About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

30 December 2010

Movie: El secreto de sus ojos

El secreto de sus ojos (The secret in their eyes) is an Argentine movie which won best foreign movie at the 2010 Oscars. It is a fairly complex movie with a number of interweaving threads; centered around a retired legal counselor (Benjamin) attempting to write a book on a brutal rape and murder of a young woman (Liliana).

So in part this is a murder mystery, as we follow Benjamin and his sidekick Pablo in trying to solve the crime. In part it is a love story - Benjamin's infatuation with the judge he works for; and the love of Ricardo for his now dead wife (Liliana). It is a story of corruption in the justice system, as we find out how the perpetrator is released and then hired as an official hitman. But it is the ending, when all the various strands of the story are brought together; it becomes a story about crime and punishment; it is not what you expect; and I don't think any Hollywood movie could have dared to put that ending in - and you are left wondering - what does punishment entail?

It is a brilliant story, supported by exceptional acting, editing, costumes, scenery and make-up. The story span approximately 25 years, and the characters age with appropriate changes to scenery and props. It is a well made movie, and definitely worth watching.

29 December 2010

Body Fluids Division

Driving back from Pretoria this morning, I drove past a police vehicle which had the words "Body Fluids" written on it (in the area where the divisioin is usually stated). It's a strange name for a division, although it does make sense. Online, the only reference I could find is a SAPS training course on Body Fluids.

Just wondering if there is better terminology out there ...

28 December 2010

Closed for Christmas

Given the rampant consumerism around Christmas, and South Africa's general tradition of making public holidays into retail therapy sessions, the number of establishments that close down during Christmas is very surprising.

As I noted last year, while travelling down the northern towns of South Africa, all types of commercial establishments - from guest houses to restaurants to shops close down; and this is also the case in Johannesburg itself. Apart from petrol stations (and the associated shops), I do not recall seeing any shop that was open during Christmas (although I did not check every mall). What was equally surprising, is the number of establishments that were closed on boxing day ...

27 December 2010

Biker Clans

At a luncheon with M's neighbours yesterday, I met two old bikers - E and W. Both are fanatical about superbikes, and both have owned a number of such bikes in their lives. Apart from stories about speed traps (and the related fines off course), the standout conversation was on Harley Davidsons, or as E called them, "Hardly bikes".

It seems that there are at least three types of biker clans - the super bikers, the harley riders and the off road riders. W belongs to two camps - the super bikers and the off road riders; but he can't stand the Harley Davidson either. Both E and W tried to define why Harleys make no sense - they are not fast, they vibrate a lot (and are therefore not comfortable) and they are not much fun. According to E & W, the only reason that Harley has such big fan clubs, is that they have no one else to mix with ...

Doubtless, there was a lot of banter about Harleys with E & W, and E often gave long passionate defence of the super bikes and ran down the Harleys as often as possible. As a non-biker, it is the first time I have really noticed the sub clans within the biker culture. An ex colleague of mine is a passionate member of the BMW bikers group, and another colleague rides a Harley - but as E & W demonstrated yesterday; I have never really seen the various sub cultures interact (besides the toy run etc).

Just interesting ...