chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
I managed to get the afternoon off work today so I could get home in time to help out with the village Christmas light switch-on. Arrived at 3pm to be faced with a group of people picking over three boxes of an odd assortment of used decorations with no means of fixing them to the 5m-high room. But as some of you know I am (almost) fearless in the face of high stepladders. :)) Kye would be proud of my efforts with tinsel and baubles, I hope. Just a pity we didn't have any 6ft snakes to hand...

After Transfiguration came potions - mulled cider, to be exact. Which Must Be Tried at Hallowe'en if I ever managed to arrive on time on the Friday. It foams up most satisfyingly - even without the cloak we were getting witch comments. It went down very well (there's few tasks more satisfying than giving away tasty free alcholic stuff).

Finally the Christmas lights were switched on - and stayed on for about 5 minutes before we blew the fuse trying to boil another kettle of cider.

'Village' makes it sound very cosy, and many of us living here try to make it so, though the restrictions against double-glazing make the houses less so in this weather. Still, as I type I'm looking at a quintessential Christmassy scene of glowing Christmas tree (carried home on the train yesterday), roaring fire and an exceedingly gorgeous cat curled up in front of it.

Yesterday was the first time I've decorated a Christmas tree with anyone other than my parents. (Unless I count the cat when I was living alone. Or the fifteen or so trees at Sectus, though I'm not sure I had much to do with those apart from putting them together). That seems a sad state of affairs for someone of my age.

And the seafood? That came in the film I've just been watching - Passionada. I've been wanting to see it for a while as its one of the few Jason Isaacs roles where he gets to be the romantic lead. Of sorts. I was glad I never succumbed to buying the film as I doubt I'll ever watch it again - the characters made no sense, and Jason's was excruciating to watch - not, of course, because of the quality of the acting, but because of the quality of acting a complete tosser with an affinity for LOUD shirts (JI complained about this continuously on the commentary track) and a dodgy wig (due to him being completely bald after shooting Black Hawk Down). Thankfully his eyes get some screen time and as an added bonus he actually uses his own accent (I find him rather incomprehensible when he tries to do Irish or American).

Steamy seafood scene from aforementioned movie.
(In which Jason eats, along with the actress' fingers, lots of chicken and tofu disguised as fish dishes.)

Hot Fuzz

Feb. 17th, 2007 10:57 pm
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Three words: abolutely f***ing hilarious.

If you've not heard of this movie, think your typical action/cop/mismatched-buddy movie... set in a sleepy Somerset village. I'll resist the temptation to mention favourite scenes because I don't want to spoil it, and because I'd be here all night. Not only I was laughing throughout the whole two hours, but the plot weaves every strand tightly together, and there's even a serious undertone, should you choose to notice it.

Honestly, if you enjoy comedy, parody, action or just think that Neighbourhood Watch schemes can be a mite creepy - see this film.

slightly spoilery comment )
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
I wasn't all that keen on seeing the new film about Beatrix Potter, until I saw the oh-so-cute TV trailers - who could resist a blinking Peter Rabbit? Dad wouldn't have been at all interested if it weren't for the Lake District setting that promised some nice visuals.

Anyhow, it was an enjoyable little film - tears were jerked at all the appropriate tear-jerking moments (admittedly not much of a feat for me), the scenery was sublime, the animations delightful and Renée Zellweger excellent at conveying a rather peevish Potter. Though, given that Beatrix pioneered marketing tie-ins, I find it rather unbelievable that she wouldn't have an idea of how much money she had after publishing three books.
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
Little Whinging's main cinema is cr*p. I now believe what my parents were telling me when they used to complain about how this, that or the other film I'd recommended wasn't on anywhere nearby. I looked for Driving Lessons when it was getting all the coverage on TLC and elsewhere, and couldn't find it anywhere. We didn't even get films like An Inconvenient Truth that screened in the mainstream cinema in Manchester. Only an hour out of London, and we're a cultural desert...

But not quite. Happily, Little Whinging also boasts a 60-seat cinema that puts on the sort of not-mainstream-but-not-up-their-own-arts films that I like to see, with the added bonus of sharing a building with several ghosts (allegedly). Being so small, it's notoriously difficult to get tickets, but on the upside it provides that nowadays-rare experience of being in a room full of reacting people rather than a barn-like multiplex.

(Hmmm. I wonder if this would be a reasonable venue for a fandom only (multi-)movie screening?)

Anyhow, I found out this afternoon that they were showing Driving Lessons twice, today, and fortunately they still had tickets - even if only on the front row, which is about 2 metres away from and 1 metre below the screen. It was worth the crick in the neck and back though - we were laughing and cringing all the way through, and I was sorely in need of a forgetting-mundane-reality-drug that didn't involve getting drunk, trying desperately to write while perched on the end of my bed, or endless hours of Freecell.

It was exceedingly odd to hear Rupert Grint being called 'Ben', though, and his character was so much like Ron that it took me a good half-hour to stop expecting Harry and Hermione to show up and drag him back into the wizarding world. If he's going to build the acting career he wants, he'd better find a different kind of character to play for his next non-Potter project.

Some scenic rainy shots of Edinburgh and environs where an added bonus, though as ever the route taken bore no resemblance to reality. I mean, I know that Mussleburgh and Joppa aren't the most thrilling of settings, but they showed Cockenzie power station for heavens sake, and then jumped back to the Borders. I know most of their audience won't notice anything wrong, but there's enough people who'll find it seriously disorienting. Is it really that hard for them to get this sort of thing right?
chthonya: Eagle owl eye icon (Default)
So, once again almost a fortnight has passed between entries. Not a lot has happened - job applications, a day in London protesting about the IMF, a weekend party with an friend I met in Scotland who (thankfully) has moved into the area, more job applications, fun with the dole office...

Didn't get a peep about the first library job I applied for, which was a bit depressing. I'm hoping it was because they had an internal candidate rather than because my application was crap (though I hate hate hate it when organisations [have to] advertise when they already know perfectly well whom they want in the job) though I suppose they might have thought I was overqualified, which is a bit more worrying. Still, I've applied for a couple of graduate trainee library jobs and I've a couple more to put in, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed. Meanwhile I have an interview for a (hopefully) temporary office job. I'm not so keen on looking enthusiastic about a job that my heart isn't in (I much prefer the kind of temping where they just send you there), but it would be nice to have some money and some daily exercise, and temping's always intruiging for seeing behind closed doors.

Went to see The Queen a couple days ago. I usually find films about real people really strange, as it's difficult to adjust to people looking slightly wrong - and it's even stranger when the people are contemporary, though not having had a TV (and correspondingly having seen fewer images) over the last year might have helped. The cinema was disappointingly empty and soulless (oh God, I miss Edinburgh at times) but there was still a fair bit of shared laughter and the film held my attention all the way through.

I read a review of the film a week or so back that said it was a sad reflection on the British film industry that there with this much talent here we don't have more successful films (yes, we Brits can always find something to moan about) and that we should learn from this film's success - that (I paraphrase) rather than making films featuring images of ourselves that we think will sell abroad such as foppish, socially inept Londoners or gritty northerners (though I can't imagine why he thinks filmmakers think gritty northerness is a selling point), we should make more films aimed at the domestic audience - films that, like this one, focus on a British event and deal with a very British subject (the role of the royal family vs the Prime Minister, and the nature of the 'British people').

Er, no. What subject could be more calculated to appeal to the American market than an 'inside look' at the royal family? Particularly when they include news clips from American TV stations but not from any other country's media except the UK; the Commonwealth countries' media would have been rather more relevant to the plot of the film.

Still, it's worth seeing - for me the thoughts provoked made up for the winces induced by occasionally clunky dialogue and laboured symbolism. And a nostalgia trip is always interesting, particularly as at the time of Diana's death I was in Scotland, from where the whole business was regarded with some bemusement.

September 2016

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