Behind the Trees (a found voice memo animation)

This is just too beautiful not to share on a Sunday morning. Have a wonderful day today.

Behind the Trees (a found voice memo animation), by Amanda Palmer
animation by: Avi Ofer
assistant animators: Santi Amézqueta Porteros & Héctor Zafra Matos
music written & recorded by Amanda Palmer

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Watching… Mad Max: Fury Road

Yup, I’ve decided to weigh in on the awesomeness that is Mad Max: Fury Road. I went to see it with Matt last week, and it was great. Obviously, any film that incites a boycott from men’s rights activists is going to catch my interest, but add in Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult (who I’ve never seen act a bad part), and Charlize Theron as the best female action character I have ever seen on screen, and I was totally sold.

Ok. Spoilers ahead, but none you probably haven’t already seen.

Fury Road picks up the character of Mad Max (Hardy) and straps him to the front of a souped-up car as a “blood bag”, providing War Boy Nux (Hoult) with a much needed blood transfusion as he races across the post-apocalyptic desert with a gang of other War Boys after Imperator Furiosa (Theron), who’s helping Immortan Joe’s five slave-breeder-wives (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Riley Keough, and Courtney Eaton) escape in a huge war truck. Keeping up?

Apparently the film is neither a reboot nor a sequel to the original Mad Max films, but a “revisiting”. Just to annoy the MRAs more 😉

So, why are the MRAs hating on Mad Max so much? Because of Furiosa, the wives, and the desert warrior women. Oh, yeah, there are badass old ladies in this film too.  Did I mention how Fury Road absolutely smashes the Bechdel Test? There’s a very slight love-plot, between Nux and one of the wives, but it’s not much, and its certainly not a central theme. Furiosa is absolutely the main protagonist of the film, with Max, to be honest, not doing much.

Director George Miller worked with Eve Ensler (writer of The Vagina Monologues) to give the characters of the wives a perspective of women affected by violence, especially in war zones.

Ensler spoke to Time magazine about her consulting on the film, saying

I read the script and was blown away. One out of three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime—it’s a central issue of our time, and that violence against women relates to racial and economic injustice. This movie takes those issues head-on. I think George Miller is a feminist, and he made a feminist action film. It was really amazing of him to know that he needed a woman to come in who had experience with this.

Anyway, I’m going to gush about this film forever given half the chance, so jus go and see it, and then come back and we can rave about it together. So much yes.

The Duff at ODEON Fort Kinnaird

I’m settling back into Essex now, and unpacking everything I spent last week packing up, but I thought I’d reward myself for finishing all the boxes (yay!) with a bit of blogging.

Brooke drove up to Edinburgh on Thursday (I know. Major BFF points. I owe her forever.), and I’d been invited* on a tour of the new ODEON at Fort Kinnaird, following up from seeing Cinderella there last month. I thought a cinema trip would be nice for Brooke to relax after an eight-and-a-half hour drive, so we hopped on the bus after dinner and headed off for a tour and to see The Duff (Hel-lo Robbie Amell).

Odeon Cinema Fort Kinnaird Picture: Alan Rennie

Nicky came down to meet us and take us up to the projection room, and cinema technology has moved on a lot since I’d last seen one. There are seven screens at the new ODEON, with one enormous Dolby ATMOS screen – Nicky explained to us that there were speakers basically everywhere (there are fifty six of them), and that it’s kind of like IMAX for your ears. Having seen Cinderella in that screen, I can totally agree that the sound is amazing. Nicky said that on a test showing, someone said that the sound is so good that it makes you see things that aren’t there, which sounds ridiculous, but in practice, because it’s complete surround sound, if someone runs offscreen, and then around, and back on screen on the opposite side, you can *see* them running around. It sounds impossible, but go see.

The ODEON is also going to be showing live screenings from the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the English National Opera, which is pretty cool. When Brooke and I went on Thursday, there was a National Theatre production on in one of the other screens, and they’ll be fairly regular occurrences, Nicky said.

After the tour, and some Game of Thrones chat (I won’t go for any spoilers, but NEW SERIES OMG), we went back downstairs to get popcorn – half and half for me, and sweet for Brooke – and then we went in to see the film.

The Duff is basically about a girl who realises that she is the “designated ugly, fat friend” to her two best mates (obviously though, she’s not ugly, or fat), and recruits the boy next door to help her shake off the title. It was pretty funny, and was the perfect film for out tired, post-packing, post-driving brains.

Thanks for having me again, ODEON!