Tuesday, August 10, 2004

accounting work sux

I've just spent the last two days getting up to date with my business accounts. I use Mind Your Own Business accounting software which makes it all pretty simple, but the trouble is I've been so busy that I haven't been entering in any transactions for months and was really behind on my GST (Goods and Services Tax, for those outside this country) - a ridiculous system that taxes almost everything you buy and causes most people in business to have to spend vast amount of time tallying up everything coming in and out of your business. The only advantage that I can see, from my point of view, is that it makes me keep up with all my accounting which is very handy for when it comes to sort out income tax (which is next on my list and is waaaay overdue). The New Zealand Inland Revenue department is a little more understanding these days about late payments and penalties since they copped a great deal of flack over a spate of suicides after business people were charged so many penalties that they just plain couldn't cope any longer. IRD have a lot to answer for. Hearing about some cases at the time was heart-breaking. Bureacracy gone mad. So, it's all done for now and I can go to bed with a clear conscience (and a couple of red wines under my belt).

Oh! Just remembered - I had my very first swim today. The waters's still only 20 degrees celcius - not all that warm - but once I was in for a while it was fine. It's about up to my neck which is a nice depth - the same depth for the whole length. Fun, fun, fun! I'm planning on a daily swim. Good exercise for someone who spends almost their entire day on an office chair. My morning dog walks down to the beach have come to a quick standstill.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A new sexy look?

No, not really, I'm just kidding myself. Trying to make myself feel okay about the fact that I now have to wear glasses. Just for computer work and reading, but still... it's gonna be weird. I tried on a few different frames and found some pretty quickly that looked okay. The trouble is, I don't have much of a bridge to my nose. It's one of those button noses that dips right in between the eyes, so there's not much to hang the glasses off. Lots of frames slip down and then I end up peering over the top of them, sot the heavy-framed secretary look is totally out of the question, which is a shame cos I kinda like it. I've chosen some rimless ones - a contemporary sort of design. Gotta wait 3 weeks though. In the meantime I'm meant to be doing eye exercises. Like I have the time!

Still haven't tried out the pool! Had problems with the heat pumps which is now sorted out, but has been a bit of a setback in getting the water up to a reasonable temperature.

Monday, August 02, 2004

street art

Saw this yesterday - great to have the camera on the phone when you want to record a visual moment.

Finally starting to catch up on all my work. Got a tasty job coming up that I'm putting in a proposal for. Fingers crossed that I get it! Going to have to collaborate though cos it involves doing some TVC work which I've never been invloved in before. It's only between me and one other company. Worth a shot.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

It's all over

Oh, so sad! The film festival is over for another year. It always goes so quickly. SOD and I have been bemoaning all the films we managed to miss, mainly Screaming Men and Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst. The Anatomy of Hell was one that we had tickets to but still managed to miss. That's SOD's story, which I will leave him to tell if he feels like it. Suffice to say, I was pretty disappointed since that was a film on my initial "must not miss" list.

Anyway, I have managed to see 31 films - not nearly as many as I would have liked - mainly cos the daytime screenings that I planned to attend were pretty impossible to get to cos of my workload. It would be so nice to take the two weeks completely off, but it's too hard to do that when you are self employed. You'd think it would be easier, but no - essentially the equation is "no work = no money". Just doesn't work out.

Films I saw (in the order I saw them):
Hero (martial arts eye candy)
Old Boy (over-rated Korean shock-fest, Tarantino-style - morally queasy)
Super Size Me (30 days on Mackers - should be obligatory viewing for all western teens)
The Motorcycle Diaries (Che-the-man in his formative years, on a craZy roadtrip across the Andes)
Touching the Void (True story of grit and sheer dogged determination - if a little nuts)
Aaltra (Belgian road movie in wheelchairs - superb black comedy)
The Saddest Music in the World (genius Canadian Guy Maddin with a tale of a legless woman and the quest to find the most melancholy music. This film was indescribably gorgeous)
Father and Son (Vaguely disturbing offering from Russian Ark director - tale of an obsessive father and son relationship. Homoerotic and gorgeously shot)
The Yes Men (Anti-globalisation hi-jinx - lots of fun and thought provoking)
Control Room (Inside Al-Jazeera - the news we never bloody hear)
Our Music (my only dud film - Jean Luc Godard has lost the plot - overtly intellectual nonsense)
A Page of Madness (huh! Whoever went to Fahrenheit 9/11 missed this gem - 1920s silent era Japanese avant-garde accompanied by twin british duo In The Nursery. My number one film from 2004 festival. I was gobsmacked)
In Your Hands (This year's Dogme film. Made me cry bucketloads. Gutwrenching tale of a spiritual event in a women's prison and the aftermath. Excellent. I think the guy beside me was crying. On ya mate)
Dias de Santiago (Peruvian film - as depressing as they come, but very worthwhile. Saw this straight after In Your hands and was an emotional wreck by the end of the night. Tale of ex-soldiers attempts to make sense of life after four years of jungle warfare. he couldn't)
Tropical Malady (Not for everyone, but I was glad I gave it a go. Sexy boy-love between a worldy Thai soldier and a village boy. Big surreal jungle sequence during the last half. Weird and wonderful. Wish I'd seen his other films)
Intimate Strangers (Quiet french comedy of mistaken identity. Okay, but nothing special)
Any Way the Wind Blows (Cool Belgian film - think Magnolia in it's structure, but add some hipster Belgians, a plot that culminates in one big groovy party and a wicked soundtrack. I wanna see this one again and I'll be buying the soundtrack for sure. I wish I had been at that party...)
Bukowski: Born Into This (What a foul-mouthed sod, but what a poet. Good doco on the life and times of american writer Charles Bukowski)
In My Father's Den (Forecast to be the next "The Piano" or "Heavenly Creatures". I concur. Superb acting, an emotional rollercoaster of a movie. Hope it does well in the international marketplace - it deserves to. Based on a novel by Maurice Gee who was there at the screening)
The Corporation (Two and a half hours of corporate exposé. Conclusion? Corporations are unhealthy for humankind. They need to be disbanded. People need to see this film!)
The Return (Another Russian gem. Creepy father comes back after twelve years to take his kids on a "holiday". Great cinematography)
Coffee and Cigarettes (Jim Jarmusch as wonderful as ever with this series of vignettes all involving coffee and cigarettes. Wellingtonians will love this take on cafe life. Lots of fabulous faces including Iggy Pop, Steve Coogan and the boyz from Wu Tang Clan telling Bill Murray to stop drinking so much coffee as we watch him swigging straight from the filter jug. Loved it. Oh, and Jack and Meg White are in there too. It's all good)
Vibrator (Dark but beautiful story of the meeting of two lonely people - alcohol-dependent early 30s woman who is spinning out and spunky late 20s trucker bloke hit the road in his truck after chance meeting in a late-night store. Neuroses abound. Raw camera work and raw emotions. One of my faves)
Cowards Bend the Knee (More craziness from Guy Maddin - it's hard to describe his films. This one contained ice hockey, amputation, incest, murder, and a breast made of ice. Freaky fun)
Shaun of the Dead (Took two of my kids to this UK zombie spoof. Plenty of gore and laughs. Starring Dawn from The Office and Bernard from Black Books)
The Stroll (I didn't know Russian film could be so bubbly. I heard some people didn't like this - I loved it. Sexy Russian girl and two young men-about-town walk through the streets of St Petersburg flirting. She's a bit crazy and the boys fall in love with her and who wouldn't. Sexy fun)
Ramones: End of the Century (Never been a big fan of the Ramones, but great music history. There's no denying the influence these guys have had on other bands and of course, they were the main influence on the punk movement in the UK. The doco highlighted their early years through to their final demise and the death of Joey. A thoroughly disfunctional bunch of guys)
The Battle of Algiers (1965 classic dramatising the struggle of the Algerian Liberation Front against the french colonialists. Gripping realism, and still entirely relevant)
Hollywood Respliced (My shot of experimental film - small audience, and some that walked out. But for those that stayed, a treasure trove of decontructed/reconstructed short films. Who needs drugs when you can watch film like that?)
Ong-Bak (What's the boy's version of a chick-flick? Whatever it's called, that's the genre for this film. Great Muay Thai fighting scenes and lots of action. I liked it, but it's not really my kinda flick, but it was closing night film, so I wanted to see it)
And the last one, which was this morning's viewing:
Checkpoint (This film had my friend Steve clenching his fists and sweating profusely with anger. We all took a while to calm down afterwards as the four of us sat over coffee and vented. Simple footage of checkpoints on the Gaza Strip, filmed between 2001 and 2003. Makes you understand the reason for Palestinian suicide bombers)

Well, that wraps it up for another year. I'll try and watch some of the stuff I missed on tape if I can.