Thursday, July 25, 2013

Public Art

NYE - Banyon Tree, Bangkok

Beach boxes - Brighton, Melbourne

Capoeira Dancing - Salvador, Brazil

Street Drummers - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Melbourne Zoo

Paparazzi Dogs - Federation Square, Melbourne

Big Apple Circus - New York, New York

Brasilia, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

African King - Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Tre Cavalli - Veduz, Liechtenstein

Ox - Bangkok

Street Stall - Cuzco, Peru

Red Centre - Federation Square, Melbourne

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Only God Forgives (sex drugs and karaoke)

image source: the

I will start by discussing the genre,  “crime thriller”. There was definitely a lot of crime, particularly murder. In a movie that is about drug lords and brothels there is a distinct lack of drugs or prostitution for that matter. As for being a thriller, the murders were gruesome, does that count? Nicholas Winding Refn, as director, chose not to show any of the actual murders, cutting away for the crucial seconds before retuning to a bloody, opened up body.

The scenes in the film are almost exclusively at night, with the lighting crew only having access to red filters. Red represents danger, we get it, but every scene…. Also overused is the long stare.

There is minimal dialogue in this film, instead the cast stare at each other. They stare L     O     N     G stares. Instead of films Refn could be directing American soap operas where the “stare” is the premier vehicle for conveying tension.

Refn is also a fan of meaningful walks, preferably down long corridors. Police Lieutenant Chang enforces his moral code by murdering them usually with his sword. His sword that is seemingly invisible until it is required when is suddenly appears on his back. Carrying a deadly sharp sword on his back might explain why he walks so slowly without any discernable arm movement. Coupling Chang’s slow walks with a long corridor makes many scenes painfully drawn out.

In a movie such as this, viewers are meant to suspend disbelief. This is difficult. Shot in Bangkok Thailand  Refn forgot one important visual requirement. People. Bangkok is crowded everywhere all of the time. Not in this film. Except for the scene in the cafĂ© there are never any crowds anywhere.

In short this is a gangland war between gangs, one person gets murdered which results in a revenge murder, which leads to a revenge murder, followed by a retaliation murder, which means… you get the picture.

For a reason that is never fully explained Chang after a successful kill likes to sing tuneless karaoke (like there is any other kind) to the lower ranked members of his police force.

One thing I did learn is to not decorate a karaoke lounge with vases of flowers and bowls of fruit where the contents of each are all held in place by a series of long ice pick styled daggers.  When the cities police lieutenant is known as the “Angel of Vengeance” this is only going to lead to all manner of trouble.

Did I mention Ryan Gosling is in this film? He is! In fact he is the lead character, in theory. It could have been anyone, as his character does not really do anything. He is meant to be a respected figure in the underworld and head of a leading kickboxing gym. In the picture above, does he look like he can box?? I cant remember his character’s name, it was not and it not important.

Kristin Scott Thomas deserves a mention. The harsh and brutal callousness of her role added a point of interest. She delivered a lot in a film that delivered so little.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Live Laughs

Alan Driscoll
Elbowskin - Dave


Ryan Coffey

In Need of a Change

Everyone now goes to the gym. Everyone. Including many people that in years past would have never even heard of a gym let alone go into one. This means many people do not understand some of the most fundamental rules. It is time that basic gym etiquette be detailed.

Many gyms will have rules posted on and around machines regarding wiping down sweat, amount of time on any one machine, drink bottles etc. My concern is what happens before and after the exercise in the change rooms.

From here I am going to concentrate on the men’s change rooms as my experience inside women’s facilities despite best intentions and desires ended at the age of 6 when I was taken to the ladies toilets at a drive-in in metropolitan Adelaide by my mother.

Some basics.

Mobile phones, leave them in your pocket/locker. Phones now have as much if not more capacity than many computers, with built in still and video cameras. Besides the loud talking is just obnoxious. If you absolutely have to, must, take the call then put some pants on and leave the change rooms to take it.

Lockers, if they were real estate, the boundary of your lot would include the interior of the locker itself and the length of bench directly in front of the same locker to a length equal to the width of said locker. Everyone understands that clothing and equipment may occasionally spread beyond the agreed boundary, but if it is in someone else’s way move it and apologise…no issue. Don’t move it or make a fuss when you do…issue. Leave things in your locker. I might also suggest you are bringing too much baggage to the gym experience. Alternatively you are still needing to lay all of your clothes out prior to dressing, just like mother did for your when you were young. If this is the case ask mother to install a home gym in your room.

Nudity, yes there will be some, everyone expects to witness some incidental nudity in the shower, at the lockers whilst people dry and change. The key to nudity being considered incidental it should be discreet and minimal in duration. All nuded up is not the time to check your messages on your phone (see above) blow dry your hair, clip your toe nails, start an in depth conversation about the state of Australian cricket.

Talking of blow drying hair, the hair driers were installed for the purpose of drying the hair on your head! Head, not arms, legs, armpits or backs and definitely not genitals or buttocks. That is why you bought a towel.

I know it can be confusing for some it is for drying hair and has the word “blow” in its name. That sort of blowing should also never happen in a gym change room. Blow-drying your genitals is unseemly and the contortions you need to perform to achieve the desired results are unsightly for everyone else.

It is time to address the elephant trunk in the change room. Erections happen! There I said it. As we all discovered at high school erections can occur at the most inappropriate time with the least provocation. Again the word discretion comes to mind. Turn away or cover it with your hand, clothing or towel.  It is DEFINITELY not the time to start parading around nude.

There is also no need to encourage them. Everyone understands that the under carriage needs cleaning and exercise can generate excessive sweating in the area. It is also understood that with all of the adrenalin flowing from the exercise and the soap in your hand that it might feel more enjoyable than normal. If you are cleaning that one area exclusively for extended periods of time...for example if when I get into the showers to rinse off the day prior to swimming laps you are there cleaning your bits and you are still there cleaning those same bits when I finish my laps 45 minutes later…then can I also suggest installing a home gym.

I also want to say no to eating in the change rooms. I get it after a lot of exercise people need to replenish. But there are many reasons that in modern homes the kitchen/dining room is separate from the bathroom/toilet.

The same goes for people who feel the need to exercise in the change room. It is a gym, the rest of the facilities are design for the single purpose of accommodating exercise. All of the equipment, mats, mirrors, weights pools they are for exercising.

If you are exercising naked whilst texting a friend then I am afraid that’s three strikes, you’re out.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Australia's "Favourite" Uncles

As Australia edges closer to a federal election I cant help feel that the voting public have a choice between our embarrassing uncles, one daggy one dodgy.

Mr Rudd is definitely more likeable, but that does not mean he is the right person to provide statesmanship, big vision leadership. Uncle Arthur was hugely popular but no-one wants him to be PM. Funny in a cringey way make for great television but not politics.

In being reinstated Mr Rudd said he was looking forward to “rocking with the  kids” No one is “rocking with the kids”. And anyone who can actually rock with young people NEVER uses the phrase.

Can I suggest to Kevin and his speechwriters that the word “rad” is no longer in use.

This follows on from him famously wanting to “shake the sauce bottle”. Alf Stewart is obviously moonlighting from working at the Summer Bay Surf Club to write political speeches.

What makes an uncle daggy, is it obvious that he is trying very hard to look as though he is not trying hard, to be cool. Like tweeting a selfie of an injury…cutting himself shaving.

The alternative is Mr Abbott. I am sure he is fine but he just gives off a creepy dodgy vibe. A Danny Denuto famously said in The Castle “it’s the vibe of the thing, Your Honour.” It is the pained smile, disjointed laboured way of speaking, and the staccato laugh. When he combines the speaking and laugh, it is even worse. Worse still is when he is laughing at what he thinks is his own joke.

Then there is the speedo, yes he is very fit and that is to be commended. In fact it creates for a great role model in a normally flabby parliament. I just do not think the Australian public needs political speeches from a man wearing a triangle of red Lycra and a surf lifesaver cap. Paul Hogan’s mate Strop was never intended to be a political inspiration.

When it comes down to it, the lack of inspiration instilled in the public by wither leader is the real issue. Uncles whether they be daggy or dodgy are ok to hang out with (even if under direct protective supervision of another adult) but ultimately they are not what we are after in the long term.

The Australian public deserves more than a good story to tell during show and tell on Monday morning following an entertaining weekend. I want to hear policies I want to hear of a long term vision with clearly identified opportunities. Plans from one election to the next is not long term.

Uncle Arthur v Stop. Can I vote for Richie Benaud? At least the cricket is interesting!