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 has 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 there'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.