Waiting for a film to start. Having seen anything good, I'm reduced to a choice between 'Murder by Numbers' or 'Scooby-Doo'. 'Minority Report' comes highly recomended -- I'll post a review when I can. I've only had one wrong answer (sorry Matt) to the logobar quiz this week, so since I can't change the thing anyway, I'll extend things for another week. Next clue then: she's Google's favourite tennis player. Don't forget there's a round and shiny prize waiting for the first correct answer out of the hat. Anyway must dash ... Bullock or Gellar, Bullock or Gellar ...
Interlude I'm taking something of a forced break from the web for a few weeks. Don't worry, it isn't anything sinister. Well, not really. My home machine has stopped accessing webpages. It connects to BT's server OK -- so it isn't a connection problem, but when it tries to download the specified page, it brings up the Microsoft 'DNS error' page instead. I've re-installed Win98, and Explorer, the BT Internet software, and nothing's worked. I'm going to try my engineer when I can get him, but for now .... here I am in one of few Internet Cafe's in Liverpool City Centre paying two pund per half hour to check my email. Could it be something to do with WinSock? What is that anyway? So anyway, I'm moving house in the next few weeks anyway, so this is probably a good thing ... everyone needs a break from the web now and then for whatever reason.

Of course I would be unable to update the logo bar now, on that picture, wouldn't I? Anyone worked it out yet? The proze is still up there for grabs and I'll be checking my email every few days. I'll post the winner (if there is one) when I can. Take care and I'll speak to you soon.
TV With the popularity of 'The 1900 House' and it's sequels, it was only time before the US wanted their own version. Starting a run soon on UK television is 'The Frontier House'. The one image which stands out from the trailer is one of the participants saying they're starving. I can't remember seeing one of these things where someone involved hasn't been reduced to absolute misery in the name of television. The sight of the mother in 'The 1940s House' going hungry so that her kids could eat was crippling. Yes kids. They don't get a choice here do they? Pop Matters has noticed this too and as it doesn't look like thing sare much different on the 'frontier' wonders 'When does reality TV become child abuse?':
"Granted, their Moms and Dads were going hungry with them out there on the frontier (perhaps the family that starves together stays together?). But, even if adults have every right to make whatever choices they want about where and how they live, what they eat and if they eat, for these two sets of parents to deny their kids adequate food for the sake of a TV show displays to me a stunning lack of judgment on behalf of the parents (not unlike the current case of Kevin C. Kelly, charged with involuntary manslaughter and child neglect after leaving his toddler to die in his minivan). It also suggests culpability on the part of the PBS producers and executives who, not unlike Randy Yates, seemed to have turned a blind eye to the goings-on in front of them."
I'm not denying this is strong language, and that the production team wouldn't step in if they thought for a moment that anyone involved is in actual danger. But it does feel as though even though the makers thing they are somehow offering a higher quality of entertainment. How is it any less exploitative than Jerry Springer? Speaking of which ...

Big Brother continues to infuriate me. Ten reasons ...
1. Jade is continuing her steady transformation into Yoda
2. For whom are the bars still entertaining? See above article about how uninteresting it actually is to watch people in squaller. This isn't an east European art film from the eighties you know.
3. The bizarre editorial choices of the producers (Alex and Kate finally spent time together the other day, according to this, and found out they quiet liked each other ... but you wouldn't know it from the 'highlights' show.
4. The lack of humour of the non-slapstick kind. Although we like pissed Kate. Tim seemed to like her especially. But then judging by his GIRLFRIEND, he seems to be drawn to blondes.
5. The lack of common sense. From everybody.
6. The O2 sponsorship buffers. They aren't big or clever or amusing.
7. The crowds which turn up for the eviction nights. That's humanity folks. You're welcome to it.
8. The Ri:se coverage. Do you have to play the BB logo jingle between every clip? You know the viewers will desert you again once the BB3 has finished. If I was you I'd be thinking up ways of keeping them on. I'm telling you, move into a house, have two chairs in a living room and the production team cackling at your every joint movement and you've got yourself a show.
9. People who are watching it now and think it's the best thing they've ever seen, even though they weren't there for Nasty Nick or Brian. I was there from the start. You've missed 'Star Wars' and 'Empire' -- you're sitting through 'Jedi'.
10. I'm still bloody watching it. And talking about it. Even though I know it's bad for me. Would anyone like to send me a videotape of 'The Real World'? It might act as a nicotine patch so that I can ween myself off this crap.

Film Wonderful piece from scr(i)pt magazine about writing characters in film. When I was at school my teachers would almost scream the two Cs at me, Contrast and Conflict. It helped me when I was writing, but finally somone has articulated how:
"In Seven, when the two detectives realize that “the seven deadly sins” are the key to understanding the killer, we see a sequence where the Morgan Freeman character goes to a library all night and studies old research books. His concentration, his familiarity with the library security and cleaning staff, tells you he’s done that a lot. But that took film time to set up and establish. By contrast, the next day, we see his partner, Brad Pitt, do TWO one-second reveals on the same subject. He sits in his car and tries to read one of these same thick books about John Milton or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. He TRIES to get it; it’s his job, but can’t, and EXPLODES in rage at himself—scream-ing, pounding on the steering wheel; he just doesn’t “get” it. That one second of self-hatred at his reinforced sense of his own intellectual limits was very revealing.
This is something which seems to be largely missing from film lately, the ability to show in a few moments the basis of your characters. At the moment all characters do is narcasistically talking about each other, when a looking would work. Somewhere along the line they've forgotten that cinema is a visual medium. If I want someone to explain everything to me, I'll listen to Radio 4. [the article is in Abode format by the way. Might want to download that]

Art H.R. Giger does sculpture.

Blogging Just received this news be email ...
You’re being contacted because you were a participant in the Blogger Insider. As some of you may know, and most of you probably don’t, Keith has decided to pull the plug on the blogger insider program. So, a few of us who would like to keep it going have decided to take it upon ourselves to start it up anew.

So, if you’re still interested in participating, please send us an e-mail with your name and current website address. If you could also forward this e-mail to anyone you exchanged questions with in the past, or anyone you think might be interested in joining, or even post this on your site if you’re so inclined, it’d be appreciated, thanks. And if anyone's interested in helping out, please let us know that too.

They can be contacted at blogmatch@hotmail.com ... this has been a feeling listless blogging service anouncement ...

Logobar First clue. This site has been writing about her recently ... don't forget there is a prize on offer here ...
Life Today is the first Tuesday I haven't had to get up for work in months. I thought I would wake up at six in the morning anyway, and that when nine o'clock came I'd look at the clock, remembering what I would usually be doing at that time. But I didn't. I woke at eight-thirty, drank tea, ate toast and watched a DVD. In way it's almost as thought the past twelve months didn't happen. This troubles me. If I've fallen so easily into these old patterns, I hope the other moods won't return. The reason the title of the weblog came about for example. It's supposed to be ironic. I hope what I'm writing won't actually be inkeeping.
Quote It gets to us all in the end. Regarding Tim Henman's recent eventual win against Kratochvil:
"Then Bill Norris, a tour physiotherapist, was called after Henman said he was feeling "generally listless" and ill. Smelling salts were waved under his nose and seemed to do the trick."
I'll try that next time I don't feel like I'm on form. [via Matt]
FilmKissing Jessica Stein’ will win no awards for originality (and neither will the opening line of this review). Straight girl is sick of men and decides to try the feminine thing. But like every other romantic movie you’ve ever seen, it isn’t about the set-up, it’s about the journey and in this case I’ll be happy to show you onto the train.

No stars, here just talent. And what talent. Usually in low budget films, you have to take it for granted that – some – of the acting – will be a bit stilted. Staggeringly although I can’t think of a face here I’ve seen before, everyone is uniformly excellent. It feels like a movie which has dropped in from an alternate dimension where everyone here is a big, famous actor in their field. Jennifer Westfeldt as Jessica, has a stunning screen presence. But unlike Jennifer Anniston (for example) she feels like one of us – and that’s why we root for her. Similarly Heather Juergensen, as the girlfriend, is instantly likeable (and not just because of her opening scene). The fact that their already friends improves an on-screen chemistry you feel would be their anyway.

The writing is also superb. They act, they write. I was reminded of the first time I saw ‘Walking and Talking’ or ‘Love and Other Consequences’, that kind of attention to the detail of people. The blossoming of Jessica from slightly plain, the just unbelievable is totally believable. There is an obvious through route from ‘Annie Hall’ to ‘When Harry Met Sally’ to what we find her. The girls are obviously fans of there previous movies, scenes there are mirrored here with a twist. Of course to tell you what they are would spoil your enjoyment of this film, but keep an eye out for re-runs of the moment from the end of ‘Sally’ when Harry tells her he loves her, when Woody and Annie go to the movies in ‘Hall’. That this film has been released under Fox’s Searchlight banner and not as a major studio piece demonstrates how the priorities of Hollywood have changed.
Logobar Another quiz. Whose thigh is that? A special 'feeling listless' prize to the first name out of the hat. Closing date next Saturday ...