Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Drive by shooting

It's been raining lately... I guess good for the garden as well as raising the water dam a few more inches but bad for taking pictures. I did managed to get out last Saturday early morning to get a couple of shots along a stretch of road I drive by every morning to work.

There are times, when I pass by this road that the light is just perfect, the clouds and the sun rising without that harsh tint. But on the rush to get to work and the cars whizzing by, I just can't stop and shoot, can I?

Sometimes I do this "drive by" shooting but most of the time the results are not good. It does not even capture "the moment" if there is one! All those beautiful images filed in my brain's subconcious... too bad I can't share them with you. Not only I can't take photos that well, I can't write that well to describe them to you in detail.

I guess I need to take more pictures [practice makes perfect, right?] and stop making excuses.
I am watching a TV show, discussing what body parts we can do without:
Coccyx - they reckon that is our tail bone when we were crawling on all fours.

Appendix - not the index or anything referring to books but the vermiform one, a small sack connected to our colon. It was said that when we were munching grass, it helps to digest them; but when we became meat eaters the function was no longer required.

Wisdom teeth - just extra teeth that we don't need and for some, might require removal.

and the men's nipples - you guess right, we don't lactate but why the nipples; maybe so we can put nipple rings on them!

I though you might be interested - otherwise continue your bloghopping or whatever you're doing.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Astronautas on SBS

I love watching foreign films, which usually airs on SBS [with English subtitles, for I am no linguist]. Caught this Spanish "Lolita" film mid-screening and curiously caught my attention. Have you seen this film? I'll try to catch it again in full next time. Slept at 3 AM...

Astronautas [Astronauts]

"This unconventional, visually inventive film tells the story of the odd detoxification process of a middle-aged heroin addict, Daniel [Nacho Novo], who has been advised by his psychiatrist to follow a ten-point programme designed to reintegrate him into ''normal life''. His rehabilitation will depend on the help of teenager Laura [Teresa Hurtado], who enters his life by chance, and with whom an unlikely and touching love story unfolds."

Director/Writer: Santi Amodeo
Year made: 2003
Format: DVD
Duration: - 86 min

More review:

"Astronautas comes from Spanish director Santi Amodeo, who attended the film and gave a Q&A session after the film.

The title of the movie refers to someone who may have all the comforts of modern life, but remains disconnected from his environment. Daniel (played by Nancho Novo) is such a person. A former heroin addict, Daniel is working through a decalogue, or 10-step recovery program. As part of his therapy, he is renovating his apartment, which in itself is a metaphor for the rebuilding of his life.

One day Daniel finds a teenage girl (Teresa Hurtado) waiting outside the door of his neighbour's abandoned apartment, who turns out to be his neighbour's younger sister. He gradually admits her into his life, and in the process, she affects and changes him. Astronautas was not quite as comedic as I assumed from the festival guide description, but was rather a dramatic story with lighter moments and surreal animated segments seeded throughout.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and it provided a different view of a subject tackled by another film at this year's festival, Clean, with Nick Nolte and Maggie Cheung. Both movies had at their core the story of a heroin addict trying to get their life back on track, but each told their tale in a unique way.

Some tidbits from the Q&A:

- This was his first solo directing effort. His two previous films, The Pilgrim Factor and Bancos were co-directed with Alberto Rodriguez.

- The animated interludes throughout the movie reflect Daniel's personal reality.

- The people with bowling balls for heads in the animated segments come from the animator on the film, who was asked by Amodeo to come up with a prototype of man.

- When Laura removes paper cutouts of bowling balls from a drawer in the apartment, it represents her taking out Daniel's life from the drawer into the real world."

I am looking still for this ten-point programme, it may help me to combat my blogging addiction.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Sunday is much better...

I hope everyone had a good weekend - especially for those who celebrated Mother's Day with their loved ones.

With the financial crisis, newspapers [and internet sites] are awashed with what we should give to our mothers as gifts. For me, the best one is to spent some time with my mother [and relatives and friends, an excellent excuse to party and socialize] and treat the day as a special way to connect with her.

Admittedly, I don't have any material gift to my mom. It is a bit difficult to buy her something at age nearing 90! I know she still loves to read books, so maybe a couple of "choice" books would be more than appropriate and much appreciated.

Photo above right is one of flowers from an unnamed plant given as a gift. I find that very popular nowadays to give living plants or flowering plants [on a real pot!]. It is so practical as it won't wilt in a couple of days and with care, can be enjoyed years and years... now that is a good idea.

I guess that is why I didn't give mum a gift this Mother's day, the potted plant I gave her a few years back is still alive and well and keeps flowering. I know I am a cheapskate... but I do love her to death and I am not saying that because it is Mother's day.

Friday, 8 May 2009


This IS a rant - just a fair warning to all.

I was offered an "exclusive Samsung clearance sale" for a plasma TV model PS50A750 [Series 7] for a rock bottom price of AU$1,700.00. I said to myself this is too good to be true, but because I enjoy watching TV I consented to have my name and details included in the "list".

Great. Waiting... waiting and finally today I got a call from Lauren from Samsung Store telling me [surprise, surprise] that they don't have enough plasma TV of the one being offered at that wonderful price. But... wait, they have some "others" [to read older and crap models] on offer:

"Could I be interested in a Series 5 Samsung 50 inch at the incredible price of just AU$2,500.00? Or how about still a Samsung Series 4 PS50B450 for AU$1,650.00?" GST included.

I said I have to call back or email her manager Henry. Obviously I need to check the specs of the ones being offered before committing my hard earned money. My suspicion was right [I am a suspicious person], the models were older and overpriced as far as I am is concerned.

Shoot an email to Henry to ask how many of the "exclusive Samsung TV" was sold. At least I have the right to know how many were really on offer... I am still waiting. I called Flinton [another person who wants this "exclusive offer"] and surprise, surprise he also missed out!

At the moment, I still have this old Samsung projection TV that my daughter was waiting for me to give to her as a second TV for the kids.

I am sorry to say that I need to spread around dissapointments: where else will I watch my food and travel shows?

Picture above represent my very dissapointed and somewhat angry demeanour... but the good news is I am saving AU$1,700.00! Not the end of the world, and not world peace taken out of my claws... just a f**king 50 inch plasma TV, full 1980X1080 high definition, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 1,300cd/sq metre brightness, ultra bright, DNle Pro, digital noise reduction, over 175 deg viewing angle, ultra filter bright, 18 bit natural true colour, 262, 144 gray level gradation, cinema progressive film mode, 3D digital comb filter, low noise amplifier, movie plus, down firing speakers, 2 component inputs, 4 HDMIs, 1 PC input, 1 S-Video, USB wiselink, picture in picture, build in digital tuner, anti burn in technology, anynet technology, teletext, multi system [NTSC, PAL, SECAM], OSD language, blah, blah, blah... but why on Friday?

Now what would I give my wife for Mother's Day? Damn you Samsung Store!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

My breakfast after the breakfasts...

after the kids finishes off these two toasted cheese sandwiches.

Maybe it is the financial crisis; or maybe I am just too "concerned" throwing away these remnants. Sayang!
See here what we had on Good Friday.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Message sticks

Samson & Delilah is screening on opening night of the Message Sticks Film Festival at the Sydney Opera House on May 7th, and will release in cinemas in Sydney the next day.
Other capital cities in Australia will open on May 7th.
Visit the Sydney Opera House and Message Sticks Film Festival website here.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Samson and Delilah (2009)

Forget Baz Luhrmann's epic "Australia" and watch for this film by Warwick Thornton - I will.

That is the sad part. We want more "indie" films but at times we don't want to support them by watching or buying [as opposed to downloading on the net for free] the DVD. But there are some independent films [or "art films"] that are not available on DVDs - or due to the low demand makes the DVDs too expensive. I would like to see these films distributed on DVD like most commercial films, and I am sure a lot of people will be buying them. I could be wrong but if pirated movies can be had, I am sure an indie film can be mass produced and made availbale online stores.

Anyway, I'll watch out for the screening of Samson and Delilah this May 7.

If you can't wait, see review here by Matt Ravier and the filmography here by IMDb.