In Anticipation for the V for Vendetta Movie 
Sunday, 19 .March, 2006, 14:17 - English Entries, Literature, Movies, Comics

One of the few movie highlights of last year was "Sin City", which was based on Frank Millers graphic novel of the same title. It was an extraordinary visual act and director Robert Rodriguez kept the film strictly to the story of the comic books. Calling Sin City an intellectual outburst would be a little bit far fetched, but it is a much more complex and inspiring story that other comic adaptions, such as Spider Man or The Fantastic Four.

Now the Wachowski brothers and James McTeigue, the makers of the Matrix trilogy, take the next step in advertising non-mainstream comics in theater. Their movie "V for Vendetta" is based on the comic book written by Alan Moore and drawn by David Lloyd in the late 1980s.

The background, to which the story is set, is the United Kingdom which is ruled by a fascist regime, that controls everything and everybody. The only person going against the oppressors is a masked vigilante who calles himself simply "V".

It sounds like just another superhero and of course V is not a normal person, but he is neither Clark Kent nor Peter Parker. V is an intellectual anarchist, one who cites More and Crowley before destroying goverment buildings, one who has a long conversation with justice before blowing up her statue, one who knows mercy and can kill at the same time.

Lloyds drawings give insight into a hopeless and suppressed society, in which the only light seems to be the white, grinning mask of V, whose depcition goes beyond that of a hero. He becomes a mystical figure or even more: a concept – that of individual freedom and anarchy –, that took on flesh and blood (or paper and ink) to break the chains in which it was layed. V is a gathering of citations that went into action and even if you do not have the key to all his quotes, his intentions are shining bright from his smile.

In V, pain is not something that is shown in pictures of blood and dead bodys, it pours out of every page, showing the deep misery the people are in and is finally not abandoned but turned around. It becomes the memory and foundation of a new society, that has to find its way into the future on its own.

Moore took Guy Fawkes as a role model for V. Fawkes was one of the catholics who got convicted and killed on the 5th of November 1606 for his participation in the so-called gun powder plot, an attempt to assasinate the English king, who was not willing to give equal rights to catholics. Moore seemingly got inspired by Fawkes, as he was willing to take extreme measures to get his individual right and he reminds of him by making V's first major attack against the goverment to the 5th of November.

It was in the 1980s, when people like Miller and Moore steered the comic book business into direction of a darker and complex realm. Millers stories are driven by action and effects, that transport a feeling of desperation and the knowledge that the world is a cruel place and it will never change, but it is worth to go against it. What's for Miller the fist of Marv (in "Sin City") or the lance of King Leonidas (in "300") is in Moores universe a citation or a gesture, a joke, that turns into the explosion of the parliament building. His action is founded in a system of thought that does not hesitate to commit a crime, without taking itself too seriously. Moore and V are smiling inside all the misery and tragedy.

The trailers of the V movie look promising, it seems that the makers stayed true to the story and pictures of the comic book. It is over 12 years ago that I read the German version of Moores graphic novel and since then it stayed the best comic book I ever read. I am impatient to see this movie. I hope the movie shows what Moore did to comics and that we all will enjoy it.

Whilst writing this, I found a some material on V and Moore on the web that is worth looking at:


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The Cardigans in concert - Tavastia, Helsinki - Friday, 17th March 2006 
Saturday, 18 .March, 2006, 20:08 - English Entries, Music, Photographs

Every mythology, every god has a reason why it was invented. When seeing the Cardigans, one understands the legends about the Norse Goddesses. Nina Persson emanates seriousness and power from her first step on the stage and whatever she does from that moment on is right and puts the spectators in the state of pure admiration. Nina can laugh, make jokes, she can jump around and cry into the microphone, at no moment does she lose any part of her radiation. You see her and you know she's great and you do not doubt that until she is gone.


Up till the concert I only knew their album "Gran Tourismo", which I liked from the first moment. Somehow I did not believe that they would be capable of doing such a atmospheric album again, so I resisted from getting the later ones. That was clearly a mistake and they proved me wrong during the concert. They mix Rock and Pop into a sound that rushes up your blood.

And then of course the lyrics. I don't know what they give the Swedish girls to eat, but they are able to write down even darkest incidents in their lifes in clear words without exaggerating or being pretentious at any moment.

But music and words and show mean nothing when little Nina raises her hand straight up and everybody just gazes and is willing to accept any of her words as the pure and only truth. Here comes the light, the sound, the woman and the power. It may have been Peter Gabriel, whom I saw in 1992 or so, who made a similar impression to me. It's rare. But it does exist.

To see all the pictures of this concert, click here. To start the pictures as a slideshow, click here.


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Montys Loco in concert - Tavastia Club, Helsinki - Friday 17th March 2006 
Saturday, 18 .March, 2006, 19:55 - English Entries, Music

They sang before the Cardigans went on stage. Montys Loco is a Swedish duo of Anja Bigrell and Marie Eklund. Whilst Anja sings with a gentle voice, that often gets a harsh and raw undertone, Marie accompanies her on the acoustig guitar that goes along perfectly with the singing.

They maybe sang five songs and throught that time I had the impression that the whole club fell into silence and left only room for that voice and the guitar, that guided the audience carfuelly and savely through the winters night. There were softer songs and wilder ones, but at no point any of the two girls became too loud. They did not need to move, their music caught the room in a warm trance and all of us were listening and bound to them.

The lyrics are nothing for easy listening - they are serious and most of them have a sad notion. Anja sings them with a clear voice and makes them easy to understand.

I got their CD "Man Overboard" which is beautiful to listen to and shows more facets of the band. Songs like "Give me More" and "Image" give an impression of how they are live. On the teaser "Wasteland" there is the song "leather", which has a lot of power. Samples of the songs can be heared by clicking on their names.

The true magic of Montys Loco is only apparent when they are on stage. Don't miss to see them.


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Photographs online 
Thursday, 16 .March, 2006, 16:30 - English Entries, Travel, Photographs, Friends, Family

While still deep in the jet lag and unable to do anything challenging, I stumbled over flickr and got enthusiastic about it. That is finally the link that forced me to sort all my pictures and upload them there. It is dead-simple to use and quite effective.

So below are links to some of the collections (so-called "sets") that I uploaded so far to there. Just click on the highlighted names and you will see all the pictures. Click on the pictures below and a slideshow will start.

You can find a complete list of all my sets here.

When the doctor comes to town ...
During August 2005, Johannes and I took trips to Tallinn, Turku and Porvoo.


Theresas Trips to European Capitals
Since 2004, Theresa and I visit at least one European Capital per year. The visits so far were:


Finish Impressions

Some more trips


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Projekt X - Österreichischer Journalismus auf Weltniveau 
Tuesday, 14 .March, 2006, 07:32 - Deutsche Einträge, Comedy

Jeweils zur Geisterstunde in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag versorgen die drei Hauptprojektleiter Haipl, Knötzl und Votava nicht nur Österreich, sondern die ganze Welt mit Wahrheiten die man nie für möglich gehalten hätte und von denen man zudem eh nichts wissen wollte. Die drei Journalisten bilden das "Projekt-X", das seit mehr als zehn Jahre auf der Frequenz des österreichischen Senders FM4 ausgestrahlt wird.

Seit einigen Wochen werden nun die Projekt-X Ausgaben dieses Jahrtausends legal zum Download im Internet angeboten. Aus dem sehr großen Fundus habe ich mir erlaubt, die brisantesten und besten Sendungen auszuwählen und hier der geneigten Leser- und Hörerschaft vorzustellen. Aus rechtlichen Gründen wurden die Musikeinlagen aus den MP3-Dateien entfernt.

  • Kasperl in der Krise – Michael Niavarani interviewt den Kasperl und den Fußballer Herbert "Happy" Prikoba. Wir erfahren unter anderem, dass der Kasperl auf Drogen ist und deshalb aus der Urania rausgeschmissen wurde. "Ich gebe zu, ich habe Drogen genommen - ich habe das psychologische Element dahinter beleuchtet."

  • Rock'n'Roll Legende – Peter Steinlechner von den Zillertaler Schürzenjägern interviewt Peter Kraus und den österreichischen Altrocker und Frauenkenner Walter Knatter zum Thema Rock'n'Roll. Beeindruckend sind unter vielen anderen Details die politischen Einsichten des Walter Knatter, demzufolge die Russen Österreich nur deshalb nicht gschnupft haben, weil es in der Alpenrepublik bereits zuviele Rocker gab.

  • Kunstdiebstahl – Fluch oder Segen? – Beim direkten Kunstdiebstahl wird das Kunstwerk direkt gestohlen, während es beim indirekten Kunstdiebstahl indirekt gestohlen wird. Und Bienen ficken gerne Blumen - das muss einmal gesagt werden.

  • Volksmusikkapazunder – DJ Ötzi, der Hias und Karl Moik planen einen Musikantenstadl in der Türkei und erinnern sich an Anekdoten aus ihrem Leben. Ein einzigartiges Tondokument postmoderner Musikkultur.

  • Laptop vs. Weidinger – Ein Radieschen und ein Kräuterpfarrer streiten um biologische Tatsachen.

  • US-Präsidentschaftskandidatin Jazz-Gitti – Was niemand wusste und später wohl auch von allen Seiten verleugnet wurde: Steffi Werger, das österreichische Original, das unter dem Namen Jazz-Gitti bekannt wurde, nahm im Jahr 2000 an den US-amerikanischen Präsidentschatswahlen teil. Diverse Anrufer stellen Fragen an die Kandidatin.

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