This is the short version.

Filmed with the group at SALISBURY University.


I’m sure it comes with no surprise to anyone how much pain this terrible tragedy has caused in our fragile little nation. With people being blown up all over the world (120 killed just the other day in Iraq), the terror finally came back home on Monday, April 16th, in Virginia.

Now, I don’t need to go over all the details with everyone, but yes, a South Korean student (who’s been living here for 15 years, so I don’t see how that REALLY matters…we’ll get back to that), went crazy and blasted 32 people from this world to the next. I feel awful for the families and I really do wish them my best sympathies.

It got me thinking, and I wrote a screenplay about an imaginary conversation I’d have with Cho, whom I nicknamed in the screenplay John due to the name of his constant characters in his own scripts. You can read his scripts here
and here.
Quite frankly the scripts are pretty damn awful. They’re graphic, and gory, and obviously communicate some disturbing thought almost in a David Lynch sort of way- that is to say if the dialogue is intentionally illegible. The second script, Mr. Brownstone, is sort of interesting, and let’s us in to this kid’s VERY cynical mindset (he pretty much sees himself as not only being physically raped, but financially and morally raped no matter where he goes), and would make a weird production.

In any case, I really don’t understand how someone can snap and kill 32 people. The number is sorta random in my opinion, but I suppose that’s not the point. I wish someone had stopped him, personally, and the VA Tech Gun Club is pissed about that too. They said in an interview that if they were allowed to carry their guns responsibly on campus, they themselves would have stopped him. You can find more of the relevant information to the case at this AOL news link, which I actually found rather interesting and not so cluttered with bias (as is usual with AOL).

So, once all the media hubub of finding out who this nut job is, and how many people he slaughtered is over, what’s the next step? Finding a piece of media to blame.


The 2003 Cannes Grand Prix (one of the highest honors) award winning South Korean revenge film, Oldboy, one of my top ten favorite movies of all time, is now being connected to the murders. Maybe not in a direct “this is what made him do it” sense, but as for how he chose his style. The picture above shows him holding a hammer in a SIMILAR fashion to the main character, Oh Dae Su.

Here’s the funny thing though, readers: For once I completely agree with the media connections. There is far more evidence supporting his feelings to this degree than against them. It’s simple thematic things, such as his long winded, almost uber-cliche revenge speeches, his desire to pose and be seen as “dressed to kill,” and his South Korean heritage. This is the biggest Korean film in the last 15 years…but there’s more connections to it than that.

In the film, Oh Dae Su is a man who is imprisoned and tortured (emotionally) for 15 years.

Cho, the serial killer at VA Tech, has lived in America for 15 years.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used coincidences as meanings, but c’mon folks, this is seriously too obvious. If he worshiped film, as shown in the stylish photos he took of himself, then this is one obvious example. Sky News, a British based website, lists more examples of the comparisons between his character and the fictional ones.

One image is a clear cut comparison, and it might not even be stretching it:


In the three Chan Wook Park films, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, the motive is an inhuman desire to deride the opponents through brutal torture and emotional destruction beyond what we normally expect from a revenge film. Some of the scenes in these movies are more brutal than gore fests such as Hostel or The Hills Have Eyes.

Now, obviously this guy went after people with guns, and that’s the main difference. I’m not actually claiming Oldboy as an inspiration for his attack, but there are certain comparisons to his mental state and his ability to cope with reality to the main character. It’s more along the lines of the guy who tried to shoot Regan than anything else, except that followed a similar plot to Taxi Driver. However, both Bickle (the character) and that shooter were messed up in similar ways.

I honestly wish I knew this kid and had a chance to talk him out of it. Maybe if he really did like the movie, we could have had a conversation and gone to lunch or something. It’s a tragedy when people get so messed up that they turn to a form of media to reshape their reality, but it DOES happen. I’m not sure what was responsible- it could have been the film Elefant by Gus Van Sant for all I know, but one thing is for sure- Cho wasn’t living in our reality anymore. When you make pictures like that and send them to the media, it means you want people to remember you as a fictitious character, not an actual person.

This articles based around the film are starting to pop up all over the net. It’s even spread to the IMDB forums by now, and I’m sure it’ll be a wiki reference in no time. Some professors apparently made the connection after seeing the hammer picture on the net.

Where Does the Time Go?

So I haven’t made any major updates in at least a week. But there’s been some cool stuff, as a recap, I’ll list what I’ve done:

Put up 5 videos:

The Devil May Cry Tribute
Car Trouble
Music Video: I could Have Lied
Music Video: Microwave Man
Some MEga64 video

I put up my presentation for International Cinema- a little bullet point/picture reference for the film “Hero”. It’s a tad bit incoherent, but hey, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Today I should finish up my Graphic Button for CMAT 136 (Television Studio), and that will be on the web within the next two weeks.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. I’ve taken in a small dose of films lately though…

SERENITY- You guys need to see this, but I recommend watching Firefly first just so you can love the characters even MORE than you would as a noob.

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER- this is a beautiful film, it’s score on IMDB is absolutely unfair, it’s a typical family drama with insane intensity and brilliant battles.

THE COVENANT- this is the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time. Completely worthless film. How do you screw up this concept? Worst action film I’ve seen since Ultraviolet, and since I can tell there was no soul behind this one, I’ll actually say its worse.

GOD OF WAR 2- this is a video game, not a film, and it drives me freakin’ bonkers. I’ve played at least 13 hours in just 4 days. I haven’t done that since Devil May Cry 3. That was two years ago. I hate the first game, but this one is just SO GOOD it’s nearly perfect…heck it just might be.

That’s it for now, I’ll post more in the days to come, then a trip to Boston!

jackie and jet

From Dark Horizons, I’ve just recieved one of the most important news stories of the martial-arts cinema to date. There has finally been a title and casting proposed for the Jet Li and Jackie Chan project. Thanks to Garth Franklin at Dark Horizons for finding this out! Check his site out- it’s where I get a lot of info on the movie world.

    The Jackie Chan and Jet Li team-up project finally has a name – “The Forbidden Kingdom.”

    Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co. will domestically co-release the action epic based on the Chinese legend of the monkey king.

Read the rest of the article here.

The Zhang Yimou film, Hero portrays multiple viewpoints and possible perceptions of the story, from the unreliable narrations of Jet Li’s character, Nameless.

This article I am writing takes some basis in an article from American Cinematographer, in which Christopher Doyle states in journal entries,

      “We chose white to suggest the truer sequence, and we chose red to suggest that passion has a different truth. Like the West from Aristotle until Newton, Chinese conceptual systems associate color with elements, objects, parts of the body and sounds.

In the Chinese tradition, green is wood, anger and the eyes. Red is fire, the veins and joy. Yellow is earth and desire. White is metal, skin, hair and sorrow. Our basic color, black, is water and fear, not the negation of color some would assume.

    I guess someone deserves a PhD if he applies all of those concepts to Hero. As far as I’m concerned, these colors are nothing more or less than what they are.”

Hero Basic

Nameless’s primary color is black. This is what the director settled on for his main film color, along with cinematographer Christopher Doyle. It represents a more down to earth tone in some scenes, the scenes where the unreliable narrator’s events may speak some truth (at least more than others) in a fact sense, rather than emotional sense.

donny yen black

Black is the filmmaker’s representation of Fear and Water. In scenes with the King, or fights with Nameless, the colors are black. The fight between Sky and Nameless takes place in the rain- water. Water is also a symbol for purity in a symbolic sense, and black is used in the pure, factual truth scenes, such as the fight with Sky and Nameless’s meetings with the King. Nameless wear’s black- factual truth, in scenes that supposedly actually happened, such as the final fight with Snow.

Red and Yellow

hero yellow gold

Yellow vs. Red- when Moon and Snow fight over the affections and death of Broken Sword, they are red fighting in a sea of yellow. In this essence, they are fighting for their combined, conflicting passions in a field of desire, as yellow represents desire. Decisiveness, in which, had the true motivations of the characters not been what the story was leading towards, the proposed fight between Moon and Snow would make very much sense, considering both their passions for Broken Sword.

moon and snow fighting

tony leung hero green
Green is anger, and during the fight with Broken Sword, the King’s green veils are ripped down, stripping the palace back down to black. If Black represents fear in China, and the King has become black over the next ten years, then his fear is two fold- he creates fear for the other countries with his massive, black army, but his palace has been stripped down to Black- without the green it is obvious (as with the help of the nearly empty chamber), that the King has become quite afraid for his life, in something as simple as his chamber’s natural color tone.
hero king

Blue and White

Blue is primarily the King’s perception of events. The second fight between Nameless and Snow has her dressed as blue- translucent, as described by cinematographer Christopher Doyle. In the perception of this fight, as the King still believes Nameless has come to assassinate him as part of a plot between him, Snow, and Broken Sword, he sees all three as blue, as on the same side. After killing Snow, Broken Sword fights Nameless in blue as well. The final iteration of the past events in the story is told in white- with the final fight of Snow and Nameless being in a brutal, one move of sorrow. She lives, but she knows she has in a sense betrayed her love for Broken Sword, and has felt betrayed with his decision to leave the king alive. The truest emotion in this movie is sorrow.

white sorrow

It is a movement back to white and black by the end.

king's courtroom
The candles in this shot, at the very last scene, have become white to our view, when throughout the movie they were black and orange, flowing in front of the king. The King has been moved to the task of executing Nameless, something we see in his eyes as a regretful action. His candles, in the same place as the archers afterwards, represents his sorrow for calling death upon Nameless with the final arrow volley.