23 March 2018

River Valley NZ in 35mm film - backpacking vlog #8

I guarantee we were not calm and collected when we took these pictures. There was alot of geeking going on as you'll see in our vlog! Read our previous River Valley travel diary post here.

We were so relieved when our Kiwi Experience driver told us we'd be stopping for an hour just outside the Tongariro National Park. When we completed the alpine crossing several days earlier the visibility had been so bad that we barely saw 20m in front of us, let alone the volcano next door. Mount Ngauruhoe (or Mount Doom as we call it, The mountain of fire!) looks glorious against the harsh surrounding landscape. We practically skipped our way down the path to this spot with huge grins on our faces, quoting Sam Wise the Brave with every step. The summit was hidden beneath low grey clouds when we first arrived but it miraculously cleared up half-way through our epic photo session. There was no way we were taking this opportunity for granted, we had to take geeky pictures. We shared alot of them on our recent post "What happened when two passionate Lord of the Rings fans explored New Zealand" if you fancy a giggle.

After this brief stop our Kiwi Bus took us to River Valley Lodge which was our accommodation for the night and one of only two obligatory stops of the entire itinerary. The adventure lodge located in an incredibly scenic valley offers horseback riding and white water rafting activities. There is no Wi-Fi and you are quite literally in the middle of nowhere so it's definitely somewhere to be enjoyed with company! We went on a quiet walk in the morning to explore the grounds and visit the horses we had seen on our arrival. No-one else on our bus went out exploring which I thought was a shame as it was such an unbelievably beautiful location. It's one of those places you might believe to only exist in tales and stories. The grass was such a peculiar shade of green, a bright green which contributed to the magical aspect of the hilly landscape.

Unfortunately we only have a couple of film pictures from River Valley. I think we may have lost a roll somewhere along the way as we are also missing a fair amount of film pictures from Wellington which was the next stop from River Valley Lodge. The thought of there being a lost film roll out there waiting to be developed is quite upsetting! Luckily we took so many videos of the place for the vlog.

Malgré nos expressions calmes nous étions en vrai mode geek devant Mount Ngauruhoe, ou Mount Doom ! Vous pourrez voir ça dans notre vlog à la fin de l’article !
 Notre conducteur Kiwi Bus nous a informé le matin qu’on allait faire un arrêt devant le Tongariro National Park ce qui était vraiment super pour nous, vu qu’on n’avait pas vu le volcan lors du Alpine Crossing quelques jours au paravent à cause de la pauvre visibilité.
On s’était vite dirigée vers cet endroit pour fixer le regard sur le volcan iconique. Sur le chemin on répétait les paroles de Sam Wise Gamgee (mes excuses je n’ai pas vu le film en français donc je ne peux pas vous dire la traduction !) « we’re going to the mountain of fire, to destroy it ! »
Après cet arrêt on a repris la route en direction de River Valley Lodge ce qui fut un des deux arrêts obligatoires de tout l’itinéraire.
River Valley est un logement qui se trouve au centre d’une vallée magnifique. Il offre des activités dont l’équitation et le White Water Rafting. C’est situé au milieu de nul part donc c’est vraiment une expérience à partager avec des amis !
On a fait une petite promenade le matin : on a vu des moutons, des chèvres et des chevaux. Seuls Summer & moi avons profité du temps libre pour sortir et explorer ce que je trouve vraiment dommage puisqu’on se retrouvait dans un endroit incroyable. Je n’ai jamais vu l’herbe d’une couleur aussi riche, et les vues étaient comme ceux qu’on imaginerait dans les livres et les histoires.
Malheureusement nous n’avons que quelques photos de River Valley. Je crois que nous avons perdu un rouleau de pellicule lors de notre retour puisqu’il nous manque pas mal de photos de Wellington (le prochain arrêt après River Valley Lodge). Ça me rend triste le fait qu’il y’a sans doute un rouleau de pellicule perdu quelque part qui attend à être développer ! Heureusement que nous avons prises tant de vidéos à River Valley, les images sont vraiment jolies dans le vlog. 

Holly x


20 March 2018

REVIEW: Jessica Jones Season 2

I do not own any of these images.

Season 2 of the popular Marvel show Jessica Jones recently dropped on Netflix, and it did not disappoint. The television side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now fully established, with two stellar seasons of Daredevil, season 1 of Jessica Jones, seasons 1 of Luke Cage & Iron Fist (easily the weakest link) and of The Defenders which brought all of the New York 'vigilantes' together. Let's not forget the most recent show to debut, season 1 of The Punisher

Season 2 of Jessica Jones tackles emotional trauma, hard truths and the what makes a hero? question. Instead of focusing on crime fighting action sequences JJ delves into character driven story-telling, giving secondary characters such as Trish, Malcolm & Jeri proper arcs. Each character has an individual story-line with each thread eventually being woven in to the main plot of the season : IGH, the people behind illegal human experimentation of which Jessica was a victim of.

Despite a few halts throughout, overall season 2 of JJ is a success and definitely worth watching. The lead Krysten Ritter still successfully carries the show but the secondary characters receive much more screen time this time round. This season is more relevant than ever following recent cultural & political movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, putting women at the forefront in front and behind the camera. This review contains very minor spoilers!

  • Character driven storytelling
As I mentioned previously this season is widely character driven. Each character is battling their inner demons, whether it be emotional trauma, a recent life changing health diagnosis or an unhealthy ambition. As each individual confronts their situation we begin to understand their strengths & weaknesses and how either one can be used against them. As the show progresses each character arc slowly entwines with the main plot of the season: IGH.

Jessica's past comes back to haunt her as she is forced to confront her situation. She's an alcoholic with powers, and following the events of the previous season Jessica fears that she will become an unstable murderer who uses her powers for evil (repeating 'That's not me' when she is mistakenly arrested for a gruesome crime). This season we see her grow, we see her struggle to move forward and come to terms with her self-imposed isolation, and we see how she deals with this emotional trauma. Jessica reflects on her self-loathing and her past, and the last sequence of the season reflects this growth and paves the way towards a (hopefully) brighter future. Krysten Ritter truly shines in this role, she is the driving force of the show; I'm struggling to put in to words the brilliance of her interpretation of Jessica Jones, so here are some quotes that articulate my thoughts so brilliantly:

“Season 2 of ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ does all it needs to — which is to say, it brings Ritter’s fantastic interpretation of Jessica Jones back to TV, with every ounce of shadowed malice and explosive desire on display. Ritter’s Jessica is a gender-bending mishmash of noir character traits — femme fatale and hardboiled detective rolled into one.” - Sonia Saraiya, Variety

“Another actor might find these obstacles insurmountable, but like her character, Ritter clears them in a superhuman bound. Even when the story has ground to another halt, you won’t want to take your eyes off the screen … Although it stumbles in the darkness that it goes to great lengths to establish, ‘Jessica Jones’s’ second season sheds light on societal ills while also lighting a way out for its protagonist.” - Danette Chavez, The A.V Club


18 March 2018

What makes Peaky Blinders so compelling?

*We do not own any of these images*

It's taken me so long to get a few words together regarding the forth season of Peaky Blinders. Every time I opened this draft my mind just went blank. Which aspect of this show should I even focus on when all of it is so wonderfully crafted? Just as I told Joe Cole last summer, Peaky Blinders is simply one of the best shows out there. The writing, directing, cinematography, female characters- I mean the whole thing is fantastic. As a film graduate it is so satisfying to watch. Peaky Blinders is a stellar example of great film-making in a television format.
This general spoiler-free review will touch upon several elements of the show and explain why it is, in my opinion, such a success.


13 March 2018

Taupo NZ in 35mm - Backpacking vlog #7

Our time in Taupo was possibly the most eventful and memorable stop of our entire New Zealand backpacking trip! It included one of the big NZ bucket list items: the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 20km hike over an active volcano, as well as the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo. Our Kiwi Experience bus dropped us off at the Base hostel, which was possibly the worst one of our entire trip due to our room being directly above a loud bar (and no hot water after the hike) but luckily we had great roommates we got only really well with. Read our previous Taupo post here!

I couldn't be happier with these film pictures, we were fortunate enough to have beautiful clear skies the afternoon we went on the boat trip to see the carvings. We booked the boat ride with the Kiwi Experience Bus, it included free pizza and music - it was a lovely, laid-back afternoon spent in good company and would definitely recommend it. Watching the sunset from the deck of the boat, wrapped up in a warm poncho and listening to music was such a wonderful experience! Our Kiwi Experience bus also stopped at Huka Falls for a short while on our way to Taupo.

Notre stop dans la ville de Taupo en Nouvelle-Zélande fut riche en événements, tels que le crossing Tongariro (un randonnée de 20km sur un volcan) et un petit séjour en bateau sur Lake Taupo afin de voir les sculptures Maori. Ces deux activités faisaient partie de notre 'bucket-list' au NZ. Notre bus Kiwi Expérience nous a déposé à l’auberge de jeunesse, qui malheureusement était le pire de toute notre voyage car il se situait au-dessus d'un bar bruyant (et parce-qu'il n'y avait pas d'eau chaude quand on est revenu de notre randonnée) mais nos colocataires étaient vraiment superbes ce qui a énormément amélioré notre visite. Je suis très satisfaite de ces photos argentiques, nous étions très chanceux avec le temps en ce qui concerne le petit séjour en bateau. L'activité bateau était organisée avec le bus, et comprenait du pizza gratuit et de la musique, ce qui a créé un atmosphère très agréable surtout avec le coucher du soleil. Avant d'arriver à Taupo notre bus s'est aussi arrêté aux chutes Huka Falls.

Sadly we didn't have good weather for the Tongariro Crossing (understatement). A shuttle bus picked us up from the hostel at 6am, dropping us off at the start of the hiking track two hours later. We had really bad weather for the hike and sadly didn't see any of the stunning volcanic landscape, not even Mount Ngauruhoe or the Emerauld Lakes - instead we had a near-death experience crawling on our hands and knees while the wind, rain & snow battered us! In the vlog I managed to film a fair bit of the first 2 hours (the entire hike usually takes 6-8 hours) before the weather & terrain got too dangerous for me to use my phone or camera. 
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