Nolan on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ shooting

I’ve been more rattled by the shootings in Aurora than I probably have a right to be, being all the way out here in South Africa, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. And then I read Christopher Nolan’s statement on the incident and this quote in particular rang so true, and sums up my feelings perfectly:

The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

I spend, on average, between eight and ten hours a week in the cinema. I’ve written before on how special a place it is for me. My mind, mercifully, cannot comprehend the horror.

 

 

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On stepping back

I’ve been on a week’s leave, during which I intended – as always – to do many great things, among them writing and blogging. But I realised that more than anything I needed to take a few days out and away… Something one of my friends once referred to as “intensive care for Candi”. People write about this sort of thing all the time, but every now and then it hits home: I spend all day plugged into Facebook, Twitter, work… Even things that most people do to relax (“Hey, let’s go watch a movie!”) are things that somehow manage to fall into my work spectrum.

And so, I have slept late, minimised the amounts of email I usually respond to, read books, watched old episodes of House and snuck in a few hours of Diablo III for kicks. I’ve also rearranged my cupboards, tidied the kitchen, done multiple loads of laundry and splashed out on a new duvet cover. It’s the small things.

I had intended to write a post today on The Dark Knight Rises but after news of the shooting at the cinema in Aurora, Colorado, the wind has been taken out of my sails a little. What a terrible, terrible thing.

On having a hobby… Or not

After a surprisingly inspiring chat yesterday with J, I realised that I had been neglecting my blog quite horribly while dealing with the day-to-day dramas (Tom! Katie! OMG!), and not really making time for doing the things that make me happy – or, more importantly, things that will help me to better myself.

Added to that, the fact that T started ragging on me for “not having a hobby” (Which, J clarified, probably meant that I don’t do enough outdoorsy, sporty stuff), and I’m on a fresh wave of a desire for self-improvement and happiness.

(Of course, this has been slightly dented by the lack of network connection at the office. But, on the plus side: my desk is clean, my desktop has been reorganised, I’ve had two cups of coffee and I’ve beaten my record on Minesweeper. Booyah.)

Going back to the Hobbies Thing (it’s a thing now)… When I asked T what qualifies as a hobby, his response was “Something you love doing”. Therefore, I consider watching movies a hobby. (Which apparently it’s not, because it needs to be sporty/outdoorsy – and no, for some bizarre reason, yoga doesn’t count either. I’m confused too, don’t worry. I’m prepared to accept that drinking wine is not a hobby.)

I’ve written before on how I love the ritual of going to the cinema – although I do prefer it when it’s quiet, and not a packed screening. I love the moments that the lights go dark and the anticipation begins. I love watching trailers and trying to figure out the movie they’re advertising as quickly as possible. I love sprinkling the salt onto my popcorn (only one sachet at Nu Metro – two is far too much; though I prefer Ster Kinekor’s popcorn flavouring) and I love the fact that movie soft drinks are always well watered-down. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Going to the movies is the closest thing to going to church that I’ll voluntarily experience.

Of course, a lot of my movie-going experiences fall under the banner of “work” – and while I love writing on movies, it does get quite difficult to hash out reviews week after week. Especially because the audience that I usually write for isn’t really interested in the intricacies of the film – they just want to know if the product is good, if the actors are good (are there any “big name” actors?)… Really, will the R50 they drop on a movie ticket be worth it. Are they interested in the cinematography, the lighting, the colour pallet, the direction? Sadly, not. I try to sneak it in where I can, but I’ve had to rein myself in – seeing as I went through phases of writing movie reviews clocking in at the 1800-word mark.

What is cool is that I’ve now gathered a small group of people that I know are always reading the reviews – which is inspiring. It’s always good to know that there are people taking the time to read the entire review, rather than just clicking in to see the rating before clicking out. (And it does mean I often sneak in something completely random for fun!)

But, at the end of the day, I love this. I love talking about films, pulling out random trivia and being a reference guide for my friends. (Although I do quite often get: “So what’s showing at the movies?” – as if I’ve memorised all the cinema schedules for Cape Town.)

My point is – and to quote Ellen Degeneres, I do have one – is that with the amount of time, love and energy I pour into movies: They’re a hobby.

Though I do have grand plans to take up knitting or something, too. I hear it’s quite soothing.