Jul 23, 2009

ginger times

Last week I gave a presentation to my collegues about the Building Industry in Vietnam. Why you ask? Although suppose to be a holiday, I couldn't switch off and I couldn't help but make note of all the eccentricites in the houses, temples, government buildings whilst we made our way around the country, be them on water or land.

So I threw together a bunch of photos from the huge back catalogue, showing tall, skinny houses, buildings on stilts, bamboo scaffolding and bundles of electric cable.

To win people over, rather than use wit and intelligence, I baked. Little Vietnamese gingerbread houses! Painted in blue, yellow and pink, and laid out on our conference table.

Although the dough had been resting in the freezer for several months, waiting for me to get my act together, the biscuits were a winner.

why make biscuits when you can make houses...

Jul 18, 2009

Film Frenzy Mania

It's here again! the time I delve eyes-first into the MIFF program, and sort out the 'chosen ones' from the 'will it ever come out on DVD if I miss it now?' festival favourites (as we have experienced missing films never to be found again).

In previous years I have sent out a list of choices to fellows who may not be so keen to read all the fine print in the large catalogue, or not get past the first 2 pages before the festival is over.
People out of town may just keep their eye out for any films coming to your local arthouse cinema or cult section at the movie store...

So here goes! The bold sessions we have already booked if you wish to join us. Other films now on DVD by directors are noted, and are worth seeing.

Our top 10:

'I Need That Record!' - Doco about Indie Record Stores/Music Freaks. Thurston Moore rock-god
4.45 thu.30/7 ; 9.15 wed.5/8

'Coraline' in 3D - anticipated animated fairytale (see Nightmare Before Christmas) in 3D! This is going to be brilliant.
1pm Sun.26/7; 1pm Sat.1/8

Preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO3n67BQvh0

‘Thirst’ – South Korean vampyre thriller by Park Chan-wook ( Old Boy/Sympathy for Lady Vengence)
9.15pm Sat.25/7; 9.15 Sat.8/8

‘Black Dynamite’ – Homage to Black Sploitation films of the 70’s
11.30pm Sat.25/7; 7pm Thu.6/8

‘$9.99’ – Australian Claymation
12.15pm Sat.8/8

‘Antichrist’ – he’s back! Lars Von Trier (not the antichrist!) Controversial… Graphic sex & genital mutilation with William Dafoe & Charlotte Gainsbourg
9.30 Wed.5/8; 10.45pm Sat. 8/8

‘Awaydays’ – UK drama about 70s post-punk England football louts, with good soundtrack
7pm Wed.29/7; 9.15 Sun.2/8

Treeless Mountain’ – South Korean Drama by Kim So-yong
4.45 Sun.26/7; 9.15 Thu.30/7

Mother’ – South Korean Psycho Thriller by Bong Joon-ho (The Host)
7pm Mon.3/8; 7pm Sun.9/8

‘Post-Punk Mixtape #2’ – shorts on Melbourne post-punk & the Boys Next Door
7pm Thu.30/7

Other films noted – go to the program http://www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au/program & choose film By Title

Aussie film:
John Gollings: Eye for architecture - Architectural Photographer
My Asian Heart -Doco on Photojournalist Philip Blenkinsop
Dogs in Space (1986) – if you haven’t seen this classic aussie film, check it out
We’re Livin’ on Dog Food – Doco about Dogs in Space
Going Down (1982) –cult aussie post-punk flick

In the Loop - UK Satire on Iraq war-
About Elly - Iranian film about middle-class
Humpday - US indie flick – sundance prize
Che Part I: The Argentine -Benicio Del Toro as Che
Che Part II: Guerilla
An Englishman in New York - John Hurt plays Quentin Crisp
Moon – sci-fi directed by David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones
Inglourious Bastards – Quentin Tarantino’s latest, sold out.
The Draughtman’s Contract (1982) – Peter Greenaway’s classic
My Suicide – teenager tracks his experiences and possible suicide on film
Home Movie – Horror about kids gone wrong
Eden Log – French fantasy/sci-fi filmed in a sewer
Sauna – Finnish period horror
Mum&Dad – UK horror
Kill Daddy Goodnight – German thriller
Red Riding: 1974, 1980 & 1983 – Trilogy about the Yorkshire Ripper murders
White Lightnin’ – UK fiction. Not sure what to say about this one.
Katalin Varga – noir set in the Carpathian mountains

Balkan Cinema:
Zift – B&W noir set in 60’s Bulgarian underworld
Tears for Sale – Black comedy burlesque

12 Lotus – Royston Tan does Singapore musical
Perfect Life – Fiction&Doco on 2 women in china
Members of the Funeral – South Korean dark humour
Like You Know it all – South Korean director takes a humorous look at film festivals
On Bak 2: The beginning – Thai Martial arts period film (haven’t seen the first yet, but heard its good)
A Schoolgirl’s Diary – North Korean drama

Kid’s flicks:
Brendan & the Book of Kells – delightful hand-drawn animation
The King & the Bird – Classic 80’s French animation with labyrinthine architecture

Food, Inc – the origin of the food we buy at supermarkets
Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal – hooker to the stars
The September Issue – about Anna Wintour, Muse for Devil Wears Prada
Maradona By Kusturica – All about Diego Maradona
Examined Life – Philosophical discussion about how we live
The 10 Conditions of Love – about Rebiya Kadeer struggle against Chinese government
Yakuza Eiga – about Japanese directors and the romanticizing of the Yakuza
Blank City – No Wave cinema in the late 70’s to early 80’s (no longer screening)

Arty doco type stuff:
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius – the paintings at IMAX
A Journey with Peter Sellars – we had a tutorial with this guy at uni, very inspirational
Rem Koolhous: A Kind of Architect – had to put this down, didn’t I?
Shadow Play: The Making of Anton Corbijn – brilliant photographer doing his first feature film ‘Control’
Visual Acoustics: the Modernism of Julius Shulman - Architectural photographer to the masters
The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale – the artist that crashed & burned and tries to get back in favour

Draw me a story – animated sketchy shorts
The Sky Crawlers – 3d Anime by Ghost In The Shell director

Music Doc’s
All Tomorrow’s Parties – about the beginnings of the musician-curated festival
It Might Get Loud – Jack White, the Edge & Jimmy Page jammin’
The Liberty of Norton Folgate – Madness’ new album & concerts
Post-Punk Mixtape #1 – Post-punk Shorts

And when I have finished reading the whole program, I may add some more… stay tuned…

Jul 4, 2009

Country Style Cookery

Whilst perusing the main street of a country town for a bakery, I come across a charity store.

In the hope of finding treasure I detour into the shop, only to find a Clay pot. It's a nice size but has no lid. Conveniently next to it on the shelf are rogue casserole dish lids with no partners. One (just about) fits the lip of the clay pot, enough to get secure coverage. A pair!

Good luck, as I almost bought one from the Asian grocer - new, fresh, imported from China. Why bother when here was one already broken in that needed a home. I reduce my 'carbon footprint'.

To date there have only been 2 dishes, but more await.

Easy, tasty & wholesome.

Viet style Eggplant
Put the claypot on the heat, warm up some vegetable or rice bran oil. Warm up the oven to medium.
Saute some Garlic )2 cloves chopped( . and onion )1 small chopped( if you like.

Add in Lebanese Eggplants )~6 halved(, saute a little.
Add lemongrass )1/2 stem bruised( & Mushrooms if desired )6-8 button or shitake(.fry a little.
Sprinkle with fish sauce )1 tbsp(, sesame oil )2 tsp(, and a can of tomatoes )1/2 can whole(
Place the lid on an into the oven for 20-40 mins.
m m mmmm

Vegies thrown in
Warm up claypot with some oil - olive or rice bran, 1tbsp or more...
saute sliced garlic, throw in some cauliflower florets, julienne carrot. fry a minute or so.
add other vegies - green capsicum, mushroom, choy sum is what i used.
throw over a little red wine, tomato paste )1tbsp( & harrisa )1tsp or more(.
throw on the lid, throw in the oven or leave on the heat for 10-25mins. when serving add a squeeze of lemon or some chopped parsley