.

    Wairarapa • Since Aug 2010 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Ballantyne, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    As a moderate Jeff Bridges fan, I'll be waiting until February 3 for my next dose. That's when the Coen brothers' True Grit is scheduled to open here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Which begs the most interesting question about Avatar -- did anyone in the largest media corporation on Earth actually read the parts of the script where the entire human race has become a genocidal military-industrial complex?

    That would require them to understand the notion of "subtext". And if they acknowledged the existence of subtext, they'd have to listen when people complained about it. Much easier to pretend it doesn't exist.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    . . . if they acknowledged the existence of subtext, they’d have to listen when people complained about it. Much easier to pretend it doesn’t exist.

    A far more likely possibility than those who habitually use such shoptalk walking the walk and producing a half-way watchable movie themselves.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Thank you, Russell, for such a candid and interesting story. So much for us to learn.

    Re Craig's comment on Avatar; the frequent claims that this film has a radical, anti-corporate and pro-environment message ignores the fact that it effectively inflated the annual profits of its parent company Newscorp (through 20th Century Fox)--arguably the exemplar of greedy, rapacious corporate power.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Re Craig's comment on Avatar; the frequent claims that this film has a radical, anti-corporate and pro-environment message ignores the fact that it effectively inflated the annual profits of its parent company Newscorp (through 20th Century Fox)--arguably the exemplar of greedy, rapacious corporate power.

    I'd say far from ignoring it, that just ramps it up to an all-devlouring Master Control Program of irony that Fox has made billions off two film whose contempt for corporation (be it the white Star Line or Earth Inc.) isn't subtext but blaring neon text. Courtesy of a director who infamously regards "studio suits" with undisguised loathing. I just have my doubts that News Corp or Fox quite get it, or even want to. And why should they: As Liberace said when asked how he responded to bad reviews: "I cry all the way to the bank."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    But we still don’t really know what’s going to happen to them.

    Does any parent? You guys have that mystery laid wide open in front of you and obvious but I don't think many parents can truly know what will happen for their children.

    At least you have the awareness of that and have the bravery to face that unknown. I'm sure the love you have for your children will carry you through what ever happens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I liked the headline on Stuff yesterday about Tron: "A new Tron bomb" - very witty.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Hi Russell - can you point me to any more NotSchool information or theri site - I looked but google has failed me (other than a couple of blgos about it).

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Stephanie Chilcott,

    Thanks for sharing and bringing your readers up to date with your sons progress at 'integrating' into our hard-with-difference society. We've learnt to be tolerant of race etc but are not yet tolerant of those who are different like my friend and your sons. All the best.

    Ironically, we took in Eve van Grafhorst with open arms when Australia ostracised her through no fault of her own. Have we as a nation altruistically devolved since then, or has such spirit always been selective?

    And speaking of "anti-corporate films", The Man Sticking It To The Man isn't a new thing. Apple's 1984, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Whoops,

    Hi Russell – can you point me to any more NotSchool information or theri site – I looked but google has failed me (other than a couple of blgos about it).

    Email me by clicking that little envelope icon and I'll put you in touch with Jean.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Jean Hughes,

    Hi Russell
    thanks for the acknowledgment but really it was all a big group effort with your family also helping with Notschool. Leo's qualifications are standard UK quals and equivalent to 1/2 a GCSE each - so it was a truly fantastic effort from him.
    Anyone wanting to learn about Notschool can here or emailing me at jeanh@notschool.net.
    I feel I should say Notschool is not supported here in New Zealand and I doubt it will ever be, but I am happy to help any other home schooling people with ideas or pointers.

    Mangere • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    A far more likely possibility than those who habitually use such shoptalk walking the walk and producing a half-way watchable movie themselves.

    ...is that seriously a "If you don't write movies you're not allowed to complain about them?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Of course not. Unless they're utter turkeys, movies have some resonance outside of the world that spawned them. Subtext, not.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid,

    Though neither Tron, nor Tron Legacy is memorably quote-worthy, within the broad genre, as Bladerunner

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.

    or 2001: A Space Odessy

    Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL

    and

    Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

    Not wanting to be at all critical Russell, nor pedantic, but I'm interested that you said

    He and his older brother are both Asperger Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum.

    It reads as if Asperger Sydrome is a defining feature, in the same way that you would say he is male and 15 years old. As opposed to Asperger Sydrome being something he has, as you would say if he had diabetes.

    My nephew has Down Sydrome. Certainly his genetic make up is a large part of his life, not least because of the medical problems he has that are associated with Down Sydrome. But there is so much more to him that isn't about his chromosomes. I don't think I would say he is Down Sydrome.

    Perhaps Asperger Syndrome is all-pervadingly present in Leo's life and the way you said it is conscious. I only have experience of Asperger Sydrome, rather briefly and narrowly, from behind the doctor's desk. I'm certainly no Asperger expert, nor as knowledgable about all the implications, social and otherwise, as parents with kids on the autism spectrum. But I thought I'd ask.

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Matthew Reid,

    It reads as if Asperger Sydrome is a defining feature, in the same way that you would say he is male and 15 years old. As opposed to Asperger Sydrome being something he has, as you would say if he had diabetes.

    Russell may well have a different take on this, but I'd say that something like Asperger's, which helps shape one's worldview and way of thinking - even if the behaviours aren't obvious, the way of perceiving the world is still there - is something people are, far more than something they have. Take my brother-in-law's Asperger's away, and he would literally be a different person. Which is why a lot of teenagers/adults on the spectrum choose to identify as Aspies, and define people who aren't on the spectrum as "neurotypical".

    Of course, this is complex, and people on the autistic spectrum, (and their parents) differ. But it's certainly not unusual for someone to identify, or be identified, as Asperger's.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Russell may well have a different take on this, but I’d say that something like Asperger’s, which helps shape one’s worldview and way of thinking – even if the behaviours aren’t obvious, the way of perceiving the world is still there – is something people are, far more than something they have.

    Yes, that’s it, and my choice of words is conscious and consistent. It’s my way of recognising that their experience of the world is profoundly different to mine. Leo experiences sound, smell and light differently. The fact that he might have to leave the kitchen if there’s a curry cooking doesn’t mean his response to the overwhelming smell is wrong, just different.

    Managing this is often a subtle business. When Leo and I went to visit Helen and Chelfyn Baxter (Aspies the both), Helen put down a couple of savouries on a plate next to him – then immediately realised he had a problem with it and moved the plate. It was sweet to see someone else be aware of these things.

    He can read text off a screen differently to you or me – sometimes it seems like he takes in a whole screen of text in one go. And his hearing – same ears, different brain – is amazing. Jimmy, a movie buff, remembers huge swathes of dialogue, and has always “played back” stuff he’s seen – his lips will move, he laughs at the jokes, he’s actually seeing it.

    When you say that someone “has” Aspergers, it sounds as if it’s an affliction, or something they’ll get over, rather than the neurophysiology they’re born with.

    Aspies often do learn to live well in the neurotypical world, but they don’t stop being Aspies.

    And don’t get me started on “curing” autism …

    Of course, this is complex, and people on the autistic spectrum, (and their parents) differ. But it’s certainly not unusual for someone to identify, or be identified, as Asperger’s.

    Or as "neurodiverse".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Reid,

    Not wanting to be at all critical Russell, nor pedantic, but I’m interested that you said

    Not at all. I don't mind explaining it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Leo experiences sound, smell and light differently. The fact that he might have to leave the kitchen if there’s a curry cooking doesn’t mean his response to the overwhelming smell is wrong, just different.

    I've never had a diagnosis but I can really relate to the different reaction to smells. There are certain cleaning products we just can't have in the house because of how they affect me. It's almost reassuring to know the smell thing isn't just me.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Just wave a bottle of bleach near me - I gag.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    A “memorable” quote from Tron Legacy:

    Clu: Your move, Flynn. Come on!

    Share this quote!

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    OTOH, the neurotypical spectrum seems to me to run from this:

    through this:

    to this:

    Agree on the smells, plus noises, plus lights, people randomly entering my space… most of the day is like living inside a pinball machine, so I’m rarely out of doors without sunglasses an iPod to tone it down and give it a bit of structure… but I love social interaction of teaching – I just get peopled out by the end of the day and consider a weekend ruined if I have to talk to anyone.

    I’d suggest watching the superb Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould to anyone who wants to know about AS, or listening to his CBC documentaries such as The Idea of North. He died before AS entered the DSM IV, but he’s pretty much AS’s poster boy. I have my suspicions about Stanley Kubrick too…

    Unfortunately, someone who I had to work with (and won’t work with again), who supposedly has letters after their name and should know better, decided that I had “issues” that I was imposing on them. I think I hate the term “issues” as much as I hate “going forward.”

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

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