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Archive for June, 2008

It begins…

Well, this is it. My bf who loves me has decided to stage an intervention – when I wasn’t looking before he put a password on my computer, which he says will be in place next time I turn my computer on. He said he will tell me what the password is…. when I tidy my room!

Nooooooooo!

As much as I hate wallowing round in my roomful of stuff (not as much as you might think, actually) I am just far too lazy to be bothered tidying it. Clothes, books, papers, the kitchen sink, it’s all there. There are no cleans surfaces in my whole room. I can honestly say that I don’t mind my room like this. It’s comfy, cosy, feels very “me”. The only time I don’t like it is when someone who doesn’t really know me comes around and wants to see it. Like a certain uncle I have that comes down to stand in the doorway and act shocked and disappointed every single time he comes round (I know he looks forward to it, though). It’s like the belly I’ve developed this year – I’m ok with it, except when I’m with people who aren’t, and then I feel stink.

But it really is getting a bit ridiculous, and poor bf does not like it one bit. I’ve told him I’ll clean it but it just never seems to happen. I was planning, however, to completely tidy it while he’s a work tomorrow anyway as a surprise – I swear it’s true! – so I don’t mind this ultimatum as much as I would, say, if I was in the middle of some stressful school stuff and didn’t have time to do it. But he wouldn’t have done it to me then anyway, so I don’t have to worry.

So basically after I turn my computer off, I won’t be able to turn it back on without him. Needless to say, I will be leaving my computer on as long as possible. But I will turn it off before I go to bed. Because I need to tidy my room tomorrow! Although I have the feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better…

 

The ‘before’ shot – I purposefully took it with the lights out and stuff
to make it look more gross, I swear! Juliet is startled to find another
living soul roaming the wastelands of the forgotten room…

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Dove

Have you seen that Dove ad on TV? You know the company that makes soap and lotion and stuff, and they have an ad on TV with a website at the end – www.campaignforrealbeauty.com. I was pretty miffed because I visited there today and the first thing you have to do is select your country from a drop-down menu and surprise, surprise – no New Zealand. No Australia either. So what’s the point of putting the ad on television here? So we can go to their website and see how much we mean to their company?? Aaaaanyway. I chose the U.K. as my country and got taken to their website, which was ok but not revolutionary. There was a video there, though, which I quite liked. It is called Onslaught.

It’s a good message that I would be less suspicious of if it was put out by an organisation not trying to use it to sell their own products. But it is a good message. Something we all know to be true, but don’t want to admit in case it sounds like an excuse for not being what society seems to want us to be. Apparently the song used for the video is La Breeze by Simian. You can find other similar videos, like evolution, on YouTube. Incidentally, there is also a Singapore version for the ad that shows here.

Another video released online in April was put out by Greenpeace in response to the above video by Dove. The Greenpeace video is called Dove Onslaught(er) and shows the vast amount of damage being done to rainforests in Indonesia, largely to produce palm oil, used in Dove‘s products.  

The company who owns the Dove brand is Unilever, a gigantic company who also owns many other brands you’d probably recognise. Posted on the Greenpeace website:

Greenpeace’s forests campaigners were invited to meet with senior executives at Unilever headquarters on Friday 9 May 2008. In just two weeks the company had received tens of thousands of protest emails from around the world, seen Greenpeace activists bring hoards of news media to their buildings in the UK, Netherlands and Italy, and watched our viral video “Dove Onslaught(er)” take off faster than anything we’ve ever done before.

Cool. Two videos with two messages. Both make me feel happy – yay self-esteem, yay saving the environment; and sad – too little too late.

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Teh cool

Before I forget I want to post a link to MissHelen’s Weblog! You know how the idea of a blog is sort of like a diary, letting you have a glimpse into the lives of different people, but cooler because of the pictures, links etc, but they never really turn out that way? Let’s face it, most are just emo poems, technical/political/scientific(/insert field you’re absolutely uninterested in here) logs or blogs that start out great but haven’t been updated in 3 years. But not this lady’s, oh no! It is cool! MissHelen is an English girl working for an “international development charity” in Cambodia destroying landmines! For realz. That is seriously cool. Not only does that already make her a strong, generous person, she is also very pretty and very lovely. It’s just awesome reading about the experiences of someone who’s actually out there doing it! Good on you, MissHelen. 加油!

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I feel like I’ve been writing a lot of posts about music recently, especially considering I’m not a very musical person, but here is one more. Recently two different music videos have caught my attention, and both in very different ways.

I Will Possess Your Heart is a song by American band Death Cab For Cutie. The video is of a pretty girl travelling around the world. I’ve seen it on TV a couple of times now and for some reason it just really appeals to me. The girl looks so lovely, and serious without being melodramatic. I also like that the places she visits aren’t just the normal tourist spots and the shots of her aren’t just glamourous “look-at-me” poses.

     

There are two versions of the video, one is 8.31 long but the other is, to me, just as good and only 4.22 (YouTube video below). The video begins with a man walking silently down a darkened corridor while the girl drives to NY’s LaGuardia airport as a bass guitar starts playing and takes off into the dusk. From then on we see the girl in different cities, countries, in different clothes and in the day and night. As the lyrics start we see the band is in a freezing, dark room or bunker. Icicles hang all around and ice flies off the drums. They wear coats, hats and scarves and their breath is visible in the air. I have never seen/heard/heard about this band before. In this video I feel that the scene really suits the style of the song. The movements of the band as they play are really stiff and hunched over and the song itself moves quickly into the chorus which is sung in short, chunky pieces. It just seems to me that it really suits the freezing environment.

 You gotta spend some time – love – you gotta spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find – love -I will possess your heart

The tone of the lyrics is interesting too. It’s not your typical love song – “I will possess your heart”. Kinda sounds a bit cold compared to your average soppy ballad. I actually think that some the words are pretty creepy

You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily, so easily

Stalker much? But watching the girl just walking around is cool. Running by Evermore is another awesome vid that kinda reminds me of this but that is definately a band music video, whereas this chick looks like she could actually be there by herself, she just ignores the camera. Walking, riding the train, subway, plane, taxi – watching her in so many different places, in crowds, by herself, she does look kinda lonely. So I guess she might appreciate a stalker. One who likes to hang out in freezing underground bunkers…

 

 

The other music video I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I watched. I’d like to say I looked away after the first 10 seconds. The music video for Toe Jam by the BPA (created by the guy from Fatboy Slim) opens with a beautiful woman dancing and taking her t-shirt off to the music, and another woman untying her top, and another woman unzipping. Then all of a sudden there’s a whole room full of people disrobing and you’re thinking “what exactly am I watching?”. But they don’t stop there and before you have time to fumble for the remote you’re looking at a room full of skinny naked people. But don’t be worried that you’re gunna see anything, all the “naughty bits” are covered by black censorship bars – and this is kind of the point. With two bars each – one for their chest and one for their lady-parts – the girls prance, shimmey and shake their way around the room. And they’re definately very naked.

     

Many of the girls have old 70’s hair styles, clothes, and the few (naked, naked) guys are ugly with bad hair and big moustaches (the girls’ underwear seems modern enough though). The room is v. retro as well, complete with a big tan shaggy carpet. The fun really begins when the girls line up and begin making some patterns with their black lines… when they cover their “naughty bits” with their hands the black lines disappear, and by bending and contorting themselves they can make funny shapes by joining their lines together or making a pattern. Throw in rude hand gestures – covered by big black dots – and you have one pornographic formula for making stick figures, a clock, smiley face, eyeball, heart, paddle computer game resembling Krypton Egg, and even the name of the song – T-O-E  J-A-M. We’re talking about some talented ladies here, people. Yeah. My personal favourite is the guy shooting his mate – a line of girls in between provide the “bullet” by showing their chest censorship line one at a time in a mexican wave of boobage between “gun” and “victim”.

     

The song istelf isn’t worth mentioning and in the end the video just makes me feel kinda sad. There’s a really smart person out there who could be doing great things. But instead he’s making soft porn music videos with names like “Toe Jam”. Sigh.

 

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The Good, the Bad…

the Weird. That’s the name of a new Korean film coming out and as you may have guessed (but not dared to believe) from the title, it’s a Western. That’s right, a Western made by Koreans in Korean. I’ve seen the trailer and all I can say is… why didn’t somebody think of this sooner? The movie looks really fun! Action, comedy, something you can see with your bf or friends. I think it’s set in Manchuria and the trailer has electric guitar music over much of the action, huzzah!

Todd Brown over at Twitch says

The cast is stellar, the scope of the thing impressive, the action sequences crackle, the use of music is clever, and golly won’t the ladies go crazy for Lee Byung Hyun’s eyeliner?  Reception in Cannes was fantastic and it’s easy to see why.

You can see the official trailer which (is awesome) here, it doesn’t have subs but since it’s mostly action that doesn’t really matter. Otherwise you can check out the sales promo with English subtitles.

Something interesting I noticed when I visited the film’s official site to get some pictures for this post was the difference between the “local posters” and the “international posters”. What do you think?

International: 

   

 

vs.

Local:

   

 

While they’re both cool designs they look like they’re for two completely different films! The international ones are all hardcore, black and white with lots of serious-looking text around closeups of the characters looking all intense, à la The Departed. Meanwhile the local posters have a completely different feel, with the classic comedy poster character-on-white background and fun title, more Shanghai Noon than The Departed. Plus you can definately see the “Bad” and the “Weird” in the two characters on either side, while the middle one just seems way more interesting, to me, than the international one, and way more representative of what I saw in the trailer. I’m just sayin’.

I doubt The Good The Bad The Weird will be released in cinemas here, but I look forward to seeing it on DVD in a year or so’s time.

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Introducing: Dororo

Y’know when you see a sort of introduction for a film and you think “that sounds kinda cool”, and then you hear some more about the synopsis and you’re thinking “ok that’s pretty weird”, and then when you finally see some of the actual film it’s like “wow. That’s not what I was expecting.” But it’s too late and now you just have to see it? That’s like me and どろろ.

Dororo (どろろ) is a Japanese family film directed by Akihiko Shiota, adapted from a 1960s manga by Osamu Tezuka, the artist who created Astroboy. Dororo is a girl thief who was raised as a boy, and she meets Hyakkimaru, a young samurai who is searching for and destroying 48 demons. Why 48? Well! Because becasue before Hyakkimaru was born his father made a deal with the demons – trading 48 of his unborn son’s body parts for victory and power. Dororo travels with Hyakkimaru as he seeks out the demons, each time he vanquishes one of them he regains a part of his body.

 

 

I have a theory about why the scariest and craziest movies come from Japan – because as children they love weird freaky stories! While they’re watching heros fight giant spiders to regain their stolen limbs I was watching Winnie-the-Pooh! No wonder I turned out so soft. This one sounds really neat though and I’m looking forward to watching it. The DVD is being released here in New Zealand on July 10th, it’ll be in Japanese with English subtitles and I’m gunna get it out! Yay! (I’ll let you know what I think ^-~) Since I’ve already decided to watch it I don’t think I’ll watch any of the trailers, but if you would like to then you can do so at the film’s official website. For a longer synopsis see the New York Asian Film Festival page about Dororo here.

 

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Song: I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You
Artist/Group: Colin Hay

Today I was sitting on the couch by the fire looking out at the cold winter day and for some reason this song just came into my head. I think it suits cold weather very well. It feels autumnal.

The song has a real sense of time. The lyrics are easy to listen to and gently make suggestions to all your senses, the smell and taste of coffee in the morning, the ringing of laughter; these combine with images like this man with his acoustic guitar “shaking the hand of time” and the slow pensiveness and subdued loneliness of the music. It’s sombre, but not sad. It’s husky, but not harsh. It feels aged, but not old.

Your face it dances and it haunts me
Your laughter’s still ringing in my ears
I still find pieces of your presence here
Even after all these years

I was surprised to find that the artist, Colin Hay, is an Australian, or at least used to be part of an Australian band. Apparently he has also worked on the TV show Scrubs, and one of the stars of that show, Zac Braff, created the film Garden State where I first heard this song.

If you would like to hear it try this clip on YouTube. It’s not a music video, it’s actually a MV made by a fan of the American version of The Office, and it features clips of Jim and Pam. If you havn’t heard the song before you should open the page and then minimise it so you can listen to the song by itself first and get a feel for it. (There is a tiny bit of dialogue from The Office at the end, so don’t get a fright). If you are a fan of The Office you’ll probably enjoy the clip so by all means go back and watch it afterwards, but warning: there are spoilers.

if I lived till I could no longer climb my stairs
I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you

This is a good song to listen to in the evening. If you would like to see the rest of the lyrics, they can be found here.

 

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