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14 March 2012 @ 10:44 am
Adventures of the second generation media fan, continued...  
A rather normal Tuesday afternoon at Casa Bimo, roughly about 5 o'clock. BimoDad comes in, they both have coffee and apple pie, chatting about this and that. After a while BimoDad gets up from the coffee table, walks over to Bimo's TV set and grabs a S1 box set of Boston Legal lying on top of the DVD player. The following dialog ensues...

BimoDad: Oh, Boston Legal! Daughter, please don't tell me you actually bought this?
Bimo: Well, I didn't. Cavendish did.
BimoDad (frowning): Well...
Bimo: We've just watched the first bunch of episodes and to tell the truth, we rather like it so far. You think it's rubbish?
BimoDad: Not at all. Shatner's brilliant. And that guy who was Daniel Jackson in the original [Stargate] movie is great, too. [A small pause, more frowning, though BimoDad appears rather amused] You two really should have learned by now.
Bimo: What?
BimoDad: To come to me first. I've got all seasons on DVD. This is just like the Farscape incident...

During the minutes that followed I had trouble stopping my father, in his enthusiasm, from giving away some important S1 plot developments and thus spoiling me, as we really are just a bunch of episodes into the show.


Oh, and on matters completely unrelated to this: I just got a reply from the ZDF broadcasting station regarding my inquiry about the brief Robert Gwisdek feature I was interested in but cannot watch/record myself for technical reasons:


Sehr geehrte Frau Bimo RealName,

vielen Dank für Ihr Schreiben.

"Abgeschminkt - Robert Gwisdek" 22.03.2012

Leider können wir ihnen erst dann ein Angebot machen, wenn die Sendung ausgestrahlt wurde.
Wir bitten sie deshalb ihre Anfrage erst dann zu starten.


Thank you for that non-answer folks. (They basically said, they can't get back to me/make any offer before the feature's been broadcast.) All I wanted was to know in advance if I can simply obtain a copy via the ZDF of if I have to try finding someone in my circle of friends/relatives who can record the feature for me.

ETA: The ZDF people just got back to me. Yup, apparently it's possible to obtain a copy from them. Yeah! :-)

This entry was originally posted at http://bimo.dreamwidth.org/52779.html. Comment there or here, as you like. I'd be glad to reply to your comments over on DW.
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
Kathyhkathyh on March 14th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
I've got all seasons on DVD.

LOL! That's perfect! We've sometimes borrowed films on DVD from my parents but never a TV series.

We've got the first series of Boston Legal on DVD too, but haven't managed to get round to watching it yet, along with many other things.

Glad you can get a copy of your feature :)
Bimo: Mug_collectorsbimo on March 15th, 2012 08:54 am (UTC)
We've got the first series of Boston Legal on DVD too, but haven't managed to get round to watching it yet, along with many other things.

Oh, yes, the grand DVD waiting queue... .Methinks, I'm quite familiar with that particular phenomenon ;-)

Glad you can get a copy of your feature :)

It's rather amazing what TV stations will do for you these days, isn't? Especially as the feature in question is such a minor one, approximately twenty minutes of running time, interesting but not exactly widely known actor... . Maybe it's a bit silly to feel happy about such a little thing but the ZDF getting back to me totally made my day *g*
diotimah on March 15th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
Amazing.;) And good to hear you can get the copy from ZDF.:)
Bimo: Mug_collectorsbimo on March 15th, 2012 09:17 am (UTC)
Well, what can I say. He's my dad, fan of everything sci-fi (books, TV, movies) and quite the one or the other rather obscure thing *g*. During the late 1980s he went out of his way to provide his this teenage daughter with orginal English language Star Trek tapes, both TOS and TNG, so a good deal of my language skills are owed to Captain Picard ;-)

And good to hear you can get the copy from ZDF.:)

Aw, thank you! The ZDF getting back to me totally made my day, especially since it's such a marginal little feature programm, and the actor in question, talented as he may be, not exactly well-known in fannish circles... (under normal circumstances, asking fellow fans would be one of the first things I'd do in such a situation).
diotimah on March 15th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
"Well, what can I say. He's my dad, fan of everything sci-fi (books, TV, movies) and quite the one or the other rather obscure thing *g*."

Sounds wonderful.;)

"During the late 1980s he went out of his way to provide his this teenage daughter with orginal English language Star Trek tapes, both TOS and TNG, so a good deal of my language skills are owed to Captain Picard ;-)"

Well, watching TV series in the original version is certainly one of the best strategies to learn a foreign language.*g*

"Aw, thank you! The ZDF getting back to me totally made my day, especially since it's such a marginal little feature programm, and the actor in question, talented as he may be, not exactly well-known in fannish circles... (under normal circumstances, asking fellow fans would be one of the first things I'd do in such a situation)."

Yes, of course. Btw, what's so interesting about that guy? Is there a particular movie or series he was in?;)



Edited at 2012-03-15 01:48 pm (UTC)
Bimo: Obi_povbimo on March 16th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
Btw, what's so interesting about that guy? Is there a particular movie or series he was in?;).

Series? Well, except for one or two minor guest roles in Tatort, no. At least not according to his filmography over at the German Wiki. However, he's played smallish to larger parts in quite a few movies during he last couple of years, his most memorable performance so far being the main character in a surprisingly endearing and witty mixture between 'coming of age' story, 'ménage à trois' and disability drama called Renn, Wenn Du Kannst. (Which is basically how Gwisdek caught my attention. Beware of aimless channel hopping on Friday nights, you never know what obscure but fascinating to watch movies you will stumble across! ;-))

While the movie itself is good, though not entirely flawless, the way Gwisdek is handling the portrayal of a sharp-witted but emotionally very much lost quadriplegic is impressive. So, clearly one of our more talented young actors, in my opinion. (He's the son of Corinna Harfouch and Michael Gwisdek, btw, so the profession seems to be running in the family.)

What makes him interesting enough for me to write to the ZDF, however, is the fact that in his interviews he tends to come across as a genuinely thoughtful, original and highly creative person. In addition to his acting he is also involved in a slightly weird musical project (HipHop?Rap?) that strikes me as being somewhere between "a type of music usually so not my cup of tea that I don't even know its proper name" and brilliantly bizarre performance art video installations with rather unique lyrics. (Often circling around the relationship between individual, identity and society, in a rap song, for heaven's sake.)

So I figured watching a feature about the guy might be kind of nice...

Edited at 2012-03-16 07:18 pm (UTC)
diotimah on March 17th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info.:) He really seems like an interesting guy. I vaguely remember to have seen his in some movie or series, but I'm not quite sure where. May well have been a Tatort at some point.;)

I haven't watched Renn, wenn Du kannst jetzt, but it seems like a great movie. Reminds me a bit of the French movie Intouchables, which I still want to see, and also of Inside I'm Dancing, which I found very touching.:)
Bimo: Swann_oldbiebimo on March 18th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Inside I'm Dancing, which I found very touching.:)

Heh, Inside I'm Dancing was one of the movies Amazon.de recced to me right after I had ordered my DVD of Renn, Wenn Du Kannst. So apparently the reccomendation algorithms over at Amazon know what they are doing ;-)

I must hasten to add, though, that I find recommendations/reviews coming from friendly fellow humans far more preferable! :-)
diotimah on March 18th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
"Heh, Inside I'm Dancing was one of the movies Amazon.de recced to me right after I had ordered my DVD of Renn, Wenn Du Kannst. So apparently the reccomendation algorithms over at Amazon know what they are doing ;-)"

Yes, absolutely. I've often found them really useful, in fact. I remember, some years ago, to have read an article about the Amazon rec system being the closest thing we have to an artificial intelligence.*g*

"I must hasten to add, though, that I find recommendations/reviews coming from friendly fellow humans far more preferable! :-)"

Yes, absolutely. On that note, you may like Verrückt nach Paris, a wonderful politically incorrect film about disabled characters.
Bimo: Mug_collectorsbimo on March 21st, 2012 09:46 am (UTC)
"Politically incorrect" sounds good in my ears, and while I certainly didn't start out this way, I seem to appreciate political incorrectness more and more, the older I get. In real life as well as online I tend to be a rather moderate, somewhat risk-avoidant person (the old Adenauer slogan "Keine Experimente" would probably apply ;-)). However, quite a few experiences from the last couple of years have tipped me over to the slightly subversive side, emphasis on "slightly", though ;-).

Whenever I find myself enjoying/appreciating a piece about disabled characters, I think that the key is some sort of truthfulness, emotional and artistic honesty, or at least the attempt thereof (which more often than not actually causes me to dislike disability dramas, especially if they are of the overwrought saccharine hollywodian type).

I guess I'm just a sucker for the human condition in general :-)

diotimah on March 21st, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
""Politically incorrect" sounds good in my ears, and while I certainly didn't start out this way, I seem to appreciate political incorrectness more and more, the older I get."

LOL. Same here. Always very much depends on the attitude, though. I like my "political incorrectness" to be direct, honest and provocative, but never really mean.;)

"In real life as well as online I tend to be a rather moderate, somewhat risk-avoidant person (the old Adenauer slogan "Keine Experimente" would probably apply ;-)). However, quite a few experiences from the last couple of years have tipped me over to the slightly subversive side, emphasis on "slightly", though ;-)."

Good to hear.;) And yeah, I'm rather risk-avoidant myself, and more likely to say nothing than risk saying the wrong thing ...

"Whenever I find myself enjoying/appreciating a piece about disabled characters, I think that the key is some sort of truthfulness, emotional and artistic honesty, or at least the attempt thereof (which more often than not actually causes me to dislike disability dramas, especially if they are of the overwrought saccharine hollywodian type)."

Yes, indeed! Unfortunately, many works that employ disabled characters "abuse" them in some way, either (if it's a minor character) just as a tool to illustrate how nice/unconventional/courageous/tolerant/open etc. the main character is, or they use a disability as a shorthand to represent someone as bitter and/or a villain, or use the disability in some other reductive way as a metaphor. If a disabled character is actually the protagonist, traditional narratives are all too often about a miraculous cure, or they are sentimental overcoming narratives (of the religious, spiritual or secular variety) about belief, willpower etc. There is a great book about the representation of disability in girl's fiction, which you can find here: http://www.amazon.de/Take-Thy-Bed-Walk-Disability/dp/0704346516 .

I totally agree about the criteria you apply for "good" disability fiction. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I am so fond of Byron's fragment drama The Deformed Transformed, on which I wrote my MA thesis. Incredibly modern for those times.:)

"I guess I'm just a sucker for the human condition in general :-)"

*Absolutely!*
Bimo: Fivey_bookishbimo on March 22nd, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
There is a great book about the representation of disability in girl's fiction, which you can find here:

I just went over to Amazon and checked it out. Intriguing stuff, just like the subject of your MA thesis!

(My own one was of the more exotic kind, Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Moderne und Tradition: Die Darstellung des Exotischen in den Filmen Harry Piels, as I'm actually a historian specialized in early 20th century socio-cultural and British colonial history. Brit lit originally started out as a mere second subject for me, but evolved into a fully-fledged hobby that I feel rather passionate about. I don't know if I told you that particular tidbit when we met at selenak's birthday in Bamberg, there were so many wonderful people I talked to during that weekend, and by now the memory of what I spoke about with whom has started to blur a little ;-))

Byron is one of the authors I really ought to read up on, as I mainly focused on modern and postmodern literature.

more likely to say nothing than risk saying the wrong thing ...

*Sigh* Oh, how do I know the feeling... I actually believe that this tendency is exactly what keeps me from updating my journal more often. The three or four posts that I've have made this month almost feel like a spamming spree to me. One of the new year's resolutions I've made for 2012 is to be a bit more outgoing and open again in my online life with regard to the interesting and/or fascinating things that I stumble across :-)

diotimah on March 22nd, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
I just went over to Amazon and checked it out. Intriguing stuff, just like the subject of your MA thesis!

Thanks. *beams* So does that of yours, btw. I'm not flattering, as indeed I remember our conversation about it at selenak's birthday very well (really, it was a wonderful day, and a chance to meet so many exciting people:)). Germany's colonial past, and the ways in which it was dealt with in movies, both before and after the loss of the colonies, is a fascinating field, and indeed a subject that I imagine would make an great book. Apropos: last year I watched some really interesting movies on (post-)colonial Africa shown for the 175th anniversary of the Norddeutsche Mission, which you can find here: http://www.taz.de/1/archiv/print-archiv/printressorts/digi-artikel/?ressort=ku&dig=2011%2F05%2F05%2Fa0044&cHash=b84d2fce2c . Is your MA in Media Studies, btw? Or in History?

Nice to hear you enjoy Brit lit. If you're into postmodern experimental literature, in fact I expect you'll love Byron, particularly his Don Juan and The Vision of Judgment.;)

One of the new year's resolutions I've made for 2012 is to be a bit more outgoing and open again in my online life with regard to the interesting and/or fascinating things that I stumble across :-)

Same here. In fact, I think I'll just try and write some entries myself rather than just reply to others.*g*

Edited at 2012-03-22 01:55 pm (UTC)
diotimah on March 22nd, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
PS: do you know this?:)
Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on March 25th, 2012 10:03 am (UTC)
First of all, lots of thanks for the interesting links! It's amazing what you can find online these days, and the disseration regarding the reception of Weimar cinema in South Africa is just the kind of material that I'm interested in! :-) While my MA is indeed an MA in history (yeah, I know, less glamourous and trendy, but we know how to juggle all the nasty little details *g*) I've been closely involved with film history ever since I did a summer internship at the DIF Frankfurt back in 2003, helping out with an international reserach and digitalization project regarding film-censorship during the time of the Weimar republic.

Most non-historians have no idea how incredibly late most historians discovered 19th and 20th century media as a valid historical source, for example a highly recommendable introductory key work such as Jens Jäger's Photographie: Bilder der Neuzeit, Einführung in die Historische Bildforschung was published as late as 2000.

In fact, I think I'll just try and write some entries myself rather than just reply to others.*g*

Oh, please do so! I'd be very much looking forward to that! :-)
diotimah on March 25th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
First of all, lots of thanks for the interesting links! It's amazing what you can find online these days, and the disseration regarding the reception of Weimar cinema in South Africa is just the kind of material that I'm interested in! :-)

I'm delighted to hear that.:) The author has also turned his thesis into a book, and has published some other interesting stuff on film history.

While my MA is indeed an MA in history (yeah, I know, less glamourous and trendy, but we know how to juggle all the nasty little details *g*)

Yes, I know. History was my second subject at uni, and I kind of consider myself as a cultural historian.:)

I've been closely involved with film history ever since I did a summer internship at the DIF Frankfurt back in 2003, helping out with an international reserach and digitalization project regarding film-censorship during the time of the Weimar republic.

Thanks for the link. Looks like an amazing project and a great place to work. Are you still working in film history?

Most non-historians have no idea how incredibly late most historians discovered 19th and 20th century media as a valid historical source,

Yes, indeed. They were really slow in taking such material seriously. Thanks for the recommendation.:)

Oh, please do so! I'd be very much looking forward to that! :-)

Thank you.:) I'll be thinking about something interesting and suitable for the opening entry.;)

Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on March 29th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
Heh, cultural historian is exactly what I'd call myself as well, because I find the term is the most suited one to describe my training and fields of knowledge. Back when I was still at university I often realised how my subjects were overlapping each other in fascinating ways. Knowing your way around Irish history when doing a seminar about Joyce's Dubliners, for example, was just priceless and a huge advantage ;-)

Are you still working in film history?

Not really, I'm afraid. At least not as much as I'd like to. I still do a bit of volunteer work for a nearby Filmmuseum, but that work is mostly archival in nature. What I do mostly these days is teaching adult education English courses at a local VHS and another, however church-run institution. A completely different kind of thing, but fun and in many ways also very rewarding.

The last official and actually reasonably paid gig I had as a historian was in 2010/2011 when I spent a year as a research assistant at a major German company archive, digging through heaps of historical documents related to the development of the Rhine-Ruhr area as an industrial region. Just in case you are wondering how I got there, since industrial history sounds such a far shot from where I'm coming... . Well, basically through a CV involving longer archive internships and my willingness and ability to deal with hundreds of pages written in Sütterlin and Kurrent. Apparently not every historian has that sort of stamina ;-)

Edited at 2012-03-29 10:02 am (UTC)
diotimah on March 29th, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
Heh, cultural historian is exactly what I'd call myself as well, because I find the term is the most suited one to describe my training and fields of knowledge. Back when I was still at university I often realised how my subjects were overlapping each other in fascinating ways.

Indeed. I completely agree on this, and am all in favour of interdisciplinary approaches.:)

At least not as much as I'd like to. I still do a bit of volunteer work for a nearby Filmmuseum, but that work is mostly archival in nature. What I do mostly these days is teaching adult education English courses at a local VHS and another, however church-run institution. A completely different kind of thing, but fun and in many ways also very rewarding.

Good to hear you're enjoying it.:) Did you need any formal qualification to get into that, btw, or was the MA sufficient? And did you have any teaching experience before they hired you?

And yeah, finding suitable work as a historian/literary scholar is just *so* tough - and often, to a large extent, based on luck, in my experience.

The last official and actually reasonably paid gig I had as a historian was in 2010/2011 when I spent a year as a research assistant at a major German company archive, digging through heaps of historical documents related to the development of the Rhine-Ruhr area as an industrial region. Just in case you are wondering how I got there, since industrial history sounds such a far shot from where I'm coming... . Well, basically through a CV involving longer archive internships and my willingness and ability to deal with hundreds of pages written in Sütterlin and Kurrent. Apparently not every historian has that sort of stamina ;-)

LOL. Indeed. Although I can imagine such a job can be quite fun. How did you find it, btw? Through this website? And have you ever thought about training as an archivist? With your experience both in archival and museum work, I imagine you might be quite a strong candidate in both fields.:)
Bimo: Julian_gaghbimo on April 17th, 2012 12:41 pm (UTC)
No comment reply left behind ... ;-)
Just to let you know I've finally discovered your latest comment from March 29th :-)

Apparently Mozilla Thunderbird categorized the incoming comment notification from LJ as spam, so it got filtered right into my junk folder... Arghh!

Will reply properly as soon as I've got some undisturbed online time.

Bimo
diotimah on April 17th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Re: No comment reply left behind ... ;-)
Will reply properly as soon as I've got some undisturbed online time.

Okay. Always good to hear from you.:)
Bimobimo on April 26th, 2012 09:29 am (UTC)
Phew, finally... Me, my computer and, most importantly, a couple of minutes that don't feel rushed or interrupted by husbands, cocker spaniels or phone calls... :-)

Did you need any formal qualification to get into that, btw, or was the MA sufficient? And did you have any teaching experience before they hired you?

Well, basically I'd say that the MA was sufficient for getting started with the Familienbildungswerk, since their hiring standards aren't as high as the VHS ones and they generally tend to be more open to people coming from other career paths. When I sent my application to the FBW, I guess what did the trick was a combination of a) them being in need of an English course instructor old and sympathetic enough not to alienate the elder segment of their target group (i.e. 50+) and b) me having had a little bit of previous teaching experience. Nothing big, though. Just private coaching lessons for pupils, and also occasionally stepping in as a substitute in a private "English for Seniors" class that used to be run by my husband.

As for the VHS: Definitely more qualifications needed than with the FBW. No idea about their actual standards, but they seem to expect either a proper didactic training, or at least a certain minimum of previous teaching experience in combination with participation in their own "Fortbildungsprogramm für Kursleiter" (which is exactly what I did, I applied for one of their training programs after having had about two years of FBW classes under my belt).

And have you ever thought about training as an archivist? With your experience both in archival and museum work, I imagine you might be quite a strong candidate in both fields.:)

Not really. It's one of those career changes that sound nice in theory but are less appealing once you make yourself familiar with the actual job prospects. Put in a nutshell, the very same museums which aren't hiring historians are also not hiring properly trained archivists. My company archive research gig was more or less due to an unplanned strike of luck, a clear case of speaking to the right person at the right moment when all I actually wanted was to enquire if sending them an unsolicited application for an internship would make any sense at all. You should have seen me squee when my later boss told me on the phone that no, he was sorry, they didn't offer any internships for graduates as a rule, but he would like to invite me for an interview anyway.

Trust me, I'd never be ambitious and daring enough to systematically check H-Soz-u-Kult for career options, even though their site is so very tempting and brilliant :-)
diotimah on April 28th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your thorough reply.:)

Well, basically I'd say that the MA was sufficient for getting started with the Familienbildungswerk, since their hiring standards aren't as high as the VHS ones and they generally tend to be more open to people coming from other career paths.

That's good to know. I'm thinking about getting into language teaching, but don't have a formal teaching qualification, although I worked as a tutor of both English and History at uni, and enjoyed it. However, I see language teaching more as a field in which I could work part-time, rather than a full-time career option (at least for the time being), and wouldn't want to spend years on getting a pedagogical degree. Particularly as I'm sure I don't want to work as a school teacher (otherwise, I'd have taken this path much earlier - I'm not really "cut out" for that).

When I sent my application to the FBW, I guess what did the trick was a combination of a) them being in need of an English course instructor old and sympathetic enough not to alienate the elder segment of their target group (i.e. 50+) and b) me having had a little bit of previous teaching experience. Nothing big, though. Just private coaching lessons for pupils, and also occasionally stepping in as a substitute in a private "English for Seniors" class that used to be run by my husband.

Yeah, I think that's just the combination that can potentially get you started. But of course, you always need that little bit of luck added to the mix as well.;)

As for the VHS: Definitely more qualifications needed than with the FBW. No idea about their actual standards, but they seem to expect either a proper didactic training, or at least a certain minimum of previous teaching experience in combination with participation in their own "Fortbildungsprogramm für Kursleiter"

Yes, I've read about their own programme. And they definitely want you to have either *lots* of experience or some kind of language teaching qualification before they hire you. I've recently been thinking about getting a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), which you can do in two months, but it is quite costly, and I'm not sure how far this would really help, and be worth the effort.

Not really. It's one of those career changes that sound nice in theory but are less appealing once you make yourself familiar with the actual job prospects. Put in a nutshell, the very same museums which aren't hiring historians are also not hiring properly trained archivists.

Absolutely. As it happens, I did some research into this myself, but, as far as the "interesting" jobs are concerned, both fields are *insanely* competitive. Also, the realities of both archival and museum work are usually much more "prosaic" than you would imagine, and there is often little room for research and independent work. It's also become more difficult in recent years (plus, conditions have become worse), in my impression.

My company archive research gig was more or less due to an unplanned strike of luck, a clear case of speaking to the right person at the right moment when all I actually wanted was to enquire if sending them an unsolicited application for an internship would make any sense at all.

:) It often comes down to this, imho.

You should have seen me squee when my later boss told me on the phone that no, he was sorry, they didn't offer any internships for graduates as a rule, but he would like to invite me for an interview anyway.

:)


Trust me, I'd never be ambitious and daring enough to systematically check H-Soz-u-Kult for career options, even though their site is so very tempting and brilliant :-)

Yeah. It's usually wonderful jobs, but at the same time *very* imtimidating, because there are so few of them - and again, the person specifications are often quite frightening.

Edited at 2012-04-29 12:41 pm (UTC)