Images from nzfilm.co.nz
I am really, really excited about seeing The Orator (O Le Tulafale) when it comes out on Thursday. It is the first ever Samoan language feature film, set in Samoa and about actual Samoan culture through Samoan eyes. I was reading a review of it in Metro today (the writer of which said it could be an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film - amazing) in which the director, Tusi Tamasese, talked about the Samoan custom of burying the dead outside the fale, and how it's like saying to death: You can't break these bonds. That meant a lot to me, and has had me thinking about things we do in life to show things like that; that message was part of my decision to tattoo Vincent's initials on my hand. Anyway, I'm really proud that Samoa has a film, and I can't wait to see it; not only does it look great (in spite of the cheesy trailer), I think it'll be a really interesting way to learn more about Fa'a Samoa. Also, last year I saw Tamasese's short film Va Tapuia (Sacred Spaces), which was brilliant; beautiful, and so, so moving. You can watch it here, but wait and watch it when you've got time to really enjoy it and think about it afterward.
A Short List Of Things That Make Me Ask "Why?":
1. Grown women in pigtails.
2. Fake Burberry.
3. Jessica Simpson.
In other news, I have a new hobby: Oral Hygiene. I have always been a conscientious tooth-brusher. Actually, that's a lie; I've always brushed my teeth well and for a full two minutes when I brushed them. Dental care was a strange thing in my house when I was growing up. Mum and Dad were excellent tooth-brushers who always asked me if I had brushed my teeth but didn't watch me, so when my cousin showed me a new way of brushing my teeth without my toothbrush (gargling with toothpaste and water; the froth cleaned your teeth) which meant I passed the breath-test when mum came to say good-night, I thought I was set for life. (I was actually only set for a week; Mum discovered my toothbrush still in my overnight bag the following weekend and that, as they say, was that). Mum added to my confusion by occasionally allowing my sisters and I to eat an apple instead of brushing my teeth; it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I realised that was probably worse than just not doing anything. Then I added my own theories, such as double-brushing in the morning to avoid having to brush at night (crucial for an Ernie type like me who habitually snacks in bed; part of the beauty of the milo and the biscuits in bed is that they are the last thing that happened that day). However, having already undergone a root canal this year and still needing work on the golf course that remains, I have taken the bull by the ping-pongs and started flossing and mouth-washing (I realise now that I still eat and drink as much sugar as ever, but that's not under Oral Hygiene is it?), and I feel Smug As Hell. Yeah, when I chew gum I can taste what I had for lunch from the hole in my upper right side that desperately needs attention, but I am Doing What I Can. [Insert you high-fiving me here.]
Before I go, I want to mention that today is a really special day. My Uncle, one of the kindest and best men I have ever known, should have been sixty today. Most times when I think about him, I think about how much sadder the world is without him. But this afternoon it struck me how much better the world is because he was in it; indisputably better - I'm better because I knew him. My Uncle liked to watch rugby, and play golf, and listen to country music, he worked hard, and he never, ever let the people he loved, especially my Aunty and my cousins, doubt that he loved them. I don't want to make anyone sad by reading this... I just want to pay tribute to a wonderful man whom I miss, and whose legacy, of leaving the world better than he found it, is all I could wish for. This is for him.