Saturday, April 14, 2012

Treat

image via wikicommons


time goes slowly when one believes in
reality, the time spent sandwiched between bookshelves and
even though you may wait at the counter
and smile, watching the clock and clutching your tea, a
treat means having other people to share it with.

Potterfest!


A few months ago, I was in the engineering building of the university I attend when I saw a sign advertising Potterfest, a celebration of all things Potter.
Of course,we made it a priority to attend. I got together a costume of Lupin in his seventh year, to go along with the Marauder costumes of my sisters and brother.



We got to join in with the Muggle Quidditch game. I was a Chaser, my youngest sister Elizabeth was a Beater and my younger sister Lydia (who, incidentally, dressed up as James Potter) was a Seeker and ended the game, winning the victory for her team, by catching the Golden Snitch!
Then we stood in line for the Great Feast, and were sorted into Gryffindor. I signed up for the OWLs trivia contest and the scavenger hunt, and we sat down for a feast.




Cutscenes from the Harry Potter movies were playing(Top Ten Emotional Moments, Top Ten Characters, etc.) and James had to comfort Sirius when he got killed.


I teamed up with some of the Quidditch members, and we took the first prize in the triva contest.



I received a lovely resin model of the Elder Wand, which now rests in a place of honour on my shelf.
It was a really great program, and I really enjoyed getting to connect with other Potterheads!

Note: I attended this function in November... just wanted to get this blog post out on the website! Yes, I procrastinate...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Eggs!

I spent an enjoyable afternoon yesterday with my family, dyeing Easter eggs. Somehow, characters from Dr. Who, Sherlock, and Alice in Wonderland found their way onto some of the egg art.


It is the human form of the Tardis -Idris- and the Eleventh Doctor, bow-tied and suspendered, and very, very cool.


Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, drinking from the "Drink Me" bottle. She seems to be shrinking away, like a lit, melting candle!


John Watson and Sherlock Holmes from the BBC's modern retelling made an appearance as well. John is in his oatmeal jumper, and carries a gun (his artist was The Consulting Timelord). Sherlock is in his heavy overcoat and blue scarf, and holds a skull and a jar of something... I don't really want to know what it is.


While John and Sherlock were laughing together, Moriarty snuck up behind them! (Moriarty is also the work of The Consulting Timelord.)

 Thanks, Consulting Timelord, for letting me use pictures of your eggs!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie: A Review

source of poster

       I really enjoyed The Hunger Games book (review here) and anticipated the movie with great eagerness (by "great eagerness,' I mean I was looking at its Imdb page every day before the movie's release date was announced). The movie did not disappoint, to say the least. Not only did Gary Ross turn the movie into a wonderful adaptation of the book, he succeeded in turning it into a movie that is art in and of itself.

    Jennifer Lawrence glows in the role of 16-year old Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) when her name is drawn in the annual reaping for the 74th Hunger Games. There are twenty-four tributes, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve Districts, who compete in this televised fight to the death, instituted by the image-obsessed Capitol and forced upon the impoverished Districts after their rebellion.

   My greatest worry about this movie was that the filmmakers would overemphasize the (almost nonexistent) love triangle and make it the main focus of the story. To my relief, this did not happen. instead, they concentrated on telling the story through the eyes of the tributes, especially through Katniss. The scene at the reaping is particularly effective through the use of a shaky camera imitating the stumble of a frightened child, and the way in which the camera zooms in on Primrose as she walks up to the platform, and gives a close up to her hands nervously tucking in her "duck" shirttail. We feel  Katniss's love, and her decision to volunteer in that little gesture.
    Another facet of the movie I found effective was the use of a hallucination Katniss experiences in the arena, which told her backstory: how her father died, and how she became the main provider for her family.
   The Games are mandatory viewing all over the country of Panem, and the movie opens with a news broadcast on the history of the Games, giving the feel that we are citizens of Panem, watching the Games. This technique further emphasizes the horror that these children are expected to partake in. While some tributes grow vicious in the arena, Katniss only kills for self-defence, or to give other tributes a more merciful death. There is one moment, when right after she is dropped into the games, she collides with another tribute. They stare at each other in fright for a moment, then both turn and run away from fighting, united in their desire for nonviolence.


----Spoiler alert-----


Katniss befriends a tiny, innocent tribute from District 11 named Rue (Amandla Stenberg), and she is killed while in the arena. Her death was probably the most poignant moment of the film, as it was in the book. This poignancy is due to Katniss's grief-shattered lullaby that is Rue's last request,  combined with the camera adopting Rue's point of view. As her vision fades, we can hear Katniss's voice fading away. Katniss covers her with flowers, before she leaves her. Stenberg gave a wonderfully understated, slightly spontaneous performance as Rue, and really embodied the role. I only wish we could have seen her in more scenes to further build her character.


---end of spoiler-----

The Hunger Games is thought-proving in that the Capitol is obsessed with celebrities and the reality TV show that is the Hunger Games. This movie questions our present-day obsession with media and reality TV shows that prevalently exploit their participants. The Capitol residents see themselves as the pinnacle of society, advancing medicine and technology, and yet switch on the tube to watch gladiator-like fights. Could we become Panem? And if we did, would we even know it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dolphin Reflection

image from wikicommons

Note: There is one myth that tell of how the Greek god Dionisus turned a band of Tyrrhenian pirates into dolphins after they tried to enslave him. This poem attempts to capture the thoughts of one of the pirates as his metamorphosis occurs.

down into the water
falling slowly
is that a rope or a snake in my hand
let go let go
let the water take you

rising from the swell
something had changed
grapes floated on the surface (or were they beetles)
five days out from land
the voice was singing be not men but water

but not water (i was not water)
but hard muscle thrashing though the surf
a grey reflection of the clouds
but where was my voice
i opened my mouth to sing back

and i heard the voice
not of the man in purple
(the one who smelt of wine)
but of a dolphin
a dolphin drowning in the maddening waters

let go (but there's someone waiting)
let the water take you (she's waiting)
and i can't think, can't breathe
let go let go
let the water take you

sharp knifelike reflection of fish
must catch
eat
let go