Sunday, 25 January 2009

"Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to discover that he had been transformed into a giant cockroach." Nah, it's too good.

The Bees' nine match unbeaten run comes to an end. Grr. A repeat viewing last night has confirmed that Wall E was my film of 2008, a year in which I saw more new films at the cinema than any other. And Okami is ace.

It's been a mental week, and a funny time in general over at uni. After the assessments we had a week of films. After Closer was Glengarry Glen Ross, which was bloody brilliant, but I'll have to see it again as the whole audience was jabbering away and I could hardly hear a thing.

Next up was Oh! What a Lovely War. Fortunately the people who had turned up for no reason buggered off and people who actually wanted to watch the film could enjoy it. It's an interesting adaptation; while the musical can't visually realise the grit and mud and blood, the film is able to, making it seem more poignant somehow. The genius use of Brighton pier and the image of the golden age of the grand British day out was cinematically pleasing- I think Attenborough used something similar recently in a film of Joseph, setting it in a school. In a funny way it reminded me of the film of Pink Floyd The Wall and I can't now remember why. It did definately serve to poke the national blind spot I think we have concerning the Great War.

After that was the utterly superb Licking Hitler- again mostly unheard thanks to the audience participation, but thought-provoking (the morality of propaganda is always fascinating) and brilliantly acted. It did, however, make me want to watch Where Eagles Dare again. Then we had the Shakespeare Retold adaptation of Much Ado, which was far superior to the hateful play. I've borrowed the DVD off a chum to watch the rest of them.

Last week was manic. One week to devise a performance, our stimulus being Amerika by Kafka. Intense physical work with the group every day, constantly finding ways to stage set pieces, places, journeys, chases, it was quite exhausting. All the groups performances were successful and very impressive. The Legendary Mitch guided us well and I'm really looking forward to working with him over the next semester. And now it's all over, and I've got two weeks to read and relax in my BIG CHAIR, after finishing off the YAT Drama Festival on Friday.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

End of an error

I was going to do a live blogging update regarding the progress of Obama's inauguration, but I was too busy eating a bowl of absolutely delicious pumpkin ravioli and watching the ceremony on the laptop. I can't emphasise enough how good the ravioli was, and in years to come, when small wide-eyed children tug on my sleeve and ask me what I was doing when Obama became the US president, I will wistfully look back on that ravioli and shed a tear in memory of how delicious it was. I'd go so far as to say that just looking at a picture or video of Obama, hearing about his progress on the news, or even just hearing his name will make me yearn for some more ravioli.

I'll be sure to offer him some if I ever get the chance to meet him.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

And now a look at some of your work in... The Gallery

Like any sane child of the eighties, I *did* once write in, with my best handwriting, to Hartbeat asking for a fact sheet on how to make something or other.


I'll do a non-death post sometime soon (providing of course that no more of my childhood heroes kick the bucket this week).

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Be seeing you.

I'm mortified.

You were never just a number to me, Number Six.

Monday, 12 January 2009


How heartening. You'll have to excuse me while I double-lock my front door.

In a bit of an odd limbo-time at the moment between semesters. Next week we're working towards making a piece with the legendary Mitch, while this week we've got a schedule of films based on plays to watch in the mornings. Today's was Closer, which was okay.

I've not seen it performed (although I may read it later on as I've still got Bill's copy, apologies there), and like a lot of films based on plays the writing's really the star. That said, when translated to film the writing doesn't sit well in the all-too natural setting. I also felt it so removed from any kind of reality that it was difficult to get engaged with any of the characters. I smirked at a scene where Jude Law steps out of a glamourous art exhibition and raises his arm to catch a gleaming black cab. It's like Nichols is trying to reinvent London as Sex and The City's New York. It doesn't work when you know the place; London will never be that, and shouldn't be portrayed as so. Funnily enough, Sex and The City's New York is similarly devoid of truth, with the writing being the key thing there too.

I remember when I started working as an extra and a boom-op in early 2005 seeing posters for Closer from a train rolling out of Victoria to get to Chatham for 7am and pondering about how disasterously distant the finished product in film is from the reality of the making. In the theatre you're there in the space where the work is. A film can go anywhere (I remember feeling something similar watching a video of a Las Vegas Britney Spears concert when I was sitting in a restaurant in Mongolia). The world of Closer is just so distant (fnark) that it's difficult to care about.

Marber's a good writer though, and I'd love to see the play. I still think his better work was Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Sun! The Sun! The Sun!

Gah, these crazy ideas, sometimes they just plain *work*.

Very happy with our Making Theatre assessment; much love for the group and thanks to the audience who went along with what we were doing and made it work. A big weight lifted.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The only solution to this intense cold.

I'm listening to The Chinese Democracy, and it's probably no coincidence that Hell is freezing over outside (taking my car with it). I'm sort of enjoying it so far, but was this really worth the ten year wait and endless blithering? I remember being excited about seeing them at the Docklands in 2001 or so, but monumental weirdo Buckethead got an aneurysm and the gig was cancelled. We'd constructed a really elaborate plan to get press passes as well, involving a fraudulent Guns N' Roses fanzine from Uzbekistan which we claimed to write for.

It's 2009, and things are approaching returning to normal. I've an exciting new kitchen filled with state-of-the-art appliances I don't know how to use, my Christmas visitors have returned home (BACKGROUND NOTE: while Annie is away teaching rich people how to slide down snowy hills with sticks, I was looking after her pet geckos when nobody else would be around to), it's REALLY cold, I've written my first essay in six-and-a-bit years and work ploughs ahead with our assessment. We're doing something very odd and rather interesting.

Christmas was *lovely*.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Ohaiyo gozaimasu


Just the best year ever.