September 19th, 2003

SD Fub

Les Triplettes de Belleville

We've been to see Les Triplettes de Belleville today. Yes, it's animation. No, it's not Japanese, but Canadian/French/Belgian.
Very good movie. The visual style is definately un-clean: some shots look like they are sketched. Character designs are... interesting. Not the appealing characters we know from anime or Disney movies, but grotesk figures with ugly heads. There is little to no speech in the whole movie, but it doesn't need it: it is perfectly clear what the characters want or mean.
Computer and cell animation are fused perfectly: it is often very hard to see where one stops and the other begins. Shots are fluid and camera angles interesting.
The story is grotesk and funny as well. If you think bicycle races are weird and you don't understand what all the fuss around the Tour de France is all about, go see this movie. If you hate the French, go see this movie.
Highlights are the dreams of the dog, hunting for dinner (you'll know it when you see it!), and the most bizarre car chase ever.
For our Dutch readers, check BelBios for a showing in a theatre near you. Go see this movie!
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
SD Fub

Aka Oolong

When in Japan, we drank a lot of Aka Oolong (red oolong). It's a chilled oolong tea by Japan Tobacco Inc.. Most chilled teas in vending machines are the domestic green teas (which are good too), but Aka Oolong is (you guessed it) brewed from Oolong leaves, which gives the tea a wonderful after-taste.
It's sold in a half-liter tin bottle (like a PET-bottle, only from tin) -- see a big version of the bottle here.

We wouldn't mind drinking Aka Oolong at home either, so we went to the Simon Levelt and asked for it. Of course, they didn't have it -- they only have Oolong from Taiwan ('Formosa'). We got a little bag of all four Oolongs they had, brewed tea of them, chilled the tea, and tested.
Our methodological classes in Psychology have scarred us for life: we set up a double-blind procedure for the tasting. Only when the results were in, we looked at which teas were which. It turns out that we liked the cheapest one (the Formosa Finest Oolong, EUR 29.50 per kilo) best when it is chilled! The most expensive one (Grand Pouchon, EUR 89.50 per kilo) came in as a close second.

However, these are not the Aka Oolong we drank in Japan. JTI writes in their 2003 Annual Financial Results and Forecast (PDF):
Specifically, we started selling [...] and "Aka Oolong," which uses only highly fermented oolong tea leaves.
If this rings a bell with anyone, please let us know what tea it is, and where we can get some!
  • Current Mood
    thirsty thirsty
SD Fub

Writing course

Yesterday, I went to my writing course again. This time, the excercises were much more 'practical': the teacher showed us how we can describe certain traits of a character by describing how he performs a (perhaps mundane) task. We also practiced with making images and analogies for the same purpose.
I had to start with the homework-session. I got some good feedback -- we had to think of what you expect to follow, if this were the beginning of a story. Next time, we have to take our text of the first homework assignment as basis, and describe two characters: one that one would expect, and one that the reader doesn't expect.

As for the excercises we did...
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I feel a bit better about the course: the excercises are more to-the-point and teach concrete techniques that I can use.
  • Current Mood
    happy happy