Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"Suffragette" - Has the battle really been won?

I went to the see the film "Suffragette" the other day with my daughter.

The story is about Maud, who is a working class woman who becomes embroiled in the fight for women's right to vote in the early 1900s in the UK.

On the whole, I thought the film was overly long and a surface once-over look at this time in history. But having said that, it was good to see the story from the working class point of view, for a change.

The value for me of the film is that it reminds us of the fight for suffrage, both historical and today. For example, my daughter didn't know about Emily Davison and how she lost her life for the cause at the 1913 Darby.

But at the same time, it made me sad because I wander how much women have gained. We still do not have parity in wages. Women in Australia are being killed by their partners at an alarming rate. In some parts of the world, women do not have the right to vote, and in other parts of the world they are sexual and economic slaves.

I wonder what Emily Davis would say about women in today's world. Would she think her sacrifice was worth it?

Monday, November 30, 2015

'Make my day' - a day of my life in Canberra

Over the last couple of weeks I have taken part in a Canberra project called 'Make my day'. 'Make my day' is a Design Canberra project organised by Kate Shaw.

The aim of the project was for participants to take photos during their day every couple of hours. Kate collated the photos to make a shared story of how Canberra defines participants and how the participants defined Canberra. The final product was displayed in an exhibition last weekend in Northbourne Street.

I submitted photos from Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd November. My favorite photo was taken first thing on Sunday of a pair of shoes that a girl had left lying on the pavement from the evening before - I hope they weren't too expensive.

It was fascinating to see all the photos put into themes and made into a giant mosaic. 
Canberra clearly is a very busy place, and at the same time means so many different things to different people.

I expected to see many glossy "posed" Instagram photos, but was pleasantly surprised to see very ordinary pictures which felt so much more authentic.

Canberra get a bum rap from many people who pass by, but to those of us who live here, Canberra is a vibrant place with many faces. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lessons learned from being guest blogger at the 2015 Canberra Film Festival

I was very lucky to have been invited to be a guest blogger for this year's Canberra Film Festival with my daughter, Ellen. 

The 2015 Canberra Film Festival was very enjoyable. I loved the new venue at the National Sound and Film Archive - the film screen is second to none. The program was interesting. The greater emphasis on local film makers and documentaries from the Asia region was a change from the more main stream films that have been shown in previous years. I certainly had my eyes opened by some of the documentaries, and the local films illustrated the fabulous talent of film makers that live and work in Australia.

Being a guest blogger for a film festival is great fun, not least because I got to see films than I normally would not go to see. At the same time, it was tiring because there was a pressure to get reviews written in a timely way. I found it a challenge to write the reviews in a way that demonstrated I knew about film-making but bringing a personal slant. Rotten Tomatoes was a useful resource to check out what professional film reviewers thought about a particular film. But inevitably, my opinion differed from the general view on that website, probably because I am not a film professional, and was writing purely from an emotional point of view, as opposed to a more technical one.

Here are the reviews that Ellen and I wrote about the films we saw.

The festival has now finished, and I am feeling a degree of film withdrawal. But I am reassured knowing that two outdoor cinema seasons are coming up -  Ben and Jerry's Outdoor Cinema and Sunset Cinema.

What would be your review of the latest film you have watched?