• 3 Quick Reviews

last modified August 17, 2012 by strypey

by Danyl Strype 

Film: Terminator 3

Big-budget cheese to some, but I've always liked the subversive, technology-gone-mad themes of Arnie's sci-fi films. While T3 could easily be seen as a cash-in on past success - and it will certainly cash in - it does twist the concepts of fate and destiny as set up by the first two films. T2 ends on an upbeat note, the future being uncertain, anything being possible. T3 asserts that historical 'bookmarks' like the rise and fall of civilizations are inevitable and like death, can only be delayed, not prevented.

If the use of time travel in the film can be seen as an analogy for previous generations trying to prevent the same catastrophes they suffered happening to the current one, T3 suggests that no matter how many stories parents tell of their wasted youth their kids will make the same mistakes. That the lessons of the past ARE doomed to be repeated. That every attempt to intervene in an oncoming disaster will be seen only in hindsight to be an inevitable part of the catastophic process.

Not bad for a 2 hour pay-per-view advertisment for 'Terminator 4 - Future War Eyecandy' ;)

CD: Harvark, Memory Barge

This was among a bunch of mostly crap guitar-band CDs I got for $1 each. Whereas most of them were dribbly style-over-substance britpop, Hardvark are a refreshing slab of steaming sonics remeniscent of such low-fi pioneers as Sonic Youth, Pavement and Sebadoh but with a more mainstream orientated 3-5 minute pop song format. No 10-15 minute jam epics for these guys! Quirky guitar riffs, amusing lyrics (a bit of Marcy Playgroundishness), energetic singing and suitably supportive rhythm section.

Book: David Zindell, The Broken God

This sequal to Neverness (I have yet to read the third in the series) follows the journey of, Danlo, an adolescent boy from his home among primitive tribespeople into a futuristic city where he joins the Pilots Academy and participates in the rise of a new religion based on the veneration of his birth father.

Zindell is a genius. His writing is poignant and fluid and he seamlessly merges traditional 'planet and spaceship' sci-fi with cyberpunk virtualism and even aspects of primitivist fantasy (à la Clan of the Cave Bear) and flavours of medieval Asia, especially in the philosophy and lifestyle practices of many of the characters.

Unlike many 'future history' authors for whom characters are just props to hang action plotlines and fiddly technical discriptions on, Zindell's characters are engaging and contradictory, demonstrating crises of development as the story progresses. Highly recommended.

(note: while Decommodifying Music was the first piece of writing I had published in Boheme, this was my first after being accepted as a regular contributor)

Originally published in Boheme Magazine (November, 2003)

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