Iron Lady

Iron Lady (UK, 2011)

Language: English

Starring: Meryl Streep

Synopsis: Margaret Thatcher’s flashback on her personal and professional life.

My opinion:. Based on historical facts and political events, the movie takes us through different parts of Margaret Thatcher’s life. If it wasn’t for Meryl Streep, you wouldn’t even have to know about the movie. But the truth is that you shouldn’t miss this spectacular performance. The 2012 Best Actress Academy Award has been reserved.

Who should watch the movie: Not those of you who want to know more about Thatcher’s life.

Post movie discussion: It’s Margaret Thatcher as a character vs. Meryl Streep performance. You decide.

Movie Links: Ratings, Imdb, Athinorama, Website

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The Help

The Help (USA, 2011)

Language: English

Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer

Synopsis: Back in the 1960’s racisms towards the black community in the US is on the rise. In a small town in Mississippi, a young woman with the vision of becoming a journalist, decides to write a book about how black maids are treated by their employers.

My opinion: Looking at the movie as a whole, The Help can be described as one of the best movies of the year. I believe it deserves the 2012 Academy Award for best picture.

Who should watch the movie: I was hesitant to watch the movie because, based on the trailer, I thought it would be too feminine. I was wrong. Stelios would have a difficulty to get through the whole movie but I am sure would appreciate it in the end. Also it’s not the kind of real life drama that Angelos can’t watch.

Post movie discussion: At this point it’s whether it should get the Oscar or not.

Movie Links: Ratings, Imdb, Athinorama, Website

When the Sun Rises in Athens

Athens By Day

Even though Athens is not the most beautiful city in the world, there are definitely a lot of attractions to see not only for tourists but for locals as well.

Here are 10 +1 places to see around Athens:

Places

What’s there

How to get there

1) Syntagma square The “heart” of Athens:The parliament metro station “Syntagma”
2) Ermou street Pedestrian only road Walk from Suntagma square
3) Acropolis The Parthenon station named “Acropolis”
4) Acropolis museum Close to Acropolis
5) Ancient Agora Close to Acropolis
6) Plaka, Monastiraki, Thissio Pedestrian areas around the Acropolis.Small shops, coffee places and taverns Walking distance from Acropolis and Syntagma
7)Temple of Olympian Zeus Ancient temple Walk from Syntagma
8) Panathinaic (Kalimarmaro) Stadium Stadium Walk from Syntagma
9) Lycabettus Hill View of Athens Close to Syntagma
10) National garden Walk from Syntagma
11) Sounio Temple of Poseidon  Taxi is the easiest way

Whatever you decide to do, you MUST see the Acropolis and Acropolis museum.

Some additional museums in Athens:

Places to eat:

In all the places I have mentioned you will find restaurants or tavernas to eat. I am not making any suggestions since I don’t think it is worth looking for a specific restaurant around Athens. I am sure the place you will choose for  your lunch will be fine wherever you are.

Shopping

Not sure why someone would go shopping in Athens but just in case…

Most brand stores are in Kolonaki

There are 3 shopping malls:

1) Attica (very close to Syntagma)

2) The Mall Athens (take the train towards Kifisia and get out to the stop “Neratziotisa)

3) Golden Hall (buses take you from Mall to golden hall)

Additional Information can be found below:

Official Athens Website: http://www.breathtakingathens.com/

TripAdvisor, and Lonelyplanet and Spotedbylocals

Contraband

Contraband (USA, 2012)

Language: English

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi

Synopsis: A former smuggler is forced to abandon his family life and return to a life of crime to protect his brother in law.

My opinion: A typical action movie. Money, drugs, guns, police, car chases, helicopters etc. The movie manages to create some kind of anxiety to the viewer on how things will turn out. An easy and fun way to get through the evening.

Who should watch the movie: Who do you think? Petris, Lucas and Ringo.

Post movie discussion: Hasn’t Walhberg played similar roles?

Movie Links: Ratings, Imdb, Website

The Way Back

The Way Back (USA, 2010)

Language:  English

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell

Synopsis: The true story of a group of people who escape from an army camp in Siberia and walk 4,000 miles to India. It’s an interesting movie to watch but the truth is that Peter Weir (the director) has directed much better movies.

My opinion: A story of survival, friendship and freedom. Easy to watch movie, interesting concept that keeps the viewer’s interest despite its length (133 mins)

Who should watch the movie: In relation to the above comment, Alexandra slept in some parts of the movie…  If I had to choose between my model friends, I would have to say Angelos.

Post movie discussion: Where did they find the courage to go through all this journey?

Movie Links: Ratings, Imdb, Athinorama, Website

European Career Fair @ MIT

I haven’t yet mentioned it but in The Real World, having recently completed my MBA, I am struggling to define my role and purpose – which means (let’s put it professionally) I am looking for my next career opportunity. Or in simple worlds, I am looking for a job.

During this extended time period of job hunting, I was fortunate enough to have been part of the organizing committee of the 16th European Career Fair (ECF); a career fair that takes place annually at MIT University in Boston. The 2012 ECF was between the 21st and 23rd of January and having just settled down I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with everyone.

I don’t really remember how I first heard about the ECF and the fact that they were looking to recruit new people. I now know that 70% of each year’s team is comprised by new members so it probably makes sense that I heard about it.

What I do remember is that it all started on a Tuesday in one of  the last weeks of August 2011. It was the first team meeting, one of the many that would follow until January 21st 2012. Apparently, I was a stranger among strangers, in a unfamiliar environment (I had never had the chance – one can call it privilege – to walk on the infinite corridor of MIT looking for the right class to enter), and I really didn’t know what to expect.

But the Chairs (Katrin and Pallavi) along with the veteran team members (Chiara, Sven, Katya, Natasha and others) – student themselves from different Universities around Boston – knew exactly what they were doing, what was meant to happen and how the team would get there. All team members, being part of one or more different sub-teams (design, hotel, press etc) and at the same time responsible for inviting to the Fair a number of assigned companies were contributing (most of us without realizing it) to a perfectly and professionally organized Career Fair.

As time went by, Tuesday evenings for the ECF @ MIT became part of my weekly schedule. What was originally a bunch of strangers was slowly becoming a group of friends on a mission; to get companies (and candidates) to sign up for the fair. The question “how many companies signed up this week” was always a hot topic among us. And it was great to see the number rising week by week from 0 to 10 from 10 to 20 and eventually to more than a 100 and know that some of this is because of your own individual work.

Throughout the way it was always surprising to me how the old team members, even the ones who are not physically present, have managed to find a way to transfer their wisdom and experiences from one year’s team to the next.

Finally, after months of preparation, the day comes when the actual Career Fair Weekend (comprised of an Exhibition Day and two Interview Days) is just a few hours away. And on the night before (usually a Friday) is when magic happens. One cannot describe the feeling of seeing the MIT Johnson Truck converted from a simple gym to an Exhibition center within only a few hours (see video in the end).

Even if up to that point you were not part of the AV/Booklet/Shipping or whatever else team, you are now ready to help and contribute. It’s incredible to see people running around, setting up tables, chairs, curtains and anything else necessary in order to have everything ready for the following day. It is like pieces of a puzzle coming together. And this is part of the magic of the ECF. Even if you are not completely aware of it, you are contributing to something great. And it really feels so strange to be part of the magic, part of the team.

 

During the Fair Day, the magic continues and you feel really proud to be part of this. I personally felt like being a host to my own party. And as a host you have privileges and obligations. You get the chance to welcome the companies as if they are your guest, get the chance to talk to experienced professionals that you would never had the chance to talk to in other circumstances but at the same time as a host you have to make sure that everything runs smoothly and be ready to overcome any difficulties.

Concluding I really enjoyed being part of the 2012 ECF team. I made some good friends that I will hopefully stay in touch with, met some interesting people and invested my time to something that was completely worth it. A Career Fair organized by a group of students, for students across the globe who study in the United States.

Here are the Top 10 reasons to join the ECF next year:

  1. Get out your comfort zone by company calling
  2. Networking: ECF Team and company reps
  3. Be part of a big and recognizable event
  4. Get an MIT affiliated email address
  5. Enhance your resume
  6. Take responsibility
  7. Eat some free food
  8. Make new friends
  9. Have fun
  10. Other perks I cannot reveal

Julia’s Eyes

Julia’s Eyes – Los ojos de Julia (Spain, 2010)

Language: Spanish

Starring: Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar and Pablo Derqui

Synopsis: Julia and her sister share a medical condition from which they slowly lose the ability to see. When Julia’s sister dies, Julia tries to investigate her death.

My opinion: The Best thriller I have seen over the recent years. I don’t want to say anything more because I will have to reveal things that I feel would be spoiler alerts.

Who should watch the movie: Marina because of the Spanish language but everyone else out there who loves thrillers.

Post movie discussion: I don’t want to sleep alone tonight.

Movie Links: Ratings, IMDB