Just the allergies playing up something chronic, re the not seeing, puffed up and sore. The mozzies outside went from billions to one so I know they sprayed, hence me flailing about in misery and mystery rashes from here on, but it's my lot in life. As is everything else. The less said about events on the weekend the better, and not even cocooning myself in the bunker with a Newsroom dvd was going to help dispel the reality of it. This is going to be so not good.
Actually, the whole allergy thing isn't very funny either. I was so blind trying to cross six lanes this morning it was exactly like that scene from Gattaca. No funny. Only just starting to not hurt. On top of this I have to gird my loins to once more unto the breach to make everyone else look good so they get to live in the big houses. Some jaw grinding going on here. Tis my lot, but, still.
I heard some reviews of Whitechapel (today's trope) that ranged from just bad to so bad it's good. Hopefully it resides in the latter category, because I'm fine with that.
I think it's a generational thing, that block of folks whose idea of fun times in their student days was group watching choice videos from the extremely cheap shelves. The sort of activity that gave rise to MST3K, Clerks, Chuck and Quentin Tarrantino. By choice video I mean usually anything with insects or seafood running amok that was likely to invite the greater sarcasm from participants. It was a thing, a very 90s thing, and I rather miss it. Watching bad movies solo just isn't the same. I guess that's why they invented Twitter.
Of course, these days with the entirity of human civilisation, and cat photos, at one's fingertips, there's no earthly reason why I should linger in the shallow end, but I still have an abiding affection of the dubious charms of Kaiju, Hammer horror, and the like. I'm sorry to see films like Pacific Rim, and shows like Whitechapel, get trashed, but I guess it's a style whose time is passing, even in homage and pastiche. Sigh.
Still, Sharknado got a cinema release out here. Really.
I think, depite the Calvinist upbringing, or because of it, I've got quite a taste for the lurid and baroque. If I didn't, I don't think I'd be quite so into the Tudors and the whole War of The Roses thang. Love that period. Bad behaviour, shiny armour, falconry and stained glass windows (well, sometimes). Undoubtedly a bitch of a time to live through, but from a spectator's perspective, it's so rock and roll.
So why modern directors think they need to update the plays and dress the cast in bin liners to be edgy I will never know. I hate it. Post-apocalyptic Shakespeare - I absolutely loathe it. Ditto the current trend here to re-write the classics so that everything from Coward to Ibsen, Shaw and Chekhov and everything in between looks and sounds like Don's Party. stop it, stop it, stop it right now.
When I go to the theatre I want to see the classics, done properly, because I never had an education and I want to know why they are classics and I'll never understand if you fuck with them like that. I won't know them or make sense of them or their place in time, which is so important to me. Stop messing with them. It's not clever, it's just smutty schoolboy graffitti on the cover.
Harumph. (As you might guess, the new Belvoir season is not floating my boat, not at all, though I'll probably go see anything with my darlings in it, just 'cause, though I do have a Tobey shaped hole in my life now).
And why, on modern tv procedurals, do serial killers insist on staging their crimes like installations, sometimes with performance art. Usually there's some post Bauhaus collage work going on, with some post modernist mobile action happening, as well as elaborate set dressing (set dressing, something you rarely see in Sydney theatre productions). Why? And who has the time? And which is more important, the killing to satiate some deviant need, or the Blue Peter craft project that goes with it?
Just curious, and needing to get it off my chest before I see Whitechapel - though despite the reviews, there are other shows far more guilty of featuring exuberantly stagey killers (you'll need an egg carton, glitter, a pot of glue and safety scissors). It was a relief to see Broadchurch treat murder as so mundane and happenstance. No quoting from obscure Victorian poets and dyi taxidermy for that killer. Which made it so different. Fancy that, a bread and butter cop show is lauded as something new. I guess that wheel really has turned.
Have to wait for the dvd to see Whitechapel, though. Cause thanks to wot they did on Satuday, no decent broadband, never ever. Four hours (if I'm lucky) to stream a 40 minute program? Forget that.
There was a brief rant over on Wired about films these days being first person shooters (it was mainly a fanboy rant over Riddick lacking a certain degree of complexity, hardly worth linking to, because, like, duh) but it plays into my musings that a lot of old Doctor Who, and I'm thinking Pertwee and Baker because I'm positively ancient, were a lot like old platform games.
At least I was thinking that as the Doc and Sarah made their way through the maze in Pyramids of Mars. Man, that's a ripping story. Every time I watch it, I enjoy it (and it's never the same, because I'm never the same person, certainly not the child I was, though I remember the cliffhanger and nothing else of that year). And I enjoyed it again. Because it's got evil robot mummies, and you just can't lose with evil robot mummies. The mashup of HG Wells and Howard Carter with the whole invaders from Mars meets Egyptian myth and curses is still rather fabulous and inventive, and still the sort of thing I love (hence the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman et al on the old bookshelf).
Also, to my bemusement, it tied with the first episode of Boardwalk Empire for a body count (six in Boardwalk, half a dozen in Who, if you're wondering). No wonder I wasn't watching BE as seriously as I might. I don't know where I read it being described as a bloody violent antiques show, but that's about right ('ooooh, that looks like that hurt, is that a real Tiffany lamp?'). Loved it though, because I just adore Nucky, for no reason except Mr Buscemi makes me give a damn. I love every tick, head tilt, sigh and wtf face of that man. It's the rare moments of fallibility and weakness that make him, I think.
So there were gangsters, and show girls, but their Berkeley routine lacked a certain buzz. I could see what they were doing, but where was the crane shot? Ah, there, finally, but sheesh, is the choreographer not speaking to the DoP?.
Finished off HBO Mondays (as Foxtel being the only source of new telly is now the law of the land) with the Newsroom. That rocked. It was even laugh out loud in places, which it hasn't been for a while. Screw the critics, I like my Newsroom to be all screwball.
Wednesday: Well, last night I was just working on the PC because it's what I do when things get a bit crazy. For every week I simply cannot give a damn about putting together the Brit List, there are days when I'm glad to have something to do. It's my needlepoint.
Yesterday I could see the smoke from the office windows. Not that my abode was under any threat in the slightest, not a bit of it, miles, away, but with fires ringing the area I did want to get home before the peak hour gridlock met road and line closures and evacuations. You understand, yes?
So where I live is burning orange in the sky and two besuited twats tap at their watches, twice, when I left as early as I might. Bastards. I am still fuming. How dare they. How very dare they.
Like I said, no danger, but, golly, the sky was dark burning orange and the water bloody red as we crawled across the bridges. Ash was falling from the sky as I waited at the bus stop (I always think snow is ash when it starts falling, because that's what I'm used to) and when I made it home (over 40 minutes late, I made the right decision to leave early) we had to keep the windows closed because having them open was like leaving a window open when a steam train goes through a tunnel. Ever been on a carriage when some idiot leaves their window open as you churn into a tunnel? It's not a mistake that's made twice. Anyway, it was like that until about 9 pm.
That's when the wind finally died down. The poor old wattle went over and had to be chopped up. Not the wattle I took all the pics of? Yes, that one. I don't know if all wattles are like this, but mine are always look at me, look at me, whoops, I'm dead. Flowering one week, firewood the next.
So quite the night, but it was just smoke and wind. Enough to fray the nerves but no damage. Not even close. I still want to smack those two smug bastards, though. Even though it's not all bad news. Well, outside of the office, at any rate. I've been impulse buying. So wrong, but there has to be more to life than washing socks and taking shit. Has to be.
Anyways, one awkward dismount of the bus (the 'driver' pulled up about a metre from the curb, and while long legged trousered chaps could step across the yawning chasm I was wearing my little black dress so I had to jump down, also about a metre, and the gentleman behind gave me a helpful shove so I landed hard on my bad ankle and there was a crack and I saw stars, definitely saw stars) rather crimped the evening's entertainments, or, ahem, hobbled them to a certain degree.
Had planned to swing through the gallery (there be but one) before trotting down to the Belvoir, but as it took me so long to limp to the gallery, being shoved this way and that by joggers (one of these days, pow, right in the kisser) and eyes rolling back in my head, I made it, bought my tickets and had the Sydney Moderns exhibition almost to myself.
Which is a shame because I loves it heaps. My second time through, and, curiously, I stuck to the favourites I'd spotted before: that one (I forgot to take notes and the memory has no disk space, so no links or citations alas but they don't have a proper online gallery and I know why so I'll be quiet now) with the empty road cut into the hillside, just because it's an early work documenting the change the motorcar made on the landscape painting, that wonderful one of the plane that's all art deco shapes, I adore that (it belongs to Kerry Stokes so it's not even in the catalogue, weep), those gorgeous covers from Home magazine and the photos from Max and chums. Oh, and that P&O poster just because it's so clearly saying 'no chicks' I smirk everytime I see it. Oh, and the prints, and nope, nothing on the website to help (rolls eyes). Anyway, you should by the catalogue, incomplete though it may be. Cool stuff within.
The other exhibition I went to was the Goya one, or, more to the point, Goya and friends (a few Goyas, the rest filler), from the British Museum, that wasn't, but was very like an exhibition I saw there years and years ago, because I recognised some of the drawings. It was all saints being tortured and war crimes and my ankle was killing me so it was more an intellectual exercise.
Didn't have time or willpower to do anything else than push through the old rooms, they had four (I think) Sickert paintings up, for some reason. Interesting for his notoriety more than his talent (I don't have a high opinion), nevertheless I knew where I could catch an easy glance at a few Sickerts, plus a few other pieces of high Victoriana (the ones that survives the 20thC purges, at any rate) and the PRB room (apaarently clothes were optional for Victorian women - grin).
I call it research. Any excuse to visit the Brotherhood again. Just realised the painting of St George I tried to describe in a fic was a Burne-Jones on the wall and not anything I've seen OS. I do so love that room, btw. Not even a wobbly ankle will keep me from paying homage.
So, another long stagger back to the city proper, knocked about by joggers (nothing worse when you've crapped your ankle) to the bus (walking another step was right out) down to my favourite tapas bar. Sure the waiters treated me with pity, and the vino did nothing to ease the throbbing in the appendage, but it was my usual stop and I like it. I've written some of my fovourite work there.
Onwards to the theatre. I collapsed in a seat in the corner of the foyer and was only just starting up a conversation with the elderly gentleman who had also joined me on the seats, when it was time to climb he stairs (ouch) to sit twixt perfumed peoples (ouch) for yet another Simon Stone trashing of a classic (ouch).
Really, the less said about it the better, and sure the violent ending stuck with me (as I said on Twitter, there's always that moment when everyone is dead on stage and then the actors have to pop up and take thier bows covered in red sauce) and, again, on Twitter, I know know when Brendan Cowell's tattoo is (now it's probably getting easier to list the Australian actors I haven't seen stark bollock naked), but the thing is, the original work is considered a classic, albeit a mysognist one (isn't that the very definition of 'classic'?) but as I'm unfamiliar, I've no idea what was kept from the original (any?) and it's not like I've not seen the bratty little rich girl runs away with the man hired to protect her and it all ends in tears before.
But once, just once, I'd like to see a classic as written, because I don't need it distilled through the prisom of Mr Stone's own 'genius'. The conceit of saying modern audiences won't understand, why must they turn everything into Don's Party? It's like sitting through horrible karaoke versions of plays that are supposed to mean something, that have their own carefully arranged rhythms and words. Mr Stone should write his own stuff and just stop messing with other people's work. Hack.
That said, the performances were quite intense and spot on, for a Don's Party version of Miss Julie, as much as I could guess at what the characters were supposed to be. There were some props on the all white set, and I rather enjoyed seeing prop boy artfully arrange tossed knickers about the place.
But yeah, I have no idea what the takeway was supposed to be? Rich girls are psychobitches from hell? Um, got that one, way back at uni when I first ran into them. No surprises there, then, just a slow walk to the inevitable.
It wasn't bad, but as I'll never get a chance to see the play proper, I can't possibly tell.
Anyway, tired sore and grumpy now. And with a brain the size of a pea apparently. And about to answer some very stupid questions with some very snappy answers if I don't go and hide in the loo (because counting to a thousand just isn't cutting it today).
Boardwalk Empire: Return to Empire
Alan Moore's 'promiscuous' career
'Priceless' butterflies found at Oxford museum
Here Be Duck Trees and Sea Swine
See the Cathedral of Human Sacrifices in the Cave of the Crystal Maiden
The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World
Britain a Wee Bit Defensive About Being Called a "Small Island"
10 ways to survive the Tony Abbott years
The Newsroom: How to improve our election coverage, Aaron Sorkin-style
Nearly quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admit to committing rape
21 awesome features missing from the new iPhone [disclaimer: proud Android user]
Developers fight over Brompton Road Tube station famous for link to Adolf Hitler's Nazi deputy Rudolf Hess
Open thread: have you ever lied about reading a book?
Doctor Who gets gold coin tribute from Perth Mint
Russell Brand and the GQ awards: 'It's amazing how absurd it seems'
Andrew Marr: stroke has made me more aware of people with disabilities
City of shadows
Church of England has up to £10m invested in arms firm
A Boy Named Humiliation: Some Wacky, Cruel, and Bizarre Puritan Names
Miserable-looking blobfish named world's ugliest animal
Machines imitate life: The insect that goes through the gears just like a car
NASA's Frog Photobomb: "The Condition of the Frog, However, Is Uncertain"
Hollywood Backlot - 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
Thomas Sadoski Talks THE NEWSROOM Season 2, Delivering Sorkin Dialogue, Working with Olivia Munn, the Show’s Polarizing Nature, and More
Conan Doyle Estate: Denying Sherlock Holmes Copyright Gives Him 'Multiple Personalities'
Alexander Skarsgard Competing in South Pole Charity Trek with Prince Harry!
Voyager 1 is 'first spacecraft to reach interstellar space'
Peaky Blinders: The tricks of creating a TV drama
James Bond's 'Spy Who Loved Me' submarine car auctioned in London
Grimm Exclusive Season 2 Recap: Shirtless Rage, Hexenbiest Drama and Zombies!
'Supernatural' Exclusive: Misha's Major Mistake
Supernatural First Look: The Secret Behind Sam and Dean's Biggest Adventure Yet
Supernatural Season 9 Video: Death Comes for Sam
A van Gogh's Trip From the Attic to the Museum
New York art dealer pleads guilty to fraud
Tim DeKay And Tiffani Thiessen Hugging On The Set Of 'White Collar'
'White Collar' season 5 sneak peek: Neal turns to Mark Sheppard to help Peter
Matt Bomer: 'White Collar' Actor Busy Filming with Tim DeKay For Season 5 in New York City Amid 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Petition
Exclusive White Collar Season 5 Promo: "It's Time to Rebuild"
Matt Bomer responds to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' petition
Matt attends Fashion Week
First Look - Matt Bomer in WHITE COLLAR Season 5 Promo
‘White Collar’ Season 5 SPOILERS, VIDEO Teaser: Matt Bomer Gets a Fresh Start, ‘It’s Time to Rebuild the Empire’
Matt Bomer suits for you! - A Suit That Fits
American Drama White Collar Dropped By Alibi
Matt Bomer Will Play Montgomery Clift In 2015 Biopic
Matt Bomer Is All Smiles And Giggles On ‘White Collar’ Set
Matt Bomer: Montgomery Clift Biopic Star!
Matt Bomer stars in Montgomery Clift biopic
27 September - 3 October 2008