dalekboy (dalekboy) wrote,

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100 days of Love and Hate - Day 37

No prizes for guessing which category this falls into - I love it! I enjoy discovering new places, new things, new animals, plants and insects. It's all pretty amazing.

I love finding the history of a place, seeing old buildings and signs, hints of what existed before. Passing old farm buildings and shacks, seeing the wild places in-between, and experiencing the wildlife. Of course some of that is a bit flat. And squishy.

But it's only by wandering that we find the magical places, those odd little spots that speak to us, touch us in unexpected ways. It's only because I've travelled that I found what I like to call my spiritual home at Eucla. And, of course, it lets me photograph lots of cool bugs, animals, plants and places.

I also enjoy travelling because it lets me rediscover people, including my friends. I tend to choose my travelling companions very carefully. If I don't want to travel with someone, it doesn't mean I don't like them, just that I feel travelling with them would not be enjoyable for one or both of us. I love Mitch, we're great mates, he had his own key to our place in Coburg and was welcome to come and go as he wished - but the one time we travelled together we were ready to murder each other within two days. Nothing to do with how we get on as friends, everything to do with how we get on as travelling companions.

Whereas Karno, who I barely knew, no worries. And I knew there'd be no problem straight away. He's a good example of why I do enjoy travelling with people. You get exposed to different attitudes, ideas, histories, perceptions...

In fact, the one thing I wish I was better at when travelling, is engaging strangers in conversation. My natural shyness kicks in and I avoid talking to people unless I have to. Once I do, I usually enjoy the conversations, but it's getting past that initial shyness that I've never been able to beat.

I think everyone should travel. I think everyone should cross the Nullabor once, see the Olgas, drive through bushland... so many Australians go overseas and have never seen what Australia has to offer. Deserts, rainforests, plains, snow, huge cliffs, small towns, big cities, and animals and insects everywhere.

Now, go listen to Lucky Starr's 'I've Been Everywhere', get off your arse and start visiting those places.

Irvin Kershner
Actually, I have nothing against the man as such, but Kershner's DVD commentary on Empire Strikes Back is so painful to listen to it's not funny.

Let's forget that his voice is slightly boring and annoying, that doesn't matter. He's a director, not an actor, and many people don't sound good on commentaries... though Kerhsner is worse than most. No, I think what I hate most is that he tells you what is happening on screen. He narrates the action that you're watching. Dude! We can see it, ok? Having your mogadon induced description of what we are actually watching running through the film is nothing short of aggravating.

And this is a constant. I love it when he comes out with something interesting, an insight into the filming process, or a comment like, "I like to fill up the frame with the [characters'] faces. There's nothing more interesting than the landscape of the human face." That's interesting, if only because it reflects his attitudes and thoughts. But those comments are rare and lost in amongst the narcoleptic power of his voice and descriptions of what we're seeing!

Have I mentioned that he repeats points about what we're seeing? Every time C3PO acts as comic relief, he draws our attention to the fact. Everytime there is a flash or spark on screen, he mentions it, because he puts them in specifically to make things interesting. Then he drones on about every instance in the most boring way possible. So you don't just get the ongoing description, you get the repetition of actions being mentioned time and time again!

And, he can't tell a story! He keeps jumbling up his words and concepts during the commentary, so that you have to consciously stop and think 'No... I think you meant this, not that...' and decode what he actually meant to tell you. It makes me wonder if the poor story-telling in Never Say Never Again was really down to the script or editing, or whether he puts films together the way he speaks. It would explain a lot about NSNA.

The sad thing is the other people talking about the film are all good, but I can only watch Empire in short bursts because his voiceover is so awful. I've actually wondered whether his commentary is so bad that it will forever spoil the film for me. But as a film/tv buff, it's hard for me not to want to go through it at least once. You can learn more from a good commentary track than you can from years of researching interviews and making ofs.

Now credit where it's due. His direction on Empire is good, it's my favourite Star Wars film for many reasons, and if the direction sucked it would have impacted on that. And most actors who have worked with the guy say he's one of their favourite directors. I bear him no ill will.

All I ask is that he never do commentary again.
Tags: love & hate, travel, videos/dvds

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