Friday, 25 June 2010

Lists: Films I've Seen - 2009

I have been keeping a list on my YouTube channel of the films and television show seasons I've watched since August, 2009 and I felt it was time to transfer the list over to my blog.

The reason why I started keeping this list is because I no longer logged in to IMDB, where I had kept a list of most of the films I had seen, and I also was seeing films more frequently in New York and didn't want to forget what I had spent hundreds of dollars on.

I guess I also hoped to eventually study the films (and by study, I mean, going to those SparkNotes sites, reading reviews by well-known critics and then trying to form my own opinion of the film) so that I am simply not consuming all this entertainment and not giving myself any reasoning for it. Maybe I just don't have much else going on in my life right now, but I think there is something wrong about that. Why read, listen or watch if it's not going to have any affect on you? Not going to stay with you for a few hours or evenings and make you think and make you reflect and change?

"It's just a movie." Yes, but it doesn't have to be. I don't know, I feel like a twat. Here is the damn list.

# 2009: An Education, Hump Day, Broken Embraces, Nine, The Road, Sherlock Holmes, La Danse, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I Could Never Be Your Woman, Avatar, New Moon, The Young Victoria, A Single Man, 2012, Minority Report, Phoebe in Wonderland, The Boat That Rocked, Untitled, I Love You Man, V for Vendetta, Risky Business, Mad Men Season One, Orphan, House of the Devil, Phantom of the Opera, Labyrinth, The Boondock Saints, Trick Or Treat, Adventureland, Slither, Honeymoon in Vegas, SLC Punk, Where The Wild Things Are, Paranormal Activity, Zombieland, The Damned United, The Invention of Lying, Toy Story 1 and 2, Pandorum, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Happenstance, 2 Days in Paris, Whip It, The September Issue, The Cove, No Impact Man, Inglorious Basterds, Julie and Julia, Harry Potter 6, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, District 9, Ponyo, World's Greatest Dad

Some of the films I had seen before, some I had seen in the theatre, some on iTunes, some on Netflix, some on DVD (wow, took me a second to remember films came on DVDs!)

I also like keeping the list because sometimes you can remember the memory surrounding the film; the night out or in, the people there, the funny things that happened.

I saw World's Greatest Dad with Luke and was surprised at how it exceeded my expectations and how well Robin Williams acted in this film.

I saw District 9 at Union Square and we all had to sit separately. Brooke and I were sitting in those individual seats that they place so far a part from one another. The crowd laughing and yelling along with the film made the experience so much more worthwhile.

I saw Harry Potter 6 with Adam and laughed harder than anyone else in the theatre at how terribly awkward everything was. I was so embarrassed.

Julie and Julia was a late night session on 42nd Street with Chicken McNuggets and Josh and Adam.

No Impact Man was at the Angelica. The film skipped half-way through, but we also got to meet the author and No Impact Man himself after the film. I bought his book and spoke to him for a moment, and he told me a lot of the fans of his blog are from Australia. I walked away with an unnecessary signature.

The Cove made me cry and we were all fairly stunned as we walked home. We didn't really no what to do.

I saw The September Issue with Molly and Luke at the Sunshine, with all these fashionable people surrounding us. We all really liked the film and found Grace Coddington to be utterly adorable.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil! was amazing because I had no idea that the band would be there! I was so excited because the film was so uplifting and so inspirational and then there they were. I got a photo afterwards. I was so excited.

The Damned United was Luke's suggestion and I loved it. That would seal the deal for my admiration for Michael Sheen. He is now one of my favourite actors. He is such a chameleon.

I remember Zombieland not being as amazing as everyone said it was, and Paranormal Activity being a welcomed let-down with Sam, and almost falling asleep while watching Where The Wild Things Are at a midnight session at Kips Bay with Luke, his brother Max, Molly and Ryan and their friend, who I think hated it.

Adventureland was seen with my freaking taxi driver, which was one of the weirdest experiences of my life.

House of the Devil was seen after running through the Halloween parade with Brooke while it poured down rain. We were freezing. I think we went home and watched Orphan straight after with Luke and Josh and I have never been so angry while watching a film. I have never also felt more maternal instincts than I have while watching that film.

Mad Men took up my life for a bit, with Luke by my side on my terrible purple couch. I still want to do the Mad Men drinking game. A swig for every drink, a shot would be too much, we would probably all be dead.

I Love You Man was a great bromance though I still am not a fan of the female characters in that movie.

Untitled was awesome, another great film showing at the Angelika. One of those films that you can take something from and try to apply it to what you do. In this case, finding the love in the process of creating, not in the result or from the critiques or fame one may receive afterwards.

The US version of The Boat That Rocked, Pirate Radio, was disappointing. Some funny sequences cut out to save time. I don't like it when they don't trust their audiences. Even if they have tested the bullocks out of them. Sometimes they should just say, fuck it, and take a chance.

The rest of the year was spent trying to see as many of the "Oscar" contenders as possible and becoming Mayor of Quad Cinemas. A title that has been sadly lost after I created it. I will stew on this forever.

I saw The Road and Nine on New Years Eve. I thought one way of saying, fuck you, to 2009 would be by watching an apocalyptic thriller that was meant to be utterly depressing. I found it sad but also uplifting. Then, after a quick break of meat pies from Tuckshop on St. Marks, I brought in the New Year with a movie musical. Nothing like a little "cinema Italiano" to make you perky.

I don't know why I spent time giving these pissy little reviews of the experience or the film because that sort of defeats my point. I guess I was excited by the flood of memories that came to me as I went through the list. This is why it's my favourite list to keep.

Yours in Pointlessness,

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Coney Island: Take Two

The first time I ventured down to Coney Island. on the rattly N train, I was not in the best of moods. I can't remember why. I think it had something to do with wanting Emily, my best friend, to be hanging out with me, alone, and not with her cousin, an amazing girl, Louise. Now, it was silly of me to feel that way, because Louise is a lovely person and I enjoyed spending time with her, but I guess I was so desperate for familiarity, I just wanted my whole world to be full of Emily, full of home.

Or maybe I was just tired and wanted to sleep.

We arrived at Coney Island at around 11 in the morning, and despite the other tourists meandering around dully, the beach was quiet. Few shows were open and no attractions were running. The horizon was a dull, blurred gray. A sharp difference compared to Australia's gorgeous blue waters, relatively nice smelling beaches and crisp horizons. A perfect illusion of a split between light and dark blue. Yes, this definitely wasn't an Australian beach or, obviously, the Pacific Ocean.

We sat on a bench and stared out at the water. All quite silent. Politely sitting in our disappointment.

Eventually we walked further down the peer, stopping to marvel at the ghastly Shoot The Freak sideshow... or really, just to be gangsta.

Then we came across this hilarious quote on a mural of beach goers and other facts about oceans for the aquarium nearby. Poor George Tilyou. If he could see Coney Island now.

"If Paris is France, Coney Island, between June and September is the world."

Um, no. No, it is not. What it was in 2008 was a visual death-rattle. In my mind, when I though of Coney Island, was simply the clinking of three glass beer bottles and a creepy voice calling, "Warriors, come out to playyyy." Ugh, terrifying.

We quickly found our way back on the train, tipping out hats to the penguin lady as we scurried by, and took the train back up to Brooklyn.

We went through the art galleries and to Prospect Park, for Celebrate, Brooklyn! A fabulous treat of simply eye-fucking the shit out of this gorgeous drummer. It's all saved on my camera, too. One day I'll turn it into a joyous stalker video. Dear Drummer, I may call it. Oh please, I don't sound as creepy and as un-lay-able as you think I sound... well, maybe the latter part is true, but tell me that this man isn't a beautiful.

I think the real reason why I don't mind sounding like a complete and utter fangirl/idiot, is that a musician will never ever date me. It's just not in the cards for me. I was never attracted to musicians as a young girl and then a teenager. I found the ideas of their rusty fingers (guitarists) kind of gross, and it wasn't until a few years ago that I really started listening to music. Really listening to the layers and finding great joy out of discovering a note here or there that suddenly gave the song a whole new meaning. I've met a few musicians and we can talk, but I'm just not cool or laid back enough for a musician, and that's cool, because I really don't want to be buying those expensive t-shirts.


Yes, I am. So, when Josh M. suggested a trip down to Coney Island, I was up for it. I wanted to see what had changed and Josh had mentioned a new park and I am always keen for rides and silly fun, so we penciled it into our diaries and headed down one hot, muggy, slightly cloudy Sunday.

I wanted to get there early to beat the crowds and lines, and we did. Leaving at 10:30am, we arrived at the Coney Island just after 11 and it was already steamy. The so-called MTA deal is actually pretty shitty! I don't think I saved more than a few dollars.

Luna Park was empty and we had no trouble getting on to rides instantly by the time we had rode a few rides Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park opposite was quite crowded. I didn't ride the classic Wonder Wheel.

There was glitter everywhere from the Mermaid Parade the day before which I had debated going to while standing in the kitchen watching television. "I could just go down now." I'd say... but it didn't happen.

Most of the rides were really tame but fun all the same. You feel so safe in them that you can completely let go and enjoy yourself and trust that you're not going to fall out. I like feeling safe on those kind of rides, it's just pure fun.

It's the complete opposite when it comes to the Cyclone Rollercoaster - that thing is a beast and an ancient one at that. It's apparently brought born mutes to their voices and brought up other people's stomach contents, but it has a pretty decent safety record, so we gave it go.

We were there for it's third or fourth ride of the day and the line was so short that we got on straight away. It was rattly as all hell and I kept apologizing to my brain and boobs the whole time. Looking at the track is probably not a good thing to do because it looks like they just place planks of wood down wherever it seems to work.

Also if you do travel on this roller coaster, be sure to sit with a partner. Our friend Josh in the back was by himself and was flung completely to the other side of his seat. He swears he almost fell out of it.

The best part about the cyclone is that you can ride again for $5 dollars. So we just handed them our $5 while they held the coaster for us and I think we even switched to the very front, but my mind is shaken up now that I'm not sure. Either way I have a memory of being like, "Oh man, I wish I hadn't decided to sit in the front!" so maybe it did happen.

We were done for the day after that. I was had cried out in glee both rides but now I was feeling a little queasy.

I definitely recommend riding on the Air Race. Grown men squeal on this thing. I loved it. Eyes open the whole time, arms hanging out. It's similar to the Claw at Dreamworld so I guess I was prepared for the spins and being up and down. Definitely try it if you go there - it's so smooth.

As for the rest of Coney Island, they have their fried food and there condom and menstrual pad filled beaches - I don't want to relive it anymore than I already have, but if you want to give your kids a quick Sex Ed lesson, go no further than Coney Island's shore.

They also have there fireworks and I wanted to go on Friday night for Fireworks! but I didn't make it down for the rest of the Summer.

One of the famous things about Coney Island are the Freaks but I'm not really interested in the Freak Shows at Coney Island. If it was just a show full of Suicide Girls, I'd be more into it, but I saw the film, Freak and it was very disturbing. Awesome but disturbing.

Coney Island Take Two was definitely better. Thankfully people believe in the joy that place can bring and did a lot to spruce it up between 2008 and 2010 and more effort took place before then, too. I recommend being open to a day of fried indulgence and just knowing that there is always soap back home.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Musicals I Would Like To See

My Internet Browser is quietly grumbling at me because I have so many tabs of musicals and plays I want to see open. Yet most of them, those that won Tony's anyhow, are all closing quite soon and since they are closing and their popularity has been boosted by the recent awards ceremony the ticket prices are super high.

The New York Times reported that a ticket to Fences was over $300.00! That seems a little outrageous to me, but I'm sure it is worth it... both actors won awards for their performances.

The other problem with trying to see these shows is that well one, I have no money and two, talk about a fucking quest. It was hard enough getting tickets for The Metal Children, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to get tickets for these shows.

Not only are they probably sold out, but I bet the "wait-call" and "rush" lines are like a back-stabbing film noir brought to life... or an episode of the Amazing Race.

So without further ado, here are the musicals and plays I will most probably never see:

Sondheim on Sondheim - playing through to June 27th.

Lend Me A Tenor - directed by Stanley Tucci! Playing through to June 23rd(?)

Come Fly Away - mainly for the dancing and it only just opened.

The Addams Family - purely just to see Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. I also like the Wednesday Addams as a teen angle.

Everyday Rapture - is playing next to the Duke Theater where I saw Graceland. It's final performance is July 11th.

Red - I really want to see this play. Alfred Molina is a great actor and I love listening to people discussing art, since none of my conversations involve discussing art, since I know so little about it. It closes June 27th!

Memphis - this show won Best Musical!

Fences - Denzel Washington! The small sample of Viola Davis' performance they show on their website looks amazing. This play closes July 11th.

La Cage Aux Folles - I saw this play when I was little and I loved it. It was probably my first experience of watching men performing in women's clothing and the story is so moving, especially the song, I Am What I Am. I enjoyed the film, too, and I have to see Kelsey Grammer perform! I saw his "brother", David Hyde Pierce in Curtains (and hopefully later this year, too), so I must see Mr. Grammer!

A Little Night Music - Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury leave the show at the end of the week, so that's a little disappointing. Then again, I was aware of this show and wasn't exactly keen. I don't know why, both are amazing. I just wasn't feeling it. However, Bernadette Peters is taking over, so hopefully I'll see her! That would be amazing since I spent so much of child watching her again and again in Into The Woods.

Promises, Promises - two of my favourite actors in a musical together, Sean Hayes aka Just Jack and Kristin Chenoweth are in this musical! I absolutely adored Sean Hayes performance of Jack on Will & Grace and was heavily influenced by him strangely enough and I missed Ms. Chenoweth's performance in Wicked, so this would surely be some way to make up for that! I really hope I see this musical!

Look at me I've started using far too many exclamation points. I've been trying to stop after reading Will Grayson Will Grayson... or was it a John Green video... I need to re-read the book again soon. I'll just leave that there.

Fela! - the dancing will be incredible and it would be interesting to see a musical that Jay Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith brought to life. I've only ever taken two African dance classes and was pleased to see similar moves by the more advanced ladies in class performed on the stage. It's truly remarkable.

Green Day's American Idiot - I own the album but have never been a dedicated fan of Green Day, but I still want to see this musical. Mainly due to an excellent article I read about the lead actor, John Gallagher Jr. I saw him perform briefly on the Tony's and there really is just something about him, some inner power bubbling away. Now, I say that it in a "sheer power" way, not a "oh my god, my pants are wet," way. It's more exciting, actually. I hope I get to see his band play in NYC some day.

ALSO! OMG! Mary Faber who I met when she played Kate Monster in Avenue Q is in it! Now, I definitely have to go. I've always wanted to watch an actor grow from performance to performance. How exciting.

Wow. That brings me to the end. There are obviously so many more shows I want to see or wish I could have seen, A Behanding in Spokane being Number One on the list, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. That is disappointing though since I missed seeing Christopher Walken, Zoe Kazan and Sam Worthington perform.

In the mean time, I'm hoping to investigate future shows from the Manhattan Theatre (look at that, they spell it right!) Club. I am also using The New York Times Theatre section to keep me up to date.

Sigh, it's sort of exhausting being an observer.

-The Wishy Washy.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Be The Change - The Trevor Project

I couldn't comment on the site, so I thought I would make a blog post about this video.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth. In the midst of National LGBTQ Pride Month, The Trevor Project is launching a new video contest called BE THE CHANGE. To enter, all you have to do is record a video explaining how you, or you and your friends, are working hard to BE THE CHANGE as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or allied youth and submit it to

I found Hank's video about Alan Turing and The Trevor Project very interesting because this year I've been spending more and more time learning about the LGBTQ community and their lack of basic human rights, while also researching the feminist movement.

I was curious as to how The Trevor Project had come about and learnt that it was founded by the team behind a short HBO film, Trevor, in which a young boy attempts to take his life after his friends make him an outcast due to his sexuality. They thought that viewers tuning in may also be dealing with similar problems and wanted to broadcast a helpline during the film, but one did not exist, so they created the organization which operates a helpline for crisis and suicide prevention and a web site full of vital resources for teachers and parents.

I would perhaps have not bothered to seek out this information if others had not sparked that strange urge within one to know more about the issues that other people face in this world. This eagerness to be more aware of these issues is thanks to Hank Green, of course, and the amazing women on Tumblr, especially the very influential young woman, Tavi, who is constantly posting quotes, literature and images pointing out discrimination throughout the world.

I found it inspiring that such a young woman (I believe she is 13 or 14) would be interested in her rights and making a difference, and I felt that I too should begin to investigate the journey that many women and men have taken for our right to be treated as equals.

There is a really cool site called autostraddle and they have a great list of books from the 1700's onwards regarding the LGBTQ community, body image, pop culture... I've added so many books to my Amazon Wish-list and I can't wait to learn more, in the meantime I will be reading blogs and searching the Internet.

I always learn so much about the world I'm living in today from those who have come before me, which is why I want to read these books from centuries ago. Yet, I find the passion to enact this awareness by the people living today (especially all the amazingly eloquent folk on YouTube.)

Also, if you're looking for daily inspiration, I really recommend reading the Obituary section daily in the New York Times. I find I have more faith in humanity when I read about a life, which I previously knew nothing about, and learn something valuable from their time here on Earth.

So, coming back to The Trevor Project, you should go to YouTube and search, "be the change," a lot of YouTuber's are involved in the project so visit the site and make a video yourself.

I also really enjoyed the videos from Kristina Horner and Lauren Fairweather. You should check them out.

Alright, back to work.

From that girl who is always trying to be a little less ignorant every day,