one day at a time

Archive for September 26, 2011

day 45: deceptive appearances

deceptive appearances © Verena Fischer 2011

deceptive appearances © Verena Fischer 2011

Yesterday we just had a quiet Sunday and didn’t do much. I was reading a little in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go which I will tell you more about when I’ll have finished it and we were also watching some films.

One of the films was The Remains Of the Day by James Ivory with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It’s a strong story about the butler and the housekeeper in the household of Lord Darlington. It is acted incredibly well and Anthony Hopkins’ performance as the butler is very believable with the typical stiff upper lip. The relationships of the characters are bleak and distanced, and they just seem so odd to the observer. One wonders why the butler has such difficulties admitting his feelings towards the housekeeper, but then quickly the portrayal of Britishness explains it all. The film is based on another novel by Kazuo Ishiguro with the same title as the film. I haven’t read this other novel yet, but Never Let Me Go strikes me as very British too which might give an indication of what to expect from The Remains of the Day. I’m curious about it since Never Let Me Go shows this Britishness more in a contemporary setting. To come back to the film: It is very good. It might be a bit on the bleak side, but nevertheless it’s really worth watching. Already the wonderful acting is reason enough.

As a strong contrast we also watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It doesn’t even deserve much of a review since it’s just a waste of lifetime! The dialogues are among the worst I’ve ever seen and the female lead (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) is actually a model. The latter can explain why her acting consists mainly of an idiotic looking pout involving her unbelievably ridiculous fake lips. Whenever her lips appeared in a frame Ezequiel would start to laugh and I would jokingly tell him off for ‘ruining the romance’. I’ve seen children’s cartoons with better dialogues. The amazing thing is that they actually must have made an effort to make the film as bad. Even the most untalented script writer would have at least recognised how bad the dialogues really are! In any case: Don’t torture your poor brains with this non-sense. The special effects are really not worth that kind of pain.

Yesterday’s picture shows the strange fruit Rambutan. It’s like a bigger version of a lychee with more pronounced spikes. It also has a bit of a more pronounced taste which I quite enjoy.

day 44: sunny

sunny © Verena Fischer 2011

sunny © Verena Fischer 2011

At the moment I’m still relaxing after finishing my MSc dissertation. I still have no clear enough plans and I’m living into the day. I read books, take pictures, watch movies and explore Berlin together with Ezequiel. Yesterday I even took out my PSP again after not having touched it for months. There are a few games that I haven’t finished and some that I haven’t even started although I bought them a long time ago.

Back in the day I used to be all into computer games. With “back in the day” I mean times when your hero consisted of a few pixels and not this graphical overkill that they give you nowadays. The games back then had innovative concepts, real stories and some were funny and weird at the same time. I sometimes still take those games for a spin on an emulator and see whether I still have the skills for Commander Keen 4 or the first ever Prince of Persia. The latter my dad also played obsessively.

It’s interesting to me that nowadays I still mostly play little games that have this same style with short levels and flat characters like the monster you have to feed in Cut the Rope. It makes me feel more at home. Whenever I take out my PSP I also feel myself drawn to games with quirky characters like Daxter or Little Big Planet. Both these games have little arcade style games in between that don’t necessarily go closely with the story. God of War which is highly rated on many gaming sites left me cold somehow. I played it for a bit, but then I got bored and never finished it. And I was never much for ego shooters either unless I played them with my friends.

It’s strange that I never really lost touch with these old games, although they indeed were just a bunch of pixels in comparison to what kids can have nowadays. I still thoroughly enjoy playing Commander Keen and the other old jump’n’run favourites although I have played quite sophisticated games in the meantime. Is it just nostalgia or did these games really have more to offer than the eye-candy of games nowadays that kids will probably laugh about in a few years time? Is there something universal about how kids engage with their toys and games that makes them somehow forever cherished? For me it was Commander Keen 4 and Jill of the Jungle. For other people it was Pong and other old arcade games. And for the younger generations it will be Tomb Raider or even now Daxter or Little Big Planet. So, what’s your game of choice?