Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A wonderful article by Devin Faraci on the fantastic Christopher Nolan film Inception can be found at this link. An interesting look at his interpretation of the film, and even though i'm not 100% sure I agree, he has added so many details to back his argument that it is hard not to be drawn in and made to believe his view.
Note: Don't read if you haven't seen the film yet, it has MASSIVE spoilers. If you haven't seen the film yet, GO SEE IT NOW!
Considering the small amount of time before I graduate, I’ve recently taken to looking towards the future and then collapsing on the couch clutching my chest which is tight with anxiety. This anxiety is not about getting a job (I’ll find one, it may take time, but I’ll get there) or even about having to move interstate or overseas (I’ve never felt any connection to Brisbane, and any excuse to get out of here is a fantastic one), it is purely because of my stuff. Or more precisely, my books.
I'm not connected to the vast majority of things that fill my house, for the most part they're easily replaceable, a bookcase is just a bookcase after all.
But my books are a completely different matter. Growing up our family employed a "what's mine is yours" policy regarding books, I may have received the latest book by so-and-so for my birthday, but it went into the communal bookshelves and exact ownership was soon forgotten. So when I moved down to Brisbane from Cairns for university I had a collection of my favourites but they really didn't stack up to much. I began to buy new books fill the gaps the books I left in Cairns had made, and soon I needed a bigger bookcase. The range of bookstores in Brisbane are wonderfully varied and one hundred times better than the three chain bookstores we have in Cairns, so I continued to buy and buy and buy. After a year in Brisbane I began to hear about things like the Lifeline Bookfest in South Bank and I began to add vintage Dickens and Shakespeare novels to my collection and pre-loved Bret Easton Ellis paperbacks and dainty little books written in French that I someday hope to decipher.
Now my bookcase can barely hold the weight of my collection and I’ve resorted to piling books dangerously high in the corners and crooks of my bedroom until I can find the money and space for another huge bookcase to house them.
I have developed an unhealthy relationship with my books. There have been weeks where I’ve had to live purely on mee-gorang noodles and toast because I went a little mad at Borders after a day at uni, or at 3am I felt an absolute pull towards the latest Irvine Welsh and simply had to buy it and several others online. Everything else in my bedroom and house can go, my bed, my TV, my fridge...I couldn’t care less about replacing. But these books are an extension of myself, as shambolic as the books appear to be in my room, they are in fact grouped by genre (a nod to the overly organised life I lead), the titles are as wildly varied as my personality and the books are groomed and maintained in a way I only wish I could be bothered with in my daily life.
So obviously donating them isn’t an option, but do I ship them over to New York, London or Melbourne with me? Do I store them until I have a reasonably permanent address? If I store them is there a chance they’ll grow mouldy and fall apart? What if the storage shed is consumed by flames or mice get in and nibble at the corners? What if I ship them overseas with me and then decide to head back to Australia 6 months later, how much will that cost me? Can I leave them at mum’s place? What if she lends them to friends, I might never see them again!
Ah yes, here comes the anxiety attack now.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
But before that can happen I need to finish this semester's subjects, and as much as i'm looking foward to them i've got a hell of a lot of reading to do!
Youth and Children's Writing:
Graveyard Book- Gaiman
Virgin Suicides- Eugenides
Northern Light- Pullman
Book thief- Zusak
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time- Haddon
Deadly Unna- Gwynne
How I Live Now- Rosoff
Sleeping Dogs- Hartnett
Seven Little Australians- Turner
Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo - Winton
Popular Fictions/Popular Culture
Winter Kissed: A Kiss of Frost-Ice Bound -Hauf and Anna
True History of the Kelly Gang- Carey
LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring- Tolkien
Fragrant Rice- De Neefe
The Sopranos- Selected Scripts from 3 seasons - Chase
Sin City 1: The Hard Goodbye - Miller
Everyone seems to be falling over themselves to get to the front of the line of the latest 3D movie, but every movie I reluctantly agree to see in 3D leaves me feeling disappointed, ripped off and a little nauseas. I have not had any memorable experiences watching 3D movies, they almost all seem to be sub-calibre films (a-hem Clash of the Titans) using the latest technology fad to try and turn profit. More often than not I can't even tell the movie is in 3D, or I’m faced with sloppy post-production editing to morph the original 2D movie into 3D (a-hem Clash of the Titans) - the only movie in the past year and a half that I’ve enjoyed in 3D has been Toy Story 3, and even then I thought 3D was an unnecessary addition.
I'll admit the 3D in Avatar was good, great even, and for a moment I was even one of those people exclaiming that this was the way of the future of cinema. But when I sat down and thought about it I realised t that 3D was a redeeming quality in an otherwise poor movie. A serious problem seems to be that people seem to think that the addition of pretty colours and 3D is enough to forgive a movie for having a boring, poorly developed script and a seriously flawed cast. If James Cameron had spent just a fraction of that 10 years development time on developing his story rather than simply waiting for the technology to catch up with his vision he may have had a truly memorable movie on his hands.
I also seem to be one of those poor souls inflicted with illness every time I put on those horribly shaped 3D glasses. For the first twenty minutes I can be guaranteed to feel shaky, nauseous and a little dizzy, after that I tend to clear up except for the constant mild nausea bubbling under the surface. If I happen to be seated anywhere other than dead centre I can be guaranteed a horrible experience for the duration of the whole movie. When I saw Alice in Wonderland I was stuck sitting towards the side and to the front of the cinema. In order to look at a normal 2D film from this seat I have to contort myself into a pretzel but for 3D I also have to constantly wriggle and shuffle to view the screen as front on as possible while tilting my head upwards to stop the glasses falling down the bridge of my nose and curving my spine to try and balance out the crick developing in my neck. Add on top of this nausea and dizziness and you have a romping good movie going experience!
I'm a big fan of films, and nothing beats a good movie on the big screen, but I’m not convinced that 3D is the way of the future...not yet at least. Until I can be convinced that the movies coming out in 3D have more going for them other than just being in 3D and that they can be watched from the side of the cinema without gagging into my popcorn bucket I am standing firm and saying 3D movies sucks!!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
There are only so many press releases and book reviews you can read about an upcoming novel before you fall asleep on your keyboard, so I love that the literary world is finally taking advantage of technology, and adapting other art medium's publicity platforms (i.e. trailers) for their own use. This is just one example of how the publishing industry is reinventing itself, not only after being crippled by the GFC, but after years of declining business thanks to the internet and the film and television industry.
Now I've done some reading around and the general consensus from what I can see is that bibliophiles as a group don't seem to like this move. But the trailers aren't for those of us who spend more money each week on books than we do on food. They know we'll buy the books, that we'll read the reviews in the paper or simply come across them browsing through bookstores.
These trailers target those who aren't as involved in the literary world as we are, it targets the people who sit on the line when it comes to reading; maybe they enjoy the books given to them on their birthday or the ones they pick up in the airport bookstore, and they may even await the release of a favourite author's new novel. What they don't do is investigate bookstores and seek out the gems, they don't get past the current IT author whose face is plastered across book displays to find those unique, barely known authors like Gary Shteyngart. What they do do is surf the net, searching youtube for the latest laugh or controversy... and who knows, maybe they will come across the book trailer shown above, and maybe they laugh, and maybe they decide to seek out that book.
Movie trailers work by leaving audiences wanting to know how the pieces shown fit together, what is the bigger picture that'll come from what they've just seen. While book trailers obviously don't have the visual snatches available to them that movies do, they utilise the one thing the literary industry has in spades...creativity. Rather than simply illustrating the plot of the novel, book trailers twist the standard trailer form and create sketches that emphasise a certain theme or aspect of the novel visually, creating a refreshing, different method of publicity far separated from the otherwise centuries old forms of advertising previously adopted by the publishing industry. Right now these trailers are limited (in Australia anyway) to the interwebs, but who knows, maybe they'll soon be played amongst the movie trailers in the cinema or between breaks in a TV show.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
In 2010 the world has grown exceptionally from the closed off, ignorant views prevalent 500 years ago, hell, 50 years ago. Segregation, for the most, no longer exists, (although racism is still prevalent across the globe) women are no longer chained to the kitchen counter and are outstripping men in terms of graduation and career statistics and caring for the environment is no longer restricted to long haired hippies. We are by no means perfect, but we are taking steps in the right direction. However, it seems that no sooner do we take one step forwards than take two giant steps back.
What caused the latest backward movement? Australia's brand spanking new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has publically announced her disagreement with same-sex marriages. This is an issue that riles me up immensely, not because I am in a same-sex relationship myself, but because I don't understand how this is anyone else's business bar those involved in the relationship. When two people decide to cement their relationship and prove their love by exchanging vows, no one should stand against that, regardless of the genders of those partaking in the ceremony, especially not those in a political position.
Gillard's announcement infuriated me much in the way Tony Abbott's stance on abortion did. These are personal issues, not ploys to be bandied around in the political playground to grab voters. Your stance in these issues is your opinion, for every pro-lifer there is someone who believes in being pro-choice, and neither opinion is more valid than another. However that being said, the fact that people are anti-something should not allow politicians to write up legislation that restrains one side. You may not agree with abortion, but no woman should be forced to keep a baby she is not prepared for/doesn't want/can't take care of. It is necessary for people to be allowed to make choices for themselves; this doesn't mean that you have to agree with their choices, but that you respect them enough to make the decision themselves.
From the articles I’ve read on the issue and the comments from the general public one of the main forces working against people's acceptance of gay marriage is that it is in opposition to the church decrees. Their argument is that marriage is a rite of the Judea / Christian church and must be respected as such. If we were to follow their logic, I should not get married because I am agnostic and have never been to church in my life, my grandparents should have avoided committing to one another for 50+ years because they didn't kneel in a pew every Sunday and holiday and no one of Muslim, Hindu or scientology faiths should ever stand before their friends and families and pledge their love.
Yes, marriage was once "owned" by the church, but today marriage is a simply a symbol of commitment and love, personal vows are exchanged rather than the traditional church vows, and weddings in fancy hotels and on beaches at sunset are much more popular than traditional weddings. If I choose to marry my atheist boyfriend, and have the right to do so and am not seen as disgracing the sanctity of marriage, then how is a man marrying the love of his life (who just happens to be of the same sex) any different?
I suppose part of my anger stems from the fact that all of these people who kick and scream against gay marriage and denounce it as "anti-Christian" have never attended church themselves, nor are moved in their daily lives to be "good Christians". They simply need something to hide their discrimination behind, and they choose the fall back that has been used for 2000 years.
We, as a society, have convinced ourselves so thoroughly that marriage has reverted back to its Christian roots that even those in loving, committed same-sex relationships don't believe they have that right. According to an article on SMH.com.au only 80% of gay couples believe they should marry.
If this rant comes off anti-religion I apologise, it was not my intention at all; all I wanted to do was highlight the inequality that is still so prevalent today. A Politician’s opinion on gay marriage should not make the news, nor should the legalisation of gay-marriage in states and countries. It should be a basic right that we can all marry who we want, regardless of sex, race, religion or any other trivial factor, and should not need to venture over to Norway or Canada in order to realise that right.