Hi and thanks for landing here. It might seem a bit backward, but I decided to start blogging only because I've been enjoying Twitter so much. While I love the 140 character limit of tweets, I realised that a blog would give me a place where I could have the luxury of saying a bit more. I've also set up here because I have a blogging project in mind... but more on that later.
Right now my face is stuck in the following books...
If you like to think you’re a non-conformist, watch the video above. Things start getting interesting from about 1:05. There is one rebel who holds out past the 2 minute mark (far right, second from the front), but by 2:40 the game is over.
The experiment was filmed by Ikeguchi Laboratory in Japan, which studies nonlinear chaotic dynamics.
I went to a pre-release screening yesterday of Africa United, a film which will get its big screen premiere on 22 October. We watched it at Greenbelt in the cavernous Centaur Hall, on a very small screen, and yet the film was so engaging that we were all very quickly sucked into the picture.
The movie opens with Dudu, the central child character, blowing up a condom, putting it into a plastic bag and tying it up with a net of string to make a decent football. And all the while he’s talking like the huckster he is to a rapt audience of street kids about the importance of condoms.
The scene sets the agenda for the film as Dudu and his friends are quickly plunged into a Quixotic 3,000 mile journey from Rwanda to South Africa. They’re determined to get their friend Fabrice – ‘the best footballer I’ve ever seen,’ says Dudu – to Football City in time for the opening of the World Cup. On the way they encounter a refugee camp, child soldiers, corrupt officials, child sex workers and a HIV clinic, and yet the movie rises above what might have been a checklist of African issues with an inspiring story of courage, sacrifice and hope.
Africa United was made in just 18 months, from idea to editing, and some locations such as the Burundi shore of Lake Tanganyika have never been seen in a feature film before. It’s directed by Debs Gardner-Paterson, her directorial debut. I’m going to write a full review of this soon.
Spent this evening watching Julio Medem’s Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998… how did I miss it before now?), which is definitely a film to keep for future viewing. Lyrical and elusive, this Spanish movie begins with two young schoolchildren who meet by chance and discover that their names – Otto and Ana – are words that work in reverse as well as forwards, setting the tone for a film which plays with time, chance and overlapping fates.
In the intense central scene, Ana and Otto sit close together as teenagers over a geography textbook and she shows him a map of Finland. ‘That’s the line of the Arctic Circle,’ she says. ‘Inside that line, in summer, the sun never sets. That’s the midnight sun. Isn’t it strange?’
They become lovers, but are separated by events, only finding each other again at a lake which is exactly on the Arctic Circle, where the sun merely dips to the horizon and the rules of day and night, as well as love and death, are suspended.
Apparently, Julio Medem directed the film without a formal script, seeing the film as ‘a way I could use to show things that I could not express with words.’ Beyond its ambiguous ending, which had me reconstructing the final events at the lake, Lovers of the Arctic Circle left me with a kind of homesickness for its beautifully human themes.