Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Another Political Parallel Horror Movie. A film review.

You don’t have to be a film student to enjoy international cinema. The Host (Korea, 2006) tells the usual tale of polluted water creates mutant that wants to attack humanity. Based, as you probably guessed, in the Korean Seoul's Han River, the monster quite quickly attacks and causes fear of a virus that affects anyone it touches, although if it touches you it’s probably trying to eat you, thus a virus isn’t that scary in the greater scheme of things.

The plot centres on a family as the protagonists; one is the victim, who the monster catches but the family go in search of her believing her still alive.

However, this film does not keep the characters conventional. True for a film there must be some evidence of individual talent but they are human and make very human mistakes as if they were truly trying to fight a monster with no knowledge of combat before. The main hero Gang-Du, is ridiculed for his apparent stupidity, but the script never gives him a pivotal Einstein moment where he becomes the worshipped hero. He just becomes accepted and continues how he is.

My favourite part of this film is tied between the actual monster; which is literally a big fish who flops around with arms and feet (not even legs, just feet) chasing screaming people, or the portrayal of Americans; wait till you see that sexy cross eyed look for scientists in charge of everything.

Trying to say something bad about this film is difficult, it is a horror but it has that continuous Korean humour that will emit a few giggles between the gasps and ‘almost’ screams because we wouldn’t be foolish enough to scream at a film...

The Host is technically engaging too; to keep the stupidity of Gang-Du the timing of shots is used to extract intense emotion from him. This tends to be slowing most things down but it works, the heartbreak in his eyes is drawn out in the harrowing moment as he sees the monster grab his daughter.

The film is obviously trying to be political, and as a friend said, “I do not want to ruin it by trying to analyse the messages,” and I refuse to do that for myself or for you. But I will say: Ungraceful, slimy monster that can barely keep itself upright when it runs about causes mayhem and governmental disarray in a few days.

Even if horror isn’t for you, just watch this film because it animates so many emotions within you. How many horror films can claim that? Get it on DVD for £4.99 on

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Assignment, Histories and Practices. PR Jobs

Assignment: Take a look at the jobs section of PR Week. What kind of skills are employers looking for? Are there differences between sectors? Is there a sector that appeals to you?

Browsing through the job opportunities on it became obvious; as was expected, that all sectors require an applicant has ‘excellent writing skills.’ A large part of communication is written, be it a press release, an email, a newsletter, etc; therefore an enjoyment in writing and the ability to enchant a reader throughout the text is a desirable quality that is necessary within any Public Relation role as PR is basically the art of communication.

They all made casual references to ‘B2B’ as well as consumer relations; a few on the list saying that they wanted/or would accommodate an applicant who was specialised in either. At first the B2B acronym didn’t make sense to me, but after researching it was business to business it was just another expected characteristic of ‘what public relations people do’ (Fawkes, 2004: 45). It was intriguing that employers would want specialists in either B2B or B2C (business to consumer) when it shows the mark of a good writer when they can easily adapt to different styles. Alas, it seems comforting that employers do have a sense of reality and understand that not everyone is going to be the best at everything and will play to an applicant’s strengths, as, at the end of the day, it is results that matter for the agency and client, and we cannot wait around forever for the perfect person.

In sectors that were concerned with travel and government they specified intimate knowledge of the area, to the point of political agenda and contacts. Prior knowledge is useful in most careers but PR practitioners need to know more than just media related topics, they need to know what goes into the media and every influence; which can just grow in every sector. They need to be omniscient. As amazing as it could be to know a lot, to try and keep so much knowledge, especially in the media where it changes daily, would be intensely difficult. It would become too easy to neglect something unless your time management and observation skills were acute; therefore it can be concluded here that PR practitioners need to be very devoted people.

This statement is reinforced with some examples of skill descriptions such as ‘enthusiastic and passionate about PR’ and ‘willing to go the extra mile for the client.’ To have the loyalty to your career for this, as it is a 24/7 role, would be terrifying for most, and so a strong personality is needed. This is not said explicitly but the cumulative ethos of skills listed so frequently within the jobs description almost screams warning to the weak willed.

Carrying on from an earlier claim; it was surprising to see how often the requirement of contacts came up in the descriptions. Looking at both senior and junior level applications I knew senior roles would already need to have a place within the media industry, but for the juniors it was still necessary, and nobody would take anyone with under a year experience. Therefore, placements whilst in education are really important as Emma Newman, marketing manager at Decca records said in a guest lecture at UCF, Friday 23rd April 2010.

The media is about knowledge of what you know, but there is a very big emphasis on who you know, as friendship relationships will get favours done quicker in the industry, it can be the difference between a press release printed or thrown out.


TENCH, Ralph. YEOMANS, Liz. 2006. Exploring Public Relations. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chew TV Film Review: April 2009 Winner

The bad mouse

Rodent Rascal and Demise

An animation of a pest in a house that leaves mess everywhere and the emotional consequence on the family when they try to rid themselves of said bad mouse. This animation is presented 2d, with a children’s cartoon style narration; this decision f production works well with the narrative as the juxtaposition of a childish aspect for an audience of teenagers who constantly try to act mature is not patronising but amusing. I really enjoyed this short, the voice kept the steady rhythm expected of a child’s story-telling throughout. I fell in love with the mouse from the start, its stereotypical image is adorable, I expect this was the desired effect as it made all the mischievous acts something to laugh at and think sweet, whereas, when it actually happens, it is a pain and you quickly get out the traps. I like how Sykes gave an assortment of catching devices in the plot as it kept it real, plus the ending of the ‘it’s brain’s came out’ reinforces the true audience in contrast to what the film looks like. I find it very difficult to say something bad about The Bad Mouse, Sykes has been completely constant in the film in relation to target audience and the animation itself so the artistic impression drawing is clearly iconic of what it should be but retains the juvenile not-quite-perfect appearance that is vital for the film. I raise my hat to Mr Sykes on his clever and quite philosophical film, or at least I would if I were wearing a hat, but I am inside and it would give me hat hair. :P