Daisy Duke

Daisy Duke Dances For You. Best. Thing. Ever. (Thanks to Ash Green for the link!)

The Science of Eternal Sunshine

I just started reading “Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life” (Steven Johnson) today, and then find a link to his blog tonight. Synchronicity! After reading through most of the stuff there, and subscribing to his RSS feed so I don’t miss anything, I finally found a link to a review he wrote of the Jim Carrey movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I’ve just read, in creating the links that it was a Kaufman film (ie. Being John Malkovitch / Adaptation). I may have to rent it and have a watch. So, here’s SBJ’s article: The Science of Eternal Sunshine - You can’t erase your boyfriend from your brain, but the movie gets the rest of it right. By Steven Johnson: http://slate.msn.com/id/2097502/ iTunes: Your Disco Needs You from the album “Light Years” by Kylie Minogue

Review: 2046

Whenever someone asked why I left 2046, I always gave them some vague answer. It was easier.

So began 2046, the new film written and directed by Kar Wai Wong. It continually amazes me when I watch a subtitled film, particularly at the cinema, how quickly you begin to ‘hear’ the actors saying the words in English. Films that draw you in, like 2046, with it complex, interwoven relationships between reality and the text the main character writes, quickly become as easy to follow (in the dialog sense, not necessarily the plot sense!) as a film in your native language. And 2046 was certainly a film that you had to work to follow. Beginning in (what we later find to be) the fictional world (/place/time?) of 2046, we see a Japanese man, on a train, counting incessantly. This quickly returns to when Chow, the main character and journalist/writer, was preparing to leave Singapore. The bulk of the story takes place in the hotel in Hong Kong where Chow lives throughout the second half of the 1960s. The film focusses on his relationships with several women. The first woman we learn about is LuLu, also known as Mimi, a girl he knew in Singapore, who has apparently forgotten him. After she is murdered, he wants to move into her room, 2046, in a (small?) hotel; but it is unavailable, and he moves into 2047 instead. He comes to like that room, and stays there, and has relationships with Bai, and Wang Jing Wen, the eldest daughter of the hotelier. I won’t say any more about the plot, other than it’s worth it.

Do you know what people did in the old days when the had a secret? The used to climb a mountain, find a tree, and cut a hole in it. They, they would whisper their secret into the hole, and fill it with mud. That way, no-one would ever find out their secret.

Films like this are thought provoking. When you walk out of the cinema wanting to talk about the film, and what it’s really about, you know the little over 2 hours you spent there was worth it. Jaq was of the opinion that the film is about unrequited love: loving what you can’t have. Jing Wen loves Tak, but is not allowed by her father to be with him; Chow loves Jing Wen, but she does not love him, she only loves Tak; Bai loves Chow, who does not love her. Do people love one another more if they are not loved back?

(Bai) - Can I borrow you tonight? (Chow) - I promised myself there was one thing I would never lend someone else.

What is it that Chow has vowed never to lend? He doesn’t say, and that to me is the key to films like this. I interpreted it that Chow never wanted to lend someone “false hope”; Jaq interpreted it that we would never lend his love. Leaving something to the imagination, while still providing a framework to make an interpolation means that people take from a film according to what they put in, and are capable of thinking. All of the women in 2046 are stunning beauties. When some of them ‘become’ androids, apparently they are airbrushed: I didn’t notice. The (near) flawlessness of their faces (and bottoms, which get quite a lot of screen time) mean that they could be inhuman. Apparently, each of the actors only speaks in their language, yet they all understand one another. I did notice there were several languages (Chinese, apparently both Cantonese and Mandarin, Japanese, and Cambodian - or something else), but I think that only adds depth and magic to the film. I didn’t realise until reading another review (post-watching) that some of the characters (Chow, and Su Lizhen #1) are in his previous film, In the Mood for Love. That might be next on the DVD list. Verdict: I love it.

The Darth Side: A New Hope

The Darth Side: A New Hope: This has got to be the best idea for fan-fiction I’ve ever come across. Do yourself a favour, read the Darth Side…

Secret Window

We watched “Secret Window” the other day - Jaq has a thing about Johnny Depp. Jason had said somehting about it not really being that good, and I didn’t agree with him, until the very end. I just didn’t care if he killed his wife or not. In fact, I was kind of hoping he would. You just didn’t get the chance to care enough about her as a character, and in fact you didn’t like her much, so too bad if she carked it.

Review: Madagascar

The weekend before last, as I sat in bed on Saturday, I saw one of those promos about Madagascar. One where they show how they made it, and have a series of interviews with the cast and crew. After watching that, I wanted to see the film. I wish now I hadn’t seen the promo film, as it pretty much used all of the jokes in the movie. Except the Poo Flinging ones, but there were only two of them. It wasn’t an especially bad film, but once they got to the island, it sort of went nowhere (except for the occasional good bit). The first half-hour was fantastic, but they couldn’t keep going for long enough, and I tired of it well before the end. And the end was pretty poor, too. Alex should have eaten something. Kids should be shown more about what the real world is like. I’m not going to write any more - it wasn’t a thought-provoking film, and it should have been more fun than it was. Wait for it to come on TV.

The Dark Crystal Sequel

“Dark Crystal” Sequel In The Works (May 14th-15th, 2005) - Dark Horizons Jaq will be stoked. The Dark Crystal is possibly the best Henson thing ever created.

Revenge of the Sith

We went and saw Revenge of the Sith last night, at the Capri Cinema, on Goodwood Road. I’ll begin by saying how cool that building is! Built in 1940, most of it is still the original, or near to it, and I love it. A shame I can’t say the same about the film. To be fair, about one minute into the film, I was already hating it, but that was because of the dickhead sitting about 3 seats across from me. Before the movie had even started, he was laughing a stupid, high pitched, inane laugh at things that weren’t funny. Initially, I thought “hey, this guy has just had his mate tell him a really funny joke”, as it was in one of the little ads at the start that weren’t remotely funny. Then, when the movie began, and he laughed at everything (like each time young jedi were called “younglings”). It made me uncomfortable, and also made me not want to laugh at anything in the film, for fear of being like him. You should be allowed to kill people for this sort of thing. (I must say, at one stage I turned to Jaq and said “Maybe he’s retarded”. But retarded people aren’t this bad…) So the film began, and like many people have said, it was pretty slow. Sure, the initial battle scene was intense, but it was kind of repetitive. The original trilogy had short combat scenes, sandwiched between sections of real plot and character development. Oh, and real acting, too. None of this wooden bullshit that Hayden Christiansen seems to only be capable of. Maybe it’s just too hard to act in front of a blue screen. My biggest hassle (and I saw it coming, as soon as they had R2-D2 and C-3PO in Episode 1) was the need to prepare everything for A New Hope. Tying up all of the little loose ends so that it flowed seamlessly from one movie to the next. Except it didn’t.

  • R2-D2 obviously still knew about who everyone was - didn’t he ever try to tell C-3PO anything? (Or maybe just Threepio can’t listen…)
  • Can’t R2-D2 still fly? This one had come up on other websites, but I’m sure Captain Antilles would have treated him pretty well.
  • Obi-Wan about Leia from her moment of birth. How convenient he forgot about her until Return of the Jedi.
  • The Death Star took, what 18 years to build? How long did it take them to build number 2? Two years? I guess all of the tradesmen who built it figured out shortcuts on how to make it faster the second time around.
  • Leia somehow remembers what her mother looked like: “My real Mother that is. She died when I was very young.” Yes, Leia, she couldn’t have died when you were much younger, else you would surely have died too. Fact: Babies can’t focus properly, let alone see and recognise, let alone form memories. I think maybe Leia was a victim of some Psychoanalyst, and created some false memories. Was she assaulted by her father too?

And I think that Anakin took out all of the Jedi way to quickly. My thoughts oh how it should have gone: (Just put the Episode 1 Music on to get me in the mood).

Anakin discovers that Palpatine is Darth Sidious. He tells Mace Windu, who believes he is capable of defeating Sidious, so tries to do it alone. (Like the film). Anakin bursts in, and kills Windu, like in the film, but he and Sidious do not tell anyone, nor does “Order 66” get transmitted. Instead, Sidious uses his power over Anakin to get him to kill other Jedi on the sly. While still remaining on the Jedi Council, and pretending to be good.

This goes on for some time (years?), as the war continues, and the number of the Jedi fall. Some tricky work by Sidious and Vader make the populace turn against the Jedi, and then they are called traitors. The Council is exiled, many more Jedi killed in the resulting months. Anakin flees with the Jedi, at Sidious’s insistence, so they can still find the Jedi.

Finally, it all comes to a head, and Anakin takes on Obi-Wan, resulting in his disfigurement. I didn’t mind the bit about how he thought he had killed Padme. But, make it so Obi-Wan doesn’t know about the birth of the twins, only Luke. Obi-Wan thinks he has killed Anakin, but figures out that he is Vader, and hides Luke on Tatooine, knowing that Vader is unlikely to go back there.

Oh, and I’ll take my time machine and go back and remake Episodes 1 & 2, and remove any reference to the droids, or anyone other than Obi-Wan, Yoda, Vader and the Emperor from the original trilogy. No Chewbacca, no Captain Antilles, I guess we’d better have the Lars’ family though. Fuck me George Lucas, why didn’t you include Han Solo’s father in this movie? From what I’d read about the Star Wars universe, the defeat of the Jedi took some time to occur, not overnight. And having them in exile makes it easier for some of them (Obi-Wan, Yoda, perhaps some others?) to slip through Vader’s initial net. There is no reason that Jedi are not still being hunted until just before A New Hope. Actually, I did have a thought for my NaNoWriMo novel this year - a rewrite of Episode 3. The more I think of it, I might rewrite all of the new trilogy. Yeah! Star Wars the way I want it to be. (And maybe I’ll finish my NaNoWriMo novel this time…)

Culture Snob | The Phantom Nuance

[Culture Snob Movies The Phantom Nuance]1 This totally sums up my opinion of the most recent Star Wars film, and much more eloquently than I ever did. Culture Snob, you are going to be on my RSS feed.

IMDb Data and iTunes

Using python, it’s easy to get data from IMDb into your iTunes database.

You’ll need a few tools to get this working. appscript, py-IMDb and CocoaDialog. Install each of these, and for the latter, note where you store it. I’m not going to go through the code, as it is fairly well commented. If you can’t get it to work, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help.

IMDB2iTunes.py

Note that you will need to save the file above, and rename it so it has a .py extension.