Sunday, 29 July 2007

Eastern Rovers Round 8 - match report

Eastern Rovers fought bravely against Werribee Tigers in their round 8 home clash on Sunday but lacked the finishing skills of their opponents, going down 12 goals to 6. The endeavour for the Rovers was close to their best for the year, continuing to run and challenge right up to the end of the game. Two last quarter goals and a couple of missed opportunities was their most productive part of the game. A 5 minute lapse at the end of the second quarter saw their opponents pile on 3 easy goals and virtually take the game away from the Rovers.
Goodridge played a little over a half a game again from the half-back flank and kept his opponent quiet. It mattered little however with too many Tigers loose able to run forward, choose the best option and kick running goals.
There are only two weeks of training left and one game to go against second ranked side, Footscray.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Eve and Marilyn - MIFF

My first MIFF screening was a short, 1987 doco titled Eve and Marilyn. Perhaps in retrospect I would have liked to have chosen a more recently made film, but I was bewitched by the prospect of Marilyn Monroe (and I can assure you I’m not the first). I listened intrigued by the first hand account of (74 year old) documentary photographer Eve Arnold tell of her time spent with Monroe as Arnold’s images of Monroe were slowly zeroed in on. Sometimes small and dumpy, other times tall and graceful – Monroe had the ability to transform herself in front of a camera. In her earlier years, where studio photography was the only way to gain a profile which lead to movie roles, Monroe played a role in front of the camera – one that we are all intimately familiar with – the playful, curvaceous and sexy movie star. Arnold reflects that it was only when she actually became a movie star that reality and fantasy collided and she couldn’t cope. But it was her trust in Arnold, and Arnold’s respect of her, that meant they had a “close” working bond. Arnold spent 2 months on the set of The Misfits recording the behind the scenes action with her camera at the request of Monroe who had had quite enough of being the centre of a publicity storm wherever she went. And it is these collection of images that tell a more intimate portrait of Monroe than just the sassy publicity shots. While sometimes fragile and sometimes na├»ve, Monroe was an otherwise savvy, image conscious presenter of herself and used the photographers to her advantage. They in turn used her to sell her image to the world.

Monsieur Ibrahim - GG

The main problem with The Terminal (7 Wed 830P) is that its not that interesting. Tom Hanks plays another slightly strange guy with a funny accent, this time stranded in JFK Airport, for months on end. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the slightly reluctant love interest and Stanley Tucci the overzealous bureaucrat. Perhaps the greatest crime about this so-so drama is that it is Spielberg at his worst with way too many schmaltzy set-ups served with an extra dousing of saccharine. The ending will make you retch. But perhaps you already suspected that.
Much better to turn over to SBS to watch a 2003 French drama, Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran (Wed 10P) which stars Omar Sharif as a Muslim, Parisian shopkeeper. RT gives this one 84% (the other one a mere 61%).

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Eastern Rovers Round 8 - preview

In what has become a recurring theme at the selection table this season, Goodridge has been named on the bench for Sunday’s round 8 match against 4th ranked Werribee. In all likelihood this will lead to half a game in the back line.
In truth the motivation has begun to wane as the winter moves on and the aerobic fitness is nowhere near the levels attained earlier in the year. Two more weeks and one game to go then I can get fat over August.
September 1 is my start for pre-season however which is not that far away …

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Wednesday nights - GG

Rather than continuously bemoaning the lack of quality fare on regular TV or, what quality there is, is on channel repeat for repeatieth time, one must applaud channel 7 I suppose for having a “new” movie night on what used to be Sunday (and then Friday and then Tuesday and then Thursday) but is now on Wednesday. This way they at least show movies as recently made as they are allowed to (that would be 3 years) and that is commendable in and of itself. This week was National Treasure {shudder} and next week, Ladder 49 (Wed 7 830P) which can only mean we must be one week closer to a “good” blockbuster, clearing the decks with the dross first.
Ladder 49 is an “action-adventure” about a team of fireman heroes (thank-you post-9/11 America) who are ‘called’ to their duty and display courage and family values and so on and so forth. I’m sure its okay, RT does only give it 41% but I am still too scarred by Backdraft all these years later to ever see a film about firefighters again (or "fighter-fighters" as my 5 year old son used to call them which is all very endearing coming out of a 5 year old’s mouth).
I have not seen it, but Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke (9 Mon midday) is likely to hold the middle ground with respect to theme and quality between The Piano and In The Cut which were made either side. “All stories are of women in danger, powerless to stop the forces at work around them.” Stars Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel.
You may also be tempted by Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (ABC Wed 1245A).

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

MIFF 2007 - an Introduction

Melbourne International Film Festival kicks off next week, I have my series pass and I'm excited !
I am attending a number of different screenings and these have been "locked" in. If you and anyone else you know would like to come along to any or all of these times then you would be most welcome to join me. I would welcome the company.
The films being screened at MIFF this year are placed in many categories and it is of course impossible to get a taste for all of them. The Australian and Asian sections seem a little more limited this year with a greater input of European films and new categories such as "horror" , "Forbidden Pleasures", "Israeli" and "African". The documentaries section seems to be somewhat expanded also.

In my selections I have eschewed the European sector and have ended up with
3 Aussie films; 3 Asian films; 2 docos; 1 horror; 1 US; 1 collection of fiction shorts; and 2 "classic" screenings. A varied menu and no mistake.

If you would like to come along then you would be more than welcome. I suggest you book online as the evening sessions in particular are very popular.

My program then :

During the day
Thursday 26/7, 3pm, Eve & Marilyn plus Behind the Veil, documentaries on photographer Eve Arnold, one with Marilyn Monroe as her subject and the other a "rare glimpse into the world of the harem"
Thursday 2/8, 1230pm, The Ballad of Narayama, "classic", 1983 Japanese drama on the cycle of life and death by auteur director Shohei Imamura
Tuesday 7/8, 3pm, a collection of fiction shorts, 8 short (from 5min to 15min) fiction films from around the world

During the week
Tuesday 31/7, 9pm, Time, South Korean, much anticipated by me, by director Kim Ki-duk who most recently released 'Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter... and Spring' and '3 Iron'. He has another film at this festival, 'Breath' which time will not allow me to see. I note that this film has just been released in America and scored a 3.5/4 review on release.

The Long Weekend
Friday 3/8, 7pm, Teeth, US "occasional teen comedy, sometimes horror, laced with sex"
Friday 3/8, 9pm, September, Australian, "Ed and Paddy have been fast friends for as long as they can remember but Ed is white and Paddy is Aboriginal. The winds of social change are blowing their way, threatening to fracture what was a rock solid friendship"
Friday 3/8, 11pm, Dog Bite Dog, "Hong Kong action film of the year…distinguishes itself even by Hong Kong standards with its uncompromising toughness"
Saturday 4/8, 11am, Prater, documentary, "Vienna's Prater is the oldest amusement park in the world - the beguiling images in this film provide a giddy ride through the carnival and Vienna's history"
Saturday 4/8, 1pm, The Phantom of the Opera, Classic, this should be highlight of the festival : 1925 silent classic starring Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin, at the Regent Theatre with live musical accompaniment of "one of the world's finest Wurlitzer theatre organs"
Sunday 5/8, 1pm, In the Company of Actors, Australian, "Two of the world's finest actors, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, prepare to perform the Sydney Theatre Company's version of Hedda Gabler in New York."
Sunday 5/8, 3pm, Hana, Japanese, director Hirokazu Kore-eda, a period film about a "gentle samurai on a mission to take revenge on his father's death"
Sunday 5/8, 5pm, Run Rabbit Run, Australian, written directed by Bob Ellis (journalist, writer, speechwriter) portrait of SA premier Mike Rann "as he negotiates the maelstrom of his re-election campaign.

And One More
Saturday 11/8, 7pm, Black Sheep, NZ horror about mutating sheep that eat people. Sounds hilarious. Something that Peter Jackson might have come up with.

Eastern Rovers Round 7 - match report

A heartbreaking two point loss to the Rovers on Sunday. In an otherwise scrappy, unimpressive affair against bottom-placed Box Hill Demons, the Rovers lead for most of the second half but their poor kicking ultimately cost them the game. With mere seconds to go, a BH forward marked the ball within range, the siren blew and then slotted the goal that gave them the win. The Rovers 4.12.36 was ultimately not enough to the Demons 6.2.38.
At least half of the Rover’s missed chances were from set shots within range. Mind you, as one wag put it the next day, if our forwards had kicked 3 more points between them then that would have been sufficient.
Two more games left this season (both at home) against third and fourth on the ladder.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

MIFF Program Guide tomorrow

Melbourne Internation Film Festival program free in The Age tomorrow. My season ticket arrived in the post this week. The Festival starts July 25. Can hardly wait !

GG Famine

Once again the weekly GG meal is famine and so you may as well eat junk food to avoid starvation than rely on a king’s feast which may never happen. So watch Austin Powers, or Die Hard 2, or Gone in 60 Seconds, or National Treasure. While you’re at it, in the TV stakes you may as well watch Lost : Greatest Hits followed by Lost : The Answers. In truth, the third Harry Potter movie (Prisoner of Azkaban) (Sat 9 730P), directed by Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men) is the best of the four (although early reports of the latest instalment suggests that #5 might be better yet) with Cuaron moving away from the “children’s film” emphasis of Columbus’ earlier efforts by putting a bit of URST into the teenage protagonists.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Formal dresses down Pixar

Thinking of attending the Pixar exhibition at ACMI these school hols ? Think again says long time GG supporter and first time contributor, Formal. ed GGBlog
No doubt your children are as fond of the crazy, colourful, ever-so-lovable Pixar characters as is my little one. And with good reason - Pixar has re-invented animation as we know it.
So you may be considering the Pixar exhibition at ACMI at Federation Square. With all that creativity harnessed with amazing animation technology it would have to be a sure-fire hit with the kiddies wouldn't it? Woody, Buzz, Nemo, Lighting McQueen. IT couldn't possibly be dull or boring, could it?
Well, they achieved the impossible. It is dull and boring. Nothing but drawings and models and no explanation on how the animation is produced. And whilst ostensibly marketed at children it really doesn't cater for them at all. And all at a hefty entrance fee.
I think they lost sight of their target audience. Adults aren't really into Pixar the way children are and are probably only going thinking the kids will love it. But there is precious little there to interest children- nothing more interactive than a table with paper and crayons. Just blank paper, not even colour-ins.
Only arty nerds would get anything out of it but they are probably to highbrow to watch Pixar, preferring Greenaway, Almodovar and De Heer to satisfy their eclectic tastes.
So, I suggest you save yourself $50-$60 and stay home and watch the DVDs instead.

Eastern Rovers Round 7 Preview

Clearly ranting about something has no actual health side effects ! As blogged and ranted last week, I'm still ill and have spent more time at home than at work these last two weeks. I'm now on antibiotics as I'm pretty sure the cough has gone bacterial but I'm still far from 100%.
That means that training has been OFF the agenda and my legs feel as though they will atrophy from the inaction. This also means that I am unavailable for Sunday's round 7 clash with bottom of the table Box Hill.
Eastern are 4th off the bottom having beaten the other two teams below it and so a win is hoped for. Certainly we would expect to encounter a team who is a similar standard to us however one should take nothing for granted. We have played far from well in the past few games and turning victory into a loss is not beyond us.
My hope is to be well enough to stand on the sidelines and cheer the boys on.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

In the Company of the Thornberries - GG

The weekly GG’s cup certainly does not runneth over. It is hard to get excited about most films to be screened. In the Company of Men (Wed 9 12midnight) stars “charismatic” Aaron Eckhart and written and directed by Neil La Bute (Nurse Betty and 2006’s The Wicker Man). Eckhart is “smiling, square-jawed and venomous” in this film “about misogyny as an aphrodisiac and the emotional brutality of which men are capable – toward women and each other. This film remains a coiled, bloody revelation.”
The only other movie that I genuinely like is The Wild Thornberrys Movie (10 Sun 1P). The Thornberry family unit is strong and caring, the children are a real mix of independence and dependance, and while there is some character comedy (little brother Donnie, aka the child whirlwind and older sister Debbie, the disconsolate teenager) at no stage do the characters devolve into caricature. The star of the show however is Eliza who has a pet monkey Darwin and can talk to animals. Yes, its animated and yes its primarily for children, but the whimsy and strong family ties make me a fan of the TV series which this film apes suitably.
For those who did not make the effort to see Hitchcock’s Sabotage last year when it was screened and then castigated me fiercely for their missed opportunity (you know who you are), they have another opportunity (ABC Tue 2A). WARNING, my review contains spoilers !

Being Ill - Rant

There is nothing to spoil your week more than by being ill ! Despite having a head cold last weekend, that was not going to stop me from playing on Sunday. Unfortunately the cold triggered a mild asthma attack (alright, alright, I’m sure playing football didn’t help) which up until today has still not cleared. On top of this I have scored a more severe virus that has flu-like symptoms : continually feeling cold, headaches, high temperature, phlegmy cough that I don’t think has turned into an infection yet so that would be good if it didn’t.
I had Monday off from work but went Tuesday and Wednesday. The hardest part, with the asthma, was getting there and back again. The walk to the train station (from the car) and the walk to the office (from the train station) was slow and laborious. With a restricted airflow (which essentially is what asthma is), exacerbated by the frigid air, insufficient oxygen into the lungs prevents normal movement.
So here I am off work again today in a bid to recover more ably. The effects of the virus ebb and flow depending on my strenuousness and the time of day. My one outside activity today, you will be relieved to hear, was to purchase my copy of the Green Guide (what else, it’s Thursday!).
The pressure of not turning up to work, even when I know that I am genuinely unfit for the workplace, is still high. I have a lot of work waiting for me (it’s June year end) and I know that clients will start asking for this, that and the other.
But, to wile away the hours, I have rented from my local Video Ezy, Inarritu’s Babel (Blanchett, Pitt, Bernal) which I desperately wanted but failed to see in the cinema over summer, and Reitman’s subversive comedy, Thank you for Smoking starring Aaron Eckhart.

Eastern Rovers Round 6 Match Report

Last Sunday’s Round 6 match between Eastern Rovers and top side Glen Orden was always going to be a difficult assignment given the Rovers recent run of form. The end result demonstrates clearly who was the superior team (13 goals to 2) however as I like to point out, they didn’t thrash us as much as Frankston two weeks ago but I bet they don’t care : Glen Orden are on top of the ladder with 6 wins and 0 losses.
Yours truly played a little over a half, starting on the bench and moving to Half Back a little before half-time. A half-dozen kicks and handballs meant that I was kept in the game. In the last quarter I picked up their key forward who would have continued his merry dance had his teammates kicked the ball long and deep. They didn’t and I looked like the premier backman with my opponent only touching the ball once.
A couple of photos taken by a very rugged-up spectator, Rise Tall etc who even now is enjoying the warmth of the Gold Coast.

Indisputable proof that I got at least one kick and one handpass !