The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger takes The Dark Knight from a good movie to a spellbinding, edge-of-your-seat, fantastic one. All week at work I’ve seen and read 8 million stories on how great he is, how he’s the highlight of the film. I’ve rolled my eyes a little (albeit while getting increasingly more interested/excited about the film). There’s all this buzz about how the film is Oscar worthy and Ledger’s performance particularly so. And I’ve gotten a little jaded by it – thinking that it’s probably not necessarily about the quality of the fim or his performance as much as it is about how tragic it is that he’s not here to see how well the movie is going to do, experience the joy of being part of this project. He’s dead – so of course he’ll get the award, be memorialized. I admit this sounds rather… horrible… but to be fair – I also had only his other movies that I’ve seen to go off of (based on his acting skills), and as much as I love 10 Things I hate About You, it’s not exactly the kind of acting that canonizes you. I have been so excited to see his performance, see if it lives up to everythign that’s being said, though.

So. I went and saw THe Dark Knight at 12:40 with Cori – just got back. It.was.AMAZING. AMAZING. and Heath Ledger – oh my god. I was moved, actually moved by his performance. I can’t even think of another performance where an actor has so drastically transformed into the character they are playing. If I hadn’t known it was Heath Ledger playing the role, I would have had NO idea that it was him. Nothing. no clue. He ewas BRILLIANT. oh my god. It took my breath away and left me speechless… I just found myself staring at the screen… filled with joy when he was on it (even when I was shaking because I was terrified of what was going on in the film). He lit up the screen and stole the movie. And I almost said just there that it was “most evident” – but no – he’s just that great every single moment he’s on screen. And it’s the nuances in his perforamnce – the little things he adds to the character – the smacking of the lips, the small noise effects in certain words, hand gestures, body movement. It is EVERYTHING. It was like watching everything Ive ever learned about acting come to life in front of my eyes. He was not Heath Ledger playing a role – he WAS the Joker.

Makeup and costume did wonders on the film too. The effects… the makeup – for sure the makeup – it’s insane. It definitely helped the character. but man… it was all him.

You can’t quite literally even tell it’s him when you look at this picture then look at him as the joker. At least I can’t.

Just had to put up a close-up. It’s pure brilliance.

I wrote a post about his death when it happened… and how I felt personally moved and upset by it. I had never understood that before – how people feel so touched by a life or death of someone they’ve never known. But when Heath died… I got it. He was the first one from my generation, really, to pass away. And it’s like – it brings a very visceral feeling about life to the forefront – it’s in us, literally and then one day it’s not. His death was already so tragic… and maybe this is inappropriate to say – but seeing this film and his absolute genius makes me ache for the life he didn’t get to live. It makes me wonder about the talent of so many people who never get to showcase it like that. And it also makes me so immensely joyful that he got a chance to play this part so that his career legacy will be this kind of greatness. He won’t just be remembered as the sexy romantic comedy icon; he’ll be remembered as going above and beyond in the world of acting. And he’ll be remembered for just the his sheer gift and passion for his art.

RIP Heath. This was a performance of a lifetime.

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Finally!!!! Battle in Seattle movie trailer!!

I’m SO EXCITED to finally put this up!!! On Wednesday our official trailer for “Battle in Seattle” was released… and….. HERE IT IS!!!!!!!!

I just watched it like 3 times in a row. I get so pumped up and excited when I see it. It’s like – this is going to happen! This movie that I will have worked on for several months… and just fallen in love with will open on my birthday (!!) in less than 60 days. We had a meeting here at work the other day, and the general message was, “We have around 60 days. It’s time to sink or swim.” This rush, this fear and excitement all at the same time – it’s what, I gather so far, that working on something you believe in – working for an independent film is like. I want it to succeed with everything in me. What we’re doing – how we’re marketing the film – the outreach we’re doing with the activist groups and individuals that were IN Seattle in 1999 – it’s never been done before. And oh my goodness – I just hope and hope and work hard and believe in it – and keep on hoping that we swim. This film deserves to swim, and the world needs to see it.

Enjoy the trailer!!!

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 12:54 am  Comments (2)  

I’ve seen the endangered wild dogs!

I came across this article about endangered African wild dogs

while doing news research here at work. When Alana and I went on our Holidays safari, we were really really lucky to see the wild dogs in … well… the wild. We came across a pack of them. Then, at the end of our trip, when we went to the Muholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, we were able to see more of them. It’s moments like this, coming across these types of articles, that I’m so filled with joy and gratitude and just overwhelmed with how fortunate and, well, blessed that I feel to have had these experiences. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the coolness factor… and wow – wow do I love how amazingly cool my time in South Africa was… but oh man, to be reminded of how special those experiences were and how few people get to see these things… it’s overwhelming. I want to take everyone I know… and just show them… have them experience this stuff. I also love that articles like this are being written. These amazing dogs and so many other animals in Africa and around the world ARE endangered and there isn’t enough protection of them.The wild dogs, though – they’re pretty incredible.

i wish these pictures were better, but my camera was actin’ crazy. you can see them on the side of the road.

This is a bit of a misconception for this animal. They’re aggressive and powerful… these were two of the dogs at the Rehab Centre… they’re definitely tamer than those still able to be in the wild.

The Virgin Land

I realized I never put up pictures from Mozambique. What a beautiful, heartbreaking country Mozambique is. It’s untouched – unspoiled by the hands of capitalism and greed and free trade. It’s still pristine. The beaches are still white and unpolluted. The amazing people I met while I was there – we had so many conversations about how we were truly getting an experience of a lifetime. We were staying in true-to-God bungalows, on the beach. They were on the sand. We fell asleep to the sound of the rolling waves. We paid backing prices for our bungalows… and we all waxed nostalgia before we even left. We reminisced while we were there for the time we were having – making jokes, in complete seriousness, that in 10 years, 15 – perhaps not even as many, the beaches we were on, the bungalows we stayed in – would be turned into million dollar resorts for western tourists, for wealthy entrepreneurs and capitalists. People should see it, experience Mozambiqe – but on their own… down the pot-holed filled roads (perhaps those could be cleaned up for safety’s safe)… they shouldn’t be able to fly right in to Inhambane, to Tofo (where we were). They should fly into Maputu (the capital)… take those big, rickety, terrifying buses that are so jam-packed with people and luggage that you wonder when youll be able to really breathe again. They should experience that because that’s… that’s what it’s like there. It’s not primitive or uncivilized. It’s fresh and real and so un-built up that you can see the land, for what it is.

I’ll get off my soapbox.

The country is gorgeous but far from what I expected. It’s so green, almost like being in a forest, a rainforest perhaps… but it’s flatter than that. Not as many trees. It’s lush everywhere. And you think, constantly, that you’re right near the ocean, that you’re just about to see it – and then… it’s forever and ever away. And that’s okay. You see straw huts on the sides of the road – in the distance. Men and women, alike, out in the fields… working and planting and building and living. You see clotheslines and women carrying fresh produce on their heads. You see children running and playing and children helping their parents in the fields. You see people with stands on the side of the road – selling anything, everything, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.

And then, without even realizing it, you suddenly hit coast, and it’s breathtaking. They (whoever “they” really is haha) say Mozambique has some of the best beaches in the world, and they’re right. They’re pristine, they’re perfect. They’re natural and real. And you see how people live with them, near them, how people and nature interact to form this beautiful, natural coalition of sorts.

It was an amazing few days I spent in Mozambique. And, you know, the more I write this the more I kind of think that maybe I DID already write a Mozambique post… haha if I did, I’m sorry you’re reading this for a second time, AND we’re seeing that forgetfulness is setting it at a shockingly early age for me 🙂

Well, in case I didn’t say this all before: I learned so much while I was there. I went from a traveler, from a student spending time abroad to a backpacker. I did it on my own, but then – I really learned that when you’re backpacking, you’re never really alone. Backpackers are an amazing group of people. Everyone’s ready to meet their newest group of friends at their newest location. And, like I was told all week while I was there, “Backpackers always see each other again.” I hope I do. Their stories and their lives and their experiences will stay with me, and now I have this burning flame within me to see and do adn experience the rest of the world and keep meeting other people with that same desire.


Published in: on July 13, 2008 at 6:17 am  Comments (1)  

student loans FINALLY important?!

wahoooooo!! according to this::

student loan interest rates go down

i may be paying a *teensy* bit less in interest when i graduate. yippeeee!

also, students can borrow an additional $2000 in federal unsubsidized loans. that’s fantastic news. for students, like myself, who struggle to get outside loans (in my first two years i did) because of no credit/bad credit/not coming from a family who can afford to start paying them right away – getting even LOANS to stay in school is SO challenging. at UNL (and i believe most schools) you have to be an upperclassman to get above a mere $2 or $3000 in federal loans. so this whole thing is HUGE in allowing students that wouldn’t be able to afford school and get the loans to continue TO continue. for me – i had to work 35 hours a week and do a full course load in order to stay at UNL. it’s such an amazing thought to think that for the next students like myself… they may be able to get the money they need through the federal government.

Congress. Doing something right. Getting something done. I love it!

Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Missing South Africa

I called the Stellenbosch PostNet tonight (as in, 2:00am) to find out about my missing suitcase (“um, Ms. Waite, we think it’s in Brazil….” was what I expected…), and the second they answered, this near painful nastalgia took me over. I wanted to bathe in the man’s voice. I wanted to cover myself with it, roll around in it, maybe eat it for breakfast. I closed my eyes and I think I may have cried had he spoken for another second or two. Those “quite lovely”s and “yebo”s and “ja”s that had become so famiiar in my vocabulary, become tried and true, I have to think about now, have to remember. A “quite” still slips out now and again, but it’s not familiar, not family with the rest of my words. The accent doesn’t linger in my mind every time I say specific words. I don’t naturally smell the lifted consonants of Afrikaans and the clicks of Xosa in everything I say. I hear American accents as natural once again – feel my own voice as part of the pedestrian pace of speech that surrounds me, fills my ears. I don’t sound unique, out of place. I’m never looked at quizzically, curiously, eyes and ears all around perking up to try to uncover my home place, my native state.

I threw myself back into life here so fast, so furiously, with such determination. I loved life from the second I stepped on the plane leaving until now – the moments I write this (…while I should be sleeping). I’ve loved life and embraced life and thrown myself into each new adventure, each new day, new task set before me. That feverish intensity in me to just take life and grab it and swim in it and sun in it – comes this downfall every once in a while of mourning what I left behind. I move at such a speed that sometimes I don’t stop to notice when something is gone… until it’s so far removed that I can only hear the sounds and see mountain tops and the vineyards rolling in the distance when I close my eyes and dream at night. I see them when I drive to Ventura to see Jason – as I see my first signs for “Welcome to Camarillo,” I feel transported, a small piece of me – of my mind – back to Stellenbosch – driving down the N-1 (I can’t even be positive that’s the right interstate… that I remmeber which one it is) back from Cape Town into Stellenbosch…. entering the Winelands… the green, green, green around me and the mountains in front of me.

I could describe my sense of loss, the feeling of mourning that passes over me every time I remember the things I love, fell in love with, that I don’t see every day, the people that are getting harder and harder to visualize, but it would take me hours and thousands upon thousands of words, and after it all –

I’d still just want to bathe in the Stellenbosch PostNet’s man’s accent. Because it – it felt like coming home.

Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment