Thursday, 26 October 2006

5 Weird Things About Me

I've been tagged!

"Here are are the rules to play:List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets.Tag 5 friends and list them.Those people then need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people.Don’t forget to let the people you tagged know by posting a comment on their blog!"

1. I talk to myself almost constantly. As a teenager my brother often yelled through the wall between our bedrooms to tell me to shut up. These days, my older daughter is always asking what I'm saying, and Noel never quite knows when he's supposed to be listening.

2. I can only focus one eye at a time, ie I don't have monocular vision like humans are supposed to. It is usually only noticable when I'm tired, and people start thinking I'm looking over their shoulder instead of at their face. If I concentrate I can purposely switch which eye I'm focussing with and people sometimes think it's a cool party trick. It often results in dodgy-looking photographs. :)

3. I really love maths - particularly seeing the workings behind a formula. In high school I refused to use a formula unless my teacher showed me the working that led to it. I haven't done any maths for years and I miss it.

4. David Campbell (an Australian singer - and Jimmy Barnes' son) once patted me on the head at a studio recording when I was singing in a choir. He's only about 5 years older than me so that was a bit weird.

5. I'm obsessed with film and yet I've never seen Casablanca, Ben Hur, Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind or any silent films in their entirety. I've seen bits of them. I should watch them.

I don't even know if five people read this blog - I'll just tag Connor, but only if you feel like it.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Okay, so it was a bit over-dramatic to say I was dying with nerves and anxiety. Feeling a bit butterflies-in-the-tummy-ish woud be more accurate. But hey, why ruin a good story with the truth, hey.

Still haven't heard a definite yay or nay, so I'm just assuming it's a nay and trying not to think about it. And yes, you may deduce, from the fact that I haven't posted in days and the only thing I do post is about this, that I am failing on that count.

In other news, though, I got my receipt from Showcast and saw that my listing is up online. I'd link to it but I don't think you can view them unless you're registered as a casting professional.

Any casting professionals, though, go ahead and look me up! ;-)

Sunday, 22 October 2006

I'm dying

with nerves and anxiety.

I heard from R-the-director earlier in the week, and he said I'd be told by the end of the week if I have the role in the romantic-drama feature. I was shortlisted for the romantic lead girl. He liked my "believable and subtle" English accent.

So.... by my calculations, it's pretty much the end of the week... perhaps even the beginning of the new one.

Aaggh. I really really want it.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

New photo

I changed my profile photo. I did it with a "charcoal drawing" filter, and I can't decide whether it looks arty or as if I have some weird skin disease.

Maybe I just have a very arty skin disease...

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

T.S. Eliot

I've discovered T.S. Eliot. I took Sue Asby's T.S. Eliot; Life and Works with me to the playground today and read most of it while the girlies played. At first, with the mundane life-story bit and some talk about society of the early 20th century, I was bored. So I told myself that I might as well be educated about such things, and read on.

As I got to the descriptions of the poetry, I started to be really interested. Primarily because Eliot seems mostly interested in something that always fascinates me - the difference, and conflict, between how one behaves on the outside, and how one feels on the inside. Some of them seem to be saying "I know I'm at a posh, fancy tea party, but I feel like I'm at a carnival riding the bumper cars... anyone going to join me?"

Take this one, which I read over and over because I love it... it's called Hysteria...

As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked tablecloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: 'If the lady and gentlemen wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentlemen wish to take their tea in the garden...' I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.

It describes such a simple moment, a typical everyday moment, but in such an interesting way.

More reasons to love Eliot:

"...the first danger is that of assuming that there must be just one interpretation of the poem as a whole, that must be right... But as for the meaning of the poem as a whole, it is not exhausted by any explanation, for the meaning is what the poem means to different sensitive readers."
and this:
"The poet may know the history of [the poem's] composition, the material which has gone in and come out in an unrecognisable form, and he knows what he was trying to do and what he was meaning to mean. But what a poem means is as much what it means to others as what it means to the author, and indeed, in the course of time a poet may become merely a reader in respect of his own works, forgetting his original meaning."
Eliot, from The Frontiers of Criticism
And I think you can apply those thoughts to all kinds of art. I really love artists who are brave enough to put their art out there and let it be open to interpretation; to let people see what they see, and take from it what they need, without judgement.
I like it. I like it a lot. :)

Sunday, 15 October 2006


I had a great day today. I drove into the city, alone in the car (nobody talking at me, no small people in the back wanting attention), singing along LOUD to the Eagles and daydreaming. :)

I got to the location right on time, even after getting lost on the way, and the boy playing my son greeted me with a loud, cheeky "hello mum". There were other kids today, too, so it was a bit more chaotic and disorganised than Friday, but still running pretty smoothly. I was impressed with these guys actually - for students, they've been really organised and well prepared - and amzingly, running no more than about 10 minutes behind schedule.

Filming all went well. My part is mostly hand acting - my face is rarely seen, actually, because the focus remains on the boy, whose hand I hold a lot and whom I walk beside a fair bit.

We did some scenes in a pet shop which was interesting. It seemed the arrangements had been made with one staff member (the manager, presumably), but a different guy was working there today and wasn't very happy about us being there. He got a tad grumpy, so we were all careful to keeps the kids in line and get everything done as quickly as possible.

Again, the crew were all very appreciative of me helping them out, and I got along well with them. I had a nice little chat with the "son" too, over lunch. He's done a few short films before, and a couple of small roles in TV shows. Nice kid. :)

When I left they were trying to figure out what to do about the fact that it was raining, when the scenes they shot yesterday were in 38 degree blazing sunlight. And the lead actor goes away on holidays tomorrow.

Anyway, blah blah. It was a good day. :)

Before Sunset

After watching Before Sunrise I wrote that I wasn't quite sure of it with one viewing, but predicted it would grow on me with multiple viewings. I was right - the 2nd time I watched it I felt much more connected with the characters and appreciated their stories more. Maybe I was just paying more attention.

Before Sunset (the sequel), on the other hand, I loved first time. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are wonderful. The entire film is just those two, conversing as they walk around Paris. There are some truly beautiful moments when it's like you're watching a little current of energy connecting "Jesse" and "Celine" as they gradually explore one another.

I was impressed to see that the screenplay was a genuine collaboration of Hawke and Delpy with director Richard Linklater. The script was really impressive - a lot of time is spent talking about seemingly mundane details of life - work, family, recent history - and yet there's just something about everything they say that teaches them, and us, something about each other and ultimately leads to the conclusion. Which I won't give away of course. :) The ending is great. One of those endings that just feels right. Comfortable.


Saturday, 14 October 2006

Pens and Candy......


I have a bit of a thing for British period pieces lately. Can't get enough of those delightful accents and topsy-turvy sensibilities. Quills fits the bill anyway, and in between squirming with the discomfort and gasping with the melodrama, I rather enjoyed it.

Geoffrey Rush is just amazing, as usual. Actors that would be prepared to throw themselves into a role like the Marquis de Sade are rare creatures, and Rush certainly throws himself in. This man has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to make his character real. I just think he's awesome; an inspirational performance for me - mainly because of the rawness of it. An aging, almost-defeated, desperate man, literally laid bare and opened up for all to see. And yet at the same time, reserving some of the man's spirit for private - there were, I thought, still secrets in the Marquis' heart. I was genuinely inspired by that incredible baring of a soul.

And Joaquin Phoenix is fast moving up my favourite-actors list too. He's beautiful in this - a gorgeous young priest, so sure of himself... and yet, not. Love, mercy, anger, lust, confusion, heartbreak; all find themselves naturally and perfectly at home on Phoenix's (rather beautiful) features.

Kate Winslet was great too, I guess. Nothing struck me as spectacular about her performance, but the character was believable and accessable, so I guess that's what counts. (Why is it, I wonder, I find it so much easier to appreciate male actors' performances than females'? There's a question to delve into one day...)

Anyway, I liked it. In fact I would've watched it again a few days later but the disc (a rental) refused to work a 2nd time. (What do people do with DVDs when they rent them? Clean them with sandpaper? Be careful, people!)


I think, maybe, this is my new favourite film. (For the moment, anyway. I admit my favourites change fairly regularly.)

For a stunning, perfectly directed, suberb ensemble performance, you just can't go past Chocolat. Not one actor or element lets it down. Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina... and a beautiful boy named Aurelien Koenig (yes, I just love the name).

It's a beautifully simple story (mysterious travellers blow into town, disturbing the peace and creating upheaval, eventually bringing new joy and quashing the stifling norms of yesterday), shot in a beautiful place, with beautiful people - what more could you want?

I'd be waffling for hours to mention all the things I love about it.

The best line, and the best ever Johnny Depp line It just has to have been a Johnny impro. I know it doesn't translate well to type, but hey, you'll have to see it:

(with a mouthful of chocolate, looking Binoche up and down as she walks away from him) "I'll come round later, get that squeak out of your door" (cue the Depp Cheeky Grin)

One last comment; I'm rather taken with the "red shoes" motif. (Binoche's character wears striking red high-heels which are featured quite prominently, and at one stage her daughter, Anouk, cries "why can't you wear black shoes like all the other mothers?") Those red shoes really caught my eye, as more than a clever artistic motif.

I want to be one of life's red-shoe-wearers. Who cares what the black-shoe wearers think. :)

Friday, 13 October 2006

I'm so old. :-)

Well, last short film I did I was talking about how everyone thought I was about 5 or 6 years younger than I am (which is 25). Made me feel quite chuffed with myself.

So, just to balance that out I guess, I'm playing the mother of a 10-year-old boy in a short film called Goldfish, another student short. (As I said to a friend today "Aaaggh! Not 'mum' roles already!") It's being shot in black-and-white, which should be interesting, and there's practically no dialogue. A very simple, but compelling, visual story.

I had a great time at the shoot today. All the crew seem to think I'm just the bees-knees for "helping them out" at such short notice (they even gave me a round of applause! *snicker*), and the director kept telling me after takes how perfect my timing was and how great it looked. So hey, a lovely hour or two of ego-boosting praise. The boy playing the son is a lovely young chap, very polite and clever. We had to hold hands a lot, and he didn't complain a bit. :-)

We're shooting again on Sunday, near Bronte Beach. Mmmm... Bronte Beach...

Thursday, 12 October 2006

I know I'm terrible!

Sorry for not posting in a while... I'm the queen of procrastination lately.

I have seen about 7 films lately that I want to talk about, but I just can't summon the energy to sit at the puter for long enough, or compile the messy thoughts in my head into enough coherent sentences to make it worthwhile.

Stay tuned, anyway, for what I thought of Quills, Chocolat, Ed Wood, Casanova, Before Sunset, and a couple of Harry Potters.

Oh by the way Merlin, I've finished Half-Blood Prince now. The biggest cry I've had in a long time! LOVED it! I've been scouring your site for any Harry tidbits I can find, now that I don't need to worry about spoilers. :-)

And "Dead Man's Chest" has been pre-ordered. :-)

Oh, and a bit of news: I'm *pretty sure* I have a part in a short film, shooting tomorrow and Sunday - the planned actor pulled out yesterday so they were desperate for someone in a hurry... it's playing a young boy's mother in some kind of mysterious circumstance, the part has no dialogue but is apparently an important role for the story. *shrug*... see what happens hey.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

How cool is Jack Nicholson.

That's all I have to say today. Just saw a preview (trailer) for The Departed , and was reminded of him. Haven't seen much of him for quite a while.

I remember first seeing Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest when we were studying the book in high school. I remember thinking he'd captured the character and the tone and style of the book so beautifully.

And check this out - Nicholson's been acting in films since 1958's The Cry-Baby Killer ! Wow - that's nearly 50 years he's been at it - consistently working that whole time. More recently, no wonder I haven't seen much of him - The Departed is his first film since Something's Gotta Give in 2003.

Anyone have a favourite Jack Nicholson film, or moment?

(How much do I love IMDb?!)

Fear and Loathing...

In Las Vegas .

Woah. Wooaaahh.

Nice movie. Nice in the "eerr.... *vaguely confused frown* ... nice" kinda way.

I tried watching it last night after my girls were in bed, but I fell asleep for part of it so I got pretty lost. I watched it again today while one was asleep and the other was out... and still got pretty lost. :) It's that kind of film.

When I first started it I was disappointed and last night I went to bed feeling down that I hadn't enjoyed it. Today, though, a while after the ending, I'm starting to love it. Perhaps, the whole film is such a wild trip (and it IS a wild trip!) that you can't really appreciate it until you've come down and had time to recover from the blurry and disturbing images that have just assaulted and travelled through your tingling senses.

I haven't read the book and I know very little about Hunter S. Thompson so perhaps that's why some of the images confused me... but I get the impression this was an exciting, pushing-the-boundaries writer who marched determinedly to the beat of his very own fantastic drum.

Benicio del Toro was fabulous as Dr Gonzo, and Johnny Depp as Raoul - well, I bet he was just having a wonderfully fun time while shooting this one, loving the adventure. I did marvel a little at both actors' ability to portray acid-riddled, ether-induced wanderings of the mind so convincingly.

I'm loving my adjectives today. :)

Anyway, I've come away from the experience with a thirst for knowledge about Hunter S Thompson... and an inexplicable urge to find out what an acid trip really feels like...

ANd now, form the ridiculous to the sublime... my bigger girl is watching the first Harry Potter movie right now, I might just join her...

Sunday, 1 October 2006

A History of Violence

Well, if you're the type who likes a bit of blood and flesh and a few faithfully-created gunshot wounds... you'll love A History of Violence. Otherwise - you still might like it, you'll just have to cover your eyes a few times. :)

Noel and I watched it this evening. After a couple of minutes, Noel said "this is what you call a slow start to a movie". Yep, and it stayed that way. Slow, yes, and yet compelling. It was your average 95 minutes but it felt much longer. There was the odd fast-paced, forward-moving scene that kept me interested in between all the drawn-out character development and seemingly random scenes.

The main plot was great, I thought. Average, small-town, family guy put through hellish stuff and forced to be the unassuming hero... until... I was definitely fooled (mostly, I did pick up a couple of small clues) by the twist in the tale and enjoyed the finding out of what comes next. But there were a few thoughts that seemed like they wanted to be subplots - the teenage son, maybe gay, being bullied - why so much time spent on that if it wasn't going to go anywhere?

I wasn't terribly impressed with the acting - a bit too much "facial expression acting" - "happy face", "confused face", "shocked face", "relieved face" - especially from Maria Bello as the wife.
Ashton Holmes as the son was a bit more real. But hey, I still quite enjoyed the thing so it must've been alright.

But, uh, don't watch it when there are kids around. (a big thank you to mine for going to bed really early tonight!)