Review of Zero Dark Thirty



So what did you think of the movie in general?

I think it was fascinating to see the actual techniques used to break the captives surrounding Osama bin Laden’s group al Queda.  The movie avoids the political events since 2011 for the most part, which was likely necessary due to compressing 10 years to 2 hours.  I would have liked to have seen more of the back stage decisions influencing the team like the move from Bush to Obama.  There was a strip down of the Bush impact on the hunt of Osama in the movie, which I think would have framed the movie more concretely.

Is this just a snuff film? Is it relevant as a “normal” movie?

Yes, this definitely has the quality of a snuff movie of an actual real-life person boiled down to his decisions as a terrorist.  Same thing could be said about the Passion done by Gibson as well, which was used to convert guilty Rome to Christianity.  Out of the historical context, the movie will be highly watched long-term as it captures good drama and story-telling, but you know the ending…. spoiler alert.

Is there any positive take-aways from the movie seen as it is the hunt for a terrorist and the use of torture by the pursuers?

Yes, the movie does a great job of establishing the fact that the CIA used/uses torture to get information during the hunt of Osama, so you get the feel there is no redemption for any of the characters.

You do get the feel of the persistence of both sides of the battle.  On one side, you can see how deviously Osama was able to maintain contact with his group, stay funded and help plan future events while putting up a great smoke screen to prevent his discovery for a very long time.  On the US side, you see the persistence of the team members to continue the investigation in the face of poisoning their own character via torture, death of friends and personal threat of danger.  These people made a conscious decision to live as a soldier or CIA member, which characterizes them for life.

Do you believe this is the ending of the terrorism saga from 2011?

Sadly, no.  As we killed Osama, there may arise another group in the next 10 years that strives for vengeance.  If you realize that Clinton accidently shot down an Iranian civilian airline in the 1988 and then al Queda appears all of a sudden, you can see the government connection there.  I mean hiding out for years requires careful planning and continual financial funding.  So some government is behind his group more than likely.  Iran makes sense, as we overthrew the Shaw in 1953, they took US hostages in 1979, Iranian airline shot down in 1988, US funding Saddam to gas Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war, 9/11 and now the death of Osama.  It seems to fit well in the cycle of long-term hatred and misunderstanding between these cultures.  Many of the weapons in Syria are funded by Iran and we are now attacking their nuclear facilities virtually and economically, so the cycle continues.  The cycle will likely continue until one side declares and wins an all-out war similar to what happened to Germany and Japan in WWII.

The movie is directed by a woman.  Did you see an impact of that feminine voice?

Definitely, in the lead character being a woman investigator.  It was shocking to find out that many of the lead CIA investigators were in fact women.  What I thought was great regardless of the gender impact, was the character development.  You feel, drink and eat these characters.  It was not a white wash simplification, but at the same time not too much dialogue to bog down the film flow. I definitely am a new fan of Kathryn Bigelow. I was also amazed that originally she was a painter.  Some of the scenes definitely have that quality of careful study and playing with the scene until it came off right– only painting can teach you that dedication to the process.  Also the film flow has that lost feel as the detectives floundered looking for the leads of Osama, which has the same feel you do as you paint and wander across the canvas until the final image just pops into your mind.


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What do you think of my website?


 ShawN shawN • Hi Qi, 

 Well, I took an in-depth look at your website.

Your realism art is amazing! Wow! Very breath-taking. I would say that your work appears to be going in multiple directions, which may cut down on its collectibility from a gallery perspective. I also think it would be more interesting to do more scenes of China, perhaps your childhood, etc. You may want to consider stripping out the sketches from the website and other studio work… it weakens your portfolio as your other work feels more richer, full of painting and more finished; quality is excellent in the drawing, but unless this is the focus, you might lower its prominence. 

 For the website, I saw some great pluses. I loved the simple outlay with a red side line and black center background. Simplicity is great in design and enhances the art and focuses customers on what you are selling. As far as the fonts on the side left, I wasn’t impressed. This font is clear (which is very important), but somehow is just to simple or boring compared to your artwork. Maybe a more elegant script or font to fit in better. Some of the headers of the main pages are a bit repetitive: portrait art, military art, etc. Maybe just list Artwork (with no links) and then the styles: portraits, military, illustrations, originals for sale. That will cut a bit on SEO, but maybe stronger on the titles. 

 The video you made is very strong and is a great selling point. It is a great idea to have the main page having this strong video. You may want to do some other videos that demonstrate your working style, which I think is huge draw for other artists and also the clients like this. I made a whole video of my Facebook commission and gave it to the clients. The videos also show the authenticity of a work, which increases the collectibility of the object, which then increases the price point for you as the artist on later works. 

The bottom links repeat the top side bar, which I understand to keep it simple for the user. I would make sure it is the same font as the side bar or perhaps a more elegant font. Typewriter font just doesn’t work for me. You can look to galleries for ideas on fonts that look more artistic and professional. 

 The About page is very simple and elegant. I think you might add a bit more meat on the bones. You could put why you became an artist, break-through works for you, how you like NYC vs. Beijing as an art residence. I think a bit more personal will work better than simply the schools and that you do freelance. There needs to have a journey and why you are unique to the other 1000s of artists in NYC. Who are your major influences and how did that impact your work? What did you think of the SF vs. NYC art scenes? What did you think of FIT or major influences there? 

 The button on the Military art once you open the page does not work for some reason.