Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two deaths, one broken vertebra – but still Gilliam makes it to Cannes

The last film Heath Ledger has ever made “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassius” has been shown at the film festival in Cannes. This film has had its fair share of bad luck. First the lead actor of the film Heath Ledger suddenly died. This tragedy initially made director Terry Gilliam decide to stop the production all together. If others wouldn`t have persuaded him into finishing the film in memory of Heath, the film would have never been made. To play Heath`s role, Gilliam casted Johnny Depp, Colin Farrel and Jude Law. Before they started filming the next tragedy occurred; producer Bill Vince suddenly died as well. Then Terry Gilliam himself was hit by a car and broke a vertebra, so his daughter had to take over. Despite all this bad luck the film was finished, but now it has not got a distributor yet. At the end of the festival many deals are made and hopefully this will happen for the film that will be known as “the last film ever to star Heath Ledger”.

Reaction: Two deaths, one broken vertebra – but still Gilliam makes it to Cannes

First of all I will explain why this is slightly British News: Terry Gilliam wrote for the Monty Python series. That is pretty much the only link I`m afraid.

I think it is a good decision to continue making the film. It would be such a shame if the last footage of Heath Ledger would have never been shown to the public. Besides that I think this is a very good film, because Terry Gilliam`s earlier work is very good too. His ideas are very original and his films are very imaginative en beautifully made. That kind of film is very suitable for a film in memory of Heath, because he played in many independent productions; for example “the Brothers Grimm” which was also directed by Terry Gilliam. Heath's death is a huge loss for the film industry, but luckily he has left a great heritage of beautiful films.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jamie Pugh is a star!

Although he does not believe to have a great voice and thinks that he cannot be a star, the audience knows that Jamie Pugh has a real chance of winning Britain`s Got Talent. With the song "Bring Him Home" he touched many people and made everyone look forward to his next performance. Jamie, however, is extremely nervous about that. “I`m a wreck – I`m not a star”, he says, “I have to appear on a TV show and I`m dreading it”. Luckily Jamie has the full support of his girlfriend Donna, who convinced him to audition. After Jamie`s wife died ten years ago, he had to raise their son by himself. Four years ago he found true love again in his Donna, who helps him to face his fears and prepare for the next performance. The big question is off course; will he beat Susan Boyle? If he is able to get the words out on the show at all, he just might!

Reaction to: “Jamie Pugh is a star!”

I have never watched Britain`s Got Talent, because I do not like to see people that make a fool out of themselves. However, I do like to watch clips of the really good performances, such as Jamie`s audition. His insecurity is very imaginable, because he has never sung in front of a large audience before. It must be very frightening to get all that attention and that people have such high expectations of you. Moreover, the fear of success is very human. People often think that we are afraid of failure, but success can be terrifying too, because it gives us a certain responsibility. I really hope that Jamie will conquer his stage fright and keeps on singing. It does not matter if he sings as a hobby or becomes a professional singer, as long as he enjoys it!

Warning on ‘aging’ foster carers

The foster care in Wales has a problem in the near future, if they do not get enough new carers in time. The average age of foster carers has increased from 46 to 53 for women and from 47 to 54 for men. This means that many of them will retire soon and there will be a shortage. There is already a shortage of 700 carers, so it is urgent that this gap is filled with younger people that can help children for many years to come. The Fostering Network, a charity for foster care, says that foster care should be promoted in a way that appeals to younger people. Moreover, the carers should be rewarded properly. Currently only 50 percent of the councils in Wales pays the carers what they are entitled to.

Reaction to “Warning on ‘aging’ foster carers”

Foster care is a very important institute in society. Children that cannot live with their parents often develop severe problems, especially if they have to live with many different families in their childhood. Long term foster carers can make the difference between a child dropping out of school or even joining criminal organisations, and children getting a proper education and finding their place in society. My neighbours have a foster child and it is not easy, but they find it very rewarding. I think they should be rewarded financially too, so that they can work fewer hours and have time to give the children the attention they need.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Man abused by his fiancée

After his fiancée Michelle Williamson was sent to jail for 7 years, Ian McNichol told the Sun about the 12 months he was abused by her. Ian and Michelle met in a taxi and moved in together within a year, but then Michelle started to abuse Ian. She poured boiling water in his lap, burned him with cigarettes, hit him with different objects and burnt his skin with an iron. Ian said that he was too victimised to think clearly. He was afraid to tell people about the domestic violence because he thought that people would not believe him. After full year of abuse the police received an anonymous phone call from a neighbour about it. Michelle was arrested and has been sentenced to prison for 7 years, leaving Ian, physically, emotionally and financially devastated, behind.


Many people think that in domestic violence, women are always the victim. This article proves that men can be the victim of abuse too. Michelle compensated her physical disadvantage with her mental strength and the use of an iron, boiling water, cigarettes and other objects. In a side column to this article Mark Brooks, chairman of The Mankind Institute, says that 1 out of 5 men is abused by a partner or family member at least once in his life. I think abuse towards men is a taboo, as Ian said, he was afraid that people would not believe him. The media should pay more attention to these stories to help men that are in this situation be more open about it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baby foods less nutritious than junk food

According to Children`s Food Campaign co-ordinator Christine Haigh, baby foods are often promoted as healthy when, in fact, some of them are less nutritious than junk food. The CFC performed a research of 107 baby foods and the result was that 50 percent of them was high in sugar, salt and saturated fat. Also, some of them were labelled incorrectly. This is especially dangerous for products that contain trans fats, these fats can cause coronary heart disease. The products that were assessed were bought in regular supermarkets and produced by popular brands. One of the companies with a high percentage (25%) of “bad” baby foods is Heinz. In reaction to the criticism towards their ‘Farley`s Rusks’ their spokes person said;“Farley`s Rusks have been enjoyed by generations of babies, and some adults too, for 120 years. Enriched with vitamins and minerals, the unique Farley`s Rusk recipe has remained virtually unchanged”


I think it is very good that the CFC surveyed the different baby foods. As a customer, you usually do not have the knowledge to know exactly what to give your child and people often trust popular brands. The results of this research can give people a more objective idea of the quality of baby foods and this can help them decide what to give their children. The reaction of Heinz to the criticism towards ‘Farley`s Rusks’ is not a good argument. The fact that people enjoy eating it, does not prove that it has a high quality. They should use the outcome of the survey to improve their baby foods, instead of trying to save face with irrelevant information.