"I've got the hat and I'm ready for action. I've got the purple helmet." - re X-Men, Digital Spy.
"Well, you know the scenes between Freud and Jung in Freud's home office? That space was amazing, full of all these set details which tried to approximate Freud's actual office. It's all wood and cigars, you know? While we were shooting this one scene, where Freud's sitting behind his desk and I'm sitting right in front of him, and we're having this really deep conversation which turns out to last like 13 hours or something.
And in between takes—at first I don't notice—Viggo keeps pushing these penises, no, what do you call them? Phalluses? Freud's desk had all of these little statutes and things, and some of them were phallus sculptures from different cultures around the world. And Viggo kept pushing them towards my end of the desk. I didn't notice at first until I looked down and saw them all, inching ever-forward, with Viggo smirking, really a prankster, dressed up as Freud. It was surreal!" - re A Dangerous Method, PopMatters
Bless. And thank you Foxtel, for once, for keeping up the FassyFest2011.
Yes, I've seen them before but I was tired and willing to take pot luck and so on Saturday night I was treated to the mad Irish bastard in Jonah Hex playing the mad Irish bastard blowing things up, because, he's like a mad Irish bastard (I've sat through the exact same character in more tv westerns than I can count so I'm not going to dispute the trope again, just restate my bemusement that the motivation is always because he's Irish and that's what they do, blow shit up, complex geopolitical history nothwithstanding), and there's lots of Michael being mad, being very Irish and quite a bastard, with that grin of his that looks like the big bad wolf who has cracked and sucked the marrow from grandma's bones and is ever ready for more.
Sunday night I sat down and sod me if Centurion wasn't just starting, so, as I was planning on putting a disk in anyway (though I was leaning more towards Rochester or Magneto) down I sat, and isn't he pretty, even when on the run from slavering picts. It is enough of a Rosemary Sutcliff book without actually being one (and yes to the flying limbs, her books can be quite deliciously violent) to please me, ironically a more faithful adaptaion of a non book than an adapatation of an actual book, if you understand me, it really captured the spirit and grist of her tales, northerns that they were, that is, out and out westerns staged on the northern frontier of the Roman empire. So, yes, there's some frightfully post modern blah about empire, invasions and overly extended frontiers, hostile locals and the like, which were all in the books, it's just that now it's an American experience, rather than a mere British one (empires are such pesky things to run) it's like, suddenly a legitimate pov or something (interesting that the Eagle referenced American wars of the mid 20th to early 21stC without looking inwards to the invasion of their own country).
Anyway, never mind that. It's basically a war/western film with the old rag tag being hunted down in enemy territory, a cast very familiar to me from Brit telly, but mainly I'm just there, last night, to ogle the Fass, he of the expressive face and intense looks, gentleness and violence, humour and bleakness, honour and savagery.
On second viewing, having gotten past all the flying limbs and tomato sauce (did Foxtel edit it, or am I becoming blunted?) I really did quite like it. It was a perfect Sutcliff story on film, even though it wasn't. I always said Fassy'd be a perfect Sutcliff hero, I was thinking more Horse Lord, but this'll do, as it's all I'm ever likely to get now that he is The Big Thing). I loved this so much last night. It hit the spot. So much so I'm going to see if I can't trawl ebay or Amazon for more books (so hard to come by, here). I miss my Roman boys.
Saddened to hear of the demise of Mr Ken Russell. I wasn't a huge fan, but a couple of his pieces lurk up the back of the collection, yet I always regarded him with a certain affection as he was a character in a world now even more sorely lacking in characters, and, even though it should have been in no way my gateway, but it was, he was always having the piss taken out of him on The Goodies, and that also endeared him to me, in some strange non standard way.
In other news, some intrepid soul over at The Guardian tracked down Mr Alan Moore and asked him about the V masks popping up everywhere. Old Alan seems anxious to prudently keep his distance, but he sounds the least grumpy I've read of him in years, so I'm going to read that as quietly chuffed. And why not? I get a chuckle everytime I see those masks.
So, after a shocking day of having to deal with such woefully clumsy damage to stuff that anywhere else would rate as sabotage, and then all the maps started pointing to Africa, I lost it completely and just started humming Toto. And then I had to race down to the Opera House again.
No men of the year lurking about this time, but the weather was more like it (breeze was a bit on the brisk side, though). I was off to see Pinter. I rather love Pinter. I love anyone who dances with words and ideas and motivation. Not play with words, because some writers lick words around like a football, and some just thing a cut and paste collage is sufficient. The writers I like they play, the dance, they fence, the seduce, they tease, they fight, they turn everything upside down and right side up again.
I like Pinter, I like seeing it performed well (and it was), with the words going up and down and round and round, painting pictures with their meaningg and playing tunes with the rising and falling. People go on about the pauses, but basically I'm just there for the nudge, nudge, wink, wink Britishness of it all (and the programme had such handy dandy explanations and definitions of the Britishisms within it was a cut out and keeper).
So, No Man's Land. Two old duffers start getting drunk and soon it all comes out, the messy pasts, the blighted dreams, the dark futures, the loss of friends, the hangers on. I loved it. I loved the text, but more than that, I loved the set and the actors, all completely on form and doing the best Pinter I've seen. The chap playing Foster had the mincing menance down so well as he prattled and preened, all tits and teeth, he was clearly hitting the spot of recognition for some in the audience as gales of laughter greeted his every move. (To me he just reminded me of Caffrey, predatory catamite that he is).
So, yes, I adored, enjoyed and relished every moment, jumping on every word and every twitch (my seat was wonderful, for a change), at least until my headache racheted up another gear in the second act.
Horrible cab ride home (no tip, especially as he'd helped himself to a large one by running around in crcles until I warned im sternly that he'd be cleaning out the backseat if he kept that up, I was so ill by then). Staggered in for the latter part of Supernatural but couldn't really follow it (because I'd missed most of it, my brain was dribbling out my ears, I was wandering in and out so they went from moaning to exploding and then with the sudden ending). Was that really the last episode or is the local channel just dicking with us again?
Fell into bed and was kind of surprised to wake up, it was that bad. Still woogy today but, mercy, my main tormenters are all away today, blessed peace.
I've heard rumours, all completely unsubstantiated, that Pinter may have been in some way involved in early Avengers scripts, you know, from the b/w Cathy Gale era. Pish posh, I know, but then you read The Dumb Waiter and it is so early Avengers it hurts, so one does wonder. At the very least, some of the staff wroters were only too happy to ape Pinter. Sorry, homage.
Himself is still going through the 50th anniversary (clutches pearls) box set and treated me to a couple of Tara King episodes I'd not seen before. They weren't that bad (for a show past its best years), though the Star Trekky costumes in the one with the naughty man in the silver spacesuit did make me laugh (the Saint also had an episode with Trekky uniforms and its amusing that the Brits found it all so sinsiter and fascist).
To be honest, I quite enjoyed them, especially the one with the guys using crime scene forensics to blackmail rich men into handing over their art treasures. If not for the Silly Not-Holmes, it would have been perfect (and I may yet find it, ahem, inspirational as I've come to a blank spot in the fic and I must finish, if only because some parts of it amuse me greatly, and I know it's not cool to laugh at your own lines, but they're not mine, the characters just say them as I try to copy them down, and when Peter and Neal start slanging off at each other like some old couple in a Pinter play, well, I just gotta finish it).
So that's the news so far, mostly. Rained most of Saturday, was hot all Sunday. I did myself in raking up mounds of leaves with that cheap, nasty new rake (I busted old faithful, the handle was rotted through) and putting out a fortnight's worth of washing out in the line didn't help. Still, as much as I'm getting mouldy and old, I think I'm also coming down with something, because I was shivering as well as all sore and headache-y. Not that you need to know, but just to excuse the ongoing typos and grumpiness.
So, to the theatre again (just tweeted that I was at the Belvoir, seeing yet another play by this young up and comer called Bill Shakespeare), and such a huffing hoof up the hill, oh, I am getting old.
Why so much theatre? Why now?
Well, this week is mad, but mostly because all the seasons are wrapping up and bringing out the big guns for the finale. But as to my sudden procivilities for running out every other night? Well, alas, I spent my my youth in work, study and care and it's only now that I'm free of duty to do as I please, more or less.
I'd always thought I'd party later, when it finally got to be my time, do all those things that everyone else got to do when I was at home studying and ironing, usually at the same time, to no great effect. But it doesn't work like that. I can't go and see any new bands/acts, no matter how much I enjoy them. I'm stuck with the touring heritage acts, and they never play the golden oldies. I'm sure their new stuff is perfectly fine, but I don't know it, it's probably not even been released here (nor was their old stuff, I guess, but we had those groovy old import shops for that) and I'm sorry, but it just lacks the deep resonance of time and place that the old faves evoke.
Nor can I safely enjoy the latest popcorn flick in the cinemas, overrun by feral teens, now armed to the teeth. I might get away with an art film but none of them play within 100 km of home and it's cheaper to buy the dvds from overseas, plus postage, than pay for a taxi there and back (no public transport in the sticks).
So, the theatre, then, because I've already commuted to the city most weekdays anyway, and it is the only evening out considered suitable for an aging spinster. And so I go.
I admit to being traditional in my choices (I love the classics and enjoy a narrative), but it's better than sitting at home every night washing up and sorting socks (speaking of which, you should see the gorgeous windows they have in DJs this year for Xmas, two of the sherpherds are actually washing their socks at night, and if you don't get the mondegreen, well, it's too complicated to explain in an aside, but I laughed myself silly the first time I saw them).
And, since I've started with sheep: Sheep! The comedy sheep last night. I will indeed (as tweeted) be randomnly smirking today as I remember those sheep. People were flailing about crying over those damn sheep.
Okay, I went to see As You Like It at the Belvoir, and I wasn't expecting much as they tend to be overly earnest down at the Belvoir, so imagine my surprise and delight, which quickly gave way to guffaws and giggles, as they staged not only the best version of As You Like It I've seen (sadly leaving the long beloved version I saw at the Globe in the dust) but one of the best performances I've seen all year, rivalled only by the Bell's Much Ado About Nothing and NT Live's One Man, Two Gunvors.
The action began with the actors running up and down the steps, in and around and through the audience, establishing plot and character, threadbare though they might be (legend has it Bill bashed this out over a weekend, or something like that) but that didn't matter, as our actors launched themselves, literally, with gusto, into their roles. Btw, the guy playing Orlando? Hot and funny (and as he deliberately turned it on, it wasn't just the heroines in the play biting their lips, especially the Darcy bit in the pond).
Then suddenly the empty stage lit up with green curtains and a sign saying Arden, and we were in the forest, with the exiles all rather hilariously dressed like Occupy protestors.
Oh my word, I couldn't tell you who was funnier, the girls, the boys, the boy playing Phebe, the priest (Hamish), played as the exact nebbish and buttoned up Christian we have in the office that I wonder he wasn't used as a study, the fool, Orlando (swoon), Casey Donovan, and, oh god, the sheep. Those sheep. The Globe never even had the sheep. I will fall over giggling again if I even think of those sheep.
It was fabulous, very silly stuff. Yes, they played fast and loose with the play, but it was all so wonderfully brash and Oz and fun. Finally I'm seeing some stuff with real style, razzle, dazzle and confidence, with actors I know and delight in. I guess because of the economy, instead of bailing out OS, they're here, doing their stuff. Ah, their lack of a Hollywood career is my incredible gain (they could wipe the floor with every single person occupying a slot on the USA network, they really could, and then sit down to breakfast, and quite rightly, too).
A shame, just a little, that it so thoroughly trounced that beloved performance at the Globe, which was a magical night that I still remember fondly, I was thinking of it only the other night, as I walked away from the opera house, thinking it was wrong, in a way, that I had to walk with it at my back, all lit up like that, when, coming out of the Globe, I remember dearly walking across the bridge on the warm spring night to St Paul's which was lit up like a giant white icecream cake against an inky black sky and it was marvellous. Completely wonderful.
Tonight I'll be going to the Picasso exhibit and I wonder how different it will be to the exhibition I saw at the Met in New York. Clang, clang, clang, yes, I know. I think I must be getting itchy feet again. Or it could be just these cheap shoes that have cut my feet to ribbons (I've had to resort to boots today as I'm swathed in bandaids and I'm sure to be getting beady looks from the security guards, who were probably busy following me around when that painting was taken off the wall - please note I am an excellent patsy as security guards are always on me like flies on shit, for some reason, leaving you free and open to do what you like while I try to browse in all and tightly monitored innocence).
Re the theatre, it's also useful, as with bands and films, as a good night out without being required to talk to anyone. Ditto galleries and museums. All my outings now are usually solo excursions, and just as well. I certainly can't talk to anyone. Firstly, the other people who go to these things do not talk to the likes of me. They are people of designer clothes, cut flowers and nice houses. I am ragged scum. It's as simple as that. I'm also looking more and more like a bag lady, more's the pity, pretty last chance to wear skirts notwithstanding. Also, because I'm so alone, and never had anything much in the way of social skills to begin with, I just cannot talk to people. I say the stupidist things, like Cate's character in that play, and I just can't stop myself. I get so nervous that nothing but nonsense comes out. Hence the life long social exclusion. Oh well. At least I can take my ticket, take my seat and hopefully clap in the right places.
I'd go to classical musical things more often, had not an old teacher of mine, clearly having seen Clockwork Orange once too often, would inflict Beethoven on us every detention, and, he'd be all too pleased to know, I can only associate classical music with puishment now, so it's a bit of a hurdle to get over. Pity, because the couple of times I went down to Angel Place the folks there were lovely and friendly and welcoming. I must try again, screw the courage to the sticking place, etc, but maybe not this week, or the next.
Maybe I'll go to something seasonal, in lieu of the office party, as I have no office (and the latest email indicates they are getting closer to getting around to pink slipping me). Sigh. Anyone want a mad, elderly, near blind web master with no social skills or graces and who rolls out of bed looking like a scarecrow on a good day?
Friday: And there's a reason why I'm typing this two days later. But to the Picasso exhibition. Which I had to dash to, having last minute frantic work stuff, but I wouldn't have missed that session for all the world. They were timed tickets, you see, hence the urgency. Oh, but what a session. You won't, and, given the deathly silence to my tweets, you don't, believe who was there, because, as I was watching the film of Picasso I turned slightly and saw the old geezer who was standing beside me was none other than Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones (omfg), in town on a family visit, apparently. Alas, he wandered away after my stage whisper of 'STONES!' to the Peanut Gallery but I was desperate, the PG being too busy blanking me entirely as he smiled and waved to people he knew and wilfully and deliberately and quite rudely ignoring my frantic tugging on his sleeve (it did not mean I needed to go potty).
But anyway, for several long minutes I found myself in a surreal space of watching Picasso with Ronnie Wood at my shoulder, and wondering who was the more impressive and influential cultural icon, because I was feeling very much like bugger Picasso, let's slap a label on Mr Wood and call him an installation. I really was quite shockingly and absolutely star struck in a way I've never been before. Ah well. And he wasn't the only one wandering through during our alloted spot, as Himself, perhaps feeling he'd done slightly badly by me, pointed out other important personages, including one of the men from the infamous Oz trials, which would explain why the Picasso cartoons, which were not in this showing (but were at the Met), reminded me so much of the cartoons in Oz, and by osmosis, every other magazine, fanzine, and even Dept of Education stuff I remember from my childhood (yes, I said childhood, child of the seventies, saw my first hairy naked hippy before I was five, these days I'd be in counselling).
So I wasn't at all kidding when I tweeted about the crowd being far and away more interesting than the art on the walls. Oh, there were some famous pieces, and a few pieces I actually liked, but I've never been a huge Picasso fan, and I was really in there to round out my non education, you know, so that when people talk about stuff I have some vague clue what they're going on about, all that assumed knowledge that people assume, especially in the cop shows I always seem to watch, of all places. So I'm thrilled that the show was so exciting, in an experience kind of way (otherwise it'd be all squinting at squiggles, knowing I was going to be examined on it later).
Giddily we decamped to my old fave resturant, who snuck us in on account of me having been once a faithful regular (back when I had family and friends and worked that end of town, it was where I wined and dined 'em) and in honour of the night I ordered a very sixties beef fillet with bombe alaska to follow, which was my undoing. Shot through with liquor, it smashed into the single glass of red I'd had and I was very wobbly drunk until yesterday afternoon, oh my god. Now I know why those desserts vanished after the 70s (RBT anyone?). Yikes.
Still, it was fun, and they wished us a merry Xmas as we left (me, unsteadily). In all, a grand night out.
I'd pre-booked Thursday as a much needed RDO and spent a couple of hours lying in, because I simply couldn't get upright, but soon I had to drag myself out of bed to clean, start the marmalade (wtf, cumquat trees, December?), hang some Xmas decs and lights (while still a bit tipsy, hello Casualty episode waiting to happen), more cleaning, try to get online (20kps is not broadband, you f**ks), more cleaning, more decking of halls (slightly more sober now, hangover starting to kick in, damn that pudding), etc, etc until eleven pm when the PG finally swanned in from his work soiree, complete with gift bag (my one, if I was having one this year, would be a byo bag of no name chips, harumph). Oh, how the other half live.
So exhausted now, and putting off peeking at the inbox full of angry, angry emails. Oh well, it's been a mad, mad week. Never to be repeated, but always remembered.
As You Like It
("I hope Hamish Michael can take it in the spirit that it's intended when I say that, as livestock, he puts in one of the performances of his career.")
Shakespeare in disguise
As You Like It @ Belvoir
As You Like It | Belvoir
As You Like It
As You Like It
Ugly Renaissance Babies
Oscar Wilde's Tombstone Damaged By Kisses
Original Inspector Gadget returns
Long-lost Disney film Hungry Hobos unearthed in UK archive (nsfw?)
Portrait of the artist: Roger Moore, actor
Alan Moore – meet the man behind the protest mask
Was Postmodern Architecture Any Good?
ABC censures Triple J presenter over PM tweet
Sir Elton John urges action on AIDS, gay marriage
Kevin Spacey's performance in Richard III fit for a king
Limited swearing helps pain relief
Crimes of fashion: gangsters turn heads again
21 festive uses for pepper spray
Are Teacups the Next Chick-Lit Cover Cliché?
Doctor Who: Guardian reviewer unimpressed by first episode
Neil Gaiman's 'Simpsons' shocker: 'I actually had to act'
Neil Gaiman, Phill Jupitus to Join BBC America's 'Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!' Special
Neil Gaiman's Journal: On Doughnuts, Posters, and remembering Anne McCaffrey
Neil Gaiman returns to 'Neverwhere' (and 'Graveyard Book' movie?)
Flame On! Marvel reignites the Human Torch
'Chuck' Star Zachary Levi to Host Spike TV's Video Game Awards (Exclusive)
Love conquers Alex O'Loughlin's fear
Channing Tatum Talks The Eagle, Playing Marcus Aquila
Olivia Munn: Matt Bomer Can Really Shake It!
Olivia Munn on Matt Bomer's 'Magic Mike' Strip Tease: 'He Can Shake It'
Olivia Munn on Magic Mike Costar Matt Bomer: He Can Shake It "Better Than Most People"
Magic Mike's Matt Bomer Can Shake It
Does Olivia Munn Have a Thing for Matt Bomer?
Matt Bomer Gives His Son A Lift At The Grove
White Collar Lnk Archive
December 2011 - January 2012