February 27th, 2003


Oh Frabjous Day!

Due to going to bed at 11:00 last night, I actually got 8 hours sleep last night, with the result that I actually feel awake and alive this morning. First time in weeks.

I'm going to go to work now, where I intend to get stuff done. You see if I don't.

Review of The Hours

It's taken me a week to get to this review of The Hours.

Not just because I'm moving house, slaving away at screen creation trying to arrange birthday presents for distant family members.

But also because it's a hard film to review.

It's not just that it's a non-genre movie (many of the films I like either break or ignore genre traditions).

It's not that it's not good enough to warrant spending the time on (it's fantastically well made).

It's the fact that I really have no idea how it made me feel.

The film has a good structure - we spend a day with three women. In the 20s Virginia Woolf starts writing Mrs Dalloway, 30 years later a woman reads it and in present day New York the consequences of both of their lives interweave with the life of another woman.

The three threads are interweaved, so that we see the three of them wake up one after another, follow them through their days and then see them all go to sleep at the end.

We see that each of them are trapped in their lives, apparently placid (or happy) on the surface but deeply unhappy underneath.

We see the men in their lives, bringing support and meaning into their lives, but simultaneously helping to trap them in their despair.

And, in the end, we see them make their decisions as to what they will do to free themselves. And in one case, we see the decision made for them.

The film doesn't judge. Only one of the characters in the film judges another one and we later see the reasons why their judgement is too harsh.

I was left feeling a kind of sympathy for all the people trapped in their own little world, struggling to get out.

But I still don't know how it really made me feel.

Score 8/10 (or maybe 9)

Buncha Quotes:

Clarissa Vaughn: That is what we do. That is what people do. They stay alive for each other.
Richard: WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN LIFE?!! Just wait until I die, then you will have to think of yourself.
Laura Brown: We're baking the cake for daddy, to show him that we love him.
Richie Brown: Otherwise, he'll think we don't love him.
Laura Brown: That's right.
Julia: MOM! What's wrong?
Clarissa Vaughn: He gives me that look, as if to say your life is so trivial.
Julia: It only matters if you think its true.
Vanessa Bell: Your aunt is a very lucky woman, Angelica! She is because she has two lives. She has the life, she is leading and also the books, she is writing.

(no subject)

What all this means is that when it comes to building democracy in Iraq, the Europeans are uninterested, the Americans are hypocritical and the Arabs are ambivalent. Therefore, undertaking a successful democratization project there, in a way that will stimulate positive reform throughout the region, will require a real revolution in thinking all around — among Americans, Arabs and Europeans. If done right, the Middle East will never be the same. If done wrong, the world will never be the same.

Fantastic New York Times article here.

(no subject)

Can anyone out there point me at a suggested solution to the Iraq situation that doesn't involve war?

Oh, by solution I mean something that ends up with democracy in Iraq.

The Gates of Hell

Since Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, started warning that a US invasion of Iraq would "open the gates of hell," the retort that has been flying around Iraqi exiles' websites is, "Good! We'd like to get out!"

More here.

World economy headed for catastrophic meltdown?

Interesting article here saying that the current drop in prices are nowhere near as large as they ought to be. Basically, stock prices are still highly overvalued because nobody thinks the problems will last for long, so they're all still holding on to their shares. As soon as people start need to liquidate their assets, the prices will crash.

(no subject)

Having moved house to somewhere permanent, I figured it was finally time to transfer my Empire and PCZone subscriptions to my new flat.

I assumed I would need to know all sorts of account details, but in fact I just gave them my old address and my new one and that was it.

Which makes me wonder how easy it would be reroute someone elses subscriptions to my address without them knowing about it...

And so to bed

It's 11:20 and I feel fine. Actually alive and well and awake.

It's the first time I've felt this way at this time of night in an age.

Which means

a) Staying off of the sugar is a good idea.

b) I ought to go to bed now.

Night all!