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   Friday, August 15, 2003  
email narratives

Planet Jemma

Jill has updated her list of email narratives and has inspired me to sign up for the Planet Jemma emails (although its intended audience is teenage girls.) It's been created by the same people who made Online Caroline, which I subscribed to last year and is an excellent example of what can be done with the medium.

I still get lots of emails from Fat Cow Motel, but I must admit I have I don't read them, as I was put off by when the first episode screened on the ABC a few weeks ago.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:43 AM
   

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   Thursday, August 14, 2003  
writing

Bird Watching

I was, for reasons I shall not go into here, looking at a bird-watching site yesterday and was struck with the poetic nature of some of the entries on the sightings pages.

I particularly like these:

Species: Olive-backed Oriole
Location: Knoxfield, Vic
Date Seen: 25/05/2003

Latest in the year I've seen this species in Victoria;
single bird
silently feeding


and

Species: Superb Parrot
Location: Comobella near Dubbo, NSW
Date Seen: 31/5/2003

Some birds ive seen in this area
King parrots,
didn't know they came this far west,
Musk lorikeets
Blue Bonnets
Budgies
Diamond firetail
also see quite a few superb parrots near Tottenham n.s.w

and the succinct

Species: Swift Parrot
Location: Phillip Island, Vic
Date Seen: 17/05/2003

Two birds observed

   posted by *mcb* at 8:53 AM
   

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diary

Guessing

On the tram home last night, Petite said "What do you think all of these people have been doing before they got on the tram."
I pointed to two business men. "They've been working late, clinching the Henderson account."
"And what about that guy over there. The one with the two-toned polar fleece on?"
"He's had an access day with his kids. He just left them at MacDonalds with his ex-wife. Now he's going home to heat up last night's left-over take-away."
Petite pointed to a girl sitting near us, holding a dodgy-looking model of a house. "She's doing an evening course in design, and is hoping to get into architecture at RMIT next year." She pointed to an older woman, in a red coat. "She's in Melbourne visiting her grandchildren."
I pointed to an old guy wearing a sailor's hat. "What about him?"
"He's been at Young and Jackson's pub all day." said Petite. "Yes" I said "That one is definitely true."

We were silent for a moment or two, then Petite said "That guy looks so sad. The one who had the access day."
"Well" I said "He doesn't get to see his kids as much as he would like. And they're growing up so fast, he feels like he's missing out."

When we got off the tram it was raining.
But on Saturday I noticed that the smell of jasmine is definitely in the air.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:38 AM
   

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   Wednesday, August 13, 2003  
MA

Blogging Survey

Royby has posted an online Blogging Survey as part of his honours thesis.

Go on... fill it in and help him out. It's only eighteen questions.
   posted by *mcb* at 4:29 PM
   

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   posted by *mcb* at 9:14 AM
   

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photography

Cambodian Kids

My photo (well, Thieu's photo) has been posted over at 1000 words.
   posted by *mcb* at 9:11 AM
   

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diary

Ear Plugs and The Kills

Petite and I went to see The Kills at the Esplanade last night. It was good. It's been ages since I've seen any live music, and an awfully long time since I've been to the Esplanade. I was struck by how few pubs there are like this anymore, how mostly when you go out for a drink in Melbourne it is to a snug, elegantly designed little bar, tucked down the end of some dodgy alley way. If the Espie were to suddenly become a person, it would be a large, sticky person, with flaky skin and not much hair.

Thieu has had a ringing in his ears ever since seeing a band a few weeks ago, and it has made me paranoid about my hearing. I used to wonder about the people who were prepared to look stupid at gigs by wearing earplugs. I have now become that person. I have now also become the sort of person who makes their sister wear earplugs at gigs too. And I didn't care.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:59 AM
   

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design

Film Titles

After seeing the MIFF screening on The Art of the Screen Title I have been thinking a lot about the format. Long having been the type of person who judges books by their cover, it is not surprising that I judge films by their opening sequences.

I found a website of Saul Bass' work, which includes digitised versions of the credits for Psycho, Vertigo and Casino. Then I went searching for examples of Kyle Cooper's work (who did the opening credits for Seven) and found this site, which is basically a big ad for Apple, but has some good clips, including the opening credits for Sphere (which I must admit I've never heard of). There is also a huge range of clips on the Imaginary Forces site, where Kyle Cooper used to work.

Cooper's work is very beautiful but sometimes I think that perhaps they are more like pop clips than titles. I remember thinking this when I saw Seven, especially with the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack. It was all a bit like something you'd see on Rage and I wondered if perhaps titles like this can end up fighting the film rather than enhancing it.

   posted by *mcb* at 8:50 AM
   

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   Tuesday, August 12, 2003  
animation

Slamdance

Another AIM graduate, Kate Matthews, has work in the latest Slamdance Film Festival. Her film Murmur, which is just beautiful, can be viewed online and voted for as part of their "Anarchy" competition.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:59 AM
   

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animation

AIM Screenings

The Department of Animation and Interactive Media, RMIT (where La Spin and I did our post grad year) is having a series of screenings this week at ACMI. I should have posted this yesterday, as the first session was last night. However, there are two more sessions, on Thursday and Friday. The sessions will showcase a decade of student work. There are lots of great things showing, (and one really crappy thing too, unfortunately).

   posted by *mcb* at 8:56 AM
   

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diary / image

School Holiday Buskers- coloured up sketch

girl buskers- coloured up image

I finally got around to colouring up the rough sketch of the girl buskers. I'm still not entirely sure that I've found the best way of doing this (I'm currently "tracing" the rough sketch in Illustrator and it takes hours and I'm not really completely happy with how it turns out). I'd like to use the Wacom tablet to get a looser line, but I have lots of difficulty using it in Illustrator. Everyone assures me that it's just a matter of practise, but I'm not so sure. I've now got quite a backlog of images to colour up, so I need to find a quick way, I think.

And I've only just noticed how excessively long the red-head girl's right arm is.

   posted by *mcb* at 8:49 AM
   

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   Monday, August 11, 2003  
I particularly like today's entry on Open Brackets.
   posted by *mcb* at 3:02 PM
   

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diary

MIFF

So another MIFF is over. I have seen some good things (my favourite being Spellbound) but I will not miss the queues and the mad dashes from cinema to cinema. I actually ditched a lot of tickets towards the end, opting, for instance, to go cycling on Saturday afternoon, which given my dislike of this activity, says alot about how over the festival I am.

However, I did manage to overcome my ennui on Sunday night enough to go to the closing night films- Cracker Bag, which won the Palme d'Or prize for best short film this year at Cannes, and Buffalo Soldiers, by Two Hands Director Gregor Jordan.

Buffalo Soldiers was actually made two years ago and opened in the States on September 8th, 2001. A contract for distribution of the film in North America was signed on the evening of September 10th. The events of the next day put the film's release on hold until now. Why? Because the film shows the US military in a less than favourable light. Gregor Jordan, when introducing the film last night, said that he had even received death-threats in the wake of its release, but added that the people who send him these letters also admit to not having seen the film.

I thought that it was actually pretty light-weight, although entertaining, and find it hard to imagine people getting upset about it. It's much more of a comedy than a hard-hitting expose. It's something of a concern to think that we have reached a point in history where any critical portrayal of the US and the military is deemed dangerous and unshowable. Just as alarming is the thought that people think the kind of activities shown in the film do not happen.
   posted by *mcb* at 9:04 AM
   

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