Whedon’s Dark Place

On Sunday, I attended a one and a half hour Q&A session with writer/director Joss Whedon at the Sydney Opera House. I’m not quite sure what I expected, being in a sort of fan-girly daze during the lead up to the event, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. Firstly, I expected – perhaps unrealistically – to at least be able to see his face and for him to pick me out of the crowd of thousands and instantaneously recognise my awesomeness and talent (kidding…I think).

In reality, I thought I might just get to sit and bask in the off-the-cuff glib, witty humour that Joss is famous for (among other things, there was some show I think? A western? With vampires? I don’t know, it couldn’t have been important) and there was certainly some of that. Instead, what I got more of was a serious Joss discussing his passion for writing, his life, and the way the two have shaped each other. He said he wanted to head off the usual batch of questions – why do you write, what’s with the strong female leads, etc – by telling us straight off the bat about his Dark Place. Continue reading

A Ghost, A Pilgrim & A Book

I must admit to some surprise.

Perhaps, in actual fact, it’s more accurate to say disappointment. ‘Surprise’ could be taken in any number of ways, generally in the context of joy or discovery, so let me clarify that the surprise I feel is one more in the line of shock and disappointment. Why am I surprised? The feeling, in all honesty, is general and all encompassing – it just so happens to represent my viewpoint in life right now, but to be specific, it’s because of the film ‘The Ghost Writer’.

It bares mentioning at this point that to some extent it’s my fault for even believing any of the popular reviews (At the Movies with Margaret & David; Rotten Tomatoes) but really, people in such positions – critics with a broad audience – have a responsibility to know and to recommend good films, which in turn requires them to actually know what the hell they’re talking about.

Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Continue reading

Graphic: Neil Gaiman & Kevin Smith

August ’10 has shaped up as easily the best month of the past 12 or so and, indeed, the next few too. This weekend marked the inaugural launch of the Graphic festival at the Sydney Opera House, which aimed to celebrate “comic books, illustration, animation, music, multimedia and other new ways of telling stories [that] have not only changed the face of our popular culture, they now define it.”

I can’t even describe in words – or interpretive dance (believe me, I tried; it was awkward and confusing) – how terribly excited I was knowing that I’d be going to a show featuring Neil Gaiman one night, and Kevin Smith the next. Needless to say, my expectations were high. I’ve spoken before of my adoration for Gaiman, his wonderful way with words, with rhythm and story, so when I say his show ‘The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains’ far surpassed my expectations, you should have some inkling of just how fantastic it really was. Continue reading

Some Extra Stuff: Writerism

So, it’s Sunday afternoon. It’s been a great day so far; beautiful sunny weather, with a nice cool breeze to accompany it. I don’t really have a set topic today, but I’m determined to get back on to my proposed scheme of post-every-sunday which was interrupted so savagely by my net failing for the past two weeks.

It’s funny how it’s on beautiful days like this, when I’m out on a walk feeling great and involved with life, that I most want to write. It’s when I’m observing something on a great day, when there’s a particular striking feeling or image, that I most want to replicate life by putting words down on a page and conversely, when I’m least able to do it. Writing, for me then, is a struggle to hold onto that elusive, somewhat euphoric feeling, wrestle it home and infuse it into my work.

I have some particular processes; I can’t work when I’m emotional to any great degree, I generally have to be blank as I struggle to recreate that feeling I mentioned. Continue reading