Friday, March 30, 2007

Zodiac: A (soon to be) Film Exposed Review

This one will pop up on Film Exposed when it is released in the UK... have a sneak peek. I'll update the link as soon as it is posted.

Zodiac (15)

Dir: David Fincher, 2007, USA, 158 mins
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Cloë Sevigny

David Fincher has had something of a charmed career delving into the darker side of the human psyche. His first take on the serial killer movie, Se7en (1995) stands as a modern day benchmark and heralded in a battery of pale imitators. Now, over ten years on, Fincher returns to the genre, tackling the true-life figures of San Francisco’s Zodiac murders, real people who, in no small part, informed a generation of filmmakers and ushered in the cinematic stalwart, Dirty Harry (1971).

Zodiac hit the headlines in 1969 when he wrote letters to San Francisco’s major newspapers confessing to the recent murder a couple of teenagers, gifting his identity to the authorities in a coded message, and promising a killing spree should the letters not be published. The case took a macabre stranglehold on the city for over a decade and took the lives of Homicide Inspector David Toschi (Ruffalo), the Chronicle’s crime writer, Paul Avery (Downey Jr.), and resident cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal) into the grip of a murky obsession.

Luckily, obsession is Fincher’s bread and butter and he is able to spread it thickly, and with a studded hunting knife. There is a careful, composed, almost fetishist power to the murder scenes in Zodiac. Fincher eschews purely dramatic re-enactments and instead brings his innovative cinematic eye to the violent killings. It is interesting that these de bravura moments are nestled in between rather conventional, though exquisitely realised, procedural drama. Downey Jr brings a tragi-comic majesty to Avery, in a performance that seems to underpin the very style of the film, and Gyllenhaal’s doe-eyed stares have managed (yet again) to find him perfectly cast, this time as the chronically-misfit Graysmith, on whose one-man-crusading work the film is based.

Zodiac is a dense, measured and meticulously detailed film. When Graysmith walks into the Vallejo County Police Station and is greeted with a wall of files and evidence, it is easy to believe the immensity of the case, given the film’s constant barrage of names, places, faces, scenes, reports and ciphers. The resulting tone is dry but intoxicating. Intoxicating to the point that it is no great leap to buy into the feverish obsession of Graysmith. Everyone in the audience gets a tantalising taste of that dangerous game.

And so does the director.

It is clear that Fincher and the film’s writer, James Vanderbilt, have been caught up in the Zodiac’s allure. While the film takes its lead from Graysmith’s works, the filmmakers have sought to underpin his investigations with their own footwork and they have pointed their own fingers. Obsessives unconnected with the film have debunct the final conclusions of Zodiac, claiming they have been clouded by Graysmith’s distorted take. At the same time though, these same critics praise the film’s acknowledgement that the case is now blanketed in second guesses and misremembered happenings.

It is a kind of knowing nod that confirms Zodiac’s place outside the genre. The film is less concerned with the actual crimes than the effects that crimes have on the lives of those on the periphery. An entangling film that will have audiences leaving cinemas ever so slightly scarred.

Michael Scott

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At 10:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick note to any Zodiac fans.

Zodiac author Robert Graysmith (played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the film) is answering questions about the investigation, story and film via a UK film promo site at:

If you are interested go to the homepage and click the Telephone to access the Forum.

There is a Ask a Question Topic - post there - and Robert will Answer your question in time.

Thanks for your time - hope it's of interest.


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New Music Bianually

What was going to be a monthly feature has turned into something a little more sporadic. Don't act surprised!

As a result this music is not particularly new but I'll offer it up anyway.

Read it like a book:

Brett Anderson is proving there is good music after Suede with Love Is Dead, silverchair's Straight Lines exposes Daniel Jons' dancing is anything but, Innocence is high on Björk's release schedule, or so this promo clip would suggest, and Bloc Party sings The Prayer, just as I'm praying some tix for their concert will come up cheap on ebay.


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Impressionism The Aussie Way

Let me start with the obligatory apology for posting so infrequently over the past month. The reason is three-fold, and then you get a lovely paper swan!

Now, I'll get into it, typing onehandedly.

Once upon a time, long long ago, I went to the opening of the NGV's latest mega-exhibition, Australian Impressionism. It was an affair crammed to capacity with Victoria's well-preserved elite. In between scoffing down mini pie floaters and quaffing red, we listened to countless speakers paying their respects to the Kulin Nation, despite the fact that if they'd shown up they'd have been turned away at the glass doors.

The endless speeches had one theme: we're so good, nobody refused us a lend of their paintings. (Though that begs the question - why didn't anyone ask to borrow McCubbin's triptych, 'The Pioneers'?)

At least they were telling the truth. The exhibition is impressive and exhaustively covers the careers of McCubbin, Roberts, Condor, Streeton and some token female whose worth they've "discovered".

Walking through the exhibition, the nation building nature of the happy little band of plein-air painters, who were to become known as The Australian Impressionists, is seen in every brush stroke. These images, especially the huge canvases in the final hall are burnt into our consciousness as richly as any mythology.

But it is the quieter, less obviously considered works that shine in this exhibition, the works from around Mentone and the notorious 9x5 panels, the largest collection to be shown since the notorious exhibition.

Go, see for yourself. Can't type anymore... hand tired.

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At 10:53 am, Anonymous shamil said...

looks stunning. I dunno but I always think the blurry eye effect of impressionism works better for Australian landscapes. Then again maybe that's because I always see the Australian landscape through bleary eyes.

As for the Kulin nation homage - well intentioned I know but mere symbolism no?

In other news I cannot be bothered getting out of bed and into the plane to Perth so I'm gunna change the ticket to later in May. Ho hum.


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The Good Shepherd (or, How NOT To Succeed At Filmaking By Trying Really Hard)

The Good Shepherd + comfy recliner + wine = zzzzzz

The only thing that kept me awake was Mr Sharma's witty banter.

De Niro's ham-fisted attempt at sitting behind the camera quickly descends into monotonous and unashamed patriotism. Yes, you'd expect a little of that given that the film deals with the birth of the C.I.A. but I didn't think I was going to have to sit through countless scenes of men spewing their love for Ol' Man Sam.

The Good Shepherd sports an all star cast doing their all star thing. Jolie vamps, Cruddup charms, Gambon austeres. Of special mention is Matt Damon who pulls out such a lifeless performance that at times I thought he was channeling Charlton Heston.

Stay away!

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At 10:18 am, Blogger cloudcontrol said...

argh... torn! I haven't seen this yet, but I was goingto get around to it... and Arden said it was good... and you two are my blog film reviewers of choice....

whom to believe!?

I guess I'll have to site through it and make up my own mind... damnit.

At 12:04 am, Blogger YarravillePaul said...

have to agree...was major-ly disappointed by this film


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Wilde (or, How To Succeed At Homosexuality Without Really Trying!)

I have never made secret of the fact that I'd shag Stephen Fry. I don't know what it is. Brains are sexy.

What I love about Wilde is that even that Stephen Fry is nothing like Stephen Fry when he is playing our green carnation sporting hero, there is still a sense that he is still himself. That sounds confusing, I know. What I am trying to say is that Fry so inhabits Wilde that you don't think of Fry but when you take a second look, you realise that there is not really all that much difference going on. In many respects they are two petals on the same rose.

Wilde lived in an age when homogaysexuality was not considered a "lifestyle" and Fry's performance portrays that beautifully. he is simply a aesthete, a walking social commentary who can't help himself. He is a figure to be pitied but only in the respect that he didn't know when to tell the wrong people to fuck off. Then, who could tell Jude Law to leave, especially when he is doing his petulant aristocrat act.

Wilde is a beautifully realised film, thanks in no small part to the flawless performances. Ehle, Redgrave, Law, Wilkinson, Wanamaker, they are all played to the nines.

And, almost ten years on, they still haven't released the album Jude Law Murders Gilbert and Sullivan. They don't know a marketing opportunity even when it is square in their face.

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At 2:47 pm, Blogger Marius said...

I couldn't agree more. I loved this movie. Stephen Fry's performance was phenomenal!

At 11:56 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

Ugh. I thought this movie was so dull and boring and lifeless. Fry was good though I guess.


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Meals and Bars in the 'Bourne

Winter's heading in... No more beer gardens and rooftop patios. I thought it time to check out a few venues that I have not frequented since I've been back, or that have, well, just appeared.

First off, Section 8, the shipping container place. It is sorta like the anti-St Jerome's, open (except for the cyclone wire fence), tree filled, and situated in a mirrored location, on a laneway just the other side of Swanston. Reasonable wine, great atmosphere though the palattes that make up the seating "booths" can tend toward the damp side.

Next up, the newest of the new, St Jerome's younger sibling, Sista Bella. Tucked away, all Melbourne-like, behind a dumpster, down a lane that comes off another lane. I'm surprised they don't have a secret knock to get you in. Decor is what you'd expect from the crew, something like Kingswood Country come to life. There is food coming but at time moment the staff will order you a pizza. Good enough for me.

The latest find, and the one that will be most sorely missed over the winter, is the patio out back of The Green Grocer on St Georges Road in North Fitzroy. Best brekkie in the city. I know Byron has been raving about it for years but I'd never bothered to believe him, to my detriment. Fantasticly peaceful organic glory.

Oh well.

It is time to start sourcing new hangouts for those chilly nights. The other side of Melbourne beckons.

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At 12:09 pm, Blogger Dan Mega said...

Lucky for us, spring is beginning in our hemisphere =)

At 10:29 am, Blogger R*Y A N said...

section eight is a must do. seen it but never been.

happy easter, mikey!

At 10:06 am, Blogger Billy said...

Another one you should check out: New Gold Mountain. It's some completely unadorned (green?) door a few doors down from Double Happiness, then up a couple of flights of stairs. No food (that I'm aware of) but a great bar that (for the moment) doesn't get too crowded.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Troll Slammin'

I haven't posted for a while, I have been bad.

What has prompted me to crawl out of my little cave of writer's block? Possibly the best retort to an Interweb troll that I have ever read.

For some ungodly reason I was looking at the message boards for the film Map Of The Human Heart and one of the readers had trolled on about how bad the film was, listing his vehemence in point form.

The response to his vitriol was so beautifully layered, elegant and self contained:

"Other than that how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

Snaps to you, Oklafalya!

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At 4:24 pm, Anonymous shamil said...

"'twas a bit too violent for my tastes Mr Booth"

Sorry. Hmm the original retort was rather good. Hope you're well.

At 7:15 am, Blogger czechOUT said...

so good, we got it twice!


At 5:52 am, Blogger RC said...

that's a pretty smart comment.

man, i totally hang around imdb, but ending up there and finding that comment, that's pretty funny.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Do You Shuffle?

When I first came to Melbourne, fresh from the desert, my sister took me off to Sumadayze, gave me a pill and laughed at my dancing. Apparently, I couldn't move my feet right.

I took solace in the fact that she couldn't either. I had an excuse though, I'd never been to a dance party in my life. I thought the flashy foot thing was a part of the "rave" culture the world over.

Now, many years later, browsing through Wikipedia, I am shocked (though not appalled) to find that it is not. It is a distinctly Melbourne thing. And it has a name.

The Melbourne Shuffle.

Of course, now with the help of S.E. Asian Uni students, the steady exodus of Melburnians to London and YouTube, the shuffle truly is global.

I've always wanted to learn and vids like this make it painfully tangible.

Now, where's my talcum powder?

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At 1:07 pm, Blogger D.U.P said...

Now if i did that, the Plasma would have been knocked over, the chair would have gone through the window and quite possibly a cat would have died.

Still it looks like a lot of fun!

At 9:18 pm, Blogger L said...

Hey, came across your blog after I googled photos of Chiswick Village. Saw you had some photos of a day you spent by the river in Hammersmith, and after checking my own diary, realised I was at The Old Ship that very day myself. Spooky! I'm also from Melbourne, 14 months into an open-ended visit to London. I've spent the past hour or so reading all your previous blog entries, and thought I'd comment - I have a blog myself and I know I'd just love someone to comment, so I am!

Anyway, your blog rocks. You write really well and I've been smiling and nodding at a lot of things you've mentioned, be it music, musicals or favourite actors!

What I really wanted to ask though, because your blog seamlessly moves from snaps of London to snaps of my beloved home city, is how you dealt with coming back?! I'm certainly not returning to Melbourne permanently any time soon, and I sympathised with your apparently forced return. It would break my heart to leave so suddenly.

What I'm afraid of, is that it won't live up to what I remember it being. I've found so many fantastic friends in London, and go out to so many fantastic places, that I'm really afraid I won't like Melbourne when/if I return. Any thoughts?

Be in touch!

At 12:01 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Look, Lauren. As much as I love London, and I know I will return there soon, there is nothing that compares to Melbourne.
Sure London has the proximity to Europe and the bands and the theatre and the nightlife but nothing can replace that feeling of actually belonging to a place.
I have lived in a few cities in the world, some of which I would effortlessly call home, and would happily return to, but Melbourne stands out as the place where I feel most comfortable. Not that I am saying comfort is the be all and end all, far from it, I would say that I would (and will) go back to London for the thrill of living in a city where I feel on edge and pushed to the limit constantly. But at the end of the day there is something to be said for knowing your surroundings, understanding your surroundings well enough that there is no tension in your day.
Enjoy London, I'll happily live vicariously through you, hell, I may even drop you an email when I am next over.


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Monday, March 19, 2007

Bizarre Casting Rumours

Abbie Cornish as the next Bond girl... Hmmm, love her but not sure.

Jennifer Garner as Spock's love interest in the Star Trek prequel... She does look rather alien (oh, and love her!)

Cate Blanchett in the next Indiana Jones film... OMGWTF?!?! That film just went up on the credibility scale.

Thanks to Filmstalker for the heads up!

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Interpret this!

Interpret This

Interpretative dance can happen in the most unlikely places.

Where is Samara when you need her most?

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At 10:52 am, Blogger Carlos said...


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St Patrick's Day @ The Dan O'Connell Hotel


The theme of the day was green.

The other theme was beer.

Oh, another theme was pirate music for some reason. (Frankly, I've heard better tunes from someone's tie.)

The rest of the photos can be reached by clicking on the pic above.

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At 3:46 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Pirate music? What, were Mutiny playing?


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

3... 2... 1... Poof! It's the Melbourne Queer Film Festival

I'm about to head off to the Astor, Melbourne's beautiful art deco cinema, to hit the opening night film of the 17th Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

I can't say that I ever really enjoy the opening night. The films are usually MOR, there are a few too many homosexuals crammed into the foyer and a few too few drinks to go around.

Tonight holds a little more promise though. The film is Infamous (the other white meat Capote film), so it is a little stronger than most of the crowd-pullers they usually serve up to open the festival (even if Donald augers otherwise). The numbers have been limited (I think), and hell, I'm not paying for is so I am not going to complain.

I thought I'd collect in one place all of the reviewlettes that I've written that have been published on The Program or in MCV.

Looking at the list, it appears I have seen half the festival.

20 Centimetros
Fabulous: The History Of Queer Cinema
The King And The Clown
The Line Of Beauty
Rainbow's End

Eternal Summer
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros
No Regret (slightly expanded)

Far From Sunset Boulevard
Boy Culture

Never fear, I am still going to see y'all at the fest. I've got tix to see Meth, Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis and Dead Boyz Don't Scream and I have two more tix to squander somewhere.

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At 4:08 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

I wanted to see Tan Lines, This Kiss and Far From Sunset Boulevard, but I wasn't sure if we just buy tickets at the time of the session. Plus, it's really difficult to go up to melbourne multiple times in a week.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Andrew Is Leaving (on a jet plane...)

He doesn't know when he'll be back again.


He will be sorely missed. Not quite as sorely as his mother's cat would have been if it had stayed but sorely nonetheless.

He's off back to London to make another go of it.

So, it has happened, the Irish have finally taken over Falconer Street.

The farewell was quite touching. The boys got him a collection of Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham and Spike Jonze dvds. It was quite amusing, Andrew was visibly surprised that they'd given such a thoughtful gift. And the boys revelled in it. Those Irish are full of surprises.

Best of luck, Andrew. It has been good catching up again. Even though I am sure you saw more of me than you were expecting to.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunshine (or, Sunshine, enihsnuS, Sunshi)

We are so lucky, the other night we were some of the first people in the entire world to see the first reel of Danny Boyle's latest film, Sunshine. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to see the second reel but we did get to see some of the third reel backwards.

What a farce.

It was all a part of Popcorn Taxi (they don't deserve a link) and their meet the maker sessions. We sat through the debacle because Danny was going to be there with Rose Byrne to chat about the film after we had seen it. Actually no, were were there because Danny was going to be there with Rose Byrne to chat about the film after we had seen it but we actually sat around waiting because they told us it would only take about 10 minutes to fix.

Let me start over.

We rocked up, excited and found our not so exciting seats over to the side of the cinema because the screening was almost sold out (not bad seeing as the seats were at premium prices). The film rolled and it was pretty solid. Tense and talky but in a good way. Spaceship, space, scientists and a bomb with which they are going to reignite the sun. Nice concept, apparently well researched. Distress call... oh, dear... you know what happens next. Well, you know about as much as we do about what happens next.

We were just getting to the good bit when we hit this really crazy dream sequence. The screen flipped upside down, the voices warped into incoherence and all the actors began moving jaggedly backwards. Hell, it's Danny Boyle, he does shit like this sometimes. It went on a little too long. Far to long...

The audience started to jitter. Then chatter. Then shuffle. People started walking out. Groaning.

The lights went up.

-Sorry, there's been a problem. Really?

Oh, japes and games, what a lark!

-We'll have it up in about 10 minutes.

An hour later...

-We've fixed the problem.

Roll film. Hmm, something isn't right. We seemed to have jumped forward in time. The crowd starts to shout. Clapping. Catcalling.

The lights went up again.

-Sorry we have to cancel. Here's Mr Boyle.

So we sat through the Q+A with Danny even though we hadn't seen the film. He is obviously pleased with it and kept enthusing about things we hadn't seen.

He had a lot to say about the studio system and working outside of it. He talked about the missfire that was A Life Less Ordinary and the sequel to Trainspotting. He talked about science and god and creation but much of what he said fell flat because the corpse of the screening was still decomposing in the corner.

It was a pity what happened but the night was still somewhat enjoyable. I really want to see the film in its entirety now. I suppose I have to wait for the general release. At least they are giving us a free ticket.

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At 4:11 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

My friend from Sydney went to their Popcorn Taxi thing and said he was really great.

Strange that we're getting it so much earlier than America.


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Moroccan Soup Bar

Have you heard of that mystical Melbourne institution The Moroccan Soup Bar? The spoken menu, the unlicencedness, the vegetarian goodness?

So had I.

But I'd never tried it... until now.

And it was worth the wait.

We booked it for Andrew Ballem's going away dinner. Actually, it didn't have all that much to do with me, it was actually Andrew and Cormack who'd decided to organise it. And organise it they did (in their haphazard way).

The place is always booked to the brim. The tressel tables were crammed with people who, judging by their rosy complexions, were obviously were only tourists in the world of vegetarianism, just like us (well, most of us anyway, the guest of honour was a vegetarian but we forgive him).

And what a tour it was. The owner comes out and forces you into buying a banquet, which consists of lots of food for not very much money. She brings mint tea for (almost) everyone and then you nosh down on some bread, dips and things that once were crudités but are now pickled into something not so crudité.

The main dishes were fantastic. The most recognisably Moroccan one was the vegetable tagine with cous cous. The rest were a sublime lucky dip. The potatoes with soured yogurt were spicylicious as was the eggplant. But the dish on everyone's lips was a mystery wrapped in an enigma. It tasted to me like toasted garlic buttered pita broken up into yogurt and mixed with chick peas and toasted nuts but Cormack was convinced there was a butterscotch flavour. Whatever it was, it was certainly moorish (sorry, couldn't resist).

Coffee and deserts followed but everyone was pretty full so we paid up, tipped the conveniently jingly change into the conveniently placed tipping urn and headed off to Deco for a bottle or three of wine.

4 and a half yums out of 5.

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At 3:01 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

I love the haphazard nature of this place. Remind me send you over on your bike with a saucepan one night Mike - they'll it ridiculously cheaply!


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Bush Whacking

Sunday, Andrew and I hit the Volvo and drove out to the Dandenongs.

We walked through the lush forests and wondered at the beauty of nature. Awww.

Actually, it was quite stunning. The gum trees just seem to launch into the sky and they drip strips of bark all over the foliage, which leaves the forest looking something like nature's take on Miss Haversham's dining room.

It is a pity that you can never really get out of earshot of a major road but then, being on the edge of Melbourne proper, one can't really complain.

Photos will come soon. They are all trapped in Andrew's camera.

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Yarra Valley Jaunt

After much searching for accommodation, even resorting to campsites, Andrew and I succumbed to the group mentality and put our trip down to the Prom on hold for a while. Instead we got on a mini-bus with Richard (not my housemate, the tour guide, who had a penchant for hens) and headed off to the Yarra Valley to hit the wineries.

It was a blast. 5 Irish, 1 Geordie and 2 Aussies. Luckily, the mini-bus had a shamrock plastered on it (and it was powered by leprechauns) so we couldn't get lost.

We spent the day tasting wine, looking at art and dodging hen parties. It was tiring but we got some good wine out of it.

That's all... Photos to come later.

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Gwoemul (or, The Host... but I think Gwoemul sounds better!)

"On par with Jaws!" was the only review that I needed to get me interested in The Host. It came from über-geek Harry Knowles, whose Ain't It Cool New was a much frequented site in my early days, when I was just learning to stand on my net-board.

It isn't on par with Jaws, not by a long shot. But then, I am not 5 years old anymore.

It is a fucking good film though. There is not much too it. Dropout family of misfits happen to be around when a great big monster thing goes about attacking innocent Koreans with reckless abandon. That is the best thing about the film too. It is reckless by Hollywood standards. No character is sacred. You really don't know who is going to buy it and when. In the beginning you are quite comfortable in you genre movie, sitting smuggly in your seat knowing who is safe because they are getting an extended introduction... but no, don't kid yourself. The Host doesn't give a flying fuck about genre.

In fact, it flagrantly flaunts its lack of adherence to the rules. One minute it is a moving family drama, the next a mindless comedy, then suddenly it will cough up a vomit inducing moment. The rules aren't broken, to break them would mean some acknowledgement of them, here they are completely disregarded. It works for the most part. You have to be ready to roll with the sudden turns but if you buy into the lack of logic you'll have a ball.

The CG is decent and doesn't detract from the scares. And there are a good many scares. Not all of them are loud, noisy, shocky scares either, there is a lot of eerie mood work too. (Who knew it rained so much in Seoul - maybe JP). I have discovered a new meter for the scare ratio of a film: Andrew. He starts vertical and the more scares there are the more horizontal he slides into his seat. Buy one today!

I recommend you take off your thinking hat. Lose your preconceptions and get thee to a cinema. You shouldn't have a problem finding it. They are giving it a pretty wide release. I think it is the first subtitled film I have ever seen at Hoyts.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Video Response - The Wicker Man

Richard just posted a bit of a slate against Neil La Bute's rehash of The Wicker Man

I'd like to supply some supporting evidence:

Get the point? Hmmm...

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At 11:18 pm, Blogger Donald said...

"Not the bees!" classic.

At 3:44 pm, Anonymous Josh Darko said...

Apparently good old Nic has no problem with violence against women.
That was a shocker, how could he hit Cherry Jones? She's lovely!


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Friday, March 09, 2007

You don't need a man...

It appears I am not the only guy in Melbs at the moment with too much time on his hands.

Tristan, Jimbo and J2 spent the other night with some bath towels, a video camera and a Pussycat Dolls CD.

The result... not suitable to impressionable youngsters, be warned!

Ah, Trist, it's good to have you back.

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At 3:37 pm, Blogger R*Y A N said...

OMG that was soooo hawt! phwoar!!!

can't wait for the tour.

At 3:36 pm, Anonymous Josh Darko said...

Replace 'The Pussycat Dolls' with 'The Distillers' and I was doing something very similar to this in my lounge room last night.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bread vs. Bag

Being breadless at home today, I decided to pop out for my first extremely local take-away lunch.

I live within spitting distance of Smith St but even that seemed too far away, so I checked out Roundhouse Roti. It looked appealing and it is only about thirty paces from my doorstep.

After my experience at Quashie's last year, I was really looking forward to noshing down on some roti. The bread here is all made fresh behind a shield of shatterproof glass.

I ordered a roti chanai to take away and settled in to watch the dough throwing. Seeing food prepared in front of you is always a treat. It gets the tastebuds excited.

They handed me my takeaway in a big brown bag. One of those thick, sturdy brown paper bags that you used to get in grocery stores before they discovered that every household in the western world had an undedicated drawer/cupboard that could used to store to plastic ones.

Unfortunately the bag was more satisfying than the food. The bread was fresh but rather tasteless. It didn't help that the curry was runny and a little bland.

Look, I don't want to rubbish the place. I am going to go back there and check out the dhal and the other dishes. I'll get back to you on that.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The Melbourne Queer Film Festival always seeks to balance the crowd, pleasing “bums on seats” popcorners with some more challenging fare. But if you’re not feeling too adventurous, there are a few films to test the waters of the not-quite-so-shallow end.

I've started with Tan Lines / Far From Sunset Boulevard / Boy Culture over at The Program but there are more to come...

Tix are on sale now!

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Technology, Entertainment, Design, Two Thousand and Seven

TED 2007 kicks off tomorrow.

We've spoken of TED before... You should know what I am talking about.

Bright minds and visionaries gathered in one room talking about how to make the world a better place.

You can see who they've gathered together this year by clicking on the schedule above.

Hopefully, some of these amazing speakers will end up on the TEDtalks podcasts. Fingers crossed.

Get dreaming.

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At 3:22 pm, Blogger R*Y A N said...

hey mikey,

you may have already seen this ken robinson talk on education and creativity but i found it quite interesting and illuminating.

anyway, here's the link:

At 3:34 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Yeah, that is the presentation that sold me on TED. Love Ken, he is such a charismatic speaker. And what he says is something I have been harping on about for a while. That speech needs to be shown to every school principal.


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Full Moon Party

What, OMG!
Okay, so the news is I turned 32.

It happened a few days ago. I am still coming down from the whole affair. (Or perhaps coming up is a better term.)

It was a day of weirdity. Silly arguments. No shows. Extravagance.

That is not to say it wasn't fun. Just odd. Must have been the moon.

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At 3:56 pm, Blogger ss said...

it was fun. in an unusual way. i knida regret not having been able to join in the absinthey goodness later. So much more fun to be had !

Samara and I both look like we looking at a full moon btw.

At 4:15 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

I was myself wondering what you were both doing at that instant.

At 10:20 am, Blogger Steven said...

Happy belated birthday!


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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Last King Of Scotland (or, Idi up, Forest)

Anyone who has the audacity to grant himself the title "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular" has got to be a brilliant subject for a film. Anyone who manages to wipe out 300,000 people while in power has got to be a brilliant subject for quite a moving film.

The Last King Of Scotland takes on one of the most brutal dictatorships of post-colonial Africa. We are spared most of the gory details (and they were gory) because the story is told through the eyes of a fictional young Scottish doctor, Nicholas Gagarrin. Gagarrin comes to Uganda in an effort to escape his overbearing father (and of course to do some good, as any young medical graduate would). He is only in the country long enough to almost seduce another doctor's wife (played by Gillian Anderson, who is in danger of resurrecting her career if she keeps up these brilliant performances) before he is, in turn, seduced Amin and is asked to take on the role of his personal physician.

Gagarrin is drawn into the high life as Amin's most trusted advisor and it is not until he is in far too deep that he realises Uganda is not the shining light of new Africa that it seemed. Silly boy. To his credit, McAvoy manages to give Gagarrin enough wide eyed optimism to stop him seeming like a completely blinkered rich boy shit. He is still a shit, but he is a likeable shit. And standing there next to him is Forest's Amin. He is a mass murdering demagogue but he is a likeable mass murdering demagogue. Scarily likeable. It is easy to see why Gagarrin falls under his spell, all sweat and smiles.

After the initial set up the film seems to loose a bit of its surehandedness but the final some horrific scenes are gut-wrenchingly tense enough to make up for the lull.

Well worth a visit.

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At 6:09 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

Ugh. I despised this movie. I really thought it was so poorly made and hard to watch (cameras swooping and zooming and editors cutting it every second) and it was so freakin' loud and bombastic with that music and every.single.character.screaming. JUST SHUT UP!!! ugh.

I have to say though, I thought it was down right deplorable that they didn't show any of the genocide, yet decided that a prolonged fictionalised sequence of torture in the middle of ridiculously over-the-top thriller ending was a good way to go. I felt played. I truly hated it.

Gillian and Forest were good though. Just, ya know, shame about everything else.


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Man takes Bowie film title literally.

Click here to see it!

Click here to read about it!

(via Boing Boing)

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