Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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The Story of Film

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‘The Story of Film: An Odyssey,’ by Mark Cousins, at MoMA - The New York Times
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The History of Film: A Fresh Perspective | Facets Features

There are lapses,  as well as an ideology that does not, really, make sense.  there are occasions when filmmakers are included,  here should not be. (Lars)  however, these are details against the larger picture -  that cinema is larger than movies.  movies are the standard issue -  which are fine,  but only part of the picture. The is Ozu, and Rule of the Game,  and Les Enfants du Paradis,  and even more obscure ones -  as well as the silent era.  one can forgive him his lapses -  such as M -  and his obsession with what happens on the screen being a bloody battle.  Why is that?  Because a lot of the things which are purveyed now are junk -  and their is a better world out there,  which Cousins introduces us to.  He is not the be-all and end-all,  by any means,  but this is a beginning point. 

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The Strange Postlude

It began. If this were a professional military, there would have been plans already laid out – from the siege guns, to where various people would wait until ordered. If this had been a fuedal military, each baron would have an objective – whether striking for the King, or less noble means, such as locating a special foe who had bested in a previous match – but this was neither of those things, because they did not have planning, per se. and most battles are won in the planning stages. What they did have, was an agreement with which they would engage certain people. In this way, it was more feudal than any of them would wish – but it was necessary.

At which point, elf would go out first, and quickly hide her self in a pair of columns. Then went the green woman, though she could hide – their was no doubt she would be seen. Thus each of the guards would converge on her – which left the legionnaire to surprise them. He would explode in fire, then the two of them would go back to back, and decide which individuals they would take. Their preference was not for the gargun, but for the undead, the morgathi.

The entrance was revealed, at first everything went according to the hopes. Loria was unnoticed, and reached the columns quickly – then the two humans were draped by the black of the entrance, and the guards were upon them, as planned.

Roar - and the flames the size of the bows of trees struck out words, and the guards were on used to being surprised in that way – they were used to being the terror, not the other way round. The winds of heated air gasped around them, turning their bodies, there rough armor, and their spears in two black sought. Several of them died before they hit the ground, and the rest gasped in terror, turned and fled – in two the twilight. This also exposed the Queen, and a look of terror grew across her face. 

It was this moment that the elf had waited for – the King was following the flames, and was not paying attention to his queen. Thus with one arm and a sword reaching across space, in that way that only someone very tall could do – she reached not the Queen, but for the eggs that she guarded. Only one would do, So after the long reach, she bounded up to the Queen, and quickly bent down to claim one of the eggs. Then she threw it towards the obelisk stone. At which point the Queen bounded after it – which was the expected response.

Then the point of the matter was at hand – Loria had to open the gate, and the a and the Queen would disappear – it did not matter where they went to. If the Queen took one or two gargun with her, even the King, that would be the end of the living gargun. All the elf had to do, was touch the obelisk – and mentally open it. She did not need to concentrate on where, because that was not her problem. She would like to have some sense of where it was going – but there were more problems that needed pressing attention. So she spun, and in two enormous steps brushed her outstretched fingers along the hand, which she felt on the pseudo-stone. The span of her reach was enormous, and her fingertips could sense the obelisk. The Queen was as broad across as her opponents, because inside lay a huge mass for laying eggs – and she was stumbling back on to the pseudo-stone.

Obelisk opened – though no one knew to where. The pressure inside the dome dropped – the pseudo-stone had opened, and the first thing it did was to send the Queen into its maw – and disappeared from view. But that was the last thing that would go right for the the invaders, because at that instant a shadow grew from between a different pair of columns, and set itself on the legionnaire. At this point, all of them had seen what it was – but it only appeared as a flash. It then grasped the legionnaire and held him, a shadow that was the shape of a man.

Morgath's shadow and the man struggled, hands attached to each other, in order to wrestle the other one down to the ground. There were squeaks from the trees, as squirrels and chipmunks felt a strange prelude coming from the more – all of the rest of the animals had scattered. But for a time there was a high pitched moan of the little voices of the night. And then it to.down. There were sparks of flame coming from the legionnaire, and wisps of darkness from the shadow – clearly both were trying to use their magical power. It was also clear that whoever did so would probably be the winner. But what happened next was Gwynwyffer got her slingshot out, and loaded it – deliberately and slowly, because without the Queen to organize the guards, and without the King to protect her – their was a moment of confusion.

Nothing was going right, and the shot missed by a few inches. All this did, was to remind the shadow that he had two targets, and not one. So with the right hand grasping both of the legionnaire's, with left almost the other direction – the shadow reached around and grabbed the head. At this point there was a strange smell, like burning flesh. It was that the fingers of the shadow had done something, but what is only for one who is first in Bukrai ways. What is no. it was clearly painful. But that did not stop Gwynwyffer, and she shot again. This time it seemed to hit, but it went through the shadow – and just missed the legionnaire.

The gargun attacked, seeing that the shadow and the humans and elf were targets. The problem was, they could not hit the shadow – its flesh was not corporeal -but they could hit the human beings. Coming forward the first guard slammed Gwynwyffer, and the second reached for the legionnaire. Then two more held his waist, and it seemed like everything was turning out against them. However, the King realized that he and his guards were doing the work of the shadow, and this would not do. He had lost his queen, but was unwilling to enter the obelisk. He then roared, and may a motion – apparently to have the guards follow him. There was a large amount of confusion, but eventually the gargun understood – and begin to leap and dance behind their King. There was a kind of sway, or swing, to their movements – as if a troupe of dancers was leaving the stage. If one saw it, one could wonder if there was a magic behind it.

Now was the point of things – a shadow black leader of the morgathi, eager to display his mastery over living forms. There was a stretch to his arms, and a limbo of his legs – and in his white eyes there was a hunger. He felt sure that he would dispose easily of these puny mortal figures, and reign supreme over this wooded land. He turned first to the obelisk, where the elf had drained herself in sending the Queen to a point which no one knew. Sparks of black showered out of his hands, and the elf was thrown aside, and seemed lifeless. She was thrown in to branches of the bushes, and had her head twisted.

He, for it was certainly a “he” by its shape, turned to Gwynwyffer – and made as if a sound as if it were screaming, but no sound came out – but it was heard in the heads. The shadow laughed, and bent over backwards. Then with his arms reaching forward, again that dark torrent of the fingertips let loose again. But the silver owl was ready, and her legs moved her to the right – only to clip her. Then she landed, though not gracefully. But before she even landed, her face was stiffened with a kind of duty – and she then landed and threw her quarterstaff straight for his head. The staff hit, but it seemed to bounce off, flying to the left, and into the branches. As if nothing had happened, he raised his arms again with the fingers outstretched, so to pour another torrent of black.

But again, she manage to dodge the full measure. And once again leapt, though she was prone when she landed. Wobbling her head, as if to shake her mind – she was conscious, but not clear. He raised his hands, as if to finish her off – when the legionnaire intervened. He was standing between Gwynwyffer and the shadow, standing as a direct has he had ever done. His face was a scowl, and his brow was rumpled and forbidding. Then he touched off the flame given to him as a worshiper of Larani, and it was yellow with touches of red and purple. The shadow quickly conjured up a counter spell, which was black. The two waves of claim conjoined at a point equal to the. Almost halfway, but the point wobbled as each moved his hands to gain ground. It was a struggle, made by motions of their fingertips.

Made drunk by casting a miracle, the legionnaire made his right foot fall, and seemed as if he would collapse. That will which made an ordinary man scale up to being a cleric saved him – his face grew gaunt and hollow, blood flowing out of it. His opponent showed nothing in the way of imagination, as it seemed as if he would be crushed under the undead figure. Then the legionnaire dropped on to one knee, while the shadow had stiffened his arms – and seemed to deliver the coup de grace. It was quite in the woods, as it seemed like the undead would triumph, and beasts and all of the birds somehow knew it.

Pouring from the tips of his fingers, there finally came a horrible laugh – which echoed in the late twilight.

In the Morning Star became visible, and stared relentlessly down. The grace of a planet – warm in its round warmth, as opposed to the cold light of the stars, which twinkled in their gaze. However in that instant, the situation changed dramatically. First, Loria came out of nowhere – from a different direction than she had been pushed. She routed around through the bushes – and found Gwynwyffer, who had a branch through her chest. The elf gripped the bow, and with great determination, separated it from the wet blood that was pouring out from all around it.

Yes, it was obvious that the shadow saw this – but could do nothing about it. Machinations of his arms kept him from shifting his will. And then a broad realization struck him, he was trapped in the very pit of his devising. So he had to push forward, hoping that he could damage the legionnaire, before the elf would be on to him. As the tide had shifted, the shadow grew from happy rage, to unhappy despair, in that instant. His eyes grew from large to small and then back again, as he tried to come up with some plan – one that word emerge victorious, and cleanly so – because he wanted the overwhelming strategic, not just a tactical. But it was not to be. The last thing he saw was the elf drawing her great two-handed sword, and her face was a glower of hard steel. There was, unlike a human, no trace of revenge. It was, in fact, a cold look of rationality – which demanded that the shadow would be put down. He knew that his life force would be diminished – and perhaps lose that sense of self that he had. That would mean that he would be a pawn as opposed to an actor – he would then be just an onlooker, rather than having will of his own. Inside he felt as if it was a void, and he could feel the Dark God reaching inside him to take the last pieces of the soul. For that is the covenant that he made – his soul was owed to Morgath. So he had to fight his living opponents, as well as his God eating away at him.

The pressures from both inside and out were to large for the undead – he lashed out draining the last bit of life from the legionnaire – and his only hope was to flee, beyond the dome, beyond the speckled forest trees, and leave the undead that he had gathered – which were right now coming up to reinforce him. Leave as the spark flies, leave with what soul he had. Leave until another time when he might be better prepared. What the health and to humans did not see, was the draining of the mica lit Barrow, and the emptying out of his layer along the Avenue of the Dead. But then there were distant shouts, which were the undead gargun falling in to night's abyss.

Trumpets were calling, and they were definitely human – the Rangers who had been tracking the undead garden were close at hand. First there was one, and then to more responded.

At this point, the tall and supple elf went over with two large steps. She knew that the legionnaire was dying, and she could not wait for him. There was a small chance that the Rangers would rescue him – but she knew that they would not be so apt in her case. While Rangers might seem good, the reality was that they were here to cleanse out anything either evil or fey. They would kill first and ask questions later. And for an elf, death was a hard and bitter reality.

Her path was then narrowly constrained – she would take Gwynwyffer, and flee in two the maze of pseudo-stone. Thus to hide, so as to let the healing of both of them to begin. Her face looked down at her human companion – and she made a quiet murmuring, that was like a shushing sound. In wordless syllables, the elf told a story without words. Far away and long ago.

Silently she carried Gwynwyffer through the obelisk, and was gone.Though the one looked carefully, one could see how a giant print entering in to the obelisk. But no one had looked. There were those that heard the thrumming in the darkness, some were owls who would feast on several species – then the night mammals would do the same. Others would wait until the howling and roaring stopped – only then to venture to see what carrion they could find. But men also heard the strange tones, and waited for the morning.

In an hour, the Rangers appeared – one of whom was on horseback, the rest with bows and dark green cloaks on what. They were silent and stealthy, the way people were trained from a young age. They were, to a man, interested in taking for their leige lord all of the territory – especially this land which was verdant and rich in a particular kind of soil. It would be many years before it could be divided – but that was in the heart of the nobles. But nature, even undead nature, had other plans which were set in two motion on that evening.

The men on horseback was hesitant to broach the dome, but it was obvious that there had been a fight just a short time ago. And he wanted to inspect this – and find out where the survivors were. But there was only one group fleeing away from the dome – and that was a group of gargun. What was strange was there was no protection the Queen. But there was a hoard of eggs. They, of coarse, smash the eggs down to the last one – but they saw no sign of where she went. It was almost as if she had vanished – with the males running for their life. But what were they running away from? There was no sign. New footsteps behind them chasing them, no footsteps entering in, just a few in the center which were one male human, one female human, and the largest elf they had ever seen – their were mutterings of a ' high' elf, as opposed to the ones that they were familiar with.

Them they saw what happened to the mail – he was covered on the pseudo-stone, and dripped with blood from his head. He had been squeezed, by what they did not know. It was a gore sight – because it looked as if he had been squeezed out. One man removed his cloak, and put it over the top half of the body. But they could find no tracks of the two others. They just disappeared. They would spread out from the obelisk, and the leader wrote a short note on what they had found. It was obvious to him that there was a supernatural force, that had left no tracks. There were murmurings of the dark God, and pains not to tell this to anyone. Then they, hurriedly, left – with all of them promising not to head for this country again.

While there was no group of undead, and no one else saw the reflection in the Avenue of the Dead - in time a new group of gargun would set up shop, but not near the Avenue of the dead, or the dome – and they would feast on travelers who wanted to see this for themselves until they made a nuisance of themselves, and were dispatched by a daring young knight and his troop. But that is another story and half.

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