Persepolis (2007)

Watched the adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography comic book today, it was in my opinion about the revolution of Iran nor the Iraq-Iran War as much it was the specific coming-of-age of Marjane. At times it felt a clear extraction of an individual’s life. The specificity is something I aspire to reveal in storytelling, such as Marjane’s clear characteristics not serving a major plot device or progressor, such as her messiah/prophet complex as a child – it can be said that all these amount to her rebellious nature as an individual in a repressive regime, but I believe the feeling of being rebellious was more blunt from the punk impressions or Western-cultural influences on Marjane.

From the first 20 minutes of the film, the pacing and transitions of shots were jarring. I hope the filmmakers didn’t create a linear production from the start to the end. It could’ve been that way, as it felt like that. There is also a lot of comic-like images that don’t really play well in animation/film. I feel the family’s contemplation of the future of the country after the Shah’s defeat as being rather too fast and inconsistent to the protagonist narrative of Marjane. Why couldn’t it be portrayed from only Marjane’s point of view?

I really enjoyed the return to Iran montage (Eye of the Tiger), I imagine the feeling of being clinically depressed and overcoming the feeling would’ve been longer, darker and depressing to watch, ironically. But the conveyance of Marjane’s old nature of enjoying Western films and music returning to her was uplifting and reassuring that she will change people around her in this exhausted nation.

Beta-Males, Internet Pornography, Intergender Mingling

In review of myself to explain a wider society of individualism. I find a term of “cuckold” or “beta-male” as a term of emasculation. Domination and risk-taking portrays an image of alpha. All powerful manhood. Masculinity derives from a biological duality of male and female, promptly found in hormones like testosterone and oestrogen and chromosomes of xx and xy. Seen as the dominating sex, the male sex drive is rip with aggression and power. But looking at cases of cultural differences such as non-patriarchal cultures found in isolated tribes. Surely the male sex drive is not the culprit of aggression but a patriarchal outlook from the omni-global culture of the old world, perhaps deriving from abrahamic faiths. My individuality of growing up with a single mother played a big role of how I see females and males. Women were in a position of power in my life, motherhood, teacher and caretaker in schools. Men were unknowns, filled with aggression, loud voices that roared. I came to position my attitudes and behaviour of obedience to both in different ways, women and females were a form of comfort and deep underlining respect. Men were feared and I mostly saw them as subjects of disturbance, I must avoid their ways.

Internet pornography is the fantasy for reluctant men to venture into the darker patriarchal role of aggression and domination. From sexual pleasures that are aimed towards men from the effort of women. I believe that pornography in totality is not a problem if it excludes the patriarchal role we as a global-culture have normalised. Beta-males are not an issue, being for centuries dominating and aggressive in the duality of men and women, being “cuckold”ed by females is perhaps the step to a egalitarian humanist world. We can review our sexuality through civility.

In terms of the larger intergender and intersex community, men and women are foolish to assume that there is no nuance of sexuality and gender. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are culturally assumed as polar opposites but this is as I believe comparing the light spectrum of red and green. Opposites are perhaps only appropriate for certain analysis. The beta-male perhaps can provide a better empathetic review of the intergender and intersex community rather than the all assuming dominating alpha male.

Imposter Syndrome in Art Universities

At the time of my unveiling of my final grades from my BA in Digital Arts in UWL (Kingston College), I retorted with my grade results as a product of an averaging out of a bell-curve. As in, my 1:1 grade was only achieved because most of my class mates achieved levels lower than me, making my work jump to the upper threshold. I couldn’t have earned it. I was a natural loser, a person of underachievement. Throughout my youth, I did poorly in almost all my subjects, only scoring average. I came to settle in the idea of me being a low achiever. Although I was a good technical life drawer or a copy-and-tracer drawer, I came to find myself looking to the creative arts as a place of comfort for my imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome has connections to an external locus of control, the belief that we cannot change external events or actions outside of ourselves. Whenever a barista or a waiter would get my order wrong I would find myself relinquishing a right to complain, or feel bad because I don’t have the right to say something, or I cannot change how people feel about me. I believe this is a universal feeling, a feeling of paranoia of the inability of melding people’s perception of you and your work. Over the course of a year doing my MA, I found a deeper lesion in my personality of being overwhelmed by attention and group-interaction. I could go on why I am phobic of gangs, clicks, and groups, but I’ll skip over that for now. But this overwhelming feeling of judgement, paranoia and a sense of not-belonging (being an underachiever) I relinquished my right to improve the situation or sell a better image of myself. Thus my fears of being left out and seen as an underachiever became true. For example, in my time as a ALS (Additional Learning Supporter) in a FE college, some students although attending a year long course in English, would refuse to attend the examination. They didn’t want to go through the feeling of being an underachiever and thus reinforced by not getting a resolve.

Artists and art are in my opinion one of the most personal expressions of individuality possible. Other than sexuality, protest, hatred, etc. To create art is to “put-yourself-out-there”. For me, I draw a lot of inspiration and creative energy from positivity and encouragement. When negative emotions, be it self-doubt or self-hatred, I find myself in a runt. Pain and misery are the hardest things to convey in art without causing the audience to look away, I’ll say most so than comedy and humour.

But I’ll finish by saying this, every once in a while remind yourself that you are you, you are good and you can always have the possibility of being good and you most of all must remind others of this.


Somethings People have mentioned to me.

The Works of Stephen Willat.

Fabricated Space – Systematic

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Isabel suggested this graphic novel artist, that uses a peel-away feel to his illustrations. Similar to my attempts to clean and define shapes in pastels.

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Sara mentioned Stephen Willat’s projects of fabricated spaces created with ambiguous intentions and the lived space perspectives.

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Birgitta finds a counter version of my and Ballard’s critical review of high rises. She mentions Antonioni estate blocks. A filmmaker. She also mentions Cathy Come Home, a BBC documentary that apparently changed laws. It’s about the rural slums that predated the high rises. Created by Jeremy Sandford.

Loly suggests looking into Lived Spaces and Henri Lefebvre’s production of space.


The Early Residents of Council Flats

I appreciate the quote, “you can change the flat, but the flat can change you”.

There seems to be no positive feelings for flats according to these residents. They don’t like the sameness of the architecture, one lady mentioned “down to earth” feeling. Maybe “Down to Earth” could be the title of the film. They complaint about the isolation of these flats. That one lady doesn’t really know people from the 2nd top floor. Perhaps the elevation of flats from the ground has made “stay-home” mums have cabin-fever.

Dark Days

I like how Marc Singer uses the format of documentary as a platform to rise money and awareness for these individuals. He didn’t start off with film or documentary but the issue and film was just the natural progression to his goals.