Directed by David Cronenberg


Maps to the Stars is uncomfortable and jolting from the very first frame. Things seem off, the actors are stagey and the production values poor and overly ventilated, like a bad soap opera. It’s not that David Cronenberg’s film is underfunded, badly made or profusely fake—it’s that its too real, too honest, all at once and without any buffer time for comfortable, slow immersion into its world of lack. Whilst nearly every other film this season begs us to suspend our regular emotional functions and indulge in the cagey prospect of emotional connection, Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner instead proffer an unnerving cast of hollow, indulgent, utterly reprehensible lost souls, not a shred of decency between them, and invite us to watch them fight over scraps of acute celebrity. Screw relatability: this scathing vivisection of tinseltown and its desperate, crawling narcissists is one of the most insular and intolerant criticisms of showbusiness since Robert Altman’s The Player. Hollywood eats itself, and the pleasure is all ours.

Stars align and bloodlines whirl together as the circular story takes on an eerie, Oedipal complexion: the young and disfigured Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Hollywood at the beckoning of Twitter acquaintance Carrie Fisher (playing herself), befriends chauffeur Jerome (Robert Pattinson), and lands a PA job with fading star Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore). Segrand is working the industry with all the connections at her disposal to land the role of her own late movie-star mother in a remake of one of her most famous films. She shares an agent with bratty Bieber-esque sitcom child-star Benjie (Evan Bird), who, after a stint in rehab at the ripe age of thirteen, enters negotiations alongside Mom-ager Christina (Olivia Williams) to make a sequel to lucrative comedy Bad Babysitter. Benjie’s beloved daddy, television psychologist Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) is also Havana’s massage therapist, extracting emotional discharge from the pressure points only supreme narcissists seem to have.

The script by Bruce Wagner, filled with vile dialogue and unbounded wickedness, was based on his experiences as a young chauffeur at the Beverly Hills Hotel two decades ago. This updated version, perhaps still a touch naive in certain spots, is given life by a director who has brushed closer to Hollywood than he might have liked. Indeed, most of the players involved are not without their proximity to the operators that they so lasciviously portray, and entrusted with this irony, this insider knowledge of the business, they bring their vacant roles to life with absolute conviction. Maps pairs up well with Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis (2011), but we needn’t pry to find its real entry point into the formidable body-horror director’s oeuvre. Central to Maps is Agatha, the acrimonious burns victim whose scars render her redundant to the glamorous stars she clamours around. She’s advantageous of her handicap, using it to wriggle inconspicuously through the incestuous web of celebrities—too busy bickering over roles—to get up close to the estranged family who haplessly exiled her.

Cronenberg’s career-long examination of the way bodily mutation and inscription affects the psychology of the individual and their placement within social formations—be it Russian gangsters in Eastern Promises or underground torture-porn enthusiasts in Videodrome—continues here, as he dissects tabloid notions of beauty and reveals amorality and psychotic distress at the core of those who embody it. For Segrand and Benjie, the stars most important to the constellation of secondary characters, beauty (and they are both considered attractive within the world of the film) is punished with moral ugliness and psychotic decay. Segrand is haunted by visions of her mother, Benjie by a young girl he visited in hospital on an obligatory Make-A-Wish style visit. And yet the deformed Agatha, the evasive schizophrenic forced into black slips and rubber gloves that hide her burns, is able to wind through Hollywood, enacting a plan that remains elusive until the last scene, free from the internal turmoil of her privileged opponents.

Like most good Cronenberg films, the film’s pleasures are not reserved for erudite viewers; the pulpy, skin-deep drama of its pathetic players is like pantomime for cynics. Not a single character in Maps to the Stars would be proud of the film they star in—which is perhaps the greatest compliment I could pay it. Evan Bird is callow and difficult to watch, perhaps because he’s making his own debut as a very experienced young character, but the performances elsewhere are harrowing and rich, and always, above all else, tragically funny. Olivia Williams is a fright as Benjie’s fretful mother, Wasikowska brilliant, as always, as the mysterious Agatha, and Pattinson unexpectedly depreciating. Julianne Moore won the Best Actress palm at Cannes this year, and she’d win the Oscar too were the Academy not the antithesis of this film’s values. Awarding her would be tantamount to bludgeoning themselves with the trophy. She is horrific and electrifying—unlike and more capable than any other working actress in the the performance she gives here as Havana Segrand. In her lineage of hollow, emotional characters navigating age and the haze of prescription drug addiction, Segrand is Moore’s most challenging role yet, and she makes every line simultaneously a despicable whinge and a desperate cry. Moore’s gift is in ensuring that we’re never tempted to reach out and help her.

Like hearing somebody talk and knowing that every word they’re saying is a lie, the discourse between film and audience is uniquely calibrated to exclude emotional involvement. We don’t see it the same way we see regular movies, in a self-contained world severed from reality, a bottled storm of emotions with shaded characters and drama and direction. Cronenberg draws back the curtain—to use a phrase that finally seems fitting—and allows us to watch this ridiculous ensemble as they flounder without a script that cares whether they’re sympathetic or even particularly complex. The emotional exchange of conventional movies is replaced with a pure, voyeuristic pleasure of seeing the morally devoid suffer. As they clamour for something as immaterial as fame, you might smirk in knowing that celebrity is not at all a privilege, but a detriment, and that the cavernous world of the rich and famous is a hellish one far removed from yours. What comes as a surprise is the humility in knowing that the next time you step into a cinema and open up that little pocket of empathy reserved for characters of fiction, you’re exercising a quality that is not for everyone a certitude, but in fact an honourable quality.


Maps to the Stars is screening as part of the PIAF Lotterywest Festival Films program. Session times and ticketing information here.

Directed by Dan Gilroy


Jake Gyllenhaal pilfers from Travis Bickle, Norman Bates and Peeping Tom‘s Mark Lewis and funnels their distinctive qualities into Lou Bloom, his own nihilistic rogue who, in Nightcrawler, gets a kick out of filming crime scenes and selling the horrific footage to morning news broadcasters. With a slick, gaunt figure that pronounces his performance awards season-ready, Gyllenhaal slithers through this unrelentingly dark and jittery film without a trace of empathy. It’s backdrop is a city that seems singularly imagined in the milieu of Hollywood movies: smoggy, neon-drenched L.A. by night, crime on every corner and crawling with creeps and reprobates. Bloom’s job is to scan the police radio and locate the crimes important enough to film—”If it bleeds, it leads.”

If he wasn’t so concerned with his audience enjoying themselves, writer-director Dan Gilroy might have had a bona-fide psychological thriller on his hands—as well as a potent indictment of the crumbling news media—but he flings the camera around the material to make the script’s darkness bearable—palpable. The undisciplined camera direction leaves the material with plenty of room to breathe, and so it often looks like a second-rate independent film but reads like an existential nightmare. The uptake is that the film is loads of fun, and you can safely walk away from Nightcrawler thrilled, grinning, and relatively unmarred, but almost certainly having compromised the culpability that Peeping TomPsycho and Taxi Driver ensured came surreptitiously blended in with their appeal. Nightcrawler‘s script, by Gilroy, is certainly worthy of a more mannered, formally aware treatment.

But, in his unscrupulous visual style, Gilroy has opened up a space for his actors to dominate the film, and they do. Gyllenhaal gives a performance that simmers, his controlled, platitudinous demeanour and creepy, crooked smile covering up the destructive amorality at Bloom’s core. When the consequences of his heedless, attentive devotion to filming crime arise, he remains stoically invested in his work, and his wide-eyed grin becomes menacing without having to explode into Patrick Bateman-esque madness. As endearing and often well-intentioned accomplices, Riz Ahmed and Rene Russo are terrific. Ahmed’s washed-out stoner on the brink of homelessness is the film’s sympathetic core, whilst Russo’s despicable producer finds solace in Lou Bloom’s soulless, methodical approach to news. She shares the edict that the best news dramatises the fears of the rich and the white into shallow, paranoia-induced ratings. They’re both invigorated when Bloom pushes them beyond their limits, thrilled by his recumbent morality, and yet when he surpasses them they’re left empty-handed, reduced to players in a mindless game, filled with shame, egos bloodied and battered.

Nightcrawler doesn’t accumulate to the stinging indictment of the news media that it has the potential to be, but its scruffiness, its blunted edges and redolent, sullied aesthetic, are admirable allowances made by a first-time director who is, above all else, concerned with his audience enjoying themselves. Whilst I can’t profess to feeling any great sense of artistry in Nightcrawler, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t leave the cinema feeling dirtied by its thrills. Gilroy, like Bloom, takes us to a point that we’d be uncomfortable to go to in a film of higher pedigree—perhaps the fact that L.A.’s conglomerate-led moral vacancy is made surprisingly enjoyable is as much a reflective indictment on audience values and viewing practises than Nightcrawler‘s fluorescent inferno need ever be.


Nightcrawler is out now.

finding fela2

Fela Kuti in ‘Finding Fela!’

The folks at beloved local institution RTRFM are stepping out from behind the airwaves to bring their annual music documentary film festival back to Luna Leederville’s screens following a successful first year. Apart from being Australia’s only music documentary festival,Gimme Some Truth’ also has the distinction of holding three Australian premieres and two world premieres in its eight feature program, distinguishing itself from from the hordes of second-rate doco festivals by sticking to the credo of quality over quantity.

Australian documentarian Alan Hicks’ Keep on Keepin’ On, a portrait of ailing unsung jazz legend Clark Terry and his relationship with a 23-year-old blind protege, was yesterday placed on the Academy’s coveted fifteen-strong documentary shortlist, as well as the National Board of Review’s documentary top five—an obvious must-see. It screens Saturday December 6 at Luna’s Outdoor screen, which will officially re-open in time for the festival. Nickolas Dylan Rossi’s Heaven Adores You filters the life and music of Elliott Smith through the various cities he lived in throughout his short, melancholy life, whilst One9’s Nas: Time is Illmatic, fresh from MIFF, looks back on the iconic, game-changing hip-hop album with invigorating access to the artist and his family and friends.

'Keep on Keepin' On'

‘Keep on Keepin’ On’

The surest sign that a documentary festival knows its stuff is the appearance of an Alex Gibney film on its lineup. His documentaries—Taxi from the Dark Side, Mea Maxima Culpa and We Steal Secrets amongst them—are identifiable for their political charge, incisive criticism and comprehensive detail, and Finding Fela!, his first music doco, doesn’t abandon these principles. The film attempts to encapsulate the wild and irrepressible political spirit of the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and if there’s anyone equipped to take on this wildly intimidating task, it’s Gibney.

nas time is illmatic

‘Nas: Time is Illmatic’

Those present at last year’s feature Fridey at the Hydey will know the feeling of beaming pride in seeing local culture explored on screen by talented Western Australian filmmakers. This year, local filmmaker and Curtin film department staffer Kenta McGrath premieres No Encore, his document of avant-garde ensemble Decibel’s south-west tour. It promises curious humour and bizzare, enigmatic music wrapped into a formally inventive style; these appeals notwithstanding, No Encore‘s screening is also a rare opportunity to throw your support behind a truly independent local film, and to glimpse it on the big screen at a world premiere.

As well as these highlights, there are plenty of other features to check out at ‘Gimme Some Truth’. The festival runs for one week at Luna Leederville from Friday 5th December. Session times and ticketing details here. Check back on LoadedFilm for continued coverage.

Directed by Ridley Scott

exodus gods and kings

When Moses (Christian Bale) first learns of his furtive origins in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, he turns to Hebrew elder Nun (Ben Kingsley) and grouses, “It’s not even a good story.” On the contrary, the tale of the Abrahamic prophet and his journey from rags to riches and back again is filled with mythic potential, but it’s also familiar and well-worn, desperately in need of revision if it’s to compete with a crowded holiday release schedule, not to mention a plethora of other swords-and-sandals epics that graced (and too often maimed) the screen this year: Hercules, Noah, Pompeii, 300: Rise of an Empire. If audiences have anything left to give to these tired biblical epics (this one sporting a hefty 3D entry fee), they’re not exactly showing it. Enter Ridley Scott, Oscar-winning director of Gladiator, once celebrated for his ability to convey cinematic worlds that arrived fully fleshed, bringing depth and originality to stories that fit the prototypical eighties blockbuster mould without compromising on style or pandering to mindlessness. If the story of Moses and the slaves of Egypt needed an update, Scott seemed a good candidate to take on directorial duties, at least on paper. But that same Ridley Scott who helmed Blade Runner and Alien all those years ago is completely incognito here, as he trades any semblance of substance for a style that appeals to the easiest emotions. This is obscenely grandiloquent filmmaking—garish, All-White Egypt, where men scratch at their wigs and glare at each other in bold guyliner whilst the women do nothing but bear children and omit mildly ethnic charm. This is exile, ten plagues and an exodus, stretched out into a baffling two-and-a-half hours and made to feel gratuitously didactic, despite its supposedly ambiguous agenda and Scott’s self-professed agnosticism. I don’t blame Scott for steering clear of the propagandistic potential of the piece, but in Exodus he’s returned to the wrought sentimentality and grandeur of Gladiator without the thematic backbone to support it. Why is he preaching with such bluntness when he’s got very little to say?

Scott encounters his ‘burning bush’ moment early on, and he’s inevitably forced to choose how to represent the voice of God in this commodified version of religious history. There’s blue fire, as expected, but then a child appears, and for the rest of the film the churlish little brat delivers demands from above with snide, demanding snark. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Scott was aiming to achieve in casting a young boy as God’s spectral messenger, much less this little monster, but if his aim was to undercut the story’s inherent piousness with a subversive narrative tool, he doesn’t achieve it here. And yet despite Scott’s lack of traditional religious vigour, I still came away from Exodus with the same mysterious, hazy conception of God that my high school teachers were happy to propagate without much determinism. Scott throws a spanner in the works to appease an increasingly secular community, but the scorecard at film’s end essentially reads like the epigrammatic book that the story comes from: only faith will spare you the wrath of a dichotomously cruel and benevolent god. He giveth, He taketh away. Codswallop, and confusing at that, but its easy to scoff at, and its not by any stretch the film’s worst plague. Its biggest missteps arise from Scott’s inability to juggle the epic scale of Exodus’s bigger set pieces with the intimate story of the sparring brothers at its core. The back-and-forth ideological war between prodigal son Moses (Bale) and soulless, slave-driving pig Rhamses (Joel Edgerton) is tedious from frame one, and the inefficiency of the careless screenplay (another by a studio-hired team) and protracted length of their insubstantial and increasingly inane conflict becomes problematic when Scott pulls wide and tries to show the resonances of Ramses’ stubborn refusal to release the slaves of Egypt, for whom Moses takes a shockingly immediate and unmediated responsibility. It’s difficult to wrap your heart around the grandiose visions of plague, no doubt impressive in scale and vision, when their cause is so tiresome and prolonged. The spectacularly tidal Red Sea sequence would’ve been impressive had I not felt like I’d seen it already in Interstellar and Noah. Where these sequences should be inspiring fear and awe, and an emotional summit, they instead provide a dizzying wake-up call for an audience on the verge of falling asleep, and for that one can’t exactly congratulate Scott’s epic images.

The two worst things you could expect from a biblical epic are insufferably earnest acting and methodically episodic script, and yet Exodus seems to embrace these values with all the might of Cecil B. DeMille—Exodus is bigger than Ben Hur (although thankfully shorter) but it seems to have inherited that earlier film’s sense of pace. A good hour is dedicated to the exile of Moses and its political reverberations before Scott flings us into a second hour of plagues—crocodiles in the Nile, infestations of frogs, flies and locusts, boils and burns—that are delineated in a droll shuffle. When the death of Egypt’s first-borns arrives it feels like yet another in a series of disasters rather than a contestation of God’s wrath. Moses returns to the God’s messenger in a fury, and is met with yet more demands. It’s a shame the final plague didn’t apply to the bratty little messenger—the film would be better off for it. Christian Bale enlivens some of the clunky moments, and manages to imbue Moses with a few subtle traits that might suggest he was a raving lunatic (perhaps knowingly pandering to secular audiences, although I don’t think it’s clear enough to be sure). Elsewhere, there’s plenty of scenery chewing going on, and thankfully plenty of scenery to chew. Joel Edgerton is miscast as Ramses, whilst John Turturro as the aging Pharoah is amiable, but not around for long enough. Ben Mendelsohn is an odd casting choice, but his hedonistic viceroy is one of the films few true pleasures, giving off trés bitchy vibes as Moses chagrins him, and is eventually ambushed by him. You might spot Aaron Paul and Sigourney Weaver too, but they probably have less than a page of dialogue between them in some of the most inexplicably empty roles in the film.

Of the plagues of swords and sandals that graced multiplex screens this year, Exodus is by no means the worst, but it’s a frightfully unimaginative rehash of a story that has been told a thousand times before, most famously on film in The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt. Famous for his revision of noir conventions in Blade Runner and his subversive feminist road movie Thelma and Louise, Ridley Scott shows none of the same desire to give the Moses tale a modern update, falling back on studio convention and reverent melodrama to craft his ornate, odious Bible-bolstering melo-disaster flick. It’s another coat of lacquer on the old blood-spattered doors; another hapless story of slaves who are freed from totalitarian rule only to pool their support behind a different enigmatic leader (see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1). In the film’s final moments, as Bale is transformed into the ageing Moses finally entering the kingdom of Canaan, he turns to the wayside of his carriage and sees the little boy, God’s messenger, walking alongside him, and he smiles. Scott shouts his message from the top of Mount Sinai, without the nuance or subtlety to equal the ambiguities of his own beliefs. In trying to match the bombast of studio filmmaking with a story imbued with piety, Ridley Scott has found God. In short, Exodus won’t appeal to Christians, but it’s an atheist’s worst nightmare.


Exodus: Gods and Kings opens Thursday 4th December.

Directed by Liv Ullman

miss julie

Jessica Chastain mopes about her acreage torturing her rank-and-file with gaunt superiority in this Strindberg adaptation by Liv Ullman. Thank god it’s her, too. With any other actress this ornate soap opera, its players lit like a Vermeer (in deep rooms next to windows), would’ve crumbled under the hulking weight of its drama, but Chastain’s anaemic beauty and refined skills elevate it into moments of ethereal tragedy. She’s better than Colin Farrell, as her winsome but virile valet, but they’re both outdone by the long-suffering Samantha Morton, who shuffles about in the background, quietly stealing the show.

It shouldn’t take Ullman so long to unravel the tumultuous affair at Miss Julie’s core, which revolves around Chastain’s titular heiress seducing the valet to the dismay of another servant (Morton), but she prefers to air out the drama with long, whimsical shots of halls and vestibules. We’re given too much time to realize the heavy-handedness of the ideas, which are already dated beyond recognition. Yet whilst inadequate as a microcosmic enactment of class warfare, Miss Julie is spiced up by spasms of syphilic madness and impulsive carnality that jolt the viewer out from under the spell of Mikhail Krichman’s gorgeous cinematography.

A strained baroque, Miss Julie is better in its most pie-eyed, bitchy moments than it has any right to be.


Miss Julie screens nationwide as part of the Emirates British Film Festival. Session times and ticketing details here.


Interstellar gathers Chris Nolan’s least appealing qualities as a director into an irritatingly dissatisfying whole. His competence in action sequences is lost in the vagaries of his convoluted plot, unsympathetic characters and trite dialogue, which is drawled in an incomprehensible Southern slur by man-of-the-moment Matthew McConaughey. Initial comparisons to 2001 are undeserving, but not completely surprising, as Nolan steals iconic shots from Kubrick’s masterpiece almost verbatim. Both directors aren’t at all concerned with narrative perspicuity either, but the similarities end there. Where Kubrick is visually suggestive, and where his ambiguities become provoking mysteries, Nolan’s become nauseating errors.

Interstellar’s plot has more holes than a colander, and the science doesn’t check out either, but that’s all part of this celebrated director’s bothersome game of catch-me-if-you-can. He’d rather force his audience into inferiority and false stupefaction with twists, turns and temporal gymnastics than provide the satisfaction of a wholesome narrative, and his failings as a storyteller become all the more obvious when, his cosmic visuals having failed him, he resorts to having his characters spell out it’s science in explicit blocs of exposition throughout the last half hour, by which time his audience are lost beyond recall.

The cold science of Interstellar could be worked out in an afternoon by consulting Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s twitter feed, 2001’s true mysteries have left generations bereft of breath and full of wonder pondering its meanings since its premiere in 1968. Nolan’s allusions seem arbitrary anyway. Kubrick offers a terrifying allegory and a severe warning: evolve or die at the hands of technology. Interstellar is brimming with positivity and humanism, sometimes repellently so. It would seem that Nolan has either misread 2001, or he’s mining it for profundity that his milieu lacks.

None of this would’ve matter if Nolan had a sense of humour. He could have made a bombastic blockbuster—the kind of film that lends itself to sophomoric insights, scheming mind games, and deep space adventure (see Predestination)—but he’s chosen the route of a prophet yet again, a role he’s not ready to fulfil. Twists aren’t fun when they’re gratuitous. Wonder isn’t real when it’s didactic. Science doesn’t become art just because characters explain it.

Anne Hathaway overcompensates, as usual, whilst a conspicuously orange McConaughey leaves her behind with his trademark schtick, which is getting lazy. How long before we all realize that he’s only good at playing one character type, which isn’t too dissimilar from himself, and relies too often on the intensity of the role and the writing to round off his technical shortcomings. Southern platitudes need conviction, not slack-jawed self-assurance.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by Interstellar, not least thanks to the unrelenting drone of Hans Zimmer’s overbearing score. Nolan makes it his end game to intimidate his audience into a corner. Resist and you’ll find that his ‘bigger than thou’ approach to narrative is all superfluous overcompensation for his inability to turn quantum physics into philosophy.


With Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley and Ellen Burstyn.

Interstellar is in cinemas now.


Directed by: Hong Khaou

Written by: Hong Khaou

Starring: Ben Whishaw, Cheng Pei-Pei, Andrew Leung, Naomi Christie

Country: UK

Language: English and Mandarin (with subtitles, or translated)

Duration: 91 minutes

Festivals and Awards: Sundance 2014—Cinematography Award: World Cinema Dramatic

As borders and boundaries become indistinct and differences commingle at an untenable rate, of what use is language in the (post-)modern world? Godard seems to be giving a red hot go at expounding on this question in his upcoming Goodbye to Language, reviews of which are pointing to a complete abandonment of linguistic forms. Hong Khaou’s film isn’t that cynical, nor does it have the intellectual depth or formal clarity of Godard’s most radical works, but it has in spades what Godard frequently sacrifices: tenderness and pathos, in the rare and welcome way that it evokes the reparation of cross-cultural impediments through contact and memory. Lilting offers a fresh variation on this now-common theme, exploring communication between two people who are close in proximity, but have unresolvable cultural differences and are too stubborn to change.

Ben Whishaw, sad puppy incarnate and perennial up-and-comer, plays Richard, the grieving lover of a first-generation Brit killed suddenly by a wayward car on the eve of his coming-out to his Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn. Played with stoicism by venerated wuxia star Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Toger, Hidden Dragon, Come Drink With Me), Junn is a rigid and difficult woman whose obstinate allegiance to her culture sees her alienated from the real world. Richard has to navigate her callous temperament with care, whilst tiptoeing around the secret of his relationship with her son. He, the son, played by Andrew Leung, is evoked in fits of memory that are so ornate that they become embellishments of imagination.

There are unexpected flourishes within these memories that have resonances of Resnais. Sometimes the dialogue continues even when the character’s lips have stopped moving. Sometimes the frame freezes unexpectedly. Moreover, there’s grace in the way Khaou pulls us in and out of the recollections. Richard employs a translator to be able to communicate with Junn, and so much of their dialogue remains unsubtitled, and we come to rely on the reactions of this interloper, played by the likeable Naomi Christie, to gauge the content of Junn’s words before they are relayed to us in English. Her generous presence opens little windows of concession that allow the two leads to connect in some way that surpasses verbal language. It’s the accumulation of these abstractions and irregularities, never overpowering but potent enough to manifestly deliver thematic content, that makes Lilting a fresh and fulfilling experience. Khaou’s debut film does on a shoestring what many cannot do with millions, and with optimism and stainless clarity.


Lilting screens at the Emirates British Film Festival. Session times and ticketing details can be found here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 288 other followers

%d bloggers like this: