buzz words

August 7, 2007

hello world. i actually have shockingly little to report this time around. my time has been spent volunteering at the festival, seeing movies at the festival, playing hockey or otherwise wasting time in the city. there’s something very bohemian about spending all day, every day wandering around melbourne. but there’s also something kinda primal about it. i feel like i’m scavenging in a way; mining for information that i can use as ammunition later in life. there really is something going on everywhere you care to look.

i’m pretty lucky that my city has so much pure content, but conversely it’s overwhelming just how much of it i am still yet to discover. i thought i was uncovering some hidden treasure when i took myself to the city library today (not to be confused with the state library), however i was dismayed at how many fuckin’ people were scattered about the place. literally every seat (and every desk) was occupied by some sleeping asian student. come on now, everybody knows that the place to sleep is the uni library, if, y’know, bed itself isn’t an option. i was actually kind of annoyed; i just wanted a nice quiet corner to read. there was also a nintendo lying around looking lonely, but i didn’t want to be the jerk to pick up the controller and start spinning around like a maniac. i’ve said it before: white people simply can’t play video games. it’s just not in our genetic disposition to do it right. japanese girls look so damn cute dancing about and whacking things with sticks in those bright neon arcades they’ve got over there. they even look cute standing around watching their boyfriends jump around on them. but us white folk just can’t pull it off. watch any white person trying to play wii and they invariably look epileptic. and it only gets worse as the games get more serious.


top 10 things i’ve realised at the film festival:

  1. people who get festival passports are usually too unfit to make it worthwhile running between venues.
  2. all the volunteers like to think they’re smarter and cooler than each other.
  3. point number 2 notwithstanding, i have better taste in movies than you.
  4. people idolise andy warhol way too much, and usually in a misguided way: the name alone carries far more weight now than his art ever did.
  5. i want to be some old guy who still goes to see seniors’ sessions at ACMI between visits from my iron lung.
  6. i don’t want to be the old guy who fell asleep next to me today, though. it was really distracting, and not just a little creepy.
  7. it is rarely appropriate to applaud a movie. i mean unless the cast and crew are there, just don’t.
  8. spending up to 12 hours per day in the CBD starts getting expensive.
  9. a little bit of sexual innueno goes a long way, both on screen and off it.
  10. i am no good at crowd control, directing traffic or giving orders.

i need to get back into playing video games. there was a good stretch of at least a few months there when i would literally play at least an hour per day. go ahead, call me a geek, or a nerd, i seriously don’t care. i’m so excited about bioshock coming out, and also spore, but it looks like that one might be a while away yet.


so i saw day watch the other night, the sequel to night watch. let’s get this out of the way right now: night watch is a way more bad-arse name for a movie than day watch. and it’s meant to be a trilogy, so what the hell are they gonna call the last one? dawn watch? sadly, the drop in quality of the name was reflected by the drop in quality of the movie itself. night watch was awesome; it was a completely fresh take on the traditional eastern european vampire folklore and really went a long way towards ‘modernising’ russia (at least in the eyes of the hollywood audience) and making foreign films infinitely more accessible through its amazing use of subtitle art. if you haven’t seen night watch yet, do it immediately, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. but day watch to me never seemed to get off the ground. the plot was incredibly weak, the new characters forgettable, and the special effects seemed recycled. the movie covered no new ground, except for it’s epic crusade-style opening, which was frustratingly the highlight of the film. i simply can’t understand how this movie could have a higher rating on rotten tomatoes than the original.


this one was definitely a surprise. it’s showing as a part of the ‘euro debuts’ feature at the festival this year; in case you need it explained to you, all the films in this category are made by first-time directors. yo actually reminded me quite a lot of swimming pool in its exposition: a man goes to work as the groundskeeper at a mansion in the spanish country, and gets way more than he bargained for. story-wise, it’s about hans and his paranoia, his uncertainty, his sheer confusion. he lives in the shadow of a former hans and feels an invisible pressure to either embrace it or break free, and i suppose most of the movie is about hans’ oscillation between his two identities, and the conflicts they cause each other. it was a really, really strong first effort from rafa cortés. almost the entire film is shot from the perspective of over hans’ shoulder; it’s more or less as close as cinema can get to a first-person view of events, which actually serves the dual purpose of making everything seem much simpler while at the same time a lot creepier. by the half-way mark of the film, nearly every shot is in the dark, and by the ending the daylight is actually quite jarring. without spoiling the ending, i liked the fact that they didn’t go for that typical psychological thriller easy way out; it takes no short cuts and arrives at no simple conclusions. at an hour and forty minutes it wasn’t exactly a long film, but it’s minimalistic style and relative lack of ‘action’ meant that it dragged slightly before the end, but we can definitely attribute that to the fact that we’re talking about a new director. the acting (especially alex brendemühl as hans) was especially strong.

ok well i was gonna do a third review but i’m all thinked-out at the moment. i ran my guts out at hockey training and still haven’t had any dinner to set things right again. i’m nearing the end of for whom the bell tolls so if i’m feeling particularly adventurous i might even make a comment on that once i’m done. i will say, though, that i’m actually quite enjoying it and all it’s arcane spanish phrases.

the shins tomorrow night, so fucking excited, and then paprika the day after that, so with any luck the next few days will be pretty cool.

take care, everybody.


5 Responses to “buzz words”

  1. Tara said

    Darren, you are a geek.

    However you are a geek who fixes my laptop, gives me music, movies and anime and is patient with me when I can’t work out how to play video games that seem so easy for everyone else.

    I am glad I have you around.


  2. ez said

    night dusk?
    yeah, that’s all i’ve got.

  3. ricie said

    you know, people idolising andy warhol rather than his art is kind of the whole point of andy warhol, kind of like my idolising of david bowie playing andy warhol in basquiat.

    day watch was a total sham. i was so bored i wanted to tear my eyes out just for something to do. the chalk of fate? i mean really. and the cheesy body swapping. christ. i’ll still watch the third though, when it comes out, because you i always need closure.

    most of the volunteers i’ve had to work with were all pretty ready to offer the fact that they don’t really know all that much about film, they just like it. i’m still pissed as hell i missed Teeth. people are still raving about it. but i get to see Mr. Lonely on sunday so i’m happy chappy.

    Have you seen camouflage man? he comes in full on army gear, combat boots, with greasy long hair and a black trench coat. i’ve seen him in about 5 films that i’ve been in. he carries his own torch and would ruthlessly shine into people’s faces even when he’s late and ask very loudly if there’s a spare seat somewhere. i want to bitch slap him. how can someone love films so much but have zero film going etiquette?


    omg omg omg i’m so excited

  4. ricie said

    ps/ i haven’t made that much progress on the vonnegut yet (further than i already have i mean) because i wanted to pace myself so we can synchronise Norwegian Wood. if you’re really close to the end i might get a move on.

  5. […] Letterman in eras past, and in homage to the quiet confidence of my former self as demonstrated in this post, here’s a list of top 10 observations made in Tokyo last time I was […]

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