Perfect, Black and Blue Swan

Get out of your mind! Its Wednesday, March 30, 2011, my brain is going a bunch of different directions, and this is The Side. The reason for my brain going so many different ways will be apparent soon considering my recent viewing habits. Fortunately, I've got a good audience to keep me rooted in reality.


Darren Brown had questions. I have answers.

Hey Marty, is the Uraken Uchi a fake or a nose buster?
The Uraken Uchi, or back fist, is a favorite technique of mine. It works much like a jab in western boxing. Its great for setting up combos and creating openings. It can be used as a fake or feint to try to open a hole in an opponent's defenses, but when I throw it, I'm throwing with force. The technique can work great for stunning someone. Pop them in the eye, nose, or upper lip and you'll definitely get some good results. You're not likely to get good,reliable knockout power from it, but its still a great technique. But then again, the missus put her previous sensei in a hospital with an Urakan Uchi so there's always exceptions to the rule.

How's the toe?
Diseased! Or infested. It ended up being a case of athlete's foot which I'm currently dosing and hoping will go away soon. Looks like I'll be wearing shoes to the dojo for a while. I think One spot on my toe got rubbed raw when I got sand in my work shoe and had a hole in my sock. From there it make catching a nasty fungus that much easier. It had a hole in my mighty foot callous armor.


A while back I went to the movies and saw BLACK SWAN. For those who haven't seen it, its a psychological thriller centered around a repressed ballet dancer. Its a very, very good movie and quite a head trip. We currently live in a comparative society, meaning when we experience something we automatically try to compare it something else. I'm guilty of this too. The movie I could best compare it to was an anime feature from the 90s, PERFECT BLUE. There's been a bit of back and forth as to whether PERFECT BLUE was an influence is creating BLACK SWAN, but one way or another there's a lot of similarities.

PERFECT BLUE was a complete head trip. It centered around a young pop star who was venturing into acting. Both films featured likable, sweet, young women as protagonists. Both also had their protagonists being put through a change in character. Both involve performing arts. Both have a heavy sexual element to them. I have a copy of it which I hadn't watched in probably ten years. I had a VHS player hooked up the other night and came across the old tape so I fired it up.

I do have to say that this movie is a lot more graphic than I remember. While the fake rape scene stuck in my mind, I had forgotten about the brutal murders that took place. That's another thing the two have in common: quite a bit of stabbing.

Now, this movie came out in 1997 in Japan. It was loosely based on a novel and was originally going to be a live action film but a major earthquake damaged the movie studio. Now, let's keep this time in context. 1997. The internet was still fresh and new. One of the pivotal points in this film is the main character, Mema, discovering a website called "Mema's Room" which was pretty much a blog for her. In it she talked about what she did, and shared her thoughts with her fans. The problem was she didn't write any of it. This is way before the social media boom, back when e-mail was the hot new thing.

So we've got an early version of a blog as well as a case of identity theft going on. In this respect its almost as if the movie was ahead of its time by about ten years.

The main thing the stories both revolve around is aspects of a performance have a major influence in the performer's real life compounded by hallucinations. BLACK SWAN is good with this to the point that I was questioning whether or not the mother even existed. However, as good as BLACK SWAN was at making me question what I was seeing PERFECT BLUE does it ten times better. It ratchets it up to Hitchcock levels to the point where the viewer is completely thrown barely having any idea what it real, what is imagined, and what is on the TV show Mema is on. So people really don't like being confused by the stories they're working through, and as a general rule its not a good idea to confuse your audience, but stories like this are the exception. It gives the audience a better understanding of what the character is going through.


This is my jam, yo!

OK, that's all for the whiskey portion of your week. I'll see y'all on the foxtrot.

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