This morning a lady sitting next to me on the bus asked me what book I was reading. This is unusual, as people just don’t talk to each other on public transport anymore unless they’re crazy. I was reading It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff. She said that it sounded great and wanted to get a copy, then I decided to tell her about unclutterer.com and Freecycling. She hadn’t heard of Freecycle – so I felt that I had performed some sort of community service on the bus this morning. I’ve read quite a few books on de-cluttering your home over the years, it all started when I moved out of home from my parents 4 bedroom house full of stuff in the burbs. These books don’t only give solutions on storage and organising, they also work on your mindset about getting rid of stuff. I admit I still have a lot of stuff at my parents’ house, but our place in the city is much better. I think we have a bit too much stuff in the city and I have changed my way thinking about why I’m holding on to it. I just need the time to start sorting it out for Freecycling or eBay’ing or throwing out. I wish I could find a Chinese version of this book to give to my dad!
Further reading: The Crazy Ebay Lady.. True Story
The Bridge – A structure of great majesty, the Golden Gate Bridge is also the most popular suicide destination in the world. Throughout 2004, director Eric Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during the day from two separate locations.
I found this doco to be a bit disturbing. Basically the film showed people killing themselves by jumping off the bridge, then interviewing those family & friends left behind. It made me feel uneasy watching this footage and waiting for them to do it. Did you notice a recurring theme in my film festival program this year? I was amazed that it is so easy to jump over the bridge, unlike the Sydney Harbour Bridge which has a high fence and barbed wire. Suicide is such a tragic thing, for some reason I wanted to hear from a “professional” mental health worker as well as the personal opinions on the matter in this film. Luckily I had Ms JW’s semi-professional views to consider afterwards. So that’s it for the Sydney Film Festival for another year, I really enjoyed the trip.
Control – Celebrated photographer and music video artist Anton Corbijn’s highly anticipated biopic about the late Ian Curtis, the enigmatic lead singer of iconic English post-punk band Joy Division, was selected to open Directors Fortnight at Cannes this year.
I was really looking forward to this one and luckily I am a-n-a-l and bought my tickets early because all the sessions for Control have sold out. Someone from the film festival announced that they had received the film reels direct from it’s premiere at Cannes but unfortunately one of the reels (number 3 of 4) was missing!!! This caused a bit of grief in the audience until she said that they had managed to get a digital version of the missing reel. There was a change of screen format during the screening but it didn’t really matter as they wouldn’t have been able to show the movie without it. All those old school indie trainspotters would have started a riot!
Everyone knows what happens at the end (except one girl who was bawling at the end, maybe she didn’t know what happened to him – what a surprise that would have been), so it made it a bit tense waiting for Ian Curtis to kill himself. Sam Riley who plays Ian Curtis does a great job (he is also very hot), though not as intense as Sean Harris‘ Curtis in 24 Hour Party People. This compelled me to watch a bit of 24 Hour Party People as soon as I got home. It was interesting to compare the same characters played by different actors. I have to admit that I like New Order much better than Joy Division, but it was a great story and beautifully shot in black & white.
These are the films we checked out on the Long Weekend.
A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory – director Esther Robinson’s attempt to uncover what happened to her uncle, Danny Williams, who was Warhol’s lighting designer, lover, and a promising filmmaker before his unexplained disappearance in 1966. Continuing with the Australian Rozie Andy Warhol bender I am on, it was great to see this doco on Danny Williams. It did feel a bit long and dragged out at times but the archival footage of the Factory crew and seeing what some of the Warhol stars look like now was interesting. These were the beautiful, young, cool, underground NYC posse of Andy Warhol and now they are old, balding, fat, hairy and not quite right, with major memory loss and bitter egos.
The Blood of Yingzhou District – Produced by the China AIDS Media Project which was established to help spread AIDS information, Yang’s extraordinary film won this year’s Academy Awards® Documentary Short Subject category. This is a very depressing subject, the doco follows orphans in a poor village in China, some with HIV contracted from their parents who sold their blood as a means to survive and ended up with AIDS due to the negligence of the illegal blood collectors. I was in tears in the first minute! It does end hopefully, with the charity involved able to get these children more help, care and medication. The husband of the director was there to answer a few questions at the end which was enlightening. He said that they haven’t been able to show this doco in China itself yet but they’re working on it. Also most of the illegal blood collectors have been caught and punished (maybe even executed).
Please Vote For Me – A class of eight-year-olds in China undertake an experiment in democracy. Three candidates are selected and quickly learn the techniques required for success: lying, defamation and bribery. This was hilarious, kids will be kids even when they are being guided and/or coerced by their parents! Apparantly, it was the first time the concept of “democracy” was taught in a primary school in China.
Still Life – Shot on location at the flooding of the Three Gorges Dam, this Venice award-winner is a meditative work in which documentary and fiction merge, producing a painterly, narrative flatness. Jia’s digital camera lingers on the dangerous exploits of the workers and the incredible terrain as much as it follows the loose stories of a man who returns to look for the wife he abandoned and a woman looking for the husband who forsook her years ago. This was also very good, it was a bit s-l-o-w (luckily a 10am session, rather than a late night one), but I found it to be very touching and moving. I also took along my dad and aunty – they don’t need to read the subtitles! Usually dad prefers more action (martial arts, Hollywood schlockbusters etc) or nature documentaries, he said it was good but a bit slow too.
Well, I’m not into cars but I do love art. After an incredibly boring morning at work, I went for a walk to the MCA in my lunch break. In front of the MCA Cafe/Amex Hall were some sharply dressed BMW staff. It looked like some kind of private function which I wasn’t invited to. The nicely dressed lady asked me if I would like to see the BMW Art Cars exhibition, so I went in. As a lot of you know, I’ve been on a bit of an Andy Warhol bender recently. I only finished reading Death and Disaster: The Rise of the Warhol empire and the Race for Andy’s Millions this morning. So I wander past a Ken Done number, then lo and behold… there was an Andy Warhol car right in front of me!!! I was also very happy to see video footage of Andy actually painting on the car in 1979 as well. It never rains but it pours. ha ha. More info here but it’s a pretty ugly site.
While waiting for the lights to change on my way back to work from lunch, the guy behind me let off a fart! Thanks buddy.
In other news, sat next to the girl with “questionable blue fur/suede jacket” on the bus this morning. NB It also has studs. Actually she wasn’t wearing it today, but she was wearing it yesterday. Today her black jacket had a simple cord rope embellishment on each seam.