Friday 4 June 2010

Your Projects - What Are You Working On?

I'd love to know more about your projects, whether you're producing a feature, trying to land a gig as a costume designer, writing a short film, trying to lose weight--- whatever it is, it'd be great to hear from all of you!


1. What project are you currently working on or thinking of working on? (keep this very short)

2. Why is it important to you and why is it needed in the world? (Feel free to ramble at length)

3. What obstacles are you facing or anticipating facing?

4. When will this project be completed? (Must set a date!)

Can't wait to hear from you all!

Care to share?

Dawson's Creek - Ruined My Life?

I still live my life like every girl I meet is a potential Joey Potter, I still feel like any problems with my friends will be resolved come the end of the day with some tender piano background music and some soul-searching, I still feel Dawson-like passion for film is enough in this industry, I still feel like the conversations I have with people are full of meaning and relevance to our lives, I still feel like I am not-the-cool-kid-but-am-kind-of-cool-in-the-slightly-different-way-like-Dawson-Pacey-Joey-Jen-Jack, I still feel like people generally look for the good side in others, I still believe my friends would jump into a pool randomly just for the fun of it, I still expect cute girls to climb in my window, despite my window not having the capacity for such an event, I still convince myself my female friends believe in me the way Joey believes in Dawson/Pacey, I still watch this damn show and more than ten years have gone by.


For those of you in the mood for some Creek-nostalgia, or if you want to be messed up psychologically for life, please watch.

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Thursday 3 June 2010

Proof That Movies Can Negatively Impact People.

My friend Carl dropped me home. I got out of the car and in a moment of hyperactivity decided to sprint really fast beside his car as he drove away. "Run, Forrest Run!" I shouted. As most of you will know, I watched Forrest Gump the other day. I found myself extremely inspired by the themes of running and freedom.

It was in that spirit that I sprinted alongside Carl's car. My purpose, more than really wanting to run or to experience actual freedom - was to make my friend laugh. He didn't find my Gump like running particularly funny, but I was enjoying myself, acting like a complete chump. And then he turned into another road and, unwilling to give up - I kept on sprinting, and kept on shouting Forrest Gump quotes, mostly for my own amusement.

And then a classic line drifted into my head, "Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows," - hilarious, I thought-- I'll shout that at Carl as I sprint even faster! So I did:

"Now, you wouldn't beli-----"

I was stopped mid flow as my foot got caught on the curb, my body hurtled forward as my knees smashed down on the road; a split second later as the rest of my body came crashing to the ground I threw my hands down; crunch--- my hands felt the sudden jolt of impact, but so not to do too much damage to them I instinctively spun my body, crashing back against the curb with the upper part of my right leg--- forcing me to roll like I was some movie star "rolling in" after the stuntman did his thing. The good news is, Carl was finally laughing.

My hands and knees have cuts and bruises, I am struggling to walk properly, and my wrist is in extreme pain. If I had never seen Forrest Gump, this wouldn't have happened. My point being: films definitely influence people to do stupid things. And I am proof. Next time someone is in court, and the prosecution claims they were influenced by 'Taxi Driver', 'Clockwork Orange' or 'The Horse Whisperer,' feel free to call on me as an expert witness. I've been there, I was a victim of being influenced by films. Movies corrupt people. Fuck Forrest Gump.

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Wednesday 2 June 2010

Sex And The City 2: A Review Of The People Lining Up To See It.

So me and my friend Pete decided to go and see a movie, although we didn't actually see a movie we just decided to see one, but we didn't see it. You see, what we did see, Pete and me, is we saw an abundance of women. Hundreds of women. I can't say exactly how many but somewhere between a hundred and a million, and they were all lining up to see 'Sex And The City 2.' Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe the women were out in numbers to see 'Furry Vengeance' but it's unlikely.
Now, I have no problem with women liking Sex And The City, they can like Sex And anything they want, but --- the problem was, that the line to buy a ticket was about this long. I just demonstrated how long with my arms, but you can't see, because this is a blog. I mean, you can see, I'm not saying your eyesight is bad; I just mean you can't see what I'm doing, because this is a blog, and not a video of me stretching my arms out like this. Again, you can't see that, either, because this isn't a video. Anyways. Where were we? We were in line at the cinema.

So, there we were. And there were hundreds of women of all ages, although not quite as old as a hundred, and not quite as young as five although some were acting like it. The problem we had was that we wanted to just quietly walk over to the cinema dude and buy a ticket for 'Death At A Funeral' -- I don't mean I wanted death, or a funeral, although after witnessing the effects of Sex And The City, it perhaps seemed more appealing. But we couldn't buy a ticket, because the lines were so long, so we decided to go to Pizza Hut.

The Pizza was okay, it was quite nice, although not as friendly as some other Pizza's. We also had a dessert due to the waitress demanding we try the cookie thingy dessert. And then it was time to go and see the later showing of the film, or maybe even seeing the other film that was on, I forget which one, but just before we left; about sixty females suddenly left Pizza Hut and walked towards the cinema. I got out the movies app on my iPhone. Indeed, SATC2 was starting at the same time as the movies we were considering, which meant more lines. Indeed, as we looked beyond the cookie dessert and on out of the window, we could see another sea of woman seemingly seeing one thing only -- it's like that scene in 'War Of The Worlds' when they're all going up that mountain towards the Alien thingy. We realized we had no chance, once again there were to be at least a million women in line to get tickets for the movie about the shopping bags.

And then we went home.

Overall - I give the audience members of Sex & The City 1 out of 10.

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Tuesday 1 June 2010

Forrest Gump - What Does Normal Mean Anyway?

Forrest Gump is one of those rare films that truly captured the imagination of the world. You can never predict when a film is going to do such a thing, nor would you really want to. Producers are always putting the 'elements' together; big stars, directors with track records, and safe storylines. With Forrest Gump - you get the feeling that wasn't the case. And even if it was; the success of the film and effect it has had on the world could never have been planned, or expected. To realize just how much of an effect the film has had-- go to a busy place right now and, after a few moments-- start running. You will undoubtedly hear, "run Forrest, run!". As anyone who likes to go running will confirm, this is not a rare occurrence.
So what is so special about Forrest Gump? I feel an important place to start, when looking at Forrest Gump the movie, is to look at Forrest Gump, the character. To just say "he's simple," is to make a huge mistake. Within this simpleness there's a man who has strong morals, unyielding loyalty, and a heart of gold. What is striking about Gump is how he is void of prejudice and judgement of those he loves. Throughout his life he accepts Jenny for who she is. Often, through not knowing or understanding the predicaments she is in, but also because-- he sees past them. Likewise, his admiration and respect for Lieutenant Dan doesn't change after he becomes disabled. The film touches upon issues of race, throughout-- but with Forrest and his friend Bubba, it isn't a factor. So much so that when Lieutenant Dan asks them, "Are you twins?" -- Forrest's "We are not relations, Sir" is said without irony. For Gump, the reason why it's obvious they're not Brothers is because they're not related, not because one's black and one is white.
Diversity is a big theme throughout the film. Not only with race; but even around the subject of disability, both mentality and physically. Lieutenant Dan is often angry at Forrest Gump, but never because of his IQ. One of the most profound moments of the film is when Dan and Gump take two girls up to their room; and Lieutenant Dan kicks the girls out the moment they insinuate Forrest is "stupid." It's profound because, we realize, the beef that the Lieutenant has with his friend is not based on his 'simpleness' or any of his character flaws; but merely, the complexity of the fact that Dan felt it was his destiny to die in battle, like all of his family - and of course Forrest was the one who stopped him from doing so, by saving him and leaving him crippled.

If Forrest is simple, and all of us with the privilege of fully functioning minds are the 'normal' and complex ones-- then it seems that what Forrest is lacking is the prejudice and hate that most of us carry around day to day. Like, for example, the student who is angry that they're letting 'coons' into the school, or the peace activist whose peace doesn't extend to Jenny, who he happily beats when he feels like it.
I've read and heard many thoughts on the film before, where people have talked about how Forrest stumbles from opportunity to opportunity, through sheer luck. This is true, to an extent, but it's not the whole story. For example, it was sheer luck, or perhaps misfortune, that a man from the army handed him a leaflet-- but it wasn't luck that Forrest went back and saved all his comrades, or that he was consistently loyal to Lieutenant Dan. It's not all luck, it's not all chance. This is the beauty and complexity of the film--- the linking themes of chance and luck, mixed with the destiny you hold in your own hands.
"I don't know if Momma was right or if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze... But I think maybe it's both... Maybe both is happening at the same time."
-Forrest Gump

We can never really know why films connect the way they do. If someone could figure it out, then they'd be making magical films every single day. One thing we can be sure of - is that is certainly not happening. With Forrest Gump - one thing is for sure; there is a certain magic to it. A mix of talent and luck and accident; something came floating along the ether and landed in this film. You could analyze it to death and you would still miss something, because it has a magic within it that can't be named or labelled.

But there are things we can know by watching it. Forrest Gump, for all his simplicity, is really the type of person we all want to be. Someone who can see the finer things in life, someone whose preoccupations are friendship, love, and life. We'd all like to go for a run on a whim, or start up a shrimping business purely because we promised it to an old friend. Forrest lives the life few of us dare to. Whatever our excuses; be they work, life, family, lack of money, disability-- Forrest doesn't have them. With his last dime, he bought a shrimping boat. At a time when he could have focused on earning more billions, he instead decided to cut grass simply because he liked doing it so much. He makes life look easy, by making the difficult decision to do what he says he's going to do, when he says he's going to do it. And whilst most of us would agonize and analyze over why we do or don't do a thing, Forrest just gets on with it.

Why are you running? Are you doing this for world peace? For the homeless? Are you running for women's rights? The environment? Why are you doing this?

I just felt like running.

The most incredible parts of the film are the extremely tender, personal moments-- moments where there is suddenly an overwhelming, yet not over the top, sense of emotion. I can't think of many films that have achieved this in such a subtle way. And this is where those 'elements' really earned their money--- the expert direction of Robert Zemeckis, the beautiful music of Alan Sylvestri and the genius of Tom Hanks.

An example of this is when Forrest visits Jenny, and finds out he has a son. Forrest steps back, almost losing his balance. The way Tom Hanks handles this is impeccable. Whilst his performance might be memorable for more obvious moments, his acting in this scene shows why he deserved his Oscar. As Forrest stumbles over the question that scares him so much, "But, is-- is he smart? or is he..." - Hanks' is able to say so much, by doing so little. His body language, the awkwardness in his eyes and the way his tone of voice changes--- he brings a truthfulness and a vulnerability to the moment which is so rare in movies, but is essentially why most of us keep watching them (in my website header I say I am looking for a piece of me staring back at me, it's moments like this I'm referring to). You can't write these moments, you can't even really direct them and you can't purposefully act them. You can just get the right people involved, in the right place, at the right time; and if you're lucky, you get magic like this. (Skip to 2min 50sec if you want to get straight to what I'm talking about.)

Back to my original question - why is Forrest Gump such a special film? I really don't know. But it is. The movie takes us through some of the most iconic moments of recent American and World history, and touches upon difficult topics such as war, race, sexual abuse and a whole seas of prejudices. If the film teaches us anything it's perhaps that history is not a static thing. It plays out differently depending on the perspective it's seen from. And looking at the journey of Forrest Gump, it reminds us that we are present in the world. We can make a difference. And maybe simplicity, kindness, love and courage are the important things after all.
"My Mama always told me, that miracles happen every day. Some people don't think so, but they do."
-Forrest Gump

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