Category Archives: Film

The British Oscars 2009

I have spent the past hour looking at clips of the Oscars on YouTube. Red carpet clips, glamour clips, presentation clips, award clips and after party clips. I have officially ran out of Oscars 2009 related YouTube videos! The night was dominated by British talent which I am thrilled by. It is great to see Britain putting their mark on Hollywood. Slumdog Millionaire won a staggering eight awards. I have not seen the film but it is on my list of films to watch, there have been raving reviews about the film both from critics and laymen. Gordon Brown also congratulated the British winners of their successes (not that his opinion would motivate me any more than before).

Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture:

A Heath Ledger tribute was given, as his family accepted his award for Best Supporting Actor. I am not doubting his talent, I have seen The Dark Knight. It is not my type of film but you cannot doubt Heath’s role as psychotic Joker, he plays him superbly. I think if Heath were alive today, it would have been likely that he’d win the award. But it makes me wonder, has his death made him more popular than he was before he died? Death has a strange way of reeling people in, especially with celebrities.

Heath Ledger’s tribute:

Another British gem, Kate Winslet won Best Actress for her role in The Reader. She has been nominated six times (including this years awards) and this is her first win. It has been long awaited and is much deserved. I’ve always loved Kate. For Sense And Sensibility, The Holiday, The Reader… the list goes on! I am so pleased that she won over other actresses such as Angelina Jolie. I just can’t stand her (maybe because she’s a homewrecker, I side with Jennifer Aniston)! I have seen The Reader and it is an engrossing film. It reminds me of other films such as A Beautiful Mind, Shawshank Redemption and Atonement. It is a drama, a drama retelling a realistic story. Kate’s speech was particularly endearing. She is witty, unpretentious and natural. I can always spot a strong woman. Be sure to watch The Reader as soon as you can, it is highly recommended.

Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech:

Here are the award winners of the Oscars 2009:

Best Picture – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director – Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor – Sean Penn for Milk
Best Actress – Kate Winslet for The Reader
Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Animated Feature Film – Wall-E
Best Foreign Film – Departures (Japan)
Best Original Screenplay – Danny Lance Black for Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beufoy for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Documentary Feature – Man On Wire
Best Original Score – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song – ‘Jai Ho’ for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Film Editing – Chris Dickens for Slumdog Billionaire
Best Documentary (Short Subject) – Smile Pinki
Best Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Costume Design – Michael O’Connor for The Duchess
Best Sound Mixing – Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Sound Editing – Richard King for The Dark Knight
Best Live Action Short Film – Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Animated Short Film – La Maison de Petits Cubes
Best Makeup – Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Art Direction – Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Visual Effects – Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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The Good Samaritan

I am sorry I have failed to write posts for both Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening I did a variety of things such as getting my nails done, going out to have a meal at a restaurant and also going to the cinema to see He’s Just Not That Into You (which will be the topic for one of my blog posts next week).  Friday, I was travelling back from London to Canterbury and on Saturday, I started my first day’s training with the Samaritans.

All in all, my first training day went well. There were only two girls there of my age (not that I am ageist or anything). One of these girls left during the lunch break and never came back for the second half. I’m guessing she wasn’t committed to being a Samaritan. It is quite a tough job being one. To become a Samaritan you must learn to be non-judgemental, compassionate, kind and a great listener. You can’t give any advice either. We all have our prejudices but we have to learn to curb them when on duty.

The day was filled with ice breakers, exercises and roleplays. Roleplays being the most nerve-wracking, having a Samaritan pretend to be the caller and you having to act as the Samaritan. We were told so many things in our first day of training; we couldn’t be judgemental, we couldn’t give advice, there were certain questions that we couldn’t use and we had to phrase questions in a particular way, we couldn’t sound too optimistic either. It seemed impossible to actually carry out a phonecall even if it was a fake one!

I am hoping that as we work through the sessions everything will become more familiar to us. I hope that I will start to pick things up and the skills mentioned above will occur more naturally. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other trainees on my course a little better too. I think that meeting new people is definitely a positive thing.

Some may be asking why I want to become a Samaritan. In order for me to apply for postgraduate studies in Counselling Psychology, I must have some kind of experience working in a counselling role. One of the suggestions was telephone counselling such as the Samaritans. It is a stepping stone in my career and it will provide me a wealth of experience.

I must be going now. A dear friend of mine is making her special curry for me and I cannot be late for that! I will be posting another entry this evening, so stay tuned.

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Home Sweet Home.

I have just returned from my University in Canterbury and have come to my hometown in London because it is my reading week. It has been a month since I have been here and I miss home with all my heart when I’m away. I found an article on Robert Pattinson and his comments about London and being homesick (which can be found on Entertainment Wise).  Robert says, “I miss being able to go for a walk. I miss the smell of London… I almost cried because I missed it so much. And I miss my dog.”

Crying, the exact reaction I get when I am away from home for more than two weeks! I also miss my dog too when I’m away, more than any other person. When I was younger, I never realised what my home actually meant to me. I used to say I was going to move to Australia at the first chance and that I wanted to go to a campus University outside of London. If I did move to Australia, of course I would miss my family. But even if my family moved with me, I’d still miss London immensely! And if I had another chance to go to another University, I would definitely pick one in London and live at home, (I have no regrets though). When I go on holiday, the feeling of landing on your own soil is indescribable! Driving back from the airport, I am always gushing at seeing a red post box, a red bus or even traffic lights. You’d never think that such little things mean so much to you. I do take London for granted sometimes, but I would never wish to be anywhere else but home. Home sweet home!


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My body may be made of fire but my soul is made of ice.

As we touched upon the importance of The Ice Queen Diaries in my last post and what it means for me to blog. I thought it would make an an insightful post if I were to talk about what it means to be an Ice Queen, what definitions there are and also what is in the media about them.

Firstly, people ask me “Why are you called an Ice Queen?” It is a long story indeed which I may get to tell you in another post, I’ll only use that as my backup post if I have nothing else to write about. I have been wronged in the past, majorly, by both friends and guys. I did not turn into an Ice Queen, I believe I always was one. Keeping myself a distance from others, expecting nothing from anyone and being pleasantly surprised if something came unexpected. My ex boyfriend in a very inapproriate, unfair and rude email claimed that I was an ‘Ice Queen’. What he said about me was untrue, he tried to blame everything on my character without even looking at his own. His own character was far more severe and crude than any Ice Queen could ever be. The tag Ice Queen stuck, it was the best way to describe me at the time. He had been very perceptive. So I took on the name and decided to use it as a way of life.

Firstly, here are some definitions of what an Ice Queen is, found on Urban Dictionary:

  • Definition 1: A sweet and beautiful girl, who is rumoured to be cold blooded and heartless.
  • Definition 2: A beautiful woman with an ugly personality; one who disregards the feelings of others.
  • Definition 3: A beautiful woman who refuses sexual advances; frigid.
  • Definition 4: A cold and haughty woman.
  • Definition 5: A woman who lacks the ability to empathise or put herself in another’s shoes.
  • Definition 6: A  woman who lacks the ability or chooses not to effectively define or react to another’s mode of thought and mood.
  • Definition 7: A woman who is so overly concerned with her situation that she does not prioritize or account for another’s needs.
  • Definition 8: A woman who lacks empathy in situations where another’s needs are clearly greater than her wants.
  • Definition 9: A girl capable of such emotional scaring and cruelty.

“My body may be made of fire but my soul is made of ice.”
I’m Cold by The Cure

I then turned to imdb.com, where I found a 2005 film called Ice Queen and was given a rating of three stars out of ten. The plot involves a unique female species being transported from the Pleistocene Age (Ice Age) and whilst this happens a military vehicle is abducted. The Ice Queen must be kept in low temperatures at all times, otherwise she would awake aggressively. However, she is being transported via airplane and somehow she is warmed, wakes up and kills the pilot. The airplane crashes into a snow avalanche which falls over, buries a resort with it, trapping people with the Ice Queen. The Ice Queen kills some of the people, whilst a guy named Johnny, his girlfriend Tori and some other girl try to escape to save their lives. (I can see why it was only given three stars! I demand a better film using the Ice Queen as their theme!  But I get what they’re saying, the Ice Queen must be kept cool at all times. You must not aggravate her in any way, for she will kill you. End of).

I then thought about Wikipedia. It is one of the most unreliable sources around in terms of referencing. But in general, what can people say about the name Ice Queen. It lead me onto a book by Alice Hoffman called ‘The Ice Queen’ published in 2006 by Vintage Books.

“Wishes… burn your tongue the moment they’re spoken and you can never take them back.”
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen is a woman without a name who makes a wish when only 8 years old that ruins her life. She grows up cold and unfriendly until one day, when she stands by her kitchen window, she is struck by a bolt of lightening. She survives this lightening but is transformed into ice and for some reason can no longer see the colour red. In passing, she hears of a man named Lazurus Jones, who also experienced the same bolt of lightening. But instead of ice, he changes into having a heart and soul made of fire. They have a turbulent love affair, which would be expected by the clever play of hot and cold polar opposites of these characters. How one became full of fire and the other became made of ice. It seems like a cheesy and almost predictable plot, but funnily enough, this was one of the better plots I came across. I think maybe I should think about writing a novel, try to make it more original and less stereotypical than the examples I have found thus far.

My last attempt was yet again on Wikipedia. It was a song called Ice Queen by Dutch rock group Within Temptation. I had remembered that I had this song in my MP3 collection. The Ice Queen is never mentioned in the song and is only referred to as ‘she’. The song implies that she is not a force to be reckoned with and that she is guilty of murder. Many fans have speculated that the Ice Queen in this song is archetypal and may even be inspired by the White Witch Jadis from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. She is also the personification of Winter and is also a satanic character. Here is the video for Within Temption’s song Ice Queen.

After seeing the definitions of an Ice Queen, I thought “Surely all these definitions cannot be true?” I think most of the definitions touch upon how icy and cold an Ice Queen’s feelings are. And most of the time I am generally unfeeling towards others, but people underestimate Ice Queens. Ice Queens are the way they are because someone has hurt them somewhere along the way. They have frozen up and are simply shielding their heart in an ice casing. I don’t believe they purposely go out in search of a victim to manipulate, abuse and fuck up. They just like to keep themselves to themselves, both physically and emotionally. However, I will admit, if someone crosses me in a major way, I will freeze them out of my life and pretend they do not exist. It may seem mean but any toxic friends or deadwood need to be frozen out. And as for frigidity, is that really a bad thing? You have so many people sleeping around, is it bad to not want to sleep with the first person you come across? Ice Queens are just people who are waiting for the right person to come along and to melt them to the core. I guess I have been melted, by my significant other. But I still ice out other irrelevant people in my life. So, I may not be a total Ice Queen but I still have my roots intact, the Ice Queen is my alter ego and will always remain so.

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Diaries and blogs are constructive.

I came across an article on My Park Mag about Robert Pattinson and what methods he used to get into the role of Twilight’s Edward Cullen. It was rumoured that he wrote a diary when filming Twilight but he denies that he did so.

Rob told 15 a 20 magazine, “It wasn’t exactly a journal. I don’t know how it started (laughs) but I hadn’t realised how difficult it was going to be to play Edward until I started reading the script. He’s a very complex character. So I moved to Portland on my own two or three months before filming began and I didn’t do anything but read the script and books to find anything that helped me play him.” He says he became a little obsessed, “So I started to write things. I mean, if you really prepare for a role, there’s going to be a moment in which he’s all you can think of. So I did things like little suicide notes. I was a little worrying actually (bursts out laughing).”

Robert Pattinson with his fangs out

Robert Pattinson with his fangs out

No Robert, we don’t want you to commit suicide. But what I get from his statement is that diaries are not a waste of time. And since this blog is ‘The Ice Queen Diaries’ it means that my blogging is not a waste of time. I had people say to me that I should be doing my final year project instead of blogging. But I’m sure that this blog is constructive and not destructive. First it helps me practice my writing skills such as my writing style and secondly it is my hobby, giving me something to do.

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Mr. Darcy is a vampire.

Whilst reading Twilight last night I started thinking about Robert Pattinson and his role as Edward Cullen combined with the reaction received from Twilight fans. I started to consider the parallels between the modern heartthrob Edward Cullen and the period heartthrob Mr. Darcy from Pride And Prejudice and the hype that has arisen from these characters. The reaction from both sets of fanatics have been very similar. When talking about Mr. Darcy, I do mean the Mr. Darcy from the 1995 version of Pride And Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and not the film version of 2005 starring Matthew MacFayden and Keira Knightley. To put it simply, this is a comparison of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. I will also discuss the implications that these characters have on the actors in question.

“Still, who’d have thought it? Today Mr. Darcy is a vampire.”
Orson Scott Card

Edward and Mr. Darcy are unforgivably rude to their love interests. Edward is rude because he has a strong attraction to Bella Swan. He insatiably thirsts for her blood. The Cullens are vegetarian vampires and if he were to get any closer to Bella than he did on their first encounter, it would have been more than unsuitable. It would have meant an almighty temptation for Edward and a quick death for Bella. Everyone in the town of Forks would have sought him out as a vampire causing his family a lot of trouble (not to mention that they are two different species)! Mr. Darcy likewise has a strong attraction to Elizabeth Bennet. On their first encounter, he completely disregards the thought of her as attractive and as a potential mate, mainly because of the differences in status. Mr. Darcy is upper class and Elizabeth is middle class, he would be marrying beneath him which would have been frowned upon in society. Edward and Mr. Darcy try their hardest to keep away from their love interest but are compelled towards the forbidden fruit. Both characters break down barriers which should not be broken, they go beyond their beliefs and even their family’s customs, to risk it all for the one they love.

Both characters are portrayed to be handsome, confident, rich and intelligent. This makes them unattainable to any female that does not also embody these qualities. This will make any female reader become infatuated with the character. Bella teaches Edward how to love, she provokes compassion and protectiveness in him. He is constantly keeping a close eye on her to make sure she comes to no harm. We observe how much he has changed, he was curt, cold and aloof at the beginning and warms as the story follows through. They are both brooding, complicated characters. Mr. Darcy follows exactly the same pattern. He protects Elizabeth and her family by saving them from a potential disgrace between her little sister Lydia and Mr. Wickham. We also see him being very amiable and talkative towards the end demonstrating that behind the facade, he is warm-hearted.

Also, who can forget the underlying sexual tension! Both couples must remain abstinent. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have to to be wed before they have any sexual intercourse because it will be a disgrace to both families. Edward and Bella cannot either, because it’s not a done thing to bring up a child as half human and half vampire! Both characters are similar in the reactions they provoke in females. It seems like girls go utterly bonkers at the mention of Edward Cullen, swooning at everything that has been written about him. Mr. Darcy has the same effect but with a more mature audience. Also, the male species cannot fathom why these characters are put so high on a pedestal and I guess they will never know the secret (this is why women moan about men, they should learn to understand this infatuation and be more like Mr. Darcy and Edward)!

I feel that at this moment in time, Twilight fans who rate Robert very highly, are completely obsessed with him because a) he’s Edward Cullen, a stigma that will always be attached to him no matter what happens and b) he has a pretty face (a fact that is unquestionable). As Twilight grows more and more popular, in years to come, Robert will want to move further and further away from that role. He will try to reinvent himself by playing roles that are the total opposite from Edward Cullen and I truly hope he does so successfully. But I really doubt that there will be much hype about him when it comes to roles outside of Twilight. Most of his fans are teens, ultimately because the Twilight Saga is written for young adults. I am not saying that they will fall out of love with Twilight, the characters or even the cast. But they will grow up and (to sound cliched) ‘get a life’. Life does happen, it does get on top of you. These teens who are totally besotted with Robert, in a few years will be attending University, working, getting into relationships, having a family. The crazed hype surrounding Twilight IS caused by the younger fans, they are the lifeforce pushing the books to become more exposed. And when they do grow up, Robert will not be hounded so much (I hope this won’t affect his chances of growing as an actor. But saying that, he does have his music to fall back on).

Colin has been stigmatised in the same way by Mr. Darcy. Grown women declare that he is a Sex God. I love Colin no matter what role he plays. But I find others who claim they love Colin, also claim that they love Mr. Darcy. They rave on about him and his ‘wet shirt’. Mr. Darcy has been such a hit with the ladies that Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’ Diary had to name Mark Darcy after him and wanted Colin to play the role of Mark in the adaptation of the novel in 2001! The films Colin were involved in after Pride And Prejudice in 1995 and before Bridget Jones’ Diary in 2001 were not exactly sensational films that made every woman weak at the knees. Even Bridget Jones herself was made to lust after him, she interviewed Colin in the second book, the interview being totally dominated by ‘the wet shirt’. It is quite the Colin Firth satire! The below is the actual inteview itself which can be seen in the deleted scenes section of the Bridget Jones’ Diary: Edge of Reason DVD.

I am not saying that both Colin and Robert are unsuccessful as actors, only being able to act as one person. It is clear that they are talented at what they do. Colin is constantly in work. Everytime I check imdb.com, he always seems to be either working on a film or one is being released. Robert’s career is definitely getting off the ground. With four Twilight Saga books, Robert has a long, healthy career ahead of him. If all of those books are turned into films, there is no doubt that he’s going to be a big star. But what I fear is Robert may be vulnerable to being typecasted, much like Colin Firth has been. His role as Edward Cullen may become so overwhelming and he may become so associated with the role, that no one, both fans and casting directors will be able to see past the character. I have seen a staggering 25 films of Colin Firth so far and most of the characters he plays are similar to the proud, stand offish romantic hero of Mr. Darcy.

“But he is a figure that won’t die. He is wandering somewhere. I can’t control him.”
Colin Firth on Mr. Darcy

The above quote from Colin on Mr. Darcy summarises the impact that the character has had on his life. And in a few years time, Robert may be saying the exact same thing about Edward Cullen. Just like the essence of Darcy will always haunt Colin Firth, the essence of Edward Cullen may haunt Robert Pattinson too. This is the problem with characters being heartthrobs, the character becomes much bigger than the actor. Many people are in love with the idea of the character but not the actor, it is a shame that people can be both fickle and shallow. Yes, both of these actors are hotties. But there is a lot more to their handsome faces, they are both talented and passionate.

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Sexy vampire!? Oh God help us!

I was browsing through Last FM last night, as I usually do. I cannot get enough of that website, I love showing off my musical tastes! I was checking out some of the artists from the new music I had on my iPod, which consisted mostly of artists from the Twilight soundtrack. I came across Robert Pattinson’s Last FM page, as Twilight fans will know, he has two of his own songs on the compilation, Never Think and Let Me Sign. (I must say, he is great at acting but I think he’s a superb singer! He’s like Damien Rice meets Ray LaMontagne, folky and very appealing to the ear. He should pursue that career instead).

On his artist page, under the heading similar artists, I noticed that the first similar artist was a three-piece girl band called The Bella Cullen Project. This is the first I’ve heard of such a band, I’ve been obsessive about Twilight for just over a week now, I gasped at the horror! What the hell was this, some kind of spoof? And who are they? I proceeded to find out more.

The band are from Arlington, Texas and uploaded their first Twilight-inspired songs to Myspace in 2007.  Members of the band are Chandler Nash, Ally Kiger and Tori Randall. They were in 8th grade at school when the band was set up and are currently in high school. Their self-titled debut album is available to buy on CD and on iTunes with another album set to be released later on this year. Songs include Vampwolf, Dig Me A Grave and Sexy Vampire. Apparently they have performed in front of Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight Saga and have even met Robert Pattinson himself.

I love Twilight the film, I love Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, I love Robert Pattinson and I am loving what I am reading of the Twilight book so far. I am one who believes in expression of the self. I believe in freedom of speech, which is why I am about to begin my ranting. If you listen to their songs, they actually sound okay. They can sing and if you don’t attend to the lyrics too much, you’ll think their songs are listenable. But once you turn your ear towards the lyrics, that is when all respect goes out of the window! Below is the chorus of the cringe-worthy song titled Sexy Vampire:

“She’s our hero
How many times in our lives can we drool over vampires?
She’s our hero
‘Cause Edward’s so hot he can set the house on fire…
Yeah, he’s one sexy vampire
Sexy vampire”

Cringe, cringe, CRINGE! I had to stop the YouTube video after the first chorus! The melody doesn’t sound cheesy but the lyrics certainly are! I have heard some of the cheesiest of songs but this one, by a long mile, takes the cake. Why can’t these girls sing about normal life as a teenager? You know, songs about teenage angst and puppy love crushes. Not life as a teenager stuck in their own fantasy world of Vampires and Werewolves. Seriously, if I were Stephanie Meyer, I would have sued their fat asses for trying to buy into my work, my art! They really need to get a life, quick. But more so are those Twilight fans who are buying into this. Why can’t The Bella Cullen Project do something else to show their inspiration for Twilight? Do what most teens are doing these days, write a blog, create a website, set up a fan club! I appreciate the enthusiasm but please don’t sing pathetic songs about how hot Edward Cullen is! He’s not even real! You’re a LOSER if you a) are in The Bella Cullen Project or b) Support The Bella Cullen Project. I’m sure what Stephanie Meyer and the entire cast think, is that you are sad, pathetic and in need of some therapy. Trust me, they may say to the press that it’s awesome The Bella Cullen Project support Twilight and are inspired by it so much, but they are only patronising. They have to say that, otherwise it’ll be all over the tabloids “Cast of Twilight snub sweet, inspired fans”.  And some of the fans are not sweet, they’re CRAZED!  The Bella Cullen Project are going to grow up and exclaim ‘Oh my God, how sad were we!’ This is an obsession gone too far. If they think the cast of Twilight are enthralled by this ‘project’, then they are definitely from another planet!

Before I go, here’s a YouTube video of Sexy Vampire so you can listen for yourselves:

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