Breaking Bad : A Time to Reflect

Breaking Bad has become quite the phenomenon. I love the show. I love it for all the reasons that other people love it: it’s alluringly realistic drug deals, it’s fantastic twists, which would make a cyclone jealous. But there is one thing that moves me more than all of those things. What really shines and moves me in Breaking Bad is its ability to reflect.

Breaking Bad is a show that respects pacing as much as it does storytelling. It takes no rush in telling its story. It does not have to, after all. The show is so intense because it takes its time building the suspense, but it also takes it’s time to breathe.

There is a scene so stuck in my mind from the second episode of season one that I still can recall it. The green grass, the suburban sprinkler, the two middle class mothers powerwalking past, the peaceful and somber xylophone music playing in the Golden Hour of the sunset, which is the show’s hot metaphor for death. It struck me so hard because it recognized death as a powerful example of why life is important. There are so many movies that focus on death and easily disregard it, so we as the viewer accept it, almost as a mundane thing. But Breaking Bad shines in how it shows the importance and scariness of death, which is something that has moved me since I first watched it.

Payday: The Heist — To Rob, To Thief, To Pilfer: It is me

For a while, I wanted to explain why games were art because of this topic’s long winded debate. But being that I am part of the Digital Design program here at VFS, it has come to my attention that games are not the only debate in the scheme of things. Design itself seems to be under the attack of being “not art” as well. The reason for this seems to be that design is there to solve a problem. It is meant to communicate, with it’s main purpose being some sort of connection between two parties rather than the expression of one. That being said, to me, this does not mean it cannot be beautiful and become art. To me, games, as well as it’s umbrella of design, are art, thus making Payday: The Heist a work of art that has moved me.
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Hey ‘End of the World’, take note of the tiny wonder called Botanicula

Still from preview for the game Botanicula

In the world of First Person Shooters and Post Apocalyptic wastelands, beautiful, gritty landscapes begin to feel somewhat tiresome after a while. I think I must have saved the world enough times over to make even Superman a little jealous. Needless to say, First Person Shooter games these days are structured so well that they have become incredibly and wonderfully average. So where do I turn? — The Indie market, of course!

Amanita Design, a company that released the sleeper hit Machinarium (impressively on a budget of $1000), has recently released another tiny wonder called Botanicula. I’m aiming more at the conventional in terms of aesthetic beauty in this article. I mean, look at this thing: It’s beautiful. From it’s rich, organic wildlife, to it’s bizarre creatures inhabiting the world, to lovely and cute music by DVA, Botanicula is a charming Point & Click that pulls me away from the end of my world, so that I can save these characters.
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Bronson : The Man, The Myth, The Celebrity — by Nicholas Winding Refn

There are few movies in this world that I stick to, in terms of emotional resonance, but Bronson is one that I just cannot seem to let go of. Bronson, by Nicholas Winding Refn (the director of the instant cult classic: Drive), is a lesser known film that seems to capture the very essence of Michael “Charles Bronson” Peterson, Britain’s “most violent prisoner.” I honestly love Nicholas Winding Refn because I feel his passion in his films — each one of which has moved me in some way — but this one in particular has not only moved me, but even pushed me to become a better filmmaker. Refn’s work is such a powerhouse — Bronson is the framework for Bronson’s mind. There is an energy that comes from the film. The combination of classical music mixed with contemporary editing, the spectacular acting by Tom Hardy in his breakout role, and the weird artistic and graphic ‘ADHD aesthetic’ of Bronson’s drawings coming to life on screen, truly make for an awe-inspiring wonder of existential psychology and voyeurism.
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