Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Look at these excellent movie posters of the classic horror films I still have to see (the originals, anyway!)
I can't imagine, however, that any special effects or 21st century blockbuster tricks could create that pure feeling of fear and can make you tell the characters to "not go there!" as truthfully...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning all the Time

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." ~Eartha Kitt

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sand, Shadows and Some Friendship

Like footprints...

...and Names...

...and Shadows in Sand...

...Friendships can be Short and Sweet...

...but that does not make them less Beautiful,
less Necessary,
or less Memorable.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The King's Speech

The King's Speech
With: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter,
Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall
Directed: Tom Hooper
Written: David Seidler
Genre: Historical Drama
Running Time: 118 minutes

"Because I have a voice!" the King shouts in utter frustration through insecurity and stammering. He gets one reply from his speech therapist and close friend: "Yes, you do."

The King's Speech tells the story of a powerful man fighting a weakness that limits the use of his own power. A king should be noble, strong and sure. A king should make his people feel secure and proud. How does a king do this if he cannot even communicate? It is the story of King George VI (Colin Firth), the man who went from being Duke of York to king of millions because his brother, Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), abdicated to marry divorcee, Wallis Simpson in the 1930's.

However, George (or Bertie, as his family called him) is haunted by a stammering problem he developed as a child due to neglect and emotional abuse from a nanny. His father, King George V (Michael Gambon) is at the end of his life and the pressure escalates for Bertie to take charge and to speak as a leader. He tries numerous speech improvement methods, including smoking to "calm the nerves," but all to no avail. His loving and sympathetic wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) finds a unique speech therapist in an Australian "commoner", Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to help Bertie and even though the relationship has a rocky start, Logue and Bertie soon become close friends. By the time King George VI has to address his country before the start of World War II, he has grown into a King to listen to.

King George VI: If I am King, where is my power? Can I declare war? Form a government? Levy a tax? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority because they think that when I speak, I speak for them.

The film opens on the day of George VI's first live radio broadcast and where the radio broadcaster perfects his voice and diction, George suffers a great embarrassment when his nerves and stammering prevent him from talking to the crowds. The cinematography is constantly utilized to show the pressure of public speaking and the distance George puts between himself and the people he has to communicate with and the production design constantly pulls you into an early 20th century world coming out of one war and moving into another. Criticism has come forward regarding historical truths (for example, King George's first live radio broadcast happened 10 years before portrayed in the film and George and Logue apparently never referred to one another as "Lionel" and "Bertie"), but that does not take away from the incredible story told and the strong, yet unorthodox friendship that develops between two very different people.

Director Tom Hooper is like a conductor in front of an orchestra with this film and he knows who to put in his masterpiece. Colin Firth captures the insecurity and pain of frightened king perfectly without ever falling into self-pity and Helena Bonham Carter plays the strong, ever supporting Queen Elizabeth with expertise. Geoffrey Rush is also absolutely deserving of every nomination and award that comes his way, because playing an aspiring actor who had to settle for a more simple life and then becoming something great because of pure compassion and unique flair is difficult. He perfects the brutally honest, yet humble, personality.

Lionel Logue: [as George is lighting up a cigarette] Please don't do that.
King George VI: I'm sorry?
Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians say it relaxes the throat.
Lionel Logue: They're idiots.
King George VI: They've all been knighted.
Lionel Logue:
Makes it official then. 

                            And The 12 Oscars (Hopefully) Go To:

Actor in a leading role: Colin Firth
Actor in a Supporting role: Geoffrey Rush
Actress in a Supporting role: Helena Bonham Carter
Art Direction: Eve Stewart & Judy Farr
Cinematography: Danny Cohen
Costume Design: Jenny Beavan
Directing: Tom Hooper
Film Editing: Tariq Anwar
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat
Sound Mixing: Paul Hamblin & Martin Jensen & John Midgley
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler
Best Picture

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Around Me

"I'm the type who would be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I was not going to. I'm the type who would like to sit home and watch every party that I am invited to on a monitor in my bedroom."
- Andy Warhol

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love is in the Paint

I am not the girl who falls in love more easily in February or paints hearts on her face with pink lipstick on the 14th, but sometimes it's funny how the world encourages you to embrace some of the fun in the strangest of ways. I mean look at this paint I was working with the other day. It's a mix between watery purple and silver, which later rose to the surface to make this "love"ly shape...

 Not a broken heart, just an incomplete one... (am I going to deep into this?)

For the more abstract minded: it could also be clever shading...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Movie Collage

I LOVE this film and television poster collage by Brandon Muramatsu. I see some of my favourites in there...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Little Red-Hooded Boy

I love taking photos that are "not so good" and warping them into something a little more interesting with the gift that is photoshop.

This cute little boy becomes a mysterious, urban warrior who swaps taking pastries to grandma with spying on innocent passers-by...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Life is Funny

Life is more funny than anything else, so laugh you way through.

Don't forget to dance.

Don't forget to be silly.

Don't forget to do what no one expects.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black Swan

Black Swan
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Directed by Darren Aronofsky

 Nina (Natalie Portman) is a top New York ballet dancer who lives and breathes ballet. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace retiring dancer, Beth (Winona Ryder), doors open drastically for Nina when she is chosen to portray the Swan Queen. However, Leroy wants one dancer to be both the vulnerable, pure white swan, as well as her seductive, villainous "twin sister" the black swan. Nina perfectly embodies the former, but struggles to let herself fall into her dark side. Competition presents itself in the form of Lily (Mila Kunis) who epitomizes the black swan and paranoia becomes a big part of Nina's every day life. She loses all trust she ever had in anyone, even her critical, former dancer mother (Barbara Hershey) and soon this spirals into destruction.

Darren Aronofsky creates sheer art with every aspect of this film and every award nomination is deserved. The cinematography (with hand held camera actions playing a big role) captures the movement of dance and the overwhelming paranoia perfectly and the well-written twists keep you on your toes to the very surprising end.

What draws the audience in even further is the identifiable situations and the real performances. You feel the fear of losing and the intoxicating need to be perfect. You identify with not being able to share a part of yourself with the world and the grace a wonderful achievement can bring.  This film shocks to the core, but mystifies and amazes just as successfully.

One has to have respect for strong performances, especially when they include such precision dancing. Classical Ballet is the most difficult dance form, but Natalie Portman achieves what every ballerina strives to: she makes it look effortless.

Vincent Cassel is just as impressive as the vain, yet charming; seductive, yet intriguing artistic director.

Black Swan has already won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for best actress (Natalie Portman) and is now up for five awards at the 83rd annual Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Portman), Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing and, of course, Best Picture.

For more information, downloads and the trailer, check out the official site:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Memories

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." 
~The Wonder Years

One of my memory walls.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some Brightness in Nature

These almost look like detailed Monet paintings rather than photographs (probably because of the slight blur)

Little Island School

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. 
 ~Clay P. Bedford

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Today I want to Be... A Circus Perfomer

I must admit there has been more than a few times in my life where I have felt like running away and joining a circus. I can truly see myself fitting right in with the madness, the hard work and the eccentricity of the circus life.

The ideal circus job for me?
Animal handler? Love animal, don't know how to handle them.
Juggler? You need good hand-eye coordination for that, right?
Tight rope walker? We're gonna need a bigger net!
Clown? When you have as many brothers as I do, you do that anyway.

No, I'd be an acrobat (believe it or not, I have some experience), because that is where one finds the perfect balance between freedom and immense skill - you do "the impossible"; you create magic with the only instrument we're all blessed with.

- Ambrose Bierce