March whizzed by so fast, I haven’t even had a chance to get grounded and settled in before April decides to slam into my face. I mean, tomorrow is already the last day of March. Funnily enough, I’ve found time to keep on writing on Nothing Spaces. As of 5 entries ago, March 2012 has seen the most updates from me.
At this point, it’s kind of pointless to even do my monthly goals, seeing as the only things I’ve accomplished this March is not even from my March list. And this is coming from a wholly disappointing February. Still, though, I think I did pretty well for myself this month, in terms of certain life experiences. Possibly silly to evaluate things like that in a public place, but I don’t know; it’s just what I do.
Anyway, here is a bunch of randoms my 2012 Film Diary. I have four to-be-shot rolls in four different cameras—LC-A+, Sprocket Rocket, Olympus Pen EE, Nikon FE—so I decided to post these a little early. March was so busy, that some of them feel like I took them so much longer ago.
A show at West Gallery. Here I am, inside an elevator, with doors closing upon a creepy little scene. While I’m not afraid of the dark, in itself, with nothing to look at, scenarios start playing in my head. Anyway, I don’t know if I’d be more afraid of a real ghost or a real live psychopath. Both are people I don’t want to be stuck in the dark with, equally.
The last Meiday ever! At B-side, where thieves roam free. There were a few incidents of thievery that night, which really just solidifies why I hate going to that place. Funnily enough, the place was brighter than usual/the other times I go there, which gave me a false sense of security, probably.
In any case, what we saw of the show was great! The 80′s theme was thoroughly entertaining, as the bands came up with stuff to cover. Outerhope even covered “More To Lose” by Ricky Gervais’ 80s band, Seona Dancing, a portion of which you can hear here:
Finally, I get to somewhat write about Death Cab for Cutie. Being generally unemployed as we are, Sarie and I lined up at around 1:30 p.m. for an 8 o’clock show, and we thought that might have been too much. But when we got there, there were two other groups of people who had already been waiting there since 10 and 11 a.m. Call it crazy, but we’ve been waiting for this show for ten or so years.
A few hours into waiting, we caught part of the sound check. It was spine-tingling hearing Ben Gibbard’s voice float towards us across the room, through the glass. (A melody softly soaring through the atmosphere, hehe.) I felt my heart rise up to my throat, and it was a nice preamble to the show we were about to see. Some of the songs they played weren’t part of their set list but we didn’t know it at the time, so it was like an extra show. These were the songs they played:
- “Different Names for the Same Thing”
- “Meet Me on the Equinox”
- “Death of an Interior Decorator” — this was particularly fun. Everyone we were there with sang, Can you tell me why you have been so-oh-oh-oh sa-ah-aaaaahd?
- what we think might have been a portion of Big Star’s “Thirteen”
In the end, I wasn’t allowed to bring in my SLR—hey, a girl’s gotta try!—so it’s been a painful wait for these photos to be processed, since I took with the only other camera I had with me, an LC-A+. With only one range, four focus points, and a dark room, I’m pretty happy with the results.
For the April 2012 issue of Rogue magazine, I wrote about artist, Arturo Sanchez. On a drizzly day last February, Joseph and I went to Art’s studio in Angono for the interview. When it was time for Joseph to take his pictures, I took a few behind-the-scenes ones, too.
In other news, make sure you grab a copy of that issue! Aside from writing this, Sarie wrote a feature on Vincent Moon (photos of which my brother took), plus there’s a really good visual contribution from Kris. The rest of the content—I’ve only skimmed through it thus far—seems excellent, too.
Also, just so you know, the cover is an AR incarnation of Solenn Heussaff.
Happy birthday to my mom, who was born on the 22nd. And also to my papa, who was born on the 17th (but I don’t have photos from his birthday). For ze birthday dinner, we ate in Chelsea. It was pretty underwhelming, reportedly. My maple cider glazed pork chop was pretty good; everyone else didn’t seem to enjoy their dishes.
I’m no photographer; I just do it for fun. Frankly, at this point, I would not trust myself with a commercial or editorial shoot. Thankfully, my friend Bia (a photographer and filmmaker) invited me to go to a shoot she was doing with Jacq Yu. This was done way back in September, but I’d been apprehensive about posting them for several reasons. Anyway, I’m posting them now, and I hope you enjoy them.
It was nice seeing what happens at these shoots and how people my age manage to shoot them. For some reason, I still feel really young (despite being 23) so it’s always a jolt of surprise to me when people my age pull off complicated things with more grace and know-how than I could ever.
Bia, doing her thing. See Bia’s photos here.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
There isn’t much to say about the film adaptation of the first of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy, The Hunger Games. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was a brilliant piece of cinema, but I believe that it held its own. While the story moved along fairly well, there was too much pre-game and too little of the Games itself, something that had bugged me when I was reading the novels. This had been true for the film as well.
For those not in the know, the story occurs in Panem, the post-apocaplyptic incarnation of America. After the rebellion of the 13 Districts of Panem against their government, the Capitol has decreed a “treaty of peace,” ordering the remaining 12 Districts to offer up Tributes, a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight to the death in the middle of an arena. These games are televised, much like today’s reality shows, and are played up. People are horrifyingly eating it all up, placing bets on the Tributes, picking the strongest contenders to sponsor. The Games are intended to be a reminder of the Capitol’s power over its people, but is paraded as a display of honor, courage, and sacrifice.
It was an odd sensation—feeling like you were just watching something unfold before your eyes. There was very little that was engaging or moved me to care. Though it mostly felt like it hit one note, it had a few really beautiful moments filled with pathos and emotion. These moments were obvious ones—The Reaping, the first moment of the game around the Cornucopia, Rue’s death, District 11′s riot—but everything in Panem is tinged with hopelessness, anyway. There was just a bleakness that made everything overcast, but there was barely any sense of urgency that sometimes, you kind of forget how awful everything has been set up to be.
At some point, President Snow tells Seneca Crane that nobody roots for the underdog. A little spark of hope for the citizens of Panem—this story’s underdogs—comes in the form of Katniss Everdeen, the female Tribute from District 12, and you can’t help but root for her, too.
Jennifer Lawrence is flawless at her portrayal of Katniss. She is serious, focused, able and compassionate. While the rest of the actors were passable at being their characters, Lawrence practically carried the weight and tone of the whole movie. She is so perfect for this role, I have trouble picturing her as anybody else.
The cinematography was stunning, as were the transitions and editing. Aside from Lawrence’s brilliant performance, those visual elements stood out the most. The cuts and framing of the shots—swift, refreshing and distinctive—certainly left an impression on me. I appreciate the effort that was made to set this movie apart from the typical teenage franchise. It’s so easy and tempting to just be uninspired and unoriginal, especially when you have a best-selling series to adapt, since everybody already likes it. But they really set the bar high up. It was a really unexpected but welcome visual treat.
As a reader of the books, I was rooting for Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and yet their chemistry in the movie was so laughably absent that I kind of want her to end up with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) instead. The other “complaints” are really just nitpicks, such as: How come they’re so clean when they’ve been roughing it out in the wild—and deliberately wounding each other!—for days? Weren’t they supposed to see the other tributes’ eyes in the dog mutant things? How come she found water and food so quickly? How come this is not the Peeta I have come to know and love?
On that note, I was one of the Hutcherson!Peeta advocates, since I loved him in The Kids Are Alright, but I was honestly underwhelmed. I don’t know if it has to do with the screenplay or the direction, but I was definitely less endeared by Peeta when I watched him than when I read about him.
All in all, it was a really good production, but I don’t know if it is, in the end, a satisfying story. Lately, I’ve been obsessing over CBS’s long-running reality show, Survivor. While it had a lot of similar elements with The Hunger Games, it got me to thinking about how ruthless people are willing to be when the prize in the end is literally outlasting everyone. It’s such a horrifying thought, but it doesn’t seem to truly translate in the film, save for a few brief moments where the scenes are so obvious that you can’t help but remember that the players in the game are actual people.
But after all that’s been said (by me, lol), I still am anticipating the release of the other films. I’m hoping they pull the others off, because the first film has a lot of great potential for something truly epic for the trilogy.