Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sort My Books

I love reading (good books), libraries (state, local, university, rural, primary), bookshelves (mine, other peoples, online), bookshops (vintage, discount, factory 2nd, on the street or Borders - not a snob), the smell of new covers, bugs crushed in borrowed books, corners folded, jackets kept immaculate or torn or laminated (ew! not really), authors notes etc - but I do hate excessive annotation, epilogues or prologues and I generally skip introductions. Anyway the point of this paragraph is to say I love books, reading, and almost everything connected to this - I don't get people who don't (its creepy). So I'm obsessed with yet another facet of reading, writing and book obsessing that I've found online - I love different editions - The Sorted Books project.

Bleeding Optimist
Day at the Beach

Inspiration Sandwich

From the website - "The Sorted Books project began in 1993 years ago and is ongoing. The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections. The process is the same in every case: culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library's focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library's holdings. At present, the Sorted Books project comprises more than 130 book clusters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking on the Bright Side

I saw Mike Leigh's new film Happy Go Lucky the other day - I got last minute free tickets from a botched Rialto screening (the publicist wanted blood!). It was good but I'd have to say it left me feeling confused as to my own reaction.

Poppy is a mirror to us all: if we find her blind optimism and sunny nature hard to swallow, perhaps there’s something wrong with us instead?

I personally sat there waiting for something to happen and although it never did I still enjoyed the characters and efforts of the writer.

Early reviews ran something along these lines: "What a surprise, a fabulous feel-good comedy from Mike Leigh the miserable".

So yes here's a light-hearted comedy from that miserable grump who makes dour movies about the turmoil and pain seething through lower-class lives.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Avant La Haine

Let's break up now, please

No. I kiss you and it passes

You can see

You can't brush me off like that

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Last Mistress

I adore Catherine Breillat. I really do. I have seen appallingly little of her 13 or so films she's directed, as little as three in fact (A ma soeur!, Anatomie de l'enfer and Romance). However each one I do see is both poignant and entertaining as well eternally scorched into my brain after watching. How many filmmakers do that eh? Maybe Cronenberg with eXistenz and Crash, but Breillat really packs a much harder emotional punch than any of Cronenberg's films.

I'm dying to seeing an The Last Mistress - not just because Asia Argento hasn't made a good film in a while - but because it looks like Breillat is becoming more and more comfortable at bringing humour (however dark) into her films. Her films are really quite hilarious, while being thoroughly disturbing, affecting and moving. Hence why I believe A ma Souer! is such a masterpiece, because its funny - and if the trailer is anything to go by The Last Mistress looks to be the same.

PS As a bit of trivia some may know the "porno auteuriste" from her supporting role is Bertolucci's 'Last Tango in Paris'.

Monday, June 16, 2008

End of Financial Year

Kim Wilde - Cambodia
Ladyhawke - Back of the Van
Amy Whinehouse - Tears Dry on Their Own
The Ikettes - I'm Blue
Monica - Don't Take It Personal
Biz Markie - Just a Friend
Ben E. King- Stand By Me
Cocorosie - Techno Love Song
Candi Stanton - I'll Sing a Love Song to You
Ane Brun - Friend Rhymes with End
Aimee Mann - One
Marilyn Monroe - When Loving Goes Wrong
Bruce Springsteen - Tougher than the rest
Judee Sill - Jesus Was A Crossmaker
Leonard Cohen - One of Us Cannot Be Wrong
Fiona Apple - Paper Bag
Santogold - Your Voice
Duffy - Warwick Avenue
Francoise Hardy and Iggy Pop - I'll Be Seeing You
Soko - My Enemy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For the Ladies? For the Fella's?

Last Saturday I was so hungover that I managed to catch both the American Summer blockbuster overflow films in one day - I'm in wintry Australia fyi. I'm sure when those fat bald movie bigwigs (aren't they always?) were sitting in their offices they thought reprise a classic action film - one for the guys and the girlfriends they drag along - extend a smash HBO show - one for the girls and their 3 other girlfriends - holiday mega-movies fun for all sexes!
To tell the truth I have never been more disappointed with the $31 I spent at Greater Union and Hoyts. Never have a longed more for a film produced by Judd Apatow to be released - oh Apatow how did I survive without you? O.K - they were bearable - just but I would have walked out of both with the slightest of encouragement just to get some Vodka to put in my Sex and The City Diet Coke-tail shaker. For both - Indiana Jones: Curse of the Difficult Ending and Sex and The City: The Tearjerker, poor scriptwriting, was definitely a problem. With scriptwriters in Hollywood it seems to be one of those - Which came first the chicken or the egg? scenarios. Do they get treated badly and paid poorly because they are lazy and untalented? Or do they choose to take out their poor treatment on lovers of good-bad films like me and my friends? One for the ages?

Indie Jones! See regardless of Cate's Cannes apologies for her accent, aging superhero Harrison Ford, (the one thats not the guy from the Apple Ad) Shia Le Bouf and the host of usual suspects - the acting/casting was definitely not the problem with Indiana Jones the movie. The main issues for me was the lack of truly funny moments, of classic Indiana stunts, the amount of CGI and the clich├ęd story writing - aliens, I'm your Father and the ever impending threat of the Reds - leave it to Star Wars George! I thought this was supposed be a return to old school - because besides the cinematic cred do you know what makes old movies cool? The fact that they didn't have CGI - to look at a cool stunt and think how did they do that!? Also where was all the usual religious subtext these films are known for? Next thing you know Prince Caspian will be flying away in his flying saucer - nah just kidding - but I always enjoy a good religious metaphor more than it was a dream/they were all aliens/we just invited this new technology as a way to explain the unexplainable.
SATC! no matter what the reviews, the poor word of mouth or the intense merchandising advertising (how many Diet Cokes, tampons/pads, hair straighteners etc can we flog off at this particular oestrogen fest?) every girl/woman between the ages 16-60 was going to see this movie jus' cause. Six seasons - six years, most people have seen the show through that long and thats a lot of nights in. For me that was from the ages of 16 - 21 - formative years my friends, years of emotional nostalgia and attachment. For me SATC was my Erica Jong meets GGW with adventurous fashion statements - for a virgin in boarding school who had never drunk a cocktail and had only recently learnt what the Nike symbol meant (hippie parents), this show was like a parallel universe. People say the media teaches us about sex, consumerism, materialism and all the other good stuff too early - let me tell you I was an eager student and was taking notes. Yeah I cried when Steve turned to Miranda and said 'You're the One' - more than I did when Big said it to Carrie anyway. I still watch the show today - find it numbing and enjoyable, even if I find the strong focus on marriage, babies and getting old is starting to hit a bit close to home.
However by the time SATC the movie had rolled round I had been to New York, I had been to all the stores, streets, clubs they'd spoken about. Plus I'd seen about 1000+ more movies than I had when I was a teenager. Was this why I was disappointed? I don't think so. I think it was the "poor me" story lines, the lack of funny gags (except for Samantha!) - and I'm sorry Charlottes pough-ing her pants only funny in American Pie, and the settling. Going back to the guy who cheated on you and the guy who hurt you and left you at the altar? Not exactly inspiring or exciting or even romantic escapism. Just depressing - like the reality we dread and hope doesn't exist. Don't' we watch TV shows like SATC and see TV for movies to escape from the possible reality of flaws and foibles for the girls that will risk security and settling for the hope of something or someone better. I mean these are the girls who blow their mortgage on shoes - I only (sadly) have to look around my social circle to see people who have settled - I don't need to pay $15 to see it!
PS I'm not even going to dignify the Samantha gets fat story line - please!

What I Can't Get On Ebay - Courtesy of Neon Park