Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Oikos (ii-kos)

This show was unlike anything I have seen before. Heavily steeped in Hindi Biblical mythology, 'Oikos' opens on a man, Salil, overworked and frustrated, coming home from work. He is stressed, talking on two phones at once, and clearly exhausted. He remembers the simpler times, back in his home in India. When he and his sister used to play a game that involved a rock, a skip, and good balance.

"Boys don't have good balance!!"

What follows is a tumble through the interesting, but surprisingly normal, lives of 3 family members. Salil, and his wife and daughter. Who are both feeling disconnected from him, as he spends so much time at work. His wife, emotional but unyielding, volunteers for the poorer Chinese people in the area, as she likes their 'family ethics', she is also desperate to reconnect with Salil. His daughter, Lily, is a teenage dirtbag, who frequents parties, and is going through what you would call her 'rebellious' phase. However, Salil is having re-occuring dreams and visions about his life in India, and his family.

We find out later that his family were drowned. Salil blames Gungah, the water god, for taking them away from him, and as we see, his past may come back to haunt him in more ways than one.

The acting is suberb, the setting is intimate, and the storyline is sublime. So different from anything I have ever seen before, and I can only say positive things about it. The way the actors interact with other 'people' (as in, acting with no one there) is incredible. The Oikos Project is indeed a fantastic one, and I believe everyone should go see this show!

Thursday, 2 September 2010


The obvious differences between the Hollywood of today and 50 years ago is more apparent now than it has ever been. I am not simply talking about the changes in dress and style. I am talking about acting talent.

Today, it seems, anyone who is hot enough can be an actor, and I am talking about women. Men, can be as ugly as the back of a bus but still get acting jobs (although I must say that has been declining in recent years too, and the current male actors are ridiculously polished.)

Acting talent has decreased substantially, wooden, expressionless faces are seemingly the norm, and god help you if you are a woman older than 50 in Hollywood. Not just in Hollywood, but even in our own local news stations. How often is it you see an older male of around 60, but a younger woman as his co-anchor? I don't even think i've ever seen older women REPORTERS on the news. Let alone as the main face!

Now, I do consider myself a feminist, but only in the old sense of the word. In movies lately, the female roles are still substantially less than the male roles. Women have very stereotypical roles, 'ditzy', 'ingenue', 'she liked the bad boy but now she likes the good boy', 'bad ass for difference' and 'shes the sensible one.'

It's just pathetic. Also, body image is heavily, heavily influenced by models. Models, who frequently become actors themselves, are usually not trained in acting, but agencies don't mind, if they look good on the camera, then they are usually given precedence. Which is disgusting. Normal sized women are already hard to come by in the skinny-obsessed industry, it doesn't help when models are making their way in as well.

I don't have a problem with models wanting to be actors, but they need to be able to ACT. This seems to be a hard thing for people to understand. Normal sized women should not be 'refreshing' in Hollywood. It should be NORMAL. We should be putting more pressure on studios to do this more often.

The female role in fame has strengthened greatly in the last ten years, with excellent role models such as Tina Fey for the comedy stage (which we are very under-represented), and Christina Hendricks for television. Where she has not yielded to pressure to fit in, as her body is very feminine, putting aside that she works on 'Mad Men' - she would have fit into 50's Hollywood perfectly.

Women need to make sure that this kind of difference, this individuality, is expressed. All types, but especially types that do not fit the norm. Boyish types, Overtly feminine types, sporty types. Women need to have as much variety as men do in Hollywood, and I am sure, over the next 50 years, we can put acting talent back as something that is genuinly admired, rather than just looks alone.