A Life on the Ocean Wave - Australia, Film and Art Critique

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The Achille Lauro

Hello. My name is Emma and I go on cruises. Mostly, so far on P&O ships out of Southampton, but other perfectly good cruise companies are available. ;-) When I can, I con my parents into paying for my ticket.

When I travel, I blog. If you would like to read it all, it can be found at my PS. The Post have asked me to proffer some edited highlights of my ramblings, which I shall now inflict on you forthwith. Enjoy.

Australia, Film and Art Critique

Film update: Saw The Boat That Rocked a couple of days ago. Although it had been edited for content (they cut out the drugs, apparently) and for some reason best known to themselves changed the name to Pirate Radio, which is a stupid name. A truly superb and thoroughly enjoyable film. Only one snag. The music throughout was, as would be expected, outstanding – one would expect nothing less given the topic – but the music used over the closing credits was a Duffy thing I'd never heard before but which can best be described as Cat Strangling for Beginners. Absolutely atrocious. Considering all the amazing music available from that era, it beggars belief that someone listened to this piece of agonising tripe and decided THAT should be the theme music to this film. Ludicrous and offensive on the ear. Shame, really, because the rest of the film was superlative. TIP: If you watch it, mute the volume during the credits but watch until the very VERY end.

Last night I saw Wanted, a live action film of The Assassins. Interesting plot, good cast, excellent cinematography and superb effects. Quick question though: what's the difference between SFX and VFX? I think I can guess, but I was wondering if anyone had a definitive answer. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Rather obviously designed to end with a view to a sequel – you could have written "dot dot dot" on the screen and been no more blatant. However, LOTS of sex (including bare bottoms!) and swearing and some quite spectacularly gory violence. Not for the average World cruise passenger, though. World Cruises tend to be three or more months long and the only people who can generally afford three months of time and/or three months of money are retired and therefore of a somewhat high average age. And people of a certain age do not like sex, swearing and violence. They walk out of performances by comedians if they get too risqué or "vulgar". I kid you not. So this film was really not suitable to show on this cruise!

Albany was a wonderful little town. Picturesque, lovely architecture, friendly people, interesting history. The only niggles that marred the day were: (a) The Ulysses Club were in town (3000 bikers with the motto "Grow Old Disgracefully") which meant noisy bikes and every single photo I took had a bloomin' bike in it and (b) we only had half a day. Back on Board was 1 p.m., for pity's sake. I know the town is small, but it's not THAT small! Still it meant a leisurely afternoon on board eating Magnums and napping, so not all bad news then...

Today was Fremantle and Perth. Lovely towns, both. Did a tour in the morning, which consisted of a coach trip to Perth, a little tour thereof, then a boat trip back up the Swan River to Fremantle and a coach tour of Fremantle. It was 38 in the shade today, which was so hot even the locals were complaining. I think it's equivalent to about 100 in English money. We wandered a bit, shopped a little and had a lunch in a lovely little tea room. This was despite the fact that the people at the table next to us were not just off the ship, but some of the rudest people therefrom. So when Dad asked one of them to pull his chair in a little so that he could sit down, the reply was "There are plenty of tables over there, you know." You couldn't make it up, seriously. We pootled a little further and then Mum and Dad caught a heritage tram (really a trolleybus, not a tram) back to the ship. I took a taxi up to Cottesloe Beach, where there was a sculpture festival on the beach, which we had driven past on the way to Perth. It was truly astonishing to see people sitting on the beach in between large modern sculptures, leaning on them and eating their picnics in the shade of them. You know by now how I feel about public art, and it was a truly wonderful experience.

All the sculptures were for sale, and the catalogue included a comment from each artist. One, Ken Sealey, had done a piece which was a swimmer made of layered plywood suspended in a block of laminated safety glass. Think Hirst and sharks and impossibility of death etc. But the swimmer isn't in formaldehyde but encased in green glass. The comment the artist gave was as follows: "We have salt in our tears, sweat and blood. We came from the sea. We can never return. We are trapped in our ideas." I'm still trying to decide whether this is the most pretentious thing I've ever read or quite possibly the most profound...

And on that slightly perplexed note, I and my sunburnt nose (just call me Rudolph) are going to bed. G'nite.

A Life on the Ocean Wave Archive


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