first impressions

Its odd how very wrong one can be about a person if one only judges them by first impressions. I have a friend, called Marcie: she always struck me as a tomboy, overbearing, loud, and patronising towards me. I did not like her very much, and hated to see her coming. I had her down as the type of girl who automatically assumes I am her friend just because I am a crip.

then, one day, we got chatting over a coffee in the wes. A few of my friends were there, and we were just talking about this and that. In Marcie the patronising tone vanished, or rather I no longer detected it. I realised I’d misjudged her, and a nicer girl you will never meet. She’s cool.

Tonight I’m going round to Steve’s again. He has to watch Titus Andronicus for his course, and Marcie will be there. I’m looking forward to this evening very much.

let it snow

Oh brilopads! I think it’s starting to snow – the first snows of winter, and its still officially autumn. It’s either global warming or the next ice age! Plus, the sky is falling!

Its really starting to fall now. Usually I do not mind, but later I’ll be going out in it, and I would far rather stay hunkered down in my room, by the radiator. I hope this clears up by the weekend.

Saturday sees the 1voice Blackpool event. Some of you may recall I went to a similar one this summer in Lilleshall. I found it life-affirming – there is nothing, I feel, more worthwhile than helping kids: nothing more fundamentally important than hearing them talk. A life without the ability to communicate is bleak – you have all choices made for you, and therefore your dreams remain unfulfilled. Its not as if these kids are unable to express themselves, they just need to be shown what is possible.

Come snow, or come sleet, or come glaciers, I will be in Blackpool by Friday night. This project means a lot to me. I am in a position where I can help these children, and it is thus my duty to do so.

biased

I have never seen bbc news this cynical before. In this article, it is being openly sarcastic about our progress on climate change. It’s amusing, ad although I have to agree with its conclusions, is it not being a teeny bit biased?

tree of life

A few days ago, I mentioned how I found beauty in ‘nature – both it’s aesthetic beauty, and the beauty in it’s interlocking web.’ I may not have made myself clear. I meant I love the way every living organism is related to everything else. However, today I found this site, which illustrates the point perfectly. Although, naturally incomplete, it shows the relationships between every life form on earth. Its thoroughly researched, very impressive, and quite quite fascinating.

and they say bugs are ugly

Although the ‘making of’ segment tagged onto the end of the programme seemed in some respects like an advert for the next programme, I found tonight’s life in the undergrowth totally fascinating. This term, my good friends Chris and Steve have regularly invited me round to their place to watch and talk about films; it’s great sitting, chatting with friends and sipping larger. I go round to theirs one night a week, and we watch films from their collection.

As luck would have it, they’re also Attenborough fans (well, Steve is). I had began the conversation ‘I know it’s geeky, but…’ but they were more than happy to watch BBC1 at 9. in fact Steve seemed more keen than me! So at 9 this evening, after our film had finished – the meaning of life, by the way – we turned their TV over, and we were in for a treat. In some respects, it was typical Attenborough fare, showing the mating techniques of a variety of insects, but the shooting was phenomenally beautiful. At one point you saw animals no bigger than a pinhead; at another, a tiny fly in flight. While the subject matter is fascinating, I was amazed by the technical aspects of the film. As a potential filmmaker, I found it inspiring. There are similarities, in terms of shot, between such nature films and, say, the matrix.

Great lads they are, they have invited me round the same time next week. I gratefully accepted: one should never miss the chance too see images that beautiful, and technically impressive. I cant wait for the DVD to come out!

wordcounts

There is something about college that makes me want to work. Tonight, for the hell of it, I decided to see if I could A. finish off a 2000 word essay, which needed 900 words, and b. write a 1500 word short story. Working solidly and merrily from 6pm, I did both, after selecting tunes by holst, rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky to listen to. I’d never do such a thing at home, but here, in the midst of academia, I feel more like it. Strange eh?

why I don’t use the unerground

Although the thought of an exploding dog kind of amuses me in a maniacle, infantile way, I thought I might submit this evidence that disabled people are bearing most of thee brunt of toughened security laws in america. It cant be right that disabled people might be abandoned in subway stations in an emergency.

goblet of fire – big spoilers

I’ll begin this review by explaining a term used frequently in film studies as a starting point for much of the Freudian analysis we do. Scoppophilia refers to a love of looking. The word derives from greek. Most of us are scoppophiles – we love looking, observing, and today my scoppophillic tendencies were in overdrive. Inn short, the new harry potter film is a visual joy, from the very first frame.

The first thing to note is that it is dark: this is most certainly not a kid’s film. The very mise-en-scene is almost oppressive, inasmuch as the camera seldom strays from the characters. As with Prisoner of Azkaban, Hogwarts itself is frequently shot in the rain for establishing shots. This is reflected in the characters, who are more fleshy, more ‘real’ – as in the book, goblet shows them bickering and fighting, as kids of their age are wont to do.

There was one shot in particular which struck me as especially fine. After a scene in which Longbottom’s past is alluded to, the class pass a stained glass window, on which the rain is beating from thee outside. The picture upon it is that f lady – this might be the Madonna – and she appears to cry, a particularly large drop of water descending from her face. This, needless to say, reflects the emotional intensity of the last scene, highlighting the poignancy of Neville’s situation.

Indeed, the theme of parenthood is a major source of emotion in this film, if not the whole series. Harry is, after all, an orphan. It is a subtle, but ever-present, thread. The absence or presence of Lilly and James can always be counted upon to have an emotional impact. Thus, when they appear in the denouement, the audience is elated.

This is not to say that this is a feel-good movie. This film has some very raw emotion. The sight of mr. diggory crying over his son is especially potent, as is the sheer horror in Harry after he returns from the graveyard. Thus I found this film extremely emotionally draining, mum continually having to tell me to stop squealing. There were also points, I must admit, when I felt myself welling up.

Both the shooting and acting were very impressive indeed. Daniel Radcliff, I felt, gave a fine performance (he has been criticised by some for being too melodramatic). He, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint seem to be growing up as actors just as the characters they portray are becoming adults. They portray the tension of their situation well. Michael gambon’s Dumbledore was more impressive than Azkaban.

This is not to say this film is not flawed. It is, inasmuch as it leaves out most of the detail within the book. For example, the audience have very little inkling that moody is a traitor until suddenly it is revealed to us. I suspect that it would have made little sense had I not read, and loved, the book/ however, as I have done so, I can forgive Mike Newell his little inconsistencies and enjoy the film for what it is – visually spectacular.

One last note: this is in no way a kids film. It is truly scary and highly emotive. It seems scroogesque, but it got my goat how many kids were there. It may be about children, but this is no fairy-tale. Parents shouldn’t take their five year old and expect him not to be upset.

belm

Zark knows why, but I find thissite funny. Its anti-disabled people, but in a humorous way. Its in very poor taste, yet I had to laugh. It states that ‘mongs should be supported in the community, helped to get nice jobs in supermarkets, and some of us even want to go to college. If it was written by a disabled person, it would be ironic, but it wasn’t, which gives a slight bitter taste to it. Nevertheless, as stated here, nothing should be out of bounds, and everything should be game for humour.

i must go now to my baloon holding class

of plants and animals etc

I was just reading of how sir David Attenborough has been speaking about climate change. I must admit, it is one of my major concerns: report after report shows that our use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses is effecting the climate. Of course, there’s a null hypothesis that this change correlates with a natural earth cycle, and there is evidence to support this, but can we run the risk of being wrong? Thus, as sir David says, we must act soon.

I would like to say I like nature, but what I like is watching it on TV and reading about it in books and online. Our world is absolutely beautiful, and one just needs to watch sunset n the football pitch to see that, but on television it’s simply breathtaking. Take, for example, the bait balls of ”blue Planet” or the shots f kangaroos at sunset in ”life of mammals”. The cinematography and shooting of these films has to be seen to be believed. This is why I like Attenborough programmes so much they are stylistically astonishing. Not to mention, sir David himself is a master storyteller. He opened my eyes to the beauty of nature – both it’s aesthetic beauty, and the beauty in it’s interlocking web. I look at birds and imagine dinosaurs.

I’m looking forward to his forthcoming series, Life in the undergrowth”. It goes to air when I’m at college, so I’m hoping for the DVD for Christmas, hint hint.

Ok, no more advertising for the bbc – ed.