Thursday, December 17, 2015

Too Obvious, Territories, Oranges and Sunshine, and Horrible Atrocities

1. Read article about Tasmania planning to formally apologize to those who were given criminal records for being homosexual. The government is doing that, and they're also going to remove the so-called crime from the records.

That's good!

The article talks about how the apology and expungement is not just a symbolic gesture. It can actually be very annoying in life to have a criminal record—to have to explain things to future employees or other people who want/need to know.

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

It's so lacking in subtlety. Or at least the scene I just watched is.

There's a wealthy teen who owns a coveted comic. He brags about owning the comic; and talks about liking to have things that other people want. Fans ask him questions about the comic; and the teen tells them he's only in it for the money.

I suppose there are rich people who just blurt stuff out like that. I think most, though, try to fake humbleness and depth.

If this was another show, I'd say it could be featuring a character who is simply brave enough to tell it like it is. But I think with Scooter: Secret Agent; it's a case of lazy writing; or an idea that the show needs to talk down to the young audience.

It could also just be the style of the show; and it's not a style I like.

3. Wanted to say that I don't think all rich people need to FAKE humbleness and depth. Some are certainly quite decent, and don't need to put on an act.

4. Thought about villains—real life and fictional.

What's more realistic? Is it the ones who know they're bad and shout this out to everyone? Or is it the ones who believe they're the good guys?

5. Looked at Lord Wiki's list of Australian territories, because today, in US history, we're learning about American territories.

It's kind of emotionally confusing.

This morning I looked at Hawaii; and their independence movements. There's this sense that they hate Americans and hate being part of America—rightfully so!  I think to myself, I don't really feel comfortable about going to Hawaii anymore. It's so rude that we took over their land, and then prance about as annoying tourists.

Yeah, but then look where we're living.

We're living on stolen land.

It's kind of depressing.

6. Wondered if any of Australia's external territories want freedom from Australia? Do any of them want their independence?

7. Wondered. Besides Antartica, which of Australia's external territories is farthest from Australia?

8. Looked at a government page about Australian territories.

If I'm understand the page right, Heard and McDonald Island are the furthest from the mainland. They're 4100 kilometers away from Perth.

9. Thought that Hawaii would be much further from the mainland, but it's not.  It's 3846 Kilometers from California.

Guam, though, is much further away. It's close to 10,000 kilometers from California.

10. Saw from Lord Wiki that there are no people living on Heard Island. So I suppose the no-people wouldn't be wanting their independence.

11. Figured that in the 21st century, no people literally means NO people—unlike the 18th or 19th century where no people meant no white people.

12. Learned from Lord Wiki that Heard and McDonald Island are the most remote place on Earth.

Oh! And I just read they're considered to be part of Antartica. I wasn't planning on counting Antartica.

13. Read some bits of an article about Norfolk Island's independence issues. Australia is trying to make them more part of Australia, and some of the islanders aren't too happy about that.

The worst seems to be that there are/were plans to disassemble their legislative assembly. That's pretty harsh.

14. Read more. They also planned to make Norfolk Islanders pay more Australian taxes.

15. Felt Australian territories are different than American ones.

I get less of a sense of a native population being invaded, displaced, and occupied.

BUT, like the United States, that is the story of the mainland itself.

16. Had idea that I read the stuff about Norfolk Island before. But I can't remember why.

Maybe I just ran across it on Google news.

17. Saw that, like The Big Bang Theory, Scooter: Secret Agent pushes the stereotype that girls don't like comics.

18. Looked at the list of companies in Australia not paying taxes.

The list includes Qantas, Virgin, Exxon Mobile, Mitsubishi, Lend Lease Corporation, General Motors, Vodaphone, Hewlett Packard, Chevron, Citic Resources Australia, Glencore Investment,
Hope Downs Marketing, Amcor Limited, and many more.

Why aren't they paying taxes?

I have no idea.

19. Saw there was a link on the article with the list that leads to an explanation of why the companies aren't paying taxes.

The question is, will I understand it?

20. Saw that the link leads to an Aussie government site.

21. Tried to read and understand.

I failed.

We're going to be studying economics at some point. After that, maybe (but doubtfully) I'll understand such things better.

22. Decided that human beings are fairly shitty; but companies and governments are usually even worse.

23. Started to watch Oranges and Sunshine, which probably fits in brilliantly with what I said in #22.

24. Relieved to see the movie can be subtitled on Hulu. It's hard for me to hear it.

But even with struggling to hear the first few minutes, I was liking the movie.

25. Saw London's Australia House in the movie.  If I remember correctly, this was used as Gringotts in the Harry Potter films.

26. Thought it would be funny if the Australia House in Oranges and Sunshine isn't the real Australia House.

27. Looked at images of Australia House on Google Images.

It seems to be the same building.

28. Looked at Gringotts on Google Images.  In most of the pictures, it's hard to see Australia House.

I didn't capture it in the screenshot, but there are sculptures several feet above the door.  In a few of the Gringotts photos, the sculptures can be seen.

29. Realized that those photos are probably photos of the real building rather than photos from the film.

30. Consulted this Harry Potter film location website.  They say it was the INSIDE of the building that was used.

31. Thought Oranges and Sunshine was a very chilling movie.

I mean I already knew what happened. But it's so different reading about things and seeing it actually happen to people.

So far in the movie: Margaret (Emily Watson) is approached by Charlotte (Federay Holmes) an Australian adult-orphan in England, trying to find her roots. She believes that she arrived in Australia with a bunch of other British children.

Margaret is highly skeptical about this, Children wouldn't be sent off to Australia like that. There's no record of it. But then she starts running into information that points to the fact that Charlotte isn't delusional.

Margaret goes off on a quest to find more information.  She learns Charlotte isn't an orphan. Her mother wasn't dead at the time that Charlotte left the UK. Not only that, but she's still alive.

I'm at the part of the movie now where Margaret finds the mother (Kate Rutter) and is about to talk to her about her children.

Does the mother know her children were sent to Australia? Was she told they were dead?

32. Finished watching the scene.

It's horribly sad.

The mother thought her daughter had been adopted. She had gone back to get her daughter at some point, and was told her daughter was with a real family now. In the scene with Watson, she learns her daughter was in a children's home in Australia.


33. Saw that Kate Rutter was on Coronation Street. She played Suzie Forrester. I've been trying to figure out who that is.

She was on around the time of Hayley's death and funeral; so I'm guessing she was the person who did the funeral.

34. Googled, and saw I'm right. She was the celebrant.

35.  Searched through my emails for Oranges and Sunshine, because I vaguely remembered my dad emailing me about it.

I found the email.

He and my mom watched it three years ago.

Wow. Time sure goes by fast. I thought I'd find an email that was a year or so old...not three.

36. Saw Russell Dykstra, from Rake, in Oranges and Sunshine.

I saw on IMDb, the other day, that Kate Box from Rake is in the movie too. Though I haven't spotted her yet.

37. Thought about how this movie is really getting to me, and wondered why. It's an atrocity, but there have been many atrocities on this planet.  Most of them don't make me feel the way this movie is making me feel.

Then I thought of the last media story that really got to me. It was when when I revisited the story of Jacob Belim, the child who died of appendicitis, because he didn't get the care he needed.

I imagined the stories might have something in common—something that bothers me more than most bothersome things.

I think I figured it out. Both Oranges and Sunshine and the Jacob Belim story involve authority figures causing great harm to children by lying to or belittling the child's parents.

For some reason, stuff like that really gets to me.  It's the idea pushed on parents that doctors, teachers, social workers, government officials, etc. know what's best for everyone's children.

38. Pushed myself to remember that there are good people out there who work very hard to right the wrongs.

The movie's showing that. It's one of the things that makes the movie not 100% horribly depressing.

39. Looked through the cast of Oranges and Sunshine to try to find an actress who looked familiar.

I had doubts I'd find her, because I didn't have a character name. But I did find her!

It's Tara Morice—Miss Raine from Dance Academy!

Now I see that her character name is Pauline. I wonder if they'll show her again.  I think a lot of actors in this movie have small roles. The reason is probably that they want to show how this evil policy affected so many families. So we're getting bits and pieces of different stories. Then it's all tied together by Margaret, the social worker helping the families.

40. Finished watching the movie for today.

I plan to watch the rest tomorrow.

So far, I think it's brilliant.  It seems like the type of movie that should win an Oscar or Golden Globe.

The acting is great. The writing is great.

The editing is quite amazing in some parts.

There's these little touches as well. For example, there's a painful and powerful scene between David Wenham and Watson in or near a jetty.  As the scene comes towards an end, as background noise, they have a random child calling out for his mother.  The whole movie is about mothers and children being separated; so that minor background sound is well-chosen.

41. Looked at the IMDb awards page for Oranges and Sunshine.

Emily Watson won best actress from the Australian Film Critics Award. The movie itself received a nomination; Hugo Weaving and David Wenham did as well.

Hugo Weaving won a best supporting actor award from AFI.

Dany Cooper won as best editor from Australian Screen Editors. I think he deserves it. He did some clever editing in some scenes.  And I'm sure there's also some wonderful editing that's not highly noticeable.  I think usually the best editing is the stuff we don't notice. But some of the artsy stuff is great too.

42. Saw the movie won a sound mixing award. I wonder if the little boy crying out for his mama was planned by them. Was that their choice; or the director's idea?

43. Thought it would be funny if the little boy being there was an accident—that there just happened to be a kid around that day who ended up on camera.

Well, him being there would be an accident. Deciding to keep his voice in the movie would have been a wise purposeful decision.

44. Disappointed to see that the movie was not nominated for any of the big American awards.

And what about BAFTA?!  Why didn't they give any recognition to the movie?

I'm hoping IMDb made a mistake.

45. Consulted Lord Wiki about the 2011 BAFTA television awards.

As far as I can see, Oranges and Sunshine didn't get any recognition.

I think it should have.