Films we’ve enjoyed recently

Everything's Gone Green posterEverything’s Gone Green
I used to love Douglas Coupland’s books, lu-huh-va-hah. I’ve passed the house’s “#1 Coupland fan” badge to John now but I still like some of his stuff, particularly his earlier books. He wrote the screenplay for Everything’s Gone Green and there are quite a number of Coup’ moments in the film – ones that just evoke the feeling of the books and things that seem to be directly borrowed from them.

Like in most of his (particularly later) books, the story of Everything’s Gone Green isn’t the best feature (it’s rather cliche in fact – nice boy gets seduced by the dark side but gives up the evil power for a girl) but the telling is great. Humorous scripting, fun characters and random asides that work well.

The photographs and colour tone of the film, along with the indie soundtrack, also help to create a wonderful texture – and we really, really want to go to Vancouver now.

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Filters I’d like to see added into GIMP

stars_stars.pngI use GIMP every day. For those that don’t know, GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program – ie, the free software equivalent of Photoshop. I’m probably not supposed to call it that but meh.

I mostly use it for pretty basic things like cropping/resizing, sharpening and adjusting the colour levels on photos for use on the various websites I run. For doing that sort of thing, GIMP is pretty fantastic.

But work on pictures for Fametastic in particular has made me realise that as extensive as its filters are, it would be a lot more useful to me if the programmers added some additional features.

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Six people arrested then released

Stack of newspapersPolice hunt three over PC killing

“Five men, all Somali, and a woman were arrested in London over the weekend and brought to police stations in West Yorkshire but have all now been released.”

The men have been released so why does it matter that they’re Somali? Could it be that emphasising their nationality/race allows people to kick up the illegal immigrant debate again (even though they’re not necessarily illegal or immigrants)?

And also, why should their gender matter? In every report about the group I’ve read, they’ve consistently made a note of the fact that one of the group was a woman. Why does it matter? It just helps maintain the idea that only men kill people and that’s just dangerous. People kill people. Six people were arrested and now released. That’s all that’s required.

This report is just an example: the BBC are far from alone in their reporting in this way. I also don’t think it’s deliberate on behalf of the journalists (or the sub-editors and editors to let it through): it’s just used so often, without thinking, that people stop thinking. It’s inherent. People only state to someone’s race or religion when it is different from their own and because the vast majority of institutions in this country are white- and Christian-(or pseudo-Christian)-led, we hear about “black suspects” and “Islamic terrorists” but not so much about white ones (they’re just “suspects”) or refer to Christian fundamentalists for those fighting from Protestant/Catholic positions. The constant repetition means skin colour and non-JudeoChristian religions get tied to negative words or acts in our minds and that helps us form a bigger, negative, view of our world. Either everyone’s race and religion should be stated or, preferably in my opinion, no-ones – because most of the time it has no bearing on the case and doesn’t really matter.

But it’s ok, because Tony’s said that any suggestion that people in this country are oppressed because of their religion is “rubbish” and we’re “at least as good” as the rest of Europe on promoting equality. Yay for Europe!