Thursday, 25 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
Here’s the plan:
Grand Canyon (3 days)
In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a terrific New Year. Keep me updated on your happenings, y’hear?
Love and season’s greetings,
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Twilight was a madhouse of maniac teenage girls, a description which may or may not have included myself and my friend. However, it made for a fantastic and charged atmosphere; really, it was like one big slumber party, with everyone “shh!”ing as the lights went down, laughing at Jasper’s face (he is kind of funny looking, he has this permanently surprised look), murmuring when Edward appeared and cheering and wolf-whistling when Edward and Bella kissed.
The book might not have been subtle, but the film makes you appreciate such qualities, generally hitting you over the head with things like Bella’s scent and Edward being a blood-scuking, immortal “cold one,” just in case you live under a rock and hadn’t realised Edward is a dirty great vamp. However, like the book, the chemistry, head-over-heels part where they (supposedly) fall in love is lacking and therefore kind of unbelievable. I mean, Edward goes from being “we shouldn’t be friends” to “I can’t stay away from you, I must watch you sleep and follow you to Port Angeles,” and Bella’s all “I trust you, even though I don’t know you AT ALL and you’re a vamp who not only lusts after my body but – more importantly – my BLOOD.” While it’s faithful to the essential outlines – and favourite quotes – of the plot, it takes liberties by mixing in parts from New Moon.
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is broody and aloof almost to a point of overkill (but he still looks good when he’s brooding, so all is forgiven), and fairly well captures Edward’s internal struggle between his clashing desires; Bella, and the need to resist her. However, even CGI can’t mimic the sparkle of Edward Cullen’s diamond-looking skin in the sunlight; the result is pitiful and somewhat laughable.
It is well worth the wait to see Edward smile; on the other hand, it looks as though Bella (Kristen Stewart) is in constant pain, even though she’s with the sexiest vamp EVER. As Jake Wilson observes in The Age, “she has only two real acting weapons: her lashes, which she flutters to indicate confusion, and her prominent front teeth, which are put on show when she lets her mouth fall open in a wary, appraising look.”
The secondary characters, on the other hand – Charlie, Jacob and the Cullens – play their parts well, although Jacob and the Cullens were all too minor, if you ask me. I hope we see more of them – especially the latter, who were particularly good – in the film/s to come.
Jim Schembri wrote a hilarious response to the film about “25 things you will learn about your average modern-day angst-ridden teenage vampire from watching the new hit movie Twilight,” including, first and foremost, that “broadly speaking, the world is divided into two groups: normal people, or “mortals,” and vampire people, or “immortals.” The chief advantage of being an “immortal” is the ability to sit through an entire screening of
Which leads me to the “obese epic” that is
Perhaps the best and most arresting thing about
David Wenham does a mean (pun intended) bad guy (Neil Fletcher), the evil and ambitious underling to the King of the Beef Industry and landowner Carney (Bryan Brown), who wants Faraway Downs. Much underhandedness ensues, there is the inevitable confrontation, a declaration of war and so begins the battle for Faraway Downs, which is restored to its former glory with a joint effort by the Drover and Mrs Boss, who – obviously – fall madly and passionately in love. But wait – it’s not a true Luhrmann film without tragedy, which is scattered throughout the film but is compounded in the last hour (by which time you are practically begging for the film to end.)
Sure, it’s clichéd, corny, predictable, much too long, melodramatic and cringe-worthy (at least for Australians), but it’s romantic, spectacular, evocative, impressive and feel-good. Evan Williams sums it up best when he says: “there are moments in Baz Luhrmann’s over-sized, over-long Outback weepie Australia, when one wonders if there are any tablecloth clichés about Australia that have been missed. We have the horses, the cattle, the dust, the rugged Aussie loner, the Aborigine standing on one leg in a loincloth, the beer, the roos. About the only thing missing is a bloke named Bruce.”
Germaine Greer – ever controversial – had a field day in yesterday’s Age, with a scathing article about how the film is “strictly fanciful,” “a film that twists history into a fairytale confections…and glosses over the shocking exploitation of Aborigines,” essentially expressing indignation and outrage over Luhrmann’s lack of historical accuracy. But that’s exactly what
Twilight: 2.5 stars
Australia: 3 stars
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Last night was the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, celebrating 50 years of Australian cinema, hosted by the hilarious Steven Curry, who I loved in The Castle. It was a fairly modest affair, featuring appearances by Marcia Hines, George Miller and Eric Bana, looking handsomely rugged and bearded, but Hugh Jackman – the Sexiest Man Alive – could not be there.
Summer Heights High won 2 awards (deservingly) for Best Comedy and Best Actor, with actor/writer Chris Lilley winning the Byron Kennedy Award. The Black Balloon also scooped up several, and Underbelly, not surprisingly, made a killing. I really should see it. It’s too bad it was banned in
There was a wonderful tribute to Heath Ledger, who received an award for Best Actor. I really hope he wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, it would be a wonderful testament not only to his outstanding performance in The Dark Knight but recognition of his stunning body of work.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Rachel Zoe, “stylists to the stars,” once famously Nicole Richie’s friend and eating disorder pal, has, like a host of her vain celebrity friends with too much time on their hands, got herself a reality TV show that follows her fascinating life in fashion for the rest of us who are clearly desperate to know what she does day-to-day - the Rachael Zoe Project. And it’s just as brainless as she is.
This makes it an almost mindless delight. I’ve only watched one episode, on a lazy Saturday afternoon whilst channel surfing with nothing better to do, and indeed if you have no better way to fill your time, this may just do. If you take none of it seriously – and fear not, Zo does that more than enough for you – it’s a hoot. She “dresses” her clients by giving her opinion on their outfits, drools all over designers such as Oscar de la Renta, never seems to have enough time to get ready, but always has “20 minutes” to go shopping, where she inevitably buy countless dresses she probably won’t wear (“I’ll look at it”), will tell her husband she “had in the back of [her] closet” and will no doubt lead to yet another fight with said (increasingly frustrated) husband, who has been contacted by the credit card company for “suspicious activity.
- “I see it, I want it, I grab it…I pay for it later” (she says as she pulls clothes off a rack)
- “I can’t keep anything alive except a cactus…and that died” (walking upstairs with flowers her husband gave her)
- “Brad, we’ve got to give her a coat or she’s going to wear god-knows-what”
- “I am, like, perpetually confused…about where I’m going with my day.”
Then there’s all the tension with
: “Does Brad not f---king know how to use a telephone?” Taylor
Friend: “I don’t think so.”
: “Things like that infuriate me.” Taylor
Brad is one of the things that makes this show worthwhile; the other is the fashion. During NY Fashion Week, Zoe gets to attend all the glorious shows we plebs dream about, which are, believe me, gorgeous - but completely out of your - and my - price range.
Oh, (as Arielle likes to say) to be young and beautiful and fabulous and completely lacking in depth.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
I remember seeing a production of it in Hawaii some Christmases ago.
It's such a beautiful, magical story - it captures all the joy, love and fantasy of Christmas.
1 month to go!
Friday, 21 November 2008
It is so incredibly awesome and I am so incredibly going! It's a quota subject, which means only so many students can go, and I was accepted!! I am so incredibly excited like you would not believe (or maybe you would). I might not be going on exchange, but like they say, when one door closes, another door opens.
New York, New York!
I've never been to Boston, a baseball game or lived in an American college. It is going to be utterly fantastic.
It's gonna be sweet.
Anyhow, less than a month til I go to Hawaii, about which I am super, super excited, and then on to Vegas, baby!
And I know y'all are going to miss me, so feel free to email, or whatever. You could write sonnets in my name,** if you really wanted. I wouldn't stop you.
What are your plans?***
*Can't complain actually, exams went pretty well, I actually have a really good feeling about them and didn't find them all too challenging - read: impossible.
***Winter. Holidays. It's all the same. Skiing!
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Death is but the next great adventure.*
I don't know where I sit on this one; I haven't thought about it all that much.
But being the atheist that I am, I've never really believed in an afterlife. I believe we simply die.
I love the stories of the Egytian afterlife, although I don't know if I'd want to be a part of it.
The whole reincarnation thing is pretty cool. If you could come back as anyone or anything, who/what would you be?**
*I know I have some hardcore fans so tell me, which BOOK is this quote from?!
**I realise that, sadly, it doesn't work like this.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you.
I am composed of three parts. Foremost, I have a body and all of its organs made of matter. Secondly, I participate in the form of the human being. Third, I have a soul that tries to understand and do the good and condemn and avoid the bad.
I'm inclined to think both - because isn't it who we are underneath that drives us to do the things we do? I don't know that one thing necessarily defines us, if anything at all can define us - it is anything and everything that can say the most about "who we are."
So I started thinking about some of the things that might define me, and I came up with a short list and made a mosaic featuring them:
1. Australia, 2. Hawaii (America), 3. My friends, 4. Melbourne University, 5. My job - Boost Juice, 6. My beliefs - there's no God, 7. Where I live - farm, 8. Just A Small Town Girl, 9. Optimism
What you stand for defines you - equality.
Your background and environment in the early years are the beginnings of what will finally define you . This nurturing and exposure combined with your genetic make up inherited over thousands of years is what builds your character, develops your integrity and gives you that aura and personality...Character, integrity and aura and personality are all the things that define a person.
(Please, please somebody, for the love of all that may be holy and all-powerful, name this movie!)
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Besides, how hard could it be?
They build 'em tough these days, I hear.
Are we the agents of our own destiny? Or merely the pawns of Fate, Destiny, the Gods or some higher order?
What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide
Is fate just an excuse - "for those too weak to determine their own destiny"? Do we control ourselves, our futures, or are we living out some predetermined future?
I'm more inclinded to believe that "we make our own fortunes and we call them fate." I also rather like the Devil's Dictionary definition of destiny: "A tyrant's authority for crime and fool's excuse for failure."
I've always been of the belief that everything happens for a reason, but that we are the masters of our own destiny, so to speak. Que sera, sera -- but we decide.
"We sow our thoughts and reap our actions. We sow our actions and reap our habits. We sow our habits and reap our character. We sow our character, and we reap our destiny."
Monday, 17 November 2008
Take Abbey-Louise Clarke, who recently joined her local fire brigade (not entirely sure why this is news, but it's the Herald Sun, so no questions asked).
Abbey-Louise Clarke plays footy, cricket, helps build houses and has just become the first female firefighter at her CFA station.
But Cobden's Abbey-Louise says she is no tomboy.
"I'm an ordinary girl who likes to do anything men can do," the 17-year-old said.
Are there such things as male and female interests, and why are they this way? Just because sewing has always been a woman's job, doesn't mean it is by its very nature, nor does it make it a feminine past time.
As if there aren't enough stereotypes in the world.