All the drive I didn’t have during exams seems to have arrived now as I’ve been throwing myself into various projects in earnest. Struggling valiently to coax PHP and XHTML into listening to me, I actually managed to code a rather nice feedback form yesterday night even though I didn’t speak either language two days ago. It meant I got to bed at 4am but I’ve missed that sense of achievement when things finally work. Today was rather more frustrating in attempting to combine CSS style sheets and XHTML in order to create the same sort of pages that I’ve done for years but using the updated code. Unfortunately XHTML has removed certain HTML tags that I used to rely on, so it’s been a fairly irritating experience trying to work around it. But once again everything is finally looking neat and pretty. I’m currently messing around with some preliminary ideas for the new Ball website. It’s just a “coming soon” page that will act as a staging area prior to the new site going live.

Chungking ExpressThe others continue their exams in earnest which gives me a fair bit of time to myself, especially with Chris and Roger preoccupied by the fact they’re in slightly more trouble than we expected. They’ve been deaned and will probably be forced to vacate their rooms in College for the rest of term which will be inconvenient though not disastrous. It’s actually a slightly odd feeling, but the space is definitely welcome and has allowed me to focus and catch up on other things. Like DVDs, for example: haven’t settled down and watched a whole film in one stretch for a while, so I tore open Wong Kar Wai‘s Chungking Express this evening. Like the phenomenal 2046, it’s a quirky, colourful, slightly dark, very wistful love story set amidst Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions, a vast complex of shabby hostels, bars and clubs. As one would expect from the director, it’s dazzlingly charismatic and very original.

Speaking of films, I also saw Sin City last Friday, dragging along a few friends on the premise it would be their “last chance to relax”. It was quite simply stunning, though I cannot begin to describe my pain at having to turn down Friya’s offer of a ticket to the premiere because of exams. I’m a huge fan of Miller’s graphic novels, and Rodriguez has surpassed himself in bringing them to the screen frame for frame in many instances. The most stylish film of the year so far, the stark black and white with splashes of colour is beautiful even amidst the most violent excesses. I was pleased that they hit the tone of the humour just right. The standout performance was undoubtedly Mickey Rourke who simply is Marv, totally embodying the hulking beast of a man.

“There is a need in all of us to have a place to hide or store certain memories, thoughts,
impulses, hopes and dreams. These are part of our lives that we can’t resolve or best not act
upon but at the same time we are afraid to jettison them. For some, this is a physical place; for
others, it is a mental space, and for a few it is neither.”
     – Wong Kar Wai