All entries for February 2006

February 26, 2006

An Awesome, All 90s All Nighter

Damn, all that Alliteration is just so damn tempting. Seriously thought, from where I was sat/hovering (ie, the Proj box) it was pretty damn cool. Two big thumbs up for the radio mikes and Andrews fabulous Dj'ing (well, we promised nostalgia, although I was waiting for body-rockiing, was that by 911?) which meant that we knew when we were supposed to be starting the films. And handover went fine and now we're all flying solo, no stabilisers :) (do you get stabilisers on planes?)

Just a little bit about the AllNighter:

Every term, WSC hosts the most amazing event in the history of the world. We play films ALL NIGHT (in case you hadn't guessed) from about 8 O Clock in the evening to whenever we finish. Our line-up always includes a 'mystery' film – whats it going to be?!?! and it usually exposes the film officers interesting taste in films (Bubba Ho-Tep anyone? Gigli?:)) But yeah, its pretty cool & its fun even for us poor souls working the films – yes, we really do have to stay up all night to keep everything running. And most of us spent the entire day before organising the damn thing (Two very enthusiastic thumbs up for the WSC crew :P). But its awesome. I love it.

So thoughts on this AllNighter – Shawshank is an ace film. I missed the end, but saw Brooks kill himself, which always makes me cry. The quiz was extra cruel this year thanks to our new films officer James ©. I love the Wedding Singer, but missed most of that due to the law that when you plan to work a film and watch it, you become tangled in something else and miss most of it. I got the song though. Then we did hand over, and Nick pretended to be me, which seemed to confuse people! The Usual Suspects I hear is a great film, and I also intended to watch it (see aforementioned law) although I saw the bit where it snapped very clearly – very clearly indeed. Hmmm, snaps are no fun at 3am.

Then, bada-bing, bada-boom. Perhaps the worst kept secret this year, but never mind. The mystery was … American Pie is actually a great movie (in comparison to all the other pies, and all the crap that followed it) Also, any thoughts on whether the choir guy and his girl shag? My bet is yes, but it was causing some debate upstairs!

Theres no point saying anything about the matirx. It was full of noises and flashy things that kept us all awake. Neo is actually convinvcing, Trinity is like a shaving of metal. Leather/PVC is not a good look for her. Laurence fishbourne uses the same expression when he is captured as when he's losing his mind in Othello.

Its now 8am. Thank you, and Good Night :)


February 24, 2006

The AllNighter

Roll up, roll up folks to the night of thrills and spills that is the Warwick Student Cinema AllNighter. This term we're running the Awsome AllNineties AllNighter – its what it sounds like, and as well as a fabulous line-up, there'll be lots of cheesey indulgent nostalgia to get into.

Plug over. But anyway, it'll be a great night, so grab your sleeping bags, your pillows, and your housemates and come along to L3 at 7.30!!!!!


February 22, 2006

Spoon

I Just searched and found that I have never used the word spoon on this blog. So spoon.

Spoon, spoon, spoon, spoon, spoon


10 things I hate about you

Yes, I really am talking about the film. How awesome is it? I just re-watched it for the billionth time, and its as classic now as it was the first time. I was wondering whether its a sign of serious deep seated issues or a true skill to be able to not only quote most of the lines, but get the timing and emphasis right. But then, it is a fabulous film. And heath ledgers never been so hot as when he's young and australian and impressionable.

Also, reminded me of one of my other favourite things, 3rd rock from the sun. JOseph Gordon Levitt is not as cute as Heath, but hes still a funny little guy, and 3rd rock is fantastic. I tried to find it on DC last year with limited success, and now I really want it (is it available on DVD?)

Hmm, just watched Susan humiliate herself on Desperate Housewives. Thats a bit icky. I suddenly don't like Mike very much any more.

Anyway, thats me entering the real world for long enough :)


February 20, 2006

Life without webmail

OK, its time for me to add my two-pennorth on this ITS thing. I woke up yesterday morning and as is my habit, I switched on my computer and went to check my email. I should explain, I'm a twenty-times-a-day girl – I get a little shaky when I can't get my fix, you know? So I couldn't log in – I sighed, but its not an unusual occurence these days. I check the ITS website – apparantly theres nothing wrong, I try again. I'm beggining to get a little nervous. I leave it a while. I check back around midday – oh, now theres a problem. So I keep myself busy. Do some work, try not to think about the possiblity of 50 emails piling up, important things being discussed that I can't take part in, that kinda thing. I check back last night, still buggered, but they plan to have it fixed by 'this evening'. I check back at half twelve – they still want it fixed by 'this evening'. Fat chance – I even manage to laugh at the irony. It'll be fixed by tomorrrow, I reassure myself.

Apparantly not. And now, they have no guess how long it will take to fix. A day? A week? Years? My foot has been twitching ever since I got up. I'm grinding my teeth. I had to ask a friend on the exec whether anything important had come over the listing. That reassured me. But not much. I need to send emails.

So now, you see, I'm all worked up. ITS has crossed me again. They persuade you to rely on the email they so 'thoughtfully' provide you, then systematically fuck it up on a regular basis to remind you that they are in charge.

Of course, this does beg the usual questions about our modern, consumer driven society and how we can't survive indeperndantly without mass communication. Some might see my inability to cope with being exempted from discussions on the exec listing a sign of the usual work anxiety about 'getting ahead' and being 'left behind' (see my entry on the Corosion of Character for that, folks) and they'd probably be right. Lets be honest – someone who can't cope without email for two days probably needs psychiatric help, perhaps even a nice new jacket – one of the ones with the real long sleeves. But I don't care. I want my email. I want it now. And if I don't get it soon, I'm gonna scream and scream until I'm sick.

So there.


Elizabethtown@ WSC

Title:
Elizabethtown
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Elizabethtown sees the divinely yummy Orlando Bloom finally pretending to be an American, starring against the wonderfully southern Kirsten Dunst in this most peculiar romantic comedy. A fellow audience member likened it to the Garden State – it has the same note of off-key peculiarity, even though I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Blooms mother tap-dancing at her husbands funeral to 'Moonriver' is perhaps one example, the paper eagle that flew accross the room on a pulley system catching fire also provides that off-key humour which prevented this film being dull. Bloom acquitted himself well as a shoe designer facing ruin, going to face an army of southern relatives to claim his fathers body for cremation. Dunst plays chirpy and slightly bizarre commitment phobe Claire Colburn, an air hostess who seems insistent on helping the young Drew Baylor from the moment she sees him on the phone.

Claire's quirky-ness begins to grate by the end of the film, and I began to wonder whether she was psychotic. Similarly, Drew Baylors tragic self pity had the potential to be annoying. In traditional holly-wood style, each helps the other past their neuroses, and the film ends with Bloom being led on a treasure hunt, at one end of which, Dunst has placed herself. Unusually, I did not invest in the relationship as I would have expected to – instead I was absorbed by the quirky details and outer story of the film.

Perhaps my biggest objection is that we never hear what was so terrible about Baylors shoe – it suugests lazy-ness on the part of the writers, and leaves one black mark on a pretty unsmirched copy-book.

Sweet, funny, and quirky – definatly worth seeing once!


February 10, 2006

Stuart: A life backwards

Alexander Masters spent years working with the homeless, and even more years learning Stuart's story. As with most biography, he finishes the book intimately aquainted and 'in love' with his subject – 'his friend, Stuart'. Stuart is a psychotic, alcolohic, criminal, drug abusing homeless man with a serious affection for knives and a tendency to go loco for no apparant reason. He has spent his life in and out of prison, on the streets, and running away from wherever he has found himself. Masters' first draft was rejected by Stuart, who decided it was too dry and academic. He suggested that Masters write it backwards 'like a murder mystery' – who killed Stuart, and left this nutter in his place? Before Masters could finish the second draft – the backwards draft – Stuart had stepped out in front of the last train from Kings Lynn, intentionally or otherwise – and never got to see the finished article.

The backwards structure of the book works well – it doesn't feel contrived, and once you have got the hang of it, it flows smoothly enough. It is intwined with the story of the writing of the book, of Stuart and Alexanders relationship, of the campaign they worked on, and the places they went. Stuart is not romanticised as an ex-chaotic – he is right there – still drinking, drugging, being arrested, assualting others for no apparant reason, and sleeping rough rather than pay for a cab home. Masters work is 'stapling him to the page' – he is wary of mis-representing Stuart, from his bourgeous, middle class, privelidged and 'ordered' life.

Stuart's anxiety to be properly represented is shown, and Masters desire to understand this is touching. The need to understand why certain people turn out certain ways comes up again and again in thier conversations – and Masters' tries really hard to avoid jumping to such a conclusion. As a reader, its also important to try to do the same.

The characters of Masters and Stuart are wonderfully illustrated and endearing, and the death of Stuart, suicide or accident lends the book a tragic poignancy, which ironically, I suspect Stuart would have hated.
its sweet, its smooth and it pulls you in and resisits the urge to shock you with the harsh realities of life on the street. Its not a political tract, its a human life story.

And its good.


In her Shoes @ WSC

Title:
In Her Shoes
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Hmm, well what to say about a film I've never heard of before. A predictable chick-flick, two sisters, disastrously are thrust together, etc etc. Cameron Diaz stars as the lazy yet disastrously attractive floozy Maggie, while her sister Rose (Toni Collette) provides a picture of virgoan anality with a career as a lawyer, nice apartment and secret collection of beautiful, impractical, and unworn Jimmy-Choos. Chucked out by her outraged step-mother, Maggie seeks refuge at her sisters house, slowly driving her round the bend with her attention seeking, slovenly behaviour. Things come to a head when Maggie gets Rose's car clamped, and is unceremoniously chucked out. As she packs, Rose's secret partner (a senior colleague) comes to the door, and is faced with a scantily clad Maggie, who is quite happy to step in in her sisters absence. Cue messy break up scene. Boyfriend rapidly exits, stage left, Maggie goes to visit her mothers mother, mysteriously absent after her mothers death at an early age. Rose, by some happy coincidences begins a dog-walking service, which manages to maintain her previous lifestyle. During her stay with the Miami old folks, Maggie learns to care for others, and we slowly realise that she has long suffered from Dyslexia, slowly overcome by an elderly patient with an obsession with Elizabeth Bishop. Anyway, long story short, eventually the whole family get back together again – Rose finds love with an old, slightly peculiar colleague, and eventually the two sisters realise that blood is thicker than … whatever.

Perhaps slightly over long, the film has a certain quality which resists dismissal as yet another chick flick romance. The two sisters performance is genuinely touching, once I got over wondering what precisely they had done to make Diaz's boobs so big! It also avoids the major pitfall of most films of the genre – having a man provide the solution to Rose and Maggie's personal dilemmas. Instead the two sisters have to work out their own problems, before they can set about salvaging Rose's relationships. Maggie's portrayal of a 'slow reader' is again convincing and emotional – not a massive tear-jerker, but a couple of single drops might be expected. Certainly better than quite a lot of things I've seen recently!


February 04, 2006

Serenity, at WSC

Title:
Serenity
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Hmmm, well tonight I finally saw Serenity. Am I right in thinking it Joss Whedon's first venture on to the big screen? Its certainly not Buffy, anyway. Definately a lack of cool, well groomed women in this one (I mean, River, the lead girl is quite hot, but in a waifish, largely pathetic way. And her face is always lined and her eyes are always baggaged) I guess some of the other peripheral women were kick ass. Anyway, fisrt thoughts were:

'She looks rough' (river)
'He's the guy from Kinky Boots' (Chiwetel Eijofar – when you've seen him in a dress, you just can't take him seriously)
'This is fun'

So yeah, the movie is fun. I wouldn't say its mind-blowing, or that its rocked a genre, or any other of the astonishing reviews it seems to have gotton. (See the filmsoc review archive for example). But it is fun. And some of the one liners got a roll-around laugh from the audience, which is always brilliant. The storyline is not original, but interesting, and the characters of the reevers are genuinely inspired – not only thier existence – they are creepy and pretty terryfying, but also their creation – I won't ruin it for you, but its a nice little nuggest added in towards the end.

Back to the cross dressing Chiwetal Eijofar (what a name!) who plays the Operative. The Operative is one of the most interesting characters – a danger because he is a true believer that what he is doing in right. Eventually, of course, he is 're-educated' but this is perhaps the greated tragedy of all. Like Javert, in Les Mis, The Operative has his entire belief system pulled out from underhim, although it is one of the greatest weaknesses of the film that he basically lives, makes friends with the rebels, and seems to go on existing in pretty much the same way as he has before. A symbolic death, 'falling on his own sword' was called for, and Whedon disappointingly didn't deliver.

RIver, as I have mentioned was a little disappointing – perhaps more of the human river would have been appreciated, although it would have been hard to achieve. The floaty dresses are also a bit much – whoever heard of an assassin dressed as a peasant girl?!?! Her brother had an almost abnormally masculine chin – a small marr on an otherwise remarkably attractive man :) The captain, Mal, while having most of the funny one liners was too much a 'tortured leader' to be truly interesting.

The real kudos however goes to the more peripheral characters – the other crew members. The death of the pilot (whose name I can't remember) is perhaps the most shocking that could have been devised. All the crew members were characters well crafted and well played, and they certainly deserve a round of applause for thier human portrayals of thier 'rebels'

Overall, I'd say enjoyable but not earth-shattering. A good action sci-fi, well written and directed, with some moments of genius, and some poor choices made. Engaging and good fun – and an excellent and smooth transition for Whedon to the big screen!


After that last one I got gastric flu

Hmm. As my title suggests, after that last post I got gastric flu. And missed most of Jimmy Carr cause I was busy throwing up. And then cleaning up. Today I did my second trainee DM show at the cinema. It was ok – I didn't lose any money, so that was a definate bonus. Then my bus broke down, and I had to get the later one after waiting half an hour, but I didn't really mind. I wrote a lot of navel gazing on my phone which I won't bother to repeat here.

Today I said that when it was cold, I started to doubt myself. This was a lie, and I feel bad about lying, but on the other hand, the truth is far worse. The navel gazing beginneth here. Actually, thats not fair – and its ok, I know that breaking off like this makes it seem like I have a huge dramatic secret, but I don't, honest – I just can't face any more navel gazing matyr-dom. I'd be much better off letting loose on current affairs, or mentioning I just found something white in the bottom of my wine glass. I did, honestly. its a little gross. I try not to think about these things too much.

I should blog more. i think it would be healthsome to my lack of style and voice. Thats something I should sort out as a wannabe writer – well, thats what my report says anyway. Everything else is great – the writing not so hot. A good report for a creative writing student. Dammit.

I felt aggressive earlier, but the wine has made me sleepy. I just put the heating on, so I should wait a while, and not fall asleep with it still chugging stuff out. mmmm, gas headache.

Today we did a coffee drinking on art and freedom of expression. Luckily for me, the danish have just published a load of cartoons that have the muslims up in arms (again). Some of them were actually quite amusing. Now, my argument is that people should both respect others beliefs, but also be able to criticise them – people should be free to believe what they want but not force others to think the same (but thats a whole other issue). But anyway, I was quite chilled. But then, I'm an atheist or and agnostic (it varies with my mood), so in a way, I'm safest, having no beliefs to shoot down. No danger of me getting hurt by cunning cartoons, no siree. But anyway – live and let live, man. I have this theory that …. well, i can't remember that theory. I have a lot of theories though. A lot of theories, and a lot of 'all time favourite' people. I seem to be fornd of hyperbole. And the word, like. Like, I can't seem to like, contruct a sentence, like without that additional comma, and like, like. See how damn annoying it is. A lot of what i do annoys me. Perhaps that is an issue.

Hmmm, back to the navel gazing. On that note, I have my cute dragonfly ring in today. i want to buy more. On an entirely seperate note I wrote a truly abysmal 'poem' on wednesday, during Lawrence of Arabia. But Rob put me to shame – a maths student writing poetry in his lectures – i'm so embarassed. If only I could just change a lot of things, it would be better. But maybe not. Everyone has problems – some people are better at dealing with them. Ooopsie. Damn is my navel annoying tonight.

I think its time to disappear and review Serenity

xx


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