Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 3 of Scream 2 (0:13:51-0:15:52)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

SCENE 3 of Scream 2
Length: 2mins 1secs
Primary Characters: Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar), "Film Class Guy #1" (Joshua Jackson) and "Artsy Teacher" (Craig Shoemaker)
Pop Culture References:
  • Alien and Aliens (used as another example of sequels being better than the original, quoted by "Film Class Guy #1)
  • The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (another example, quoted by Randy)
  • The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (another example, quoted again by Randy)
  • House: The Second Storey (the lead off to a discussion about horror movie sequels)
  • James Cameron (Mickey has "a hardon for Cameron")

And with this I apologise for being so delayed with this, but life happened and I don't always have oodles of spare time to devote.

The story goes that Cici wasn't meant to be in this initial classroom sequence, but was instead introduced along with Rebecca Gayheart and Portia de Rossi's sorority sisters a longer version of the scene that comes after this, but when this class sequence needed to be reshot they threw Cici into it. I think it was a good move since it's not only creates some relationship between her and Mickey (when otherwise there was next to none) and, also, it adds a little something extra on repeat viewings. Knowing that inside Mickey's head he's all "you're gonna die soon!" when she makes that crack about James Cameron's hardon (you totally know he's angry about it and wants revenge.)

I guess it's really how "the story goes" though, is it? I mean, it's how the story was. The deleted scene of the film class in the cinema class room featured no Cici and the script pages specifically detail the extended sorority pledge scene with her and Sidney. I think it makes Cici's death a bit stronger, too, since she's not just another hair-flicking sorority girl. Poor Cici. She seems like one of those cool girls from school that would actually be nice to the plebs beneath her and who wasn't as dumb as people thought.

Hi Mickey! Your introduction is a bit less suspect than Billy's in Scream, but you're discussing horror movie sequels so you were instantly a suspect, even if you're not actually in much of the movie. Isn't that funny, it feels like the killers in Scream 2 are in it far less than Billy and Stu were in the first. It makes sense in "Debbie Salt"'s case since so much of the Scream universe plays around Sidney and her actions and bringing those two in front of each other before the finale was impossible, but they could have easily thrown Timothy Olyphant a bone and given him a scare sequence earlier in the film. Although in retrospect it was probably them just trying to deflect suspicion.

Or, now that I think of it, I can't remember, but was Mickey always the killer? I remember they had to change the killer's identity when the script leaked. Hmmm.

Oh Randy.


I was so glad they realised how effective Jamie Kennedy and Randy were in Scream and decided to bump him up to a bigger role (well, since he checks out early it's probably even less of a role, but of bigger significance!) Although, to be honest, he and Sidney did lose a big chunk of their friends so Sidney had no other choice. I like that they go to the same college. It's feels very "we're survivors, we stick together" on them, doesn't it?

Oh hai Joshua Jackson.

Just think, if there was no Scream 2 then there'd be no Dawson's Creek, which means there'd be no Joshua Jackson walking around all moderately-famous, which means he wouldn't be on Fringe and dating Diane Kruger and looking all swank. Mmm... where was I?

"Are you suggesting that someone's trying to make a real life sequel?"

"Stab 2? Who'd anybody wanna do that. Sequels suck!

I like Cici's "huh?" face and yet she turns around and asks Mickey to "name one" sequel that surpassed the original.

For what it's worth I too would say The Godfather Part II and - duh - Terminator 2: Judgement Day (it's nestled tightly in my top 10 of all time!), but not Aliens. Love Aliens, but I prefer Alien. I mean, they're completely different movies anyway so comparing them feels at odds.

Other sequels I would have used (in 1997) would be Batman Returns, Wes Craven's New Nightmare (although, admittedly, couldn't really use it in this scenario, could they?), Child's Play 2, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn and, er, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. That's a discussion for another day though. Since Scream 2? The Bourne Supremacy, The Dark Knight, Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me and, er, Step Up 2: The Streets. That's a discussion for another day though.

Oh Randy. This is film class and yet future Pacey Witter is in fact correct. Right? Or am I getting it wrong?

I'm so glad I couldn't grow facial hair in 1997 since I would have copied that ridiculous beard of his since Randy was my favourite at the time (after Gale, of course, although now I'd rank him after Gale and Tatum.)

"House 2: The Second Storey"

To which Randy replies that "the horror genre was destroyed by sequels." Not sure I agree with that since there have been many good ones. I do, however, look forward to the possible "remake" scene in Scream 4. I mean, surely they can't ignore that, right?

Oh Timothy Olyphant. You're so handsome and yet another actor who has come from such humble beginnings as the Scream franchise and become a respected actor. Just like Liev Shreiber!

This scene is obviously one of the most famous from the entire trilogy. Much like the "how to survive a horror movie" sequence in Scream (and nothing from Scream 3, amirightladies?), this "sequel's suck" conversation says so much about what Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven were doing with this movie. Almost like doing an autopsy at the same time as performing surgery. And you know why they know certain sequels succeed and others don't (noted again during Randy's "rules of a sequel" scene coming up later), they are pointing it out to audiences and all but demanding they take Scream 2 seriously. "We're not just another dumb sequel" type of thing, yeah? Great stuff.

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, Scene 31 Scene 32, Scene 33, End Credits

Scream 2
Scene 1, Scene 2

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Enter the Void

Enter the Void
Dir. Gasper Noé
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: R18+
Running Time: 161mins

Where does a film like Enter the Void stand in 2010?

I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but as I read the fabulous Liminal Vision blog today discuss the history of cult cinema, and today’s sad sorry state, I couldn’t help but think of Gasper Noé’s Enter the Void, which I had just seen mere hours earlier. Right now in Melbourne cinemas (well, actually, just the one – Cinema Nova in Carlton) you have the chance to see both Enter the Void and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and as fun as I found the latter, its inclusion in the cinema’s “cult craving” sidebar of late night screenings belies its inception as a film with minimal goals and limited resources. Mega Shark may be “cult” in that it’s a bad movie and people enjoy sitting in a crowd, mocking it to tears, but it doesn’t lay any claim to being an actual piece of cult cinema in the traditional sense.

As I sat in the tiny, yet thankfully plush, cinema – barely 20 seats, I swear – I couldn’t help but think that Noe’s hyperactive, neon-infused, heroine-addicted, batshit insane hooladoowacky movie going experience would be the type of film that audiences would have actually embraced in the cult heyday of the 1970s. There’s a big difference between seeing Enter the Void in a small cinema with comfortable seats and a bottle of water in the drink-holder and attending a sticky-floored cinema and watching it through a haze of marijuana smoke, which is certainly how David Lynch’s Eraserhead, John Waters’ Pink Flamingos and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo - famed cult classics, all of them – were viewed in their time.

It’s like what audiences did with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, paying their $2 admission fee (or however much it was) to get high and trip out on acid right there in the cinema. Somehow I imagine it’s just not the same in 2010. Today, drug tripping university students are far more likely to download Enter the Void and watch it on the new flatscreen TV that their parents just purchased for them. It’s enough to make me pine for an era I wasn’t even alive for.

I started thinking of all this because, well, there really isn’t much to think about in Gasper Noé’s first film since the shocking Irreversible in 2001. Where that film had a powerful and complex core behind its outer sheen of abhorrent violence, one that lingered long after initial viewing, Enter the Void is an exasperating two and a half hour ponderous excursion through Noé’s over-indulgent, untamed imagination. And a rather unmoving one at that (even as shock cinema I wasn’t particularly shocked.) Why end your film after an hour and a half when you’ve run out of things to say when you can keep going for another hour? It’s art, silly. I may not have seen anything like this before in my life, but I don't think I wanted to see two and a half hours of whatever it actually was. Much like Gulliver’s Travels last week, I suspect one must be on the sort of hardcore drugs that Noé’s lead character is on in order to get through it with any sense of what he was trying to achieve.

The thing is that I believe Noé has something in here worth saying, it’s just hidden far, far beneath the five (or was it ten?) minute visual effect hallucination sequences, frequent rollercoaster orbits over the Tokyo skyline, screeching conversations between uninteresting characters and ever-looping flashbacks filmed from camera angles that give the impression Noé and cinematographer Benoît Debie thought they were being awfully inventive when really they just shoved the camera on a ceiling fan and flipped the dial. Noé is unafraid to show whatever he wants and yet surprisingly in a film filled with uncomfortable scenes of drug use and a 20-minute long sequence in a sex hotel (in which glowing visual effects are emitted out of male and female genitals, naturally) it is the abrupt violence (a shot gun, a car accident) that has the most impact. Drug addicts don’t really surprise me, I guess. Is that flippant? Perhaps, but when even I’m bored by a visual effects inspired neon driven version of Tokyo I know there’s a problem.

The film is a frightful bore and yet is boring whilst encompassing everything that can be fascinating about cinema. I just can’t help but feel this must be what it’s like to be on a drug trip that lasts as long as a hiccup. Enter the Void is visually audacious, it weaves a stunning tapestry of sounds and colour, it’s structurally intriguing and these characters should be rich in pathos (actors like Paz de la Huerta and Olly Alexander put a stop to that), but the final product is empty. There are individual moments of wonder including one of the most flabbergasting, bravura, balls-to-the-wall opening credits sequences that you’re ever likely to see, but it’s all merely a temporary high. The initial effect is eye-opening, but then it’s all downhill and I just wished Noé would inject whatever energy he used for that LFO-soundtracked credits sequence into the rest of the film. Noé is like a drug dealer whose product is disappointing. I’ve sampled and now I’d like my money back. C-

One last think I feel I should mention and that’s the oft poorly used first person view. Enter the Void uses this for its opening act and while he certainly gets some good shots out of it, I always find the tactic an annoying one since nothing can replicate one’s actual field of vision. Especially as we’re watching it on a cinema screen with our own peripheral vision. Am I the only one who thinks this method of looking natural results in the exact opposite and looks incredibly fake?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jane, a Colored Girl



We have already discussed the brilliance of that Jane Eyre poster and while I never wrote about the For Colored Girls poster, it too is quite excellent. Put them together and throw Natalie Portman into the mix and what do you get? The poster for The Other Woman. I can't be the only one who sees this.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Full Blossom of the Evening: Some Thoughts on Twin Peaks

Please note that although this blog entry discusses a lot about Twin Peaks there are no actual plot spoilers if you haven't seen the series and wish to do so. Feel free to keep reading.

I noticed today that David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me has made its way to Blu-Ray. That's great news in one respect for fans of the series and the film, but it's disappointing to note that this release still doesn't include the two hours of deleted scenes that David Lynch excised from the finished product. I know the history of why we've never seen them - legal wranglings between the European production company and New Line Cinema - but it's still a damn shame!

Nevertheless, seeing the Blu-Ray release reminded me that I had never spoken about "Laurathon", an event held in November at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) here in Melbourne. I love living in Melbourne, have I mentioned that before? Yeah, I do, because of events like this! 9 and a half hours of Twin Peaks goodness on the big screen in a room lined with red curtains and a seemingly endless supply of donuts at our disposal. It began with the pilot episode, which is - in my humble opinion - the greatest episode of television ever crafted. So, really, not that big of a deal. Alongside that episode they screened episode 7 ("Realization Time"), episode 14 ("Demons" where Laura's killer was reveals), episode 30 ("Beyond Life and Death", the series finale) as well as the movie prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

That pilot... will it ever be topped? Who knows what television has in store for us, but it's just a slice of perfection, that pilot, isn't it? So many memorable moments that are forever branded upon my brain. If I had to choose but just two - my two favourites - I would have to go with Ronette Pulaski's walk across the train tracks since the imagery is so frightening with those "twin peaks" in the background and the tattered dress that'll make you really question where the series is going. Secondly, I'd choose the school sequence towards the beginning, starting with Audrey's smoke in the locker, her flitter of fingers in home room, the screaming girl across the school yard and that eerie tracking shot down the corridor towards Laura's homecoming photo in the displace case. The entire scene really captures that feeling of other-worldliness... I can recognise it as the real world, but there's a quality there that just feels slightly alien. The characters act just slightly off, don't they? Twin Peaks was always the best with it straddled that line delicately. Both are viewable below.

Episode 14 is - here we go again - probably the second greatest episode of television that I can recall. In fact, just the other day I was at my mother's house and turned on the Foxtel and what should be on? Episode 14 of Twin Peaks! Needless to say I rewatched it even though I've seen it many times, including as recently as a month earlier. Such powerful stuff, and yet, in everything that happens in that episode, you know my absolute favourite moment? Favourite of moments above all?

"I want you /
Rockin' back inside my heart"

There's something about that moment that speaks to the innocence and the childhood that these characters (Donna and James) have lost, and that Laura had lost long ago. It's a moment is minute beauty surrounded by so much doom and gloom. Love.It. Plus, the song is pretty great, too!

The final episode? Yeah. I can't even go there.

Of course, the movie is something else entirely, isn't it? Yowza! I'd never seen it on the big screen with a proper sound system, and it's a glorious thing to behold. Admittedly, I am a huge fan of the film - I'd rank it somewhere behind Mulholland Drive as my favourite David Lynch movie - unlike some people, but to see it projected onto the big screen is an experience to treasure. Lynch knows how to work sound and he certainly turns the volume up to 11 here.

The final 30 minutes are, of course, some of the toughest cinema you'll ever see. Fire Walk with Me is rated R18+ for a reason (equivalent to America's NC17 if you'd like). The culmination of two series worth of mystery, intrigue and wonder combined with the film's near-apocalyptic sense of menace and dread, all rolled up into a terrifying package. The sort of horror you don't even find in more traditional horror movies. Scarier, too.

And that ending... wow. As much as I would be intrigued to see where Lynch would go by picking the story up again 25 years later (and it most certainly will remain a rumour, but an interesting one nonetheless with Laura's "you will see me again in 25 years" comment don't you think?), I think the final few minutes of Fire Walk with Me (below) are the perfect coda to the entire Twin Peaks saga. If you watched everything in a through line - pilot episode through to Fire Walk with Me, despite their flip-flop narrative - then I can't imagine a more apt ending. Laura and Dale, the two driving forces of the show, together in the black lodge as Angelo Badalementi's haunting synth score floats overhead, an angel appearing as if by pure virtue of David Lynch's oddity and then.... the laugh. It's just perfect. I know I'm typing similar things a lot in this entry, but it's one of my all time favourite endings.

Speaking of Twin Peaks - obviously - I recently did a piece for Trespass Mag that looked at the fates of the actors and their subsequent careers after the untimely demise - or was it perfectly timed? - of the series. Whilst I was at Laurathon I gave a little bit of a vox pop soundbite to the Boxcutters crew (Australia's best - only? - TV-themed podcast, run by exceptional people I'm glad I know in real life) and you can listen to it here.

Andre Braugher and the Cameo of Doom

Does Andre Braugher show up on the cast list of your big budget Hollywood blockbuster? I'm sure he won't last very long. Still, even knowing from the outset that Braugher would most likely bite the bullet at some point during Phillip Noyce's Salt, I was shocked at how little time he actually stuck around.

Braugher first appears at 1:09:27, during the action film's big climax sequence in the underground defense systems of The White House. Not that you would know it, but Braugher plays the Secretary of Defense. You'd also be hard-pressed to actually see him on first sight since he merely walks by in the background.

At 1:09:52 Andre Braugher has his first - and only - line of dialogue: "President, I strongly recommend that we go from defcon 4 to defcon. At least at our forward bases." I have no idea what any of that means, but even a moment a minute later, where he's on two phones at once, he doesn't get to say anything. The Secretary of Defense is, apparently to be seen and not heard. And even then...

It was at this moment where I tweeted this (ignore the typo, please):

It turns out the answer was "not very long!"

At 1:13:03, a mere three minutes and 36 seconds after first appearing on screen, Andre Braugher's character is shot and killed after throwing himself onto the President to protect him from the gun-wielding terrorist. Poor guy.

And with that I can only begin to wonder what sort of crazy script rewrites and post production chainsaws in the editing room there were during the making of Salt.

Apparently I am not the only one who has questioned this, as this article by Scott Mendelson at Salon can attest to. I, too, noticed the way Chiwetel Ejiofor's character vanished for the almost entire third act and how the violence seemed to just keep on going forever. Alas, it was indeed Braugher's quick, near non-existent role, that made me question what on Earth went on during this production. I seem to vaguely recall reading about trouble bubbling on the set during production, but all I have distinct memory of is the initial casting silliness (Angelina Jolie subbed for... Tom Cruise?)

The film itself still somehow manages to scrounge up some entertainment due, I assume, mostly to Phillip Noyce's expertise behind the camera. The action scenes are mostly exciting and even as the preposterous nature of it all keeps on escalating, there's fun in there. The plot can be telegraphed from a mile away and the less said about that opening scene and that ending ("Next week on...) the better. Sloppy is a good word to describe Salt, but sometimes I'd rather that than, say, Prince of Persia. B- / C+

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Suddenly Ellen Greene

I ended up with "Suddenly Seymour" in my head yesterday, resulting in a long repetitive loop of listening to the track as performed by Ellen Greene and one of the many "Seymour"s from The Little Shop of Horrors' Off Broadway inception in 1982. I'm not too sure who it is, but it definitely isn't Rick Moranis, the actor who played the role in the 1986 film adaptation.

Speaking of that Frank Oz-directed movie, let's take a look at "Suddenly Seymour". It's gorgeous.

Which brings me to Ellen Greene. She's a knockout as "Audrey" in The Little Shop of Horrors (from what I've heard, all incarnations of it, not just the film) and this performance ranks as one of my favourite performances from a musical and one of my favourite performances of the 1980s. You certainly don't expect that belting singing voice to come from that mousy speaking one, but it does and it's amazing.

One of the best write-ups I've read about the film and Greene's performance is Nathaniel Rogers' at The Film Experience.

Greene's Audrey is a risky and unmovie-like creation (it's easy to imagine the same thing on stage -- which usually isn't a compliment), but her confidence and creativity are stunning. She so thoroughly owns the role that the performance transcends its origins. She'd performed Audrey hundreds of times but it's still vital and alive. She's Seymour's heart and the heart of the movie. ... Greene's voice is a marvel both in song and spoken word. And so's her look: that impossible silhouette, round cartoon breasts, helmet hair, and tiny frame were surely visible from the back row in the theater and so, undoubtedly, was the performance. Yet for all of that she's still endearing in closeup.

She gives that movie so much and I'm not entirely sure the film gives back (I admit to being lost about the appeal of the Steve Martin/Bill Murray dentist stuff), but the film is indeed enjoyable. I admit to never being particularly fond of Rick Moranis' shtick, although this remains my favourite performance of his since it seems so oddly out of the box for him and he and Greene make a kooky pair - even when they don't interact with each such as during the "Skid Row (Downtown)" number at the film's star.

Maybe I should rewatch it and see whether the film itself holds up as well as Greene's performance does. Watching certain scenes from the movie does make me suspect I'd like the whole much more than just the parts. I do love the look of the movie, that sort of strange hybrid of stage, but with really cinematic qualities. Just look at those two above musical sequences and compare them to, say, Susan Stroman's The Producers. I enjoy that movie a lot, too, but it was hardly creative when it came to cinematography and the like. I love that shot during "Suddenly Seymour" where Greene's Audrey and Moranis' Seymour sing to each other and the audience watches them through the hole in the wall of the building. Really inventive stuff. Despite the obvious artificiality of it all, I would much rather have seen Horrors nominated for Best Art Direction at the 1987 Academy Awards over The Color of Money (really?!?) I refer back to Nathaniel Rogers...

I've always been fascinated with the decision making process involved in stage to screen transfers. Many movies based on plays are notoriously nervous about appearing "stagy". Little Shop of Horrors mostly avoids this awkwardness and seems delighted to be an odd hybrid of both traditions. The movie version never tries to present reality. The sets come with painted backdrops; pouring rain never once douses the trio of narrators (doo wop girls as Greek chorus = endlessly amusing) -- but it also takes obvious care to honor the "motion" in pictures. The camera is always moving, restlessly trying out new angles and there is a nifty depth of field to the production, even within small rooms. Little Shop acknowledges the diorama views provided by stage shows, but your eye is continually moving around and inside the prosceniums: up and down staircases, peeping through smudged windows and traveling through doorways. Frank Oz is taking you into every nook and cranny of Skid Row.

How true.

"Somewhere That's Green" | "Suppertime (Reprise)"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

"Give me back my phone."

This has nothing to do with Christmas, but I hope its juxtaposition to the day can bring about a smile. We'll be back in the new week. Until then...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

American Psycho! The Musical

The recent news that Bret Easton Ellis', shall we say, unpleasant novel - and, I presume, my extension, it's visual adaptation to film by Mary Harron - is being adapted to Broadway was certainly a head-scratcher. Would the music be dark and brooding or light and poppy like the music that Patrick Bateman's (the novel's lead character) enjoys. Will there be a Whitney Houston inspired torch ballad like "The Greatest Love of All" or will we get smooth new wave pop like Huey Lewis and the News' "Hip to Be Square"? One can only imagine, and I haven't heard the music from Spring Awakening to know what lyricist Duncan Sheik could come up with.

This article does bring up a great picture for the mind, however, invisioning Patrick's apartment as a decadent white laboratory of musical madness. Think Harron's interpretation meets Down with Love and Rope. A lot of Rope.

Image by Justin Reed, source

I came up with some lyrics that are clearly Tony worthy. The first song I picture being sung by Patrick himself (first verse, final line) and a chorus of doll-face dancers wearing nothing but sheer raincoats. Does it work?

My name is Patrick!
When I’m through with you on my dick,
My name is Patrick!
I like to impale you on a stick.

I have perfect complexion,
Smooth skin!
Watch out I might just stab you,
Through the shin!

That’s me!

His name is Patrick!
He has some fetishes that are really sick
His name is Patrick!
If he doesn’t like you he’ll give you the flick

You’ll never see it coming,
Dig in!
His teeth will rip your flesh,
Real sick!


That’s me!

Yeah? Personally, I think it's amazing and stellar and wheresmyaward?

How about this little ditty I came up with?

My tanning salon,
Is it on,
Turn it up!

I like a tan in the morning!
I like a tan after brunch!
I watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre!
And then I get another tan for America!

My tanning salon!
Is it on!
Turn it up!

I like a tan in the evening,
I like a tan before drinks,
My pectoral muscles have never been so tan,
I’m looking so hot I’m gonna need a fan.

My tanning salon,!
Is it on!
Turn it up!

Some people say I’m obsessed,
I just say that they’re a mess,
If they looked as good as me,
They’d tan from 8 til 3.

My tanning salon!
My tanning salon!
My tanning salon!

How do I look?

And, of course, you can't have an American Psycho musical without a song called "Murders and Executions" can you?

Murders and executions are the things I like the best,
Ask me what I just said and I’ll say it was a jest.
Forget skinning cats and all the rest,
For murders and executions are the ultimate test.

(spoken word)
You know, someone once asked me “how can you do what you do, representing fat cat America?” and you know what I told her? “Shut your fucking face you dirty fucking whore!” We both laughed for four or five seconds before I produced a nail gun and shot her through the skull.

But you know what the moral of this story is? If you don’t have anything nice to say… I’ll kill you and stuff your head in my freezer!

Murders and executions, they’re what I like to do,
With knives and chainsaws, teeth and hammers too.
When I’m alone at night and I look at my toil.
I notice I am all alone, I feel like a Royal.

(spoken word)
Sometimes I wonder “How did I get here? What am I doing here?” and then I remember I’m exfoliating and that takes a lot of concentration so I stop thinking and make sure my fruit extract facial mask isn’t drying out my skin too much. Once I’m finished with that, however…

(big cresendo)
I look in the mirror and peel off my face!
Smiling ‘cause I know your blood will be all over my place!

For now the night is over and the blood has spilt.
How dare you mess up up carpet, don’t you have any guilt?
Oh, oops, you’re already dead so who am I singing this to?
I guess I’m all alone.
Murders and executions, baby it’s just me and you.

I obviously missed my calling in life. Now, how about that Far From Heaven musical...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What is Emily Blunt Thinking?

Image via GFY

By now we're all very much aware of just how very, very bad Gulliver's Travels is and here is Emily Blunt having to endure the publicity trail - or, if nothing else, the red carpet - in support of it. Considering she couldn't even look like she gave a damn during the movie itself, it would take a truly marvellous actress to somehow come across as enthusiastic now.

Poor, sad Emily Blunt. Actually, not poor. I hope and trust she got paid handsomely for standing around in front of a green screen pretending to watch a giant Jack Black urinate, or watch a giant, half-naked Jack Black play his flabby chest like the bongos, or watch a giant Jack Black romance a giant Amanda Peet. Sad.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus
Dir. Ace Hannah
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: M
Running Time: 85mins

To coin a phrase as sung by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville (because, since we’re talking about a movie called Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, why not?); I don’t know much, but I know that if you want to see Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus then you should see it with a large crowd made up on cult movie boffins who delight in watching the weird and the appalling projected on big cinema screens surrounded by other bad movie fans. Much like The Room, a Melbourne cult cinema mainstay, this latest entry in Cinema Nova’s Cult Cravings is designed to be viewed with many people, all of whom are hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a good time.

There’s really not much to say on the film, to be perfectly honest. Everything you can possible hope to know about the movie is right there in the title. I could reel off a list of moments that had me in various stages of laught0er – from mild giggles to full on cackles – but to read about the hilarious extras, the dodgy CGI or the tacky scenes of “sexy science” just isn’t as fun as seeing it for yourself as you wave your “Team Shark!” or “Team Octopus!” flags (yes, actual flags) and cheer when your chosen defender gets the upper hand. Or, you can ditch either of them and go for “Team Seagull”, “Team Gun-Toting Security Guard”, “Team Pelican” or any other team you care to create out of the various throwaway establishment shots that director Ace Hannah includes.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus doesn’t have the fascinating back-story, instant rewatchability and all-round bizarre eye-popping badness of The Room, nor was it ever aiming for anything within proximity to quality, but what it has in its favour is a gleeful sensibility that is awakened by being watched with a large group of likeminded cinemagoers. I can’t attest to how it plays on DVD in your own home, but there’s something quite comical about settling down in a plush cinema seat after a few beers to watch a movie in which, very literally, a mega shark and a giant octopus battle it out mano-a-mano. To end this review, let’s take some wise words from Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus’ own leading lady, 1980s pop star Debbie Gibson, and note that the future only belongs to the future itself and the future is Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Well, for 85 brief minutes it is, anyway. Z-

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus will screen as a part of Cinema Nova's Cult Craving sessions, here in Melbourne, from Boxing Day!

Review: Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels
Dir. Rob Letterman
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: PG
Running Time: 85mins

As I’ve been sitting here trying to type this review, I have come to the realisation that there are in fact many ways to begin a review for Gulliver’s Travels. “It’s good!” is not one of them. But, then again, neither is “it’s bad!” because Gulliver’s Travels defies mere badness and enters a sort of crazy inverted whirlpool, much like the one Jack Black’s Gulliver encounters on the high seas, and enters a parallel universe of bad. It’s bad, but for seemingly completely new and different reasons to any other bad movie I can recall seeing recently. It’s awfulness does not fall on mere bad acting or lazy writing – although there is plenty of both - but instead falls on some unexplained strangeness that doesn’t adhere to any sense of logic on this planet.

It has warmed my heart to know that several other critics have found themselves in my position. Particularly Tara Judah of Liminal Vision, with whom I saw this film and shared a lengthy rambled conversation with after as we both scrambled to explain what we had just witnessed. Questioning the film – and its very existence – seems like a fruitless task, and yet it’s one I keep coming back to. Just why was it made? I know the studio pitch – “It’s Gulliver’s Travels… with JACK BLACK!” – must have been an easy sell, but having seen the film I am quote certain that not one single, solitary person involved in the making of this modern day update was at all interested. The director? Doubtful. The cast? Definitely not. The grips, gaffers and clapper holders? They probably weren’t even aware what movie was being made. The entire affair is a strange and altogether odd concoction, made with little finesse or bother and ending with a finished product that is the strangest movie to come out of mainstream Hollywood since Mamma Mia!

Focusing on part I of Jonathan Swift’s five-part novel from 1726, Rob Letterman’s film wastes no time with things as Gulliver (Jack Black) is sailing away on his adventure a mere 10 minutes into the film. Promptly swept away to the Bermuda to write an article for editor Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet), Gulliver finds himself and his boat tumbling into an upturned vortex that washes him ashore an island made up of people one twentieth of his size. He’s considered evil, then a hero and then evil again and then some stuff happens with a robot (yes, a robot) and then the movie ends. I'm fairly sure that robot wasn't a part of the novel, yes?

It must be said that the film begins quite nicely with an opening credits scene filmed with tilt shift photography that is fun to watch. It all goes rapidly downhill from there with a prologue sequence of sorts that shows Gulliver being an annoying workplace clown that we’re apparently meant to find endearing. He’s nothing of the sort. The brow-burrowing doesn’t stop there either for Letterman and his writers Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller throw about scenes that will surely offend anyone who has even the slightest of desires of entering the world of writing and journalism. After plagiarising a piece of sample writing that his editor is too thick to notice straight away he is sent on a three week (THREE WEEK!) vacation to Bermuda (BERMUDA!) to write a short fluff piece (SHORT FLUFF PIECE!) Of course, “the pay isn’t great,” but when a character getting a three-week vacation to Bermuda as the first assignment in your new career as a travel writer then you know this film isn’t going to be aiming for realism.

Once Gulliver arrives in Lilliput things get even stranger and over the course of the next 70 of the film's mercifully short 85 minute running time they continue to get stranger and stranger. This mystical location of miniature people all dress in Elizabethan garb and yet the character of Horatio (Jason Segal) speaks in modern day terms, ending sentences with “so…” and occasionally lapsing out of his poor British accent. Apparently Gulliver’s popularity makes the citizens of Lilliput ditch their corsets, hoop skirts and frilly shirts for outfits from Supre and Cotton On. Emily Blunt’s Princess Mary goes from looking like her royal character in The Young Victoria to looking like Lindsay Lohan in a ghastly canary yellow dress with black leggings. How Jack Black’s slacker gear inspired that look is perhaps beyond my skills of movie analysis.

And what of Emily Blunt, who turned down a role in Iron Man 2 for this? Nobody within a few square kilometres of this production cares as little about it as Blunt does. I’d be surprised if the blooper reel doesn’t include Blunt accidentally throwing the words “pay check” into her dialogue when she was meant to be reciting dialogue. The only thing on her mind is, clearly, the money. There are scenes where I can swear I saw her daydreaming about a new Porsche mid-sentence! And one moment of particular horror is like a really bad punchline to a depressing career achievement montage where the audience will laugh as Blunt hides under the table. "Boosh" indeed.

And then there’s poor, sad Amanda Peet. Forced to somehow make audiences believe that she would fall for Jack Black and then humiliated by having to dance around like Portia De Rossi doing her chicken impersonation from Arrested Development. The climactic action sequence between Gulliver and Chris O’Dowd’s General Edwards in a giant robot costume is lazy, the 3D – while initially promising – is more or less ditched by the second half, presumably by visual effects artists who found better things to occupy their time with. Like, oh I dunno, eating paper. And then there’s that musical sequence where the cast sings Edwin Starr's “War”. Something tells me Elaine Benes wouldn’t even believe that if I told her.

Throw in the biggest toilet gag every seen, a drunken Catherine Tate seemingly impersonating Fiona Shaw from The Black Dahlia, a dark sense of embarrassment for Black – forced to done a pink, frilly doll costume when he arrives on an island of people even bigger than he – and Prince quotations and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a truly baffling movie going experience. Who green-lit this script? Who on set didn’t think to question anything that was going on (perhaps the copious green screens made it impossible for everyone to know how cartoonish yet cheap it would all end up looking?) and why – just WHY – did anybody think audiences would like these people?

Words can’t truly express how strange Gulliver’s Travels is. I imagine one has to be stoned to appreciate any of it, and yet nobody over the age of 8 would be within the film’s demographic. So unless you, your child or both are stoners I can’t recommend it. I mean, I wouldn’t even recommend it to them, but at least they might get a kick out of seeing Jack Black urinate over a castle. Everyone will probably sit there is shocked disbelief at the clusterfuck of oddities that make up this movie. My head was spinning by the final scene and when the credits began to roll I looked over at my friend and was quite speechless. What had I just watched and just how bad was it? How bad? This bad: F

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: TRON: Legacy

TRON: Legacy
Dir. Joseph Kosinski
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: PG
Running Time: 120mins

What is the legacy of TRON? Steven Lisberger’s 1982 original revolutionised special visual effects (it was deemed ineligible by the Academy Awards because they felt its use of computers was “cheating”!) and has been an inspiration for Pixar’s John Lasseter and French dance musicians Daft Punk. 28 years later and we finally get the sequel that comes as technology has finally caught up with the ideas. First time director Joseph Kosinski may have brought TRON into the 21st century, but he also brought along the clunky dialogue, confusing exposition and hokey acting. TRON: Legacy is as sleek and snappy as they come, but the parts are rusty.

Read the rest at Trespass

I honestly wanted to give this higher grade for the visuals and that amazing music score by Daft Punk, because I truly did think it was second-to-none in those areas. The costumes, the art direction, the visual effects? I'd give them all Oscars if I could (beating out Inception, which I think a lot more people will be pulling for) and I think the film would be an easy rewatch because of them. However, I also reckon the story stinks. It stunk in 1982 and it still stinks now.

I think the most apt aspect of TRON: Legacy is that the character of Sam Flynn (son of Jeff Bridges' Kevin Flynn) has absolutely no awe whatsoever at what he is seeing and experiencing. He just seems to shrug his shoulders and go "yeah, okay, this seems right." Like... huh? How can they expect the audience to be blown away by this story of technology's take-over of civilisation if the lead character can't even get all that worked up over it (unless he's shooting a big gun... ugh, GUNS? Guns in the world of TRON? That was the most offensive aspect of it. I hate when sci-fi/fantasy movie resort to using guns, it's like giving up!) In fact, one of the nicer moments was Olivia Wilde's face at the very end. She had awe, he had constipation. C+

Review: Somewhere

Dir. Sofia Coppola
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: M
Running Time: 97mins

What can one make of Sofia Coppola and Somewhere? Many will criticise her for yet again making a wistful movie about rich and privileged folk, just like Marie Antoinette and Lost in Translation before, filled with beautiful people who have a penchant for staring out of windows as breezy indie pop wails on the soundtrack. And while it can’t be denied that Somewhere (Coppola’s fourth film) is similar in structure to Lost in Translation; there is a striking patience within it and a modern poeticism about it that allows it to cast its own unique beguiling spell.

Read the rest at Trespass

I simply adored this movie. I need to see it again, but right now it sits just below Lost in Translation as my favourite Coppola, but could easily rise. It has an even more bittersweet quality to it than Translation. So my delicate and beautifully help moments. How about that face mask scene? Or the long pan out of Dorff and Fanning beside the pool? Or those final shots of the car? That opening sequence, too, is one of the most - and I use this word in the review - patient ones I can recall of recent films. All but daring people to decide straight away whether they're going to stick with it for not bother.

I mentioned during my Design of a Decade series of decade round-ups that Sofia's "soundtracks have become events in themselves", and Somewhere is a really interesting one. Less floaty indie pop and more mainstream flare. Where else could you ever expect to hear Gwen Stefani's lush "Cool" (with those silky smooth "coo-coo" parts) next to Phoenix's brilliant paean "Love Like the Sunset Part II" next to Bryan Ferry's "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" next to Amerie's "1 Thing"? Excellent stuff yet again, although perhaps not as far-reaching. And, really, points do get deducted for having The Police on there. For shame, Sofia! For shame... A-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010, The Year of the Music Score?

Many in the movie-watching game have claimed 2010 was the "year of the woman" (don't tell Meir Zarchi, he may get the wrong idea!) or the "year of animation" or the "year of the auteur", but I'd like to put forth my own suggestion:

2010 is the year of the music score!

Usually when I glance over my "best of the year" ballot the Best Original Score category has a couple of nominees that I couldn't live without, but rarely is it overflowing with contenders like it is this year. While in almost any other year having to boot out the scores for The Tree (Grégoire Hetzel), Mother (Byeong-woo Lee), Red Hill (Dimitri Golovko) and - most shamefully - The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Rose) would have been nigh on unthinkable, this has been like no other year I can recall in recent memory.

"Dance" | "Abyss" by Byung-woo Lee (Mother)

Reznor and Rose especially feel like a crime to omit from my roster of five best original scores of the year when in most other years I would be handing them my Gold Model, but I gave them the flick because, as spectacular as their music is, it's the one that seems to least bring me back to the movie itself. If that makes sense. It's fantastic to listen to (and I've included two of my favourite tracks below) but when I listen to it I don't go "Oh man, I need to watch The Social Network again!"

"Hand Covers Bruise" | "Magnetic" from The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Rose)

Bear in mind I have not seen Black Swan, True Grit or The Ghost Writer yet so this upcoming top 5 (in alphabetical order) could change once again when I do, but these next five scores are one of the things that has made 2010 so good for me. I covet them and want to wrap them around me like a warm blanket.

I was as surprised as anybody to discover How to Train Your Dragon was, ya know, not shit! My history with DreamWorks Animation is hardly positive, but Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders and the rest of the team behind it really pulled it off with aplomb. Let's just be thankful there weren't any pop culture jokes, okay! Best in show for me was John Powell, whose score felt suitable grand and mythic. Chock full to the brim with powerful brass, delightful wind instruments, bombastic drums and big strings, it's been one of my most replayed film scores of the year. That recurring "Test Drive" (below left) theme (and the marching band version in "Coming Back Around", below right) won my heart forever and a day.

"Test Drive" | "Coming Back Around" by John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)

About 15 minutes into Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist at MIFF earlier this year I thought to myself "this is the best music score of the year!" And now that I've been able to hear most of the much-praised/buzzed music from other movies I reckon I can still say that Chomet's own music for his stunning animation is indeed the best film music of the year. What I was saying about The Social Network's music not transporting me back to the film itself? I can't say that about this music (or any of the other four in my top five, which is why they're in the top five and not Reznor/Rose). So bittersweet and whimsical without being twee. Even if you haven't seen the film the below piece of music will probably break your heart.

"Illusionist Finale" by Sylvain Chomet (The Illusionist)

Everyone seems to think that Hans Zimmer's score for Inception is all about those giant, thunderous explosions of horn instruments (that may or may not actually be "Non, je ne regrette rien" being played a glacial pace), but there is so much more going on. I love the fast-paced raver electro of "Mombassa", the ever-building tension of "Time" and "Dream is Collapsing", which is a fabulous piece of thriller music that, yes, climaxes with those thunderous horns. It is such a change of pace for a big budget action movie to feature a score that isn't either identical to everything else and/or a cheap imitation of Star Wars/Batman/etc.

"Mombassa" | "Dream is Collapsing" by Hans Zimmer (Inception

My absolute favourite film of the year - nothing can take that title away, nothing - is Monsters. The first time I saw it I didn't notice the music so much, I was far more taken by the visuals, but when I saw it for a second time I loved the way Jon Hopkins' jangly strings, whirling synthesizers, delicate piano and throbbing bass add to the sense of unease. The way it allows otherwise routine sequences to hang precariously close to the edge and adds a layer or drama that may not have otherwise been there. That Hopkins has worked with Brian Eno and Massive Attack is not a surprise to learn.

"Campfire" | "Encounter" from Monsters (Jon Hopkins)

Of course, everybody was talking about Daft Punk's score for TRON: Legacy from the very day the film was announced and, having just seen it last night (I didn't listen to the music beforehand, I wanted it to be experienced in the way it was designed to on first inspection), I can say that it didn't disappoint (me). Fans of the French muso's music will immediately leap towards "Derezzed", "TRON Legacy (End Credits)" and "The Son of Flynn", but I also love the Blade Runner styles of "Armory", the almost John Carpenter like pulse of "Arena", the strings of "Adagio for TRON", the panpipes of "Outlands" and the futuristic war epic grandoise music of "Disc Wars" help give the score a real claim on legitimacy. But those pulsating synths of "End of Line" (with 8-Bit sound effects to boot), "The Game Has Changed" and "Nocturne" will make you want to rush out, purchase the soundtrack, start playing and turn the volume up the glass-shattering levels.

"The Game Has Changed" | "End of Line" by Daft Punk (TRON: Legacy)

Of course, if I was able to choose by absolute favourite score of the year it would have to be I Am Love. While it's not an original score, but instead a collection of famous John Adams pieces that have been collated and assembled by director Luca Guadagnino for his Italian film, there was still no more harmonious collaborations between visuals and sounds than I Am Love. I could listen to this soundtrack all day long, even the big, bombastic, melodramatic pieces that turned some people off. I found it delicious and one morsel of music from the soundtrack is never enough.

"Lollapalooza" | "Harmonielehre: Part III - Meister Eckhardt and Quackie" by John Adams (I Am Love)

All hail 2010, the year of the music score!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The 38 Faces of Nicole Kidman

Have you seen this "DP/30" (30 minutes with David Poland) video at Movie City News with Nicole Kidman? Poland interviewed her for Rabbit Hole in which she stars as well as produces. It's a very entertaining interview and one filled with hilarious recollections (I adore the way her voice changes during the story about being born in Hawaii), anecdotes (Sean Penn sending her a note saying "you were robbed") and admissions (she knows she's had "failures"). All with her wicked sense of humour and a deep interest in the subjects at hand.

One pertinent issue that she raises is the idea that films can "fizzle out" when their release date is too prolonged after their initial flourish of buss and festival success. So many films play at big festivals much like Rabbit Hole did at Toronto and yet get released anywhere up to a year later. I distinctly remember all the hubbub out of Cannes about Woody Allen's Match Point and yet it was released much later in the year, by which time the buzz had cooled off. Another recent example is The Loved Ones, but we won't go through that again.

I like how, for a woman who has apparently can't show any emotion whatsoever, she is so animated in this interview. Naturally, I took screencaps. I started taking just a few of my favourite moments and it somehow ended up becoming 38. Why didn't anybody stop me? Click to embiggen and try and spot your favourite!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Love and Other Drugs

Love and Other Drugs
Dir. Edward Zwick
Year: 2010
Aus Rating: MA15+
Running Time: An Eternity

Edward Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs should have taken the title of Emma Kate-Coughlin’s 1996 Aussie Gen X romantic comedy Love and Other Catastrophes for a more apt description of itself. Zwick’s movie is a catastrophe all right! A truly horrendous, offensive and all-round execrable movie-going experience, one of the worst films of the year. Audiences should be cautioned against thinking it’s just another light and fluffy rom-com with attractive stars; it is actually a deeply unsetlling movie.

Read the rest at Trespass Magazine

Throughout the rest of my review I label this film a "circus freak show", "incredibly stupid", "offensive", "repulsive", "depressing" and an "excessively vulgar parade of grotesquery" with "one of the worst film characters of all time". And it's all true. Love and Other Drugs is A-W-F-U-L-!

I wrote about four times as many notes during the film as I usually do and most of them can be summed up as "WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!!!" Because right from the opening scene with Jake Gyllenhaal acting like a tripped out raver in the electronics store, nobody within several kilometres of this movie was acting like anybody remotely human. If I ever came across Anne Hathaway's character I wouldn't feel sorry for her, I'd wanna slap her and tell her to stop being so annoying and self-righteous. Don't even get me started on the brother. Seriously, one of the worst movie characters of all time. The movie still wouldn't be any good without him, but with with him - and so prominently too - it just plunges the film deep down into even more bottom feeding territory. Lowest common denominator type stuff that character is.

I couldn't help but feel as if this was like some strange retro screenplay from 1996 that was written as a way to get Julia Roberts and Richard Gere back together after Pretty Woman, but they turned it down and hid the screenplay in a drawer for 14 years. Hathaway is made up to look exactly like Julia Roberts in 1996 with the hair and the make-up and you can totally see Richard Gere as this "lovable" womanising cad who is not at all womanising, but is in fact disgusting and repulsive. I admit to getting a bit of a silent chuckle out of seeing how many wool knit jumper and overall combination the costume designer would make Anne Hathaway way as she sits around her Lisa Loeb music video apartment listening to the soundtrack of Empire Records. Which, by the way, brings about the issue of these characters' story being so long and yet not one of them even redecorates their apartment once or moves a single piece of furniture. When you hate a movie as much as I do this one you find fault in everything!

It's all just so... ugh. I tempted with giving it an F, but instead I am leaving my grade at a D- because, as I mention in the review, the sexuality is actually refreshingly frank for a Hollywood movie. There are so mystical L-shaped bed sheets here where she is covered up over her breasts and yet he has the sheet delicately placed just above his own naughty bits. Apart from the general "these are two attractive people walking around naked" bonus, it was just nice to see. Alas, the rest of the music is filthy garbage. D-

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Claudia Karvan Shared a Joke with Me and Now I Can Die

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Awards here in Melbourne. I was at the ceremony for Friday night's Industry Awards, which you can read about at Encore Magazine, but on Saturday night I sat upstairs in the media room, asking questions to the winners after they came off stage. Catherine McClements was actually one of the most interesting, giving very detailed responses, but I enjoyed all of them including Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Emma Freeman, Deborah Mailman, Liz Watts, Adam Zwar and everyone else.

However, the real fun started afterwards at the after party. Held in The Regent Theatre's ballroom, it certainly looked lavish. I introduced myself to cute-as-a-button Morgana Davies, shook her hand and told her how much I loved her film and her performance in it. Her mother was suitably in love with me. I momentarily spoke to Joel Edgerton who is just as lively and, yes, incredibly sexy in person as you would expect.

Myself and Tara Judah of Liminal Vision, my partner in crime for the evening, had a wonderful chat with Best Adapted Screenplay winner Stuart Beattie who we somehow ended up at the same booth with (all by ourselves, too!) I basically spent a lot of time yammering on to him about how much I love Collateral, how I was a fan of Australia and probing him for information about his film. He had told us earlier in the press room that Paramount have just asked him to write the Tomorrow sequel, which I hope we get to see sooner rather than later.

When he got up to go to the bar we, naturally, took photos with his statue.

Tara and I also waxed lyrical with Michael Spierig, AFI Award-winner for Daybreakers (it won Best Visual Effects at the Industry Awards).

However, by far the greatest moment was when I got the chance to say something to the one and only Claudia Karvan. Australian acting royalty (15 AFI acting nominations, 4 AFI producing nominations) and she had nobody standing around her, making it perfect timing for me to turn into a puddle of superlatives about how incredible she is. I'm sure people like she and Edgerton are far too used to such things, especially at events like this, that it really doesn't matter all that much (although I think Edgerton liked that I said he was snubbed for The Waiting City), however, Karvan then turned to me and shared a joke! She pointed out a group of uniformed police officers and asked me "Do you think they're here for a Rush promotion?"

I. Could. Die.

Someone involved with her show Spirited came over at that stage and I figured it was my cue to leave and unfortunately didn't get a photo with her, but this is a picture from her on the red carpet so just imagine me standing next to her and doing my darnedest to not make a fool of myself. I think I succeeded on the not-looking-like-a-fool part, but if she somehow reads this then I will have actually failed. "What a weirdo!" I can imagine her saying in that oh-so-fabulous i-can't-quite-disguise-how-much-contempt-i-have-for-even-though-i'm-trying-to-sound-like-i-give-a-damn-about-what-you're-saying way she has.

I was there on behalf of Encore Magazine and you can read my roundup of the evening by clicking here and here. Unfortunately the awards are moving to Sydney next year so I won't be able to go, but I'll always have Claudia Karvan sharing a joke with me. Bless.