Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kassandra Clementi, Mathew Chuang, Admiration, and Sympathy

1. Started watching an episode of Wicked Science.

I'm almost done with the first season.

I have five episodes left.  

2. Thought the writing of this episode was especially weak.  

Around the same time that Russell (Benjamin Schmideg) feels alienated from his friends for not being as smart as them, Elizabeth comes up with a plan of getting close to him to get information.  

This would be fine if Elizabeth was spying and SAW that Russell wasn't getting along with his friends. But as far I could see, that's not what happened.

It was a very convenient coincidence.

3. Enjoyed reading A Welsh Girl in Australia's post about her family's trip during the school holidays.  
Beth seems to love being with her family, and she's a big fan of school holidays.  

It's interesting to me that some parents love the school holidays while others dread them.  Some parents can't wait for their kids to go back to school.  

4. Wondered how my parents felt about school breaks. Were they excited for them? Did they dread them?  

Maybe they were excited for them to start, but also excited for them to end.  

5. Understood that some parents might dread the school holidays, because they have a job, and it's a struggle to arrange childcare.

I don't envy those parents at all. 

6. Started watching an episode of Home and Away. 

7. Felt very bad for Andy (Tai Hara). He was very careful and protective with Hannah (Cassie Howarth), because she's paralyzed.  She pressured him into taking her on a boat. He finally gave in. Then she caused the boat to tip over by leaning over too much. Now two people (so far) have given Andy grief about taking Hannah out on the boat.  

8. Thought maybe the lesson there is to be careful when judging someone else's decision. We don't know who or what might have pressured them to do what they did.

9. Looked at Kassandra Clementi's IMDb page.  

Though she plays a high school student on Home and Away, in real life she's twenty-five or twenty-six.  I guess that's not unusual, though, for actors.  

In 2011 and 2012, she was working in the US. While here, she did a TV show, a movie, and a TV movie.  

10. Learned from Lord Wiki that Clementi spent some of her American time living in Atlanta, and then she also lived in Los Angeles.

11. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch a 2010 finalist film called "The Last Roll of the Dice"

12. Saw that this film is very short.

It's less than two minutes!

13. Thought that the actress in the film looks familiar.

14. Wasn't pleased with the film.

It's basically a desperate woman making an Internet dating video.  

I felt like I'm supposed to be laughing at this woman who dares to seek love despite having a big mole on her face and being socially awkward.  

Was I supposed to be amused?  Is the film a comedy?  

Maybe it's not.

15. Looked at the IMDb page for Bel Delia, the actress in the film.

The only thing I would have seen her in is an episode of I Rock

16. Saw that "The Last Roll of the Dice" is written by two men and directed by a man.

I get this image of three guys getting together and saying, Hey! Let's make a movie about a pathetic woman trying to find love.  

17. Went to the website of Matthew Chuang, the director of "The Last Roll of the Dice". 

He's usually a cinematographer.  

18. Went to Chuang's advertising page.

I watched a video that might have had Ryan Kwanten and Hugo Weaving. I'm not sure.

I'm also not sure which video I watched, because I'm confused by the labeling.

It's either for VicRoads or Onitsuka Tiger.

I'm confused!

19.  Went to Matthew Chuang's bio page.

There's nothing really personal or historical on it.

It pretty much just lists his accomplishments.  

It's not like I need to know the color of his underpants and his favorite flavor of ice-cream.  But I'd like to see something that gives me an idea of who he is and what he's about.

20. Started to watch Chuang's latest project.

It's a music video for a song called "It's Alright" by the Fractures.

21. Googled Fractures, and saw that there's an Australian Fractures and a Canadian one.

I'm guessing Chuang's video is for the Aussie group, but that's not necessarily the case.  

22. Saw that the video consists of a man hanging out at a Chernobyl ruins site.  

23. Wondered if the man used to live in the building.

At one point, he starts to cry.  That makes me think he has a personal connection to his surroundings. On the other hand, the general tragedy of it all might make him sad...even if he didn't know the building in it's healthier time.

24. Realized, at the end, that the building is a probably a school. Chuang got that point across with a voice-over of children reciting something.  

25. Wondered if the man was a teacher at the school. Or maybe his children went to the school.  

26. Consulted Lord Wiki about Chernobyl, because I don't know much about it. 

It happened in a town called Pripyat, which is now abandoned.  

At the time of it's evacuation, there were 49,000 people.  

The nuclear accident happened in April 1986.

Wasn't that the same year as the Challenger accident?  

27. Googled and saw the space shuttle explosion happened only three months before the Chernobyl tragedy.

28. Saw that there weren't a huge amount of immediate deaths from Chernobyl, but many people developed cancer later from the radiation.

29. Saw that there's a lot of debate about how many deaths were or are going to be caused by Chernobyl effects.

30. Started to watch Matthew Chuang's cinematography reel. The beginning has a scene from Offspring.  I guess he worked on a few episodes?  

31. Wondered if the Offspring scenes are from the web series spin off.  The scenes feature Alicia Gardiner and Jane Harber. If I remember correctly, the web series was about them.  

32. Went back to Matthew Chuang's filmography, and saw that it is the web episodes of Offspring that he did his cinematography work.  

33. Felt like, when watching the reel, that I don't know when to credit Chuang and when to credit the directors.

I get really confused about that.

Then there's also the art department, the music, the actors, the writers, etc.

When we like what we see in a film, it's hard to know who is impressing us.  

Maybe it's everyone?

But if I watch Chuang's showreel and like what I see, how do I know I wouldn't like what I saw if the director changed?

34. Decided film is extremely collaborative. If we like what we see, it probably means EVERYONE on the team is doing a good job.

If we don't like what we see, it's hard to pinpoint what person's work we're disliking.  

35. Remembered editors.

Their contribution is extremely important.

36. Started to watch another episode of Home and Away.

37. Saw Marilyn (Emily Symons) put a disgusting amount of mayonnaise on a piece of bread.

38. Continued to find Maddie absolutely adorable.

I find myself having a ton of sympathy for her.  

She's probably my favorite character on the show
39. Decided my feelings for Maddie are a mixture of sympathy and admiration.

I think these two things combined might be what makes me love a character.

If there's a ton of admiration and a lack of sympathy; then I think the feelings become more aligned with resentment and jealousy. The character begins to seem annoyingly perfect.

If there's a ton of sympathy and no admiration; then the character becomes pathetic. 

40. Reminded myself that my favorite characters are often the ones who start out evil and then become good.

I was thinking that my two ideas about favorite character were separate and maybe contradictory, but now I'm seeing that's not the case.  

I don't like the characters when they're evil. I like them when they change.  To go from evil to good usually takes a huge amount of courage.  It often involves betraying Team Evil, and struggling to gain the trust of Team Good.  It can be a lonely road, and I admire the person who has the strength to pursue that path.

That loneliness, plus other pain the changed character endures, is what gives me the sympathy feelings.