Film Magistery #8: The Mirror/Tarkovsky’s Time Sculpting

Tarkovsky’s The Mirror is undoubtedly one of the true masterpieces in the magical world of cinema. In this episode Dino talks about Tarkovsky and his concept of the so-called Time Sculpting, which is here explored in his seminal work “The Mirror” (1975).

And no, there is no awkward impersonation of Tarkovsky’s Russian accent in this episode.

For more, visit the Film Magistery website.

LINKS:
The Mirror on IMDb.
The Mirror on Letterboxd.

Follow Film Magistery on Facebook.

Music
Kevin MacLeod: Ghost Dance
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Freeda watch – SS36 Gran Turismo

Those who know me are well aware that I am mostly preoccupied with poetry, media and history. But not many people know that I am an avid horologophile, you know, a watch enthusiast.

I was always interested in the concept of time. It is not a mystery why I wrote a BA thesis on the film-maker Aleksei Tarkovsky and his concept of so-called ‘time scuplting’, which is especially materialized in his masterpiece The Mirror (1975). Even in my MA thesis I have briefly touched upon this theme.
This is also one of the areas I used most of time (pun unintended) when I write poetry, short stories or academic works. I guess, it is a logical thing that I am interested in watches, being small, sophisticated apparatuses trying to keep time. I am mostly interested in automatic watches, since their organic nature appeal mostly to me, but of course all started with a stylish Q&Q watch with blue dial I received by my father twenty five years ago, while we lived in the western Jutland. Since then, I was fascinated with the apparent complexity, machinery and the precision these objects (often) have.

Several days ago I stumbled on an interesting Italian run Kickstarter project called Freeda Vintage Watches. They are inspired by the style of the 1960s and renowned Dolce Vita. The team behind the project wishes to offer a new interpretation of luxury by reviving the concept of “sprezzatura”. According to Wikipedia, Sprezzatura is “an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, where it is defined by the author as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”. It is the ability of the courtier to display “an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them”.

What I really like about these watches, is the model SS36 Gran Turismo with wonderful combination of the green dial and yellow hands. Not to forget quality Italian leather straps. What drew me to this watch is an excellent color contrast, which makes it really easy to read time on this timepiece. Also, there will be used sapphire crystal with anti-scratch coating, which is a much better protection than regular mineral crystal. The movement could have been better (but also much more expensive), but Miyota 8215 is older, proven and reliable workhorse. It is non-hacking, but offers unidirectional hand-winding. Its power-reserve is approximately 42 hours.

I am looking forward to wear this watch, hopefully some time in November 2017. More about this project on their official website and Kickstarter.

SS36GT specifics:

  • Size (diameter/thickness): 40 mm / 7 mm
  • Case: 316L Stainless Steel, chromed
  • Back case: Transparent sapphire crystal with anti-scratch coating
  • Movement: Japanese Miyota Automatic Movement 8215
  • Date function: Yes @ 3:00 o’clock
  • Luminous hands and dial: Yes, photoluminescent lume
  • Water resistant: 10 ATM, 100 meters
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-scratch finish
  • Hands: Hours/minute hand size; 9.00 x 11.00 mm – Second hand size: 13.00 mm
  • Crown size: 5.00 mm
  • Strap: Genuine Italian leather
  • Strap size: 20 mm, best fit for 14 – 22 cm wrist
  • Available strap colours: Brown or black textured hole leather
  • Buckle: Stainless steel chromed buckle.

An Orient

So I treated myself with a new watch. It is an entry-level Orient watch, and it is an automatic. My first automatic, and I love how organic it feels.
Orient is one of not many watchmaking companies that do every part of their timepieces in-house.

Data:

ref: FEM7L007W9
– movement: automatic
– case material: stainless steel
– dial colour: white
– bezel material: stainless steel
– bezel function: fixed bezel
– glass material: hardened mineral glass
– water resistance: 5 atm water-resistant according to DIN standard 8310
– other functions: day display / date display
– bracelet material: leather
– bracelet colour: black
– bracelet locking clasp: buckle
– specifics: illuminated hands

dimensions:

– case calibre: 42 mm
– case height: 13 mm
– bracelet length: for wrists up to 21 centimetre (1 cm or 10 mm = 0,39 inches) circumference
– web width: 22 mm
– weight: approx 92 grams (1 gram = 0,035 oz)

Orient_EM7L_K5e (manual)

Film Magistery #7: 12 Years A Slave/A Man in Chains

In the seventh episode of Film Magistery Dino talks about slavery throughout history. The Code of Hammurabi is mentioned, and so is the slavery in Africa, Europe and the United States.  And do we have slavery in modern times, here in 2017?
The reference to the concept of slavery is Steve McQueen’s powerful film 12 Years A Slave (2013).

For more visit the Film Magistery website: magistery.dk

12 Years A Slave, poster

Resources

Code of Hammurabi.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/ham/ham05.htm

Roger Crowley, Conquerors: How Portugal Forget The First Global Empire, 2002.

International Labor Organization: 21 million are now victims of forced labor
http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_181961/lang–en/index.htm

Slave Voyages

How Many Slaves Landed in the U.S.?

“12 Years a Slave.” Dir. Steve McQueen. Fox Searchlight, 2013.

Hans Zimmer: Solomon
Copyright © 2013 Columbia Records

Photo and video footage from pexels.com

Sapiens

It’s been long time since I wrote something about a book I have read. I feel it is a high time for that, especially because Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, written by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, is in my opinion a must read for everyone who is interested in the history  and the progress of humankind.

Harari takes his reader on a journey almost to the beginning of time or 13.5 billion years ago, when the Big Bang occurred. However, his focus is on Homo sapiens, a peculiar species of great apes that existed around 150,000 years.

Reading this book is so interesting, everything is so fast-paced and extremely informative, that it feels like binge-watching a quality TV-series. Harari is very entertaining, a great educator and a guy with a lot of humor.

He divides human history in three distinct eras or revolutions: The Cognitive Revolution (about 70,000 years ago), The Agricultural Revolution (12,000 years ago) and The Scientific Revolution (500 years ago).

The book is chock-full with interesting information, assertions and  proclamations, such as:

  • “[…] myths give Sapiens the unprecedented ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers” (27),
  • “Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, there hasn’t been a single natural way of life for Sapiens” (51),
  • “Domesticated chickens and cattle may well be an evolutionary success story, but they are also among the most miserable creatures that ever lived” (104f),
  • “The discrepancy between evolutionary success and individual suffering is perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the Agricultural Revolution” (109),
  • “[Capitalism] is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do” (391).

I like how Harari treats all ideologies, such as national socialism, fascism, communism and all other -isms, but also economic systems as capitalism to be almost  some kind of of religion (see for instance page 260 where he calls various forms of humanisms downright humanist religions).  Furthermore he concludes rightfully that before the Scientific Revolution the largest part of humankind didn’t believe in progress. It all changed with capitalism.

I warmly recommend Sapiens and regard it as a very import educational literature, and a good starting point for all those who are interested in history (that is, a history of humankind). This book gives a holistic, yet detail-rich insight into the mind of a peculiar species that reigns on a little blue planet we call the Earth.