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Despite not having yet seen the film, I saw the trailer of a ground-breaking movie back in late October last year (I can say last year now and not think it was yesterday!) and am utterly hooked until it comes out. The film? Cloud Atlas. I am a massive fan of cinema, especially when it comes to setting new boundaries. The Matrix is always to go-to for any word on cinematic history and of course it deserves all its praise. But that was over 10 years ago. What could cinema possibly have up its sleeve now?

To answer that, I’d like to take you back a few years when I was at University still. I had heard of the film Inception but had no idea how much it would influence not only my writing, but my life (perhaps not as dramatic as you may think though). In interviews, director Christopher Nolan admitted his previous films were all practise for his trump card Inception. Practise? Are you sure? Batman The Dark Knight Rises was just practise? Surely not! But it was indeed so, and then Inception was birthed. I remember vividly seeing it for the first time at the IMAX in Southampton. I was utterly bewitched and the ending blew me away. I couldn’t remember the last time cinema had such a profound effect on me, so I went back, again and again, to see if I had missed anything; a small detail perhaps that would unlock its mystery. What I found was even more incredible.

Spoiler alert for those who don’t know the ending of Inception: It didn’t matter. The ending did not matter. This is what probably confused a lot of viewers and, ultimately, put them off. But I found it even more intoxicating. It didn’t matter? How can an ending not even matter? The whole story revolves around Dom Cobb, and throughout we see how tortured he is about leaving his children behind. When we hit the finale and see the kids’ faces brighten up that dad is back, the camera leaves the happy reunion and focusses on the spinning top. Before we can see if this is real or not, the film cuts out and ends! So was it real? Was it a dream within a million other dreams? Simple answer: It doesn’t matter. Why? Because Cobb’s story arch is complete. He believes it to be real, so we have to accept it as reality too. Have to? Well think of it this way, in our own lives, in our own world, we perceive it to be real. But what is reality anyway and how can you prove it? Thinking of the Matrix again? Yep. It simply doesn’t matter.

Cloud Atlas is proving to be another one of those films, where audiences will laugh, love, cry, and go through a roller-coaster ride of emotions until, at the bitter end, when we see how everything and everyone is connected, we accept the lessons and leave the cinema feeling inspired, elated, perhaps even thoughtful. I got the vibe straight away from the trailer, and with such an all star cast, I had to read the book first. I am a mere two thirds of the way through and it is fast becoming my favourite book of all time. The complexities of writing, how the author willingly chose to stick his middle finger up to the world of literary and say ‘This is how I want to present my book! Screw you and your prose-has-to-be-THIS-way nonsense!’ And hats off to you, David Mitchell!

For me, spotting the twist in the plot comes easily, and I am already pretty aware of how all the stories will end, and for that reason I am incredibly excited about the film coming out here in the UK in February. If the author pushed the boundaries, I’m certain it will translate to screen in a similar way. Here’s hoping!

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Don’t you just love celebrities? Movie stars, TV soap actors, singers, auto-tune non-talented singers, I mean there are so many celebrities for so many different reasons it’s no wonder pretty much anyone can have their 15 minutes of fame. I am, without a doubt, a fan of Strictly Come Dancing. I used to do Scottish Highland and Country dancing (I got to the swords, couldn’t get it at all and unfortunately I quit). But I do so love to watch people dance on Strictly. From Foxtrot to the Jive, I always look forward to seeing what the celebs get up to. What do I find most enjoyable? Watching my favourite pro dancers.

Brendan

One of which is Brendan Cole. Apparently he was quite the womaniser and has an ego bigger than Jupiter (I believe NASA is aware of this), but there is something in his energy, his sharpness, his determination. I won’t pretend to know what he’s like, and frankly I don’t care to, I just like watching him dance. Yesterday evening I thought to myself, as my phone went through all the music on shuffle, ‘God, I would so love to dance with Brendan Cole to this song.’ So distracted was I by this thought that I tweeted it. Ah, the power of Twitter. One simple tweet to a celebrity and you feel like you’re somehow conversing with them. Who cares if they don’t immediately get back to you? It’s just lovely to say hi. I must admit, it’s also pretty scary. I’ve seen some fans get rather, well, emotionally attached and thus very fan-girly. It can get rather frightening! I’m more of a ‘I admire you for your work!’ kind of girl as opposed to the ‘HOLY OMG I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!’ Although my tweet was purely for my own amusement, what I didn’t count on was a response.

Tweet

‘Thanks : )’ How utterly adorable. Brendan Cole, pro dancer on Strictly and one of my all time favourites, tweeted me. Me. For two seconds out of his life, he looked at his Twitter account, looked over his many daily tweets (I’m assuming here), saw my comment, and decided to respond to his fan. I won’t deny I was on a high for at least an hour about it, but it made me wonder… Do celebrities realise how much ‘power’ they truly have?

x men

I don’t mean like an X-Men power, or the power  to dominate all life, but the power to make someone’s day with one simple gesture. I wonder, do they realise it? I admire Brendan’s dancing and he has real flair, for a simple ‘Thanks : )’ it made the rest of the evening awesome. Can’t rain on my parade tonight, Brendan said thanks. How sad! And yet, if your favourite celebrity acknowledged you for two seconds, I guarantee you’d be the same. Having said that, my dad met Eric Clapton. In a bar. In Russia. Dad was already at the bar, when a man sat nearby. He looked over, as you would, and instead of a random person, it was Eric Clapton. They had a nice chat, since the bodyguards practically sealed the entrance from fans or media coming in. I’m sure my dad felt awesome for a while after! And how nice of Clapton to take time to, not boast around saying ‘Oh look at me, I’m a celebrity don’t you know!’, instead take a minute to just chill out and have a human conversation.

At the end of the day, that’s what we all are. I’m no celebrity and have no intention of becoming one, but it’s nice to make a little good for someone else. I like doing kind things for strangers in the hope I can brighten their day. Even just a little. Like Brendan did for me.

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What I find fascinating about people is their obsession and intrigue of other humans. I mean they don’t call it Bieber fever for nothing. I’m pretty sure everyone has an idol; someone who they respect for producing something interesting, for singing, dancing, being an all round awesome person. And they don’t necessarily have to be of celebrity status. It could be your father, mother, brother, sister, etc. So what makes people so special?

Well isn’t that up to interpretation, taste and personal likes? For instance, I am a fan of 80’s band Toto. A big fan. I have all their albums, been to two concerts and met the lead guitarist Steve Lukather. Yep. I’m serious. Met him. In the flesh. I don’t remember much about it; this was about five years ago, in Manchester, UK, after the concert itself had finished. I don’t really remember much because of another factor. I was absolutely mind numbingly star struck. This man plays the guitar like it’s child’s play. And he’s attractive (Insert odd fact about Dee: Can be attracted to older men). Though the picture does neither one of us justice. At all…

Steve Lukather and 19 year old me. I had long hair once?

So as you can see, I’m white as a sheet. Meeting him was a dream come true. But he’s just a human, like me. He’s an ordinary person who gets up every morning, who eats, reads the news, listens to music, and has fun. Only difference is he, to me, is the god of 80’s guitar. I will always remember his kiss on my hand, prickly from his short beard, rough from age. I’ll remember him squeezing my shoulder and giving me a cuddle, the smell of leather and smoke still as clear to me now as I write as it was when it happened. That moment, as short as it was, will always be in my memory for that day I met my idol.

Can you have more than one idol, though? Or a list of people you simply admire? If you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you will have seen that I have met another two idols, two people who I admire, Toby Turner and Seth Hendrix, also a chance meeting and also very short. But these sweet little moments are nuggets of gold to me. For these people, in their own way, have shaped, and are still shaping, who I am.

I find it odd how mere moments can have such a big impact on your life, but probably has very little impact on theirs. Lukather in particular must have met thousands of fans. Who am I but a pale, ghostly specced geek of 19, to him? And now, short haired Tobuscus slap bracelet wearing 24 year old to Toby and Seth? But that doesn’t matter much to me at all. And I thank my lucky stars I had the opportunity to spend a few moments with Steve Lukather, Toby Turner and Seth Hendrix.

Who knows, maybe I’ll meet Gary Oldman one day?

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