Friday, September 29, 2006

Confessions From A Dancefloor

Last night I kissed a boy.

That is all...

...actually it is not.

Well it is... but it is kinda fucking with my head a little.

We shall return to this, presently.

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At 10:54 am, Blogger richardwatts said...

I do love a good dancefloor confession.

At 5:41 pm, Blogger R*Y A N said...

how confoundingly intriguing.

sounds like a good head fuck to me.

hope you work it out.

At 6:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bugger! i should have come along!

At 1:02 am, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said... least somebody's gettin' some.


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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Everything Is Connected

You may remember me bitching and moaning about how the tendons in my fingers may not be as repaired as I had been led to believe. Well today was the day of the ultrasound and the good news is that the Dutch surgeons have actually done as good a job as everyone had said and it IS simply some pesky scar tissue holding the tendons at bay.

Hurrah! That means only one more operation instead of two!

Kate says the procedure to remove the scar tissue won't be done before the tendons have had six months to strengthen, so I have a little respite in the slice and dice department. On top of that, the doctors like to see how much movement can be gained without the operation. There is, of course a chance that, with the exercises, everything will come good, so it is back to work.

But now, I am off to celebrate.

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At 8:02 pm, Anonymous Donald said...

How could you have doubted the talents of such a handsome micro-surgeon?

Seriously though, good to hear you are back on track.

Keep on keepin' on.

D x

At 8:45 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Hurrah - drinks me on me at Q + A tonight!

At 11:57 pm, Blogger YarravillePaul said...

Glad to here all is in the right place.

Hope your celebration was stuperous and fun!!


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Save Us From Cheap Arse Producers

Some time back I blogged about some upcoming series that looked good enough to fill the aliaslessness of my days. Well, this morning I saw the pilot episode of Heroes and, apart from some bad accents and some dodgy acting, it was really enjoyable.

I hope they go somewhere new with the "we're evolving and we have super powers" premise because, as exciting as it is, it feels like a rehash of X-Men or The 4400 at the moment. There is some promise here but there are also some danger signs. Heroes has the feel of being put together quickly without a solid plan or driving mind at the helm. That is to say, if feels more like Surface than Lost, there are some shaky, "do it because it needs to be done" moments that are out of character and some pretty clumsy exposition. Still it was enjoyable.

But look:
WTF!?! They're even miming the Backstreet Boys.

Talk about cashing in on somebody else's fame. They could have at least flown the real Back Dorm Boys in for the shoot.

Who's in the karaoke bar next week? The Numa Numa guy? Star Wars Boy?


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And then I said...

This post actually started out as a comment on this post over at D.U.P. It took on a life of its own so I thought I'd bring it out into the open with the rest of the hackneyed advice. Oh, and it gives me a lame excuse to post some pretty pics.

The theme is how blogging helps those who wish to exit the closet. I am riffing on the notion that we can live our lives for a substantial period of time without acting on our Uranist instincts.

You know, I had the same experience, pre-blogging.

I think we are experts in not dealing with our homosexualityness. We use the most refined coping strategies avoid confronting the little homosexualist inside of us.

I was with a wonderful girl for six years. I knew I was gay but thought it was too small a part of my life; I was still going to get married and have kids and all that that entailed. When I actually told someone, said the words, confronted it, it became a much larger part of my life, all-encompassing at one stage.

It is true, when you confront your inner queerity, even in the relative isolation of cyberspace it blows up in your face (homogays do that often). The beauty of blogging is that, while the isolation is reassuring, it is also illusory. There is a world outside waiting to make contact. With blogging it is a quite specific and focussed contact so your relationship to those around you most often sits somewhere between nurturing and enticing.

One of the biggest shames of our world is that young guys and gals coming out are still pressured by the feeling that they are alone, that nobody else feels like them. How often do you hear the words, "I'm gay but I'm not like the rest of those gay men/women/menwomen". Blogging is a wonderful forum for newly-come-outers, young and old, to meet all the other people who are "not like anybody else".

I'll close with my favourite piece of advice. I know I have already said it to some but I'll say it again. Nothing has changed. You are still the same person you always have been, it is just now you acknowledge you like dick/vag (*delete as appropriate). What's more, to be gay liking others with the same bits you've got is pretty much the only pre-requisite; you don't have to wear anything different, listen to anything different, talk any different.

Keep on being you. Keep on being unlike anyone else. Everyone else knows you. They just know you a little better. They will deal with it. Just as you will.

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At 11:56 pm, Blogger Anomie-Atlanta said...

Wise words from a wise man.

At 12:36 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Thank you.

Now, can you snatch this pebble from my hand?

At 6:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head, we think like there's nobody else "like" us, but more so, we think people "like us" are hard to find. Little did I know the truth is waiting just around the courner at the local gay bar.


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2, 4, 6, 8, Who Do We Anticipate?

Loving cinema is loving a waiting game. That is why I adore it so. Anticipation makes the heart grow fonder.

And who do I crave? In no particular order, here is a far from exhaustive list:

Pedro Almodóvar, Michael Mann, David Lynch, David Fincher, Terry Gilliam, Brad Bird, The Coen Brothers, Michael Winterbottom, Guillermo del Toro, Chan-wook Park, Todd Haynes, Alfonso Cuarron and Terrence Malick.

Hang on, help is on its way. Everyone is making lists at the moment so here are my five most hot, hot, hotly anticipated forthcoming releases:

Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro won my undying cinematic affection after his thrilling gothic masterpiece El espinazo del diablo. I say undying because my love for his work has survived Mimic, Blade II and Hellboy, actually, I didn't mind that last one. By all accounts El laberinto del fauno is a fairytale masterwork of the blackest order that leaves punters in tears. Serve me up some of that shit.

I'm A Cyborg, But That's Okay!

Chan-wook Park's Old Boy is cinema at its most stylish, most provocative and most entertaining. I have been on the Park rollercoaster many times and I love the cleverly crafted cadence of his films. He is a master of the gruesome an obscene but I believe he shows his best work in the quieter moments of his film and that's why his next film excites me so. I'm A Cyborg, But That's Okay! centres on a girl who thinks she's a cyborg who falls in love with a psychiatric patient who thinks he can steal souls. Convinced? I am. Besides, it's for kids.


I had to see Iñarritu's debut, Amores perros twice; partly because Sr. Bernal was delectable but mainly because I was drunk and had to hold one eye closed just to see the subtitles. I knew I loved it though, which is more than I can say for his follow up, 21 Grams, which was choppy, in every way. Babel though, brings together actors and themes that I adore so I am sure he will pull it off.

The Fountain

I like a good brain fuck, that's why I love David Lynch. I love watching people walk out of films emphatically explaining to their bored girlfriends that they know exactly what the film meant when you know full well that the director himself doesn't even know, or care. By all accounts The Fountain is one of those films. Plus, I will finally begin to plug the gaping Aronofsky hole in my cinema going. I know, I know, it is a crime.

The Queen

Oh, hell, I've said it all before. I had to slip it in though because I am hanging out for this one. Yes, I could have replaced it with Children Of Men or Casino Royale but they don't have Dame Mirren in them so the decision was pretty much made for me. The only thing that could have topped Dame Mirren would have been Dame Dench... Mmmm... Dame Dench atop Dame Mirren... Damey goodness.

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At 9:40 am, Blogger Crushingly said...

For more Damey Goodness, anticipate "Notes on a Scandal" with Judi Dench, who is the Dame of all Dames, and Cate Blanchett.

At 9:59 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Thank you, I think I will!


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The King And The Clown (or, And the winner is not...)

Nathaniel, over at The Film Experience has been keeping a little list of the films that foreign lands have been nominating to step up for the race for next year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Korea just announced The King And The Clown as their official entry, a film that has been heralded by some (don't make me search for a link) as the Korean Brokeback Mountain. To celebrate (the nomination, not the Brokeback comparisons) I decided to watch it.

It's that time honoured story all over again: boy loves girly-boy, boy and girly-boy mock king, king likes boy, king REALLY likes girly-boy... trouble ensues.

The King And The Clown is a really solid film but it ain't no Brokeback Mountain. I don't say that to diminish the quality of Jun-ik Lee's feature, just to say that they don't share much in common in the "how gay are you" stakes. Probably due to the conservative nature of Korean society (the imdb boards have someone commenting that some elderly Koreans don't even believe homosexuality exists... have I got some videos for them!), The King And The Clown fits better into the very-strong-friendship-that-could-easily-be-construed-as-homosexual-love camp. In this respect, it is probably a little closer to The Lord of the Rings.

Tossing those concerns flagrantly aside, The King And The Clown is a sumptuous period piece with some extremely engaging performances and pretty costumes. The two clowns are genuinely charismatic and exceedingly easy on the eye. Jun-gi Lee is so stunning that he out-girls most of the concubines and his lover/bestest of best friends, Jang-sang (played by Woo-seong Kam) is just as stunning but in a more manly, tightrope walky sort of way. Their bawdy act is an extension of their characters and it is easy to see how they beguile the king, especially this one, since he is so vapidly one-dimensional.

The King was one of my biggest issues with the film. Historically, he was one of Korea's most tyrannical rulers but here he just comes across as petulant and capricious. In this, as with most of the film, I got a real sense that there is something more going on that wasn't being spelt out on the screen. Given that the film was a massive hit at home in Korea, I can't shake the feeling that there was a little culture barrier hindering my full enjoyment and understanding of the film (there is a four hour cut floating around too apparently, maybe that would help). Unfortunately, the king's characterisation made it difficult to buy into the drama of the film and ultimately hamstrung any emotional response.

The King And The Clown is not going to win the Oscar but a good film nonetheless. If you loved Sliding Doors then you should see this film because you have crap taste and this one is much better.

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At 6:13 am, Anonymous Per & Urban said...

I really liked this movie...I mean...not everyday we get a gay-themed-korean movie

At 8:11 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

True, but I felt it was more a film with gay overtones than a gay-themed film. As could be expected.

It is a huge step forward for Korean cinema though in terms of dealing with the issue.

Now, if only Chan-wook Park would pick up the ball and run with it.

Thanks for the link, Per, and for everything else. It is nice to know you are reading.


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The Hills Are Still Alive...

Plugga plug plug. Some more Australian music for you, which I forgot to let you know about yesterday. I don't know why I forgot because this is the one disc that stuck its hand in my ear and grabbed me by the balls.

Accipio is the latest release by Melbourne outfit Mountains In The Sky. They describe it as a single in five parts and, hell, they'd know. It runs for 21 minutes and it is a mesmerisingly intense sonic poem.

If you can't get your hands on the disc, the best way to experience the aural splendour of Accipio is to hunt down Mogwai and set them up on your front porch, then call Massive Attack and get them to sit across from Mogwai and play some of their darker b-sides from Mezzanine; finally, flick through your address book and give Tchaikovsky a bell and have him set in your living room playing selections from The Nutcracker. Now, position yourself somewhere between Mogwai and Massive Attack but not too far away from the front window that you can't hear Piotr. Can you hear it?

On second thought, just buy the cd or go to the show on October 12 at the Northcote Social Club. Or of course, if you have no dignity, you could of course go and listen over at their MySpace page. Urgh, now I feel dirty. See the things I do for you.

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At 4:19 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

pfft, why aren't you discussing Stephanie McIntosh! Clearly she is the Australian music revolution.

At 7:27 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Stephanie is already assured her success so I didn't want to cramp her style. Besides, she's dating Nick Riewoldt so she already has her just rewards for her talent.

You can take that aaaaany way you will!


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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's Through The Square Window?


Because I care about your listening pleasure.

Remember, you don't have to strain your eyes. You can click through and go full screen!!!

Top Left: The vid for Children by Battle. I found these guys over at Good Weather For Airstrikes but Neiles Life has a broader selection of tracks. I clicked instantly with their sound but that was probably because I am hankering for some new Bloc Party.

Top Right: Richard thrust My Latest Novel's album Wolves into my hand (the working one) for me to check out and I am suitably impressed. They're Scottish so you have to compare them to Belle and Sebastian and, let's just say, they hold up well. There a great range on the album and some nifty use of instrumentation. You, them, fetch!

Bottom Left: The Crayon Fields... Glen has been in my ear about these guys' EP ever since we caught them supporting The Shins (or was it Love Outside Andromeda? I can't recall). Well, I have finally listened to there album, Animal Bells, and it is good, really good. This is a live vid from the album launch a couple of weeks back but hop over to their *cough*MySpace*cough* page for their more polished sound.

Bottom Right: Finally, Midlake, I hunted them out in preparation for Meredith this year. I eventually found their latest release in Richard's CD mountain and he graciously lent it me. Love this track. The Chinese cello puts me in mind of Yo Yo Ma's work on the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon score. I am really looking forward to catching these guys now.

My work here is done!

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At 11:34 am, Blogger richardwatts said...

Glad you liked My Latest Novel - seeing them live at their debut single launch was one of the highlights of my time in Glasgow.

At 12:04 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Love them (as you knew I would!)

Still working through the rest. Didn't go much on McLuskey; I think that time has passed for me.

Loving Mountains In The Sky, though. Actually, I think I'll beat the gong and announce my love to anyone who cares... brb

At 12:44 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...


And they're playing on the 12th. Can you scam another night off?

Tee hee!

At 10:48 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Probably not, alas, especially seeing as I want to go to the opening night of MIAF...

Which reminds me...

Wanna be my handbag for a couple of Fringe shows?


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The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (or, Singing In The New Wave)

Do you remember videotapes? Remember how precious they were when you needed to tape something and you couldn't find one? Remember when you would grab one in desperation and your sister would claim that you couldn't tape on it because she had taped A Country Practice three weeks ago and hadn't watched it yet?

One tape I had locked up and off limits contained on its magnetic spool Goddard's À bout de souffle. It sat there for an eternity. It was going to be my entrée into the French New Wave but I never got around to watching it.

Last night, on a whim, I decided to side-step Goddard and slip my toes into the New Wave by way of Jaques Demy's Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. It was divine.

A colour-saturated sing-a-long doesn't scream New Wave but The Umbrellas of Cherbourg does toy with the conventions of the established musical genre in eschewing the overblown and concerning itself with a decidedly mundane, down to earth plot just like its more illustrious cousins. Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve in her prime) is in love with Guy (some good looking frenchman in her prime), mother doesn't approve and complications ensue.

It's not a musical per se. There are no songs, no dance numbers, no set pieces; the closest thing you'll probably get to describing it is an opera without the arias. It is pretty much entirely recitative, there is not a spoken line to be found. The music ranges from snappy jazz to the grandiosity of the epic movie scores of Hollywood.

The effect of pairing the banal and the operatic is beguiling, and the colours, well...

The beauty of the film is that what it leaves unspoken unsung rings true. To say too much would spoil the experience so all I'll say is that in the end The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is compellingly human and manages to stay in your head far longer than you ever would have expected at the outset.

Now I feel like a swim. New Wave fest anyone?

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At 4:10 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

ugh, I've wanted to see that movie for so long.

Damn you! Damn you and your access to European movies that I can't get anywhere!

At 6:47 am, Blogger czechOUT said...

no, that is never C deneuve.

anyway there is a recent musical version, with the ever effervescent song about the twins (think Gemeni, les gemeux os something...sorry frenched out), But I have it and it's fun.

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

Oh, and BTW, do you feel the change of these 2 seasons down under? As in definite change?

I'd like to compile experiences to do a post on the change of season. Not like the change of life, mind! Just email me your experience if you feel it.

czechOUT: Sadly, Turns The Season

At 9:21 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Um, it is definitely Ms Deneuve circa 1964, you can check out the film's imdb page if you want a second opinion.

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort was Demy's follow up film three years later and it also starred young Catherine.

As for the seasons. I have been in London all year so I can't really comment. I'll keep an eye out though.


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Monday, September 25, 2006

Bath House Bette

I just sat through the documentary Gay Sex In The Seventies (no need to describe what that documentary was documenting). I missed it a couple of years back at MQFF mainly because of a general apathy towards the subject matter. It wasn't a great documentary but it was interesting enough and there were plenty of moustache-laden photographs to evoke those bygone days.

Titillation aside, the line the filmmakers drew through the repression of the fifties, the liberation and free love of the late sixties and seventies, and the AIDS crisis of the eighties illuminated, and went some way towards explaining, the development of the sex-centric self-identification of the "gay community" en masse. As a community we are still wearing the aftermath of the shaking off of the fifties, and the AIDS epidemic only compounded the need for sex to be at the centre of our lives. But this is a bigger discussion and I want to talk about bathhouses!

I have always been fascinated with sex on premises venues and beats and the like. I have never partaken, and never really wanted to, but I am intrigued by their existence and co-existence with the straight world. Imagine my delight when in their description of the New York City bathhouses of the seventies (the ones with restaurants and dancefloors) the "talking heads" reminisced about how they would put on shows and that one of the many famous performers was Bette Midler, accompanied on piano by a young Barry Manilow.

Bette got her big break in the Continental Bathhouse. Now that is class. Apparently she used to come onstage with a big basket of poppers to scatter into the audience.

Famous celebrities ended up frequenting the shows at the bathhouses. Can you see that happening today? Lisa McCune attending a Marina Prior concert at Club 80?

Eventually, of course, the poor gay men were driven away by the pushy straights and had to go elsewhere to have their anonymous sex.

It reminds me of an SCTV comedy sketch, which I have located for your viewing pleasure: Edith Prickley Live at the Bath House


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At 12:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That reads like this the first time you've ever heard of Bette Midler performing at bath houses; surely that can't be the case? That's like being a Judy Garland fan and not knowing she was in 'The Wizard of Oz'.

At 12:18 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Judy Garland was in 'The Wizard of Oz'!?! Next you'll be telling me she was an alcoholic.

It is actually the first I've heard of it. It would be a stretch to call me a Midler fan. I liked 'Outrageous Fortune' and 'Big Business' but I wouldn't be racing to the stores to pick up her autobiography.

Actually, after this maybe I would.


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The Devil Wears Prada (or, The Princess Diaries III)

Last night, along with half the women and gay men in the inner city, we popped out to see Meryl Streep bitching it up in The Devil Wears Prada. It turned out to be a decidedly light-hearted, well acted, stylish bit of fun. I really enjoyed it. For some reason (probably Streep's presence) I was expecting something a little more weighty. I was glad it wasn't.

The cast was superb. Hathaway's BIG brown eyes threatened to swallow everything in their sight, Tucci was just the right side of overacting, Streep was, well, Streep and Adrian Grenier and Simon Baker-Denny (he'll always be Simon Baker-Denny to me) were there to pretty things up.

I was hoping for a bit more bitchiness, I haven't read the book but I've heard that they have played down the Miranda Priestly character in order to humanise her a little. I don't think she was fleshed out all that well but she served her purpose in the scheme of things.

Not wanting to sound too gay but the clothes were fantastic and they certainly managed to distract from the fact that Hathaway's character didn't seem to be having the crisis of conscious that everyone was telling her she was having. Workplace politics are evident everywhere and the evil decisions that had to be made here in the world of fashion publishing seemed a lot more like good business than treading on underlings.

Then again, like I said, The Devil Wears Prada is a confection. Watching this made me realise what every Failure To Launch and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is trying to be. It is a solid movie despite its fluffiness. Consider it recommended.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Pedro!

Almodóvar notches up another year today. I don't think there is really any better way I can celebrate this oft celebrated auteur of modern cinema than to blather on about how I came to love him and his work. So in the words of Christina Aguilera: ven conmigo.

It all began at the Longford Cinema on Toorak Road, which has long since closed. I was staying with my sister, who had just moved to Melbourne, and I had (foolishly) chosen to see Verbert's The Dinner Game. Urgh, bad film, but it was there that I saw the trailer for Todo sobre mi madre. The beauty of it was that there were three old ladies sitting in front of me, their blue wigs obscured the screen a little but they were immensely entertaining. The scene went something like this:
3 Little Biddies: Ooh, that looks lovely!
3 Little Biddies: Ooh, this one looks very nice.
3 Little Biddies: Ooh, she's beautiful.
3 Little Biddies: Oh, this looks interesting...
3 Little Biddies: Oh dear, I don't think, um, er...
I knew right away I had found a new favourite director and I hadn't even seen one of his films yet.

When I managed to finally catch All About My Mother at the Luna Cinema in Perth I was about two weeks away from heading over to Spain for the first time. The shot when the camera crests the summit of Montjuïc to reveal the geometric splendour of Barcelona's streetlights made my whole trip tantalisingly real. The ease with which Almodóvar could slip a pregnant, HIV infected, transexual-loving nun into a story without losing the "normalcy" left me amazed. I laughed, I cried, I ached. I fell in love with the film and its father.

And then I left for Spain.

In Spain I found another home and my first love, Joaquín (okay, my second, after Pedro). For almost a year I soaked up the Spanish sun, vino con Casera, bullfights and art. I left shattered (boyfriends are shit) and aching to go back and it was Pedro who took me there.

Don (suprise, suprise) was there to help me pick up the pieces, Don and Planet Video. We started with Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, which Don already had in his extensive (and yet to be stolen) dvd collection. Ah, gazpacho... everything took me back. I remember having had a conversation with Joaquín about Rossy de Palma and how Almodóvar had made her and her freakishly striking looks into an internationally renowned actress and model. Women On The Verge... is a textbook example of millisecond-perfect comic timing.

I don't remember the order we watched the rest but they tumbled freely off the videostore shelves. I think the first stash included Labyrinth of Passion, Live Flesh, Matador and Pepi, Luci, Bom.... I certainly remember taking in Matador with Neale delighted with the blood and spectacle on the neighbouring couch. I instantly loved Live Flesh and to this day it remains one of my favourite of Almodóvar's oeuvre. Structurally it is exquisitely taut and the layers of guilt that blanket the characters is immensely powerful. Bardem and Rabal's "revealing" acting made everything that little bit more worthwhile.

As we mined the back catalogue so quickly everything is a bit of a blur. What stands out? Chus Lampreave in What Have I Done To Deserve This?, that woman cracks me up; Victoria Abril as Andrea Caracortada in Kika, as well as Pedro's mother as the illiterate host of a literature television show, classic; Antonio in, well, everything; oh, and the pissing scene in Pepi, Luci, Bom... I could go on forever, such a wealth of cinema consumed in a few short days.

And then the waiting game began.

One of the desperations of living in the antipodes is that it takes a while for films to make their way down. I can't really say they were worth the wait. Despite the critics all clambering over themselves to go ga-ga over Almodóvar's toenail clippings, I personally found Talk To Her and Bad Education confused and disjointed. I loved their aesthetics and that performance by Caetano Veloso by the swimming pool is worth the price of admission alone but I felt they lacked the cohesion of Pedro's earlier works.

And that pretty much brings us to now. Much of the world waits to see if Almodóvar is able to deliver another cinematic diamond. Anyone who has seen Volver will readily let you know that he can. God knows how long my compatriots will have to wait to see it if they missed its surprise screening at MIFF this year, luckily this time around I didn't have to wait.

Don Pedro, for the joy you have given me, for that link back to the insanity of your country, for the characters and the colours, I thank you.

Happy birthday.

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At 11:15 am, Blogger richardwatts said...

My first Almodovar experience was Law of Desire - ahhh, Antonio - followed by Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Soon after that the Valhalla - also long gone - showed a retrospective including Labyrinth of Passion and Dark Habits. Intoxicating cinema.

At 11:46 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

It is intoxicating cinema. It drugs you and then has its way with you.

Naughty, cinema!

I have to say that I have never been a huge fan of Law of Desire. I should revisit it because on paper it should be the one film I adore above all other. Carmen, Antonio, Bibi. And it is probably his most overtly homo film (not that the others aren't but here it is squarely in the centre).

I have it to watch. Maybe today.

At 5:08 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

I unfortunately haven't seen anything of Almodovar's pre-The Flower of My Secret. I wish I could but they don't seem to be available anywhere (they released a box set recently but I can't find it anywhere).

All About My Mother was my first Almodovar experience too. Just sublime and, as of right now, sits pretty comfortably in my Top 25 of all-time list (well, the unorganised mess that is)

At 5:18 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

I've had to order most of mine in from the States but they are slowly getting a local release. They just released a second box set in the UK so it may come out here soon.

If I were you, I'd head for "Women On The Verge...", then a "Law of Desire"/"What Have I Done..." double bill because there an amazing link between the last scene of the first film and the first scene of the second.

Then "Kika", it is a confused film but has some superb moments.

I envy you your journey.

At 7:56 am, Anonymous Per as in Per & Urban said...

For some reason Mike Scott, I think you know how devoted I am to Almodóvar..

I've already watched Volver twice and cannot wait for it to be released on DVD. I've never seen a better Penelope Cruz...

At 8:06 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

I had an inkling, Per.

I agree, Cruz is fantastic in Volver. She is so strong and yet so fragile.

You know what? The other role I really liked her in was Cameron Crowe's remake of Abre los ojos. She was so charming in that film, one of the few good things about it.


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How Time Flies...

12 November 1997
Well, look who has been neglecting his diary, nearly a whole fucking year has gone by and I haven’t written a word. Well I really cannot go all the way into what has happened this year, and rereading this diary I notice that I have been hugely focused on sex. Needless to say, I haven’t collected in that department yet but all the feelings that I have described, the hopefulness and the dreaming the imaginings and the lust is still there but now so much a part of my waking hours that they really are beyond comment.

I suppose this diary has thus far been a documentation of my coming out and that is really quiet tedious so I have decided at this point to open up this diary to my complete arena of thoughts. That said, I will still recount the one major event in this facet of my life. Yes I went to Connections last holidays... And it was really ordinary. Mind you I had just come out of a rather sombre movie and I was feeling quite a bit of trepidation and I was driving so I was not able to drink. The music was bad and dancey- I think that they only played one decent song (and I am listening to it right now) Björk’s Hyper-ballad. Otherwise it was pretty dull. I did meet up with Mark with whom I went to school and was once very very intimate friends (though not completely intimate) with. He is still as dull as two planks, but then I was not in a very good mood at the time, there was really nothing completely remarkable about the night, or maybe it is too long ago for me to want to go into all the gory details of the whole affair. Though I may feel differently next time I go back.

In other late breaking news, I met a girl named Jo and she wanted to have a “good time” which I had to put a stop to, unfortunately I didn’t put a stop to it soon enough which caused a bit of heartache. I couldn’t help but feel that I had gone back in time and was in another one of those conversations with Mel in which I tried to talk around or dodge around all the questions which were being thrown at me. This was made extremely difficult by Jo who pulled an I am being totally honest stunt and worst of all she was, totally. This made me, on the flip side, look and feel terribly stupid and immature and in many ways I have in this affair been very childish, short sighted and self involved. For a start, even if I did not want to admit the possibility to myself I was trying in some part to win her and to that end I used sexual messages. Of course I knew that they didn’t mean anything and I think that a lot of the messages were purely my feeling far more liberated than I have in the sexual sphere in the past, unfortunately I neglected to make it explicit that I did not mean anything to come of the whole deal.

I must admit that the unveiling of Jo’s feelings for me still came as a shock to me purely because I didn’t believe that I was good enough to warrant that kind of affection. I am eager to play the whole thing down to inexperience and naivete but there is still something inside of me that says that the whole affair was carried out with barrels of subconscious thought on my part and I know now that I shall never put anyone in that situation again if I can help myself. As it is I am going to try to build a friendship out of this horror story, keep you posted...

25 November 1997
A short thought on the issue of trust despite knowing where it came from. Important? I think so, we all want it but for most of us it is incredibly hard to give. I for one don’t believe that it is easy to receive either though it is immeasurably easier to receive than it is to give - in opposition to many things in life. What do we get from giving such an integral piece of ourselves to another person? Happiness? Possibly but I think that that is only an welcomed spin off. Security? I suppose though it takes a strong person to divulge themselves so wholly that they have complete ease of spirit that their trust is so well founded. Connection? Most definitely for there is no avenue to complete connection if it is not the giving of the innermost part of the soul. Open your chest to everyone and you are likely to get your heart wrenched out of it, it takes trust to be able to become so vulnerable.

How can we gauge trust? It is a most pressing question, when does someone become deserving of our complete trust? When they ask for it or say that they deserve it? Surely not it is not there place to say and yet we constantly claim to be worthy of the trust of others. And yet the yielding of trust differs from person to person. Why do we feel we can trust someone immediately and others never? And why is it sometimes the people we love most that are the hardest to trust? Perhaps because we have so much more to lose, yet it is these people that we should trust the most.

Anyway it is under two weeks until the end of term and I am bored shitless every day after school. I don’t know why because I have plenty of things to do, maybe it is just anticipation of something big, though I don’t know what that is because I don’t feel particularly portentous. I keep thinking about next year though and how different it is going to be, how I will no longer be able to teach everyone and although I never thought that I would say it, I will really miss that. I suppose I am getting by though by trying to organise this trip to Melbourne for next years ski season. I still don’t think that it will come off but it is good to hope. Actually I think what I am most upset about is that I will not be able to teach the High School class next year because I really enjoyed the group of kids this year and the way that you could reason with them and discuss issues that they feel important about. I think that I could have done so much with them but that is all lost now because Justo is still going to be here next year and will probably fuck arse around all year again and those kids will learn nothing.

Previous diary entries:
I Wanna Play
Confessions of an Amateur Melodramatist
Before I Sleep a.k.a. Diary Drowsiness
Goodbye 1996!!!
Back To The Bush

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Break Up Albums

Stu sent me a link today to a website garnering votes for an upcoming ABC special titled My Favourite Album. Yadda yadda. Another poll show. This one may be good though, ten albums over ninety minutes so it could be quite in-depth.

I shudder to think what the albums will be. Freight Train Heart? Whispering Jack? I suppose it is all down to who gets to voting. I know Stuart will be pulling for The Cure. I suppose the only way to fight the beer monsters and make this show entertaining is to go forth and vote, so once more unto the breach, dear friends, or close the wall up with our indie-rock dead.

But that is not why I am here. I am here to talk about break up albums because one of the links on the aforementioned page is for the Top 5 Break Up Albums. I was surprised as hell to see my break up album there. This one:

It has served me well when I have been tossed asunder. But don't fret, it is a solid album even in the happiest of states so do check it out.

My other two favourite break up albums are Madonna's Ray of Light (one of the only times I listen to it) and Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral. Happy happy happy.

What brings me to comment though is the fact that I don't have a break up album this time around. I think that is testament to the fact that I am not coping too well with the whole affair. I get the feeling every now and then that I have locked it all away a little too securely so that I can deal with all the other shit that has accompanied the break up. The veneer cracked a little on the Saturday night in Daylesford and I felt like I was about to be swallowed by the whole experience but I stuck my finger in the dyke (how apt) and trapped it all inside.

I am going to have to let it out soon I suppose.



At 11:08 pm, Blogger Anomie-Atlanta said...

A great breakup song is "Breath Me" by Sia. Don't approach a short wallow in sadness with trepidation, it's cleansing. I'm sure there is someone perfect for you right around the corner.

At 12:46 am, Blogger czechOUT said...

The most significant in my life album? I think it must be "The Queen Is Dead".

In the meantime, as you might have guessed, I love musicals and world musicals. At the moment I'm concentrating on CZ ones. What do you make of Lucie Bila? You like it? I *love* it. It's...sympa

czechOUT: **250**

At 5:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha... that's my breakup album too. I like to think of it as a big musical hug. I listened to it so much when I realised that my boy in London that I was moving over to be with was no longer my boy. The good thing with it is that it's not a negative album, as you're saying: it's immensely positive. I listened to it because it indulged my bad feelings but also gave me a lift.
-Andrew (non-Irish)

At 12:53 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

The only problem is, when you use an album so extensively for breakups they tend to soak up some of that negative energy.

I seldom listened to The Reindeer Section or Snow Patrol for a long time after the last breakup because it was too steeped in memories.

On the flipside, you know that you are over a breakup when you can gleefully listen to the album again. That's kinda cool too.


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Q and A, Without the Qs

Another Thursday, another dose of Q+A. Nothing new there.

Fun night. Busy night. Late night.

Shamil and Neale rocked up in their suits after "networking" at Fruits and Suits. Hmmm "networking", sounds suspiciously like Orwellian doublespeak to me. I am going to tag along next month for some "networking" too.

I was unceremoniously introduced to my first real life Melbourne bloggers, R*Y A N and Downunderpants D-U-P. I was rather skittish and had to chase after my friends before they were mistaken for accountants (in good suits) so I only very briefly spoke to Ryan but I returned later to help DUP unleash himself on a poor unsuspecting target. I hope he was successful, I didn't see how it turned out.

That's all. I just wanted an excuse to post those photos. Barry is a strange place without the punters.

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At 12:03 pm, Blogger R*Y A N said...

thanks for the mention, mike.

it was good to meet you, albeit all too briefly.

beer on me next time we bump into one another at barry's.


At 12:44 pm, Blogger YarravillePaul said...

maybe the next bloggers get together could be at Fruits in Suits?

At 7:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nice to finaly meet, I had a ball. Now if you don't mind I'm off to read through the rest of your blog. I hate to be caught out twice!

See you next time!

At 10:37 pm, Anonymous belial said...

We were horribly overdressed, but thankfully I was too pissed to care. Glad you liked the new suit Mike. We must see you out in yours again :)

By all means come along to FIS. The more the merrier... though it was packed tighter than Barry this week!

At 7:50 pm, Anonymous shamil said...

Oi I do not look like an accountant in a suit. More like a cabdriver moonlighting as a chauffeur. Anything but an accountant.

I'm rather over FIS but will no doubt see youse there next month.

As for Barry I just think its the jeans he wears.


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Handy Flip Flops

Went in and saw Kate again yesterday. Foolishly, I managed to get the wrong time but she fantastically saw me into her lunch hour, despite my protestations.

The ultrasound has been scheduled but I may not need it after all. Kate is a little more confident now that everything is intact.

All back on track then. Back to therapy. On to putty.

At least now I get to reek my revenge on every character from every crappy claymation serial ever screened on the ABC.

"You screwed up my childhood you oddly-shaped little fucker!!!" AAaaargh!!!

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Love and Picasso's Stash (of Art)

Nu (Paris 1941)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

I caught the NGV's, almost ready to depart, exhibition, Picasso - Love & War 1935-1945 yesterday and it was two hours well spent.

The exhibition expertly humanises one of the most influential and iconic artists in one of his most influential and iconic periods through his ten year relationship with the photographer Dora Maar.

Morrissey met Marr Picasso was enthralled by Maar while extricating himself from his former lover, with whom he had a daughter. He wasn't in the painting mood and hadn't been for almost a year. Maar drew him out of that and spurred him to work his way back to the canvas by way of the etching plate. As much as I love Picasso's painting, I adore his etchings and prints above all else. His curves and lines are so fluid and expressive. This made up much of the exhibition, so I was resolutely impressed.

La minotauromachie VII (Paris 1935)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

I am also a fan of Picasso's minotaur fixation. Maar's photos of him and the bull's skull are exquisite and hammer home how strongly Picasso took on this image of himself as half man-half bull. (He was certainly hung like one... I didn't say that... this is art appreciation, ladies!)

Picasso avec le crâne de Minotaure (Mougins 1937)
Dora Maar

Guernica (Paris 1937)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

Maar, as well as being an influential artist in the surrealist movement, was a keen observer and documenter of Picasso's work. Her series of photos capturing the creation of Guernica is mesmerising. I still remember the tears that fell down my face when I stood in front of the huge canvas in El centro de arte Reina Sofía. It is an extremely powerful work, and to see it slowly coming together is a marvel.

Composition (Minotaure et femme) (Paris 1936)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

Maar was also an obsessive collector ("to the point of superstition," I think was the phrase the audioguide used) and the snippets she kept of her life with Picasso are possibly the most evocative of the exhibition. Doodles on napkins, love poems in books, even a slip of paper with Picasso's blood, these "ephemera" have the power to transport you back to the cafés of pre-war Paris and bring you tantalisingly close to the man himself.

Dormeuse aux persiennes (Juan-Les-Pins 1936)
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

The exhibition drew positive reviews in Paris and Melbourne is the only other city on this fair planet to host it. Punters have been coming from interstate and, I imagine, overseas to see it, so what is your excuse? Get your fanny down there.

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At 6:41 pm, Blogger YarravillePaul said...

I agree, it is a great exhibition.

The short period represented reinforced the prolific nature of his creativity.

I have no art-history background, but with the iPod tour guide, became quickly lost in the impact of one person (Maar), and the times they lived in, on the work and life of another (Picasso)

Thanks for the reminder

At 10:28 am, Blogger Gay boy comes to London said...

I absolutely love Picasso's work. The 1st I saw at a random visit to Tate Modern, London. 'The Dream', aka, the lady in the red chair. It was just mesmerizing, I loved it.

The surreal pieces they have on display are brilliant.

This post is like the one I did when I visited Tate, good one.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trading Off The Code

Tomorrow night on the ABC, we are being treated to The Michelangelo Code. Purleese! It seems you can sell anything to middle Amestralia by bookending it with The...Code.

I want a piece of the action.

"Codes" I'd like to see:

The Bacon Code

Just like The Da Vinci Code but the art is more interesting and Jesus' daughter has three bleeding breasts and a jawless head.

The Geddes Code

Anne Geddes has locked away in her photographs the horrifying secret that Celine Dion is not only the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but she also ate Jesus' firstborn. Yummy.

The Done Code

Heaven save our souls. A study of Ken's works reveals the sacred bloodline is alive and well, living in Sydney, wearing fluorescent parachute pants and listening to John Farnham.

The Serrano Code

The Catholic church sends out its cronies to silence the truth about Jesus' incontinence and penchant for watersports. (Oh, I'm going to hell for that one!)

The Hirst Code

Shock horror! Jesus has returned, he just hasn't revealed his glory to us because he is preserved in formaldehyde and on display in some hip hop star's penthouse in southern California.

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At 12:07 am, Anonymous Donald said...

LOL! I particularly love the Geddes Code, and more to the point, am starting to believe it. Hi-larious.

At 7:35 am, Blogger Steven said...

Very funny. The Done Code is frightening!

At 1:56 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Does being an adherent to the Bacon Code mean I get to have a hunky working class lover played by Daniel Craig, please?

At 3:51 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

It certainly does.

It also means that when we film you having sex (because we will) the shot has to be reflected in the bowl of a spoon.

Don't ask me, it's art, I don't understand it.

At 8:10 pm, Blogger R*Y A N said...

hilarious! nice work, mike. :)

At 10:43 pm, Anonymous belial said... only takes one mortal sin to get you to hell. I figure you, me and a whole pile of others are going there anyway. You might as well get your money's worth.

At 1:18 am, Blogger Mamluke said...

lurve these - had a great laugh this morning - love the dion dig as well since of course we already thought she was evil. ;)


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Heaven Doesn't Understand, Nor Does Howard

Further to my former post on music I fondly remember from Spain, I hunted down this clip for El cielo no entiende by OBK.

My ex once described OBK as two gay men trying to sound like Depeche Mode. Puede ser.

The clip is sweet and only goes to show how far behind our country is falling in the let's treat our citizens like human beings race. This clip is over five years old now and it was very mainstream.

It is kind of ironic that my Spanish friends looked on Australia as some kind of gay paradise.

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Clap Your Hands, Say No!

Well, the looks I was urged not to misconstrue a few weeks ago seem now like they were perfectly construed at the time. As Kate glared quizzically at my fingers flopping around in hers, she said the fateful words, "I don't think the tendons have taken."

About half an hour beforehand the doctor had ensured me that they had but, by all accounts, this is not a perfect science and it is a hard call to make. As time moves on, and my fingers don't, it seems less and less likely that the abundant scar tissue is locking the tendons down and more and more like they aren't actually attached.

So where to from here? Kate is checking back with the doctor, then probably an ultra-sound, if there are no tendons in place then they need to insert a sheath into my finger to hold a new one and then graft it in three months later. Hoorah for surgery!

It seems nobody will be happy till my hand looks like the map of the Paris Metro.

It is disheartening doing exercises for a hand that isn't going to work properly. Not that I'm giving up, but my hand does feel a little more like a piece of meat hanging from my wrist.

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At 6:45 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Well, some of them move, so that's a start! *hug*

At 11:08 pm, Anonymous Ange said...

Hey chicken,

Sorry to hear your hand's not healing as quickly as it should, but enjoy it while you can - at least you're getting out of doing the dishes and sweeping the floor and cleaning the gutters! It'll be fixed before you know it, and then it's back to manual labour you go!!

x Ange

At 1:05 am, Anonymous Donald said...

Well, not to get all camp-counsellor on your ass, but keep in mind:

1. The doctor did say the rate of rehabilitation depended upon the extent of the injury (so those two fingers were always going to take much longer than the third) plus he said it was still 'early days';


2. Assumptions about cautionary steps (by Kate or anyone else), can be (mis)construed just as much as 'looks'! There is no point concluding the worst until the appropriate tests and examinations are done.

Try and keep up with your exercises until you know for sure, okaaay?!

Don't make me come back there and kill yo' cat.

Miss ya,

D x

At 9:20 am, Anonymous shamil said...

yes - everything Donald said (but more slurred-like).

At 9:33 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

What? You're going to kill my caaaa'?


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Monday, September 18, 2006

Face Augmentation

GrinLa Michael Jackson
I've picked up a penchant for taking photos with enhanced features. The world is always prettier if you smile. The first I snapped at Q+A on Thursday (people should dispose of their garbage better) and the other at the second hand bookshop on the lake in Daylesford.

I've started a Flickr group named Augmented Reality so you can join in the fun. Go on, be a devil!

Oh, and I didn't end up buying LaToya's autobiography; instead, I picked up some poetry because I don't read enough of it, Walt Whitman and Wilfred Owen. I am sure they will pop up here soon when something takes my fancy.

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A Weekend In The Country

More DinnerFriends Are For ThisDaylesford ViewsBreakfast of ChampionsSpa Spangled BathLeggyDancing QueensThe CreaturePosseHonkBoathouseMe Eats Brunch
That was the weekend that was. Three words can pretty much sum up the whole lot: lasagne, wine, spa.


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