Sunday, 16 December 2012

From the heart at the end of another day of death

Politicians have got to stop referring to mass murders as an Evil that has visited a place.

Imagine that you are mentally ill or mentally ill but don't realize it. Imagine that you are having thoughts about harming others because you have justified it for innumerable reasons. Imagine then the fuel it gives a person, to hear themselves be branded as Evil.

Don't for a second think that there isn't another young adult that meets the intelligent, quiet descriptions that we hear of these shooters time after time, and isn't suffering, either in a personally (immediate) destructive way or in a way that could harm others (in the future), after hearing that they too would be considered evil.

I just wanted to say, to those people who are angry, hurt or simply believe that they need to hurt others, that you aren't evil. What you are thinking is not going to achieve what you want it to achieve, and you should know that, and you should know that you should talk to somebody about it. You might not be treated right at first (unfortunately, one can't promise that the person you reach out to finds the right safe path for you), it might not go well, but eventually there may be a chance to talk to an understanding professional who you can talk to. You need to try to have faith in this.

I also just want to say, to those people out there hurting, and thinking, "if they did it, I can do it too", but find themselves hesitating. Thank you. Thank you for thinking of others just for a moment, and please, please know that many, many people want to understand you, and maybe even try to help you see their side of things. So, when you next pause, maybe think of making your next move a telephone call to a helpline or to a trusted person or medical professional.

In the meantime, President Obama, please let one of the many stamps you leave on your time as President be making guns harder to buy, and mental health easier to talk about. Not just for the unwanted future victims, but for the people suffering quietly now, too. Please.

Sent from my R2D2

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The End is Nigh

The funny thing about this prediction of the world ending, is that many people seem to have different dates for when this (apparently very accurate) prediction is to occur. A chef I work with said it was happening on the 15th, whereas I always thought the predicted date was the 21st, and yet, a school friend posted on Facebook about it being just next week.

I have the right date. You know why? Because I accepted the Facebook invitation to the End of the World party. No Internet funny-man would dare create a mass event with the wrong date for fear of being trolled by the anal masses of the Internet. Plus I just fact-checked it on Wikipedia ;)

The thing about this whole End of the World business is that the world ends for many, many people every day. Whole worlds are shattered to dust for many, many people every day. Yet, this globe keeps turning.

There will always be disasters, and I do not doubt that I one day may be unlucky enough for one to touch me. I've been lucky enough so far to escape the twists of the Earth, and any friends I know who have faced such moments are safe.

I do not think the world will end for us all on the 21st of December. The Mayan people simply calculated a new cycle. A new world. With the Kyoto Protocol due for another commitment, we can only hope for an improved world.

We can only ever hope that our own personal worlds do not end, we can only ever hope for the good fortune to make new worlds each day, month, year.

The 21st will come and pass and some will sigh with relief, others will feel a little disappointed. I do not think I am tempting fate by saying this. That strange disappointment some may feel is an invitation to start a new cycle, a new world, one that makes you feel what you long to feel: alive.

Sent from my R2D2

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Study: The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

"To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul." - Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

(research from Wikipedia, De Profundis, and Bloom’s How To Write About Oscar Wilde by Amy S. Watkin, Harold Bloom)

On 25 May 1895, Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas were convicted of gross indecency, not to each other (though they had a difficult relationship), but to young men of a lower class, and sentenced to two years' hard labour,

Wilde had advised Douglas to leave the country, so Douglas did not serve the sentence (though he would serve time in jail later in his life). This would have been a conflict for Wilde. On one hand, he did not want to see his lover suffer the same fate as he, and yet, when his lover’s touch seemed far away and cold, he knew that he would most likely not be in prison if it was not for Douglas’s father and his public accusations of sodomy.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Oscar Wilde was a very famous writer during the time of his conviction. The Importance of Being Earnest had only recently opened and was incredibly successful, and he was already quite the social celebrity across the Western World for his works and his personality.

Unfortunately, to be homosexual or to be involved in homosexual acts was against the law at this time, and so for this man, who lived his life for beauty, it was quite a fall from grace. It would also have been heartbreaking for him, not only to leave his relationship with Douglas, but also to part with his wife and children, as he would have been conflicted with the love that is considered “wrong” and his faith in God. Even with his betrayal to his family, his sons adored him and respected him greatly. Wilde felt terrible about the misery he had brought on his wife and children for his conviction, and hoped that his imprisonment and then future penance, would re-establish his position. (William Butler Yeats.)

We learnt later that Oscar Wilde was prisoner C.3.3 (cell block C, landing 3, cell 3) and that he and his friends had to appeal for him to be allowed books and writing materials. Each night, his writings were taken to the Governor and delivered to him the next morning.

Some of the books he read in prison included: Ancient Greek texts, Dante’s Diving Comedy, En Route by Joris-Karl Huysman, St Augustine, Cardinal Newman and Walter Pater.

The guardsman, which he refers to in his ballad, was Charles Thomas Wooldridge (1866-7 July 1896), a trooper in the Royal House Guards. He cut the throat of his wife, Laura Ellen, and was sentenced to be hung from the neck until dead.

After his release, Wilde, who was appalled by the conditions in the prison and wrote letters to newspapers of the brutal conditions advocating for penal reform. He also felt that the dismissal of a warder for giving food to an anemic child prisoner was outrageously unjust.

In his ballad, he is not making a comment on the justice of the laws, which convicted himself or the man; he is commenting on the brutal punishments that all prisoners collectively share.

Wilde seemed to have many different personalities amongst his different sets of peers, possibly inspiring the line, those who live more lives than one.

It is also interesting to note that Wilde’s own father committed adultery, and was ridiculed for this socially and retreated from life. The parallels between his father’s life and his own are eerily similar.

Wilde lives in the Victorian Era, known for its earnestness, virtue, morality and restraint – all of these, which Wilde struggled against and, as evident in some of his work, made fun of.


The Outsider – people who live on the fringe of society. Wilde, being an Irishman in England and a homosexual in a time when it was illegal in England would feel this way. Even though he was loved amongst his peers and admirers, he always felt as if he did not quite belong to them; an Individualist.

Suffering – suffering from the harsh conditions in Prison but also with ones faith and relationship with their God.

Inhumanity – the dismissal of a Warder for helping an anemic child and the Warders only concern for no suicides in the prison, certainly seem inhuman. Prisoners also seem to be treated as less or more than human, having them work long hours and quite hard and pointless tasks.

Forgiveness – Wilde desperately wanted to be forgiven by the Catholic Church and take some time to do penance and develop his connection to the Catholic faith, he was denied this peace by the Church.

Death – not just physical death, but death of ones goodness, ones soul. In the poem, the man “dies” quite a few times. It seems to me more like a gradual breakdown: death of ones mind, ones feelings, ones soul and then their physical body.

Guilt – Wilde seems to see all sins, all cruelties towards his fellow man as equal. He can’t help but feel guilty for not being punished like the guardsman for something that his Church says he’ll be punished for when he dies. He might have also noticed the fear and relief by his fellow prisoners and the guilt that feeling lucky for not being hung would bring. There would be moments of relief and then self-hate for something that could be perceived as selfish. It is a race of survival, and one will think and do desperate things, and upon reflection than bring upon a great depression.

Justice – what is justice, really? Is killing someone who killed someone else really just? Is the law correct; are humans to be treated this way for their sins?

Love – love for ones religion, for ones fellow man. Wilde went to jail for what Douglas’ father did to him, and yet Douglas did not help Wilde. He did not return Wilde’s love. He essentially abandoned him.

Morality – the moral treatment of fellow human beings within the prison, which led Wilde to call for penal reform.

Debt – the feeling like they owe someone for the pain they are going through, their debt to society.

Imagination – the shadows and sounds of the prison wall stirring up terrifying images. Imagining what the guardsman must be thinking, how he looked when he died, what was going on in the other prisoners heads.

Religion – Wilde makes numerous references to biblical texts throughout the ballad. To Jesus Christ on the cross, to what Jesus died for, to God’s forgiveness. His desperation to be redeemed by religion was great and he was completely heart-broken when he was rejected.

Self-denial – denying ones current circumstances; they aren’t going through these things. The guardsman is in a state of self-denial. He simply stares out of the window and doesn’t feel any of the things being described in the text as happening to him. Wilde and the other prisoners feel every thing for him because he can’t.

Double Lives – Wilde had many different versions of himself for his different sets of peers. He feels as if one by one, these different selves are all slowly dying.

Betrayal – essentially betrayed by Douglas, by society who had loved him. Wilde often seemed to offer to take the higher moral path, the sacrifice, and his lover let him. This would have brought up many conflicting emotions, including betrayal.

De Profundis

. . . Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain. The paralysing immobility of a life every circumstance of which is regulated after an unchangeable pattern, so that we eat and drink and lie down and pray, or kneel at least for prayer, according to the inflexible laws of an iron formula: this immobile quality, that makes each dreadful day in the very minutest detail like its brother, seems to communicate itself to those external forces the very essence of whose existence is ceaseless change.

“It is always twilight in one's cell, as it is always twilight in one's heart.”

“The poor are wise, more charitable, more kind, more sensitive than we are. In their eyes prison is a tragedy in a man's life, a misfortune, a casuality, something that calls for sympathy in others. They speak of one who is in prison as of one who is 'in trouble' simply. It is the phrase they always use, and the expression has the perfect wisdom of love in it. With people of our own rank it is different.
With us, prison makes a man a pariah. I, and such as I am, have hardly any right to air and sun. Our presence taints the pleasures of others. We are unwelcome when we reappear. To revisit the glimpses of the moon is not for us. Our very children are taken away. Those lovely links with humanity are broken. We are doomed to be solitary, while our sons still live. We are denied the one thing that might heal us and keep us, that might bring balm to the bruised heart, and peace to the soul in pain. . . .”

“I must say to myself that I ruined myself, and that nobody great or small can be ruined except by his own hand. I am quite ready to say so. I am trying to say so, though they may not think it at the present moment. This pitiless indictment I bring without pity against myself. Terrible as was what the world did to me, what I did to myself was far more terrible still.”

“I was a man who stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age. I had realised this for myself at the very dawn of my manhood, and had forced my age to realise it afterwards. Few men hold such a position in their own lifetime, and have it so acknowledged. It is usually discerned, if discerned at all, by the historian, or the critic, long after both the man and his age have passed away. With me it was different. I felt it myself, and made others feel it. Byron was a symbolic figure, but his relations were to the passion of his age and its weariness of passion. Mine were to something more noble, more permanent, of more vital issue, of larger scope.”

“The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease. I amused myself with being a FLANEUR, a dandy, a man of fashion. I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner minds. I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in the search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the housetop. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. There is only one thing for me now, absolute humility.
I have lain in prison for nearly two years. Out of my nature has come wild despair; an abandonment to grief that was piteous even to look at; terrible and impotent rage; bitterness and scorn; anguish that wept aloud; misery that could find no voice; sorrow that was dumb. I have passed through every possible mood of suffering. Better than Wordsworth himself I know what Wordsworth meant when he said -
'Suffering is permanent, obscure, and dark And has the nature of infinity.'”

“When you really want love you will find it waiting for you.”

“Reason does not help me. It tells me that the laws under which I am convicted are wrong and unjust laws, and the system under which I have suffered a wrong and unjust system.”

“Many men on their release carry their prison about with them into the air, and hide it as a secret disgrace in their hearts, and at length, like poor poisoned things, creep into some hole and die. It is wretched that they should have to do so, and it is wrong, terribly wrong, of society that it should force them to do so. Society takes upon itself the right to inflict appalling punishment on the individual, but it also has the supreme vice of shallowness, and fails to realise what it has done. When the man's punishment is over, it leaves him to himself; that is to say, it abandons him at the very moment when its highest duty towards him begins. It is really ashamed of its own actions, and shuns those whom it has punished, as people shun a creditor whose debt they cannot pay, or one on whom they have inflicted an irreparable, an irremediable wrong. I can claim on my side that if I realise what I have suffered, society should realise what it has inflicted on me; and that there should be no bitterness or hate on either side.”


A website where you can click on any day, and find someone who was executed, puts into perspective the enormity of that particular punishment.

“The first 106 inmates, who were forced to walk from Carrickfergus Prison in chains, arrived in 1846. These inmates, who were men, women and children, completed the changeover of the two prisons. Children from impoverished working-class families were often imprisoned at the gaol in the early years for offences such as stealing food or clothing. Women inmates were kept in the prison block house until the early 1900s. Ten year old Patrick Magee, who had been sentenced to three months in prison hanged himself in his cell in 1858.

-        Really interesting notes regarding modern prison life from an inmate, including a moment that describes watching a fellow prisoner commit suicide.

Extract from A Hanging by George Orwell

And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path.

It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working - bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming - all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned - reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone - one mind less, one world less.

Wilde’s connection to Bobby Sands is important, because not only are they both Irish, Wilde’s own mother fought for the struggle of the Irish People against English tyranny.

Hunger: the breath at the end of the film is as powerful as the cry for Freedom in Braveheart.

Sands’ Diary

“…with a deeply rooted and unquenchable desire for freedom.”

“…rob us of our true identity, steal our individualism, depoliticise us, churn us out as systemised, institutionalised, decent law-abiding robots.”

“The Screws are staring at me perplexed. Many of them hope (if their eyes tell the truth) that I will die. If need be, I’ll oblige them, but my God they are fools. Oscar Wilde did not do justice to them for I believe they are lower than even he thought. And I may add there is only one thing lower than a Screw and that is a Governor. And in my experience the higher one goes up that disgusting ladder they call rank, or position, the lower one gets…

Weeping Winds
By Bobby Sands
Oh! Cold March winds your cruel laments
Are hard on prisoners’ hearts,
For you bring my mother’s pleading cries
From whom I have to part.
I hear her weeping lonely sobs
Her sorrows sweep me by,
And in the dark of prison cell
A tear has warmed my eye.
Oh! Whistling winds why do you weep
When roaming free you are,
Oh! Is it that your poor heart’s broke
And scattered off afar?
Or is it that you bear the cries
Of people born unfree,
Who like your way have no control
Or sovereign destiny?
Oh! Lonely winds that walk the night
To haunt the sinner’s soul
Pray pity me a wretched lad
Who never will grow old.
Pray pity those who lie in pain
The bondsman and the slave,
And whisper sweet the breath of God
Upon my humble grave.
Oh! Cold March winds that pierce the dark
You cry in aged tones
For souls of folk you’ve brought to God
But still you bear the moans.
Oh! Weeping wind this lonely night
My mother’s heart is sore,
Oh! Lord of all breathe freedom’s breath
That she may weep no more.


Watched 2012

Thanks to @gm928 for his help (his consistent help) with finding my ol' Profile information! Thank you!
I'll add some thoughts to these as I go. Watch this space... or better yet, watch the films!

Pink Floyd's The Wall, I watched The Wall over the holidays, a week or so after listening to the album. I knew, as soon as the film began, that watching it on a MacBook Pro was possibly the silliest way to watch this film, that it truly belonged on a big screen. However, the whole film had been uploaded to YouTube and there were many films, to watch, so before and after work, I watched it.

The album came about because Roger Water’s found the spectators of Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh/Animals Tour to be quite rough and bad mannered, and he was so affected that he imagined building up a wall between the band and the audience. He felt alienated by playing Stadium shows
The character of Pink, played by Bob Geldof before he was a Sir, is “modeled after himself and the band’s original leader, Syd Barrett (who inspired the scene where Pink shaves off all his hair). Pink has traumatic memories from losing his father and feeling crushed by his mothers overprotectiveness, and tormenting teachers, and the break down of his marriage.

What I found interesting about the production of this album, is that there was a 40-page script, and they did a table read, and every one was excited because they could SEE the album.  
What I found incredible was how long the production for the album was, and how work-intensive it was, and I found it quite sad, how a lot of the band members worked by themselves and some dropped out or conflicted.

I also found it sad that during the tour of the wall, Roger Waters still felt isolated and that the bands relations deteriorated. It felt like what Waters created, that was based on past feelings, only became greater and more troubling for every one. The reality became the art became the reality.

I really enjoyed the illustrations by Gerald Scarfe. They were grotesque and at sometimes I felt too obviously sexual, but the ugliness I recognized from seeing those images from my childhood, from album covers or things that my mother and father must have been interested in.

More depressing to learn is that the artists involved with the film continued to fall out during the production.

I found the film to be very interesting; a very long music video, that never really lost my attention for a second. I found it to be quite heartbreaking and frustrating and I found the repetition of “Tear down the wall” to be quite enlightening, and will use it as a reminder in my Acting journal.

Goodbye Charlie, I watched this film to watch Ellen Burstyn, though she was known as Ellen McRae then. She wasn't in the whole film, but she was amusing. It's interesting to see this to see how Burstyn has grown.
The story was quite bizarre, but every now and then I laughed and Tony Curtis grows on you. It took me ages to recognize Walter Matthau, he had this ridiculous accent.
The one thing I found the most hilarious was how it contained exactly the same things that Down With Love makes fun of, like the sexual innuendo two characters used while talking about a "sick" car. I loved the outfits and the hair. It'd be so much fun to be in a 60s project!

Happy Days - Beckett on Film, I have to read this play and try to see it performed in the theatre. I found that it started to hurt my head. I really liked Rosaleen Linehan, though I found her a little too inaudible at times and the spit in her throat often rattled in a way that I found distracting, not affective. I loved the last moment with Winnie and Willie. That moved me.

Game of Thrones Season 2, Game of Thrones is like sex. If I was a teenager, I would be playing some sort of RPG of it right now, but thank goodness I am grown and all I want to do is cook some of the recipes from the Game of Thrones Cookbook, one day.

The silly thing is that I had watched the last two episodes (not with total attention) before I had watched any of the series, so it was very interesting for me to go back to the start and see how people ended up in their situations at the end of Season 2.

It also saved me some grief, because I knew that certain people weren't actually dead and that helped.

I hope Sam doesn't die.

Game of Thrones Season 1

Spoiler? The last thing I expected was what happened to Sean Bean to  happen. I cried and cried and cried.

Dark Shadows

Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More

West Wing Season 7

West Wing Season 6

Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave, I finished watching this on a Sunday. All Easter holiday I had studied the events of Srebrenica and the war in Bosnia. This film is very interesting, with some very beautiful interviews with survivors, but I've read far worse things about what happened in Srebrenica than this film shows us.

The Story of Aus, we watched this in Voice Class. It was very funny and very interesting to hear all the different Australian accents, even though they say that it's a myth that different regions of Australia have different accents. I don't agree, I believe we do, maybe not all people from some regions, but the accent differs from one individual to the next.

All About Eve
The Agony and the Ecstasy
Jo's Boy/Le Fils a Jo
A Cry In The Dark/Evil Angels, 

House of Spirits, a very uncomfortable film. Irons, Streep and Close are all magnificent. Glenn Close delivers a particularly moving monologue, that I would love to keep. I would suggest reading about the film before watching it though, because it was just so strange at first. It took a couple of viewings to finish the film.

Hombre, I watched this film for Diane Cilento, a lady who one of my teachers studied with in Northern Queensland before she passed away. Diane Cilento has an amazing voice and eyes that live and think with each word that either she or characters say to her. She has an ancient understanding about her. She seems like one who knows her body, her soul and feels comfortable with the power she radiates towards people. I enjoyed her performance in this film. It was quite intriguing though I found it pretty funny during the first scene.

Shame, we saw this at the cinema. There were quite a few elderly people there and that was quite uncomfortable. I'm not mature enough to watch this film and not giggle and feel like I'm watching a porn movie. I could see how both characters dealt with their pain and I wish I could have stayed with him the whole time at the end, but I couldn't help but think that it was excessive. I felt embarrassed. I also didn't think that Carey Mulligan really gave her best when singing her song. I felt like I was meant to be really moved by it, brought to tears, like other characters. But it just sounded like someone singing New York New York sadly who really couldn't sing. Are people moved by people who can't sing? Usually it's a soft but well executed voice full of sadness that moves us, isn't it? I very much admire Carey Mulligan but this film kept making me think that I was meant to feel something now and then feeling guilty for not feeling it. Is that it? Did it work? Is that the whole point of the film? He's meant to feel aroused by a natural, normal attraction but he doesn't and he feels guilty about that?

I enjoyed it (I was shocked and moved) either way and I saw a man pee on film for the first time in my life and that felt important. I also thought both Fassbender and Mulligan were incredibly brave and I applaud them for that. The scene with the waiter cracked me up, as that is somehow how my job feels - so awkward.

The Deer Hunter, this last scene in this movie (if it is the scene where they are all at the table) is a textbook for acting students. The use of breath between the actors is the very foundation of what we learn to be important. I wasn't particularly moved by any parts of this film (I don't know why), but I am glad I saw it for the last scene and to see the actors we admire in their golden youth!

My Week With Marilyn, I saw this at the cinema and I'm very glad I did. I loved it! I think that anyone interested in acting should watch this film. Sure, the methods of making film differ and have changed now, but other parts of it continue. The union stuff. The read through, etc. I thought Michelle Williams did a marvelous job of Marilyn. She made me forget that Marilyn Monroe really doesn't look anything like Michelle Williams, which I think is pretty impressive feat. This also made me appreciated Marilyn Monroe's artistry. Even though I always admired her, I think I will respect her more now. I wish people could have helped her. I wish that people could learn from all the artists who have died before them. When are we going to be able to stop them from hurting themselves? Or is that what keeps us interested? It's quite unnerving.

Hunger, we were asked to watch this film for A Ballad With Reading Gaol and it was very helpful because it led me to Bobby Sands and his diary entries and poetry. Since Oscar Wilde was an Irishman who suffered in jail, the connection was powerful. The film was excellently shot. The conditions these prisoners put themselves in to try to acheive their political goals were grotesque. I don't know how they did it. There is a scene where a man cleans up the piss that the prisoners have leaked out into the hallway and he sweeps it forward and back into some of their cells. It is interesting how a simple task can be so compelling to watch. This wasn't my first introduction to Michael Fassbender, but I am glad I got to see him like this. I love the scene of Bobby Sands with the Priest. I was so impressed that it was all just one take. I can imagine that trying to do one take really raises the stakes in ones performance, brings it to the intense level of theatre. I found it interesting that I only shed one tear as he shed one tear at the end of the film. The look he gives, the exhalation of breath, is a great example of the importance of intention with breath.

Shine, we had to watch the first 10 minutes of this movie over again because you need to be in a completely silent environment if you don't want to miss the babbling of Geoffrey Rush, who is somehow articulate amongst all that incessant babbling, but only if your mind and environment is quiet. I'd like to see the real David Helfgott perform. He is coming to QPAC this year. This is a very inspiring story, but it is a shame to see so much controversy surrounding Helfgott and his wife.

J. Edgar, another movie I should have supported at the box office! I really enjoyed this film. I was also impressed to see Chuck Bass himself in the film, though he was actually very good. I wanted more from Armie Hammer. I adored him in Social Network but he felt so squeaky and new next to a more grounded, experienced Leonardo DiCaprio. What does Leonardo DiCaprio have to do to win some gold? I hope he doesn't lose heart. Maybe it'll be Gatsby that gets him something.

Dancer in the Dark, finally worked up the courage to watch this film. We were recommended to watch it by our acting teachers at school to help us try to understand the emotional depths we'd have to seek for our performance assessment. Oh! It was painful. It was so strange. I can't say I actually liked it at all. The plot was predictable and therefore you just knew, especially if you know Lars von Trier's films, that shit is going to go down and the main character will suffer horrible wrongs. Even though I didn't like the songs, I did like Bjork's joy while singing them and I liked that they helped take me out of the emotion of the story. Musicals always seem to serve two purposes, to quiet your mind a little while the plot somehow moves along or to really heighten a point or dramatic/romantic/comedic moment that really does move the story along, if not just intensifies the moment, and you are moved. This movie, the songs, they helped quiet my mind. They helped me take a breath and stop getting caught up in it's horror. Especially at the end. I cried and cried and the she sung and I stopped, and then she stopped and I started. One would say possibly that it was a "Brechtian" technique. My boyfriend says that that's just an excuse people use when its just really bad.

Bad or good, I felt like I was breaking at the end of the film. I was in so much pain. The teachers would have been pleased that I had a "cathartic experience."

Kate and Leopold, I made David watch this. Muahahaha. I love this film. It's so silly. I think I just like the etiquette of that time, even though the time period is totally impractical for an independent woman like Kate McKay. It's just such an impossible situation but hey, now I know who Bradley Whitford is, and that made it all the more enjoyable to watch.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, we saw this at the cinema. It was brilliant. I didn't catch every thing at first, David had to help explain some parts to me at the end. It was quite heartbreaking wasn't it? And I was surprised at how attractive Mark Strong was. I had always imagined him as a really short, mean man, simply because of his character in Kick Ass (even though there's nothing about that film that indicates that he is short, I must have just made the evil parts about him less powerful by imagining as short (which, apologies to short people, must seem to mean less power... but we all know that isn't true, right Game of Thrones fans?).

Requiem for a Dream, I finally saw this and wow. I now understand why every one often discusses it or mentions it with awe. I was watching this film for Ellen Burstyn's performance, which was remarkable, of course, now I understand. My favourite moment has to be the end, (possible spoiler alert?) showing what each person has lost due to drugs - I don't believe this gives anything away.

Paul, I felt guilty for not seeing this in cinemas when it came out, but after watching the DVD, I don't feel so bad. I enjoyed it, but it didn't fascinate me. I felt like the aliens lack of energy or enthusiasm for a great part of the film made the story lag.

Rango, I wish I had seen this at the cinema and given it some box office money. It was so good! It was probably one of the best animations I have seen since some of the groundbreaking Pixar films. The quality of the animations as superb, the story was interesting and it was incredibly funny and I loved how Gore Verbinski directed it. I would love to be a part of something like that!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US), after we had watched the original trilogy, we wanted to see what this would be like. I think we saw it at the cinema. I don't know why we did that if we did. I loved the opening credits they were very nice. I thought that some of the original drama was missing from this version. It may be more true to the book, I don't know, but I thought the opening of the package of the framed pressed flower and the reveal of his collection and the exploding car were all less dramatic (and therefore, in my opinion, less interesting) than in the film. I did like the scene with Stellan Skarsgård though. The film brought up a fabulous point about how people know they are in trouble and yet they don't take their gut instincts advice. I loved that.

Source Code, "I can't remember what Source Code was about..." "Source Code? That's the shit Jake Gyllenhaal one." I still don't remember. I can see Gyllenhaal's face, but I can't hear what he's saying. I like Gyllenhaal anyway.

Bra Boys, I think it's important to watch this film if you want to understand the people who were at one point blamed for instigating the Cronulla riots.

Elizabeth, I watched this with someone who hadn't seen the whole film. It was fun to revisit because I had forgotten a lot of the story and we also got to enjoy Eric Cantona, who I wouldn't have enjoyed before seeing Looking for Eric.

The West Wing S5, things are getting more interesting, but I really feel like S3, 4 and 5 are not as stimulating or as enjoyable as S1, 2 and 6, 7. I felt like the small jewels of humour had been lost.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, I really disliked her brother, not just because he was a monster, but his whole character in general or maybe it was the performance of the actor. It felt appropriate but at the same time it was incredibly frustrating to watch, and I was disappointed that the climax of the film was between the siblings.

The Girl Who Played With Fire, sort of like Star Wars Episode 5.

127 Hours, we both found ourselves very emotional while watching this film. It's incredibly humbling and inspiring. To know what we are capable of but to also face the sad fact that most of us would not be able to do what he did. Films that place the importance on life are so important for us to watch, the next moments after the film have ended feel so fresh and alive and you just want to hold on to it for as long as you possibly can, and not get lost in the crowd.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, we wanted to watch the original films before seeing the US version. It's almost like we wanted to pay our respects, and I'm so glad we did. This film is so complicated and so thrilling.

The Jane Austen Book Club, I've always wanted to watch this film ever since I saw it's trailer on another silly rom-com film. This film is one of those touching but funny films that you want to pick up an hug. It's not perfect, but neither are your best friends. What I'll remember about this film and the next four films I watched was where I was and who I was with. I was so happy, so relaxed. Life was a perfect dream.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Thank You, Life!

Thank you for showing me your desktops. I'm glad my latest assignment is over so that I can now delete all these files that are messing up mine now.

I've been having computer issues lately. iMovie09 quits after every edit, and I tried to follow suggestions on the various advice pages but it's still not working right. I'm sure there's no chance of getting back to YouTube if it shuts down after every edit. My videos often have so many edits, I think I'd go mad.

I wanted to shout to the world how grateful I am for yesterday. I was really happy because my assignment, though last minute, was on track. I thought I'd have it done before midnight (but I always misjudge just how fiddly keynotes and edits are) and was feeling quite inspired about the whole thing.
Then I got a call saying that I had to work, I was "on call", but I never usually expect to work Tuesdays so hadn't even thought of the possibility of working. I broke down immediately, it was quite pathetic and I realized it was happening at the time, but I was so panicked and I guess much more stressed about my assignment than I realized.
I was shaking and breathing deeply and crying. I was so mad at myself for not being ready.

Then, while on the way to work, making notes to my assignment on my phone while on the bus, I got a call that all these tables had cancelled and therefore I was cancelled too! I was so happy! I felt so lucky! I could hardly believe it! I got off the bus at the next stop, crossed the road and went home.

I had such a good night working. I am very finicky, so I was still up to almost 4AM anyway, so you can imagine how much I appreciated not working, as I may not have had any sleep at all.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan in all his finery (which wasn't much in the end, poor fellow).

The only problem was that my Keynote would only show the very last slide, and when I exported it to powerpoint, it did not open at all, and so I had to export it to Quicktime, which ruined it's quality a little bit, but now I know what to do if this happens again.

I was worried that the presentation might not make any sense when I read it the next day, but I'm getting much better at proof-reading my work when tired, and so when I performed there were no strange paragraphs or foreign sections I didn't recognize. I had read it enough in the wee hours, that it was all very familiar. People seemed to like it, I received some compliments and also just felt very confident in what I was presenting as I was presenting it, which doesn't often happen.

I had a lot of fun for the rest of the lesson and was feeling so grateful for the twist of fate or whatever happened in the world for those people to cancel the tables (hopefully it was not for any bad reason). I wanted to thank someone, something, do something for someone for the world.

This won't always happen. There will be days where work won't be cancelled. I have to learn to have an assignment ready at least by the 2nd last night before the assessment is due, so if there are any last minute hiccups, it won't cause me to freak out so badly.

So thank you, Life! Thank you, world! Thank you, fate or whatever is greater!
I'm going to do something good for life in return. I'm going to work on being good for life for a while, I'm just so relieved.

LAST WEEKEND: I went looking at new places to live. We looked at two and applied for one. It's usually not as easy as that, so I won't be surprised if we don't get it.

YESTERDAY: Was dramatic, but before the drama I was in high spirits. I leapt out of bed at the right time and was really looking forward to Movement class. It's always a challenge, but it's like a puzzle I have to solve. We also received our posters and flyers for our upcoming performance. So I'm sure some of you will see me posting that around the Internet.

TOMORROW: We have Production Theatre and more group presentations. We did ours last week, so it will be nice to just relax and watch. The restaurant I work at also has some kind of charity dinner, so I get to dress up... Someone is having sex on the floor above me. Squeak-a squeak-a squeak-a squeak-a. Ugh. Oh, and here come the noises. Ah man, awkward. If I hear it without wanting to, then you have to imagine hearing it too! Ha-ha! Suckers! :P Don't get me wrong, sex is sex, whatever, but sometimes it just sounds so ridiculous.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Desktop of a Student

I'm very much enjoying being a student. It is quite difficult to be a good student and a be good friend or person at the same time. Maybe not for some people, but it is for me. 

I was working on my Journals for my classes the other day and I suddenly noticed how peculiar my desktop looked. Peculiar that is, maybe, for an acting student?

Click for full picture

There was bloodshed and stories of atrocities to our fellow man, and it was all pretty upsetting. I had been working on it for most of the Easter holiday week, so I was thinking pretty darkly about humankind for most of my free time.

I'm grateful for this course for introducing me to moments in our history that I had looked over. We're quite sheltered in Australia, and people all over the world don't often like to talk about bad things that have happened in the past, so though I had heard about the events of Srebrenica and the Serbo-Croat War, I had never looked into them.

I also finished the book Century the other week, so I'm looking forward to (one day, after all the books I own are read) to going through the book again and delving in further to the events that are briefly mentioned.

TODAY: I watched Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave and did some washing. David made Bacon and Egg rolls on Tiger Bread - the best bread! I had it with my Red Pepper Relish (Australian Made) that I recently purchased. Then I mostly procrastinated: I did this, for one, and worked on hopefully improving this blog. I want to make some changes.

Procrastinating with chores and a MacBook.

YESTERDAY: I did a First Aid/CPR Course, which was really interesting. I learned that if you really want to help save anyone who needs CPR, you should own a defibrillator. Pity they cost so much money! Over $1000. Without it the chances of someone living is somewhere between 3 and 7%, with the Defib, it increases to 82%. I wonder if they are keeping the price so high for a reason?

My friend here looks a little pale... *guffaw*

I then went to a 60's House Warming Party that was really fun. I got a little too dark towards the end of the party. Talking about life and travel. I had fun doing a last-minute bad version of Holly Golightly.

My Holly next to a more accurate Holly.

TOMORROW: I have Acting and Music/Singing Class. I haven't organized my duologues. I'm behind. I also will have work, too. By the time I get home from school, I have to get ready and then leave again. It makes it really difficult to study. I really shouldn't waste weekends, but I was just so tired. NO EXCUSES, LAZYASS!

Link me a picture of your desktop - in a way that defines who you are or what you like or what you do or all three!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Read 2012

UPDATE: Thanks to @gm928 for telling me how to find my profile information!


You can always look at what I'm reading on my blog (down the side, where the widgets lie) or at my Shelfari page which you can click through to.

Lately I've mostly been using my YouTube Channel as a place to list movies or books that I had seen or read lately. Well, YouTube sure showed me. They changed the layout and now the Books and Movie section is gone. Gone! I knew it was coming but I missed my Reminder (that I had set up on my iPhone) to copy what was listed on the site and now it is lost. Lost to the days when YouTube wanted you to remember what books and movies were! I'm just kidding, of course. I recently just watched some videos I made during the time of the release of Youth In Revolt, and it was a nice memory. I think that, above all the bullshit that comes out of putting yourself out there in the world, the one thing you have at the end of the day, is the memories. The intimate memories with the environment surrounding you or the people you made it with or the effort involved. I'll always treasure that.

Well, so here it is, the place where my list will now go. I hope someone knows how to look at sites from a few days ago. My Mum says my website is archived, but it's the really old version of TheHill88 back when she actually had Hills... as the background picture. Moving on!


Richard Brinsley Sheridan: A Live by Linda Kelly,

At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions by Thomas Richards,

The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde,

Annie Leibovitz: At Work - I borrowed this from the library this afternoon and couldn't stop reading it. I didn't know that the famous portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono that Leibovitz took was only shot hours before he was killed. That knowledge and the reflection of the photograph made me cry.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - a little embarrassing at first because it starts out as a simply romance novel, borrowed from a friend.