Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Travails of writing on Hijack Stories

I am trying out my advisor's technique of writing a title before getting very far along on the paper. It's actually good advice. It's helping me focus.
So, here's the working title:

Mirror Image Brother: the actor, the gangster, and the quest for South African identity in Oliver Schmitz’s film Hijack Stories

This is a really fascinating film (dir, Oliver Schmitz, South Africa, 2000) that I'm not doing justice in my hurried seminar paper. If I have a chance to post more coherent thoughts on it I will. It is my goal to work with film in my academic career, but I am quickly learning what a pain in the butt it is. I ordered the film on sale from for very cheap (I see the price has since gone up), but, of course the film is region 2 (UK, Europe, and South Africa), and I don't want to change my computer system over from region 1, since I only have five switches and want to save them. So writing on the film has involved an excrutiating process of having to go into the language lab at the university every time I want to watch the film. I finally had the lab convert the film over to region 1 for me, but that dvd won't play on my new laptop. It WILL play on my old dying laptop, but there is no way to fastforward or skip chapters. So, as I write the paper, I have the film constantly playing in the background, and when it gets to a part I need to watch, I drop everything and watch it. I'm still trying to figure out the words to the very last song/spoken word poem as the credits role. It combines the stanza from Ingoapele Madingoane's poem "africa my beginning" with other bits and pieces about "mirror image"s and "brothers who share the same throne," which is very significant to my interpretation of the main characters Sox and Zama as two sides of the same person, as well as one of my main points about the poem at the centre of the story (a la Harold Scheub).

Now to bed for a few hours. It snowed a lot today. i stayed indoors all day long.

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