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My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

I should have waited before posting yesterday, but I will post my rebuttal to myself here.

I’m still annoyed that I found Wonder Woman such a less than transformative cinema experience, as everyone else seems to be leaving the cinema reeling in a religious fervour.

Maybe I’ve seen too many WWI films? I saw my first at a very impressionable age, and after that, well, you know (The Trench, A Bear Named Winnie, Beneath Hill 60, War Horse, Anzacs, Birdsong, Gallipoli, Parade's End, Wings, Reilly, Ace of Spies, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Deadline Gallipoli, Downton Abbey, 1915 – and that’s not even counting the shows that reference it, like Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire and Doctor Who). I may be over-familiar with the genre. I may have seen it done better, more emotionally involving, bleaker, more pointlessly heroic and self-sacrificing, more heartbreaking, elsewhere.

But I still find the structure difficult, too hasty an edit for my taste – perhaps too used to the return to luxurious tv series that once again take the time to indulge in long tracking shots and leisurely getting from point to point. The jump cut from location to location, now she’s on a train, a boat, a horse, on foot – it made me think there should be Angie Tribeca style credits over the top of every scene change.

I mean, come on, it was a bit ridiculous. Assuming, from dear Steve’s intel, that Themyscira is within Fokker distance just off The Dardanelles, then there’s no way, even in a superhero film, that the journey from somewhere off the coast of Turkey to right up the Thames can be covered in the space of one night, by sail. I mean, come on. Please, if you’re doing a film with supernatural elements, you’ve got to keep it real to sell it. And keeping it real means no EasyJet in 1918 (and even then…).

I’m sorry, it annoys me and throws me out of the movie. Ditto Steve’s I don’t have bucks to buy my mates beer but I can afford to buy my new honey a wardrobe? Priorities, I guess.  And, also, the whole ‘I can’t move in these clothes’ bit? Fuck that. Go watch some film of real Edwardian ladies running across roads and leaping onto trams. They were pretty damn nimble (and I assume, like women through the ages, they compensated for corsets and learnt to do everything they had to do in them).

And Dr Maru? Never did learn what her deal was, aside from job description: mad scientist. And I will harp on about the scars = evil, because, man, back in the day, there was a lot of criticism about Goldeneye being so lazy as to depict Alec’s wickedness with some dribbled wax on Sean Bean’s lovely face as a means of obvious signalling, and there were whole essays on the ye olde trope of using deformity as an outward indicator of inner unwellness, and how this was problematic from a discriminatory point of view (not every ugly person enjoys murder), but also, just really lazy and old. And this, dear reader, was in 1996. So no pass there.

But, still. Maybe I’m just old and bitter. Maybe if I’d been allowed to keep my Wonder Woman dolly as a child I wouldn’t be so twisted up now. Maybe I just wanted more WWI, less cgi smackdown.

That said, Pine was mighty fine. He did everything that was asked of him; brave, funny, flirty, chivalrous, a little bit damaged, heroic, self-sacrificing. The perfect WWI bronze, come albeit briefly, to life (almost, to my eyes, as much as immortal as Diana, in his doomed hero way, but I think you have to have grown up with Anzac Day and associated art to get that interpretation).

Maybe I’ll go see it just one more time. Just to make absolutely sure I don’t like it.

I dunno, I’m just out of step with everyone. Unlike the rest of the universe, I really loved Chris in Beyond. His Existential Crisis Kirk, really spoke to me, but maybe that’s just me.

Maybe I’m just sad, in all senses of the word. Right now my own discovery is just how seriously everyone hates me. Not just thinking it, but actual proof, in word and deed.

Aside from the ice pick vicious emails and public humiliations at work, there was the bus stop thing. Now I always make a point of holding the bus if I see someone coming, and if the bus driver doesn’t seem like the compassionate type, I’ll stand against the door so it can’t close while I fish for the pass I’ve just misplaced (the bus can’t move with the door open, it’s a thing that’s annoying if the door gets jammed).

But when I’m running for the bus? It was the day after my very miserable day so I was five minutes late because I didn’t want to get out of bed, ever, but the bus was ten minutes early. They saw me, the people at the stop, their faces turned towards me as I ran up the side of the bus. Everyone saw me, but the driver shut the doors in my face and took off. Nobody cared enough to hold the bus for two more seconds.

Then there was being actually hit by a car, on purpose, while walking home from seeing Twelfth Night. I was walking down the lane, which is a dunny lane, a nightsoil truck access lane, because my suburb didn’t get sewerage until the late 70s, and these days it’s used for parking cars and a short-cut to the shops. It is not a proper road to scream down in a hoon-mobile.

Anyways, I was walking past some parked and parking cars when this car comes roaring down, and there’s no room, so he’s supposed to wait until I clear the cars because there’s nowhere for me to go (it’s a very narrow back alley). But no, he just runs forward, slams right into me with two very loud thumps and sends me spinning into the fence and speeds off, just taillights while I peel myself off the fence palings (I did report it to the police but they couldn’t care less, I don’t matter).

So now I’ve got a really bad shoulder from where he side-swiped me. And, weirdly, my concussion headache is back (maybe because now I’m sleeping on my bad side because both sides are now bad, maybe I ought to try sleeping hanging from the ceiling).

So, yeah, aside from being in pain ever since, it’s nice to know people hate me so much they want to run me down. And leave me stranded in the dark and the rain. And get me sacked. Yeah, everything is just peachy.

Never mind the house leaking buckets (not the old leaks, these were new leaks in new places, joy) and me not keeping up with the housework because I’m really not well. Being hit by a 4WD, twice, will do that to you (age might weary her, but 4WDs certainly will).

On the plus side, I did get home in time to see Fargo and Young Pope. (But aren’t they on really late? Yes, they are, but 14 hour days with no OT pay and meeting deadlines with most of the systems down doesn’t mean a jot as far as my failings go these days).

Those boys, my boys, still manage to surprise me, move me, delight me, worry me, intrigue me and entertain me with their gurning and cavorting on screen. At least I’m loyal (well, for me, anyway). Let’s not think how long I’ve been a fan of Ewan and Jude. It’s pleasing that they’re still turning in top notch performances, and, as seems hardly surprising, they’re on tv. I’ve always preferred Ewan’s tv work; his performance in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on Your Collar remains a highlight.  

Yup, tv is where it’s at these days, and I don’t mind a bit. Give me character and characters. Give me lush locations. Give me backstory, motivation, goals and desires. Give me a journey. Give me people to know and care about, even if they’re dicks (aren’t we all?).

And for pity’s sake, give a world I can live in (because I don’t like this one very much).

Oh, don’t go on about resilience – that’s crap. Why should I have to be resilient about being run down or being bullied at work? That’s hardly my issue. Maybe, probably, I did something to deserve it, but sometimes people are just mean.

And mindfulness? That’s for nice folks with nice lives. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the moment in my bus, overcrowded, stuck in traffic, crawling home with a screaming baby somewhere and a guy digging snot out of his nose and wiping it on his jeans sitting next to you. You don’t want to be in the moment on a 35 hour flight in economy. You don’t want to be in the moment at the Birmingham bus interchange, in February, for four hours, because you missed your connection, the toilet is 75p and you can’t fit your bag through the turnstile. You don’t want to be in the moment listening to the neighbours hammer whatever they’re hammering this time. You don’t want to be in the moment, standing the rain, not sure if it’s rainwater or blood running down your arm, barely able to see headlights from the concussion, waiting over an hour for a bus to take you home after you’ve been hit by a car. You don’t want to be in the moment sitting in the dark and rain in the middle of winter, waiting for the last bus home, outside a hospital, cold and hungry and all lone. You don’t want to be in the moment when there’s nothing to eat but stale bread. Or the pain from endometriosis is in its tenth hour and you can’t stop throwing up. Or you’re being made an example of in front of everyone. Or you’re being beaten up (or worse). Or you’re waiting for food that will never come in a restaurant. Or being stuck down in a basement with nothing but files. Or scrubbing out the bathroom. Or ironing.

So yes. Give me good telly, or a good book (I’m reading a Rebus on the side, because I find it comforting and fun). Just give me a break.

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Rebuttal

I wish I was of that generation that get a ribbon just for showing up. I could use a round of applause for just being upright and breathing right now.

Nothing is ever my finest hour, but I seem to be prat-falling into mess after mess of late, and, as I’m honestly surprised, none of it is deliberate on my part (OMFG, if I could stop effing up for five consecutive seconds, I’d buy myself a chocolate).

I’m going to try and explain my latest misery as a turbid mix of my very own and limitless incompetence, and work insecurity engendering a savagery in people I’d liked and respected – though clearly the opposite did not apply. At all. In any case, I’m upset to the point of unbearable despair.

Which is the mood I lumped with me, like a heavy, awkward burden, to two Wonder Woman screenings. Not two because of Mr Pine. Two because everyone in the planet was going nuts over this film and I hated it, so I thought, that can’t be right.

So let’s blame it on the rest of my life, intruding even in the cinema, as it must (I’d bought a Gold Class ticket, because it was Wonder Woman, but, of course, my order never arrived so I ended up with a movie length drink, i.e., huge, on an empty stomach, so basically I was just angry drunk for most of it). I was crying, not in joy, but in misery. I did not like it at all. I hated it. It jumped about to the point of making no sense, more like an extended trailer than any sort of narrative, the characters were flat, bitty and trite, the lauded colour was washed-out awful and of course, the only reference to nearly 10% of the Oz population being there were the Hurley photos they ripped off, including a couple that Bean tore him a new one over, being a bit fake, oh dear).

But the rest of the world was falling over themselves in glee, so I knew something had to be wrong, and that something was me. So I went and saw it again. Cattle class this time, stone-cold sober, with some morsel of food in my belly. Ok, the screen was better. That helped. Ditto having my row to myself (because I’m an angry loner).

Like most women of a certain age, I’ve waited all my life for a Wonder Woman film. And Gal did a good job in the role, nothing she did caught me as a sour note. And Pine was fine, perfectly handsome, heroic, charming and funny, just a little bit vulnerable and exceedingly doomed, all done up in period garb. My usual catnip. He was Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Harrison Ford and my floppy haired Merchant Ivory boys all rolled into one perfect package (oh yes, the package, points for obvious ogling scenes).

But the skip-jump plot (and suddenly they were in Belgium, and, btw, Poirot has more to say about the war in Belgium than this lot) and my Ewen (Spud!) as minor comic relief, all the other characters like bit part provincials in a Shakespeare play (only with less telling dialogue) and the moustache twirling really so obvious they were announced in the pre-show ads villains – it still seemed spectacle over substance. Ok, obviously one of those films where I’ll have to read the novelisation if I want backstory (if I could be bothered). Ok, yes, superhero film pitched at nine-year olds, don’t go expecting layers or characterisation.

But still, but still. Even as a kiddie’s movie, look, Doctor Who is a kid’s show but it still manages plots with a bit of grit and purpose and meaning ­ in case you missed the colonisation, war, Brexit, cruelty, cowardice, greed and sacrifice riffs in last week’s fantastic episode. Oh my gosh, I loved that. Victorian soldiers on Mars. Victorian soldiers recreating The defence of Rorke's Drift (1879) on Mars. With Ice Warriors. And Alpha Centauri, for that hit of pure childhood nostalgia, because who doesn’t love a giant one-eyed monster? (No, not talking about the pool scene in Wonder Woman).

So I’m going to blame my lack of engagement on my greed and hollow emptiness, I wanted more than that film could give. Still, Mr Pine was perfect, and justifiably lauded for his light touch and comic timing. And there were moments I liked, vignettes, bits here and there (which is my main problem, it seemed more a string of scenes than a journey).

Maybe I’m just jaded. I knew dear old Steve was going to be fridged big-time to give our heroine that motivational push. And I knew Ares was going to be a backroom politician, not a general, because everyone knows who the real bad guys were in WWI. And as for the poisonous villainess with the facial scars as an outward depiction of her no-goodness, can you say trope? How progressive (unless they were applying a homage to tropes older than WWI and the history of film).  And the mixed ragtag band of dodgy brothers? Well, that was astounding, too, if you’ve never seen any Kurosawa films or any of the umpteen westerns and war films that riffed on them. I’ve seen music videos with more depth and character (and originality).

Ah, well, maybe I should see it one more time. There were bits I liked (no, not just Pine’s bits). Some bits oddly reminded me of Doctor Who, the second series with Rose, and not just the end of Christmas Invasion, with the not-snow. Lookit, it’s raining Steve! Little bits of Steve (no, not that bit). Oh, don’t tell me it’s ash of Ares, he’s just taking a nap because he’s got a lot to do in the 30s onwards.

Never mind. Happiness is flipping around the channels and finding Mrs Peel clutching a stuffed crocodile under her arm. Bliss. Classy British silly, all primary colours and silly villains (but at least I understood their motivations, no matter how off-kilter), a real trippy version of Le Carre – whom I’m reading at the moment, A Small town In Germany, because I don’t have enough things with EU-centric plots in my life right now (being sarcastic here). And besides, sword-fighting young cad Anthony Valentine in one episode? Yes, please.

The Avengers make me happy.  Doctor Who, when it’s good, makes me happy. There was a Buffy marathon on a wet long weekend. That made me happy. (I know, but it’s been so long since cable have bothered with a Buffy marathon, and I’m ever so nostalgic these days).

Seeing the NT Live screening of Twelfth Night made me happy.  I mean, Tamsin Grieg as Malvolia, and honestly, why the fuss, it was just one more gender-bend in a fairly gender-fluid play. It was very funny, but, as revealed in the last act, the jokes were cruel and got out of hand, and we never do get to find out if Malvolio/Malvolia gets their revenge, and how (not there’s an idea worth taking up, never mind rehashing films from five years ago). Still, the performances were just on the right side of arch (okay, some teetered alarmingly into panto) and there’s a lot about disguise, gender, roles and identity as costumes assumed and cast off, all going on.  It’s all very transgressive and queer-baiting, with dick jokes, but also grief and loss and humiliations galore.

Maybe I identified with Malvolia too much. I seem to be set up to be torn asunder myself of late, and no doubt I have brought it upon myself, just as much as Malvolia did.

Other theatre included Mr Burns at the Belvoir. The Simpsons as post-apocalyptic passion play. That’s pretty much it. Lots of Simpsons jokes, some comments on popular culture as the new religion. I was sitting in the front row and ended up bruised from a flying recliner chair. Still, Mitchell Butel, who is fast becoming a favourite (that hasn’t been snapped up by Hollywood yet) didn’t hold back in the last act, and nor could he or should he.

I was amused. The hardest thing was squirming in the first act when they tried to remember lines from Simpsons episodes, and not yelling them out. Oh, the strain to remain silent, it almost hurt.

I also went and saw Vivid. Well, a bit of it, anyway. We went round the Opera House and through the gardens. To be honest, I usually love Vivid, but I’ve found it to be a bit meh this year. Nothing has really caught my imagination, made me stand still and pay attention. Nothing was really wonderous, magical or pretty.

Sums up my life right now. I seem to be tired of pretty lights and pretty Pine. Tired of life? Far more than is healthy. Maybe it’s just winter. Not that it’s really winter any more. It’s just damp and dark.

But I’m not happy. And pretty Pine and purple flowers will not make me stop messing up, dropping the ball, or whatever I’m doing or not doing to make my life the cesspool it is. Save Steve, send me up on that plane. I’m sure as hell not doing anything useful right now (and no one would care).

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal

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Rebuttal