It was quite nice, despite the difficulties in getting there (the promised public transport was a lie), and while a good two thirds of the show were same old, same old (a frequent complaint I overheard, and not just on the day), and, really, a couple of artists need to try stepping outside their comfort zone. I don't know why, but sculpture seems to be the most samey of the arts, and the one branch of the arts where you don't want samey. Especially in a forum like Sculpture by the Sea. It should be big, loud, silly and surprising because it's a walking picnic, with art. No message, no metaphysics, just something that delights the senses, full of whimsy. Not too big an ask, is it?
There was some cute, like the papier-mâché bugs on the cliff wall, and creepy, like the enormous faceless brass babies climbing up the hill - good use of site. I just loathe artists who don't take into account the site. It's like doing a Tropfest film without the theme item, in other words, pointless and lazy and speaks of trying to shoehorn something they had lying around in the back of the garage into the exhibition with no sense of context. It's Sculpture by the Sea, everyone should know what to expect, and what's expected. I always like the ones that make the fact that they're on the ocean walk as part of the art experience somehow, whether it's reflections, tones or cheesy seaside imagery (cheesy is allowed, what part of seaside picnic with art do some of these serious beret wearers not get?).
That said, loved some pieces, creeped out with others, meh'd by more, but I had fun. Himself took lots of mighty fine pics, me, not so much. But the new (v.cheap) sneakers held up, ditto my new weekend backpack and matching silly hat (oh yes) and we finished with an Oporto Bondi burger by the very beach (it's a once in every three years treat!).
But that wasn't the day done, oh no. Caught the bus back to Circular Quay and did the aparthied exhibition in Customs House and a re-staging of the ever popular City of Shadows exhibition at the Justice and Police Museum, and if you shrug and say so what, the book from the exhibition has been used as a source on Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire, GQ fashion shoots with Fassbender, fashion house campaigns and it goes on. Major cultural influence. all because it looks like they roped in the local portrait photographer to do them instead of just regular mugshots. Amazing, and so nearly lost to the ages. So that was cool. Finished up with a gingerbread frappacino at Starbucks (very much a once every couple of years treat) and then the long bus ride home.
That was last weekend. The rest of the week has been a horror. Messed up the application for the only job I had a real shot at, dribbled sauce down my most expensive dress at an industry function (can't take me anywhere) and got my fekoff letter, so that was a tough traumatic few days (I've not been umemployed ever, getting a job straight from school, doing uni at night).
I did try to ease the blow by buying a new 10 inch wee pc because I've gone through three now, but I take them absolutely everywhere, one carked it after two trips to the States, another after two trips to the UK, so it's not the years but the mileage. This one sucks though, they really did sell me a returned PC and it doesn't work properly, my second HP for that to have happened with. Will never buy HP again. Not happy. I just thought that if I'm gonna be unemployed, I want to read my emails out under the trees, with a nice pot of tea and my parrots for company. At least, that was the vision dancing in my head. Sigh.
No theatre, so tv? Not sure where Penny Dreadful is going, if anywhere, but it's amusing. Fan fic as tv, it's not too bad. I'm sure I've read better but fan fic doesn't have to pass through committee meetings so I'll allow it a certain level of structural weakness. And if the plot fails, the constant parade of my favourite Brit thesps hamming it up for the back rows never fails to amuse. It's all terribly lurid, but I'm in the mood for lurid, so much so that I eschwed some perfectly sensible and serviceable British police procedurals this week in lieu of the fantastic. Lawks, but I need escapism by the bucketload this week. Hence Penny Dreadful, Peaky Blinders and SHEILD being pretty much the view this week (I'd count Supernatural but it was a clips show).
Doctor Who was meh but I'd gussed Missy was the Master when we saw the episode preview at the State Theatre, so small victory lap there, but otherwise, meh. Once again the mighty cybermen are conquered by love (gak). Remember Tomb of the Cybermen? Remember when Doctor Who used to be genuinely scary enough to give me nightmares for life? Ah, well (and don't get me started on the travesty of Cyber-Brig).
At least, skimming through some of the reviews online, I wasn't the only one who found it difficult to engage with this season, not to mention the problematic main storyline involving the death of a character absolutely nobody cared about. Poor old Danny Pink. His 'noble warriors' death didn't even have the high-fiving satisfaction and well deserved doom of Adric's, whom I loathed to the point of bailing on my most favourite TV show. Ah, Doctor Who, do we have to have words? Ah, well, I suppose there have to be meh times to highlight the good times (and, no, I'm not thinking David Tennant or Matt Smith per se, I'm going to the giant spiders, robot munnies kinda place, 'cause I'm like really, really old and stuff).
Now Osgood I was upset about. Osgood I liked, and not just because you wouldn't be able to tell us apart in a line up. And Seb I adored. 'Permission to squee!', with jazz hands, is now part of my vocab, with matching death glares from Himself.
Later: Permission to squee now. So I did get to the theatre. Damn nearly forgot I was thus engaged but thank goodness the STC social media/comms team have nothing to be ashamed about and they sent me a timely reminder (I know, but I'm having a turd of a time, m'kay?). I went to see Switzerland at the Opera House, and, oh man, it was good. Apparently the STC have also noticed the mecurial Eamon Farren's sinsterly suave evoking of essence of Jude Law. Not when you look at him directly, but it's there, like blueberry notes in a red wine. To say this was a dramatic imagining involving Patricia Highsmith (Sarah Peirse, bitchy and grumpy as hell) and the best Jude Law like young actor we can field, and, well, there's no real surprise in where the play is going, none at all. The joy is the journey, a marvellous two hander where the power and cutting insults goes back and forth like a duel, which it is.
And that's all I'll say except the hoops I had to go through to get to the performance were entirely worth it and young Eamon is definitely on my ones to watch list. How Hollywood hasn't snapped him up yet I do not know (American accent? Tick), but I'm glad. It's a problem here, the moment our bright young things learn just enough to stop bumping into the furniture they get a film franchise and the next time I want to see them it'll be on Google Play. Sigh.
I like theatre. I think it's really helped me deal with people being loud and unpredictable and threatening in a controlled environment, so I've finally, finally learnt to curb my freakouts when people get right up in my face. Curb, mind, not eliminate. That I cannot do, too much merde at a tender age.
Oh, but last night rocked. I was reminded of Strangers on a Train , which I saw on stage (it sucketh boatloads) and The Talented Mr. Ripley film. They described a murder scene so sensuously and wrong that I had a sudden yen to rewatch poor Jack Davenport being throttled, and not just for the sake of Breathless being so damn boring (poor Jack, never mind, I enjoyed you in an old Marple re-run the other afternoon when I was couch bound and poorly).
So that's what I've been up to. That and merde. Much merde. They are really pushing it so hard they are pressing buttons in the Princess Bride zone, and nobody should ever, ever go there. Ah well, if nothing else, now I know it was them, and not me, and that's something, at the very least. So there's merde, stiking hot weather, and more merde.
At least Tim DeKay popped up in Agents of SHIELD, which I did catch up on over the weekend, and at least I didn't have to wait long at all for Tim to show up in something I actually liked (yay). Not that SHEILD isn't without its flaws, most of its own making, as a need to comply with Marvel Universe timeline and canon means that it's boxed in from being allowed to develop organically, but within that limiting framework, and with some very weak characters, and a very annoying habit of writing out what looked like very strong and interesting female characters without so much as a 'hello', it does ok for a show I watch on afternoons when I feel like rubbish. Dull the pain, is all I ask of it, and it does.
It's very retro in many respects: superheroes, secret spy organisations, very obvious So-Cal locations, weak female characters and minorities (are they even, now?) in blue collar support roles, but for all that, it's my cheesy 70s superhero/spy show, and it'll do on a Sunday afternoon. Because it's roiling summer and that's when they used to play cheesy American superhero shows when I was a kid. Moody blue-tinged Brit and Euro cop dramas are for winter.
Time and place, it's part of the viewing experience, and I can't escape it. Summer means watching dusty car chases down the Los Angeles Viaduct. Always has. Always will.
Come winter and I'll be with my grim British bobbies gazing down at some horrible grisly murder on a boggy windswept moor. With any luck (and RIP Warren Clarke, aka Andy Dalziel, best northern TV detective of them all).
I can still afford electricity by then, of course. Looks like I won't. Oh, it's all so terrible.
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