Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bruges, Nerd and Tiffany

More MIFF adventures had me at the beautiful Forum last night, upstairs in the cinema, to see In Bruges. Had selected this after seeing the preview, and liking the idea of a trip down memory lane with my trip to Bruges a few years ago.

Starring Colin Farrell, and Ralph Fiennes, in a Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels elk, the vision of gorgeous Bruges was amazing - and the constant piss-take of being in Bruges and taking in the sights enhanced the scenery even more. Lots of blood and shooting at the end, but lovely Irish accents, the movie was funny and sad at the same time. Dealing with the consequences of a hit gone wrong, and then the misadventures in Bruges with a girl, a dwarf, and a fired blank. I recommend this when it is out on general release later this year.

Tonight I rushed out of work a little earlier than usual after a crazy day to meet Melissa at the Greater Union for I Think We're Alone Now - a documentary following two people totally obsessed with Tiffany, the '80 pop star. Two people "stalking" and in a lovesick imagined relationship with the singer, the movie was very funny for perhaps the first half....and then the cinema mood changed rapidly as the length of the obsession, and the depth of distress these two people experience as a result of their love of the star hit home.

A powerful portrayal of the responsibility of stardom, and also of the psychological impact of such a fixation. Both characters had disturbing psychosocial backgrounds, and both believed in their relationship and destiny with Tiffany. I didn't even know she was still out there doing gigs! Upon walking out of the film, Melissa decided that perhaps she had better throw out that boarding pass from a shared flight with Buddy Franklin she managed to score upon him leaving his seat! A ha ha ha!

After dinner with Melissa at Chocolate Buddha, I went to ACMI to see Rock N Roll Nerd, about Tim Minchen. After seeing him live last year, and given the doco was about the Melbourne boy making it big, it had sparked my interest in the vast array of movies on offer!

Starting out following Tim's beginnings at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and taking a big risk in putting his show out there (financially), and then showing his first year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and moving through issues such as writing his shows, negotiating contracts and management, and also his family life, the film was an expose on the life of a comedic making a go of it. The up close and personal glimpse into his relationship with his wife Sarah, and the ups and downs of the experience for them in him trying to have his show and his work recognised and liked was frank and revealing.

The film also featured many of his performances, and his hilarious songs - but also his nerves before a performance, and also his reaction to both good and bad reviews...was such an intimate look into his life - and if you didn't adore him already, you certain will after seeing this!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MIFF and The Pleasure Of Being Robbed

The Melbourne International Film Festival started over the weekend, and having been inspired by Jenny and Scott last year, I have purchased a Mini-Pass to attend 10 (plus three daytime) movie sessions over the next two weeks.

I met Jo, Nikki and Stacey for dinner first, after dodging the cold by jumping in a taxi into town, at our new find Dumplings Plus. After chats over dumplings and pork buns, I dashed out to Greater Union, to see my first film of the Festival.

The Pleasure Of Being Robbed is an American film, following the plight of a young NY girl, floating through life in a dreamy, devil may care way. The main character lets fate guide her through her world, fate being her tendency to steal things - mainly from other people's hangbags! - and where these things can lead her.

A chance drive to Boston, impromptu driving lessons, and visiting the Central Park zoo in handcuffed custody, this movie is a quirkly float along experience, with a rather sudden ending. The footage of a swimming polar bear under water was very cool, however the next daydream sequence with a not so life-like bear was disappointing.

A full cinema found many points for communal laughing out loud, and the final credit dedicated the film to anyone who had had the pleasure of being robbed!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Katie's Birthday in the 'Rat and Walking Kiddies

Melissa and I headed back to Ballarat yesterday afternoon, a trip home neither of us has done for a couple of months. It was Katrina's birthday on Tuesday, and so we were making the trip to go out to mark the occasion.

Being the designated driver, given my forced sobriety, I got to drive Mum's brand new car to dinner, at Tandoori Oven in the Bridge Mall. We arrived and joined the group, as they settled in to their BYO bottles of wine. Unfortunately, the service was overwhelmed by our table of more than 20, and despite taking names for each order to help with delivery - the delivery was the crucial steps that seemed to be missing for over an hour! Our table grew very noisy and restless, and hungry!

The menu, albeit a few anomolies with the page numbers, and the food was quite good. With my meds for DVT, I actually have an assorted list of foods to avoid overloading on, and fenugreek is one of the things listed as high in Vitamin K, and thus blood coagulating properties - and the menu had this herb listed in just about every dish! I bearly knew what it was, and certainly didn't expect to have it as a choice

At the end of our meal, and the end of the tables drinks, we were asked to move on as it was closing time, and so we moved on to Haida Bar. Fairly empty, but of the few places I have heard Heart It Races played, Melissa and I carried on for a bit with Katie's posse, before calling it a night.

Today, after a roast for lunch, Andrea and Dean called around to catch up, and I got to see little Charli and Cooper...who have grown so much! Walking around on sure feet, the two little treasures are interacting with their world and each other. Very compliant and easily directed, the kids played around our feet as we caught up. A blown kiss from each of them when it was time to go, so cute!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Game of the Year

Last night I attended the much anticipated match between top of the ladder and reigning Premiers Geelong, and Hawthorn...with 86,000 other people, at the MCG, for a cracking game!

Having disappeared after half time last week against the Saints, and getting a pasting, and after Geelong thrashing the second placed Bulldogs with a 10 goal display in the last half, last week, there was potential for a horror story for the Hawks in the big Round 17 clash. Add to that a nervous wait to see if Hodge would play, given the imminent arrival of his first child, plus rumours that Mitchell was out floating around, it was a nervous wait.

Coming off a full on, crazy work week, and feeling the nerves of a big game, I met Rick and Melissa at Transport, to watch them have a few settling beers - this DVT sobriety is already very, very mean! Walking down to the 'G, the buzz was about the crowd.

Accounting for Hodge and Mitchell as the brown and yellow ran out onto the ground, we sat in our allocated seats, where Mum was, having arrived on one of an 8 bus convoy from Ballarat. Looking around the awesome stadium, all areas but a section of MCC looked full - impressive.

The first quarter was a wrestle, with good signs and bad from our Hawks, but a three goal deficit as the siren went not so good. Brown placed in the forward line seemed such a waste, and there was a point where he returned to this unfamiliar position for him from a bench rotation, longing looking towards the line of defence he usually owns.

Inaccurate kicking, our disposals were hit and miss too often....but we rattled the Premiers, and I think, showed ourselves what we were capable of. The Cats made errors under Hawk pressure that they were unaccustomed to, despite our sticking tackle rate still too low for liking. After half time, the Hawks came out and played the Geelong game, with lightening handpasses and speed all over the ground. Distinctly different game plans of the two teams, with the Hawks dominating the corridor, and the Cats seemingly everywhere else. The tactic of the timed running man off the bench of Geelong was a sneaky, but very effective one - I don't think there was a man off their bench who didn't come on in the middle of a passage of play, seemingly out of nowhere!

Hawks hit the front in the first goal of the last quarter, and the intensity was electric. But several errors under pressure, and Cats got back and away to a lead just out of reach in the end for the Hawks. 11 points when the siren went, but such a valiant display of the Hawk potential. The crowd walked away relieved, or very very proud of the challenge to the top side.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tragedy and Madness

Wednesday was Opening Night for The Dark Knight, much anticipated as the final finished Heath Ledger movie. I had organised tickets for a group of us, and we headed to Melbourne Central after work for the viewing.

Heath's death in January this year was much like hearing of Princess Diana's - I know exactly where I was, and was stunned! Received calls all day with people debriefing, and sharing the shock.

Admittedly, I would not have seen the newst Batman movie if it wasn't for Heath playing The Joker, and the rave reviews he was getting for his dark and disturbing portrayal. Melissa and I even viewed Batman Begins, the first of this series of Batman movies, last weekend, for research!

Mairead, Jo, Mary and I left the office, and met Melissa and Nicole at the crowded ticket area to find our allocated seats for the packed out viewing, loaded with popcorn and other treats.

We settled into our seats, through the previews, and were subjected to monitoring tours of staff in search of anyone recording the first day of screenings.

The movie was great, but Heath's performance as The Joker was chilling, witty and scarily on track as someone consumed with madness. I dare say there were many one liners about the madness that would have been hard for the Ledger family to view, given his passing. The second half of the movie was Heath's shining light, with many scenes with just him filling our screen, having us mesmorised.

Yesterday, I met Michelle for brunch and a long overdue catch up at Journal, before we walked across the Yarra to the Arts Centre. We had tickets to Hamlet, a Bell Shakespeare production, starring Brendan Cowell. Cowell, from Love My Way, and dating Rose Byrne, looked very much like Bernand Fanning to me in the production posters...and upon gracing the stage.

A strong and engaging presence on stage, Cowell was a tortured, grieving, and ranting Hamlet. The additional treat to our Shakespeare on a Saturday afternoon was that the score for this production was put together by Sarah Blasko, who was also one of The Players on stage, added to the play with her voice and distinct music arrangements throughout.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Basics and SATC

On Saturday night Nicole and Belinda came over for dinner before we headed to The Empress, to see The Basics. The closest pub to home, this was my first going out adventure since DVT, and close enough to hobble home if needed!

Since being discharged as an in-patient, I have returned to work and all things DVT seem to be tracking along. Having all too frequent blood tests, but once my Warfarin levels are fully stable and we have the right dose, these should drop down. Back to work, but taking it easy. The leg has been less achy each day, so things are all good.

The Basics include Gotye, and I first heard them back in February. This gig was the full ensomble, with ghost members of the band and the full elecric set. With Wally on the drums, he was not so visable from our vantage point - but his voice was such a presence during the whole set, just amazing! The band played songs from their currently recording album, as well as numbers from their album - which had me rush out at get it at the very first opportunity. Love The Basics! A new obsession!

Sunday afternoon I met Melissa in town, to see Sex And The City, the movie. Being away during it's release, we both felt like the last girls on the planet not to have seen it - and I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Suspect of the need to do a movie after the end of the TV series, I was pleasantly surprised that the movie just felt like old times with the show. Tears flowed throughout, with the feeling of the end of an era with the four main characters.

The ending didn't work for me, but that end (won't spoil it!) has never floated for me! And Carrie can't call Big 'John'!! Hee hee!
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