Obsession vs. Addiction

Once upon a time I had an obsession with movies. Everyone enjoys good story, right? They are another world to get lost in. I hadn’t realized that is effectively what I had been doing as an avid movie watcher. Getting drawn into an alternative story. A story that’s not your own. That is ultimately what movies are; an escape, a distraction and an insight into something else.
That all sounds rather pessimistic, but hopeful at the same time. People will always buy into a story – whether they want an escape or something to identify with. The option is there.

Now, I’d say I’m not obsessed with movies. I don’t have that burning passion for them, which I once thought I did. Rather, I have become addicted, hooked on all the story variations and different temporary realities.

A ramble on falling in and out of love with film

Since watching Cloud Atlas, which I sill haven’t blogged about, I have found it hard to sit through a movie. I started by taking a break from movies, I was on a movie ban since I wasn’t getting much uni work done. Often I would watch a movie a day. To me, perhaps movies are a distraction, an escape from the world and being captivated in an alternative world. Maybe this is why I love movies, I would say film is a passion of mine.

But I temporarily fell out of love with film and with movies. Taking a break from blogging and all the movie watching, I had a chance to get out a bit more. Instead of being a film obsessed recluse I got a bit more of a social life and began working on some other projects. I caught up on some university assignments, developed my social skills – met new people, stayed out later, went traveling, took a lot of pi ctures (will upload to Stay Smirt).

I’ve had fun, but it’s time to get back in the swing of things. Coming back to regular life, especially now that the Easter holiday is over, I am starting to fall back in love with the world of film. Last night I watched The Intouchables/Untouchabe, the French film with Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy. It was brilliant, reminded me of the Bollywood movie Guzaarish, in fact it was so brilliant I may just have to blog about it.

After all film is my first love, and they say you never forget your first love…

Growing Up With Film

I would sum up my experience of film from my childhood as James Bond meets Bollywood

Looking back on my younger childhood, I have memories of films. I can remember some of the films which I watched as a young child, in particular the films I would rewatch or the films I have watched again since.

I don’t come from a family that is exceptionally fanatic about film, but, to me, movies bring people together. Perhaps this belief comes from growing up and watching films with family and friends.

However, I do come from a family of mixed culture and this has influenced the movies I watched and the movies I watch today.

One of my earliest memories is going to the cinema. My Grandma took my brothers and I to see Toy Story and I recall sitting on booster seat to see over the other cinema seats. I thought it was fantastic, and to this day, Toy Story remains in my list of favourite movies.

Whatever it is that sparked my interest in film, I am grateful for it.




Just as mathematics is considered a language in its own right, film is language of its own as well.The difference is that film is more accessible to viewers and film-makers. Film reaches a wide audience; people of different ages, personalities, tastes.

Film is a lot like food and drink, okay, we don’t need films to survive, but it brings people together.


How amazing is that?

Ponderings of The Smirt Kid: Is cinema a form of escapism continued.

In June 2012 I posted a blog following a discussion that I had in French class. Well I’d like to revisit this topic. 

I no longer study French, and no longer have the opportunity to study and talk about films in detail. I’m sure my friends would soon get sick of me yapping on about film scenes and ideas. But it is something I still think about regularly.

In a way, film is a form of escapism. I still maintain the thought that film transports you to another world – or at least a reality that is not your own. We may be sedative audiences, but we are not passive.

cinema audience

Yes, it is true that viewers can find similarities and parallels between the movie and their own life. Some people may find comfort in knowing that the actors in their favourite movies are going through similar life struggles, whilst others feel happier forgetting about their own life and drift into a 2 hour alternative.

Ponderings of The Smirt Kid: The rise and #fail of the octothorpe

Rant alert! I will say from the beginning that this blog is a rant on ‘hashtagging’. If you don’t know what hashtags are then; firstly I am surprised you are reading this as this phenomenon has exploded worldwide. Secondly where have you been hiding to avoid seeing hashtags?! For those that don’t know what I am referring to, I am talking about these symbols ‘#’.

This symbol, originally known as the ‘octothorpe’ has been around for years -you may have previously known it to be the number symbol or the pound sign. It is debated as to how the name developed, but the ‘octo’ relates to the symbol having eight points to its shape.

Today the octothorpe is universally recognized as the hashtag as it is usually followed by a word of sequence of words that almost act as a short-term library or catalogue if you will. We are bombarded with hashtags on a daily basis, whether you like it or not. If you hadn’t noticed before, I guarantee after reading this you will. From posters displayed to flyers handed to you, the hash symbol is popping up everywhere. You won’t miss it, especially as now they are even said on the radio show you may be listening to and shown of the TV show you might be watching. However, if you have managed to evade this epidemic, I ask you: “How have you achieved this? You deserve some kind of award.”

To tell you the truth, I don’t have a problem with hashtags. I actually find them useful and it has added the element of “trending” to happen on Twitter.

Okay, ‘so why is this a rant on hashtags?’ you may be asking. I’m being honest with you the reader, my pet peeve, as so to say, is hashtags used out of context. In particular, when used on Facebook. It is pointless! When a Facebook status appears in my ‘news feed’ that is full of ‘octothorpes’ I am overwhelmed with the urge to *scream* at them for their disregard or ignorance to social networking conduct.  Hashtags don’t work on Facebook and many other websites, it’s as simple as that. If you want to use hashtags, then I suggest moving to Twitter or any other site that allows you to use hashtags in a beneficial way. 

Whilst on the other hand it’s perfectly acceptable, in my eyes, if the person in question has their Facebook and Twitter accounts linked. But it is often the case that perpetrator does not have or use Twitter. “Your words are not hyperlinked to all those octothorpes that you have in your status there” is what I feel like replying to the posts that do it… I won’t be surprised if my friends on my friend list read this and start to hashtag their posts to annoy me but hey ho. Rant over.

For a list of sites where hashtags work and have a purpose visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashtag#Websites_that_support_hashtags

 Now I’m going to go and have a smirt day. I hope you will too 🙂

Half Your Loan Gone On a Phone?

This is an article that I wrote for the university newspaper ‘NU News’

WITH so many smartphones on the market right now, how do you know which is the right one for you?

When it comes to choosing a new phone many students feel that their choice is limited to the mainstream options of an iPhone or a Blackberry. Despite being the main contenders, they are quite obviously not the only options to choose from. It is advisable to shop around for the best deals before coming to a final decision about which one to buy. After all, you want your phone to suit you.

As a student the main factors you are likely to be conscious of are price, aesthetics, and value for money. Naturally you are going to want to find the best deal which also includes keeping up with style and technology. So, what is the must-have phone on the market?

Following the release of the iPhone 5, many technology fans swamped stores to get their hands on this new must-have gadget. But with a price tag of £528 for the 16GB iPhone, excluding accessories, buying the iPhone 5 with the limits of your student loan isn’t feasible. With this in mind, there seems to be a clear divide in opinions towards the gadget.

Many students feel that the iPhone 5 is overpriced and overrated, but Popular Music student Billy Gilmour stated that he was happy with his iPhone and looks forward to getting his hands on the newest Apple model: “As soon as my contract is up, I’m going to upgrade straight away.”

Hitting the market at £500, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the marginally cheaper alternative. With a 4.8” HD screen, 64GB and available in six colours, you certainly get more for your money. There are just as many Apps available on this phone in the ‘Google Play Store’, meaning you can find the same apps and widgets, such as free communication tool ‘WhatsApp’, and the incredibly addictive ‘Angry Birds’, without having to fork out for an iPhone.

Cheaper still is the new and upcoming Nokia Lumia 920 which offers the new 4G network, as well as Microsoft’s updated Windows 8 operating system. The phone also seems to be crossing new boundaries with the capability of charging wirelessly. Although not out yet, it is still possible to pre-order it in time for release for around £470.

With so much to choose from it can be difficult to make a firm decision, but remember to not only take into account what you want from a phone, in terms of applications and suitability, but also the financial pinch you will find yourself in if you make a rash decision!