Saturday, January 23, 2016

White, Not White, Tropfest Rules, and Malaysian Cooking

1. Had discussions on Twitter about the Oscar racism issue, and that made me think of the whiteness of the two Aussie TV shows I'm watching lately.

I was thinking that Wicked Science is all white, but once in awhile I see an Asian person.  Still. All the lead characters are white.

I don't think I've seen any non-white characters on Home and Away.

In comparison, Coronation Street has two main characters that are black. There's one character that's half black.  There's a large Muslim family, and an Indian family.

The American show we've been watching lately is Modern Family. It's white-dominated, but there are two Latinos in the main cast, as well as an Asian child.

2. Started watching an episode of Wicked Science.

3. Felt tired of seeing all the Caucasian skin, which proves the people on Twitter are wrong. There IS a such thing as anti-white racism. I know, because I have it sometimes.

Though I also have racist thoughts against other ethnic groups. I play fair.

4. Finished watching the episode of Wicked Science.

5. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

6. Continued to be annoyed by the Maddie (Kassandra Clementi) and Oscar (Jake Speer) storyline.

Maybe I'm just ignorant.

I've never had cancer before; or any serious chronic illness. Maybe cancer does cause people to fall in love when they wouldn't have otherwise.

7. Wondered if Oscar is the type of person who finds it easier to love someone who doesn't share his feelings. Maybe now that Maddie loves him back, the relationship idea is scary to him.

8. Felt bad for Braxton (Stephen Peacocke). He had a choice between pleading guilty to a crime he didn't commit and being sent to prison for eight years; or he can fight and risk twenty years.

Personally, I think he should fight.

9. Saw that Stephen Peacocke is going to appear in the adaptation of the book Me Before You.

Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who is also in the movie.

10. Started to read a 2012 article about the lack of diversity in Australian television.

A Samoan actor, Jay Laga'aia complained about the lack of diversity when he lost his acting job on Home and Away. Was he disgruntled about the job loss or speaking out about a real issue?

It's the same thing that I've seen some people question about Will Smith.  Is he angry his own movie didn't get nominated, or is there more than that.

Getting fired or snubbed does make people hurt and angry.  These feelings could push people into getting mad about the bigger picture.  The thing is, though, there IS a big picture, and it's not a very pretty one.

11. Annoyed with a quote from producer John Edwards. He says, I would hate it if you patronisingly cast people for ethnicity when they're not good enough.

It bothers me when people say things like this, because it implies that non-white people won't be good enough. You'll only be able to hire other ethnic groups if you lower your standards.

12. Felt if there really is a short supply of talented non-white actors, maybe the problem lies in Australian acting schools.

13. Looked at NIDA's 2014 alumni.

It's not all white.

There are seventeen students.  Twelve look Anglo and five do not.

Is five out of twelve a good ratio?  I don't know.  I don't think it's terrible.

It's better than the acting Oscar nominations these past two years. That's for sure.

14. Looked at the 2013 alumni.  There're twenty-two here, and they look much whiter.

Twenty look anglo. Not only that, but I think most have blue eyes.

16. Counted the blue eyes.  There are sixteen pairs!  Wow.

17. Understood that the problem could be there are not enough non-white people interested in acting and auditioning for roles.

I have no idea.

If NIDA does have a small pool of non-white people to choose from, then John Edwards could be right. It might be a matter of struggling to figure out which of the five not so talented black, Asian, Arab, etc. hopefuls should you let into your school so it's more diverse.

I'm doubting that's the case, though. If it is the case, it could be that non-white people avoid acting careers BECAUSE they know it's going to be near impossible to find work.

18. Went to the Tropfest website. Today I'm going to watch a film called "Jackie's Spring Place".

Like most Tropfest finalist films I've watched, it's seven minutes.

19. Wondered if a seven minute film is more likely to make it into the finals.

What are the time restraints for Tropfest?

20. Went to the Tropfest entry page.

And now I finally understand what the TSI is all about. Each year has a different TSI, but I had no idea what that meant.

 2007 was sneeze. I'm not sure about 2008.

Let me go look.

21. Saw that 2008's TSI was the number eight.

2009's TSI is Spring.

What is this all about?

Tropfest wants people making their films specifically for Tropfest. Why? I don't know.

22. Saw the answer on the Tropfest site. They say, Tropfest is about encouraging production of film, not just exhibition, so it's a requirement of entry that your film is made specifically for the Festival.

At first I didn't really get the point, but now I think I do.

There have been times where I've seen a cool contest and considered submitting my old work. The reason being is I'm too lazy to create something new.  The rule might be there to prevent people like me from being lazy when it comes to their art.

On the other hand, is there a lack of people wanting to make films?

23. Learned that the winner of Tropfest gets $10,000 a trip to Los Angeles that includes meetings with film executives, and a Nikon camera.

I wonder if the Los Angeles meetings ever help anyone further their career.

24. Saw that the maximum film length for Tropfest is seven minutes.

So I guess most people can't get their films shorter than that. That's why so many of the films are seven minutes. The directors try to use up all the time they've been allotted.

25. Felt some of the films I've seen would have benefitted from being cut shorter.

I think I've more often seen films a little bit too long than films that I felt were too short.

26. Felt hypocritical saying all that above, since I think I write the longest blog posts in the world.

27. Started watching Jackie's Spring Palace.

28. Saw that the film deals with bad buffet hygiene. I get concerned about that issue sometimes.

29. Finished watching the film. Basically, it's about a guy who gets food poisoning at a Chinese restaurant. But the execution of the idea is done quite creatively.

It's cute.

30. Thought about the TFI (Spring) and realized it was definitely in there.  The protagonist in the film eats a lot of spring rolls.

31. Went to "Jackie's Spring Palace" on IMDb.

32. Saw that Matthew Phipps, the writer and director of the film wrote an episode of a TV show called Vic the Viking.

33. Saw that Vic the Viking is a French-Australian children's TV show.

34. Learned that the waitress in the film is played by an Aussie chef celebrity named Poh Ling Yeow.

She was a contestant on Master Chef, and later had her own show called Poh's Kitchen.

35. Learned that Poh Ling Yeow doesn't just act and cook; she's also an artist.

36. Looked at Poh Ling Yeow's art website.

She seems to have a thing for painting girls who are pouting.

37. Looked more closely at the paintings.

Either she knows how to draw one type of face and is sticking with that. Or all the painted girls I'm seeing are supposed to be the same girl.

38. Didn't have much luck finding information on Nick Martin, the main actor on "Jackie's Spring Palace".

The only thing else IMDb has on his filmography is an appearance on the miniseries Anzac Girls.

When I Googled, I ended up finding both a British and American actor with the same name.  And I found a Nick Martin that's the president of a Bikie gang.

39. Thought maybe I should look at the American again. I looked pretty quickly before. He might not be American. He might just be currently located in the US.

40. Looked again.

This Nick Martin is working with a Texas talent agency. I think Australians would usually work with Los Angeles agents.

Or maybe not.

But the resumes don't match.

41. Had much better luck when looking for information about Matthew Phipps.

It turns out that he was married to Poh Ling Yeow.

42. Wonder if Tropfest contestants with celebrity connections have an advantage.

I can't imagine that they don't.

43. Managed to imagine it.

Who knows. It could go in the opposite direction.  Some judges might have more respect for films with less experienced actors.

44. Looked at the dates on Poh Ling Yeow's filmography.  If I'm reading it right, Poh Ling Yeow became a Masterchef celebrity AFTER she appeared in "Jackie's Spring Palace".  So Phipps actually didn't have a big celebrity in his film.

45. Thought that Poh Ling Yeow's relationship with Matthew Phipps is quite interesting.

Their marriage ended, but Phipps became Yeow's manager. And she's best friends with his new romantic partner.

46. Learned that Yeow spent time as a Mormon, but gave that up eventually.

45. Learned that Phipps too was a Mormon in the past. Phipps and Yeow met each other when they were having issues with their Mormonism.

46. Learned from the article that Phipps and Yeow ended their marriage BEFORE "Jackie's Spring Palace" was made.

47. Thought it was lovely that Phipps and Yeow managed to remain friends.

48. Started to watch a video of Yeow making Malaysian dessert crepes.

49. Learned that Malaysian desserts often involve something called Pandan.  Yeow says it's like vanilla.

50. Learned from Lord Wiki that Pandan is used in other Asian cuisines as well, including Thai and Indian.

51. Wondered if I've had desserts with Pandan before.

52. Learned from Yeow that in Malaysian cooking they often combine salt and coconut.

53. Thought the end result of the dessert looked very good.

54. Remembered that there MIGHT be someone who's not completely Anglo on Home and Away.

There's Andy played by Tai Hara. I don't know his ethnicity. Maybe Lebanese?

55. Learned from Lord Wiki that Tai Hara has Maori heritage.

That's very cool.

So, that's good.

Home and Away isn't currently 100% white.