Finally. I am currently spending my first research week on the island. My main objective during this stay is to arrange future stays, check out the general way things have changed in the course of the last 10+ years, get back into touch with people, and take a lot of photographs of the island’s coastline, nature, buildings, places, and people. Some of the photos serve more or less aesthetic purposes, documenting the attractions and peculiarities of this place, others serve as a background for future assessments or comparisons.
Time passes both more slowly and more quickly here. To keep a grip on this and the many other things and thoughts that I encounter here, I have started writing a more thorough log than I did for any of my past research projects. I am pretty sure solid logging practices (as recommended by Lofland & Lofland in their great book Analyzing Social Settings) are a very good idea for a long-term project such as mine. I can only recommend OmniOutliner to those of you using a Mac. It is as useful for keeping a log as it is for writing outlines.
Archive for 2007
Since no spam filter is perfect and nothing is worse than ham classified as spam, I have to check the contents of the different spam folders of my e-mail accounts somewhat regularly. For some of them, several hundred spam mails per week are not a rare occurrence – thus it can be a real drag to check all of their titles for possible ham (that is e-mails that are good and actually addressed to me, not unsolicited ads, phishing stuff, and all the other stupid things). Last week I tried something new to help my perception: I ordered the contents of the spam folders by subject! Incredible, isn’t it? That makes picking out potential ham much easier, especially in those cases where you have lots of spam messages with almost identical subject lines. Probably you have already figured this out on your own, but maybe not – and then you owe me one ;)
The Oscars are over. We spent a long night in front of the TV, watching the same stupid commercials over and over again until it seemed that Pro 7 did not have any sponsors left so that they fell back on only sending commercials for their own
products. I was actually very happy that Das Leben der Anderen won the Academy Award for best foreign movie – in my experience, it was the best movie of the past year. Although I have to admit that I have neither seen Clint Eastwood’s flicks nor Pan’s Labyrinth. It was a good movie season. The ceremony itself however, was not too exciting. Some nice dresses, a good life performance by the Dreamgirls singerettes, a great Forest Whitaker and, of course, a stunningly beautiful Cate Blanchett. For my taste there was much too much Al Gore embracing and too little of the heartfelt political critique as it was expressed by Chris Cooper when he won his award for best supporting actor a few years ago.
Dieser Film ist wirklich hervorragend. Buch, Darsteller, Regie, alles greift ineinander, so dass sich vor meinen Augen eine Geschichte abspielt, wie sie besser kaum sein kann. Hier wird das Gute im Menschen auf eine Weise verhandelt, die sehr rücksichtsvoll ist, die aber auch zeigt, dass nichts leicht ist. Vor allem nicht, gut zu sein. Ich will nicht viele Worte über diesen Film verlieren und stattdessen nur allen empfehlen, die diesen Film wie ich schon viel zu lange noch nicht gesehen haben, dieses so bald wie möglich nachzuholen.
IMDb entry | Trailer
Desert, borderland and the metropolis – these are the places in which the stories of this movie unfold. The places are well chosen, showing how fear and isolation can creep into every part of this world. This movie is quite humanistic, telling us about the difficulties that we face when engaging an other. Difficulties that exists because of the distance between cultures but also in the distance between individuals. I have been told that this movie tells a story about miscommunication. That is true. But it also shows how people interact with more than words. Words and bodies struggle to transport meaning and care, always looking for love or at least some help and sympathy. But they also hurt and might even kill. The film shows a very corporeal form of communication, quite in contrast to the title which seems to suggest that it is about spoken language. Thinking about it, I very much enjoyed this movie, perhaps even more so that during the time I spent in the cinema. However, I certainly won’t complain about that time: Cate Blanchett is breathtaking as always and Gael García Bernal might even be my favorite male actor, the rest of the cast doing very well, too. Go and watch this movie. Do it in the cinema, landscape is important in this movie.
IMDb entry | Trailer
Findet sich bei der allnachmittäglichen Betrachtung des eigenen Espressos im 603qm.
Christopher Nolan is a guarantee for complex and surprising scripts. This is also true for his most recent movie The Prestige, which I saw a two days ago. The plot involves several characters taking the place of each other – in a literal as well as ideal sense. People, animals, and things disappear and appear, die and do not die. The script and the pictures are full of allegories – some of them more hidden, some more explicit. Open your senses when you walk into the cinema, and let yourself be fried by the electrical flares generated by Nikola Tesla’s strange apparatuses. The less distance you have to what happens, the more you will enjoy it, I guess. Definitely an entertaining movie. And keep a lookout for Gollum.
IMDb entry | Trailer
Ah, what a wonderful time. This year we spent our new year’s break on the North-Sea island Juist. The weather was a perfect mixture of wind, rain and sun. Sadly, the last grains of sand have been washed away during yesterday morning’s shower. Since my new research project will take place on this island, you can expect more pictures and a story or two in the coming two years…