Blonde at the Bar
Our resident blonde Joanna Hunkin on dating and the social scene

Blonde at the Movies: Day two, hour 36

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23:00 Ten down, 15 to go.
It seems my brain has officially checked out. Earlier I said I was going to see Climates - which I vaguely recalled was a documentary on global warming.
Turns out no, I was actually going to see Children, which was a black and white Swedish film that literally sucked the life out of me and convinced me that humanity is doomed and nobody should EVER procreate.
Following on from today's earlier films, it's fair to say I am not seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses.
At the end of day two, my body aches and I can't see properly. I am starting to think this was a seriously stupid idea and have real concerns about my physical and mental health.
I have no idea what's on the line up for tomorrow and frankly, I don't care. I'm going home to bed now and hopefully when I wake up, I will have regained my will to live. Or at least get out of bed.
21:00 Nine down, 16 to go.
So little time, so much to write about.
I'll go back to where I left you - two films ago.
I entered the Trials of Darryl Hunt expecting a drama. Turns out I didn't read the programme properly and it was actually a documentary. So much for my doco-free day. I was, however, correct in my assumption that it would be a particularly moving film. Based on the man Darryl Hunt, who was wrongly accused of murder and incarcerated for nearly 20 years, the film highlighted how unjust the American legal system can be and how rampant racial prejudices are.
Admittedly I probably didn't need to see a two-hour film to learn that, but it was interesting none the less.

What I found most terrifying about Hunt's story was the fact it was a journalist that discovered the real murderer and finally got people to see reason - despite the fact DNA evidence had ruled Hunt out as the killer years earlier. As a journalist, I find it preposterous that police could be so ineffective that a common reporter could uncover the truth so easily.
Following on from there, it was a mad dash back to The Civic, where I met the lovely Mr Tony Ayres - writer and director of Home Song Stories. A harrowing tale of his dysfunctional childhood as an Asian immigrant in Australia, dealing with a depressed mother.
Before I knew it, it was time for my fourth film of the day - Golden Door. Walking into the film, I had no idea what it was about (am suffering serious brain fade by this point) and it took about 20 minutes for me to recognise that it was an Italian film about immigrants moving to America at the turn of the century. At first I thought I had mistakenly walked into some sort of biblical re-enactment.
Though it wasn't terrible, I can't really say my life was enriched by watching the film. My bum certainly didn't benefit from the two-hour screening. It took a brisk walk from The Civic up to SkyCity for any feeling to return.
It seems I wasn't the only one who didn't fully appreciate the historic tale. What I first thought was a couple committing a lewd act in the back of the theatre turned out to be a girl asleep, facedown, on her partner's lap.
So now it's on to the last film for the day - Climates. And again, I can't for the life of me remember what it's supposed to be about or whether it's fact or fiction. No doubt I'll find out soon enough.
I should also say, though I haven't completely lost the will to live, it is definitely becoming a struggle. My back hurts, my shoulders hurt and everyone who's seen me has told me I look like shit (thanks guys!). I realise this makes me sound like a pathetic wimp but watching so many films really takes it out of you. Particularly when they deal with such weighty subjects as murder, terrorism, racism and more. Oi!
15:30 Seven down, 18 to go.
I officially retract my earlier comments. Angelina Jolie was outstanding. The emotion she displayed as Marianne Pearl, widow of Wall St journalist Daniel Pearl was so raw it was animalistic.
Out-of-work actor loved it, which is unusual for him. He has been known to be a touch critical.
I enjoyed it and thought it was a well-made, tight production. It covered the material in detail but didn't linger unnecessarily on the minutiae.
I particularly liked that it wasn't patriotic, American sap. There was no sense of the Yanks coming in to save the day, as is so often the case with films like this.
As we exited the theatre, a couple behind us had mixed views. The guy was impressed, he said he hadn't expected much and was pleasantly surprised. The girl however thought it was boring and rubbish. I believe her exact words were: "How embarrassing that THAT was the opening of an international film festival."
Personally, I think she may just be one of those people who hates things for the sake of it, just to be different.
So today is going well. We are currently in a cafe on Lorne St, grabbing some lunch and updating you lot before watching Trials of Darryl Hunt, which promises to be another emotion-filled tale.
Though A Mighty Heart moved me, I have yet to shed a tear this festival (which is odd because normally I cry during Grey's Anatomy) but I have a nasty feeling this next film will catch me out.
12:53 Six down, 19 to go.
I tell you what, The Civic may be Auckland's most illustrious venue - and yes, it is quite magnificent - but dear God the seats are uncomfortable.
As the 90 minutes of Venus ticked by, I found myself secretly wishing Peter O'Toole's character would hurry up and die so I could stand up again.
Having said that, it was a delightful film.
Based on the unlikely friendship that develops between a bratty teenage girl and a devious old man, the film entered into creepy territory at times, but was never sinister.
Drawing a largely older crowd, it wasn't the sweet comedy many seemed to expect. One elderly man behind me muttered throughout, the word "unnecessary" popping up on several occasions. However, it was still very watchable and Peter O'Toole was brilliantly cast in the role.
Even with its cringe-inducing moments, the film served up plenty of laughs and humanised that oft forgotten sector of society - the elderly.
So not much else to report at this stage. I have just enough time for a coffee before the next film, A Mighty Heart. I've heard mixed reviews of the film do it will be interesting to see how it plays.
I'm not sold on Angelina Jolie as a serious actress - but maybe that's because I can't actually remember the last film she was in, only the last child she adopted.
Back soon...
10:00 Hmm, my jubilation at having survived day one has worn off somewhat. Yesterday, I wrote that one of the problems with seeing five films a day is that you don't have time to reflect on them properly.
While this didn't seem a major problem at the time, it became one as I tried to go to sleep last night.
My head was plagued with thoughts of the holocaust, drug addicts, graphic designers and religious zealots. Each bouncing around in my mind, fighting for attention.
Try though I might, I was unable to switch my brain off, resulting in my particularly grumpy demeanour this morning.
I'm hoping this was merely be a result of watching so many documentaries. I think I suffered information overload.
Today, my schedule is predominantly fictional dramas so that should (hopefully) make for easier watching.
In other good news, the majority of today's films are at the The Civic, which means less running around than yesterday.
Trying to get from SkyCity Cinemas on Queen St to SkyCity Theatre, plus write an update, go to the loo, get a drink and find my tickets, in under thirty minutes, proved rather difficult.
I am also going to attempt to eat a proper meal today, as I'm fairly sure the popcorn I had for dinner last night did not quite fill my daily nutritional quota.
Right, time for film number one of the day - Venus. The film which saw 74-year-old Peter O'Toole nominated for his seventh Oscar.
Also, look out for my interview with Australian writer and director Tony Ayres, who I am meeting later this afternoon. His latest film Home Song Stories screens tonight at 8.30pm, at The Civic, and is truly one of the most beautiful films I have seen in recent times.
11am Venus
1pm A Mighty Heart
3.30pm Trials of Darryl Hunt
6pm Golden Door
8.45pm Children

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