Thursday, 11 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I posted about this film way back in the summer and then I read the books for the first time at the end of the summer so i've been looking forward to this ever since I found out it was going to be made =)

I read quite a few reviews before I went and there was a mixed feeling towards the film. However I thought it was great!! It's based more on the second book through the looking glass, and the story line and characters are very toned down compared to the book, with a lot of 'adapting' but still it made a great film and the interpretation was great if somewhat commercialised.

The scenery and costumes were amazing, the characters were good and, I thought, well played. The best thing about the film was how funny it was - I wasn't expecting it to be funny and I laughed all the way through especially at the hare and tweedledum and tweedledee! There was just the right amount of crazy randomness from the original to make it quirky.

We went to see it in Imax 3D which was super - after Avatar now I think when I go to normal cinema it's going to be a big fat let down! It really felt like you were falling down the rabbit hole and running through the enchanted forest with Alice!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Morag Myerscough

Morag left St. Martins in 88, a year after I was born, so I suppose she has had a long time to establish her career. It's scary and exciting that we are just starting out!

What really struck me about Morag was the fact she seemed to get involved with everything she did. I liked it that she showed pictures of her painting and building and putting the exhibitions together. She seemed to be thoroughly involved and have total ownership of every project. I really related to what she said about budgeting and the fact that if you try hard enough you can make anything work with the amount you have. It may sound dull, but I am super organised and would really enjoy working with budgets and being creative with them. More and more I am realising, that although I love what I do and have a passion for it, in a career I would never be fully satisfied just sticking to one thing. Idea generation and conceptual thinking are my strengths within design, but I'd want to work with the client, do the research, write briefs, write copy, check the budget, present the work, be part of building/designing it too. I'm not sure if this is possible for most people, I think you have to be extremely persevering and lucky to be in a position like this. Maybe the places to start are much smaller company's, and I certainly wouldn't rule out starting my own studio in the furture, working with a team of people who all have different strengths but ultimately work together. She did divulge however that she starts work at 5.30 and finishes at 9. I have a great admiration of that much dedication and think that is probably what it takes to be as successful as she is, but personally I don't ever see myself being in that situation. Don't get me wrong I'm not afraid of hard work, I spend 10 hours a day working most days, i'd put as much work as it took in to getting something done, and I get that if you enjoy what you do it becomes your life, but seriously? I think there is more to life and there's a lot of other things I want to experience besides work.

This is one of my favourite projects that Morag showed us. I love the idea that a school can be treated so professionally and with a design manor. Lately I have become really interested in what design can really do for society. Thinking a lot about what I want to do when I leave in June I've been reconsidering what 'advertising' can be, what I can do with my skills and how and whether it's a realistic goal to want to make a difference and do something worthwhile in a mainly cosmetic and aesthetic industry. When I look at this project it really makes me think, wow, wouldn't it be amazing if people cared enough to make schools amazing places where kids really wanted to be, where the design and atmosphere was totally based around learning and creating a positive environment. I think it's sad that we can't give all public places a touch of design which would really enhance the everyday experiences of the general public.

London born and London Bred, she talked about London as though we all knew where she was talking about (I for one had no idea of the areas she was discussing). I like it when people have been massively influenced by the place they were bought up in, I think it gives you a strong sense of identity and belonging. I never had that as I moved a few times when I was growing up and went to quite a few schools. Every place I've lived in has effected my life though and played quite a big part in the person that I am today. I couldn't imagine being so committed to one place that I'd never want to leave it though. I like different places for different moods, times, experiences. She said she could never live in the country because she loves to absorb things around her - a feeling I totally agree with. I love the country too though, I want a house in both in an ideal world =)

After the talk we had a chat with Morag in the studio and she gave us some feedback on the Degree show project that Alison and myself worked on. We had no visual feedback on our finished project yet, she gave us a few useful pointers and it was interesting to chat to her about her views of being a woman in a male dominated world. Her point was that she had never felt there were things she couldn't do because she was a woman and it's unfair to blame men completely in this day and age, which is something I have always felt was true, yet women always reach the choice of having a family or not which inevitably effects most women's careers significantly.

Wow well it turns out I had a lot to say about this lecture doesn't it!?

In the Loop

I watched the film In the Loop recently. I had never heard of it before and didn't know anything about it. It had a very 'office' feel to it, a 'real' fly on the wall style with shaky camera angles and blunt performances. A very satirical look at America and Britain in the run up to going to war. I'm not sure how much of this is based on any fact, maybe suspected facts or suspicions, but when your watching it you can certainly imagine that your peeking into the Whitehouse or 10 Downing street. I don't think this film is for everyone, it's very fast paced and you need a dry sense of humour and an interest in politics to get through it, but it's just my cup of tea and I loved it. The acting is impeccable and the direction is flawless, i'd recommend it to anyone who loves Peepshow / the office / shameless or just a good conspiracy theory to go see it!

''The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC. If Simon can get in with the right DC people, if his entourage of one can sleep with the right intern, and if they can both stop the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war. If they don't... well, they can always sack their Director of Communications Judy, who they never liked anyway and who's back home dealing with voters with blocked drains and a man who's angry about a collapsing wall.''


Sunday, 7 March 2010


On wednesday my boyfriend and I packed our bags and sailed off to Amsterdam on a very cheap ferry deal! I have been once before when I was in 6th form, but we only went for the day and spent most of the time in galleries. I felt that I hadn't experienced all that the city had to offer!

This time I must sadly admit we did nothing cultural (apart from one photography gallery), but the weather was beautiful, although freezing the sun was shining right up until we left. This time I just soaked up the atmosphere, wandering the streets and relaxed for a couple of days, but I appreciated the city a lot more than last time.

I can't get enough of tall town houses, its a strange love of mine but I actually adore them - I can't wait to have enough money to live in a house like this. I first fell in love with them in Bath when I was about 10, and have dreamed of living in one ever since. The architecture in Amsterdam was just beautiful, higgeldy piggeldy but elegant and original. Looking in through some of the windows the rooms were so grand and light and lavishly decorated. Floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings everywhere!

I have never seen so many bikes in my whole life, there are literally thousands and thousands lining the streets in every space. Many of them weren't even locked up, they were just left on the side of the road or propped up outside houses. Crazy! They were all old fashioned rattly bikes too, no shiny new ones or mountain bikes, and everyone was riding them. I wish we could have better bike lanes in this country to make it easier for people to ride their bikes, every Europe city seems to have so many more bikes than we do and I think its a real shame! Its the best way to get around a city fast and easy and a great way to keep fit.

Last time I didn't go to the red light district, and I don't know what I was expecting really because I knew what it was like, but I was still shocked when we stumbled across it! Suddenly there are girls in their underwear everywhere trying to seduce you! haha, it was funny for a while, fascinating even, untill I saw an old man going into one of the cubicles and I heard the girl say 50. Then it was just a bit grose and freaked me out.

So now it's back to the slog and preparing for my review on Wednesday, feels like I haven't even been away already. Amsterdam has pushed its way up to one of my favourite cities I've visited =)