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Why Jacaranda you ask? In case you are reading this the other side of the world and are not sure, Jacaranda is the name of a beautiful tree, which blooms around Oct/Nov, mostly in the Eastern states of Australia. Its flowers are the most exquisite shade of blue-purple, the nearest comparison probably being hyacinth blue, so who could not be inspired to write by such a spiritual colour? When the jacarandas start to blossom, you know it's exam time, but you also know that Christmas is just around the corner. It is said that if a jacaranda flower falls on your head as you walk underneath a tree, good fortune is sure to follow, so guess who did a lot of walking under jacaranda trees! Watch this space for changing images of this lovely tree!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The boys are back

Was really going to post this as a review on my website but that still needs a bit more building - well, quite a lot actually.
Last night I went to see a preview of the film, which is the title of this post, at my lovely art deco cinema. It was directed by Australian Scott Hicks, famous, among others films, for 'Shine', and 'Snow falling on cedars', and who was present for a Q&A session after the film.
This film is a must see. It is based on the true life memoirs (can memoirs be anything else but true - yeah I guess so) of Simon Carr, a New Zealander, who was widowed in his 30s, when his second wife died of cancer leaving him with a young son to bring up. He also has a son by his first wife, who both live in England. Don't stop reading now guys - this film has everything: humour, emotion, sport, a bit of fisticuffs,(sorry no sex to speak of) but really is one for the boys as well as the girls. As Scott said he likes stories which draw on family and complex relationships, an undying source of material to which we all, as writers or filmmakers, have access. It also showcases the music of Icelandic band Sigur Ros, who normally refuse to allow their music to be reproduced in any context. However, Scott took the film to Iceland to show them, forewarned by his son that these were "the coolest people on the planet", so in other words don't stuff it up! The band loved the film and agreed to let Scott use their music. The screenplay was set in Australia and filmed in South Australia - Scott's home state, although he now spends most of his time in the US. It is an Australian and BBC co-production, and stars that gorgeous hunk of a British film star Clive Owen, with his just off posh London accent and plenty of close-ups of his deep eyes. The cinematography is a visual feast. One comment by Scott, which really resonated with me, was that he wanted to show emotion without sentimentality, which he certainly achieved. More than can be said for the screen version of the book 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. I was sooooo disappointed with this film - it was pure Hollywood, and although Australian Eric Bana, who played the lead, is good eye candy, there really is only so much of him in the nude a girl can take. What does Hollywood do to our talented actors? They become plasticised and their work becomes souless, cf Nicole Kidman. I remember Eric Bana in the Australian film Romulus my father,a far superior film to The Time Traveller's Wife, as is The Boys are Back.

Click to listen to interviews with Scott Hicks.

If you would like to read more reviews of movies and books, go to my website in a couple of days.


  1. Ah, Cynthia - The Time Traveller's Wife. I read the book a couple of years ago and thought it would make a great film, but then changed my mind when I imagined how much of a mess-up the big film producers might make of it. I haven't seen the film yet, but from what you have said it seems that my prophesy has indeed come to pass. Yes, big budget, lots of "production value" - and all spent in the wrong places!

  2. Hello Cyn, can't wait to see the film. I think Clive Owen is a very gifted actor. Currently am having a bit of a fan crush on Dougray Scott. Any chance you can interview him?

  3. You'll be interested too Graham that the title of the time traveller used US spelling ...

  4. Dear Cynthia - yes, I see they have used the US spelling. I missed that when I wrote the previous comment. Mind you, they also formatted the paperback book poorly, using unfortunate end-of-line hyphens and crap paper. Now, who's going to argue with me on those points? Anyone?