Yearly Archives: 2003

Look Forward To

What I have to:

  • Walken EP
  • Rob’s novel
  • Biennale
  • marriages
  • Impressionists at NGV
  • movies from Kar-Wai Wong and Hayao Miyazaki
  • Madman releasing all Studio Ghibli films
  • Olympics
  • albums from Peeping Tom and Fantomas
  • The Filth collected and new Morrison series
  • Tinderbox for Windows.

And hopefully more!

Jobs

This year I worked for:

  • Xxxxx Xxxx
  • Xxxxxxxxxx of Xxxxxxx
  • Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
  • Xxxxxxxx
  • Xx Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx
  • Xxxxxx of Xxxxxxxx and Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx (Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx of Xxxxxxxxx)
  • Xxxxxxx
  • Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx (Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx of Xxxxxxxxx).

(Amongst others.)

Food 2003

Delightful new beverages I have gotten into this year:

  • affogato (a shot of espresso over icecream)
  • chai
  • Boag’s Honey Porter
  • Lychee Liqueur
  • cognac
  • Platinum 7 (vanilla vodka)
  • white wine

And condiments:

  • aioli
  • spicy capsicum dip
  • Tilba cheese

And my own most excellent invention for the year:

  • buttered (cold) hot cross bun with tomato and vegemite

Yum!

Media 2004

Science fiction and fantasy:

  • Light (M John Harrison; 2002) – because I picked it up in the bookshop and the writing grabbed me, because it comes very highly recommended by a variety of interesting writers, because it’s recent SF and I’d like to crawl out of the past.
  • Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (Cory Doctorow; 2003) – because it follows themes I’m interested in, because it’s SF written from someone with a good perspective on the modern IT industry, because a variety of interesting writers have personally recommended it.
  • Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C Clarke; 1973) – because it won the Hugo and the Nebula, because it’s Hard SF.
  • Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A Heinlein; 1961) – because people worship Heinlein and I want to sample his later writing.
  • Gormenghast (Mervyn Peake; 1950) – because I read Titus Groan and this is where the series is meant to get good, because Peake is a contemporary of Lewis and Tolkien.
  • Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad; 1902) and War of the Worlds (HG Wells; 1898) – because they were written at the same time and have the same concerns.
  • Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card; 1985) – because it won the Hugo and the Nebula, because people rave about it.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling; 1997) – because people say it’s good and I don’t believe them, but my faith in my judgement versus my critical abilities has been dented recently, and because it’ll get people to stop telling me to read Harry Potter (hopefully).
  • Voice of the Fire (Alan Moore; 1996) – because he has written some excellent comics but thinks novels are a better form, because it’s been sitting on my shelf for too long.
  • Illustrated Man (Ray Bradbury; 1951) – because it’s been sitting on my shelf too long, because Bradbury is meant to be one of the greats of SF.
  • Phoenix Cafe (Gwyneth Jones; 1997) – because Gwyneth is a genius and I can’t wait to see what happens in this third and final Aleutian novel.
  • Bold As Love (Gwyneth Jones; 2001) – because it’s a wild attempt to drag High Fantasy into the 21st Century, because it worships at the altar of rock and roll, because Gwyneth is a master of the feminist, post-colonial, Marxist, postmodern.

Already this list seems impossible. What about “fiction” novels: Jailbird, Sense and Sensibility, Vineland, Catcher in the Rye, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Lord of the Flies, Old Man and the Sea, Quiet American, Voss, On the Road, Jane Eyre, House of God, Picture of Dorian Gray, Taming of the Shrew, Illiad… Oh dear.

I won’t even start on the movies I want to see – too many and too embarrassing to share my missing movie education…

Media 2003

This year

I saw 78 movies. 37 of those were at the cinema. 17 of those were for the Melbourne Film Festival. Pretty good year. My favourite films of the year are:

  • Asterix and Obelix – Mission: Cleopatra (Alain Chabat; 2002)
  • The Hours (Stephen Daldry; 2002)
  • X2 (Brian Singer)
  • Max (Menno Meyjes; 2002)
  • Sex is Comedy (Catherine Breillat; 2002)
  • American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini)
  • Dolls (Takeshi Kitano; 2002)
  • Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich).

Special mention for best new action in a movie: Equilibrium (Kurt Wimmer; 2002). Best older film: Chaos (Akira Kurosawa; 1985; Jap. Ran). (Next year I should have a Kar-Wai Wong film to look forward to.)

This year… I read 25 novels. Two of these were written this year and one other this century. Nine would be found under “Fiction”, one under “Crime”, and the rest under “SF/Fantasy”. Two Vonneguts, one Gibson, one Doctor Who, and one Gwyneth Jones. My favourite “novel” I (re-)read this year was The Return of the King (JRR Tolkien; 1955).

Surprisingly I’ve done very well at eliminating books from my To Read list, while I’ve done very poorly at eliminating movies. This probably relates to the fact that I love seeing new movies (which aren’t on my list) and I have difficulty sitting down and putting on a video.

Listened to 72 new CDs. 8 from the 60s, 16 from the 70s, 7 from the 80s, 18 from the 90s, and 21 from the 2000s including 10 from this year (I guess, I didn’t check the dates of each).

And I saw lots of great art exhibitions, which I didn’t record. But I will mention Patricia Piccinini. If you have the chance check out “The Young Family”, “Still Life with Stem Cells”, or “The Breathing Room”. (I signed a copyright permission form that allowed me to take photos of her work for personal use. Is this weblog personal use?)

So this is Xmas

X = Friends and Family.

Wore a tanktop (a tough singlet) out to Cardinia Reservoir near Emerald with my family. I was lax in the sunscreen department despite advice from my sisters. So my Xmas present to myself was sunburn. I haven’t been so badly burnt since San Francisco 2000 when I wore the same tanktop. Hmm.

Otherwise I did well. I chose good presents for my family and received goodness in return, including Buffy DVDs, a new Skeletor and a new Black Arachnia. Nice.

Potato (approach):

Yesterday I saw Peter Jackson’s Return of the King. I could evasively say that it successfully follows The Two Towers. I guess I like the first three discs of The Lord of the Rings and dislike the second three discs. There was very little I found in the third film to enjoy either as an adaptation or as a film.

It recently occurred to me that you could get an interesting book out of considering the movies as reality and the novels as later texts written about that reality.

Last night I went to see Meebar and Walken. The former were their usual kick arse selves, a kind of laidback explosion. The latter were excellent as always, introducing a nice new song (“Guess Again”). Saw every Walken gig (bar one) this year. Saw every Walken gig for over a year since I got back from Europe. Rock.

Potato (close):

Today I spent at the MCG watching India collapse and Australia strike back steadily. Hayden’s six was brilliant. India’s slowness between balls was a disgrace.

Potato (attack):

The photos above are neither Black Arachnia nor Shelob, but a potato.

Peter and Wendy

Peter and Wendy

Online transcription of the novel by JM Barrie (adapted from his play, Peter Pan). I never encountered the story in any form before I saw the new film. In the novel there is a dog nanny, but no narrator identity. Etc.

The description of Mrs Darling “tidying up her children’s minds” and of the Neverlands is priceless. But here’s a shorter quote from much later:

“Pan, who and what art thou?” [Hook] cried huskily.

“I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answered at a venture, “I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”

This, of course, was nonsense; but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form.

The exact phrasing of the Lost Boys when trying to recover the “dying” Wendy is better in the PJ Hogan film. And at this point I’d like to quote Wendy’s retelling of Cinderella, but my memory’s not that good. Of course the film is really about flying and sword fighting!

All Barrie’s works are out-of-copyright, except in the UK where they are in perpetual copyright (Lessig is on the case, sort of). Can anyone find a transcript of the play?

Better than the book

Some movies that are better than (or as good as) the book they’re based on: Bladerunner, The Hours, Mary Poppins, Fight Club, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Shrek, The Exorcist, Vertigo, The Princess Bride, Johnny Mnemonic, Starship Troopers, MASH, Ring, Adaptation, Raise the Red Lantern, Planet of the Apes, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Naked Lunch… Just to keep in mind.

Geek Show Australian Tour

Who eats at Lentil as Anything in St Kilda? Who uses kitsch projectionist and eclectic DJ between sets? Who has a roadie who looks like Alan Moore? (Standing off to the side of the stage amidst swirling smoke, latterly in a viking helment with horns.) Who attract a more resolutely metal/goth/punk/feral crowd than in past years? Who has their own t-shirt? Who played last night and are playing again tonight? (Melbourne is the only place with two gigs for this line-up.) Who are composed of three kick arse bands?

Fantomas. Who has their members lined up from left-to-right at the front of the stage – drummer, guitarist, bassist, singer? Who kills any music with a hook in under thirty seconds and makes no space for applause? Who has their vocalist/keyboardist play extended squigglings and screechings while the rest of the band moves their stuff off stage and the next band moves on?

The Melvins. Who are more metal than I realised? Who do a great all-three-members sing effect? Who has a great drummer? (Actually, Fantomas do too.) Who has a sexy bassist? Who have the previous band’s guitarist? And who have the previous band’s light and sound effects unit go off in the middle of a song and have to struggle against it? (I kept thinking, someone released Peter Frampton’s pig!)

Tomahawk. Who have a singer from the first band and bassist from the second? Who are brave enough to end a song in anti-climax after only one chorus? Who loves Marvellous Melbourne? Who worship Chopper and have a bassist who pulls chestnuts out of Natalia Imbruglia’s pussy, a drummer who felches marmite from, er, someone’s arse, and a singer wearing bondage paraphernalia who fucks Michael Hutchence? Who has a 45 year old guitarist who’s a genius songwriter? (If the Rolling Stones rocked like him I’d listen to them.) Who has an amazing energy and who has more bottles and water and stuff thrown at them than anyone I’ve ever seen? And doesn’t care? Who has a bassist with bleeding fingers who spits on their drummer? Who knows how to cool you down as well as heat you up? Who doesn’t milk the crowd for an “encore”? Who left me wanting more and is going to give it tonight?

Bowie. Who else with a weblog was with me? And will be again tonight? And who blogged the best moment before I could? (And were there any other bloggers present?)

F*** Tha Police

I saw a Victorian Police rock band in City Square. They were in full uniform, playing songs by Evanescance, Avril Lavigne, The Offspring, etc. Really scary stuff. (I suppose not as scary as Tatou in police uniform singing an Evanescance song.) I kept thinking of Jack Black in the ads to The School of Rock: “Rock and roll is about sticking it to the man.”