Saturday, January 05, 2008


German films usually don't appeal to me at all. I normally find them too rough and the humor not subtle enough. For some reason I ended up watching Keinohrhasen nevertheless and I was quite impressed. Sometimes you don't even notice it's a Romance. The self-reflexiveness and self-irony of the film and Til Schweiger intrigued me a lot - the statements he makes about actors and the world of stardom, the media and male and female thinking are more profound than you'd expect in your average film (at least those films that Hollywood churns out).
I was thinking recently which film of 2007 I liked best, but couldn't find any that I'd recommend without any "if"s and "but"s. Stardust came closest, but had too many kitsch elements in a few scenes. In contrast, I never felt that Keinohrhasen was really kitschy at any point. It was throughout funny and enjoyable. I couldn't really name the difference to Hollywood, though. Just that this is the first film in a long time that I'd watch more than once.
(But, incidentally, I didn't feel like watching another film after leaving the cinema. I guess there are two types of films that do that to you - those that are utterly crap and don't fulfill your expectations the least, and make you lose your faith in the film industry; and those that are very good, so you don't need to see another film in a while, because they give you all you search for in a film.)


Came across a nice page that shows how food looks in ads compared to what you get when you actually buy it. But, frankly, not even the ads really make me want to buy/eat that stuff, because they scream Fast Food (or maybe it's because pictures don't convey smell?).


Small preview of a painting I'm working on right now:


Magpie said...

some of that food does really look disgusting! But then again, I wouldn't eat any of it anyway. I'm not eating any fast food, except for the occasional pizza, even though that has sometimes meant going hungry on school trips and even water polo matches.

Anonymous said...

Funny pictures, indeed! But there is something that makes me think:

Although I as well do not eat fast food, some of the pictures on the right side appeal much more to me then those on the left side. I suppose the reason is that I hate food that looks artificial.

One thing comes into my mind when looking at these pictures: I have seen a movie showing the production of an billboard-campaign - from the first photos taken to the finished ad. The camera was always fixed on the woman the ad showes. Unfortunately I do not remember the link to that movie.

The result was also an ad that looked very artificial...
More nature, less artificiality!


Manuela said...

That's Dove Evolution:

I'm a bit two-minded about that spot, though. Dove is trying to sell beauty products, too, so I'm not sure if they have the right to point a finger at the beauty industry and accuse them.
But the spot has also raised awareness and made lots of people feel better about themselves. So, kudos to Dove. I'm just not sure if they're not solely aiming at increasing their profit with that angle (just like H&M and C&A selling organic clothes; or Lidl's attempt of a joint-venture with Basic).

Another interesting link with regards to ads:
Thankfully, the people whose comments I read on these photos said that all the retouched pictures look uninteresting and that the retouching took all the personality out of the people. You also learn to spot the retouched parts pretty quickly when you've looked at some of these pictures.

Manuela said...

Hm. Gotta copy and paste those links. Blogger seems to be incompetent, or I messed something up with the code (again... I hate HTML).

Anonymous said...

first: HTML is dead. Long live XHTML! ;-)

Hm, I forget such things very quickly. Links I mean. Luckily not everybody does so. Dove Evolution! Yeah. Although they are in beauty industry they had a mindshift. They changed their image and are now using real human beeings for their ads. I suppose this is the reason why they released this spot. That does not mean they were not used to do the same before. I think media shapes our perception of reality very much. Also as far as beauty is concerned.

The pictures of Again the original versions are somehow much more interesting. The polished, retouched ones look like plastic - also too much contrast I think. Alwas the same aesthetics.

But I know also the voice of the customers ;-)
"No, I am not that fat in reality!" they say - or "not that old" or whatever. Once I retouched the picture of one of our customers' wife. Afterwards everyone thought she was the daughter of her husband...

Crazy world. But that shows that still too many humans - if not everybody - have a weird concept of ideal beauty. Plastic rulez?
We are so many steps from a society that is mentally hale. And I do not exempt myself from that!

Good night,

Manuela said...

Ugh, XHTML. And PHP, and CSS,... my programming effort ended after I taught myself the rough fundamentals of HTML. I don't have time to learn a new programming language every few years just because someone decides that what used to be the norm is outdated now :/

Interesting that you say the pictures have too much contrast. I've always been told that high contrast is good (when it comes to paintings) and to use the widest possible tonal value range. So I guess I'm also already conditioned to find high contrast better than low contrast pictures.

It's hard to believe that people actually want to be retouched beyond the point of recognition. I'm always thinking that all those stars who get retouched so much must feel bad, because it gives the impression that the world doesn't want their faces, only the faces that Photoshop creates. It also surprised me to see the two wedding photos on the glennferon site - that anyone would want to look at their own wedding photos and think "That's not really me". You'd think with a good photographer you don't need those tricks. There's already so much you can do simply with lighting and angles.

That actually reminds me of a book I've heard of. In it, an average-looking guy (or below-average, no idea) comes to a world that is inhabited by all-beautiful people. Because everybody there is beautiful, beauty became normal to them, so the guy is revered like a star (or god) for being "above" the norm.
I found that to be an interesting idea, although I'd think it more realistic that the guy gets excluded and is shunned as an outsider for looking differently. I don't remember the title or author of the book , though (or maybe I wasn't told), so I could never read it myself.

It's sad that we give so much importance to beauty and the look of our body, when it has actually no relevance at all. The body as a status symbol...
We should have a button that let's us turn off vanity. Would make things easier. Less self-consciousness. Less ego. I notice regularly how it blocks me.

Anonymous said...

If you take it serious, HTML is a markup language, CSS is a language to format structured documents, PHP and javascript are scripting languages but can also be be termed as programming languages. A real programming language used on the web is Java. *G*

About the contrast I would say that a high one is really most of the time desirable. The lightest color in a photo should nearly be white, the darkest nearly black. But in my opinion the high contrast should not be applied to skin. This is the reason why photographers use powder. A skin with too much contrast looks either wet and sweaty or like plastic when retouched too much. The guys from went over the top I think ^^

The term "beautiful" expresses a very subjective sensation. Although we are very much conditioned by the Photoshop-manipulated photos in media I think - or hope - we have enough autonomy left to decide for ourselves what is beautiful for us ;-)


Manuela said...

Mh, yeah. There are enough subcultures that have their own standards of beauty, which are completely different to the image the media gives us.
I also sometimes feel that people just say they find a certain type of person/body attractive because the media (or their peers) says so. But in the end, what's appealing to them is a different thing altogether.

Anonymous said...


Have you seen "Immer nie am Meer"?
If not try it, it's goood! (Austrian Comedy with Dirk Stermann, Christoph Grisseman & Heinz Strunk)

For me it was the best movie of 2007...

Manuela said...

No, I haven't seen it (yet). The trailer looks a bit weird - not sure if it's the good kind of weird or the dubious one ;)
I'll see if I can get it from somewhere. It seems to be different to what I'm usually watching, and change is usually enjoyable (for me, at least).

Anonymous said...

I saw it in the Movimento and it's been a long time that I've had that much fun in the Cinema, but it's really a little strange (to me in the good way ;) )