Tag Archives: movies

Is Your Attention Span in Need of Attention?

I was commenting to someone recently about how short my attention span is, and how consequently I often have trouble following the plot of movies if they’re any more complicated than a rom-com. My mind wanders off somewhere else, and then…er…then…what was I saying? Something about cats was it? Or milk, yes I need to buy some milk. No, movies! Anyway, I decided to create a little comic strip to illustrate what it’s like to watch a movie with me, so that you can see what poor Neil has to put up with (you’ll probably need to click on the picture to make it bigger so that you can read it) –

Vanessa comic strip

Anyone else have this same trouble?

By contrast, here is a really cool video of somebody who has a super long attention span. In 1977, At the age of 18, this guy video’d himself interviewing his older future self, and then waited 38 years to film his older self replying. It’s really worth watching, very poignant in places. It’s 3mins 58secs long.

How’s your attention span? …Hello? You still there?


I’m a bit late to the party but…

A hand with five fingers, each one with a hand

A few bloggers have been doing this 5×5 thing – Benzeknees came up with 5 topics for people to preference on (yes, “to preference on” is proper grammar in Vanessa’s Book of Invent Your Own Grammar, 2nd Edition). A few of my blogging buddies took part, such as Carrie Rubin and Rarasaur. I haven’t been as bloggingly active as usual lately, either in posting or visiting others, not through lack of interest or ideas, just lack of time. Anyway, I felt like giving this 5×5 a go, albeit a few weeks later than everyone else. Here goes…

5 Things I Am Passionate About
(I don’t think this one was meant to be about food, but I’m hungry, so I’ve chosen to interpret it in that way)

Cadbury Creme Eggs
Cheese (I couldn’t possibly narrow it down)
Pick ‘n mix from the cinema
Ice-cream (many kinds)
(That was about 5 wasn’t it?)

5 Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die

Publish a book
Do more acting
Do more singing
Travel more
Win the lottery more…or at all

5 Things I Say A Lot

“In fairness…”
“Do you know what I mean?”
“I don’t get it”
“I’m so tired”
“That’s so funny!”

5 Books or Magazines I have Read Lately
(I realise this selection makes it look either like I’m trying to appear highly intellectual, or that I’m just very dull, but while I’m studying I really have no time to read any books or magazines that aren’t related to my course, I barely have time to answer blogging quizzes about myself! At least I haven’t gone the whole way and listed these in Harvard referencing style)

Quantitative Methods in Educational Research: The Role of Numbers Made Easy – S. Gorard

Contemporary Theories of Learning. Learning Theorists in Their Own Words – K. Illeris

Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture – P. Bourdieu

Writing Your Dissertation: How to Plan, Prepare and Present Successful Work – D. Swetnam

Critical Theory, A Very Short Introduction – S. Bronner

(Sorry about that, ask me this again in a year’s time and the list might be more…more what? Or do I mean less?…less what? Well, different anyway!).

5 Favourite Movies

All of Me
Groundhog Day
Being John Malcovitch (Just because it’s so hilariously bonkers!)
The Full Monty
Finding Nemo
Being There
Love Actually
Back to the Future
The Devil Wears Prada
Gorillas in the Mist
Working Girl
(Again, that was about 5 wasn’t it? I feel I should have had some more intellectual choices in there, but never mind, it’s a nice balance to my book list. I’m sure I’ll think of lots more I should have included later.)

EDIT: Wait! I just remembered two more movies that have to go on the list:
50 First Dates
Letters to Juliet.

Well there we go. If you want to join in, then please link back to Benzeknees so that she can see how widely it has gone. Or feel free to just answer any or all of them in the comments section below…

photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg via photopin cc

It’s nothing that a good hero can’t fix

World Exploding

It all started with ‘The Towering Inferno’ and ‘Airport’. My love of disaster movies. I remember watching them on TV with my Dad, probably in the late 70s, and I was gripped. I appreciate the greater sophistication of modern disaster movies, but I still like the old cheesy ones too. It’s not that I enjoy watching other people’s misery…although for that matter, I’m hard pressed to think of ANY movie of ANY genre that doesn’t involve misery for somebody. But there are specific things I Iike about disaster films:

1) They are exciting and dramatic. They build up tension and get the adrenalin going, but I’m not left too scared to go and get a glass of water in the middle of the night after watching them like I am with horrors, or some thrillers.

2) I can follow the plot. I have a bit of trouble following the plot with a lot of movies. I don’t have that problem with books, but with movies I’m not always sure what’s going on in them. I ask lots of annoying questions to whoever I’m watching them with. Or I’ll read a review afterwards and think “Oh, so THAT’S what it was about.” But with disaster movies, let’s face it, the plots are pretty simple. In fact the plot is pretty much the same in all of them – a disaster of some kind is looming, we can see it coming, the hero/ine can see it coming too and they try to warn people but nobody really takes them seriously until it’s too late, it comes, it’s disastrous, everything seems hopeless, but thanks to the heroic hero/ine it’s all ok in the end.

What I don’t like about disaster films:

1) People always die in them. It makes the happy ending less happy when you know that people have died along the way. I don’t want people to die in them. Even the selfish obnoxious jerk who flips out and refuses to do what the hero has told him to do, and instead breaks away from the group to go off and do his own really stupid thing. Even him, I don’t want him to die either. I don’t mind if he gets a little broken toe or a nasty graze or something, but he doesn’t have to die.

2) I don’t like it when they’re based on real disasters that have happened because then I worry that it might be upsetting for the people who really went through it. But on the other hand maybe those people are glad that it has been shown rather than being forgotten about. I can’t possibly know, and there won’t be a one-size-fits-all answer to that one. But my instinct is to prefer the more fabricated ones like ‘The Day After Tomorrow’.

I’m thinking I might like to write my own disaster movie. I’m pretty sure it can be just as exciting and perilous without any deaths. We don’t have to see people die to know that there’s a high risk that they could.

Of course I’d have to include all the classic lines in it:

“We’ll be perfectly safe here.”

“In case we don’t make it out of here alive, I want you to know (blah blah some mushy stuff)…”

“All we can do now is wait.”

I will be sure to include the obligatory gorgeous model-like female who is much tougher than she looks, because as we all know, it’s practically impossible for a woman to be both beautiful and tough, so that aspect is always a real shocker in these films. Any difficulties that the hero/ine has with their spouse or children will be resolved when they discover what’s REALLY important. And there will be an elderly person who is willing to sacrifice himself if it can save others because he’s had a good life (but of course he won’t actually be required to do so because nobody is going to die in my film, but it will be heartwarming just to know that he was willing).

Yep, I think I’ve pretty much got the main elements sorted. Now I just need a story…

photo credit: Rufus Gefangenen via photopin cc