Sunday, 29 May 2011

"It should take you about 4 seconds to get from here to the door. I'll give you two."

Today, for what seems like the first time in over a month, I have no homework. This is a small miracle when it comes to a predominently VCE course. So I celebrated by:

- Watching the Doctor Who episode that I recorded, since I was at a friend's 16th last night and couldn't watch it all when it aired. He did put it on TV, but we missed most of the plot. So I got to see it this morning. Gangers! Tubs of acid! Jennifer hitting on Rory! (leave Rory alone you fool, he's married to the fabulous Amy Pond!!) Clone Doctor! Cruel cliff-hanger!
- Watching the end of Amelie, which made me feel quite a bit sunshiney and happy, and which I plan to review soon
- Watching some Season 2 Angel (I finally have time to watch it, not being bogged down by assignments and worksheets)
- Eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The only place I've found them is in the David Jones food court, and that's up in Melbourne. They're delicious, but the packet is rapidly emptying thanks to i) my cravings, and ii) my friend Eclair, who grabs some whenever she's over, and also uses them as a wager in any bet.
-  Re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's. While I love the movie (mostly because I love any Audrey Hepburn film), I also love the book, and it's impossible for me to compare them because they're so different. The quote in the title of this post actually comes from the book, but it's in the movie too.
- Despairing about the fact that we have school tomorrow.

Very non-productive. But isn't that what Sundays are all about?

Clinging to the edges of the weekend,

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Community Service Announcement

My best friend Eclair is not, as her name suggests, sticky and full of chocolate. She is, however, quite a lurvely person, and is capable of making me laugh until I cry, or roll off the couch and onto the floor (this has happened). We can have whole conversations made up of Doctor Who and Confessions of Georgia Nicolson quotes, and accomplish many nerdy, awesome things together. She is as insane as I am, and for that I love her a lot.

And now she has a blog! It's at and it's full of brilliant randomness, mostly about Doctor Who and her love for Matt Smith (and his hair. Also his chin. And his bow tie. Basically everything about him. I mean, can you blame her? He's sex on legs.). It's rather legendary, and everyone should go read it.

Just putting it out there.

Your informant,

Sunday, 22 May 2011

It's an Apocalypse, Let's Party!

So, obviously, the world didn't end yesterday.
I wonder if that guy in America feels really stupid now? I would've loved to have seen him standing there, all "wait for it...wait for it...wait....Oh. Darn."
My friend C came over for a sleepover last night, not because of the "apocalypse", but to watch Doctor Who together. At 6 o'clock we sat there with a packet of gummi bears between us, waiting to see if there'd actually be a giant earthquake and apocalypsey demons and all that jazz...but there was nothing. So we did a victory dance at not being dead.

But what if the world was actually going to end? I mean properly, not just based on the word of some religious extremist. What would you do? My answer is, of course, throw a giant party. Go out in style. You could do what you want with no regrets, since the world would be ending. You could watch 2012 or any other sort of apocalyptic-dystopian fiction film. And of course, you'd need a great playlist.

So, here are my musical choices for an end-of-the-world party:

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Top 5 Best Musical Moments from Non-Musicals

Sounds strange, I know, but these are moments of brilliant song and dance. Yet the films they’re from aren’t musicals, which makes these displays of theatricality even more...well, theatrical. Whether they’re performances or hallucinations, this is my Top 5 (with honourable mentions). These are only from movies, though. Musical moments from TV shows is an entirely different post, which I might will definitely do later.

1.      “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” performed by Heath Ledger, Ten Things I Hate About You
I loved this movie from the moment it started, but the moment that crowned it all was this performance. Having upset Kat (Julia Stiles), Patrick (Heath Ledger) decides he must sacrifice his dignity to win her back. So while she’s on the oval doing soccer practice, he bribes the leader of the marching band, hijacks the PA system, and serenades her with “Can’t Take my Eyes Off You” from the bleachers. The whole marching band joins in, he dances wildly and continues to sing even when security tries to drag him away. A moment of pure awesomeness and one that makes you miss Heath Ledger even more.

2.       “Moon River” performed by Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The most iconic image of Audrey from BaT’s is surely the one with the jewellery and the LBD and the cigarette holder. There’s no doubt she’s glamorous as Holly Golightly. Yet this scene shows just how beautiful she is, as she sits on the fire escape in jeans and a towel-turban, plucking a guitar and singing in her thin, whispery voice. I have to admit I like the song Holly sings in the book better, but Moon River is a fantastic song. Holly looks so far away from the high-class prostitute, and you get a sense of just how lonely she really is.

3.      La Marseillaise”, performed by every non-Nazi at Rick’s, Casablanca
Casablanca is a truly wonderful film, and this has to count as one of the most emotional scenes. In Rick’s (Humphrey Bogart) bar, German soldiers start to sing the German national anthem. The others, mostly runaways from invaded countries, begin to look disheartened. Then Laszlo orders the house band to play the French national anthem. Slowly, everyone else begins to sing. The look on their faces as they sing are breathtaking – such emotion, such patriotism, such determination. They drown out the Germans, and the audience cheers while wiping their eyes.

4.      Random Morning-After Dance, performed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a large crowd, (500) Days of Summer
This is quite an odd movie, but I like it. Clearly, events are seen from Tom’s (JGL) point of view and this scene is the best example. After finally sleeping with Summer (Zooey Deschanel), Tom is exultantly happy to say the least. He walks down the street imaging everyone congratulating him and when he gets to the park, thing go full-on Glee-like and everyone starts dancing while “You Make My Dreams Come True” plays in the background. Then a little blue cartoon birdie flies down to see Tom. No, I’m not making that up. It’s that kind of movie.

5.      “Jai Ho”, performed by Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, and a bunch of randoms, Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire is played as a straight romance-drama all the way through, but at the end it’s like the writers went ‘Damn, this is meant to be an Indian movie and we don’t have anything remotely Bollywood in it’. So, throwing conventions and possibly reality out the window, the movie ends with Jamal and Latika dancing in a train station, backed by everyone else on the platform. “Jai Ho”, a joyous song about love, fits the movie’s triumphant end well. At the end, the crowd boards the trains and Jamal and Latika walk off hand-in-hand. It’s a beautiful and somewhat unexpected way to end the film.

Honorary mentions:
·         The scene in, of all movies, Scream 2, where Derek upset by Sidney’s ‘we can’t go out because I don’t want you getting hurt’ speech earlier, sits glumly at the cafeteria table with her and two others. Suddenly, he starts singing “I Think I Love You”, quietly at first, then at full volume, jumping onto the table and being clapped by the rest of the students. Sidney, unable to resist such a declaration of love, kisses him. An unexpectedly sweet moment for a slasher flick.
·         The Plastics (and Cady) performing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ in Mean Girls. Yet another hilarious moment in this sharp, observant, genius film.
·         In Girl, Interrupted where Susannah steals a guitar and she and Lisa sing to a locked-up Polly, trying to keep her spirits up. One of the few heart-warming moments from this wonderfully dark, thought-provoking movie.  

My Top 5 Fictional Heroines

With their courage, intelligence and toughness, these women were/are the ones I idolise/d, from Disney girls to the heroines from literature, film and TV today. ‘Heroine’ doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be indestructible ninjas, although the ones in this list did quite a bit of ass-kicking. And it’s the more realistic, not-always-perfect girls that are the true fighters.

So, without further ado, the list, in no particular order:

Mulan, Mulan (1998) (also Mulan 2, but that’s...not worth mentioning)
Between the ages of 4 and 7, I think I watched this movie at least 10 times. Whenever Dad took me down to the video shop, I’d choose it, ignoring his subtle suggestions that I choose something else for a change (Dad was forced to sit through all viewings of Mulan too. Sorry Dad.). But it’s a great story. Set in China, Mulan’s father is an old, weak man, yet the army still wants him to fight. Mulan doesn’t want him killed, so she does the obvious thing: she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in the Chinese army, knowing it’s the only way she can save him. With impeccable courage and quick wit, she manages to defeat the Huns, save China and keep her secret under wraps...almost to the end. But Shang, the army leader, falls in love with her, so it all works out Disney-ly well. I have to mention Mushu the talking dragon too, simply because he’s hilarious and at one stage I could recite nearly all his lines. Mulan was brave, resourceful and determined, and one of the first Disney girls who didn’t need a man to save her.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter books/movies
Well, it’s Hermione, constantly referred to as the brightest witch at Hogwarts. She was gifted at magic, always one step ahead and saved Harry and Ron too many times to mention. Yes, Harry was the hero of the series, but arguably if it hadn’t been for Hermione, he would’ve died several books ago. Famous for the quote, ‘It’s leviosa, not leviosaaaaaa’. Everyone in the Potter-verse would be stuffed without her, basically.

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy
Katniss, to be, frank, is a legend. Like Mulan, she put herself in danger to save her family. In this case, she couldn’t bear the thought of her little sister being in the Hunger Games, the annual national contest where 24 kids enter a giant arena and forced to kill each other until one survivor is left (yes, it is as horrific and brutal as it sounds), so she takes her place instead. Katniss goes through a hell of a lot in the trilogy. She must survive the games, suffering numerous nightmares that the area conjures up, and things don’t get easy even once she makes it out alive. There’s the sinister, murderous Capitol to worry about too. Katniss isn’t neccesarily a nice girl. She isn’t polite or sweet or notably pretty. She can be snarky and mean and violent. It's a refreshing change from the usual nice-as-pie protaganists. She’s a good shot with a bow and arrow, and fights damn hard to get what she wants. She’s epic.

Romana, Doctor Who
Romana was a companion of the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) in the 1970s. A female Time Lord (same species as the Doctor), her full name was Romanadvoratrelundar and she gained a Triple First at the Academy on Gallifrey, their home planet. She took no nonsense from the Doctor, delivering such speeches as this: ‘Of course, now I realize that your behaviour simply derives from a sub-transitory experiential hypertoid-induced condition aggravated by multi-encephalogical tensions.’ (What?!) She helped the Doctor find the pieces of the Key to Time, and when they finally parted ways she became President of Gallifrey. Much-loved by the fandom and one of the first of the Doctor’s companions who was more than just a shrieking assistant.

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Well, of course I have to mention Buffy, the Chosen One, the vampire slayer who had supernatural powers and saved the world too many times to mention. Anyone who doubted the tiny, cute-looking blonde could even fight a butterfly shortly found themselves being proved very, very wrong. She destroyed vampires, demons, even Hell-Gods, all while juggling school (later college), friendship and romance. Even in her less-than-well-written hours (late Season 6 and most of S7, I’m looking at you), you couldn’t help but cheer for her, whether she was decapitating an uber-vamp or killing her boyfriend and sending him to hell. Buffy Summers, I salute you.