Friday, 30 October 2009

No, Seriously - Suggestions?

JAG is writing a bucket list. Suggestions?

L: pat a turtle
JAG: wow that was fast - a 15 sec response time I believe! ;) may have already done that - we used to rescue baby turtles that fell into our ramp!
D: eat a turtle?
L: don't eat a turtle.
D: oh ok...pat then eat?
L: ahahahaha I think not XD unless you have?
D: ............................
L: no turtle eating!!
E: oh my gosh! i remember those turtles jag! awwww
B: Go drinking with me!
JAG: I like that one ^^ :) one of these days...!
O: do easters 2010
O: bungee jump
O: eat escargot
O: pat a tarantula
N: eat a tarantula


Save the Date


Sunday, 18 October 2009

How To Dress For Unpredictable Melbourne Spring

Or, how to look good for under $100.

Shrek has the answer: lay-ers!

Dress: Valley Girl, $30

Boots: Tulips, $25 (on sale)

Jacket: Valley Girl, $35 (half price!!)

Belt: Vintage (my mother's, once)
Necklace: gift
Tights: school, standard issue


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Answers

So, apparently Hahvahd has all the answers. Wheel Questions is a place where people can ask a question - any question - by writing it on a blank card and leaving it to be answered by creator John Monsarrat, who seems to have an answers for any- and everything; "he takes each question card and writes an answer on the back, meant to inspire people to think rationally and change their life for the better." This year, he is aiming to collect 10,000 questions and create a world record.

Anyway, I didn't see this while I was there, but some of my friends did, wrote a question and found the answer posted on his blog. I've been perusing it, and found some very interesting insights:

Finally, the question from a couple of the Dreamers:


Taylor Town






Saturday, 10 October 2009

QT Virginity

I no longer haz it.

Having nothing to compare it to, I'm told Inglourious Basterds is pretty par for the Tarantino course; gory, twisted sense of humour, melodramatic. However, well aware of said reputation, I was surprised as how much I enjoyed this film in all its kitsch comedy (mind you, there were many scenes I couldn't watch for the grisly bits.)

The film shifts between thriller and, at times, something resembling the cinematic equivalent of a comic book. Tarantino certainly doesn't take no prisoners with his audience, either; from start to finish the film an assault on all the senses; bloody, brutal, no-holds-barred, all set to a hardcore, rock soundtrack which, more often than not, indicates someone's going to die. The dialogue is absolutely brilliant, witty, irreverent, which is probably why it wasn't just another savage war film.

The cinematography lingers on every glorious death throe and at times is so overly dramatised (moving between characters like a tennis match except with devastating consequences) you want to shakeTarantino and say "get on with it man!"

Christoph Waltz is unwavering and disturbingly convincing as the SS Colonel Hans Landa nicknamed the "Jew Hunter" for his so-called ability to think like Jews, who well deserves the Best Actor Award he received at Cannes this year. Brad Pitt's exaggerated-beyond-belief American accents ("we're in the Nat-zi killing business") is a constant source of cringing but also amusement.

It's probably true that the film is way too long, being that's it's about 2 hr 45 min. There's lots of scenary and unnecessary dialogue that could be cut, being as a lot of it's conveyed by the subtle character interaction. An example of this - and one of my favourite scenes - is when Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent, who is fantastic as a Jew who got away, living under cover in Germany) is taken out for lunch by the SS and runs into Col Landa - the man who came after her family as a child. The tension is not only palpable, but fearful. Diane Kruger plays the femme fatale as Bridget von Hammersmark, a double agent German actress.

Although the film "provides a fascinating alternate history to aspects of the war in Europe," jdl raised an interesting point about whether the film is a disservice to the Jewish memory. It struck me throughout the film that what the Basterds were doing to the Nat-zis is on the same cruelty level as what they were doing to the Jews. Doesn't that make the Jews - or these Jews, in particular - as bad as the Nat-zis? Just look at the way barbarism is glorified in the above advertisements. Sure, we want to see them fight back, and we're cheering for them to blow up Hitler, but does that make them any more justified? The film is satirical to the point of being silly, but is Tarantino really empowering the Jews through this film or dehumanising them? There's Jewish heroism, and then there's the Basterds, who may not be a kind memory to Jewish suffering, which leads to another point: should the Holocaust genre be treated more sensitively by Hollywood? Or is nothing sacred to the cinematic money-making machine?

In other news: ZOMG IRON MAN 2!!!

Source: IMDB of course!


Riddle Me This

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize 2009.

"President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee countered that it was trying "to promote what he stands for and the positive processes that have started now.""

Not that it's not amazing, but it is justified? Is it too early in his career? Is it bang out of order? Consider Obama is the second sitting President to receive such a prize since Woodrow Wilson, who, it might be pointed out, brought WW1 to an end, wrote the 14 Points for peace and helped shape the Treaty of Versailles. Though Obama is a beacon of hope - and the importance of this globally should not be underestimated - and has begun many admirable and forward-thinking policies and initiatives (see Climate Change and International Relations) - he has achieved very little of note yet. Yet. But is the Nobel supposed to be in recognition of his potential or his past?

Should he accept it?


Friday, 9 October 2009

Glorious, Glorious Summer

(500) Days of Summer is touted as a story about “boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl doesn’t,” and that’s exactly what it is. As a result, it’s the unconventional romance of the year, delightfully quirky, charming, and amusing every beat of the way. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has only grown cuter since 10 Things I Hate About You, and is well cast as somewhat of a smitten dork, Tom, who believes in true love and can't resist his co-worker gorgeous, free-spirited Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite feel the same way about him.
The film offers some intriguing discussions about the nature of love and the idea of “the One,” exploring the notion of what happens when you fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. What is love? Does love exist? Can't a girl be free and independent and not want a boyfriend without being a lesbian?
Tom is a wannabe architect who writes greeting cards ("I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a builing when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card" [in sarcastic tone, just so you know]) who, in the middle of it all, wakes up to an ironic epiphany about love, language, gestures and the greeting card industry, which may make you think about how to express that sentiment you're next going to send via Hallmark:
“Why do people buy these [greeting cards]? Not to say how they feel. There’s paper and pens for that. People give these cards when they can’t say how they feel. Or they’re afraid to. And we provide the service that lets ’em get away with that! I think we do a bad thing here. People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, without some strangers putting words in their mouths. The truth. A card is a nice thought but it shouldn’t do the dirty work for you. You love someone, tell them yourself, in your own words. Maybe it’s not love at all. Maybe there’s no such thing as love.”
But the point of it all isn't to disprove love but rather to question it. It isn't that love doesn't exist, but that it is a very different emotion and experience for everyone, not necessarily reciprocol and, perhaps above all, incredibly uncertain.
Sure, it’s a lovely, light-hearted film but it packs a punch; “just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate.” Tom's younger sister delivers this cracker of a line which is just one example of the sizzling, sassy and hilarious dialogue.

One of the most amazing things about this film is that it shows, tantalisingly, rather than tells:
“CLOSE ON her HAND, covering his. Notice the wedding ring. No words are spoken. Tom looks at her the way every woman wants to be looked at.” [Excerpt from screenplay]
And then it goes and undoes all your basic assumptions based on this.
The film is as sweet as it is funny and unflinching, with cartoon backgrounds, home-video quality, split screens, and kooky cinematography, reminiscent of 2007's indie hit Juno. Perhaps one of the film’s greatest qualities is that it doesn’t take itself seriously; it is narrated by what is described in the screenplay as “a distinguished voice,” and at times bursts into song and dance. To boot, it has a rocking soundtrack that not only sets the mood but just makes you want to get up and dance in the isles.
This is not a love story. It’s a story about love. And you will love it.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Nature vs Nurture

I sometimes wonder – more so since the National Student Leadership Forum – whether (my) optimism is a luxury I can afford because my life is good. Everything does work out in the end, more or less, for better or worse. Would I still feel the same if I were an orphan, if I were starving, if I were homeless?