From March 2004

The Passion Of The Christ

It was inevitable really that a movie made by Mel Gibson about the last hours of Jesus’ life would stir up much controversy but I’m not sure that anyone expected it to be so good. This is one of those films that gets so hyped up that you just can’t miss it.

The Passion of the Christ

Having watched it last night at my local cinema I am still scratching my head as to how a man notorious for such films as ‘Mad Max’ etc could have been driven to make such a powerful piece. I guess fundamental Catholicism might have a lot to do with it but it doesn’t come across as a fundamentalist piece in any way and those who have complained about it being anti-semitic are just plain wrong. I don’t think you could deny that around the time of Jesus the ruling Jews were not a very nice lot but that is no reflection on them today.

The Passion of the Christ

Considering the complete lack of well known actors in this piece its amazing just how well they’ve pulled it off, although I imagine that that was the only way it could be, as my sister noted you could hardly have Keanu Reeves playing Jesus! There is not a single bad performance in the film and the fact they are all speaking in Aramaic just adds to the authenticity and does not detract from it in any way.

The Passion of the Christ

As you have already no doubt noticed from the pictures the film spares little detail to the imagination. Watching the torture is grueling enough in itself let alone seeing him nailed to the cross and by the end of it little of his body remains unscathed by the brutality of the Roman soldiers. Although this may horrify some people I do not believe that you could make this film properly without it.

The Passion of the Christ

This is certainly not a film to be missed but I do not recommend it for the weak of heart! Maybe Mel Gibson is trying to appease himself in some bizzare way but at the end of the day why should we care?

Tokyo Eyes

This week has been pretty dull and nothing of note has really happened unless you count getting a hair cut and ordering a new pair of glasses perhaps!

Last night I watched another rather strange Japanese film – ‘Tokyo Eyes’. It revolves around a man who shoots at people (without killing them) who the police are trying to track, but the young sister of a detective finds that he’s not the mad vigilante portrayed in the newspapers. Nevertheless he still seemed pretty psychotic to me!

Tokyo Eyes

The plot transcends the fact that he kills people and is more a look into “Techno-culture” and how he wants to change. Somehow the film makers have managed to make the concrete jungle of the urban jungle strangely beautiful. Perhaps it is more a commentary about being lost in that chaotic world, emotionless and gray as concrete, drifting through our life. Sometimes we may see the beauty if only in a subtle way.

Tokyo Eyes

Some of the acting is a little off but it avoids being pretentious and the cameo by Tekeshi Kitano was pretty cool. Someone on IMDB summed it up pretty well – “This is not a thriller, it’s a Tokyo life slices showing… with French eyes. It’s amazing, sensual and incredibly modern.”

Only in America

Saw this picture on the web today and thought it was probably a perfect example of the American ethos – where else could you find donuts, a gun shop and a day care center all under one roof!?


A bit of site news – I’m going home for the easter holidays pretty soon and will be taking the server with me so there’ll be a short period of downtime while its dragged from one end of the country to the other!

SEG Update

Today was the infamous SEG (Software Engineering Groups) Trade Fair where the 17 different groups tout the fruits of their labors, often with a little (or sometimes a lot) of bribery! All visitors to the fair were give three voting tokens which they could give to the group(s) which they liked the most, whatever the motivation for that may be. Out group (SEG 13) ended up with 98 votes which although wasn’t enough to win the prize for the most number of votes we still walked off with the “Professional Photographers Prize” which was judged by a professional photographer (bet you never guessed that!). Hopefully a good indicator of things to come as there’s still the IBM and BT prizes to be awarded next term. I you want to have a look at the system we developed click here.

RandomWire hacked! (?)

This week has not been particularly good for Randomwire – on Tuesday Apache mysteriously died at around 5pm and no amount of fiddling around could get it to work properly again, even after multiple reinstalls. On closer inspection I noticed some suspicious activity in the ftp access logs and it appears someone may have exploited the ProFTP daemon and had a little *fun* with my system – that will teach me for not checking the security advisories more often! Luckily little damage was done and I was able to get the server back up to a running state in just under two hours – thank goodness for backups! Currently all non-critical services are blocked remotely and will be so until I’ve had time to check everything is properly secured.

On a more pleasant note, the implementation phase of SEG is just about over. After some hassle with RGB > CMYK conversion I’ve printed off the poster for the trade fair next week which should be fun. Take a look at the finished poster here. I’m about ready to collapse with tiredness now so I think some sleep is in order!

The Hobbit!

Fans of the “Lord of the Rings” films will be pleased to hear that “The Hobbit”, the prequel to LOTR, is in the works, again to be directed by Peter Jackson. Apparently he wants to give it the same feel as the rest of the movies so there will be considerable original cast overlap with the others. Don’t get too excited just yet though, we won’t be seeing any of it for a good few years!

N.B. Having updated the comments in around 8000 lines of php code today I never want to see another /** * */ ever again!


Found a fascinating link off Slashdot today about the state of the Chernobyl “dead zone” 18 odd years from the disaster – the pictures of the ghost town’s are particularly haunting with all the signs of everyday life cut short still very much in evidence. Its strangely reminds me of the world described in “Day of the Triffids” and seen in “28 Days Later”. Take a look at the site here, and for more info on the disaster see here.

This weekend looks like it’ll be dominated with SEG related stuff for me – I’ll be writing up a fair bit of documentation and working on a big poster to advertise the project for the trade fair in just over a week. Anythings better than AI though!


Its been pretty busy the last week or so with deadlines a plenty and always something needing to be looked into, primarily being the SEG project which is nearing the end of implementation, and looking pretty good if I do say so myself! I would post a link but until the official deadline its still all shrouded in secrecy. Unfortunately most of the snow from the weekend is now gone leaving behind some very icy pavements 🙂

I saw another great Japanese film a couple of days ago called Kairo (or Pulse to you and me!). Its another psychological thriller with deeply philosophical and profound messages lurking under the surface of its modern approach to the genre.


Kairo is based around two parallel stories: the strange events taking place among the employees of a Tokyo plant sales company, and similar happenings in the life of a young economics student, Kawashima Ryosuke and a computer scientist Karasawa Harue (who makes CS look a lot more fun that it really is!).


From what I gleamed from the fairly heavy plot ghosts/spirits (call them what you like) are somehow crossing over to the ‘real’ work, using electrical equipment as conduits for their transport. They begin feeding off peoples sense of loneliness and isolation and slowly the population mysteriously dwindles until only the principle characters are left. Eventually both parties join up under pretty tragic circumstances and things come to a climax.


Kairo is a pretty amazing piece of work: its cinematography is so dark, surreal and murky it makes your eyes hurt; potent and resonant imagery that weighs heavy on the mind long after seeing it; no shocks, but instead deep, dead chills that make the viewer have to consider the central philosophy of the film and fear for the future. All in all an awesome, totally essential film.