Saturday, October 18, 2008

A belated review of Limbo

You will remember a little while ago, I told you about Jayne's film, Limbo. Well I invited a number of friends from work to attend the World Premiere with us, and they did. One in particular, edits our internal staff newsletter, and (unbidden and without any coercion, I promise!) included the following in the following week's newsletter:

"Critic's Corner - Limbo

Tuesday night saw a handful of familiar NZQA faces on hand at the Paramount for the world premier of Hutt Valley High production Limbo.
Though some may have come to assess the cinematography, others of us admit our main motivation was to strut the red carpet able to say we knew the father of the star.

Limbo stars Jane Mulligan, daughter of a certain web editor, as a ghostly high schooler who, after spending 23 years invisible to the world, finds that a contemporary school boy breaking into the school one night is able to not only see and hear, but also touch her. This might suggest a supernaturally far-fetched flick, but actually Limbo sticks to quite realistic storylines of the fickle dramatics of teenage romance, feeling bored and insignificant, and what happens when you still believe in Ouija boards.

Although organised through Hutt Valley High School drama teacher Bernard Beckett (also a well-published author whose newest book, Genesis, is gaining a lot of attention abroad), the film was actually an extra-curricular activity undertaken to a demanding schedule over the school holidays (Bryan Mulligan can vouch for the 24-7 nature of this as he was "asked" to give up his house for some of the shooting).
Approximately a dozen students worked to bring it all together, from acting, to an original film score, to some fast editing.

Now, I think most of us would admit that the idea of sitting through 90 minutes of high school acting can leave you a little nervous that performances might not quite be Katherine Hepburn quality. But I can genuinely report that the performances more than met standards and there is no way you could give Limbo less than an Excellence. Unfortunately, I have to confess that this is one of those frustrating after the fact reviews where we’ve told you the film was great, but screened only one night, so you can’t act on the suggestion to go and see it. Teach you for not coming."

Overlook the mis-spelling of Jayne, and that is a very fair summation - un-biased, impressed, and independent!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ohope for a week today

Saturday was 'take-off' day - a week's holiday in Ohope the order of the day. (Not sure where it is? Google will show you.) Seven or eight hours drive away, Desiree, Jayne, Nicky Braid & I bundled into the car & set off.

The trip was fine - traffic light, weather OK, and road conditions good.

The house is surprising - large, reasonably well-appointed (sleeps 9 after all), and airy.

It is set three back from the beach, but nonetheless has a narrow view between other houses to the sea.

The beach is long and wide - very like Orewa. We had a murky day which followed a fairly stormy night. Wellington was lashed and battered, but we survived unscathed, just windy & wet.
But the sea was churned, carrying a lot of sand, and with erratic surf breaking a long way off-shore.

We spent a lot of time sleeping, drinking tea, watching movies, and walking on the beach each day. In fact, Desiree is starting to complain of being 'walked out' because I walk faster than her, and make her keep up as best I can. The walks sometimes bring interesting sights, apart from the houses, like this cat which followed it's people down onto the beach and then proceeded to play with them and a soccer ball!

We also went for a walk beside the Whakatane River, past the wharf and numerous fellows catching whitebait, out to the mouth of the river.
Statue of Wairaka on the rocks at the entrance to the Harbour.

We also saw these waka. They have some very modern elements in their carving, apparently reflecting a Canadian influence.

We tried to do a little sight-seeing, but the first attempt was thwarted by poor choice of day, as we wanted to see Toi's Pa, but the cloud was determined to hide it.

A second attempt, however, produced stunning views of the area as the day declined into evening, before we headed in Whakatane for dinner.

There is a slideshow of the full set of photos you can see in a new window if you'd like.

But a few I especially liked:

I hadn't expected to be able to see the active volcano, White Island off-shore.

I do like the colours of Pukeko feathers - a glorious, deep vibrant blue, striking a nice contrast with the brash red of the beak.

Does this remind you of something out of Lord of the Rings? A view of Mordor, perhaps?

But this one is especially for Charlotte, on the other side of the world!