How fucking cute is this guy???

Really wonderful.  Un-ironic and beautiful.

This is truly beautiful and I am looking forward to the next movie even more now:)



Where we keep the hats. (Taken with instagram)


The Oscars 2011 Project

The Oscars are approaching fast, too fast one could say. The nominations were somewhat late this year and we got the feeling that there were more very recent or even current movies than in the years before. Thus, it was a bit tough to watch all the movies to make some informed decisions / or give votes for the various candidates. 

The quality of the movies was overall high. No or almost no movies that you wonder about, how or why they have been nominated. Also, from the top of my head, no movies that should have ben nominated that are missing. So far so good. But before we begin we have to address two things that struck us as odd:

First, what the fuck went wrong with Inception, or more specifically, with the not-nomination of Christopher Nolan as best director?! The last time I felt this way after watching a movie was after the first Matrix movie. Inception, at least that was my response, is something truly novel, unique, and different and this is exclusively due to the vision of Nolan. It beats me how this masterpiece, or more concretely, the master behind this piece, could have ben ignored!

Second, who decided that Hailee Steinfeld is nominated for the category actress in a supporting role but not, as it should have been, as leading role!? She is in every single frame! Actually, she is in more scenes than Bridges, who is nominated for leading role… Why? (I don’t mean why is Bridges nominated, but why he he and she isn’t?)

Anyway, let’s start. 

*Disclaimer: As always, Nina and I voted for the movies that we believe should win. Obviously, we would vote differently in a number of cases if we had to bet money on it.*


127 Hours

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception (Nina & me)

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

Winter’s Bone

True Grit

The Social Network

Toy Story 3


Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan

David O Russell - The Fighter

Tom Hooper - The King’s Speech

David Fincher - The Social Network

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit (Nina & me)


Colin Firth - The King’s Speech (Nina)

Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network

James Franco - 127 Hours (me)

Javier Bardem - Biutiful

Jeff Bridges - True Grit

* This was a tough one. All five performances are excellent. Three (Firth, Franco, Bardem) are better than the other two. Based on my affective response to his performance an sympathy I would chose Bardem, however, I have this notion that playing with other people is easier than playing alone. In 127 Franco is alone 90 percent of the time. More interestingly this doesn’t get boring (which I kinda expected) and this is due to his stellar performance! However, Firth portrays a stutterer, which almost per definition will probably win him the Oscar…


Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman - Black Swan (me)

Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine (Nina)

*This is a somewhat rational choice. I didn’t care much for Black Swan and in contrast, although I didn’t want to watch it in the first place and don’t like Nicole Kidman very much, I think the movie was excellent and so was her performance. However, I can’t ignore the method acting aspect of Portman’s performance, the hours of training, the dancing.


Christian Bale - The Fighter (Nina & me)

John Hawkes - Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner - The Town

Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech


Amy Adams - The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech (Nina)

Melissa Leo - The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit (me)

Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom


Mike Leigh - Another Year

Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay), Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (story) - The Fighter (Nina)

Christopher Nolan - Inception (me)

Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are All Right

David Seidler - The King’s Speech


How to Train Your Dragon (Nina & me)

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3


Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy - 127 Hours (me)

Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network

Michael Arndt - Toy Story 3

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit (Nina)

Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini - Winter’s Bone


Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Inception (Nina & me)

The King’s Speech

True Grit


Black Swan (Nina)

Inception (me)

The King’s Speech

The Social Network

True Grit 


Inception (Nina & me)

The King’s Speech

The Social Network


True Grit


Inception (Nina & me)

Toy Story 3

Tron: Legacy

True Grit



How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell

Inception - Hans Zimmer

The King’s Speech - Alexandre Desplat

127 Hours - AR Rahman

The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Nina & me)


Alice in Wonderland (Nina & me)

I Am Love

The King’s Speech

The Tempest

True Grit


Black Swan

The Fighter P

The King’s Speech

127 Hours (Nina & me)

The Social Network


Day & Night

The Gruffalo (Nina & me)

Let’s Pollute

The Lost Thing

Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)


Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1


Inception (Nina & me)

Iron Man 2

PS: Please feel free to comment and add your own predictions! Would love to know what you think about this year’s nominations. We also would love to extend our little project for next year. Who’s in?



via Ironic Sans

Who gets the reference?


Zooey Deschanel Marries Boyfriend, Singer Ben Gibbard (via CelebTV)

This completely happened under my radar. Two of my favorite artists of all time got married more than a year ago and I didn’t know (nor was I invited :p)



every (major) character on Wes Anderson movies :)

details here

Reblogged from EatSleepDraw

Alfred Hitchcock presents…

Yesterday I bought a Alfred Hitchcock DVD collection and started a—guess what!—Alfred Hitchcock marathon with a friend of mine. We’ll watch the movies in chronological order and started with Saboteur (1942). Well, it was OK but we were not impressed. My rating 5 out of 10. Lets see how the others are… next on on the list Shadow of a doubt.

That said, it should be noted that this collection starts with 1942. Hitchcock started filming in 1925, and some of his best movies seem to be the British ones. So, eventually I’ll have to buy another box and check out the older stuff as well. 


Extremely brief summary & teaser on what’s (eventually) coming

Dear all,

the last couple of weeks have been kind of stressful. Lots of stuff happening, still happening, and I can’t bring up the motivation to write them down. Then, after a while one forgets what happened or doesn’t find it interesting anymore. So, here a short bullet point kinda list with things I wanted to talk about:

  • London has a due date: From April 2011 I’ll only be on a 50% position and start working on my new position in Münster as a assistant professor (with the other half). From October 2011 I’ll be back for good.
  • Wedding plans are very slowly developing. We have now a short list for our guests (about 120). Tons of details still need to be clarified and decided upon. Needless to say, we have somewhat different expectations (from each other), and as a couple from our friends and family. It’s going to be delightful… But we decided on a time (if not date) mid-April 2011.
  • I am right now grading 450 essays by approx. 200 students and it really is painful. One thing I am now absolutely certain about is that people with illegible handwriting should get their hands cut off (with a rusty blade!)
  • I have read (and listened to) a lot of books recently. I really want to write in some more detail about the various books and series that I found/find interesting. To foreshadow a bit: Joe Abercrombie's great First Law trilogy, and the related (i.e., some of the supporting characters have a cameo) follower Best Served Cold. Patrick Rothfuss' brilliant The Name of the Wind, the first part of his Kingkiller Chronicle, which second part finally has a (rough) release date . (BTW, check out his blog, Patrick writes quite a lot and interesting stuff, and it’s especially interesting if you are interested in the whole writing and publishing process. Extremely illuminating!). Another author I adore is Jasper Fforde. He’s the author of the Thursday Next series as well as the spin-off Nursery Crime Stories (the link only leads you to the first of so far two books in that series). However, his last book launched another series called Shades of Grey. It took me a while to get into it but once I was is was a rush. I am looking forward to the next two books and as always when one reads recent literature waiting for the next release is a pain. (At least I didn’t read the Lord of the Rings when it came out and had to wait for the next two books; similarly, I am grateful that I didn’t have to wait for the 2nd (5th) and 3rd (6th) Star Wars movies, when I was a kid!)
  • Nina and I are becoming regular and frequent cinema goers again. Since in London all the movies are screened in English (instead of being dubbed) it is a pleasure to go to the movies again! We saw a bunch of really entertaining movies the last couple of months and perhaps report in more detail and give some recommendations.

That’s all for now! All the best


Dust cloud my ass

Wow… what a weekend. Thanks to Iceland millions of people are stranded, including me.

Thursday: I am already packed and almost out of the office to catch my train towards Luton airport. Some program won’t quit and the Mac won’t shut off. So, OK, let’s quickly check whether the flight is still on. It isn’t. Fuck. Book the next flight free of charge, click, click, yes, certainly, click. Print. Go to the printer. Look at it. Wait. That’s. Not. Right. It says Saturday…. Hm… go back to the computer. Look for train tickets. 79 Pounds London to Brussels. That’s not too bad. Of course I’ll need a ticket from Brussels to Dortmund then as well. Call Nina, call mom, go back to Eurostar’s website. Same ticket 179 Pounds… Hm… Someone had the same idea. A couple of phone calls later it’s decided that I take my Saturday flight. And that’s basically it for the day. I drive back home, buy Charlaine Harris' last Sookie Stackhouse novel “Dead and Gone" and call it a day. (When looking for the link I found out that her next book is coming out in May!)

Friday: I go to work. I stay there. I work. I go back home around 8pm, grab a pizza at the local Sainsbury’s, plus blueberries for the next morning, listen to the last part of the First Law trilogy and read some Sookie.

Saturday: I wake up, start preparing blueberry pancakes, am finished and realize that the maple syrup is gone and run to the store around the corner to get some. Eat. Work. Listen to my audiobook. Sleep. Have a pleasant telephone conversation with a good friend who has finally some good news. Go to the Sainsbury’s buy something to eat (fresh pasta & tomato mascarpone sauce). Prepare dinner, watch Ninja Assassin, listen to my audiobook, read Sookie. Out of pure boredom (and some curiosity) buy The Settlers 7. Don’t read carefully when buying the download version and buy the PC version in my first attempt. Fuck. Now that I started it I can’t stop. Also, my brother can have the PC version then. OK. Buy it again. 7 hours download time. Great. 

Sunday: Make myself some cereals and instal Settlers. Try to start it. Fatal error: not enough dedicated graphics memory. D’oh! Now I need a new computer…

Oh man, What a weekend! I should’ve been home on Thursday evening, seeing Nina again. Friday should’ve started with baking a cake for my grandma’s birthday. I probably would’ve seen of my best friend’s on Friday night. I should’ve been in Cologne on Saturday, again seeing some of my dearest friends, and being on my best friend’s thirstiest birthday party. And now I would be on my way back home to enjoy my Sunday and see Nina again….

A tiny bit pissed,


London after Easter

On Easter Sunday Nina (who, since Ferbruary —by the way—is my fiancée) and I took the flight (back) to London. Thus, after a couple of weekends Nina stayed here for a week for the first time. We had a great (or lovely, how they would say here) time and saw quite some things or places we haven’t had the chance to see before.

We did the obligatory museum day; this time with the Tate Britain. We then walked towards Parliament Square and had a look at Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben (as part of the Palace of Westminster). It was a beautiful day, as was the whole week basically, and we enjoyed it a lot.

After Parliament Square we walked up to Trafalgar Square, which has no less than four Pret a Manger, plus a Caffè Nero and one or two Costa Coffee. Incredible! Probably highly profitable as well:)

What else did we do? We went to Cambridge on a day trip and looked at all the incredible old and stylish university buildings. Unfortunately, you can’t access most of the buildings, since actual people are either working or living there. However, we got into the old library of Trinity College, which had tons of incredibly old books, including one of only three surviving first “printed” editions of the English translation of the bible. We also went into the Fitzgerald Museum, which nowadays also belongs to the university, and is quite charming. They have some really impressive antiques there, greek and roman, and what I found the most interesting, egyptian grave art and sarcophagi (over 2000 years old and still looking good;)). 

Another day Nina and I went to the Hampstead Heath, which is one of London’s biggest and oldest parks. It’s on a hillside and you have a pretty good view over most of London. Within the park is a little park with an old estate (Kenwood), which houses—of course—a Museum with some nice paintings, including a very cool Rembrandt and a Vermeer.

Since being in London I (or we) are finally going to the movies on a regular basis. Nina and I have seen quite a lot of movies recently and this week we went two times. First, we saw Shutter Island, Scorcese’s latest oevre featuring Leo DeCaprio as a tough Marshall who’s investigating the escape of a dangerous woman from a psych ward on an island (think of it as Alcatraz for the mentally insane). The movie was quite good and was surprisingly oldschool. I can’t get into much more detail without spoiling it…

On Friday night Nina and I watched How to train your Dragon, which scores an impressive and totally justified 8.3 on IMDB right now. We enjoyed it very, very much! (Go and watch it yourself! Now!)

When we weren’t in the movies, or walking through the city, or working (me) or window shopping (Nina), we watched Mad Men, a truly great TV show that now spans across three seasons (with the fourth starting to shoot this month). It’s produced by the guy (Weiner) who produced, wrote, and directed the last two season of The Sopranos. That should be testimony enough to run to the next shop and buy those damned DVD boxes:) We just started the second season yesterday night and the whole show has been nothing but great so far. It’s set in the late 50’s and early 60’s and it makes you once more aware of how we have it!

So, Nina should land any minute now and while she was in the air I wrote all this on my oldish Macbook Pro sitting in my London garden with the sun shining (heavily) on my neck! Hope you have a great Sunday;)




London on weekends

…is great, of course, and you can easily spend much more money than you should, and sometimes have. Nina was here (who is now not only my beloved grildfriend but fiancée) after a little absence in this beautiful city, and we treated ourselves with some luxury. Actually, although the weekend was kinda expensive most of it was due to costs for eating out. We TRIED to shop some, but didn’t find clothes that were cool enough, or if we did, they didn’t fit, or didn’t look good on us. In any case, we had some great food at some places you should definitely visit, if you have the chance. One of them was an Indian tapas bar called IMLI that is in SOHO, not that far from my work (probably a 15 minute walk), directly around the corner of Oxford Street. It was—apart from the Indian pizza delivery service we used in early 2005, when we first moved to Dortmund and which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore—Nina’s first Indian cuisine ever. It was tasty, very well made, not too expensive and very hot. Nina didn’t react as sensitive as I did—I was heavily sweating:/

On Saturday we had our lunch break (around 4.30) at the Imperial China restaurant after walking down Oxford Street, and Regent Street, stopping at Urban Outfitters, HMV, schuh, TOPSHOP, Potassium, desigual, the Apple Retail Store and some more. We had—both for the first time—dim sum and although we are sure that the quality of the food was excellent (the restaurant came highly recommended) we weren’t impressed. The tastes of the 5 dishes we had were a bit strange and unexpected and we probably won’t repeat this any time soon.

Finally, we went into a early screening of Alice in Wonderland in 3D in Odeon’s premiere cinema directly at Leicester Square. It was extremely expensive and although we liked the movie it wasn’t that great. Still, it got some stunning visuals and one should probably watch it in a cinema.

Today we had breakfast at the Islington branch of Ottolenghi, which was quite nice. The place, which serves London’s best breakfast (says the Guardian), was quite cool and our orders were delicious. But like most places in London we have visited so far it was extremely crowded and busy—not a place to have a quite and relaxed conversation, or to stay for a couple of hours. 

To sum up, Nina and I had a great, delicious, and very active weekend. Even the weather was quite nice:)


BTW, here’s a map of our tour:

View Larger Map


4hrs and a couple of minutes…

to the Oscars. Nina and I are pretty excited, although unfortunately, we won’t be able to watch it live. So, we’ll need to record it and avoid any kind of media tomorrow (no radio, no internet, no news) until Nina gets home from work and we can watch the show.

So, very quickly and not as fancy as the last time our favorites. Before that a mini disclaimer. First, although we tried everything we weren’t able to watch all movies. Unfortunately, some of our decisions are not based on all the information necessary. Thus, a sorry goes to Mr. Firth, Plummer, and to Mrs. Mirren, who we weren’t able to see. Finally, we are only giving the Oscar in categories where we think we have at least some expertise. We do not know anything about art direction, editing (neither sound nor real) etc.

  • Male leading role:
    • Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (R & N)
  • Female leading role:
    • Sandra Bullock for By Your Side (R)
    • Gabourey Sidibe for Precious (N)
  • Male supporting role:
    • Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds (R & N)
  • Female supporting role:
    • Mo’Nique for Precious (N & R)
  • Best animated film:
    • Coraline (N)
    • The Fantastic Mr. Fox (R)
  • Best director:
    • Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (N)
    • Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds (R)
  • Best music:
    • The Fantastic Mr. Fox (R & N)
  • Best song:
    • The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart
  • Best movie:
    • Avatar (R & N)

In general we had a lot of fun this year with our little Oscar project, although at least I must say that the field last year was tougher. There were more high quality or demanding films out there, I think. However, this year had some really good movies and also some surprises. Perhaps a bit more about the movies we liked after tomorrow, together we a brief Oscar’s wrap up:)

All the best
R & N