Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

These are very late 🙂

The Day After Tomorrow – contains extended scenes of peril (never!)

I like a good disaster flick.

Be it flaming meteoroids hurtling towards Earth, Shirley Winters drowning on a capsized ship or the core mysteriously slowing down – I say bring it on. This is a very enjoyable way to waste an afternoon, the cast do a stirling job and bless them for not actually saving the northern hemisphere. Dennis Quaid makes an excellent ‘Cassandra’, as the crumpled climatologist whose predictions fall on deaf ears and then has to haul arse to rescue his estranged son. It would have been more fun if they had played up more of the differences between an arctic expedition over desolate land and the urban landscape. The merry band of survivors hauled up in the NY Public Library weren’t too annoying but if I had been there I would have had every inch of the room they were huddled in filled with books to burn and had a scavenger party dispatched to abandoned vessel before you could mumble ‘frozen sausages’.

The science is obviously wobbly and if they channelled the budget of the film into climate research then the future might be a bit rosier – but that’s as much fantasy as this plot!

Troy – contains strong battle violence (they didn’t call it the battle of Troy for nothing)

I am turning into a bit of an anorak when it comes to the ancient Greeks. I like to think of them as a legalised StarTrek obsession and I can’t get enough of the whole honour/retribution thing (must be my Klingon side). First off, this is a modern interpretation of the Trojan War therefore it does not rigidly follow Homer’s ‘The Iliad‘ – the conflict has been condensed, characters are merged, other’s dispatched where once they survived and we do not see the god involvement (but they are referred to through out). There is a strong cast that add gravatas and support the ‘weaker’ Achilles (plus Hector is the real hero that steals the show). Brian Cox as Agamemnon is a suitable megalomaniac, but he better watch out as he could be evolving into the Scottish Marlon Brando and surely Peter O’Toole’s Priam is a shoe in for an Oscar nod.

It’s a capital adventure and a solid summer blockbuster. Finger’s crossed they do the ‘sequel‘ as Sean Bean makes a heart melting Odysseus.

quote, unquote

Posted: 06/05/2004 in books, culture, studying
Tags: , ,

Two pearls from The Odyssey

‘For we who are people upon this earth are jealous in judgment’ (Book 7, Odysseus smoozing with King Alkinoos).

‘They all would find death was quick and marriage a painful matter’ (Book 17, Penelope hoping her absent husband, Odysseus, would hurry up and come home to deal with the troublesome suitors).

…three guesses what I am revising tonight 🙂

Loved it and Neil Labute rocks.
The cast is awesome.
The staging and set is v Ian Schrager.
Faith restored in the medium of the theatre…..a flutter of air kisses and luvees all round.

Book-ending my trip north was some memorable nights out – the theatre trips were disappointing so the winner by a mile was the woman in her fifties belting out songs whilst prancing around in a thong:)

It feels as if Cher has been doing her farewell tour for years but apparently this is it and what a show – Britney and Christina take note. Acrobats, dancers, sequins and an elephant….. I love that Cher answers to no-one and doesn’t give a fig. At one point she dons a costume very similar to the one she was ridiculed for wearing on the ‘Turn Back Time’ video – the only difference is the nylon is a slightly higher denier this decade.

Two things drew me to David Mamet’s Oleanna – his wordsmith and the eye candy that is Aaron Eckhart. I enjoyed the themes raised in the play (is higher education this centuries greatest swindle) and the performances were fine. Strangely, Eckhart came across as more conformable in his role as the professor (though a little young) than Julie Stile’s portrayal as a student – go figure as she is studying at university in real life. The thing that bugged me was that it was rather short, 90 minutes including the interval, and it deserved a third act. There is a power struggle through out – first with the lecturer having the knowledge the student desperately wants, then it flips and the lecturer doesn’t understand the charges of sexual harassment and finally snaps. I thought it would be more interesting if the power flipped again and violence wasn’t the result.

The Globe’s production of Romeo and Juliet was so poor that I was nearly pushed to an act of violence myself. They played the first half for laughs – which undermined the gentle comedic relief that the Nurse brings. Apart from the Friar, nobody else seemed comfortable with the prose and their presentation made it ackward. I felt is a lazy production relying on the awesome setting of the Globe and the jewel coloured costumes.

1. Original Stars Wars trilogy
2. Indiana Jones trilogy
3. Withnail and I
4. Grosse Pointe Blank
5. Highlander
6. Thelma and Louise
7. Jurrasic Park
8. Practical Magic
9. Blade Runner

nb. I just wanted to clarify that I don’t keep a log of all the films I watch….I just know which ones I can recite verbatim 🙂

After stagnating on ‘Jude the Obscure’ for nearly a month, I set myself the challenge of racing Radio 4’s Book @ Bedtime to see who could finish ‘Jane Eyre’ first.

Since I am not restrained to fifteen minutes Monday to Friday, it is no surprise that I have won 🙂

I found it rather unsettling – my memory of Jane was as a timid mouse of a character (a la Fanny Price of Mansfield Park) but she is a scheming little vixen and cut from the same cloth as Becky Sharp. I would not have put it past her to have set Rochester’s bed alight herself!

I am ashamed to admit it but I saw a very bad film about Rochester and his first wife Wide Sargasso Sea, I lay the blame squarely with cable and it was definitely a mortgage movie for all concerned! A mixture of corsets, voodoo and clipped British accents….I hang my head in shame….

Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself is an extraordinary film that has an old fashioned flavour with a twist of Capra.

It is set in Glasgow and is the tale of two brothers who are left to run their father’s run down second hand bookshop. Harbour is the sensible one and protective of his troubled, younger sibling Wilbur. As the title suggests Wilbur is bent on ending his life – unfortunately (or fortunately) he is incompetent. He grows more despondent with every failed attempt and more humiliated every time he returns to the suicide help group. Enter Alice, a single mother, who entwines herself in both their lives.

This is an exceptional black comedy – smart and ultimately a very satisfying experience.