Archive for the 'Watching' Category

The Lesser of Two Evils

For those living in Australia, unless you have been hiding under a rock in recent weeks, you will be very aware of the separate criminal sentencing of two prominent Australian figures; Sportsman Nick D’Arcy and former Supreme court Judge Marcus Einfeld.

These two unrelated cases had me thinking…   How does a court determine appropriate punishment in sentencing?

In the case of Nick D’Arcy, convicted of violently bashing in the face of his fellow teammate, and subsequently sentenced to a 14 month (non custodial) suspended jail term.
Marcus Einfeld, convicted of committing an act of perjury in lying to a court, was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Should a court consider the character of the

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individual in determining an appropriate punishment?
Of course a court needs to consider all the specific details of a particular case, although it would appear to me that in this particular case, the act of perjury should be a lesser crime than an act of violence against another individual.

When a court considers sentencing, should the social and community building efforts of the offender be considered in sentencing?   In my view, those aspects must be considered.  One has to wonder whether it is reasonable that an individual who has worked to eliminate social disadvantage, improve living conditions for Aboriginal Australians and establish standards of human rights in developing countries, should be gaoled when considered against the crime of an act of violence?

I find Marcus Einfeld’s crime exceptionally disappointing and as a judge he has undermined the very legal institutions he was supposed to stand for, although when considered against a violent crime, it would seem the sentence is out of balance.

Do we have yet another case of Australia showing greater appreciation for the efforts of those in a sporting arena, when compared to intellectual pursuits?

Which is the lesser of two evils?


Beijing – China

Recently had a short weekend break in Beijing.  A bit rushed, with far too much to see in a weekend but saw a lot of Beijing all the same.

Made a trip to The Great Wall (Mùtiányù section 慕田峪), Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, ate a baby goose, drank some great tea, etc

Photos from Beijing can be found in the Gallery here
and in the Moblog here

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Baz Luhrmann's Australia (with 'US English' subtitles)

Some thoughts on “Australmerica” which I saw last week: 

  • Australians don’t speak with half a potato stuck in the back of their throat.
  • The wizard of oz is American!  Was this a test of how many times “somewhere over the rainbow” can be regurgitated before vomiting?
  • The use of Elgar, was a nice ‘tear jerking” touch, but too much.  Where was the Australian music??
  • The CGI contained too many mistakes, was too obvious and crude. Similarly you could tell when shots were prepared in the studio,

    the colours were unmatched and bleeding obvious.

  • Does anyone say Crikey so much?  In fact, does/did anyone ever say crikey?  
    (aside from that guy that played with sting-rays?)

Was this really a serious film about Australia? Or was it a piss-take?  If it was indeed a piss-take, then great, it was a good one and great for a laugh.   But if this is supposed to be ‘Australia’ one can assume Mr Luhrmann’s Australia exists in his imagination only.




The Mystery of The Mouse

Ever wondered how the small arrow viagra on your computer monitor works when you move the mouse?

With the aid of a high powered screen magnifying lens, the underlying mechanism becomes apparent.

The image may take a minute or two to download and when it appears, move your mouse over the light gray circle and you will see how the the movement of the mouse comes into being.


La Tourneuse de pages (The Page Turner)

Following on with the unplanned musical theme of films I have seen this month, I recently had the pleasure to see, La Tourneuse de pages (The Page Turner)

I really enjoyed this film. 

The Page Turner is a

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cleverly crafted French psychological thriller. It kept me in suspense throughout the entire film, I was twisting in my seat at times wondering what surprises would come next. 
There are some amazing sequences of classical piano in this film, of particular note is the Shostokovich piece, so dramatically played, even with the mistakes which were required of the film.
Mélanie (who is played by Déborah François) completely draws you into her mind and her mental contortions as she corrupts & destroys those around her.

A wonderful film, one that you are well advised to see.


Copying Beethoven

What a disappintment.  This movie is really crap.

Acting : D-
Storyline : E
Casting : D (apart from Ed Harris, who was well placed)
Music : A (The 9th Symphony was excellent in Dolby surround)

I had read a number of reviews before seeing this film, most of which were accurately critical of the film.   Therefore I was reluctant to even go and see the film, but thought I should really go and make up my own mind.  I’m not going to bother writing much about why is was so crap apart from; the American accents, the boring dialog, the screenplay that didn’t exist, the stupid blond moments.
And what really confused me……  The “wash me” moment that came out of nowhere.

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can use Google to locate those reviews.

My advice, don’t waste your time on Copying Beethoven.


Feasting on Flesh


Saturday night saw us at the Sydney Opera House, to see
Feasting on Flesh

Described by The Studio as;
“A decadent and deranged degustation of perverse and provocative performance by proud purveyors of wanton weirdness!”

Feasting on Flesh is a new play by Scott Maidment which explores the relationship between food & sex. Delivered in a cabaret setting, dinner tables set around a central stage; this part burlesque show, part circus, part play, could have gone oh-so-wrong and been a showcase for gutter humour.

But it doesn’t.

The performance opens with a butcher carrying in on his shoulder what appears to be an animal carcass, throwing it down onto the tabletop as one would imagine a butcher would handle a pig. The carcass is strung up by the legs, ready for dissection, when it becomes apparent that the carcass is actually a naked human, and the carving begins. Clever dialog, amazing dance, solid lighting and magnificent music follow. The entire production is exceptionally well constructed and much like a good degustation leaves one feeling well satisfied.

But the real treat of this work is the setting to music by Gotye (Wally De Backer)

Gotye is an amazingly talented musician and vocalist. His MySpace page describes his music as Alternative/Electronica/Indie. (although how Indie defines a type of music defeats me) You can listen to some of his work here or here.

Gotye demonstrates just a fraction of his abilities in the lead-in/out of ‘Hearts a Mess’ where his genius with syncopated percussion is hypnotic, all while holding his own vocally.

Go and see this performance while you can.
The season runs from 9th – 18th November at the Opera House Studio.


Of course, it would be amiss if I did not quote a line I particularly enjoyed from Feasting on Flesh, by the Dutch professor on eating out.

“It’s not so much

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the taste of the food, rather the ambiance of the restaurant”

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The Lake House

What a joke. This movie was so crap I don’t know why anyone bothered making it.

First of all, the casting agent needs to be shot. Keanu Reeves as an Architect? really? how very convincing. And then Sandra Bullock. pheff. Miss Congeniality with no personality.

And the story itself. Empty. What a dumb idea. It wanders around for too long, two people living in the same house 2 years apart. Writing letters to each other and falling in love via the letterbox.
The only entity in the entire film who plays a convincing part, is the bloody dog! And he’s living in both the present and the future!!!

What a waste of my valuable in-flight time watching this piece of trollop. Lacked substance, story impossible, supposed to be romantic, and ends up not even being funny.
It would have been more entertaining to watch the real-time in-flight

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monitor for one and a half hours.

My advice, if thinking about driving past the lake house… do us all a favor and cut the stilts.

It would be better off resting in the mud on the bottom of the lake.

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The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Went to see ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ this evening.

Overall an interesting film, although I felt it only scratched the surface of the Irish troubles during the period of the early/mid 1900′s.
There was a significant amount of violence and some very squirmy sections during the torture

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scenes, I had the feeling that the whole film was about the violence of war and only a little of the futility and frustrations of the struggle.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley lacked the depth of other films that have covered similar territory; such as ‘Michael Collins’. The complexity and colour that the Irish are able to give the spoken word was not really exposed in TWTSTB apart from a brief discussion/argument scene on the value of the initial peace treaty, and even that discussion was lacking substance or beautiful oratory.

Apparently the film has not been marketed well or there is little interest, as we shared the cinema on a Friday night with only five other patrons. ???