Film News

What the Hell Is Tom Cruise Filming in Space?

It could be just another Mission: Impossible, or maybe...

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Entertainment news has been abuzz this week with the news that Tom Cruise will soon be starring in the first scripted movie ever to be filmed in space.

But with all the coverage about Cruise's stuntwork, the involvement of Elon Musk's SpaceX, and the challenges of filming in the space station, we have yet to receive any details about the project itself. What will this movie be about, and why does it have to be filmed in space?

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CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

CULTURE

Robert Pattinson Can't Be "The Most Handsome Man in the World"

That concept is nonsense—and also, it's Jason Momoa.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

It's not just a comforting bromide to tell ugly children; it's an undeniable fact of our reality. Each individual's experience of the world is purely subjective—informed by personal history and unique brain chemistry—which is what makes it so absurd when the Daily Mail declares Robert Pattinson "the most handsome man in the world." We cannot share an identical response to any stimulus, which means that we will never achieve an objective measure of a fundamentally experiential quality like handsomeness. Whoever they chose would necessarily have been controversial—except, of course, the correct answer: Jason Momoa.

Jason Momoa Wet T-shirt

How does the Daily Mail even come to its conclusions? Did they do a survey of the entire world—sending photographers to every rural market in Zimbabwe and through the favelas of São Paulo? Did they spend their entire decade's budget on compiling images of the world's men, or do they not consider the plebeians outside their TV screens and magazine pages to be truly human? Are we not men to them? Clearly we are not, because if they had scoured our planet's bus stops and the secluded tribes of Papua New Guinea—seen every last one of us—they would have realized that there is no jawline as perfectly sculpted as Jason Momoa's, no brow that arches with so much intrigue and allure.

In reality, the Daily Mail made their conclusion based on consultation from cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julian De Silva, who has created a system for defining perfect beauty in mathematical terms. The system relies on the irrational number phi (1.618339…), and the ancient Greek concept of the golden ratio—also known as the "divine proportion"—which has been dubiously ascribed various significance. Dr. De Silva's system measures each feature of a person's face and how the features relate to one another with that ratio in mind. Last year he used his method to declare Bella Hadid the world's most beautiful woman. No doubt a lot of effort went into consolidating data on what people find attractive and fitting it to a theory of phi. It's actually an endeavor that makes a lot of sense for someone in Dr. De Silva's field, despite the limitations of codifying subjectivity and the factual reality of Jason Momoa.

Young Jason Momoa

That said, there are some obvious flaws in how those measurements are made—using only 2D images rather than a 3D scan—and it seems a bit weird that "the most handsome man in the world" would only align with about 92% of Dr. De Silva's Platonic ideal of a male face. But what is far more troubling—and possibly grounds to revoke his medical license?—is the fact that Dr. De Silva put in all this work and didn't take into account the existence of two piercing hazel eyes that squint pure joy directly at your soul each time Jason Momoa smiles.

To be fair, the star of The Lighthouse, and the Twilight series is technically a decent looking human male—as are Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper, and the other men who ranked highly according to Dr. De Silva's system. Pattinson has some solid bone structure and a wild mane of hair that always looks a little dirty, but in kind of a fun way. If we're going to be as generous as possible, it would be appropriate to say that he's sort of a pasty, British, low-T Jason Momoa. But could he pick me up and hold me in his arms like an actual superhero—a Polynesian demi-god—and carry me away from all the world's pain while I hold tight to his beard and run one finger along the bold scar above his eye? No. He's not a sculpted 6'4" tower of benevolent muscle. He's a measly 6'1"—basically a 9th grade basketball player, and just as moody.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman

To put it simply, beauty is entirely subjective and impossible to quantify, and also the Daily Mail and Dr. De Silva are spreading blatant lies and committing Jason Momoa erasure. Canceled.