Judge fears rivalry on

Riding on the Fullers' Half Moon Bay ferry behind the Fullers Waiheke service from Auckland City

Judge fears rivalry on Waiheke ferry run will turn violent - 06.02.2004

The court heard that a clash over sailing times from Half Moon Bay on Auckland Anniversary Weekend resulted in pushing and shoving.

Security guards were needed and police were called. more...

Queen Elizabeth II in Auckland

Last night I went to the cinema and smuggled a piping-hot service-station mince-pie into Mystic River. I didn't know much about the movie other than Sean Penn had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor (it's also nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Actress, Direction, Picture and Adaption of a Screenplay).

The synopsis from Oscar.com reads "The lives of three boys are deeply affected when one of them is abducted and molested. Although they have grown apart in adulthood, their shared past resurfaces when the daughter of one of the men is murdered, another, now a police detective, is assigned to investigate the case, and the third is suspected of the crime."

I didn't get it. Well Okay, I did "get it" I just didn't get it. I was like watching a big river roll on by. Calm water with eddies and swirls every-now-and-again, but I had trouble finding a difference in the characters - apart from their faces - and all very well known faces in film. There were so *many* of them with hardly anything separate about them except for their separateness. I felt no links between them, no strong bonds or relationships. Apart from Sean Penn's brow, I didn't feel any tension between them or their situations. The story was pretty ordinary - and I don't mean that it was pedestrian, I mean it was about ordinary folks and an ordinary tragedy (if anyone could ever say losing a child is ordinary) - a real life situation set in real modern time with your neighbours as cast members - that's what I mean. But there was no mystery as to who did it - the way the film was shot typically pointed to the perpetrators of the crime. I did, however, have the motive wrong - only because I overthought it, forgetting it was "ordinary" and thinking the motive had to have a physchological reason.

"The lives of three boys are deeply affected when one of them is abducted and molested." This wasn't evident - the abduction was, but the effect on the boys other than the abductee wasn't shown to me at all. Apart from a idea of "what if I had gotten into that car that day instead of Dave, how different would my life have been?" Dave was the only one *told* to get in that car - the other boys didn't have a choice - it wasn't as if they were all invited to get into the car and Sean and Jimmy made the decision to disobey the authority figure, pointing to the difference between the boys. It wasn't as if Dave got into the car because he didn't have the rebellious nature the other two did - he was the only one that was *told* to get into the car under the pretext of being driven home to his mother. So why keep bringing up that line?

In the end, the film made me think of consequences: for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. For an eye there is an eye - for a tooth there is a tooth - that death can be a retribution, or a blessing.

I guess that river needed a few more rapids to add tension, or a few more clearly defined characters to stop everyone from blurring between each other. Or maybe I can just get the hell off my high horse and agree that ordinary is just that.

Paua Gift

Yesterday I was invited to lunch with the woman who owns the company I worked for until a week ago. We went to R'ce, where the service was surly and undirected, but the duck was good. I'm glad I didn't have to pay the bill - that place is expensive - which isn't a problem normally - I have no trouble parting with lots of money for good food and good service, but I do get irritated if, as in this case, its for one not the other.

My boss gave me a lovely gift of silver and paua jewellery, which both surprised and touched me. Our lunch was pleasent and long, and I enjoyed it very much.

I was pretty much next-to-useless for working any more of the day so I abducted my contractor [a contractor's contractor] and took him to the Provedor for a very pleasent beer or two before taking the ferry back to Half Moon Bay.

The Provedor behind the palm trees