Thursday 6 May 2010

Voters Unable To Vote And Turned Away at Polling Station in UK Election.

Voters being turned away after 10pm is perhaps, and I say only --perhaps-- understandable, if not excusable. But there are now reports of polling stations running out of ballot papers, voting slips being delivered to the wrong polling stations, and even people being told they're not on lists in their designated polling stations. These types of errors, in a modern democracy such as the United Kingdom - is unacceptable.

In Nick Clegg's constituency, Sheffield Hallam, people were turned away from voting after not having their polling cards -- despite them not being necessary for voting.

In many different constituencies through the UK people have, despite queuing since long before 10pm -- been unable to vote. The BBC has just had people explaining how they were waiting for over an hour outside a polling station, with no information, until 10:02pm, when they were informed they would be unable to vote.

The whole idea of a democracy is that everyone who wants to vote, gets to vote. A rare, one-off error is one thing -- but it is becoming increasingly understood tonight that there have been multiple mistakes throughout the country. Hundreds of people -at a minimum- have been unable to vote; despite attempting to do so.

Hooray for democracy.

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Wednesday 5 May 2010

My Favorite Joke

"I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know."
-Groucho Marx.

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Monday 3 May 2010

Why People Quit: Heartbreak.

Most people around you see a career in film as if it's some kind of gameshow. Phrases like "You might get lucky!" and "Keep trying!" abound. But what most people don't realize is that, inside a passionate director's projects, or a young actresses desire to 'get noticed' - behind all of that is an extremely personal motivation. This is our destiny - this is what we are here to do.

When you spend five months making a short film with all the energy you have, when you move to another State to follow your acting, when you Produce a film for a festival - when you do all these things and the world DOESN'T accept your work. This is a big deal. This isn't just another chance to jump up and try again. There is something involved in failure which is different to losing a job, or losing money- and it is more in keeping with losing the love of your life. It is heartbreak. Utter heartbreak. You are sharing with people who you are: and they are not buying it.

Overwhelming sorrow, grief, or disappointment.

There is little consolation for this. But weirdly, we are all so protective of this. We don't let people know what it means to us. Missing out on your dream role, or dream festival, or anything of a similar nature -- in that moment you are missing out on your destiny. You are missing out on what you believe you are living for. Sometimes when you make a short film, you connect so incredibly with your cast and crew; and it becomes like a family. You make an incredibly personal and meaningful thing. The love that permeates this thing is then put out into the world in film festivals, on social networks, and through everyone you know. And sometimes, people don't get it. Not even that- sometimes what you create isn't very good. Everybody, at some point, says "this will be my best film," "this will be the year I make it," "this will be incredible." Sometimes it isn't. And you have put every thing you are into it.

This is part and parcel of working in this field. Everyone accepts that. Everyone quietly gets back to work and if you lose a bit of esteem someone throws a new-age 'be positive' book at you; and onwards you go. But wait--- there's heartbreak to be dealt with here. When you put all that you have emotionally, mentally and physically into creating and completing something creative - you are putting yourself at the mercy of everyone who will ever witness your art. And when they don't respond, that hurts.

A lot of people go through this but they all keep it so private. Actors are proud and defensive, director's want to appear confident and writers don't want to show how vulnerable they can be. As you get older, it gets harder. You gather your experience and your passion and your energy, and you throw it down into one basket and give it everything you've got. Occasionally, you make 'In Search Of A Midnight Kiss', but most of the time you don't.

And when it comes to that time when you look around, and wonder where you're going wrong and how you're going to stand up again-- you see the flames of the failed projects that line your past and you wonder if you'll ever make anything to rise above the mud. You look back to that project that was meant to change your life but sadly changed nothing. And you wonder how long you can go on deceiving yourself that you are a person with something to say, something to offer.

That's about as best as I can describe it.

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Sunday 2 May 2010

People Don't Want A Champion, They Wanna Eat Cheeseburgers

"Apathy is a solution. I mean, it's easier to lose yourself in drugs than it is to cope with life. It's easier to steal what you want than it is to earn it. It's easier to beat a child than it is to raise it. Hell, love costs: it takes effort and work."

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Not About Pasta But About A Sci-Fi Festival & 'The Joneses'

My meeting finished at 12.55, and I decided to go and see a film. I loaded up the flickster app on my phone to find out what the next movie to start was; and it was 'The Joneses' at the Apollo Cinema. Two thoughts crossed my mind. One was about pasta, and irrelevant to this blog. The other, was about the fact that I had never been to see a film at the Apollo cinema, nor had I ever eaten pasta there.
The place was bustling. I immediately got the feeling that some kind of geekfest was going on, especially after seeing two guys arguing about a spaceship and another guy with no teeth carrying a plastic sword. After buying my ticket and heading down towards the screen; I noticed the geekfest in full swing. Namely, quite a few guys in dark clothing talking about spaceship type things and wondering why there were no girls around.

If I sound like I'm mocking them, I am. However, to be honest, I felt a bit jealous. I love film, don't get me wrong. But I don't get genre erections like these people do. My love for film is a love for pretty standard stuff. The stuff you don't get geekfests for. These guys came together for their common love; spaceships, male bonding over spaceships, and books about spaceships. And I felt jealous. How great it is that they can all get together to see the eagerly awaited 'Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD' and be stupendously excited about it. Not only that but they could buy the book about it whilst eating a cupcake and talking about other similar spaceship movies.

This is the great power of film-- how people can love a very specific thing and enjoy it together, and enjoy it together naked (I got the impression they were all going to get naked. A big naked geekfest. I could be wrong).

I sat and waited for 'The Joneses' to start. The film started at 1.05pm, except that it didn't. 1.15pm arrived and nothing was happening on screen. I was about to go and inform one of the staff that the projectionist was sleeping but then a grumpy dude from the back row stormed out in a rush. So I assumed he was taking care of business. Not totally sure what happened, but I suspect a sleeping projectionist. Probably because he's been made to watch Sci-Fi movies all week.
So, 'The Joneses.' David Duchnovny and Demi Moore were a real treat. You can just see how they had a blast with this movie. Duchovny has such great screen charisma; you just imagine him strolling onto the set, joking around, and barely noticing they've said 'Action!.' Demi Moore is a complete pro, and completely natural - she's instantly compelling on screen. Watching the two of them, it was plain, simple, movie-watching bliss. They just know how to bring it. The script was fine, the concept interesting - but the highlight, definitely, is the two old pros in front of the camera.

The Geekfest, if you're interested, is the Sci-Fi London Film Festival and, joking aside, looks like a well-run and interesting festival. It's just not my cup of space tea. And I prefer to be clothed when watching movies in public.

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