• MT VOID, 05/19/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 47, Whole Number 2276

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun May 21 07:09:39 2023
    05/19/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 47, Whole Number 2276

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    Mini Reviews, Part 23 (MASTER, M3GAN, AI LOVE YOU)
    (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper
    and Evelyn C. Leeper)
    Similar Words (letter of comment by Gary McGath)
    THE WICKER MAN (letters of comment by Paul Dormer
    and Scott Dorsey)
    This Week's Reading ("The Philosophy Of Language")
    (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)


    TOPIC: Mini Reviews, Part 23 (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper and
    Evelyn C. Leeper)

    This is the twenty-third batch of mini-reviews, all films of the

    MASTER (2022): MASTER is a surprisingly effective story with high
    production values. We start out wondering, "Is this a ghost story?
    A polemic? Or what?" The answer is gradually revealed, with some
    surprising turns. While "Master" may make people initially think
    of slavery, here it refers to the position in a fictional college
    (Ancaster, "The College on the Hill") that is filled by one of the
    three Black women who form the primary characters. (The three actresses--Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, and Amber Gray--give excellent performances.) And the Master in the film is discovered to be very
    different from the Master in slavery. [-mrl/ecl]

    Released theatrically 18 March 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    M3GAN (2023): M3GAN is about a robot in the form of a young girl
    that's almost human. Mark was reminded of DEADLY FRIEND; I thought
    of the "Twilight Zone" episode "Talking Tina". There's a nasty
    high-tech boss, and some other additions, and this is clearly
    science fiction rather than fantasy, but it really is nothing new.

    Released theatrically on 6 January 2023; available on DVD. Rating:
    +1 (-4 to +4), or 6/10.

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    AI LOVE YOU (2022): AI LOVE YOU is a United States/Thai science
    fiction film which predates the current A.I. craze by about a year.
    It has elements of HER, but the basic premise is not that of a
    robot imitating a human, but that of an AI somehow downloading
    itself *into* a human. This film is set in a city where AI
    controls all the buildings, and one AI falls in love with a human
    and manages to download itself into a human AI tech so that he can
    try to win her. Most of the humor is the AI trying to learn how to
    be a human; one can see influences of Data from "Star Trek" (and
    even Mr. Spock). Interesting more as showing a world in which AI
    is ubiquitous and for the humor than as a look at a relationship
    between a human and an AI.

    (One should distinguish between a relationship between a human and
    a disembodied AI, and one between a human and a robot or android
    AI. HER is the former; EX MACHINA is the latter.) [-ecl]

    Released streaming on Netflix 22 February 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4
    to +4), or 7/10.

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:



    TOPIC: Similar Words (letter of comment by Gary McGath)

    In response to John Hertz's comments on Vladimir Nabakov's comments
    on the difference between a thing's cosmic significance, and its
    comic significance being a single sibilant in the 05/12/23 issue of
    the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

    Much like the difference between the Italian words for winter
    (inverno) and Hell (inferno). [-gmg]

    Evelyn adds:

    The worst typo in English may be "now" for "not" (or vice versa),
    though dropping a letter from "public" is right up there. [-ecl]


    TOPIC: THE WICKER MAN (letters of comment by Paul Dormer and Scott

    In response to Evelyn's comments on MIDSOMMAR and Britt Ekland in
    THE WICKER MAN in the 05/12/23 issue of the MT VOID, Paul Dormer

    Apparently a body double was used for Ekland. [-pd]

    Scott Dorsey responds:

    Whoever that body double is, they deserve an Oscar. [-sd]

    Paul replies:

    According to the IMDb, it was a stripper from Glasgow. [-pd]

    Evelyn notes:

    The IMDb also claims she is Lorraine Peters (II), who is credited
    as "Girl on Grave". She is *not* the Lorraine Peters with many
    acting credits to her name. [-ecl]


    TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    I've been re-listening to John Searle's UCB course on the
    philosophy of language, available through Open Culture.

    Early on, Searle describes the five types of "illocutionary acts":
    assertive (statements), directive (telling the listener to perform
    an action), commissive (committing the speaker to an action),
    expressive (expressing the mental state of the speaker), and
    declaration (brining into existence the state of affairs to which
    it refers). And for each of these Searle gave several examples of
    common verbs or sentences in that category.

    But Searle seems to have run afoul of Catholic theology at least

    For example, for declaration, his examples included, "I now
    pronounce you man and wife," "I declare this meeting adjourned,"
    and "You're fired". But when Searle went to speak in Italy, he was
    firmly warned *not* to use the first example, because serious
    Catholics believe only God can marry people, and so saying "I now
    pronounce you man and wife" has no effect. (Similarly, the Pope
    does not make someone a saint; he merely recognizes a person's
    sainthood, which is determined only by God.)

    When Searle spoke at Notre Dame University, a listener asked which
    category prayers fell into. Searle's first reaction was that they
    were directives ("Give us this day our daily bread"). But the
    listener was adamant that this was wrong; one couldn't direct God
    to do anything ("Give us this day our daily bread ... or else").


    Mark Leeper

    This will never be a civilized country until we expend
    more money for books than we do for chewing gum.
    --Elbert Hubbard

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