I have been spending some weeks in Austria, mostly seeking peace and quiet to write (my family is currently residing overseas so I had a flat all to myself). But being on the continent meant missing out on the monthly Sewol protest that I have been attending & photographing for a while now in London (see here, here and here). With no similar event anywhere in Austria, I took that as an excuse to finally make my first visit to Berlin ever and even managed to convince a friend to come along all the way from Spain.
New York Internation Children’s Film Festival: Marnie & Satellite Girl
Earlier this week the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announced that Studio Ghibli’s「思い出のマーニー」(Omoide no Mani/When Marnie Was There, 2014) will be on its programme. The screening will be the North American premiere for the film, which so far has only been shown in Japan (last July) and at the Rotterdam International Film Festival (these past few days).
The story of When Marnie Was There is set in a little town by the name of Little Overton, a fictional town inspired by a real place – Burnham Overy Staithe on the Norfolk coast. Although Studio Ghibli announced that this setting was going to be changed to a village in Hokkaido in their adaptation, some friends and I still wanted to seek out Marnie’s original home base – just because we are dedicated enough Ghibli fans and because it is more fun to explore the UK by traveling to random places instead of completing the usual checklist of famous sights for foreigners. Continue reading
Cat cafés are the sort of thing that seems bonkers when you think about it but that make so much sense when you actually try it out. Despite popular belief that cat cafés are a Japanese invention, the first one apparently was in Taipei, Taiwan, back in 1998. It drew many visitors, including from Japan, who took the concept back home, opening their first, own Café Neko in Osaka in 2004. Now there are some 30-something in Tokyo alone and more than 150 all over the country.
Fortunately, other parts of the world are catching on the trend too. While we can still count all the cat cafés in Europe on a single hand, it won’t be like that much longer I think. The first, Café Neko, opened in Vienna, Austria, in 2012, Le café des chats in Paris, France, followed in 2013, as did one in Totnes, UK (which has, sadly, since closed). Il Neko just started serving cat lovers in Turin, Italy, and Koneko in Brighton, UK, is in the planning. And then there is Lady Dinah’s, or, rather Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, in London, a success story long before it started welcoming human visitors this year in March.
…also known as the Vegetarian Festival.
It’s an annual festival during the 9th lunar month that is celebrated in a number of South East Asian countries, including Thailand, where it means all kinds of things, but in Bangkok’s Chinatown especially a galore of veg food. Continue reading
Some photographs from a recent trip to Austria (over the winter holidays). I was hoping to also go to Budapest (where I have gone before) and/or Prague (where I have never visited previously), but in the end that didn’t happen. I did travel to both Vienna and Graz, plus some towns in the countryside of Austria.
Note: I posted a number of these on Tumblr already.
*Sorry for the lack of posting at the moment… I just seem to be going between my three part-time jobs, studying a wee bit (not enough at all) and sleeping a couple of hours (not enough either). Plus trying to fix some issues with the computer (hard disk, wahhh!), which is time consuming. (ㅠ_ㅠ) But this post has been lingering around in nearly-finished-form for quite a while, so I might as well just publish it.*
Bangkok, like quite a few Asian cities, is big and busy, day and night. It’s not always fun to get around Bangkok, because traffic jams (see above) can really grate on your nerves.
I didn’t get much time in busy-Bangkok – not even two full days. I would have liked more than that (I had no chance to go to Chatuchak, the weekend market, or Asoke’s Chamlong, a Buddhist-vegetarian restaurant that I like) but I guess there’s always the next visit? I did however get to go on the subway (the Bangkok M.R.T., in the picture below), which I was kind of excited about.
Recently I snuck out of the UK for a super-short, not-really-planned trip to… Thailand. Reason being: to surprise my Mom, who was on holiday there with my Dad and sister, and not expecting me to show up at all. Not the first time I’ve pulled this kind of trick, but the first time it involved flying half-way around the world!
Note: I’m still getting the hang of my new DSLR and am not 100% comfy with it yet, but it’s better than when I was testing it out in Greece already!
Note 2: You can click to enlarge pics, but they appear grainy – not the originals on my computer, but WordPress somehow doesn’t quite like something. X_X
Note: If you follow me on Tumblr (probably not, since I have a grand total of 5 followers), I posted a few of the pictures (plus one or two others) there previously.
You might remember me debating about some purchases on past Trailer Weeklies. In the end, I went for broke and bought this new toy: a Nikon D7100 (previously I was using a point-and-shoot only Lumix DMC-LX5, albeit with manual settings). It’s not my first SLR, I had a friend’s Pentax for a while and used to own a Canon 300, and still have a Nikon F80 and a precious Canon A-1 from the ’70s now as well, but all these are/were non-digital. Continue reading
Way back – last summer – I was going to post some more photographs from when I was staying with my Dad in India, but somehow that never happened.
Since this is mostly a film blog, let’s start with something on topic: a classic Bollywood poster. I have no idea what the film is about (although we easily can make a somewhat educated guess), but whenever I’m in India I take snaps of movie posters. Just because.
I flew into Dublin earlier today (I’m here for an academic conference). While the guy at the reception of place where I am staying was giving me directions for downtown, he grumbled that I would have to pass by Dublin’s ugly “needle” – which very obviously he didn’t like.
But when I did walk past, I could not help but smile:「雲のむこう、約束の場所」 (Kumo no Mukō, Yakusoku no Basho/The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 2004) instantly came to mind. Continue reading
Note: All photographs copyright by alualuna. Please do not use without permission. Also: large resolution, page may take a while to load.
Not the best of photographs – terribly overexposed. But this kid ran into my picture (which was meant to be of the barbershop in the background) and it ended up like this. I edited what I could (darkening mostly and cropping a bit), but this was the best I could manage. And though it breaks all kinds of textbook rules, I still feel there is something that works here. Maybe it’s just the charm of this kid, his big smile and cheekiness of jumping in front of my lens. Continue reading
I’m back in New Delhi after a short trip up north to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu & Kashmir is India’s most northern state, which borders with Pakistan (west), China (north) and Tibet (east). Except for Ladakh, which is the Buddhist part in the east of Jammu & Kashmir, the state is not a common tourist destination for Westerners, although Hindus from the rest of India do travel here for pilgrimages (most importantly the Armanath Yatra). Indeed, because of dispute over part of the territory of the state with Pakistan, many governments advise “against all travel to rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh; all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than Wagah; and all travel in Manipur” and “all but essential travel to Srinagar and Imphal” (in the words of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office).1 Continue reading