Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Youthful Cast, Herbert Hoover, Kevin Rudd in NYC, and Cairnes' Horror Stuff

1. Started to watch an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

2. Saw that Bud Tingwell is in this episode.

He looked familiar to me, but I didn't know who he was. IMDb had to inform me.

Another person I recognized, on the episode, is Nikolai Nikolaeff from The Saddle Club.  I knew right away it was him, but this might because I saw his name, a few weeks ago, when I first looked at Scooter: Secret Agent on IMDb. 

3. Started watching an episode of Home and Away. 

4. Decided I might enjoy Home and Away more if I consider it a teen show.

It's more similar to shows like Charmed, Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, and Beverly Hills 90210 than it is to shows like Neighbours and Coronation Street

The other day I tried comparing it to Days of our Lives, but from what I used to watch on DOOL, it was not as youth-oriented as Home and Away.

The main characters of Home and Away seem to all be under thirty and very attractive. There are some older adults, but they don't seem to really have their own storylines. Their roles seem to be more about supporting the younger cast.   

5. Thought of 1988-1990 Home and Away. It was definitely less youth-oriented.  

6. Learned about Herbert Hoover in our history class today. It turns out he spent a lot of time in Australia doing mining work.  

7. Saw that Herbert Hoover actually has an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Wow! I'm not sure if I've ever seen a non-Aussie in there. 

8. Learned that Hoover came to Western Australia when he was in his early twenties. 

9. Got the idea that Hoover's contributions to Australian mining were more positive and impressive than his contributions to the US as our president.  

10. Learned about the Herbert Hoover Bed and Breakfast in Gwalia Western Australia.

Hoover directed the building project but then moved away to China before it was finished.

He did, however, stay in the lodging for some time in 1902. 

11. Saw from Google Maps that Gwalia is around nine hours west of Perth.  

12. Thought it would be a good driving trip for those interested in mining. You'd also pass through Kalgoorlie. 

13. Saw that the rates for the Herbert Hoover Bed and Breakfast are quite reasonable. It's $150 for an ensuite room.  

Since the price is low, it kind of makes me wonder if it's lacking air-conditioning.  

I would think it gets very hot in that area.

14. Read some reviews of Herbert Hoover Bed and Breakfast on Trip Advisor. They're very positive. And the place DOES have air-conditioning. 

15. Wondered if Herbert Hoover spent more time in Australia than any other US president.

16. Wondered which Prime Minister of Australia spent the most time in the US?  Did any of them ever live here? I don't think any did, but I could be wrong.  

17. Learned from Lord Wiki that Kevin Rudd lived in the US in 2014.  He did/does foreign policy type work.

Is he still there?

18. Found an article/interview, from October 2015, about Rudd living in NYC. I'm guessing, since it's only three months later, that he's still there. 

19. Learned that Rudd goes to China about every two months. This makes sense, because his job in New York is being head of the Asia Society Policy Institute.

20. Liked what Rudd says here. By instinct I’m a global citizen, and I have lived out of Australia for many years – I feel very much at home in different parts of the world.

I like the mindset of being a global citizen.

21. Liked what Rudd calls his three-year-old granddaughter—a threenager.  Did he make that term up?

We had a threenager in our family, and now she's a REAL teenager.

22. Googled and saw that Rudd didn't invent the term threenager.

23. Read definitions of threenager, and it pretty much sounds like a typical three-year-old to me—moody and stubborn.

I was picturing something else, but I'm not sure I can explain it.

Maybe it would be a child who seems quite keen to join the teen and/or adult world.

I picture little divas who want to be the center of attention.

24.  Thought about something I read in my old blog post that I read today. It was along the lines of behavior not being determined by age.

Age is a factor to some degree. Of course. But I think temperament trumps that. A flexible, easygoing teenager was probably fairly flexible and easygoing as a toddler. A shy ten-year-old was likely also shy when she was three. A bossy preschooler will probably be bossy when she's college-aged.

Then again, it could go in the opposite direction. An easygoing three-year-old might have bottled up feelings of rebellion that she finally lets out when she's fourteen.

25. Felt I might be wrong, but I don't know.

Is our behavior determined more by age or our general temperament?  Does my personality have more in common with other people in their early forties; or does it have more in common with Dina at age seven and Dina at age twenty-two?

26.  Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch a 2008 film called "Beggar's Belief".

27. Started watching the film.

A beggar is telling people his wife has cancer and their car was stolen.

Is he telling the truth?

28. Saw that the guy is probably lying.

It's another case of someone lying about cancer.

With all this fake cancer in the world, how are the real cancer victims going to be believed?

29. Thought that film was a great morality tale.

It was creepy and suspenseful.

30. Looked at "Beggar's Belief" on IMDb.

It was filmed in Ballarat, which makes sense. It takes place in Ballarat.

31. Saw that the movie was written by Colin and Cameron Cairnes.

I'm going to guess they're brothers.

32. Saw that Colin Cairnes was the director. I wonder if he wrote most of the movie or if the writing was split pretty evenly?

33. Wondered why I'm asking dumb questions.

34. Felt I was actually being a bit dishonest.

I don't really give a crap what percentage of the film was written by which Cairnes brother.

I think I was just trying to be conversational.

It's like when you're at some social event stuck talking to someone you'd rather not talk to. And then you ask rhetorical questions you really don't give a crap about just to fill the silence.

35. Saw that Cameron Cairnes was the writer and director for 100 Bloody Acres.

I might have heard of that before. It sounds familiar.

36. Saw that I knew of some of the actors in the 100 Bloody Acres cast—Damon Herriman, John Jarrett, Anna McGahan, Angus Sampson,

37. Noticed that Cameron AND Colin Cairnes wrote and directed 100 Bloody Acres.

I missed that before.

I'm tired.

38.  Watched the trailer for 100 Bloody Acres.

It looks gruesome.

The jokes didn't make me laugh, but maybe they work better in the actual film than the trailer.

Sometimes I think jokes in trailers feel too forced.

Or there's that feeling that the movie is saying, Look I'm funny! I have jokes. Come see me!  

And then I want to reply.  Are those all your jokes? Are they your funniest? If those are your best jokes, why do I need to see the movie?

If I see a trailer for a comedy and nothing makes me laugh, it's hard to feel motivated about seeing the movie. If it does make me laugh, then I wonder if that's it. Is there any point in seeing the movie? What if the funniest parts are in the trailer, and it doesn't get any better?

I think sometimes, though, it works out that the movie is funnier than the trailer...or at least more entertaining.

There are movies better than their trailers.

There are also trailers that are better than their movies.

39. Looked at the Cairnes' upcoming film. It's a horror movie called Scare Campaign.

Ian Meadows, from The Moody's, is one of the stars.

40. Saw that John Brumpton is in the movie.

I feel like I've seen his name on IMDb recently, but I don't know why.

He was on many episodes of season one of Tangle, but I don't remember him.

41. Saw that the cast of Scare Campaign has two actresses from SeaChange—Sigrid Thornton and Cassandra Magrath.

I remember Thornton's character. I don't know who Magrath played.

42. Wondered if maybe Magrath played Thornton's daughter.

43. Got idea from Lord Wiki that I'm right.

Thornton's and Magrath's characters both have the last name Gibson.

44. Watched the teaser trailer for Scare Campaign.

It looks scary and gruesome.

45. Felt that from what I saw in "Beggar's Belief" and the two trailers, the Cairnes brothers are good with horror.

46. Hoped I wasn't making a mistake about the brother thing.

47. Saw, that in 2007-2008, Colin Cairnes directed a TV show in Singapore called Parental Guidance. 

Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be a horror thing.

48. Learned from Lord Wiki that 100 Bloody Acres received positive reviews from critics.  I actually saw that mentioned in YouTube comments, but I didn't give it much attention.

One of the critics compared the movie to Shaun of the Dead.  I liked that movie, so maybe I'd also like 100 Bloody Acres.

49. Saw that the movie was nominated for awards—best screenplay, best supporting actor, best actor, and best actress.

50. Found an interview with Colin and Cameron Cairnes.

I think I'm going to read that, and then end this.

I'm really tired.

51. Learned that the brothers have been working together since they were teenagers.

52. Felt relieved to learn that they are indeed brothers.

It seemed highly likely that they were—same last name and the first name alliteration.

But I felt guilty making assumptions.

53. Reminded of my own sibling relationship when reading that Cameron and Colin watched a lot of 1970's and 1980's horror movies.

My sister and I did that; though probably more 80's than 70's.

54. Looked at another article even though I said I wouldn't. It's just I feel conflicted about quitting too soon.

Plus, the article is in Fangoria. I remember looking at that magazine back in the 80's. I might have even bought a few issues.

Anyway, the article/interview says that 100 Bloody Acres has more Aussie references than the other Australian horror movies that have been released recently.

Because of that, I'd really like to see it. Maybe it's on Netflix or Hulu?

55. Checked my to-watch list and saw 100 Bloody Acres is already on it.

So...that's probably why it sounded familiar to me.

Hopefully, I'll end up watching it soon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fire Hazards, Sophie's Dangerous Mistake, MIIF, and Movie Love

1. Dreamed that Nicole Kidman is on a reality TV competition show. I ask some people what she'll be doing on the show. They tell me she's doing something with a chicken.

I think she was going to walk a chicken, but now I'm not 100% sure. I am pretty sure, though, that it was a live chicken. I don't think it was a cooking challenge.

I also dreamed something about Melbourne and one of my sisters. I think maybe she showed interest in going there. It had something to do with an aquarium.

2. Started watching an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

3. Finished watching the episode.

4. Saw from Google and Twitter that Russell Crowe had a Twitter tantrum about his kids' hoverboards not being allowed on a Virgin flight.

I'm guessing this is a case of a rich, spoiled celebrity wanting special treatment.

Or is there any chance his fight was righteous? Are hoverboards not as much a fire hazard as the airline industry believes?

5. Skimmed through this article about the fire issues—enough to side with the airlines about the ban.

6. Thought Russell Crowe was a bit ridiculous with this Tweet.  I'm awaiting your reply, where is your duty of responsibility in this? Why not tell me when I am booking my ticket?

Are hoverboards so prevalent that airlines need to warn people when they're purchasing their ticket?

7. Wondered if there are warnings about not being able to take liquid containers over three ounces.

There might be. The thing with that is a lot of people DO bring liquids on board, or at least they used to.

8. Could have a little sympathy for Crowe. We recently had a situation where we didn't read the fine print and had an unhappy surprise at the airport.  We were annoyed about it and thought a massive mistake had been made. Then we managed to find the pertinent fine print.

However, our situation didn't involve a fire hazard or anything that would have caused harm to ourselves and others.

9. Remembered that we continued to be annoyed after reading the fine print, because we felt it was an unfair rule. But we realized we'd have to swallow at least part of the blame for not reading carefully enough.

In the Russell Crowe case, I don't think it's an unfair rule to ban something that's a fire hazard.

10. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

11. Realized I might start liking the show more when I get to know the characters.

12. Decided that the character that interests me the most, at this point, is a girl, with an injured wrist, who's walking around the hospital in a daze. I'm not sure what's up with her. Maybe she's in shock?  Whatever it is, I'm slightly intrigued.

13. Learned that the mystery girl feels it's her fault that the bus crashed.

Is she right?  Or is she taking on the blame for a delusional reason?

14. Learned that mystery girl caused the accident by being upset and trying to get out of the car. That led to the car hitting the bus.

15. Learned that the mystery girl is named Sophie (Bridgette Sneddon).

I feel for her. She caused the major bus accident but not in a malicious way.  It's more like her heat-of-the-moment bad decision led to disaster.

Still she takes full responsibility for it. She acts regretful and takes on the blame in a very mature fashion.

16. Saw that Sophie is on the show for only three episodes in 2015, and I've already watched two of them.

There's only one character that interests me on the show, and she's not sticking around.  That kind of sucks.

17. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch the film that features Matthew Newton—"Ascension".

The film is produced by Simon Weaving—the brother of Hugo.  I learned about him a few days ago. He wrote and directed a film that I watched. Now I can't remember what it was.

18. Looked at Simon Weaving's filmography to jog my memory.

The film was "The Story of Ned".

19. Started to watch "Ascension".

20. Saw that Bruce Spence is in the film.

Or at least I think that's Bruce Spence.

21. Finished watching the film.

I thought it was interesting, but I'm not sure I fully understood it.

I think it might have been about the afterlife.

Or maybe not.

22. Saw from comments on YouTube that it probably is about the afterlife.

23. Saw that I'm right about Bruce Spence.

That's a relief.

24. Saw people on Twitter are still talking about Russell Crowe.

I was thinking that he and hoverboards have a lot in common—they're both cool and impressive until they explode.

25. Thought it would be cool if Russell Crowe became a slang word for hoverboard.

26. Saw that the writer and director of "Ascension" is David Easteal.  He also edited the movie.

27. Saw that Easteal made three other short films. The most recent was "Monaco, and that was in 2015.

28. Saw that Richard Davies from Offspring was in Easteal's short film "The Father".

29. Saw that Troy Hambly, the person who did the music for "Ascension" also did the music for "The Story of Ned".

I'm guessing Simon Weaving had something to do with that. Maybe?

30. Went to David Easteal's website.  It has a very minimalist style. I kind of like it.

32. Looked at the about page.

Easteal studied law and literature at The University of Melbourne.

I wonder what type of literature he likes. What's his favorite classic book? Does he have a preference for Australian literature? British?  The American South?  Or maybe he likes the classical Greek type stuff?

33. Wished my mind hadn't come up with a question that I'll probably never find an answer to.

34. Thought it was cool that Easteal won the Emerging Australian Filmmaker award at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

I'm guessing that was for "Monaco".

35. Went to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) site.

36. Saw that MIIF has been around since 1952. Wow! That's pretty old.

37. Saw that the upcoming festival begins on March 6, 2016.

I wish I could go!

Something that's making me feel kind of happy lately is that I'm rekindling my old love of film. I think this is partly because of Tropfest, and then also it's from watching Aussie movies and having film as one of Jack's electives.

Movies used to be one of my favorite things. Then I went to film school, and I lost the love.

I can't say the school itself was 100% to blame, because I was reluctant to go in the first place. I was at a career/life-confusion time in my life.

38. Realized that my film love didn't end right after film school. Because after I became a film school drop out, I moved to NYC.  I'm pretty sure it was there that I got really into American Zoetrope—a website where you read people's screenplays and they read yours.

39. Decided maybe it was parenthood. It's hard to find time to go to movies when you have a baby. Right? With the limited free time I had, I think I preferred using it for television.

40. Figured there were other factors, but I can't remember them.

Anyway, forget the whys. Let's go to the when. I would guess I was a non-movie lover from about 2001-2015.

41. Decided failure played another part in it.

When I was young, I watched films with the idea that one day hopefully I might be part of the industry. Then it got to the point where I realized it probably would never happen for me. So maybe movies made me a bit sad?

Now I'm at the point where I'm not too bothered by the fact that I will never get the chance to passively aggressively display my resentment towards someone by failing to mention them during my Oscars acceptance speech.

I was thinking how it's okay that I'm not part of the film industry, but then I realized I AM part of the industry. I write about it, so I'm part of it.

Every one of us who blogs about a film, Tweets about a film, recommends a film via email, or simply watches a film. We're all parts of the film industry—an extremely important part, actually.

The only downside is we don't get paid. But hey. Money isn't everything.

42. Saw that MIFF costs $155 for a mini-pass.  Then there's a passport that's $369. You have to be a member, though, to buy the passport.

How much does it cost to be a member?

43. Saw that membership costs $95.

If I lived in Melbourne, I might do it.

44. Remembered that I definitely DID still love movies in NYC. That's one of the main things that Tim and I did together. We never did the exciting stuff in NY like clubbing or trying out trendy restaurants. It was totally movies. We'd even go to free screenings sometimes and thought that was so exciting.

45. Went to the MIFF awards page.

46. Felt the Jury Statement about Monaco was a bit...something?

I don't know how to describe it.

Maybe pretentious?

The first sentence says,  Monaco, economically, and purely through the visual and sonic potential of cinema, tells a resonant and affecting story of suburban working-class life.

I'm trying to decipher that.  Maybe it's something like, Without using a lot of fanciness and money, the film's sound and visuals tells a moving story about suburban working-class life.

What's sonic? I'm thinking it has something to do with sound. For me mostly it's the place where we get milk shakes and other ice-cream treats.

47. Remembered that sonic has something to do with waves. Right? Sonic waves?  That would be sound, though.

48. Googled.

Yeah. Sonic is about sound waves.

So really. Why couldn't they just use the word sound...or audio?

And what's meant by sonic potential?

The sonic potential of cinema.  I don't get it.

49. Wanted to examine this sentence as well.  On the evidence of this film, Easteal is a born filmmaker and one who understands that realism, when executed with integrity and care, can be truly poetic.

I actually like the first phrase—On the evidence of this film.  But I'm not pleased with the born filmmaker bit. What does it mean to be a born filmmaker?  Does this mean there are filmmakers who weren't born filmmakers? Well, I guess they'd have to be. Otherwise why would it need to be specified that someone like David Easteal was a BORN filmmaker. We could just call him a filmmaker IF we didn't have to distinguish him from the born proctologist who decided to go into filmmaking.

50. Wondered what in "Monaco" can be used as evidence that Easteal is a born filmmaker rather than a not-born filmmaker.

51. Wondered if Easteal truly knows that realism can be poetic. And if so, did he know that BEFORE he read the jury statement about himself?

52. Did like the last line of the jury statement.  One cannot wait to see what this director will do next. But regardless of the future, Monaco is in itself a terrific achievement and already indicates that Easteal is one of the finest directors working in this country.

That's very sweet.

I think it's also an important point about art. We kind of laugh at one hit wonders or say things like, whatever happened to so and so. He had so much potential.  It's really wonderful when an artist is prolific and leaves the world with many gifts. It's especially good for the artist himself.  But if an actor, writer, singer, painter etc. gives the world one lovely and memorable gift; that's fine too.

53. Changed my mind.

It's not really that lovely.

It's nice for the world.

It's not so nice for the artist.

I've never had artistic success, and I sometimes feel sad about that. But I think it would have been much worse to have one of my novels published, get good reviews, make a lot of money, feel on top of the world, and then realize it was all downhill from there.

54. Saw that one of the jury people was Christos Tsiolkas! My goodness. I may have been picking apart the writing of the guy who wrote The Slap.


Well, I think his novel-writing is much better than his film review-writing. And it's just my opinion. Some people like that type of writing. I prefer more down-to-earth, simplistic stuff.

55. Watched the trailer for "Monaco".

I can't say I was impressed.

There was a guy driving. That's about it.

Well, he did look a little angry and/or disturbed. I suppose that's interesting...but probably not interesting enough to give me a huge desire to see the film.

Then again. I'm not really into cars or driving. Someone who's into those things might enjoy the trailer more than I did.

56. Wondered. If someone picked apart my writing, what would they say?

My main fault is probably misuse of punctuation...and other grammar fails.

My writing style is immature and probably too basic. It's also full of insecurities. I often use words like "maybe" and "probably"; and phrases like "I think" or "It might".

57. Thought that, although my insecure writing style might be a turn off to some, I wouldn't change it. It's very much a reflection of myself and how I view the world.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pretty People, Australian States, Michelle Lehman, and Jahla Bryant

1. Started to watch an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

2. Finished watching the episode.

3. Started watching my first 2015 episode of Home and Away.

So far, it reminds me of a Days of our Lives type soap operas—a bunch of young people, who look like they belong on the cover of teen magazines, getting themselves into very melodramatic situations.

4. Saw a scene with a bus accident. A woman is crying as she holds onto a guy with a major bleeding neck injury.  Then someone, who seems to be taking charge, tells her to relax.

I understand he's trying to be helpful and reassuring, but how does one relax in such a situation? Should she walk away from the dying man and go to a spa? Get herself a massage?

5. Didn't like the episode so far.

I hope it gets better.

I hope it changes.

There's just too much drama.

Every storyline I've seen so far is huge and melodramatic—Bus accident! Guys trapped somewhere! Cancer patient running away from chemo!

I think one or two melodramatic storylines is fine, but I like when soap operas also have fun, daily-life type stories.

I'm thinking (hoping) the episode is like this because it's the season premier.  Maybe it will calm down later.

6. Saw that the episode also features a date-rape drug storyline.

7. Wondered if Maddy, the cancer patient escapee, is the daughter that Roo (Justine Clarke) gave up for adoption.

I remember reading that Roo eventually reunites with her lost child. And now New-Roo (Georgie Parker) seems to be Maddy's mother.

I just don't remember the name of the baby that was given up for adoption.

8.  Tried to remember the father of the baby. Frank (Alex Papps) was tricked into thinking it was his child. But who was the real daddy?

9. Remembered. It was the preppy son of that rich, powerful, greedy man—the one who caused grief in Summer Bay.

I don't remember his name.

10. Reminded by Lord Wiki that the name of the baby's father was Brett Macklin (Gary Sont).

11. Learned the baby's name was Martha, not Maddy.

12. Learned that Maddy is a teenage runaway that Roo took in.

13. Saw, from IMDb, that the reason Josh (Jackson Gallagher) looked mildly familiar to me is he's the one who played Patrick in Patrick.

14. Had hopes the show will get better.

I'm thinking, though, of when I started watching Coronation Street. I decided I wanted to get into a British soap opera. Eastenders was my first choice, but it wasn't available on Hulu. I tried HollyOaks and didn't like it for the same reason I didn't like this episode of Home and Away. There was too much drama and too many young, pretty people.

I didn't stick around to see if I'd like the later episodes. I just moved right onto Coronation Street.  I am going to stick with Home and Away—probably for the whole 2015 season. I'm hoping it either changes into the type of show I prefer, or I grew to like it despite my complaints.

What I love about Coronation Street is that the pretty, young people don't dominate the show. Many of the main characters are my age or older, and most of the characters are not above-average when it comes to appearance. They look like very normal people—the kind I'd encounter in my daily life.


Yeah, there are some intense storylines—murder, infidelity, blackmail cancer, etc. But there are also low key storylines such as a community trying to stop the closing of the public library; a mother obsessing over her child eating unhealthy food; a woman getting offended because the owner of a gym assumed she was there to lose weight, etc; a mother feeling neglected because her adult children don't want to watch Titanic with her, and another woman trying to plan a wedding while staying within budget.

15. Saw from Twitter that Bob Hawke wants Australia to get rid of its states.

Speaking as someone who's not from Australia, it makes sense.

Or maybe I should say for Americans it makes sense.

Before I knew much about Australia, it was really just Sydney, and all the rest of it.  I don't think I knew about Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Queensland.

16. Wondered about my fellow Americans. Are most of them smarter than past-me?  How many Americans can name at least one Australian state?

17. Wondered if there are political benefits to having less political and geographical divisions within a country.

18. Started to read an article about Bob Hawke's ideas.

19. Learned he doesn't want to give up local divisions—just the state ones.

There'd still be districts.

That makes sense.

I can't say I see the benefits, but I also can't see how it would be harmful.

20. Liked that Bob Hawke supported improving the lives of Aboriginal Australians, treating Muslims decently, welcoming refugees, and gay marriage.

21. Thought what would be better than no states is no countries.

I'd like countries to be like states. Each country would have their own leader and laws, but people would be free to come and go. There'd be no passports. There'd be no question of refugees. Moving from Syria to Australia would be like moving from New South Wales to Queensland.

22. Also wanted to add....

Because we read Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall", the other day I tried to imagine a world without fences.

Maybe there'd be fences at places like Disney World—or any outdoor place that offered some kind of service. But neighborhoods would have no fences.

23. Realized there'd at least need to be gates around pools.

Besides that, though. What if we could just wander onto each other's property?  Or it wouldn't even be someone else's property. We'd share all outdoor land. Only indoor spaces would be owned and privatized.

24. Realized I'm living in la la land. How would people decide who gets to build where?

Oh! I know.

People could still own property.  But they wouldn't and couldn't keep people off their property.

25. Decided if you owned the property, you could make the rules. It would be like a public park. Some allow dogs and some do not.  Some people would have a community garden, and other people would have a look but don't touch policy.

26. Decided, like public parks, neighborhood yards would close at sunset. That way you wouldn't have people creeping around your window at two in the morning.

27. Looked at 2008 Tropfest Finalist films.  I see some faces I recognize.

I think one movie has the teenage girl from Upper Middle Bogan. That's the film I'll be watching today. I'll see if I'm right or not.

I see the guy from Farscape and Underbelly. I forgot the actor's name.  I was about to say "Terry", but that was his character's name on Underbelly.

28. Saw Callan Mulvey. Probably?

And I see Hugh Jackman.

 29. Looked up the Farscape/Underbelly actor. It's Matthew Newton.  And he IS in the 2008 Tropfest film called "Ascension".

30. Started to watch "Marry Me".

I think it might actually be the winning film, because its image is the one used on the Tropfest menu to get to 2008.  "An Imaginary Life" is used for 2007, and that was the winner for 2007. Although with 2007, they have it listed as the winning film. There's no winning film listed for 2008.

31. Decided to not keep myself in suspense.

I Googled and saw that "Marry Me" was the winner.

32. Thought the movie has good sounds.

What would that be called? Sound mixing?

33. Started to read an article about sound in film.

It says production mixers record the sounds on set. Foley artists are the ones that create sound effects off set.

Then there're the music people.

The sound mixer puts it all together.

34. Finished watching the movie.

I loved it.

I have to admit that, at first, I only loved the music and sound. I wasn't really getting into the storyline. But then towards the end, I loved it.

The film is a great story of feminism.

Chloe (Jahla Bryant; NOT Lara Robinson as I suspected) has a crush on her neighbor Jason (Ryan Fitzpatrick).

Jason's really into his bike and gives Chloe little attention.

He has a bike accident, and Chloe is kind enough to offer her bike for borrowing. He flat out refuses. because it's pink. So Chloe takes a magic marker and changes the color of the bike. Again, she offers her bike to Jason. He still refuses because despite the color change, it's still a girl's bike.

It reminds me of something I realized lately.

I was thinking of parents who get nervous and rigid about their boys wearing pink clothes or playing with dolls. I used to think it was all about homophobia. And it might be that to some degree. But I think the main factor playing into all that is sexism. It's the idea that girls are inferior.  Boys shouldn't wear pink hates because they might be mistaken for a girl. Boys shouldn't play with Barbies because that's what girls do. Boys shouldn't become nurses. That's a woman's job.

Otherwise, why does there seem to be less anxiety when young girls want to play with trucks or prefer to wear jeans rather than dresses?

What would bother most parents more—a boy who shops in the pink aisle of a toy store or a girl who's looking to buy a Star Wars action figure?

35. Disappointed that I was wrong about the actress in the film.

It kind of reminds me of when we saw Frozen, and the whole time I thought the snowman was played by Jonah Hill.

36. Saw that many of the cast members of "Marry Me" have the last name Lawson.  I'm guessing they're from the same family. Maybe they're neighbors or friends of the director (Michelle Lehman).

37. Saw that there's no foley artist listed.

I can't really remember seeing the term foley artist on IMDb lately. Maybe it's because I wasn't looking for it? Or maybe the term is not used as much?

38. Looked at the sound department for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

There IS a Foley artist—actually multiple ones.

And there were around fifty people who worked with the sound. That's sound alone and not including music.

I say around fifty, because I might have miscounted somewhere.

39. Looked at the Home and Away episode I watched today.

There are no sound people listed.

I'm guessing they exist but just weren't added to IMDb.

40. Saw that "Marry Me" has a sound recordist. Maybe that's similar to a foley artist.

41. Saw that IMDb does list the sound people for the whole Home and Away series in general. I guess they do that rather than doing it for individual episodes.

42. Saw that someone named Brooklyn Scheers did baby sound effects for one episode in 1992.

I'm guessing she was an actual baby who made sounds for the show rather than some kind of professional sound person.

 43. Learned, from IMDb, that Michelle Lehman, the writer and director of "Marry Me" makes short segments for The Disney Channel.

She also wrote a TV show and TV movie, but IMDb has very little information on them. A cast isn't even listed. I'm not sure why.

44. Saw that some members the crew of "Marry Me" worked on a 2015 short film called "Stockholm".

This includes the producer, editor, composer....

Actually, that's it.

The producer and editor have the same last name (Conti). I'm guessing they're related. Maybe brothers?

45. Saw that one of the stars of "Stockholm", Martin Crewes was in Patrick.

It's the second time I've run into that movie today.

46. Heard someone use the word "mozzies" on Coronation Street. Is that also a British term, or was the character trying to sound like an Aussie?

47. Learned from Lord Wiki that "mozzie" is a British derogatory term for Muslims.

I don't think that's what the show was going for there. From the context, I could tell they were referring to mosquitos.

Also, I think Coronation Street is the best TV show I've seen in terms of having positive and relatable Muslim characters.

48. Found a random photo, on the ABC website, of Michelle Lehman standing next to Geoffrey Rush after winning her 2008 Tropfest award.

What's random about it is the photo was published on November 12, 2015. There's no article attached; just a brief caption.

I don't get it.

49. Went to Michelle Lehman's Vimeo page.

50. Started to watch her showreel.

51. Finished watching.

It was cute—all stuff geared towards children, including "Marry Me".

I didn't really realize "Marry Me" could be a good film for children until I saw it in the showreel.

I think it's the first Tropfest film I've seen that's fully young-child-appropriate.

52. Watched one of Lehman's Disney Channel segments. It was a Monsters Inc. related thing called "Guide to Scaring Your Family".

53. Watched an adorable Lehman segment called "Once Upon a Princess".

54. I watched a Lehman thing about toy reviews.  I was confused at first. It seemed like the kids were jumping from toy to toy. Then I realized it was a showreel.

If I had read more carefully, I would have noticed the video is titled "Toy Talk Reel".

55. Saw that Jahla Bryant, the young actress from "Marry Me" has a showreel on YouTube.

I'm going to watch that.

56. Saw that Bryant won a best actress Tropfest award. I didn't realize they gave out acting awards.

57. Impressed with Bryant's acting and her beauty. I'm not impressed with the editing of the showreel. It does strange things, like including shots of the end credits of the films she's been in. I'm not sure why we need to see that.

58. Saw a really depressing commercial where Bryant plays the sister of a boy in a coma.

It's for HBF?  What's that?

59. Saw that HBF is a private health insurance company.

60. Felt the commercial was a little manipulative. Or exploitive, maybe?

I probably feel that way because it was a private health insurance company.

If it was something else, I'd be less...judgmental.  Probably. With this commercial, though, I felt they were saying, Hey, now. Don't forget one of your kids might end up in a coma.  You better buy some health insurance.  

61. Thought it would also be more okay if the injured person wasn't a child.

Using children to scare parents into buying private insurance seems a little low for me.

62. Learned that Jahla Bryant was ten in 2008.  So, now she's about seventeen.

63. Looked at Jahla Bryant's acting resume page.

They have photos of her as a teenager.

She continues to be very beautiful.  I'm not sure why she's not getting more screen jobs.

64. Felt it was somewhat messed up that I complained earlier about Home and Away having too many pretty people, and now I'm wondering why a pretty person doesn't have more acting jobs.

Can I explain myself?

Not really.

65. Started to understand it.

66. Forgot what I was going to say.

My brain is all twisted like a pretzel.

67. Wondered why I used a metaphor. I usually hate metaphors.

68. Sort of remembered what I was going to say.

I do like when TV shows and movies has a variety of characters in terms of appearance.  I don't want to see everyone looking young, thin, and beautiful.  I want to see shows that have characters of various weights, beauty-levels, ages, ethnicities, etc.

I do understand, though, that beauty is highly valued in the film and television industry. And I value it too.  I like seeing pretty people just like I like seeing pretty mountains, pretty birds, and pretty shoes.

So it seems a bit strange to see a young actress who's exceptionally beautiful; is talented enough to have won a prestigious award; and still seems interested in having an acting career, have so very little credits to her name.

Maybe she's too beautiful, and the industry is trying to move away from that.

Maybe she looks too similar to other actresses—such as Lara Robinson.

69. Remembered that I am this extremely, super, amazing, talented writer (who's not always modest) and all I have to show for it are some self-published novels that very few people want to buy, this blog that not many people read, and some free online fiction that is very ignored.

I should be a an extremely rich and famous writer and Jahla Bryant should be the next Jennifer Lawrence.

But the universe doesn't always work that way.

70.   Don't care much about being famous anymore, but I do want to be very rich.  Then I can tour all over Australia, visit Iceland, and get the awesome Platinum Dining plan at Disney World.

71. Felt greedy for not thinking of donating to charity first.

Maybe that's why the universe is not making me rich.

No...that's ridiculous.

I think there are plenty of rich people out there who are greedier than me.

Plus, I DID think of charity right after I thought of my selfish wishes. It's not like I forgot it all together.

72. Thought of that insurance commercial with Jahla Bryant and decided I'd use some of my massive fortune to help siblings of children who are in comas, have cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, and other catastrophic problems.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kevin Rudd, Twitter Issues, Steve Baker, and Batman Movies

1. Dreamed that I kissed Kevin Rudd.

I'm with people, and we're looking at photographs. I see animals that I see as being dangerous, including polar bears. I start raising concerns about these encounters with dangerous animals.  

My concerns are dismissed by someone in the room. They don't think polar bears are dangerous. Kevin Rudd then announces he'll check it out. I'm thankful to him. To be nice, I suggest that I could do it instead. I'm disappointed when he takes me up on my offer. But then it turns out he was joking. He's willing to go.  As he's leaving, I kiss him. It's meant to be friendly and casual, but I end up getting him on the lips
(but not in a very kinky or passionate way)

2. Felt that dreaming about Kevin Rudd was a bit random. It's not like I've been thinking about him lately or harboring some kind of secret crush.

3. Did wonder how Kevin Rudd is doing. Maybe I'll check up on that later.

4. Saw stuff about Kevin Rudd and Twitter when I did my daily thing of reading an old blog post.

Maybe my day is Kevin Rudd themed for some reason.

I thought it was funny, though, because I was planning to look at Kevin Rudd's Twitter account later. It turns out I did the same thing in September 2011.

5. Learned from Twitter that Stevie Wright, the singer from the Easybeats died.  He was fairly young—only sixty-eight.

6. Went to Kevin Rudd's Twitter page.

I don't know if the guy was a great Prime Minister. Nor do I know if the allegations about him being a egomaniac are true.  But I do think he's adorable. He kind of reminds me of Anthony Hopkins.

7. Saw that Kevin Rudd often replies to Tweets he received.

It's a sweet thing to do—personable.  On the other hand, I think it can get annoying on timelines when you see all these Tweets from one person saying quick things to a whole lot of people.

8. Felt maybe the best thing to do is favorite the Tweets of people who give you a compliment or Holiday wishes. That lets them know that you've read their Tweet and appreciate it.  Although it can be interpreted as being rude—you accept their well wishes but don't send them back in return.

It's really complicated. I guess I'm lucky to be not put in that situation.

I'm imagining someone giving me a Tweet compliment on my novels or blog.  I'd want to thank them, and having one thank you Tweet wouldn't be annoying. But what if a miracle happened and all of a sudden I started getting multiple compliments within a short period of time. I think it would start to get annoying to people following me if I had all these, Thanks @person A! Thanks @person B! I really appreciate it @person C.

Or what's worse is when someone keeps Retweeting all the compliments they get. Then it's like bragging, and I'm highly tempted to stop following the person.

But back to simply replying. If I didn't reply, I'd probably feel cold and rude.

9. Wondered if it would work to reply via direct message.

Probably not. That might send out the wrong idea...too personable.

10. Realized there is a VERY obvious and easy solution.

I think Alyssa Milano did it for her birthday. Or at least she did part of it.

I think what you do is favorite all the Tweets. I'm not sure if she did that. But what she did was send out a Tweet thanking everyone for their birthday messages.

So instead of Kevin Rudd wishing Merry Christmas back to multiple people, he could just Tweet something like, Thank you for all the Christmas wishes!  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday too!

11. Wondered if the reason I dreamed of Kevin Rudd is because I've been watching the 2007 Tropfest films. Kevin Rudd became PM in 2007.

Though I don't know the point of the polar bears or the misplaced kiss.

12. Started to watch an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

13. Saw Martin Sharpe cracking up when saying one of his lines. There's a chance that his character was supposed to do that, but I'm doubting it.

It happens when he says, Does that man ever get tired of being evil?  It's a corny line, so I can imagine an actor finding it amusing.

I like when actors crack up. It's cute. I've seen it on The Big Bang Theory a few times.

It's probably only good with a comedy, though. It would be strange in a drama. Or...maybe it would be even more funny.

14. Decided that with a drama, the scene should probably be reshot. And then the cracking up can be put in the outtakes video.

15. Started watching another episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

16. Decided that I'm beginning to dislike Scooter: Secret Agent less than before.

17. Went to the Tropfest website. Today I'm going to watch the 2007 WINNING film.

It's called "An Imaginary Life".

18. Finished watching the "film". It deals with the topic of forgotten imaginary friends.

I thought it was okay. There were a few moments I liked a lot.

I think it's just that I prefer some of what I've already seen before regarding the subject. The main thing that comes to my mind is Bing Bong's story in Inside Out.

Really I think Pixar is the king of this type of story.  The Toy Story trilogy deals with a similar but slightly different situation—beloved toys that have been forgotten by children.

19. Tried to remember the book—Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

I do remember I also didn't like that one very much. I can't remember why. It might have been I just didn't like the voice of the author.

The imaginary friend novel I liked a lot was Sundays at Tiffany's. I thought that story was very sweet.

20. Looked at "An Imaginary Life" on IMDb.

A man named Steve Baker was the writer and director. Plus, he did the voice-over narration of the imaginary friend.

Archived footage (home movies) of Andrew Baker was used as the child.

I'm guessing Andrew is the brother of Steve.

21. Saw that Steve Baker has recently done animation for a show called HitRECord. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I think this is the first time I've heard of it.

He also did writing for one of the episodes.

22. Went to Steve Baker's Vimeo page.

23. Saw that there's a segment from HitRECord.

It features Scarlett Johansson.

I'm going to watch that.

24. Distracted by the male characters's huge chin.

25. Liked the segment. It's basically about humans have a hard time communicating honestly with each other.

26. Watched Baker's commercial for The Starlight Foundation.

It's sweet.

27. Watched Baker's most recent upload; though it's from a year ago.

It's a non-animated commercial for a product called Olive Grove. I think it's a butter substitute.

28. Went to Steve Baker's Twitter.

His profile banner thing is for his project called This is Desmond Ray.

He says it's an online series coming soon.

He does have a Desmond Ray video on Vimeo.

I'll watch that.

29. Loved the video.

It's very sweet.

It reminds me a lot of Mary and Max—the themes and mood, at least.  Though I must say I much prefer the imagery in Desmond Ray.  It's a mix of animation and real images. For me, it's more visually stimulating.

30. Liked that Baker's most recent Tweet is a Retweet about The Exorcist.  It's in praise of that famous shot—the one with the priest standing outside the house.

31. Wondered about this December 15 Tweet. Baker says, In a perfect world, #PrayForNakatomi would be trending on Christmas day.

What is Nakatomi? Is it a serious thing or some kind of pop culture reference?

32. Googled and learned it's a pop culture reference.  It's the fictional corporation of Die Hard.

That WOULD be pretty funny if it had trended on Christmas. Maybe it did among some populations?  I know Die Hard itself was trending.

33. Thought Steve Baker was horribly wrong for Tweeting this. I want my epitaph to read ~ In the face of overwhelming pressure, he made it to the end without having ever seen The Sound of fucking Music!

I want his epitaph to read: After much reluctance, he became The Sound of Music's Number One Fan; and he was actually so obsessed, that it got a little scary.

Actually, maybe that's why Steve Baker has been avoiding The Sound of Music. Maybe he knows it's his destiny to became a crazed fan of the movie.

 34. Wondered about Steve Baker's November 16 Tweet. I suspect the #MementoRemake will just be the origin story of Jared Leto's #Joker 

First of all. There's going to be a remake of Memento?  The One with Guy Pearce? Why?

And what does that have to do with the Joker?

35. Found an article about the remake.  It turns out the director of the movie is Christopher Nolan. I think he's the one who made the Batman movies. But did he also do the one with Jared Leto?

36. Did some IMDb searching and saw that Nolan isn't the one responsible for the Jared Leto Joker thingie. I thought it would be Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which Nolan produced. But no, it's something called Suicide Squad.

Margot Robbie and Jai Courtney are in it.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice also has at least one Australian—Callan Mulvey.

37. Saw that Baker watched all the Star Wars film; or at least he planned to do it.

I'm not sure if it came to fruition.

38. Realized I like Baker's Twitter a lot.

There's hardly any self-promotion, he talks about things that are interesting to me, and he manages to be funny sometimes.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Moreton Fig Trees, Home and Away, Nathan O'Keefe, and Lisa Mann Creative Management

1. Dreamed that I'm talking to some guy. He tells me he has photos of Australia. I then remember that I already knew this—knew that he'd be having Australian photos. I feel I should have brought this up instead of him having to remind me. I feel bad and apologize—explain about my bad memory.  

2. Saw that even more Victorian homes have been destroyed by fire—ninety-eight have burned.  

And there will probably be more homes added to that.

It seems like it's going to be as bad—or it already is as bad as the 2009 fires.

3. Read another article about the fire. It talks about the bad and the good.  

The good is that the tourist town of Lorne was spared.

The bad is that a place called Wye River was very much NOT spared.

The good is that no one has died in the fires.  

4. Saw stuff about the Sydney to Hobart race on Twitter.

There's some American Yacht named Comanche that was injured and going to drop out, but then it reversed it's decision.

I guess it's still racing?

5. Read a little of this article about the race.

Comanche was winning at first.

I wonder if they'll end up staying in the race or not.

6. Hoped everyone in the race stays safe.

7. Wondered if the race is fun.

Or is it one of those things where the joy comes only from winning or finishing?

8. Wondered about marathons. Are there runners who actually enjoy the feeling of running long distances. Or is it the win and/or accomplishment they enjoy—along with the gladness about having a good workout?

I suppose the endorphins can bring some happy feelings.

9. Started watching an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

10. Saw that John McTernan, one of the main cast members, was born in the US.

He's been working as an actor in Australia, though, since 1972.

He might be an American who moved to Australia, or he could be an Australian whose parents happened to be in America at the time of his birth. 

11. Consulted Lord Wiki. He says McTernan is an Australian actor of American descent. 

McTernan won Logies in 1982 and 1983 for a show called Cop Shop

12. Started to watch the rest of The Tree.

13. Started to think the movie is finally getting interesting.

There's lots of drama.

George, the man (Marton Csokas) dating the widow Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) has shown his true colors. He's an asshole. 

Simone (Morgana Davies), Dawn's grieving daughter, was extremely resistant to George joining their lives. I thought she was just being difficult in the typical way most children are when they don't want their missing parent replaced.

But no. George is an ass. He tries to cut down the tree that has become so important to Simone. Yes, it's growing out of control and ruining their house. But Simone feels it's her father.  She protests the cutting of the tree by refusing to leave the tree and threatening to jump.

Yes, it's a little dramatic. But instead of reassuring her and being gentle...and backing away, George bitches at the young child. He even accuses her of not acting her age. I hate when people do that—appeal to a child's desire for maturity. Plus, George's argument is ridiculous. Come on! As if adults out there don't ever protest environmental issues by blocking an area or refusing to leave. 

What's worse, though, is even when Dawn believes her daughter's threats about jumping, and she shouts at George to back down from the tree, he doesn't immediately back down.   

14. Did want to admit that I find Simone's behavior to be aggravating. And I'm not a big fan of people threatening suicide to get their way. But it's not like she's threatening to jump off a bridge if her mother doesn't buy her a hoverboard. 

She really believes her father is in the tree.

Plus, even without that. I do think it's incredibly sad to cut down such a magnificent tree. It seems there'd be a way to keep the tree, but also protect the house?

15. Thought another solution might be to cut down the tree but use the wood to build something beautiful. How about a playhouse? Maybe her father could become the playhouse.

16.  Consulted Lord Wiki about the Moreton Fig Tree—the one in the movie. 

Lord Wiki mentions the fact that the roots can cause problems with piping and invade footpaths.  This is what happens in the movies. The family's pipes get messed up, and the roots start invading the neighbour's yard.  Also, the tree itself grows into the house...or crashes into the house. I don't know if that's a natural event or something to do with the father possessing it. I think at least once or twice, the tree invaded when Dawn started getting romantic with George.

17. Hoped Dawn and George don't reconcile at the end of the movie, with it turning out that George's "tough love" was a good thing.  

18. Liked a song at the end of the movie; then I realized it's a song I already know..with a different singer.

It might be a cover, or maybe the version I know is the cover.

The song is "To Build a Home".  I know it as being from The Cinematic Orchestra. 

19. Watched the credits to find the song.

It turns out my hearing must be not so great.

It IS The Cinematic Orchestra singing in the movie.


20. Thought the lyrics of the song fit the movie very well.

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds 
There is a tree as old as me 
Branches were sewn by the color of green 
Ground had arose and passed its knees 
 By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top I climbed the tree to see the world 
When the gusts came around to blow me down 
Held on as tightly as you held on me 
Held on as tightly as you held on me......

21. Thought the best part of the movie was the song and how it fit so well with the plot.

22. Wondered if the song in the movie is the exact same one I've heard before, and my brain is acting subpar this afternoon.

OR maybe (hopefully) despite being the same singers, it's a different version and that's why I'm confused.

Songs sang by the same singer can sound different if the singers sing it in a different way, use different recording methods, different instruments, etc.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki and found out what's going on.

The version of the song I have on my Spotify list is a shortened version called "My Home".

24. Decided I prefer "My Home" over "To Build a Home".

25. Went to to pick my next show.

It's Home and Away!

I'm actually more pleased than I expected.

I knew that might pick that show for me someday. I had mixed feelings about it. Did I want to get into another soap opera after being so cruelly evicted from Ramsey Street?

Would seeing 2014 Summer Bay make me mourn 1988-1990 Summer Bay?

What's Summer Bay going to be like without the Fletcher Family?

I think it might be okay—fun actually.  It's fun watching Australian soap operas, because so many of the actors end up being elsewhere. Some I'll see in future Australian shows, and others I'll see in American movies and American TV shows.

26. Saw that I won't be watching 2014 Home and Away.

Hulu starts with February 2015.

27. Looked at the cast of the first Hulu episode of Home and Away.

Ray Meagher is there, as I knew he would be.

Georgie Parker is still there as Roo Stewart. I wonder if I'll be okay with that. Or will I miss Justine Clarke?

Emily Symons is on the show—still playing Marilyn Chambers. I knew she stuck around for quite awhile, but I didn't realize it was for this long!

Stephen Peacocke looks familiar to me. I think this is because, before I watched 1988-1990 Home and Away, I watched a few episodes of the current show.  Peacocke started around 2011. Maybe I watched episodes from that time period?  Or not.  Maybe I'm imaging I recognize Peacocke.

What I remember, though, is a female cop getting shot and dying. I remember Peacocke, or someone who looks like him, being in the hospital room.

28. Recognized Jolene Anderson in the credits; then saw that I've seen her on Rush and maybe All Saints.

29. Started watching "Yellow", a 2007 Tropfest finalist.

30. Thought the movie was very creepy and far.

This guy gets into a cab and tells the driver he believes his wife is having an affair with his brother. If he finds this to be true, he's going to kill the cheating pair; then kill himself. He then tells the cab driver if the driver tries to stop him, he'll kill him too.

He's a psycho asshole, really.

I understand people being angry about adultery but not to the point of premeditated murder. And it's so unfair to drag the cab driver into it.

31. Didn't fully understand what happened at the end of the film.

But I liked it.

32. Saw comments on YouTube about the film.

I wasn't the only confused person.

33. Saw that Bill Allert, the writer and director of "Yellow" has made two other short films, and has done a small amount of screen-acting.

34. Saw that Allert played the scary passenger in the film.

35. Found an article about an Australian actor named Nathan O'Keefe.

The terrorized cab driver in "Yellow" was played by a Nathan O'Keefe. I think he might the guy in the article.

36. Read the article. It's about Nathan O'Keefe doing theater work around Australia. He seems to be into Shakespeare.

37.  Found this website which confirms the theatre Nathan O'Keefe is the same Nathan O'Keefe in "Yellow".  The IMDb credits match up.

38. Looked at Nathan O'Keefe's profile on the Lisa Mann Creative Management website.

39. Saw that O'Keefe has done a LOT of theater.

40. Saw that O'Keefe played David Hicks in a play called X-Ray. I'm guessing that's THE David Hicks, and not some random guy with the same name.

41. Found an interview about the play.

It's about David Hicks being in Guantanamo Bay.

42. Saw that O'Keefe won a Helpmann award for playing Pinocchio.

43. Found a feature about O'Keefe promoting his Pinocchio work.

44. Learned that when O'Keefe was a child he wanted to be an actor.

It's very cool that is childhood ambition became reality.

45. Learned that O'Keefe has a thing for reality TV sob stories. I don't. They annoy me.

O'Keefe says, You know, 'I was born with a comb-over, my dog never loved me and that’s why I dance' sort of thing. They get me every time.

Well, I like the way he describes it.

I've seen sob stories that seemed a bit forced.  I picture the director of the show pushing the contestant.  So, your parents are still alive?  Uh...okay. Did they overcome cancer?  A horrible disability? No? Really? How about your siblings. They're all totally okay? Are you sure?   Do you have any illnesses? Did you ever break a bone?  Debilitating PMS? Really? Not at all? Chicken pox? You had chicken pox? Well, we might be able to work with that?  Did you have to go to the hospital? Oh! Really. You were left with a scar. On your back? I bet it was embarrassing wearing a bikini.  What? Your bikini covered it? Well, how about the first time your...girlfriend?  Oh...boyfriend...who was once a girl?  No, okay.  So the first time your boyfriend saw your chicken pox scar, I bet that was really hard for you.

I'm sure there aren't many people who are severely lacking life drama to that degree. Some people have huge life dramas  and some people have moderate ones. I think the problem with the sob story segments is they take any problem and then work to blow them up into melodramatic tear-jerkers.

And sometimes it seems the competition seems to be more about who has the saddest sob story rather than who's the best dancer or singer.

46. Learned that O'Keefe likes chicken parmesan, and he has a Snuggie. This interview is from 2012, though. Things might have changed. O'Keefe might have a new favorite food; and his Snuggie might have been thrown away, because he got some kind of gross stain on it.

47. Learned that O'Keefe is a fan of Alan Rickman.

48. Saw that there's a New York Times review of O'Keefe's Pinocchio.

The play came to New York—at the New Victory Theater.  I guess around March, because that's the date of the review.

49. Learned that this Pinocchio is modernized and deals with the subject of reality TV.

50. Went to the Windmill Theater website, which is the company that's responsible for the O'Keefe Pinocchio play. They have some clips and advertisements for the play.

51. Watched one of the videos and saw that the play is a musical.

52. Went back to the Lisa Mann Creative Management website.

I want to see if there are actors I recognize.

53. Saw that the agency is located in Bondi.

They have five agents working for them.

54. Saw actors I recognize—Amanda Bishop, Josh Lawson, Geoff Paine, Toby Truslove.

I recognize Christie Whelan Brown, but I don't know why. Who is she?

55. Saw that Christie Whelan Brown stars in a one woman show about the career of Taylor Swift.

That sounds interesting.

56. Saw that Christie Whelan Brown has been on Offspring and Wonderland. Maybe that's what I know her from?

57. Saw that Christie Whelan Brown played Kristen on Wonderland. I think maybe she's the one who acted very inappropriately at the wedding.

58. Saw that the actors I mentioned above are listed under Corporate. They're available to perform and/or host corporate events.

That's very cool.

I want to have an event with Geoff Paine as the host.

59. Looked at the actor page.

There are a lot of them.

Names I recognize and know where I've seen them before: Jolene Anderson, Michala Banas, Allison Bell, Caroline Brazier, Rachael Carpani, Lisa Chappell (which threw me off a bit, because she has blond hair in her photo), Alan Dale (OMG! That's very exciting),  Ashleigh Cummings, Kip Gamblin, Damon Herriman, John Howard, Lachy Hulme, Judy Morris, Bojana Novakovic, Kat Stewart, and Ashley Zuckerman.

This agency works with some very successful people. I'm impressed.

Names and faces I recognize, but I'm not sure why: Jane Allsop, Tina Bursill, Danielle Carter, Richard Carter, Brett Cousins....

60. Started to worry that I'm recognizing people from two minutes ago when I looked through the list the first time.

But I'll continue, anyway.  There's Wadih Dona....

61. Stopped looking, because I think I really am just recognizing people because I just looked at them.

62. Wanted to mention that Bruce Spence is recognizable to me. I've looked at his IMDb profile multiple times. But I can never manage to remember what's on it.

63. Saw that I would have seen Jane Allsop on House Husbands, Tangle, and The Slap.

64. Thought that Tina Bursill's identity is on the tip of my brain—that I'm going to be embarrassed that I didn't know who she is.

65. Thought that maybe she's from Neighbours—Paige's grandmother?

66. Found out I'm right!

That's good.

67. Saw that I would have seen Danielle Carter on The Elephant Princess, House Husbands and Paper Giants: Magazine Wars.

68.   Saw that I would have seen Brett Cousins on The Secret Life of Us and Howzat: The Kerry Packer War.  But I think really, I recognized him from the first time I looked through the list.

69. Saw that Wadih Donah was on a few episodes of Farscape.

I probably recognize his face from looking at the Farscape episodes on IMDb.  On the show itself, he might have been covered with alien make-up.

70. Learned, from Lord Wiki's cousin, that Donah didn't play a character with tons of creature make-up. He played Crais's brother—the one that was accidentally killed by Crichton.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Trees, Michael Noonan, Gary MacLennan, and John Hookham

1. Celebrated Christmas! It's the first time I've had the experience of opening presents around a tree.

I can't honestly say it was more exciting than other gift-opening events and traditions.

I did love my gifts, though! I got an Australian flag keyboard cover, which I'm using now, Doctor Who stuff from Jack (T-shirt and Tardis mug/container), A Coronation Street DVD game, and a box of M and M's.

2. Hoped that people reading this had a good Christmas, Chanukah, winter solstice, or whatever.

If you don't celebrate anything, I hope you had a decent day, anyway.

3. Saw that more fires are wreaking havoc in Victoria.

There's a tourist town called Lorne that's in danger.

I think I've heard of Lorne, but I don't know why.

4. Saw, from Google Maps, that Lorne is around the Great Ocean Road area.

5. Learned from Lord Wiki that Lorne is IN the Great Ocean Road area—not just around it.

I thought that might be the case, but I wasn't sure.

6. Started watching an episode of Scooter: Secret Agent.

7. Thought it was a bit strange that this episode featured doll-collecting hoodlums that also happened to have the Confederate Flag proudly hanging on their wall.

I think it's sweet to have tough-looking guys be doll fans. Take dangerous-seeming people and give them a soft side. That's sweet.

The Confederate Flag, though?  I think in most cases the Confederate Flag is a symbol of white against black racism.  It's just kind of weird to have that on a children's show.

8. Did understand that some fans of the Confederate Flag are not horribly racist. Maybe they're fans of the Civil War or the US South. And they kind of ignore all the slavery stuff.

With the guys on the show, they also mentioned American dolls. They might have just been America-fans and didn't give much attention to what the Confederate Flag symbolized.

9. Learned from Lord Wiki that Australia has a motorcycle club that has the Confederate Flag as their symbol.

10. Worried I'm being horribly ignorant and ethnocentric.

Maybe the Confederate Flag didn't originate in the US?

11. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He reassured me. I wasn't being stupid. the Confederate Flag did originate in the US South.

12. Found an article about the other countries utilizing the Confederate Flag. The Australian motorcycle gang is mentioned. Maybe the characters on the TV show are supposed to be from that gang.

13. Looked at the cast of The Tree, because I'll be watching that next.

None of the names look easily familiar to me.

14. Started to wonder if the movie was really that Australian, because the director's from France, and out of the two actors, I looked at, one was from the UK, and the other was from New Zealand.

HOWEVER, it turns out that Judy Pascoe, the author of the book, that the movie is based on, is an Aussie.,

15. Saw that Julie Bertuccelli, the director of The Tree, was an assistant director for the French color trilogy—the movies I heard Simon Weaving talk about a few days ago.

16. Saw from IMDb that The Tree takes place in Australia.  It was filmed in various places around Queensland.

17. Saw from Twitter that the bushfires have destroyed fifty homes around the Great Ocean Road.

That's a lot of loss and destruction.

It's horrible for it to happen on any day, but it seems extra horrific having it around Christmas time.

18. Wondered. Besides this fire and the Tracy cyclone, has Australia had other disasters around Christmas?

Well, I guess the hostage situation last year would count.  Though it didn't happen on Christmas or Boxing Day, it did happen during the holiday shopping time.

19. Looked at this website which reminded me of the Sydney to Hobart Race. I think one year there was a disaster involving that.

20. Told by Lord Wiki, that the disastrous race occurred in 1998. Six human lives were lost, and five yachts.

21. Reminded by the website that the Asian Tsunami happened during Christmas time—2004.

Also, in 2003, there was an Earthquake in Iran. It killed 30,000 people.

I don't think I ever heard of that, but I definitely heard of the Tsunami. Why?

Maybe I was just paying more attention to the news back then?  I also think I spent more time on social media in 2004.  I joined LiveJournal that year. I think that helped keep me up to date with world news.

22. Hoped that the people on the Great Ocean Road, who have lost their homes, will get the help they need to rebuild their lives.

23. Started watching The Tree.

24. Knew that the man in the movie is going to die.

I dread seeing that, and I dread seeing his family getting the news.

It's so depressing.

25. Saw that Gillian Jones is in the movie. I didn't see her name in the credits—mainly because I didn't remember her name. But I thought I saw her briefly in a scene; so I looked back at the credits and found a name that looked vaguely familiar to me.

26. Thought that Vonnie (Jones) had an odd way of comforting Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg), the grieving widow.

Vonnie suggests to Dawn that she remember some of the negative traits of her recently deceased husband.

Now I'm definitely not a fan of elevating the dead to sainthood—forgetting all their negative traits. If a grieving person says something negative about their lost one, I don't think they should be scolded.

But to encourage them to think negatively?

Well, in the movie it seemed to work. Vonnie's comments made Dawn laugh. And perhaps the writers of the novel and film borrowed from something they encountered in real life.  Maybe it does help in some way.

27. Thought the Flying Fox in the movie was very cute.

I'd be like Dawn, though, if it came into my house. Terrified.

I'd worry about them carrying a disease like the Hendra virus. Though I don't know how rare that is in bats.

28. Found article that says it's believed that flying foxes spread the Hendra virus to horses via their urine.

The article also says black flying foxes are more likely to be Hendra-dangerous.

29. Saw from Google that the Flying Foxes that hang out around Sydney Royal Botanical Garden are grey-headed flying foxes.

30. Stopped watching The Tree for today.

I think it's okay. I don't love it. I don't hate it.

I don't feel as touched as much as I think I should—despite the death, the melancholy music, and the cute little girl (Morgana Davies) who misses her dad.

The movie reminds me of the other Australian dead-parent movie—The Boys are Back.  I like that one a little bit more, though.

31. Remembered another Australian dead-parent movie—The Babadook.  I liked that one more after I read a thought-provoking review.

Maybe I need to read a thought-provoking review of The Tree.

32. Felt one of the problems of The Tree is most of the characters are very low-key. I think there're some elements of underacting.

I also think there's a blahness to the film.

On a more positive note. The film has beautiful imagery.

33. Started to watch "Counter" a 2007 Tropfest finalist film.

34. Thought that one of the actresses in the film looks like a cross between Claudia Karvan and Asher Keddie.

35. Loved the film until it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

36. Looked at "Counter" on IMDb.

37. Saw that the film production's name is Precognitive Films.

I've been reading a book about precognitive stuff—The Link by Richard Matheson.

So far I'm liking it's a lot. It's written sort of like a screenplay.

38. Looked at the book on Amazon. It's supposed to be an outline.

As someone who once wanted to be a screenwriter, it's kind of sad that I can't recognize a screen outline.

Anyway, the book is about parapsychology and spiritualism—the conflict between the two. I find it fascinating. I downloaded it soon after finishing Matheson's Hell House, which deals with the same themes.

39. Went to the website of Precognition Films.

It looks like they usually make short films.

They also made a documentary called Unlikely Travelers that aired on the ABC.

40. Wondered if, despite using the word "we", the company is really made up of mostly just the director (Michel Noonan) alone.

I've seen independent writers have publishing companies even though it's really just them and their own books.

41. Started to watch Michael Noonan's showreel that's on the Precognition site.

42. Got the idea that Noonan is into horror.

I like what I see.

There's some cool creepy imagery, and I think the showreel is well-edited.

43. Saw that Noonan has edited eight films, so I'm guessing he also edited the showreel.

44. Saw that Noonan's last two films were made in Mexico.

45. Found a review of Noonan's Unlikely Travelers.

I'm curious about it.

46. Read about how the documentary is very controversial.


I'm not sure yet.

The subject of the film is people with intellectual disabilities...or differences. They go on a trip to Egypt.

47. Learned that two men, Gary MacLennan and John Hookham, criticized Noonan because they felt his work exploited and demeaned the people in the movie.

Then this led to MacLennan and Hookham getting in trouble with the place they worked—the Queensland Institute of Technology.

All this brought on debate and discussion about free speech.

Wow. Major drama here.

48. Finished reading the review of the documentary.

It was very positive.

I can't make a firm judgement since I've never seen the documentary. But I have a feeling I'd side with the reviewer and other people who support the film.

When people talk about demeaning the disabled, I think what they're usually referring to is someone daring to look at disabilities/differences in an open, honest, and maybe sometimes light-hearted way.  It's the idea that we should only talk about and show disabilities with a viewpoint geared towards melodrama, pity, and/or heroism.

49. Found an article about the Noonon-MacLennan-Hookman war.

I'm trying to understand what happened.

The three men were students at the Queensland Institute of Technology.

Noonan wrote a thesis entitled, "Laughing at the Disabled: Creating Comedy that Confronts, Offends and Entertains".

MacLennan and Hookman were very offended and criticized Noonan.

Though I'm guessing I'd be on Noonan's side in terms of the subject matter, I can't really understand why he sued people for criticizing him.

50. Learned that although Noonan got his critics suspended, they later went to Federal court where they got things fixed for themselves.

51. Finished reading the article. I think the writer is on the same page as me—supportive of Noonan but feeling that MacLennan and Hookman shouldn't have been suspended.

He says, Firstly, settling these kinds of controversies through disciplinary action or the courts sets a terrible precedent. It’s obviously positive that the suspension of MacLennan and Hookham was overturned — otherwise any academic taking a public stance would fear for his or her job.

52. Started to read another article about the situation.

Noonan is quoted as saying, I don't mind criticism of my academic work but it should be channelled through the appropriate academic forums and it should be in keeping with academic conduct. 

I wonder what that means. What did MacLennan and Hookman do that was inappropriate? And it's not just Noonan who felt it was wrong. The school suspended the two guys.

53. Wondered about this quote from the article. Some in academia feel that MacLennan and Hookham violated accepted academic practice by naming Noonan in their newspaper article criticising his project and those overseeing it.

So, I guess in the academic world, it's not kosher to criticize another academic's work publicly?

54. Got some more insight.

If I'm understanding things right, MacLennan and Hookman were not fellow students. I guess they were professors?

Someone in the article is quoted as saying: When I read the original article I was surprised they would publicly attack the work of a student. "You have a duty of care to students. They are vulnerable, they are not trained academics. "You can attack ideas but I was surprised they would name or identify a student."

NOW it's making more sense to me.

Yeah. It seems inappropriate for professors or other academic-professionals to publicly criticize a student.  I think it would be much different if it were students publicly criticizing each other or academics criticizing each other.

55. Wondered about MacLennan and Hookman. The article refers to them as academics. Is that different from being a professor?

56. Found a website that has a short autobiography of Gary MacLennan.  I'm pretty sure it's the same Gary MacLennan, because it matches some stuff I saw in the various article—specifically that's he's very much left-wing.  And it mentions Queensland University of Technology. There's nothing mentioned about the big controversy. I guess MacLennan wants to keep that in the past.

57. Saw that John Hookham is now a lecturer of film and television at Swinburne University.

Is that in Melbourne?

58. Figured that an academic is probably someone who's received many advanced degrees—like a doctorate; and they're qualified to be a professor. Or lecturer. Maybe in Australia the terms lecturer and academic are used more than professor? Or maybe the words are interchangeable?

59. Searched the Swinburne website to see if they're in Melbourne.

They are.

It took me awhile to find it.

I'm getting kind of annoyed with websites that don't make it super easy to see where they're located.

60. Found the original anti-Noonan editorial written by Hookman and MacLennan.

Maybe it will sway me to their side.

61. Started to read and felt VERY much not on Hookman's and MacLennan's side.

To be honest, in the beginning, from what their editorial describes, I thought maybe Noonan was being somewhat offensive. But then I read this line. When William, a sufferer of Asperger's syndrome, twitched and was unable to answer, the university audience broke into laughter.

Sufferer? Really? That is so fucking neurotypical-centric.

62. Didn't like this line either. We think we, and the university, have a duty of care to those who are less fortunate than us.

Personally,  I think the condescending attitude is worse than using disabilities for humor.

That being said, I'm guessing I probably wouldn't like Noonan's documentary.  I don't know if I'd find it offensive. I think the reality-TV stuff would annoy me. It usually does.

I watched some episodes of the show An Idiot Abroad which was a reality TV show where the main character (NOT disabled) is constantly mocked and ridiculed. That annoyed me.

I think I can better tolerate disabled/differences comedy in fiction.  I'd be annoyed by a reality TV program where characters are frequently put into demeaning situations for a matter what sort of body or mind they have. Also, when I see stuff like that, I start to question the editing. Are we getting a true image of a person or an overly edited version?

63. Thought about how I also don't like the scenes in stuff like The Colbert Report or The Daily Show where they interview an unsuspecting person and make them look like a buffoon.

64. Concluded that I'm not against using disabilities in humor. The main reason is that all human beings are funny. To say that people with disabilities aren't funny is akin to saying they're less than human.

I am not, however, a fan of comedy that mocks real people.

Well, I'm sure there are instances where I might find it funny.

But USUALLY I'm not a fan.

65. Thought maybe "mocking" is the wrong word.

What I'm thinking of is when people are purposely put in situations where they're going to embarrass themselves.

From what I read in Hookman and MacLellan's editorial, it seems this is what Noonan did.

I could be wrong, though.

Really. I'd have to see the show for myself to decide if I find it funny or offensive.

66. Watched a clip from Unlikely Travelers.

It seemed sweet—not offensive.

But it's only one short scene.

67. Regretted that I did not look at the actors from "The Counter", but it is late and I want to get to sleep.

68. Decide the best way to think about humans is this.

We're all crazy. We all have our mental issues.

And each one of us could become severely disabled or disfigured tomorrow. Or even tonight.

It's not us and them.


And we're all hilarious sometimes.