Monday, 30 November 2015

the AbbottWock
Twas brillig and the Canberra drones
did gyre and gimbel on their thrones
all mimsy was the Bronwyn
 and the Pilbersek Outgrabe

Beware the Abbottwock my son!
The jaws that lie! the claws that scratch!
And escape the frumious Mirandasnatch 
He took his Caucus sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in bullish thought he stood,
      The JAbbottWock, with eyes of flame,
Came soundbiting through the media wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The caucus blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and  its head
      He threw to the  media pack.

“And hast thou slain the Abbottwok?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
The Polls chortled in their  joy.

Twas brillig and the Canberra drones
did gyre and gimbel on their thrones
all mimsy was the Bronwyn
 and the Pilbersek Outgrabe

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Clouds of Sils Maria.

I swear, recently I've been exiting the auditoriums of film theatres shaking my head in wonder and disbelief. I feel as if the seasons have become disordered, as if seagulls have taken to flying backwards. Something Weird is going on for the last, I thnk about eight) films I have seen, none of them have been shit! For me, a very firm believer in Sturgeon's Law- (90% of everything is crap) this is roughly the equivalent of picking a quinella twice in a day at the races- in other words dashed unlikely.
Simply the story of "Sils Maria"  is that there is this famous actress well established with a long career. She is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous when she was a young unknown; but there is a catch The play is the story of pair of women who form a younger/older lesbian couple. the younger woman destroys the older by manipulating her into eventual suicide. (in a typical example of recent period anti- gay  melodrama, in a period where gay characters never reached the end of a film aliv. the catch however is that this time around she has been asked to play the older woman- the tragic suicide. Needless to say she has certain issues about acceptance, not the least of which are being forced to confront her own advancing years through the distorting lens of the character she brought to life decades earlier. But, as the man on the old actors home of late-night television says "ther's more"in "reality" a year after the original play ended the actress who played the tragic suicide died in a car accident now decades later the returning star has an entirely superstitious dread that the part may be "jinxed"- despite a noticeable paucity of evidence; But then aren't actors known to be remarkably superstitious people?
If this lead character sounds like a very complicated piece of work from my description here rest assured, she is. in matter of fact the I cannot remember the last time I saw a film as complexly charactered as "Sils Maria"- or as consistently well acted. Juliet Binochet surpasses good by a substantial distance. It is hard to believe that she is acting, she is so natural, but at the same time she is so all-encompassing that she can be nothing but a true star at the top of her form. that said she is very ably supported by a talented cast who seem to exist as a complicated melange of voluble intelligent and witty people. It's been a long time since I have enjoyed the company of a cast so much.The film moves on and ultimately, to my percerption, proved to be spooky in the very best way. As my wheelchair rolled out of the cinema to a drizzly cold Sydney day. I found that I doubted the sunlight. In Hamlet's words "There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy

Friday, 15 May 2015

A Tangerine Confussion

I don't normally do this-in fact, I've never done this before. I have never plugged a film before I've seen it. "Tangerine" a true-to-life-drama-about transexual hookers. I couldn't be happier. In fact, I am beyond joy. I am enriched. I laughed out loud several tim during the trailer and I almost cried from pangs of nostalgia. you see, a few years ago, back before I got sick, I moved almost exclusively in the Sydney chapter of that subculture; well, as exclusively as I could manage anyway. I had two girlfriends, one was (and still is) a biological girl, the other a out-and- proud transgender. They knew about each other, accepted each other and for some unknown reason, were prepared to share me. I was head-over-heels in love with both of them (still am). In the daytimes I showed a distressing tendency towards professional journalism, in the evenings we were either in the "la cage a Folle" home of my T-G girlfriend having a loud and raucous tea party or at the other house communing with the cats (our proto children) or watching films or I was out and about touting my reasonably priced rear-end to those whose dickering did not impede their dickering.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Excepting for a blockhead

I just spent the last hour piddling around with Amazon this was a bit of a surprise; one of those "Time just vanishing things" As you may know I have a story available on the Kindle store, and I decided that I should check the stats in a "monday morning- "businessy"  kind of way. It was a bit depressing; rubbish sales, represented by a few paltry spikes on a graph and a lot of advice from snake oil salesmen at Amazon. Jaded, I blundered away from Amazon through my computer to the  story in question and reread it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I liked it. It didn't make me laugh, (but then it wasn't written to be funny) Instead, it kinda creeped me out in a "made me doubt the sunlight" kind of way. I finished it and I was in a somewhat complicated emotional state. - Abit raw from the stats on Amazon and life generally, a proud as a post orgasmic whore on her way home from a freebie orgy, that I had managed to write a story good enough that if I had encountered it in a paper book of short stories, I'd have marked it on the index page, and finally(but not least) creeped out by my own story and, living alone the only place I had to tell the story was this blog. I'd be happier if I lived with a cat.
See you on the flipside

"The Corner" on Amazon

Friday, 8 May 2015

Ages Of Adeline Review

I guess I should say right at the start that I saw "The Ages of Adeline" very largely by accident. It was a Thursday (last Thursday as a matter of fact; my day out. It was fornicating down with rain. Neither of us wanted ti get wet... so we decided to go to the movies snd after some serious trolling of IMDB decided that "Boy's Choir" was the best choice of the paucity on offer. We didn't count on the effect that the rain had had on the roads howver and unexpectedly, well, somewhat expectedly found ourselves at  outer reaches of Randwick, in the theatre foyer while it pissed down with rain outside. "Boy's Choir" had started twenty minutes earlier. The "Randwick Ritz is a multiplex"Adeline started in 45 or so minutes> I suddenly switched to "Plan 2 from outer space; and we went for coffee and lunch while waiting for "Adeline" to start. to be blunt, it wasn'y that hard a choice. I'd read a bit about the film in the car on the drive over and the whole premise of the film interested me; besides liking the central idea of the film rather a lot(someone coping with immortality in modern society) the premise was pretty similar to something I'd already written and Bluntly, I was interested to see how someone else approached aspects of the same subject and, possibly more to the point, I felt it was a really *big subject to communicate in 100 minutes of screen time  , so there was a kind of sadistic interest in watching the film. It was a last-minute choice but one I approached with some appetite. true, my appetite was partly mechanistic, almost to the point of cannibalism, but I was ready to be entertained and I figured that it was all up to the scriptwriter to do that. as the lights went down in the auditorium I was happy. As I said before, the idea of how Adeline becomes changed so that she becomes immortal and stops ageing while everyone around her grows old and dies is a fascinating one but it is complex-to explain it inferentially, by cinematic action, the way someone like, say; Hal Ashby might would take up so much screen time that there would be little time for anything else. It was predominantly this that I was interested in. Instead, I was blown away. the film thros the putative "rule book" out with the bath water it has been soaking in. The script takes the core issue of the film, treats it as pure science fiction and bombards the audience with an information packed narration that is so filled with "scientific" goobledegook that I didn't have time to laugh. The audience is simply tol all the flapdoodle necessary to the plot and left to deal with it.The vast majority of the film's running time is then free to devote to the interesting stuff.I was astounded by the audacity of the technque to the point where I almost wanted to stand up(!) and applaud. Frankly Scarlett. I was impressed!To go into the film in any depth from this point would probably create inadvertent spoilers; Suffice to say that as far as "lovey-dovey"tearjerker type chick flicks go, I enjoyed it. I didn't cry, and was not overtly moved to but at the same time I was pleased that, as such films went, it was not overly manipulative. I was interested and impressed by the parallel the film drew between Adeline's predicament and "normal" people and the life of their pets.It was a poignant and telling analogy and one of many thingss that raised "the Ages of Adeline" above the common ruck of cinematic product. I found it moving intelligent, thought provoking, and well worth recommending.

EndGame - Samuel Beckett

EndGame Review
7:30pm. 7May 2015
Director:Andrew Upton
Writer: Samuel Beckett
Hamm:Hugo Weaving
Nagg: Bruce Spence
Clov: Tom Budge
Nell: SarahPerse

The setting appears to be the interior of one of those deformed stone watchtowers on some damp Northern coastline. It appears that the expansiveness of the exterior functions more as a barrier to escape than an environment to inhabit causing a claustrophobic atmosphere that has taken years or decades to surpass simple cabin fever and become a kind of societally stratified balanced madness. The inhabitants of the castle exist as a kind of diseased bickering muddled mini- society which can be taken as symbolic of our "normal" society as a whole, (or not) depending entirely on whether the interpreter has an axe to grind. Suffice to say the characters are "Hamm" (Hugo Weaving) who spends the play ensconced in a comfortable armchair (which may be seen as a throne) (or not) and who orders everyone  about. He describes himself as senile, so he may be seen as a king. His especial servant is “Clov" (Tom Budge) who runs hither and yon about the stage at every beck and call and being far more mobile than the rest of the cast, is responsible for the physical comedy. Its a big job, Mr Budge is on the move for the entire play scuttling from one side of the stage to the other. His main prop is a twenty foot ladder and I lost track of the number of times that he climbed it, all the way to the top; after carrying it across the stage from one side to the other. No housepainter works so hard; I pitied him and wondered that at the end of the play he seemed to still be word perfect, even as he glistened with sweat. Actors delight me. 

Hamm is a less likeable character; he sprawls backwards in his chair bossing Clov, bellowing when he thinks it will achieve his purpose; bribing Nagg with sugar plums when shouting fails. In short Hamm is every inch a king, but not the phantasy monarch of king William and Kate - he is more the nasty reality of King Rupert (Murdoch) himself the unvarnished face of power itself. 

"Why do you obey me?" Hamm asks Clov, “Is  it because you love me?" "I loved you once", replies Clov, getting  a titter from the audience who interpret the line as reference to some past homosexual pecadillo that has left Clov "unmanned" and effeminated, fit only for service. As far as that goes, the one service which Hamm truly desires is the most poignant and happens to be the one which Clov sadistically(?) withholds.  At one point Hamm exclaims "if you must hit me, don't beat me with the dog - use the Axe!" Hamm is apparently very old, and wants to die, but can't, giving rise to one theory I have heard, that these three characters are already dead, and the surreal place they occupy is hell. but then as I said earlier, ”EndGame" is surrealistic and symbolic, a horse which may be hitched to a variety of wagons, some undoubtedly unintended by the author. 

The  performances (particularly Hugo Weaving’s as Hamm and Tom Budge as Clov) are flawless, and Bruce Spence beaming up at the world out of a garbage can is not something I will soon forget - nor will I try to.  Sarah Perse does rather better than can be expected with the little that is available to the character of “Nell” - But Beckett does not seem to write for women.- For most other playwrights “Nell” would probably be  a lynchpin character perhaps even the bone of contention, the lone woman between three men - but with Beckett she is anything but that. Instead existing merely as a kind of inferential proof that the male characters are not necessarily homosexual since they have a putative outlet for any profane lusts which may disturb them. Beckett is a strange writer. interesting, but strange. 

I unreservedly recommend this production of “EndGame” by the Sydney Theatre Company. The perform

Friday, 10 April 2015

Off the Roll

Pages, now don't get me started about pages. WTF happened to "Pages?" Oh yes, Steve Jobs died and without his pointy-toed boot/rump steering technique, the once adequate ship veered off course, filled with water, started wallowing in heavy seas and suffered an embarrassing series of slow speed mutinies by disinterest. most of the managers made their hair go all pointy with product and then took to the boats. They were last seen contentedly fishing, and living  frugally off their retirement savings. In the meantime, the application they were meant to be developing as a flagship of the Apple Mac, was largely ignored, went to seed and started growing,and quickly became firmly "the most beautiful Wordprocessor, everI can still remember Steve Jobs introducing Pages  "the most beautiful Wordprocessor, ever-to dutiful, but faint praise, after all, the"faithful" had already been through the mill with Word" and could be forgiven for thinking that there was no such animal as a beautiful word processor-still less a tame one and probably not one that wasn't a vermin-ridden varmint either. to paraphrase Mark Twain "when I hear the word(s) 'word Processor', I reach for my revolver."Then on the big centre screen, the master showman started putting 'Pages' through its paces-and the crowd's heart's melted."you wanted a picture in the text? Plonk! Pages wrapped the text intelligently around rhe picture."move the picture? The text flowed seamlessly around the picture as he dragged it around the page

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The death of iMovie, and its rotting Doppleganger corpse.

Another Post, almost straight away! I'm a workaholic and on fire! I need to build up a back blog! More seriously, my first entry, by way of being an introuction did not get down to the serious business of this blog which, as I see it is providing the kind of trenchant criticism that Apple sorely needs and Steve Jobs pointy-Toed right shoe and acid tongue can no longer deliver. In this world of time servers, second raters and mealy mouthed apologists for timeservers and second raters and their apologists I have decided to regurgitate myself back out of the wodwork and start throwing lumps of wet excrement at worth targets- wittily, hopefully accurately and with the unique and hilarious use of imagery that has seen me making a complete guts of myself at some of the finest court tables in Europe. But while it is unseemly for me to brag of having entertained my way into fine vittles at for example the table of the Marquis DeBerriberri, it would be dishonest to let the reader think that I have not on occasion, entertained myself into a businesslike slap in the face and a pleasant but lonely stroll home, in the wake of the last bus. Such is Journalism, indeed, such is life; The days of journalists being issued their own minisubs in which to escape are long past.

so, too are the days of the apple Mac having a movie editing program that isn't crap. Seriously, I was watching one of the last Keynotes with Steve Jobs,-there were already rumours that he was sick, but everyone was simultaneously hoping they were wrong and dutifully trying to keep the stock prices up by keeping a stiff upper lip, and- Lo and BeholdSteve says one of the worker droids at Apple buttonholes him and says "Steve; You know how we say noob can make a movie in iMovie in 5minutes?" And
Steve "Yes
Droid"Well, you can't! You try!"
Steve "And you know what? I couldn't!"
(Cue shocked audience laughter)
And there I am, laptop on my lap, mouth open in stupefaction"WTF?!" You see, the day before, sitting in that very chair with the same 12" Powerbook 867mhz on my lap I had used a program of dubious provenance to filch two videos of car crash tests onto my hard drive; I'd cut them into shorter pieces, rearranged them, added credits and music and come up with, as far as I was concerned, a very creditable mashup. Fair enough, from nothing to being on Youtube had taken 33 minutes, but so what? by the time I saw that keynote 12 hours later, it had gathered 7000 views, and as far as I was concerned that worker droid (if he actually existed) was as liar or an intercourse-wit. What was the result of this? Apple wasted resources second-guessing itself on the say so of one Grima WormtongueAnd one perfectly good an functional iMovie got replaced with a horrible directionless Frankenstein- monster abortion that to this day, years down the track I can't get any senseof, or useable output from. I'm probably going to have to buy final cut-I'd like to slap that droid with a fead eel.
 but, all things being equal, the video (at) will have to stand as my testicle-ment of how much I still hate that useless nitwit.

"Well, HAL, I can definitely find things wrong with it"

well people, here  is Alex Rieneck, back to quacking on about Apple Macs again, this time for wages even more paltry than those doled out by Auatralian MacWorld (being a columist pays well enough, but not *that* well, when you take the general wonderfulness of the recipient into account. Different to is that in this blog I am my own boss and not bearing the vast weight of an inert management structure on my shoulders in this blog, (which gets its name(AE-35) from a piece of technology in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"I'll be keeping myself to the same strict guidelines I did back then, for the simple reason that good writers like discipline like word counts, correct spellings and grammar, a minimum of off-colour humour and language, sticking to the subject in hand, and perhaps most importantly, having an appreciative readerhip.Now back at macworld the readership were appreciative. Sadly the ones in the wheelhouse should have paid more attention to driving and less to appreciating what they were reading.Still, who would have expected an iceberg in the balmy south Pacific? Especially a cunningly camouflagued concrete one with a missile silo inside with hundreds of minions to protect the fiendish plot that had been explained only the chapter before?
Certainly not James Bond, that's for sure!And sadly, in 2015 not Steve Jobs either; because he got unexpectedly dead just before the last ad-break; one second he was jumping and ducking through a hail of missiles fired by the deadly Mr Cancer- bouncing up off one of the circular-saw blade onesand getting off his own paltry shot. The crowd was with him! Mr Cancer's health bar was creeping down towards the orange!the Samsung creatures seemed to have been vanquished! and suddenly Steves' sprite was replaced by a badly- animated explosion sprite, that shrank to a single white pixel, and went out. The screen was as dark as the interiors of the shocked mouths that hung open around the world. Slowly the screen filled with bright, false colour, swelling music. An advertisement for herbal tea. Was the Show over? The sewage flow meters emotionlesslessly reported the increase of Herbal tea content in the pipes, and the rest of us were left to muck on in the aftermath. this blog is for the last scarred remnants of the post jobsian wasteland, where everyone can tell those big scarey creatures *Aren't * just dressed up water buffaloes and the Samsung Creatures have shiny white teeth and really do eat peoples brains.