The greatest cover up in history – The unheralded Robert Zimmerman

Observation Blogger

bob-dylanFew Hollywood insiders know that Robert Zimmerman’s nuanced acting performance in The Night We Called It a Day landed him a tonne of movie scripts. If you have seen Robert in this short music video; his manner holding the gun beside his lover, the sneer in his eyes – is as menacing as we’re ever likely to see on screen.

There still remains plenty of debate how Robert’s gritty and heart wrenching portrayal as an ageing rock-star in Masked and Anonymous didn’t earn him an Oscar nod. Not to mention his career defining performance in Don’t Look Back as Bob Dylan. You almost feel you are seeing the real, living, breathing Bob on-screen. His follow-up experiential portrayal as Bob Dylan in the epic 11 and a half hour Renaldo and Clara has since become the No 1 alternative medicine prescribed by Health physicians for treating insomnia. His accolades for songwriting…

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Sleeper (1973) – Woody Allen

SleeperSleeper is a scantly known Woody Allen movie recommended to me by fellow blogger badfinger20. I was enthralled by it and frankly it remains a mystery how it isn’t more widely known. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard watching a movie.

IMDB: Miles, a nebbishy clarinet player who also runs a health food store in NYC’s Greenwich Village, is cryogenically frozen, and brought back – 200 years in the future, by anti-government radicals in order to assist them in their attempt to overthrow the oppressive government. When he goes off on his own, he begins to explore this brave new world, which has Orgasmatron booths to replace sex and confessional robots.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here. I’m 237 years old; I should be collecting social security.”

Apart from being one of the funniest movies I’ve seen, it also contains one of the wittiest premises. I’ve watched a fair few Allen movies and I have enjoyed them all, but his comedic genius radiates most intensely in this. I for one did not know that Woody was such a great physical comedian. His physical slap stick comedy is brilliant.
But the intelligence behind his manic goofiness in Sleeper is the crowning achievement. Despite how different things are in the future, his neurotic Jewish Brooklynite’s wry sense of humour stays the same. The movie is interspersed with occasional ragtime theme music and stepped-up film speed which despite harping back to the comedic pioneers like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, still looks and feels as fresh as yesterday’s coat of paint.

Diane KeatonDiane Keaton who regularly appears as Woody Allen’s confidante in his movies, is more than his match here and regularly steals the limelight. It showcases her unassailable comedic talents like no other movie I have seen her in.  The highlight for me and what is one of the funniest scenes in the entire film involves her doing an impression of Marlon Brando. Her performance in Sleeper is one of the most hilarious I have seen by an actress full-stop.

The other aspect of Sleeper which impressed me greatly were the props and production design. The orgasm-machine, futuristic houses, round vehicles, stiff servant gay-robots, gigantic fruits all seem to indicate we are moving towards times where ignorance revels and empty pleasure-hunting is celebrated as the correct form of bliss. It genuinely feels like something you might expect to see if Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World was adapted for the screen, with of course a twisted comedic flavor. And regarding the premise and political commentary, you could throw George Orwell’s 1984 into the mix as well.

As far as sci-fi comedies go, Sleeper is a definite winner. I had so much fun with it. There wasn’t a pedestrian moment in it. Also, there aren’t many comedies out there which can top this in terms of gags-per-second ratio and just sheer quality. The ‘rewatchability’ force is strong with this one!

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The story didn’t die

‘The moment could have got lost. But it hasn’t. I reclaimed it. The story didn’t die. It is a picture already complete. Never forgotten.’

Observation Blogger

I have written it with trepidation. It will cause some readers pain. I do not find my candor, its realism greatly reassuring. I apologise to my readers and most of all my family for the harm it may cause.

People can go around thinking, wondering, planning, worrying and surmising, but unless they work at becoming effective communicators, it will be them alone with their thoughts. I hope this story inspires young men to communicate on a deeper level and feel proud in doing so.

Simply it is about single male’s world. Its validity is subjective. This doesn’t matter, it’s not the point. What the story aims to demonstrate on a deeper level – in real-life prose – is how a regular man, succumbing to innate desires and self-indulgence, can almost totally destroy himself. However, by retaining one spark of feeling, the feeling of human love, such a man can be brought back to live a fulfilling…

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The Screen

Here is another excerpt from a book I wrote in my early 30s. I don’t need to describe the hell-hole I made for myself….because it’s right here in 0’s and 1’s.

Observation Blogger

the screen
It seems all I do these days is stare at the bright white screen. The computer has the gall to stare right back at me as if it knows better. It flickers to black … in the reflection I notice my protruding belly. Where did that come from?
I reckon it happened after I poured that VB into my head. I pull up my shirt and pat my thirty-year-old hairy tummy in soft circles, trying to soothe something bad about myself. I notice my chest jiggling too.
It niggles me also that I might need a haircut and a shave. My hair is turning into the colour of ashes. It’s nearly getting too cumbersome to handle … The pulsating beat of Christine Anu’s song “Island Home” snaps away my self-pity.

Six years I’ve been in the city,
Every night I dream of the sea,
They say home is…

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Snapshot of my life as a ‘Temp’

I wrote the following article when I was in my early 30’s drifting aimlessly in and out of temp jobs.
It has the potential to offend some readers.

‘Being in your thirties is not that old, but it’s old enough to feel mortality. I had developed a keen sense to establish myself – make my mark by my mid-thirties. But I had given up and seemed content to get on with the slow suicide of government work’

Observation Blogger

temp officeSitting, peering, folding and unfolding arms. Chewing my Nicorette gum like a man possessed. My third shot for the day.
No one smokes at work, which means I can’t smoke either. The place where I work is a government department, but it may as well be an outreach arm of ‘Quit’.
It’s almost unhealthy how healthy it is.
At work, I act like a reformed smoker too, cringing at the lazy bastards smoking at the entrance to our building. “Why don’t you go and do that somewhere else?”

Clicking the Send and Receive button in my email has become quite a habit. I’m unsure what I am hoping to achieve by digitally prodding the outside world except develop a compulsive disorder. I glance at other people’s screens as I meander about the office. What I see are the flickering splashes of popular sites such as the footy-tipping page, Facebook messaging…

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Kundalini Yoga For Beginners – Nirvair Singh Khalsa

Observation Blogger

vlcsnap-2014-03-09-09h15m29s211Back in 2003, I was going through a really bad patch. My marriage and career was failing, my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and my previous work boss and good friend died of a sudden heart attack.
I was more than in a ‘slump’.

It was recommended to me that I should try Yoga. So at the supermarket in Hastings south-east of Melbourne, I had the good fortune of randomly choosing a DVD by this man Nirvair Singh Khalsa from his video series called Kundalini Yoga For Beginners. Soon after I procured the whole set and never looked back. I have tried many other Kundalini yoga videos since then, but I found they didn’t hold a candle up to the ingenious teachings of  Nirvair Singh Khalsa. This wonderful video series has since been made available on you tube:

I see this magnum opus of…

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Gold Nugget

Observation Blogger

Gold nuggetInflatable pool, sipping’ Dad’s ice cold beer
kissed my Godmother’s daughter
‘How cute!’, Dad took a photo
Later on, my best friend snatched it
and it would do the school rounds
I’ve had better days, lets leave it at that

Another girl,  frizzy- haired Cathy told me
‘This Gold nugget is yours’
‘But you have to kiss me’
We smooched behind the decrepit toilet block
She tossed me my beautiful reward
I wish I had kept that gold-painted bitumen.

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East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Observation Blogger

East of EdenEast of Eden by John Steinbeck is considered one of America’s great literary classics along with his other treasured book The Grapes of Wrath. According to Steinbeck’s third wife, Steinbeck considered East of Eden his magnum opus. He further claimed: “I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this.”

I think its reputation as one of the ‘greatest books of the 20th century’ is richly deserved. It’s an epic novel of 601 pages and my mind was swimming in the complex tapestry Steinbeck wove of these two families, namely the Tresks and the Hamiltons. A very well received screen adaptation was made of the book starring legendary protagonist of Rebel Without a Cause James Dean playing ‘Cal’. Upon being introduced to James Dean on the set, author John Steinbeck exclaimed, “Jesus Christ, he IS Cal!” Interestingly, the film only covers the latter part…

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Ingmar Bergman and Wild Strawberries

Sara: You know so much, and you don’t know anything.
― Ingmar Bergman, Wild Strawberries

Observation Blogger

Ingmar BergmanMany years ago, I had the audacity to create a list of my 100 favourite movies on IMDB without having seen a single Ingmar Bergman picture. I was more or less cajoled to watch Bergman if my list was to be taken seriously. I admit I had not heard of the adored Swedish director, but enough coaxing led me to procure arguably Bergman’s ‘signature’ masterpiece The Seventh Seal (1957). The second Bergman movie I watched a few days after my Bergman initiation was Wild Strawberries. It, like its predecessor, The Seventh Seal left an indelible mark on my psyche. Soon thereafter I went on a Bergman binge and never looked back. Suffice to say, my top 100 movie list underwent a major shake-up.

Wild Strawberries is a day in the life of an an aging professor (Isak) who is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence. But this…

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‘Love and Theft’ – American Hustle (2013)

Observation Blogger

ImageDavid Russell lent heavily from Martin Scorsese’s best crime dramas to make American Hustle. The narratives, music and editing are an almost direct homage to Scorsese’s 90’s work particularly Casino. Even De Niro makes a key entrance wearing the same ginormous glasses he did in Casino. Borrowing and injecting material from popular culture is not new to David Russell’s work. In Silver LiningsPlaybook his script is soaked with banter about popular books, classic literature, blatant marketing of iPods and musings about ‘cool’ music.  Silver appeared almost in part a satire or social commentary about materialism and consumer obsession.

American Hustle like Silver demonstrates Russell’s passion for heightening the senses regarding materialism and social trends. Its perverse saturation of 1970’s references to reinforce the era it is set borders on the satirical. We are barraged with the cliched 1970’s music, John Travolta’s dancing, the uncanny focus on…

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