Tragedies bring people together but they can also be divisive. While sad and absolutely a tragic waste of talent, Amy Winehouse’s untimely demise must have been one of the least unexpected young deaths. Those expressing deep shock display at best a severe lack of imagination. And for the media outlets who hounded her for years now disingenuously to oversell this loss is only as surprising as her death. However, others are more concerned, and in some cases angered, by the fact her death has garnered such a deluge of emotion on social networks when the horrific events in Oslo, the violent murder of nearly 100 people, did not. This, to me, seems entirely natural. There is no doubt that gunning down 80 youths on an island constitutes a larger and more serious event, one that has left a country in shock and mourning, but it is also largely impersonal. A sole figure, even one who has seemed broken for many years, but to whom people relate on a personal level, will always evoke greater sympathy. Perhaps Stalin’s wisest observation was, “One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.” A hundred may not be merely a statistic, even on Stalin’s terms, but humanity will always find one death more tragic.

In less serious news, the first trailers have emerged for next year’s Batman and Spider-Man films. The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final Nolan-helmed outing and after the last I think it’s fair to say everyone is already incredibly excited. It is disappointing then, to find a trailer almost solely rehashing old footage, which serves only to dampen that excitement. All we discover is that Nolan’s fascination with architecture, immediately evident in Inception, remains alive and well. Personally I wish they’d waited until they had something to show us.

Meanwhile The Amazing Spider-Man reboot brings the wonderful Andrew Garfield to the role, while thrusting Peter back into his school days origin. Marc Webb (yes, the Spider-Man reboot was given to a director named “Webb”) takes the franchise in a direction more grounded in the real-world. With limited dialogue I think the teaser hits the right notes and ends with an unusual first-person sequence exploring the city as Spider-Man sees it; the CGI impresses though arguably it feels a little too much like videogame footage. Two ideas emerged:

  1. Tom at Theater Hopper pointed out that a much cooler trailer might have been as the first-person sequence alone, leaving the viewer slightly confused as to what they were watching until that familiar reflection comes into view on the side of a skyscraper.
  2. How awesome would it be if someone gave the Mirror’s Edge devs the Spider-Man licence?