Slumdog Millionaire

From the title and what I knew of the film it was about an Indian  boy who comes from the poor streets to win on ‘Who wants to be a millionaire”. As the outcome is already known, the story is actually about the story of the main protagonist Jamal. His journey from small boy to getting a laboring job as tea-boy at a call centre. The film is more about India and the wealth gap that persists to this day.
Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. Set and filmed in India, it is a loose adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup, telling the story of Jamal Malik, age 18, from the Juhu slums of Mumbai. As a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? who is able to answer every stage correctly, he is accused of cheating. Jamal recounts his history, illustrating how he is able to answer each question.
Regarded as a sleeper hit, Slumdog Millionaire was widely acclaimed, being praised for its plot, soundtrack and direction. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight—the most for any 2008 film—including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won seven BAFTA Awards including Best Film, five Critics’ Choice Awards and four Golden Globes.

Immortal

Immortal
by Steven Savile (2014)

A man awakens in a filthy bedroom with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. Seeing an old Gideon bible on a nightstand, he finds a name to call his own – Temple. Immortal is the story of Temple’s quest for identity and purpose in a dying, decaying world. He is no romantic knight, no Sir Gawain, he has no sword and no armour, and in this broken world no one he can trust. He turns his back on everyone and everything as he embarks upon the quest for his own Holy Grail, and tempted by demons and gods every step of the way, he must confront the terrible truth about who he is and how he came to wake up in that damned hotel room.

I’m giving this book 4/5 but I’m not sure why.

First, it’s post-apocalyptic horror, not a genre I have read much of. I am not a fan of horror fiction, however this story was strangely compelling. The character of Temple is uncertain. Is he a terrorist, saint, soldier or just a normal guy. It’s not clear until the end. Then there is the vivid but horrific world he wakes to. It’s very detailed but sick, mutated and scary. I certainly wouldn’t want to be there. But ultimately it’s the journey the character takes  that pulls you through the story.

 

Syberia 1

 


Syberia is a 2002 computer adventure game designed by Benoît Sokal, developed by Microïds, and published through The Adventure Company. It follows Kate Walker, the protagonist, as she attempts to wrap up a sale on behalf of her law firm and travels across Europe and Russia. In addition to the main plot, the game contains a subplot conducted via calls received on Kate’s cell phone. It involves Kate’s deteriorating relationship with her fiancé.

Syberia was acclaimed by critics for its graphic design and intelligent script. The game contains elements of art nouveau and steampunk fiction. Most devices and tools within the game’s world (including a train) are powered by springs and wind-up gears.

The success of Syberia prompted a sequel, Syberia II. It was released in 2004 and continues the story from where the first game ends. As of 2014, Syberia III is in development. The game will be published by Anuman Interactive, and Benoît Sokal will write the script. The release date is set for 2016. Gameplay for Syberia 3 was shown at E3, the game is presented in full 3D graphics for greater immersion.

It’s a game notable for its graphic art and moody soundscapes. As for the story, it’s interesting but not extraordinary. There is much hinted at in the details that doesn’t show itself. This is probably in the sequel.

I had a few problems things with the game.

First the deteriorating relationship with her never seen boyfriend. This is just annoying and could have been removed without altering the story. There is no reason the Kate needs a love interest, it just gets in the way.

Then there is the frequent   phone calls from her mother, employer and friends. There is only one puzzle that needs her mother. Otherwise they are not needed.

Most of the puzzles are object based and logical. However many appear arbitrary and without the walk-through I would have been lost with nothing to do. There is little help from other characters. One of the puzzles required four cogs you get at the start of the game. Unfortunately I picked up two, not realizing there were another two needed. There is a lot of pixel hunting to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Overall, a good game (with help from a walk-through)

 

 

 

The KC Suggestion

Received: from [203.97.143.59] (helo=rnz01)
by tyler.snap.net.nz with smtp (Exim 3.22 #1 )
id 16zU5q-0006×5-00
for <bakern@inet.net.nz>; Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:02:18 +1200
Received: from GWRNZ-Message_Server by rnz01
with Novell_GroupWise; Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:04:07 +1200
Message-Id: <scc42667.035@rnz01>
X-Mailer: Novell GroupWise 5.5.5
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:03:54 +1200
From: “Saturday Saturday” <Saturday@radionz.co.nz>
To: <bakern@inet.net.nz>
Subject: Re: Kim Hill’s Theme
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-Disposition: inline

thanks – that’s taken me by surprise, must check it out. Chris Bourke

>>> “Nigel Baker” <bakern@inet.net.nz> 04/21/02 01:03 >>>

Here is my suggestion:

The opening to “People”
on the 1995 Album “Thrak” by King Crimson

Nigel Baker
Christchurch, New Zealand

The KC Expansion

Just in case you thought you were alone in liking Fripp & Co,

You can visit the comprehensive web site at :
http://www.elephant-talk.com/

Tony Levin has a web site at:
http://www.papabear.com/

and Trey Gunn at:
http://www.treygunn.com/

Most of Robert Fripps CD’s are distributed through :
http://www.disciplineglobalmobile.com/

And the KC related music I have :

King Crimson

King Crimson ABSENT LOVERS
King Crimson B’BOOM (Live in Argentina)
King Crimson BEAT
King Crimson DISCIPLINE
King Crimson EPITAPH
King Crimson FRAME BY FRAME
King Crimson IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON
King Crimson ISLANDS
King Crimson LARKS TONGUE IN ASPIC
King Crimson LIZARD
King Crimson RED
King Crimson STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
King Crimson THE GREAT DECEIVER (LIVE 1973-1974)
King Crimson THE NIGHTWATCH
King Crimson THRAK
King Crimson THRaKaTTaK
King Crimson THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR
King Crimson V’ROOM

Then in the 1990’s

“The aim of these smaller Crimson projeKcts is to function as R&D for the greater Crim”
ProjeKct Four West Coast Live
ProjeKct One Live at the Jazz Club
ProjeKct Three Masque
ProjeKct Two Live Groove
ProjeKct Two SPACE GROOVE

From Members of the Band:

Belew, Adrian DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL
Belew, Adrian DESIRE OF THE RHINO KING
Belew, Adrian OP ZOP TOO WAH
Belew, Adrian YOUNG LIONS
The Bears RISE AND SHINE

Gunn, Trey ONE THOUSAND YEARS
Gunn, Trey THE THIRD STAR

Bozzio Levin Stevens BLACK LIGHT SYNDROME

From the God of the Gong :

Bruford, Bill FEELS GOOD TO ME
Bruford, Bill MASTER STROKES
Bruford, Bill ONE OF A KIND
Bruford, Bill (Earthworks) A PART, AND YET APART
Bruford, Bill (Earthworks) DIG ?
Bruford, Bill (Earthworks) EARTHWORKS
Bruford, Bill (Earthworks) STAMPING GROUND
Moraz and Bruford MUSIC FOR DRUMS AND PIANO
(Patrick Moraz of the Moody Blues)

and some of –
YES 90125
YES BIG GENERATOR
YES CLASSIC YES
YES GOING FOR THE ONE
YES UNION
YES YESSHOWS
YES YESSONGS
YES YESTERDAYS

From Robert Fripp’s Crafty Guitar Lessons was formed :

California Guitar Trio Invitation
California Guitar Trio PATHWAYS
California Guitar Trio Yamanashi Blues

Frippian albums by the Guitar God :

Fripp String Quartet THE BRIDGE BETWEEN
Fripp, Robert 1995 SOUNDSCAPES VOL 1: RADIOPHONICS
Fripp, Robert 1995 SOUNDSCAPES VOL 3: THAT WHICH PASSES
Fripp, Robert 1999 SOUNDSCAPES VOL 2: A BLESSING OF TEARS
Fripp, Robert A Blessing of Tears
Fripp, Robert EXPOSURE
Fripp, Robert GOD SAVE THE QUEEN/UNDER HEAVY MANNERS
Fripp, Robert NETWORK

Sylvian and Fripp DAMAGE
Sylvian and Fripp DARSHAN
Sylvian and Fripp THE FIRST DAY
(David Sylvian ex Japan)

Summers & Fripp BEWITCHED
(Andy Summers from The Police. 1 of 2 albums from the 1980s)

Bob also contributed contributed to :

Bowie, David Heroes
Grid EVOLVER
Rimitti Sidi Mansour
Rieflin Fripp Gunn THE REPERCUSSIONS OF ANGELIC BEHAVIOUR
Ten Seconds TEN SECONDS

Even his wife sings :

Sunday all over the World KNEELING AT THE SHRINE
Toyah (Wilcox) LOOKING BACK

Summertimes 1995

Summertimes Candlelight Opera

Sat 21 Jan 1995 8:30

I arrived at 6:40 to find that half the audience had got there before
me. After eats I settled down to look bored & read the program (as one
does at these events). It was a sunny and calm night. Puuuurrrfect

——- Program ————-

Prelude, Carmen – Bizet
C.S.O.

Carmen – Bizet
Adrian McEniery
The Flower Song (Don Jose)

Cosi Fan Tutte – Mo’s art
Gina Sanders
Would a maid be worth the wining (Despina)

Don Giovanni – Mo’s art
Gina Sanders & Grant Smith
Place your hand in mine (Zerlina & Don Giovanni)

Norma – Bellini
Dame Malvina Major & Canterbury Opera Chorus
Chaste Godess

I Vespri Siciliani – Verdi
Dame Malvina Major & Canterbury Opera Chorus
Thanks to my good friends

Nabucco – Verdi
Canterbury Opera Chorus
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

The Marriage of Figaro – Mo’s art
Sir Don Mac-in-tyre
Non piu andrai (Figaro)

Faust – Gounod
Sir Don Mac-in-tyre & Canterbury Opera Men’s Chorus
The Golden Calf (Mephistofele)

——–INTERVAL———————-

During the interval I went for a walk to the back of the audience
(about 150m). I met my sister & her intended B&C. But they were
leaving. Jane had a problem – the temperature was dropping to below
room temperature and she couldn’t see the stage, so they were going
home. Remember that this is the person who regards “roughing it” as
doing without a microwave for the day.

——–part 2—————-

Die Fledermaus – Johann Strauss
(Trans = Die, you flying mouse)
Gina Sanders
My dear Marquis (Adele)

The Merry Widow – Lehar (ha ha)
Grant Smith
I’m off to Chez Maxime (Danilo)

At this time (9:00) everyone was asked to light their candles.
Unfortunately a breeze had developed, making lighting and maintaining the flames difficult. It wasn’t until 9:30 that it was dark enough for the candles to be effective.

La Boheme – Puccini
Gina Sanders
Museta’s Waltz Song (Musetta)

La Boheme – Puccini
Adrian McEniery
Your tiny hand is frozen (Rudolpho)

La Boheme – Puccini
Dame Malvina Major
Yes, they call me Mimi

La Boheme – Puccini
Dame Malvina Major & Adrian McEniery
Lovely maid by the moonlight (Mimi & Rudolpho)

Traditional
Sir Don Mac-in-tyre
Drink to me only

Carmen – Bizet
Sir Don Mac-in-tyre & Canterbury Opera Chorus
Toreador’s Song (Escamillo)

La Traviata – Verdi
Full Company
Libiamo (Drinking Song)

————— end approx 10:15

Well… what did I think.
The audience was appreciative, but I had some reservations.
Adrian McEniery is an Australian singer (one black mark). I didn’t
find his singing as good as Grant Smith.

Don “floor-rattler” McIntyre was in good form. Unfortunately his voice
was not conveyed to us with the power I know he is capable of.
Probably a result of the amplified, open-air venue. The Toreador’s
song was a BIG mistake. I believe that is written for a baritone
(maybe a tenor). Don’s bass voice just didn’t suit the song. I was
probably put in the program for that same reason that opera singers
_try_ to sing Sondheim (popularity).

Dame MM is (I believe) a “lyric soprano”. So it wasn’t until we got to
“call me Mimi” that she really shone. This would have been the best
song of the night.

This is the second time that we have had Opera by Candlelight. From
memory, Dame MM was at the last one. Overall, I think the first was
the better. Last year we had two good soprano’s who did some
exellent duets. Most memorable was the “flower duet”. There are two
“flower duets”, this is the one that an Airline used for the melody of
a commercial.

BTW, Malvina & Grant Smith will be appearing in “The Merry Widow”
Feb 11-25 (envious)

|\|igel Baker 22/1/95 11:40am

The KC Experience

—————— A I V I R T S I N I M D A ———————

Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2001 22:29:21 -0600
From: “Toby Howard” <moderator@elephanttalk.com>
Subject: NEWS: Sid Smith’s new Crimson book is out

Sid Smith’s new book, “In The Court Of King Crimson” is now out, published by Helter Skelter, ISBN 1-900924-26-9.

That’s the news.

This is my comment: I bought my copy two days ago and am REALLY enjoying it.

Toby


Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2001 22:07:36 +0000
From: “Nigel Baker” <bakern@inet.net.nz>
Subject: Starting KC from 1981
I’m but 17 years old, and got introduced to KC when I was 16 ….
>Ive always wondered what it would be like to discover KC late in the game and THEN discover the rest of the catalogue, especially coming from an 80s/90s frame. I wouldn’t even know how to pose the question as to what the experience is, as, having heard and seen them from the start, amidst such a hugely differing environment (physically and mentally), I’m not even sure comparative grounds exist.
Well, this has prompted me to write my first email to ET.
I’m slightly older than 17… OK a LOT older, and I started
with the 80s material.

It all happened one fateful day in the early 1980’s when browsing
through the bargain bin at a record shop. There was a plain blue LP
with the name of a band I had never heard of. I was curious to know
what a “stick” was and already knew of Bill Bruford.

I was already aware of YES, having purchased the “Classic YES” LP
several years before. This was thrashed to death on a cheap LP player and at a volume sure to annoy the neighbors. It was probably also purchased on a whim due to the Roger Dean cover art.

At the time I thought of YES as just another rock band. I was not aware of “progressive rock”. In fact NO progressive rock was played
in New Zealand that I can recall. To this date, the only KC I have ever heard played on radio was “In the Court of the Crimson King”, and that was years ago.

Anyway, I got “Beat” for $4.99 (about half the price of a normal LP) and immediately loved “Sartori in Tangier” as until then I had never heard of anything quite like it. I spend years trying to find music of bands like KC. I eventually gave up. Around the same time I found Discipline and 2oaPP which I immediately liked.

I found out more about KC from books and discovered they had a past life. Over several years of scouring used record stores I managed to find all the previous studio albums. But I’m still kicking myself for not getting Earthbound and USA when I could.

These LPs tended to stay on the shelf and not get played much. I didn’t like the 1969-74 stuff as much as the 1980s trio. Strangely, it was not until I heard Frippertronics and the ProjeKcts that I could appreciate the earlier material. Now Red is one of my favorite albums.

On reflection, I think it is easier to approach KC from the 1980s albums.
They have the “Belew” songs that at least sounded like a conventional popular song, with a steady beat and verse/chorus/verse structure, a more familiar type and understandable by a non-musician like me. And the rest of the songs were a starting point to atonal music, dissonance and just plain weirdness.

For me, KC were the start of a musical journey back into the past that would end at the beginning of the 20th century with Stravinsky and Edgard Varese.

After 3oaPP and the breakup of KC I assumed it was all over (this was before the influence of the internet) and Fripp had retired. Then, about 1994-95 I was browsing a music magazine when I spotted a review of Thrak. I didn’t know of the reunion, and checked out the record store. I immediately got Thrak, Vroom and B’Boom. Since then I found ET (read every single issue) and now have just about everything Fripp has been involved with.

There is one thing I have always found constant with KC. Usually when I get a new album, I don’t immediately like it. But the more I play it, the more I like it.

Some have mentioned a link between Fripp and Miles Davis. For me there is a definite historical link. I can remember when one of our music shows played the video of “Sleepless,” it was just once, but I still remember it. At that time (mid 1980s) I was interested in searching for different music. When they played the Sleepless video, they also played the video for “Decoy”.

Until then, to me jazz was of two types :
– Big band swing jazz
– smaller bands with lots of meaningless solos where everyone goes
“yeah – right on” before the soloist returns to the group effort (BORING)

Miles Davis’s Decoy was a revelation. At last jazz had a “rock attitude”
and could be appreciated. I am also a Miles Davis fan and have just about all his albums since Bitches Brew.

Question:
I can vaguely remember hearing the opening chords of “Matte Kadusai” used in a BBC production many years ago. I think it was a nature, or possibly a travel TV program. The music was played over a scene on a beach. I cannot find any reference to it in the FAQs. Maybe my memory is fading. This would be 10-15 years ago. Anyone remember ?

Some of you have bean moaning on about getting email on ET, what you can and can’t say etc etc. I have a gripe with some of you out there (I’m not blaming the moderators for this). I just HATE it when someone writes a block of text 40 lines long without double line breaks. A solid block of text is difficult to read. PLEASE break your text up so paragraphs are no more than 4-5 lines long

BTW – are there any other ETers in ChCh, NZ ?

Nigel Baker
Christchurch, New Zealand

 

1990 Films

Best films of the year 1990

Here, in the order I saw them are my films of the year.

ARIA
Best combination of music and film since Bruno Bozzello’s film
“Allegro Non Troppo”.

Abyss
Since Aliens 2 I have waited for the next James Cameron film.
Although not as good as Aliens 2, still one of the best this year. I
think that the film could have been just as good without the alien
involvement at the end. As for the ending, a real let down. However if
it is re-released in it’s uncut form I will see it again. For me, this
film shows Cameron as currently the best director at the suspense-action genre.

Earth Girls are easy
Best comedy (American). Even if it is directed by a pom (Julien
Temple I think).

High Hopes
Best Comedy (British). At least I think I’m supposed to laugh at
the English class system being ripped into.

A Dry White Season
Best drama. A success in that it doesn’t give a rose-coloured end.
Sobering viewing.

Hunt for Red October
Best war film. Almost believable, suspense film.

Total Recall
Science Fiction film of the year. The boys at industrial light &
magic really pulled finger for the effects in this film. Probably cost
more to make than our national deficit.

Robocop 2 & Die Hard 2
Great cardboard cut-out characters fighting against all odds.
Die Hard wins the award for the most imaginative way to destroy an
aircraft. The end of Robocop has the best stop-motion animation work
done since Linda Hamilton survived the metal monster in Terminator.

Dick Tracy
If I was pressed for a film of the year it would be this
one. Much better than the over-rated Batman, the cinematography and design of this film is flawless. This film is a statement of the art of
the film maker.

Turkey of the year :
Navy Seals
Nothing but a vehicle for Tom Cruise. The action scenes contain
zilch in the way of suspense. By the half way mark I was bored and
had already guessed the end.

And while I am on the subject, I can still not see what anyone saw
in “sex, lies and videotape”. This was the most boring American “art”
film I have ever seen. Very self indulgent, the characters appear to come out of a psychology text.

 

Classical Sparks

Classical Sparks

24 Feb 1995 in North Hagley Park

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Conductor/Singer : Wayne Senior

M/C: Malcolm McNeill

with Singers
Leon Kearns, Jillian Bartram, Janice Bateman,
Peter Hewson, David McMeeking

The Program :
1. Galop (Masquerade Suite) Katchaturain

2. Buglers Holiday Leroy Anderson

3. The Bare Necessities
Sung by the conductor !

4. Pink Panther Mancini

5. I want to be like you
Sung by the conductor.

6. Grease Medley
The singers then sung (with considerable gusto) songs
from the show.
Greased Lightning Karlin/Gimbel
Summer Nights Jacobs/Casey
Hopelessly Devoted Farrar
Your the one that I want Farrar

7. Memory (cats) Lloyd Webber
Sung by Jillian Bartman

8. Hoe Down (Rodeo) Copland

9. Phantom of the Opera Lloyd Webber
Sung By Leon Kearns & Jillian Bartram

10. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in
All the singers led the sing-along.

11. Superstar Medley
Fanfare
My Mind is clearer now
I don’t know how to love him
Sung by Janice Bateman
Herods Song
Sung by Peter Hewson
Gethsemane
Sung by David McMeeking
Jesus Christ Superstar
With all the singers

12. Pathetique Symphony Op 74 Tchaikovsky
3rd movement – Allegro molto vivace

13. Les Miserables Schonberg
Bring him home
Sung by Peter Hewson
14. Light Cavalry Overture von Suppe

15. Hey Jude Lennon/McCarthy
Malcolm McNeill with company

16. Ride of the Valkyries Wagner
Complete with fireworks.

The show was introduced by Malcom McNeill with a *very* bad joke about “Catch a turian”.

McNeill also thought there might be someone in the audience who
didn’t know who Henry Mancini was, even the dancer in a pink suit
didn’t help this one. The Panther without a saxophone just isn’t the
same.

This was the first time I have heard the conductor sing. He had an
average singing voice, but given the songs, Malcolm would have done
a much better job of it. The orchestra was in good form, however the
tempo was a bit too quick for some of the slow ballads.

Jillian had a go at “Memory”, but didn’t quite have to range to do
it successfully. The best songs were “I don’t know how to love him”,
“Gethsemane” and “Bring him home”.

The show ended with a firework display. Possibly not as good as some
in the past, but had sufficient bangs and crackles to get aaaaahhhss
and ooooosssss from the audience.

|\| Baker 26/2/95

Khalakovo

The Winds of Khalakovo
(Lays of Anuskaya #1)
by Bradley P. Beaulieu (2011)

Khalakovo

Among inhospitable and unforgiving seas stands Khalakovo, a mountainous archipelago of seven islands, its prominent eyrie stretching a thousand feet into the sky. Serviced by windships bearing goods and dignitaries, Khalakovo’s eyrie stands at the crossroads of world trade. But all is not well in Khalakovo. Conflict has erupted between the ruling Landed, the indigenous Aramahn, and the fanatical Maharraht, and a wasting disease has grown rampant over the past decade. Now, Khalakovo is to play host to the Nine Dukes, a meeting which will weigh heavily upon Khalakovo’s future.

When an elemental spirit attacks an incoming windship, murdering the Grand Duke and his retinue, Prince Nikandr, heir to the scepter of Khalakovo, is tasked with finding the child prodigy believed to be behind the summoning. However, Nikandr discovers that the boy is an autistic savant who may hold the key to lifting the blight that has been sweeping the islands. Can the Dukes, thirsty for revenge, be held at bay? Can Khalakovo be saved? The elusive answer drifts upon the Winds of Khalakovo.

Firstly, this is long.. how long ?
The first book of this trilogy is 180,000 words. The second is 233,000 and the third is 204,000. Second, it’s very Russian. People and places have Russian styles names. How do you pronounce them ? Who Knows ?

So it better be good……. well…….. it’s not badly written. But after 20% of the first novel I have given up. The problem is partly all those Russian names (the main protagonist has two !). Then there is the slow pace and all that talking (and no action) that goes on. The only noteworthy action I read of was a hanging. But ultimately it doesn’t grip or intrigue the reader. It’s just flat and after a while it feels like work rather than pleasure.