Show, don't tell.

When I was doing the screenwriting course, we were constantly being reminded of one of the golden rules of writing: Show, don't tell - describe the scene through actions, rather than words.

And this is why I love The Wire so much. Everything is shown, not told. The writers assume the audience is smart enough to figure out what the characters are doing, without resorting to have the characters ask each other what they are doing.

There's a perfect example of this in Episode 4 of Season One, "Old Cases". This is the entire dialogue (taken from the subtitles on the DVD) between McNulty and Bunk as they dig through an old crime scene. Gold star if you can figure out their actions from their dialogue.

16
  • This is the one?

  • Yup. Hasn't been rented since.

17

Fuck.

18

Motherfucker.

19

Fucking fuck.

20

Fuck.

21

Fuck.

22

What the fuck?

23

Fuck.

24

Fuck.

25

  • No.

  • Fuck.

26

Fuck it.

27

Oh, the fuck.

28

Motherfuck.

29

Aw, fuck.

30

Fuckity, fuck, fuck.

31

Fucker.

32

Oh, fuck.

33

Fuck.

34

Motherfucker.

35

Fuckin' A.

36

Fuck.

37

Check this.

38

Motherfucker.

39

Fuck me.

Sonic and Mario... together?

If we weren't but a few days off from April Fool's day, I probably wouldn't have such a hard time believing this. This is the video equivalent of the Beatles teaming up with the Rolling Stones to form the world's greatest band. Why, there's no way this could not be awesome!

Uh...

TOKYO (March 28, 2007) - SEGA® Corporation and Nintendo Co. Ltd. today made a historical announcement that two of the biggest icons in the entertainment industry, Mario™ and Sonic™, are joining forces to star in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Developed for the Wii™ video game system and the Nintendo DS™ system, this momentous agreement marks the first time these two renowned stars have appeared together in a game.

Published by SEGA across Europe and North America, and published by Nintendo in the Japanese market, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games will be available for Christmas 2007 and is licensed through a worldwide partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the exclusive interactive entertainment software licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, players will compete in events that take place in environments based on the official venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Using a supporting cast of characters from the amazing worlds of both Mario and Sonic, gamers will be able to compete as or against a range of lovable personalities including Mario, Sonic, Luigi™, Knuckles™, Yoshi®, Tails™ and more. Innovative usage of the Wii and DS control systems to maneuver a favourite character will allow players to race the likes of Mario and Sonic down the 100m track, engage in exhilarating rallies in table tennis and churn water in a swimming heat, all while competing for the much sought after gold medal.

"We are thrilled to partner with Nintendo and ISM on this groundbreaking title," said Hisao Oguchi, President and Chief Operating Officer, SEGA Corporation. "For the first time, two of the world's greatest games' characters come together to compete in the world's greatest sporting event and we couldn't be more excited."

"Mario and Sonic have been respectful rivals since the early days of video games," says Shigeru Miyamoto, Senior Managing Director and General Manager, Entertainment Analysis and Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd.. "In fact, for a long time they have been discussing the possibility of one day competing against each other. Now that they have been given the perfect opportunity to meet at the Olympic Games, we may finally learn who is actually faster, Mario or Sonic?"

"The Olympic Games represent the true spirit of competition and passion," said Raymond Goldsmith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ISM. "Bringing together intensely competitive and fun characters like Mario and Sonic in an Olympic setting helps showcase the sports of the Olympic Games in a new and compelling way for all generations."

Books - free to a good home!

We're in the process of streamlining all our stuff for moving to Italy. We've gone trough our clothes, DVDs, books and games. The things we're not taking to Rome are going to our mothers' houses. The things that don't go to our mothers' houses are going to charity shops.

Before we start taking the books down to Oxfam, we figured it might be best to offer them around to our friends first.

First batch of books! If you want anything here, drop me a mail. Otherwise, it's off to the charity shop or bookcrossing.

Neuromancer - William Gibson

Hearbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers

Blockbuster - Tom Shone

Captain Scott - Ranulph Fiennes

Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction - Sue Tonsend

A-Z of Living Together - Jeff Green

Romanitas - Sophia McDougall

The Little Friend - Donna Tartt

Crusader Gold - David Gibbins (second-worst book I've ever read)

Seven Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly (worst book I've ever read - fascinatingly, perversely bad)

Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing - Himelstein

The Love of a Good Woman - Alice Munro

Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami

The Fuck Up - Arthur Nersesian

How to Make Love Like a Porn Star - Jenna Jameson

High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess - Charles Fleming

Megatokyo vol 1. - Fred Gallagher

The Man Who Ate Everything - Jeffrey Steingarten

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

the Bagthorpe Triangle - Helen Cresswell

Monster Island - David Wellington

Freakonomics - Stephen D. Levitt

Newfoundland - Rebecca Ray

The Alphabet of Manliness - Maddox

Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? - Steve Lowe

Howling at the Moon - Walter Vetnikoff

The Pope's Children - David McWilliams

Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller

The World According to Mimi Smartipants

Woman's Inhumanity to Woman - Phyllis Chesler

Short Hands, Long Pockets - Eddie Hobbs

City Chic: An Urban Girl's Guide to Livin' Large on Less - Nina Willdorf

All American Girl: Ready or Not - Meg Cabot

A Certain Chemistry - Mil Millington

Wicked - Gregory Maguire

Kiss and Tell - Alain de Botton

Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre

Urban Bikers' Tricks and Tips

Mysterious Island - Jules Verne

Saving for a rainy, snowy, haily, sleety day →

Rainy day coins

Taking advantage of the rotten weather on Sunday, myself and H. decided to count and bag my jar of rainy-day coins. We stuck Clerks 2 on in the background and got counting. Three hours later, we were finished.

All along, we'd been taking guesses. Started with EUR160, which we thought was a little high. Boy, were we wrong.

At the end, we had €530.56, $40.69, £8.08, and 4,524 Hungarian forints.

That PlayStation 3 is looking mighty tempting now.

Ticket for Danny Boyle's Sunshine up for grabs! →

Remember when I said that the IFF's showing of Danny Boyle's "Sunshine" got cancelled? Well, what I forgot to mention was that, to make up for the last-minute cancellation of the film we'd paid to see, the organisers gave us free tickets to a special preview showing, a week before the film is released here.

Well, as luck would have it, I'm not going to be able to attend and rather than let my ticket go to waste, I'm offering it up for the first person to comment here. It's a ticket for ONE person only, but that's not going to stop you seeing such a kick-ass movie, is it?

Sunshine (imdb details)

Thursday, 29th March @ 7pm

Cineworld, Parnell Street.

Apple Store to open in Rome →

Shit. How does one declare bankruptcy in Italian? I have a feeling I may be needing to know this soon.

Life on Mars →

lifeonmars.jpg

Alright you ding-a-lings, listen up.

Life on Mars has easily been my favourite British TV show of the last 10 years, even beating the terrific return of Doctor Who. We're halfway through the second and final series, and I don't think there's any sign of it slowing down. Remember that awesome Camberwick Green inspired promo for the second series? (if not, here's a quick refresher). Want more? Well, according to Heat magazine* a portion of the next episode of Life on Mars will be done in this same style.

If you haven't already been hooked by this incredible show, the first series is available in your favourite shops and on your favourite internets. You should really check it out. You owe it to yourself.

  • Yeah, I read Heat magazine. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

Movie Idea →

So here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking huge, nature-vs-man kind of thing. Kind of like Dante's Peak or Them!, but dealing with a more topical issue: Global Warming. After all, global warming won Al Gore an Oscar. And his film was shit. No special effects or nothing (unless you consider PowerPoint a special effect). Here's the pitch:

Quiet, sleepy town in middle America. Far from the problems of the big city. None of the worries of modern life. But the long fingers of global warming are creeping towards them and they suddenly find themselves overrun by a swarm of killer bees.

Except global warming has dealt them a double-whammy, and they realise they're dealing with the next evolution of killer bees.

Killer bees ON FIRE.

This needs to be made. Someone get me E. W. Swackhamer on the phone.