About Me

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Jakarta, Indonesia
I lose important items constantly, and am a failed teetotalist.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wall-E

Wall-E has been getting some truly outstanding press, and being touted as the best film this year... possibly the best film ever. And I usually love me a bit of Pixar, ever since being totally captivated by Toy Story. Toy Story 2 was even better (I especially liked the Barbie sequence). I wanted to snuggle that odd blue furry thing in Monsters Inc. I cried when they found Nemo, much to my little cousin's disgust. (However, I was totally uninterested in Cars -- erm, a movie about talking motors? No thanks, Herbie was bad enough). So I was rather excited about finally seeing the new Pixar film, even more so because I was going to watch it with the often elusive, occasionally flaky Amphibia, who seemed to be just as eager as I was.

While I can't agree that this is the best film ever made, I did find Wall-E utterly charming. The beginning of the film was incredibly absorbing -- Wall-E's lonely, dusty, trash-filled world was wonderfully rendered, I think they must be the best graphics I've ever seen in an animated feature. The eponymous robot was immediately appealing -- his camera lens 'face' was infinitely more expressive than the mugs on some live action stars these days. He rather reminded me of ET, but less creepy (I've always found the glowing finger thing quite disturbing). The developing relationship between grubby Wall-E and iPod-esque Eve (a 700 years younger model) was innocently romantic -- I think I could watch those two interact with each other endlessly.

However, once the human characters entered the narrative, the film lost some of its oomph. I can understand why the shiny, rubbery Axiom spaceship environment was so different to the Earth's desolate landscape, but after being treated to that spectacularly imperfect visual feast, the former just felt garish and like something I'd seen before (like in The Incredibles, particularly). The humans were 2-dimensional, especially compared to the sensitively realised robot protagonists, and even the robot supporting characters. Perhaps they were meant to make the audience feel uncomfortably self-reflective, but they were too bland to effect this.

In addition, the central moral of Wall-E, that our consumerism is turning us into lumpen isolates and that we must take care of our environment, is commendable but also obvious and simplistic. I really don't think we need a film to tell us this, or that it will change anything. Then again, I am a wizened, 22year old cynic and Wall-E may well make a more profound impression on younger minds.

Obviously Wall-E could never live up to the hype, although the extremely reverent audience seemed to have bought it -- I've never watched a film with such spellbound mass of people. There was no commentary, only delighted giggles whenever something amusing happened (which was frequent) and noticeably held breaths when something worrying happened. Wall-E seemed to transform the crowd of mainly adult Orange Wednesdayers into rapt kiddlywinks. I found their behavior almost as fascinating as the film itself.

I would definitely recommend Wall-E -- it has timeless appeal and truly captivating leads. I just feel they ought to have focus more on the lovely romance between Wall-E and Eve than making obvious moral statements. For your money you'll also get to enjoy the traditional Pixar short before the film, Presto, which was adorable, and the gorgeously hand-drawn images over the end credits, ranging from cave man scratchings to Impressionist artistry.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Mamma Mia!

This is my little sister's final week in England before she returns to Indonesia, and I'd planned fun for every evening, so that we could both make the most of the rest of her time here. Sadly, when I got home, she wasn't there. I charged up my constantly dying phone and found that she'd actually be staying down south until Wednesday morning, as its one of her best friend's birthday celebrations tomorrow. So I found myself alone and at a loss. Also pretty much broke, as I've been having bankcard issues and although I've finally got a new card, I'm still waiting another "5-7 working days" for the fricking pin. What fun can be had without a pin number or cash? I went on a wander around my little part of London, and it seems that you can feast at Pret a Manger and go to the cinema. So I did. I decided to watch Mamma Mia -- I've been oddly excited about this since I saw the trailer months ago, despite my until now ambivalence towards all things Abba.

And it was... (mind the pun)... Abba-solutely Fabulous! :) It's been awhile since I had so much fun at the cinema. The theatre was oddly packed for a Monday night and the audience was already in giggles even before the film started.

I'm not sure that this was exactly a film... it was more a series of rather surreal musical numbers strung together by lots of hysterical running around by the female characters. But all the better for it. Mamma Mia knew it was camp fun and totally embraced this. There was Meryl Streep pretending to be a boat figurehead with yards of fabric billowing about, warbling Money Money Money like her life depended on it. Pierce Brosnan honking SOS very oddly and endearingly at various points, much to the audience's utter mirth. Colin Firth in a dog collar and eyeliner, strumming a painted guitar. Julie Walters chasing Stellan Skarsgard like a woman possessed. Christine Baranski bringing dozens of young men to their knees. I don't know how they got all these respected thespians to do these bizarre things (money money money?), but I'm glad they did.

I want to watch it again. I'm forcing Sketchy to come. And I want to go dancing afterwards!

The Nicest Rejection Letter Ever...

My rejection feedback from the Guardian:

Firstly may I take this opportunity to thank you for the time taken in your application for the Guardian Training Scheme. We had an incredibly high volume and exceptional calibre of applicants this year. It was an incredibly competitive process and I should like to reiterate that your application form was very strong, hence why you made it to the group of sixteen (out of five hundred) invited for assessment.

In respect to your interview, the panel felt that you were clearly motivated and enthusiastic about working for The Guardian. However they felt that your experience was not as relevant as some of the other applicants and that perhaps you would benefit from continuing to secure work experience placements on national newspapers.

Regarding your participation in the group exercise we did feel that you contributed some well articulated points, however we did feel that you could have pursued ideas until picked up by the group.

I hope this feedback proves useful and that this does not discourage you from applying for future roles with us. Although you were not successful in being progressed further for this scheme we do feel that you have the potential makings of a reporter and we wish you every success in the future.

Kind regards

Anne

Monday, 14 July 2008

Limbo Bimbo...

Well. A lot has happened since I last deigned to update my blog, and currently I am too tired to write about it in depth. I didn't have to heart to write previously, as I was still in limbo regarding the Guardian job. I didn't get it, which I knew, but it didn't stop me being dreadfully disappointed to have this finally confirmed Monday just past. Le sigh. I'll post up the feedback shortly.

However, almost two weeks ago now, I got offered a job as a Publishing Assistant for a small company that produces business and finance publications. I accepted it even though I was still waiting to hear from the Guardian, and madly entertained a flicker of hope that I might just get it after all. I started last Monday (the same day I got my Guardian rejection, which may mean something), having completed a final week at the gift company. It's all going very well. I was sad about the Guardian, but I feel like a weight has been lifted, in terms of the future. I know where I'll be for the next year, unless something crazy happens.

Now I just need to find a new place to live!

Already, despite my still looming dissertation (basically untouched so far), I've already been finding London a new place in itself. It's so much better as a nonstudent, aside from the lack of discount I'll have to endure post-September. This weekend was very quiet for me, but wonderful. The London Litfest is on at the moment, and I went to Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's discussion of their erotic graphic novel Lost Girls. I recommend you look it up, and possibly purchase it from Amazon. It was fascinating listening to two people talking about creating something they both loved (this particular project took them 16 years!). They were both utterly charming and amusing. I got to talk to them afterwards, whilst pathetically getting them to sign my ticket, instead of splashing out on a new book. And I've just spent the rest of the weekend cleaning and writing articles for Treat, they're paying me a pittance to continue generating a basic level of content (how glam!?).

Anyway, it's time for bed. This newly permanently employed working girl needs all the rest she can get!
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