mockturle06: (Chris)

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).

White rice

May. 17th, 2017 07:58 am
mockturle06: (Chris)

I must have looked at my calendar and thought, yay, two weeks without any engagements. I know, I’ll be sick!

At least, that’s what it feels like. I think it’s just a lurgy I picked up in Melbourne, but as I’ve not had a proper, decent make me feel entirely wretched cold for a couple of years now (that dose of flu/whooping cough/tonsillitis that damn nearly killed me several years ago gifted me with an immunity to everything, until now) so I’m taking it like a grizzling toddler/adult male.

Still, it’s been an excuse to stay close to the telly. Oh yes, Pine. But first, I did see a play last week.

STC’s Talk, at the Opera House, was very funny, oddly timely and a bit old hat (it’s been in production for years), somewhat farcical about serious matters (but so was MASH). It wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, more an essay on modern media in general, rather than an examination of a shock jock.

It was oddly visceral in charting the decline of the traditional media structure, and I saw it days before Mark Colvin died, but after the Sydney Morning Herald sackings. Oddly, the original number of sacked journos in the play was 50, but, as discussed in the Q&A after the show, they knocked it down to 25, which they still thought high. Turns out 115 was the number. So that was shockingly relevant.

What was quaint was shifting the blame for all this onto feckless Millennial bloggers, rather than the entirely more sinister psyops strategy we know it is now.

Reading that Guardian article reminded me of the tactics described by Fleming, yes, Fleming, in From Russia With Love, and I’m not sure whether Fleming was describing Russian psyops or inventing them, but either way, the blueprint is there. Ditto some of the early Le Carres, should you require corroboration, and if you still don’t believe this stuff can happen, go read Philby’s piece, which can be summed up as a smug ‘too easy’. Or read today’s headlines. Whichever.

But I digress. Basically, I was there to see John Waters on stage (because I still have a thing for Sergeant McKellar, for shame), and anything written by Jonathan Biggins is likely to be very witty, local and topical, and it was. Even the sets were a hoot, with the stark (and entirely accurate) contrast between the ABC and Newscorp press rooms. It was a bit slapstick, more than a bit (too much Revue creeping in), but it certainly hit the mark about the message, even if it did hammer it home with all the subtlety of a shock jock.

So that’s me, supporting the yartz, local thespians and new works. Job done and it wasn’t that painful (see, new works don’t have to be distressingly awful).

So, the Pine. Basically, the screening, at last, a week later, of a very cut down version of his SNL episode, featuring only three skits that had Mr Pine in them (and no music, no monologue, no dance off, but luckily I have friends). Um, what to say? Well, the kid can sing, and sing he did, but I was hoping for more funny, but I guess the called off at the last-minute writer’s strike might have played into that a bit? Maybe? Or did Chris just want to sing his little heart out, bless. (Had I seen the monologue I could have comments about TPTB fascination with white guys called Chris, but I didn’t, so I don’t).

Either way, what I saw wasn’t that funny, but maybe I was annoyed at knowing, from Tumblr, that I was missing out on huge, huge chunks of the show, and 6am is never my optimum viewing time (who am I kidding, I was missing the Thunderbirds) but hey, at least it was Chris on telly. Foxtel also slapped on Star Trek, Star Trek: Beyond and Finest Hours for my viewing pleasure. I was going to hit the tottering pile of dvds, but the cold was running riot by then, and I was too grumpy and wheezy for anything, really.

What I did watch, while sulking, was this woeful piece of MST3K bait called The Five Golden Dragons, a British-German coproduction from 1967 (oh yeah, baby) and set in oh so British Hong Kong, with Christopher Lee slumming it as one of the, well, it’s hardly a spoiler now, is it, bad guys. Oh, it was so awful, despite my existential misery I was screeching with laughter. Especially the tight close-up reaction shot from the really bad dragon mask. Oh my, yes. What a…gem.

This is what Chris should have done on SNL. If he wants to play a spy, play a 1967 playboy one with hokey exoticism and lashings of camp (oh, this film is so…well, you’ll see, in a subtext rapidly becoming text kinda way). (I swear I could have written funnier sketches, I can be funny, why, just yesterday I was asking why these birds were called oystercatchers, as it didn’t seem to me that oysters needed that much catching).

Anyways, since I discovered cheap chop-socky can make me smile, I decided it was time to dive into the limp noodle fest that is Iron Fist, with Daisy no less as an ineffectual simpering villain (so far at least, I’ve got four or five episodes to go). Because I always wallow in the MCU when I’m poorly. It’s tradition.

Iron Fist isn’t at all great, but it’s not as bad as the reviews said, and the whole white-washing/white saviour thing was kind of inherent/inherited in the text, so it’s unfortunate, and TPTB could have done more to address the post-colonial elephant in the room, but they didn’t, and suffered a critical panning as they probably deserved, but it could have been worse (see The Five Golden Dragons).

Actually, Iron Fist could have done with a lot more camp and really silly dragon masks. You know, play up, not play down the woeful historical baggage that drags on it like a boat anchor. That and the most underwhelming, whiny white man-baby rich bitch protagonist, but I guess that’s very now (at least he's not called Chris).

Basically, I didn’t mind it, it’ll do while I’m unwell and grumpy, but it could do with an infusion of Fu Manchu. Go completely Danger 5, go Monkey, go The Samurai. Ah, I guess I grew up with this stuff more than the American white boys making Iron Fist. Would it kill them to give me some Big Trouble in Little China? That should have been their reference. Can I at least have a mesmerist and a giant rat?

I’d ask that TPTB could, for once, not make it all about some rich white princeling with daddy issues, but again, very now. Destiny and daddy issues. Seriously, can somebody put these tropes to bed? Tuck them in with a story and some warm milk?

In other news. the shirt I’m wearing today, while vaguely a Margaret Preston-y print, is fashionably rumpled, because I so didn’t do any ironing on the weekend (see grumpy, sulking, above).

Besides, I can’t iron and hold my phone up at the same time, which the only device that will stream anything right now. My laptop crashes even on iView, and my poor tablet can’t even open up Tumblr with any success. Ah, to be stranded in the country with the 51st slowest internet speeds in the world (NYT). Yes, people in countries where the main form of transport is a goat have a better chance of viewing YouTube trailers than me. Not that I’m bitter or fed up or anything.

In case you were wondering why I still rely on cable and dvd for my viewing choices. Besides, occasionally they cough up charming surprises like The Five Golden Dragons. I should have never have sought out a classic like that on my own (because I have some shred of sanity left). But I was sick, it was on telly. Bliss. Doing it old school.

And yes, it was a dreadfully sexist, racist film but it was 1967 and a British/German production so it is what it is, I was just there for the cringing silly. And besides, like campy fat old white guys with criminal connections really rule the world…that would be silly.

But yes, I realise it’s all a bit wrong, but one can no more argue that it’s not very nice to be racist and sexist with white dudes from 1967 than one can with conservatives today. I wonder what the world would be like if sad old fat ugly nasty petty rich white dudes didn’t put everyone else down.

Ah well, it’s the world I live in. It kinda sucks. But I have (Pine enabling and Olympus de-yellowing) friends, and most folks at work aren’t dicks. So there’s that. I could do without this cold though. Who needs to feel more miserable?

Items of interest: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

mockturle06: (Avengers)

I was going to say no weeds or household chores were hurt in the making of this post, but I did have a bit of a hack at the jungle on Sunday, and I was bitten by four spiders, or one spider four times, I wasn’t really keeping track.

And I ended up having to do the washing after all, despite the BOM promising a day of clouds and showers. I had my playlist all worked out in my head and I then woke to blue skies and sunshine. I felt abused.

Never did get near that playlist because my phone played up properly, my laptop went bung and my old tablet, the last refuge of a scoundrel, had 500 updates to process, as I’d been using phone and laptop instead of late. Just not my day.

Saturday was better. Didn’t go to the science march, I know, I know, but I wasn’t sure if I should (job politics) and besides, I’d already arranged a pilgrimage to Beatdisc on Record Shop Day, thence (look, I saved and reused one of those thences I edited out from my arcane documents) to see the NT Live screening of Hedda Gabler.

Missed the rush at the record shop, and there was still plenty of, I was going to say cool stuff, but that would not be strictly true. More a collection of items of curiosity to enthral and amaze. I certainly found a few things that made my inner teen squee. Though at the till later the record shop dude took one look at the purchase I’d but on top and pronounced that the store was a scared space and there was no judgement there. Then he saw the purchases I’d been hiding underneath. Silence. Scanner boops. More silence.

Oh dear. Well, one was a joke purchase because I’d previously referenced the band when reading a dry technical glossary and said it all sounded like new wave album titles and I could see the vinyl onesies already. Then, when I went to the Belvoir to see The Dog/The Cat, that very band started playing on the tannoy as I sat down in the bar/foyer. So when I found their vinyl offering in the very cheap pile, well, I figured I ought to, since it was obviously meta meme of the week. One has to just go with it, you know?

So, onto Hedda Gabler. I do not like the play, because Hedda is a flaming hellbeast of a mega-bitch who destroys other people out of boredom and deserves everything she gets, vacuous she-demon that she is. But it’s one of those plays actors and directors love more than the audience, I think (I’ve yet to meet anyone who has ever seen a version say they liked it, quite the opposite) so it’s frequently staged, and with actors worth seeing. So I go.

And I adore Ruth Wilson, I’ll see anything she’s in, even this, and she almost made me feel sorry for Hedda. Almost. Yes, very artistic, turning the blinds into nourish prison bars to represent how trapped she was, but she did it to herself, for no reason. That’s the problem with staging it in the modern day – why doesn’t she just leave? In the era in which it was written there were less options for women (no jobs, bank accounts or property) but now, it’s not good, but it’s not impossible. Why make such a mess?

Ah well, it’s always easier to be on the outside looking in. The Sarah McLachlan interludes (I think it was SM) were more amusing than intended because I’d only just been thinking of the big Buffy finale that week and humming Sarah McLachlan to myself, so it was a bit meta to see the histrionics to the old Sarah McLachlan tunes, it was like seeing someone else make the same creative choices, and wondering if I should, too (yes, probably, it’s all very Hedda in my head world).

So I liked that, and I liked how Ruth made her so manipulative and more than a bit mad.

There was a line when Kyle Soller walks on about how his aunt is pleased to see him alive and well. I seconded that, as I kind of loved him in Poldark. He seemed to be using something near his native accent here, but it kind of worked, and is still playing the good-hearted and clueless cuckold, but hey, that’s his thing and he did it well. Often the role is played as deserving of betrayal, but here he was simply a man-boy well out of his depth, and there was a sweetness and naiveté there that engendered sympathy. He’d simply tied himself to the tail of a hellcat out of bedazzlement and a sort of wishful thinking, and didn’t really deserve everything that happened. Anyways, I love Kyle.

And Rafe Spall. Oh my. I know I’ve not been keeping up with my British telly since it all moved to the premium channels, but since when did Rafe turn from young oik to hot stuff? Because, man, hot sex on a stick. I know the judge is supposed to be mad, bad and dangerous, an apex predator, but, man, sign me up. He stalked and swaggered about the set in a very sharp suit, and the scene where he throws Hedda about and spits tomato juice all over her, that gave me very confusing feelings. Whimper.

Oh yes, those boys. Poor Kyle wrestling noodles every night and Rafe rinsing and spitting the tomato juice. Every night, and twice with matinees. Properly actorly stuff, boys. I applaud your commitment.

So, even though I don’t like the play and loathe the character, and setting it in contemporary times made it just look like one of those HBO shows of rich people behaving badly (if it was Midsomer or Lewis there’d have been a nice juicy murder before the last act), the performances were stunning, so well worth the ticket.

And besides, I rounded off the day with yum cha and bad 80s vinyl. My idea of a grand day out.

Oh, one last bit about The Dog/The Cat, what with all the tech going whizz fizz this week I didn’t notice, but Lally Katz, who wrote The Cat, liked my tweet about liking their Battlestar Galactica joke.

Oh my, I must remember that some people find and read my posts (usually I work to the sound of silence and presume I’m just talking to myself in an empty room).

Ian Rankin also liked my tweet about Beatdisc, the local vinyl emporium, so my likes page is worth printing and framing right now. Squee.

Sorry, just had to share with someone, somewhere, anyone. Because squee.

Sunday we made eggs ala Sir Ian McKellen, which, by the way, is now the go-to recipe, and I was thinking how I’d collected recipes posted by Ian McKellen, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Jackman. All Marvel boys, I noted, and I’d seen them all on stage, more than once.  That’s the Marvel universe, proper theatre actors who can cook.

The DC boys? I’ve never seen any one of them on stage, I don’t think many have ever been on stage, ever anyway, and I’ve never seen a recipe posted. Can’t act, can’t cook. I think I might have put my finger on the reason why Marvel films are way better than DC. Get you a man who can do both.

I know, I shouldn’t write stuff like that, you never know who might see it, but no-one ever reads this, and the point still stands, the Marvel boys have way, way more theatre creds than the DC boys (do they have any?) and I have lost count of the number of Marvel actors I’ve seen on stage (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Wenham, William Hurt, Elizabeth Debicki…). DC actors: 0.

I mean, sure, the DC boys can fill out a t-shirt, but hasn’t the genre moved on from the 80s? (Any DC actor who does have theatre creds gets a pass but I can’t recall hearing of any appearing on stage in London or New York, so, you know).

In fairness, TV DC does fare better, with the casts of Preacher and the Arrowverse, although, Preacher aside, that’s mainly musicals (she sniffs). Not sure if Lucifer’s Tom Ellis has ever strut the boards (but Lucifer is back on telly and so far so fun).

And anyway, I’m allowed to be pissy and grizzly. Today is the day I was supposed to see Jude Law live on stage in Obsession at the Barbican. And I’m not. I had third row – whimper. I’d hoped I’d be better from being hit by the car, but nope, and the double family tragedy means no visits, and the house repairs mean no money, so, nope. NT Live it is, then. At least there’s that. Thank fuck there’s that. But you know – pout (even if it did promise to be entirely the sort of Euro-theatre I’m not that keen on). I’m missing Jude, dammit.

I’ve never seen a recipe from Jude, but I’m sure if I asked nicely. It’s the nicely part that will always trip me up. Ah well, maybe that’s why I hate Hedda. Takes one to know one.

The wonderful world of weird: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: contains ivory dildos and Pine)

mockturle06: (Chris)

For a very brief window, due to a random rearrangement of desks, I am working with folks who can sing the Jetsons’ theme song, quote Are You Being Served and The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, appreciate Tom Hiddleston and know the difference between Godzilla and a dinosaur.

Sweet. Do you have any idea what a joy and relief it is to have someone not only get your jokes, but sling it back? To get your pop culture references instead of thinking you’re just making weird random outbursts because you’re mentally ill (well, probably, but also quoting Hanna Barbera).

Or maybe it’s just the leftover crème eggs I bought (there’s still like four left, oh dear) when I’ve nothing else to eat. Gotta go clean and lay off the crème. Maybe the sugar high is making me silly. But I’m not solely responsible for the chocolate eggs disappearing. At first the cleaner was blamed, but I pointed out that, despite my overtures at friendly (I’m always working back late at festive times with leftover chocolate) the cleaner keeps behaving like I’m trying to poison her.

‘Well, that’s stupid’, dismisses my colleague. ‘Who’d clean up the mess?’

Man, I’m gonna miss it when we rotate again and the straights are back.

Maybe I’m just being silly because it’s been a hard month, you know, double family tragedy (on top of the anniversary of another), the house falling apart around my ears (though I got the new very silly curtains up and I like them and not seeing the neighbours is very soothing), not seeing Jude Law live on stage in London (I had a ticket) and dealing with yet another restructure and crazy deadlines, half-baked jobs and having high profile projects taken away from me. You know, stuff.

So, anyways, we were talking Hiddles because Night Manager is finally screening out here, and I’d gone and seen the big monkey fillum last week.

I don’t know, I have a childish thing for big monkey films that I’ve not quite grown out of, and besides, I remember the withering judgement that greeted my choice of seeing Godzilla vs King Kong on the big screen once in my yoof, but what film are they remaking now, huh? Not your black and white arty farty films, no sir. No, we’ve got Shakespearian actor, Eton educated young Hiddles running about slicing and dicing pterodactyls in a King Kong movie. Ah, this is where a fancy education will get ya. If he shows up being all broody and serious and I coulda so been 007 in G v K 2.0, my life will be complete, or, at the very least, I’ll be ticking off a very silly box I never thought would ever be ticked. Heh.

As for the film, the whole South east Asian War Film Heart of Darkness aesthetic was very, very silly, and it got a bit Land of the Lost there for a while, and I would have preferred rampaging Skeleton Men (Danger Island) to the noble natives thang (but I guess not) and I was horribly cheated on the promised big spiders and I have a better, wilder, far more dangerous jungle past the Hills Hoist (weeding eludes me) than the Capability Brown park-scapes they strolled through, but yeah, it was an ok popcorn film.

Anything it might have had to say on war, the environment, politics, or anything, really, was flimsy at best, and lost under the wash of the monster mash. I think maybe there was a version that might have said something, at some time, but not anymore. Clearly the test audience of man-babies wanted more monkey eating octopus, less ruminations on geopolitics or the follies of getting involved in land wars in Asia (<- Princess Bride reference).

As for my own jungle, yeah, well. It was perfect weather on the weekend and despite a cracking headache I made it as far as the back door, where I found an enormous (and deadly) red back spider jealously in possession of my left wellie. If I was looking for an excuse, and I was, that was as good as any. Besides, I worked myself into throwing up the weekend before, and the green bin was full. What I really need is a flame thrower, and Tom Hiddleston on standby, armed with sword.

I went out to an actual screening of Doctor Who. I wasn’t going to, but come the long weekend and the cable and internet went out, as it must, and they said it’d be out until late Sunday night at best so no telly and no streaming so screening it was. Of course, the cable and interwebs came back on by Saturday night but I’d already bought the tickets by then, and it wasn’t a bad day out, though hella crowded as everyone in Sydney had woken up with one thought in their head: go to Circular Quay. Yikes.

Had burgers, strolled, or rather scrambled, through the markets. Sampled the malbec at the Dendy. Shrug.

Just so you know, I’ve been sampling malbecs across Sydney, and the best is at Event cinemas in George St. No, really, and their rose is the best, too. Second is the Opera Bar (ditto with their rose). Next is Toni and Guy in Park St (yes, really). Then it’s the Dendy entry (somewhat stale and disappointing) and, at a distant fifth, the Bar at the End of the Wharf, Hickson Rd (but the view, oh the view). Riverside doesn’t even do malbec, and their reds are always sticky and warm and give me migraines. All in the name of art, you understand, my user testing.

So, Doctor Who. Shrug. It was a rehash of much I’ve seen before (but that’s what I get for being a lifelong fan). I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t emerge from the screening thrilled, moved or in any way affected by it. Sigh.

Didn’t even try the wine at the Belvoir. Went straight for a beer (oh dear, not that brand) to wash down the veggie roll (all they offer) as a pre-show snack (and my sole sustenance for the day) before I went to see the return of The Dog/The Cat.

I adored this the last time I saw it in the Downstairs. This was Upstairs and last time I thought the dog part was far, far funnier, but this time the cat part was funnier, if sillier (this is where the rapping cat from my tweet comes in). The crack about Battlestar Galactica still has me in stitches, though. Ditto the cat’s expression, me.

Xavier Samuel has really honed and owned his cat (last time the joke seemed to be more that he was in the cat suit, this time he lived it) but I still like his Ben in the first act, endlessly pulling tinnies out of nowhere (again, way funnier in the smaller space, because they really appeared out of nowhere).

Benedict Hardie’s roles seem to have been beefed up, or maybe that was my perception. He does arrogant city douche rather too well, but that was funny, too, in a brittle American humour look how awful and unaware he is kind of way

It’d actually be ideal for a small American stage, despite how Oz the dog act (ahem) is, because the second act, with the cat, is very American in its sensibilities and style.

Anyway, I still love it, it’s still laugh out loud cringe at the too familiar funny.

Surreal and still screamingly funny was the Popular Mechanicals over at the STC. Originally a Belvoir production (and it still had Belvoir stamped all over it), one could try and claim that it’s like Stoppard in that it shifts the focus to some minor Shakespeare players, in this case, the mechanicals from Midsummer, but, really, it’s a direct descendant of an Aunty Jack sketch, complete with blustery fart jokes.

There are many theatre jokes, as our amateur thespians scramble to replace their leading man at the last minute (Bottom being famously indisposed), including a boozy old ham who could stand in for any old theatre luvvie you care to think of.

But, really, for all the prefect comic timing, perfect costumes and large performances, the pièce de résistance was the rubber chicken Busby Berkeley sequence, which had me doubled over with laughter it was so absurd and so perfectly staged.

Go for the jokes, stay for the rubber chickens.

I loved that, I really loved it. And I needed silly and it was very silly. Seeing such Oz humour was rather bittersweet, too, as it was the day John Clarke died (yes, I know he was a Kiwi but has anyone been such a part of Australian life?).

Okay, so here comes the Pine update. Much like the crème eggs, I was trying to go clean. Much like the crème eggs, I failed.

It all started last week, when in the middle of doing eight, yes, eight, really super urgent high level jobs my pals in another time zone started beeping me about a Pine sighting in Angie Tribeca. I was thrilled to hear it, but it was a bit of a tangle tracking down Angie Tribeca (Stan has it) and juggling everything else (literally, dropping my phone several times as I was typing as well) and I think I accidentally posted about Pine on my Twitter feed instead of DM-ing my mates, but that’s life with me, all thumbs.

So I duly streamed the Angie Tribeca episode my caring and sharing friends had alerted me to. I’d never seen the show before, or heard of it, tucked away on Stan as it is (a local streaming service, but my fave, more Goulds Bookshop in choices, which is my aesthetic, than Netflix which is like Blockbuster way too much in library or lack thereof).

It’s an odd show, and exactly the sort of show I would have loved in my teens (in fact I pretty much wrote something like it verbatim in my teens, the same notebook that has the modern version of Holmes, oy, such a notebook, I was on fire, but dismissed, and other people get to make these shows instead). So maybe it was just the huh factor, or maybe I’d made myself grow up and try to like more sophisticated fare (as if, rubber chickens, big monkey), or maybe it was 1.30am in the morning, but it was a bit too hard edged silly, but it was only my first go, and Pine was doing whatever the hell he was doing, but you know, whatever, right? He said he had fun, and that’s the main thing.

Frankly, I was disappointed they killed off Timothy Omundson, because I adore him (forever high-scoring because of Galavant). But hey, at least I saw it, and ogled the Pine and only hours after the US screening, oh such times as these. Shortly afterwards it was red lights all round as a router up the road went out (so the recorded message said).

Other Pine included People Like Us, which he’s kind of adorable in (and I could watch on the digital bunny ears, being screened at midnight on a local channel – I was up and unwell) and I sort of worked through a repeat of Finest Hours (cable and internet back on by then, so I was catching up). I’ve seen that enough to know when to look up. He’s so sweet in that. Ah, I miss young puppy-ish Pine.

Also finally finished S1 of Preacher (also streaming on Stan). Forever disappointed I couldn’t get a ticket to see Dominic Cooper in Phèdre when I was in London, or the NT Live screening later (and grouching again over missing Jude Law live on stage), but never mind, he lurks in my DVD collection and now he’s playing Jesse Custer, of all the characters on my bookshelf, and doing a damn fine job of it. I think they caught the essential essence of Preacher, with its 90s dry, dark, gross-out humour, just perfectly fine (although much like Angie Tribeca, I’m not quite there anymore, but I did appreciate it).

To be honest, to see such a faithful adaptation of a beloved book is such a rare and beautiful thing, it was fun just to savour the authenticity and the sure touch of folks who knew what they were doing. It was Preacher. In this age of re-imagined reboots, that’s pretty darn fucking amazing.

And I don’t know why I found some stuff confronting, considering what I submit to in the theatre (fake vomit, rubber chickens, Xavier in that cat suit). I must be getting old, or something. Or maybe watching on my phone is an even more intimate space than front row at the Belvoir. Whatever. They did Preacher. They pulled it off. Yay.

Yes, I know this post is all about actors. Well, trying to see them in the theatre, or at cons, is my version of twitching, only with luvvies (which is why I fume when I have to stay back at work, like punishment, when a rare and elusive blue-eyed bird has alighted only two blocks away – arrrgh).

Meanwhile, I’m wearing a very loud dress today, mainly because I’m acting out (no Jude Law in London), possibly because I was watching stuff from the 60s last night (it screams ‘68, much like that outfit we saw in the markets that was wearing 1984 on its rolled up red vinyl sleeve).

At least I haven’t covered it in tea, so far, like yesterday: perfume allergies, aspirated tea, favourite top ruined. I had to run across to the shops and try and find something that was both cheap and close to my size (it’s all skinny little girls down this end of town, and that ain’t me). I found one jumper, and at first I didn’t like it, but because it was smaller than I usually wear it clung in all the right places, and it has these weird ridiculous 17thC Dutch collars, but I’ve kind of fallen in love with them, too.

Maybe that’s why I’m dressed like a fruit salad today, because I was all Puritan black and white collars yesterday. Puritan, me, ha! Now that’s just silly.

Items of note: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts (warning: may contain Pine)


mockturle06: (Dean sad)

This was going to be an attempt at a cheery post for once, but no. I’ve just had a call (and messages) that my beloved and dearest and so like me it was very funny cousin Catherine has died abruptly, and no one knows if this will finish off my Aunt, her mother, who had the stroke, because Catherine was her favourite, and I am just so upset right now. So very fucking upset (but thank you John, who called, because talking helped).

Anyway, after a long Friday of office fuckwitery (I wish I could tell you what my clients did next, but I can’t, but let’s just say it’ll be one spectacular screw-up I’ll be airing as a grievance for months/years to come) I was in a mood for nasty.

And nothing is nastier than Richard III (though I am a badge-wearing Ricardian). I went to see the Bell Shakespeare Company performance of R3 at the Opera House with Kate Mulvany as Richard, in the role she was actually born to play (she rips off her shirt in one scene, no FX required, very brave).

I knew she’d be damn good, so I was looking forward to it. What I got was a performance so fucking on point and pin you to your seat amazing that everyone else can just go home now – R3 is done. We couldn’t leapt to our feet cheering quick enough come the curtain call.

This was the first post-Trump R3 production, and it was interesting. Instead of setting it in WWII as most have, this was very Weimar Republic, with the rest of the characters just clueless as to what was going on until hit by an axe. Last year, in other words.

And Richard, instead of a moody, misunderstood post-Columbine boy who was just never given a chance, Kate’s R3 was evil, winking, leering, manipulative, ruthless and unapologetic going for it game-player who just didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything but what he needed to get the crown. Welcome to the brave new world of evil for evil’s sake.

And yet, no matter how vile Kate’s R3 was, and, in the age of Trump, there was licence to be pretty damn vile, the grinning and winking still had us onside and complicit in this awful play. Yeah, nothing like real life, as we stand half amused that it could be that shockingly awful, gasping, and doing nothing.

It was great. So fucking amazing. I’ve never seen better. And I’d had a nice-ish dinner at the Opera Bar beforehand.

So I woke to Saturday, all sunny and feeling like I’d turned a corner and all was right with the world. It wasn’t to last.

Sunday brought more rain and a nasty head cold that has lodged itself in my ears to fester, as they often do. So I really felt quite awful and feverish all day, just enough to be irksome.

Monday comes, pitch black and lashing with rain and dreadful news.

mockturle06: (Chris)

This morning I tripped and fell in the utter blackness right into the lavender bush. I always looked like I’ve been dragged through brambles backwards, but at least today I smell nice.

Sunday was spent, on the one day this month it didn’t rain for an 8 hour period, desperately processing loads and loads and loads of washing. I couldn’t get the bloodstains out of my Spandau Ballet t-shirt, which is sad, because I both own a Spandau Ballet t-shirt (but they’re great live) and I bled all over it, and stained it forever (well, I could probably try soaking it in a bucket but there wasn’t time). I bled because the other week I was having such a bad period and I was in so much pain I gave myself second-degree burns with my dangerous hot water bottle and never even noticed it on top of everything else, so my whole back has been a bloody pus-filled mess ever since. Yay. I’ve just about run out of black shirts to wear to work (not goth, just bleeding, which I suppose is pretty goth).

Anyways, when not washing I was watching the Chris Pine double feature on Foxtel. Because. It was Star Trek anyway, which is my happy place. I don’t know why because that film has plot holes that could suck down an entire galaxy, never mind a planet, but there it is. But it makes me happy watching the wee space twink (as he was), so I don’t care what you think.

The other was the regrettable This Means War starring noted children’s television entertainer, Tom Hardy. Well, he dropped another bedtime story this weekend, didn’t he, and some pics of him filming Peaky Blinders, and looking just stunning with his pal Cillian, and bless Peaky Blinders for their complete lack of pointless retooling, at least from the photos I saw.

I could have watched it all on DVD, but I’m too lazy, and it was there, like an excuse to view, right then, bugger doing anything more worthy or important.

Ah, don’t mock my DVDs. We have no decent broadband, so I have my DVDs. Our local streaming companies are very limited library-wise, so I have my DVDs. When they remove films I like, I have my DVDs. When they delete files from my library, even though I paid for them, I have my DVDs. Don’t mock the DVD.

Besides. I remain amused by my stack-o-Pine, that is rather like the pile of Fassbender I used to have circa 2005 when he was doing all those TV series I loved him in that he pretends he was never in these days. The spines of my DVDs show a rake’s progress of young Pine.

I worry about him these days. In the last six months I’ve seen like 27 different personalities, all with their own haircut and wardrobe, like that McAvoy film, and only one of which I’ve been able to link to a film role. I do hope the rest are related to our boy being suddenly all method and indulging in some performance, rehearsal, performance art project or whatever I don’t know about, because otherwise I worry.

The only other people I’ve ever known to try out a different personality every other week are all dead now. So I worry. And I hope it’s just performance. And because I can’t sit the boy down with a cup of tea and a Tim Tam and ask him if he’s ok, I hope his friends will. Because, seriously, none of the other actors I like are like this, even the terribly arty British ones. I mean, sure, they change for roles and the odd OTT fashion mag shoot (like Ewan shaving his hair for Fargo), but they snap back to their normal selves in-between times. I haven’t seen Pine look like himself since, well, since before Anton died (see the first Beyond press appearances, compared to everything that has come after). And that worries me.

So I hope it’s all performance, because otherwise, you won’t hear the crash, it’ll just be silence.

But hey, I’m just reading it totally wrong and being way, way oversensitive, because, you know, I lost a lot of people I loved, back in the day (because I was young, ignorant and careless). But I worry. Because it’s a different personality every other week. I do hope there’s a crap art performance reason for it. Somebody tell me he’s fine, he’s happy and it’s all just his art. I’m sure it is (and I’m just the one being melodramatic). It’ll all make perfect sense in the end. I’m sure of it. I hope for it.

Maybe I’m just tired. Last week broke me. The house is falling apart around my ears and a month of rain has not helped – huge puddles everywhere inside, running down the walls, dripping from the curling ceiling. Would that I’d been paid my 300+ hours of unpaid overtime, but it went unpaid, so no money for fixes. I have to fix the front door now because it got stuck and instead of leaving it like a normal person and exiting through the other door, Himself put his foot through it in a temper, so now I have to pay for a new door, too, somehow.

Good thing I’d already given up on seeing Jude Law on stage in London (I had a ticket). Besides, my Aunt’s just had a serious stroke so I wouldn’t be welcome as an added distraction anyway (I sent two care packages, and, oh man, they don’t make it easy for you to post stuff these days, that also broke me).

Oh, and work, aside from the joy of doing nine versions of an interactive accessible form and the client decided to stick with their 90s PDF instead, and that’s just one job that went nowhere last week, I have to reapply for my job and my boss hates me so we know in this round of musical chairs once again they’ll keep the pretty thin girls who do nothing all day and get rid of the tubby bad diet, bad sleeping 300+ hours of unpaid OT grumpy old cow, and does anyone ever think I might be grumpy because of the 300+ of unpaid OT and the impact it has on my sleep and mealtimes, working 6am to 11pm, with no breaks or meals, just to make ridiculous and arbitrary deadlines that the pretty girls won’t do and don’t have to, because they’re pretty? So there’s that.

Which is a pity because I really believe in the work that we’re trying to do. I really believe in trying to make information accessible (which is why the client clinging to their 90s PDF is so maddening). I mean, I watched The Green Death when I was a wee thing, and now I’m working in an environmental portfolio. But you know, with the politics these days, it’s not a good place to be. So there’s that, too.

The only bright spot in this bleakest of months (rain, nonstop), has been, of all things, a Disney Prince, in the form of Dan Stevens. If I wasn’t enjoying Legion so much (I adore the Prisoner/Avengers/Jason King/UFO aesthetic), it’d just be Beauty and the Beast, which was fine. I’d not seen the cartoon, but any opportunity to see my Brit boys get their screaming panto on.

And when I saw it at the State, that frou-frou of a palace, at the non-premier, with the bubbly and the dancers dressed as candelabra and being given a rose and a goody bag, and having the crowd so into it they all whooped and cheered and sang along and it was really great, seeing that way. I really loved them for roaring with approval when Le Fou got his man at the end. That was nice (and why all the controversy, has Beauty and the Beast ever not had a queer reading?). And Dan was still Dan under the CGI, and Ewan gave me my money’s worth, so it wasn’t a waste of time. And it made me forget my troubles while the screen flickered, and that’s all I can ask of these magical creatures we call actors.

I did manage to get through Saturday, which involved another Aunt (it’s all a bit Wooster, as if things weren’t topsy turvy enough) and her big birthday party with the rellos I never ever see (because they think I’m gay) and it was in a religious retirement home and they’re all hard-core god-botherers and they drink Coopers beer without shame (both are pro-religion, anti-equality) and yet they were all off to see Beauty and the Beast (written by gays, performed by gays).

Sucking up that amount of hypocrisy does bad things to my liver, I can tell you. Or maybe it was the prawns. Or the cheese. Whatever, it was more of something to be endured than enjoyed. There was a mighty fine bottle of Di Bortoli Yarra valley merlot that I demolished, so I’m pretty sure I’m free from invites for the next decade. Mission accomplished.

Haven’t been to the theatre much, but I saw a rather disappointing screening of the RSC’s The Tempest. I was so looking forward to my favourite Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, but he seemed to just phone it in that day. Maybe it was the cameras, or the real-time digital effects, or it was a wet weekend and I wasn’t feeling fab. Either way, shrug.

Much better, and far more effecting, was the screening of the Donmar’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, with a revelatory Gemma Arterton in the lead (I never knew she could do that).

I care nothing for religion, and this play had a fair bit to say on the matter, as you might imagine, but the gender issues, the whole woman versus the established patriarchy, the power games between the rich, the entitled, the powerful and those who set themselves up as gate-keepers (and how these things are often opposing forces rather than interchangeable titles), well, that was all entirely relevant and current and electric (and they didn’t even need the conceit of the fake Newsnight broadcasts to hammer than one home).

Had I seen it last year, before all the shit hit the fan, it would have merely been good. Now, with all that is going on in the world – and how fucking depressing that a play about medieval persecution is so now – it was one wild ride. I hope you saw it. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about, often. It got under my skin, because it was so on point, and so visceral. That’s proper theatre: timely, thought-provoking, commenting on the real world and gut-wrenching. Even just watching the screening, the punches landed.

The only other thing that have given me joy recently is Preacher. It is taking me forever and a day to get through this (limited bandwidth plus a month of wet weekends, and every man and his dog hogging my .0004kps connection, does not make for streaming fun).

My main lark is that, however many liberties they may take with the source material, for better or worse (and I really dug the comic in my misspent yoof), Cassidy is still Cassidy. I always knew Cassidy was the sort of character who wouldn’t stand for any actor trying to bring his interpretation to the screen. No, Cassidy is having none of that shite. He is what he is and that’s an end to it

From the photos Dominic posts from set, Joe Gilgun seems to be either the most method actor ever (take note, Pine) or they simply managed to employ an actor who is Cassidy, 24/7. It amuses me greatly. Because I have long adored Cassidy. He’s scruffy, a vampire and, well, Irish, and I always think it’s the being Irish that gets him in trouble far more than being a vampire, which amuses me further still.

So I’m loving that, what I’ve seen of it (though it gave me a moment of difficulty to press pause mid flailing entrails and answer a call from a prospective employer, because I was watching it on my phone at the time, because at least I can use 3G to fill in the wifi lags, at great expense).

Hey, the mashed spud brain still knows all the lyrics to The Models I Hear Motion. They were playing it in Coles while I shopped in the wee hours.

I’m impressed, because there’s precious little I remember these days. A few flashes of Yeti and Cybermen from Doctor Who. Admiring my stack of Fassbender DVDs like Smaug and his pile of gold. Posting on a Life on Mars board once. Watching a dumb film while flying across the orange part of Oz. Don’t remember a second of the holiday I was coming back from, but I remember that. What film? Please don’t ask. Who was in it? Who do you think?

So, buried somewhere my Models discography is still intact. Yay?

Mind you, last week Coles were playing Bucks Fizz. I figured if I throttled any deserving arseholes that day I could cite mitigating circumstances, having been unduly provoked. Because Bucks Fizz.

And finally, the word of today is: amplexus (when two frogs like each other very much…)

News from the front: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218

mockturle06: (Chris)
 I realise I’ve not yet reviewed any of young Christopher’s fillums here. 

Am I ashamed and embarrassed, a little, yes. Somewhat.
 
A lifetime’s worth of anglophilia means I usually prefer my actors with solid and lustrous theatre credentials that include Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Stoppard, Pinter, Williams, Beckett and the like, and even my favourite Oz actors can manage that (saw Toby Schmitz from Black Sails doing both Stoppard and Shakespeare, David Wenham from Iron Fist doing Ibsen, Hugo Weaving doing Beckett, and even Damon Herriman from Justified doing Mamet). 
 
So yes, I am, I must now admit it, a dreadful snob. 
 
Compound that with his early roles as Disney princess/non-threatening boyfriend, and, well, did I mention that I’m a dreadful snob? Not that I haven’t seen Princess Diaries 2, but I was on a plane, for days, and it had Julie Andrews in it. 
 
But the boy isn’t just a pretty face, and he seems to have a solid work ethic – certainly I’ve yet to see him phone in a performance of rely on a bag of shticky tricks (hello Benedict), and I usually like his choices. Sometimes they can seem a bit mechanical and precise, like count three beats, turn and smile, but maybe that’s because I’ve seen them so often (thank you Foxtel and the Pine Nut in programing). And he’s diverse enough to pop up all over the genre cable movie channels, so that’s something (I’m not keen on niche actors, I like my boys versatile). 
 
Countless regrettable YouTube videos demonstrate the lad is not afraid of making a complete and utter tit of himself on camera, which shows a bracing lack of preciousness for a Hollywood boy, and I’m not just talking about the interviews, either, which seem to fall into Chris Pine is so bored he’s losing the will to live, Chris Pine is a lunatic and needs to rest now or Chris Pine is quite possibly very drunk/hungover (I blame PR for those, never schedule promo interviews the morning after the night before). 
 
So, Z for Zachariah, which I tend to think of as the radiation film so soundly mocked in Mamet’s Speed the Plow. Well, it is, rather. Rather a lot. It’s a quiet film, lovely to look at (and I’m talking the NZ scenery here, not Mr Pine, though this is pretty much peak Pine, right here), suitably bleak and mumbly, existential without ever delving deep, and pivoting upon, not so much the end of the world, as more of a jealous Othello vibe (and I saw Chiwetel as Othello at the Donmar, years ago). Apparently, there will be no threesomes at the end of everything (don’t tell my school chums that, see previous post).
 
It was kind of Beckett-y, and I think I was supposed to be getting some Eden references , but I’m a bloody heathen, so nope. And it was a bit kitchen-sinky for a post-apocalypse film - surprisingly lacking in zombies and car chases. Like I said, Beckett-y. 
 
CP is darn pretty, and that’s actually a plot point, as it makes him an immediate threat to the not-at-all cosy domestic arrangements he’d stumbled into. He’s a bit shady, and may have done some pretty dark deeds to survive, or maybe not, he’s certainly not as overtly violent as CE, and there’s a real sweetness to his ever so brief and budding relationship with Margot’s character. They actually talk, unlike CE, who, like all scientists (trust me, I work with enough of them) who just bosses and bullies. 
 
And the not very ambiguous last scene of his, when Caleb knows he’s in danger, shall we say, it’s a heartbreaker, every time. The look on his little face. Poor possum. 
 
So that’s that. The radiation film, where three’s a crowd. 
 
The Finest Hours is a Disney flick, so you’ll never hear anything stronger than ‘damn’, which is hilarious, with all the merchant navy men and coast guard crew all thinking they’re going to die. But no swearing. Keeping it tidy in the face of almost certain death, now that really is the finest hour (cue Sandra Dee here, as it’s set in the 50s anyhow). 
 
Oh, but CP is so adorably dorky in this. I was in love with Bernie before he even got out of the car. There’s such a lot of bashful stammering, a real Jimmy Stewart-like performance. And that’s not a bad thing.
 
The flick also features firm favourites Holliday Grainger, Aussies Eric Bana and Keiynan Lonsdale, Ben Foster, and Graham McTavish, so that’s kinda neat. 
 
So it’s your basic Thunderbirds plot, sinking tanker in the middle of a massive storm, and our heroes have to get out on the world’s tiniest boat, through some rough CGI seas that remind me of catching the Manly ferry through the heads in inclement weather, and try and rescue three times the number of people that will actually fir on their tiny little boat (I spot a flaw in their plan here, but I guess that’s where the heroics come in). They actually cite the maximum number of passengers at this point, to my great amusement, but sweet little rule abiding Bernie, having just about drowned in CGI seas, is 100% done with rules and regulations and backchat and snipping and sniping and all those sharp comments about the last attempted rescue that failed, and, after the hissy fit that has clearly been a very long time coming, he disobeys a direct order and steers his tiny, overloaded little boat back to shore, which, for dramatic purposes, has been blacked out by the storm.
 
It’s a pity the storm effects are a bit wooby (the script was writing cheques the digital department couldn’t cash) as I’ve seen some storms like that out here, you know, the one last year that started to sail someone’s pool off to New Zealand, or the one maybe ten years back where the tanker, an actual tanker, ended up on a Newcastle beach. So I don’t doubt the storm, just the Turner-esque soft-focus CGI rendering of it.  I mean it’s cute that the art department were clearly referencing Turner’s Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, but maybe a little more realism wouldn’t have gone astray in providing some real peril.
 
That said, I do like this film, I like that it’s based on a real story (don’t know why, just do, usually I like my fiction fictional) and I like CP in this, and his ‘be one with the waves’ moments. He’s sweet, and f-knows, I could do with some sweet in my life. 
 
He's sweet in Hell or High Water, too, even though he's running around robbing banks. Did you know you can only rob banks during business hours - out of business hours it's just plain burglary? Of all the trivia I've picked up from QI, that has to be the most useless, but hey, I'm using it now.
 
So you know the drill by now, also starring Ben Foster and a scene-stealing Jeff Bridges. It's by the same dude who did Young Adam (yes, which I saw because of Ewan) and I liked it enough I guess to recognise the guy's work without having to resort to IMDB. 
 
And it's a perfect western. Absolutely perfect. Now you know I've a bit of a thing for westerns, they're just a genre I grew up with, and I love a neo-western (hello Justified, Supernatural, and hell, even Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders count these days). And let me tell you, this was perfection. Not a shot, not a moment, not a note out of place (I have the soundtrack on vinyl). 
 
And Chris, it's too damn bad nobody decided to give Chris a nod because it's a great piece of low-down tightly wound thousand yard stare acting. I guess it just wasn't showy enough but Chris has never been a showboating actor, he's always whatever the role needs, no less and no more. Like I said, precise in his choices. He just lives Toby Howard the entire time he's on screen and he doesn't have to scream and howl his pain, it's there in every downcast look, every flinch, every silence. 
 
Toby is the heart and soul of the film, he's the one who sets it in motion, and he's pretty much the one who ends it, too, with that magnificent showdown, or rather stare down, and ooh, just the way he leans there with the rifle resting against his thigh, I could watch that all day, no lie. 
 
He's a broken man, but there's steel there, too, and he just doesn't give up. He might not show his scars so easily, but you can tell he's had it just as hard as his brother. It it shows, just in the way he stands, all hunched shoulders and tight. It's a really finely calibrated performance. Another lost boy (see also T2, previous post).
 
The film is great too, the story I mean, all the comments on how the west was won, and lost, land rights, poverty, the insane lack of law and order (the bank customers being more heavily armed than the bandits) and the dark humour. It was very much of the same cloth as Justified, and I have no problem with that. Not one little bit.
 
And Chris, if ever there was a man who could rock a saggy porn 'tache and look like he hadn't bathed in a week and still make me want to jump his bones in the worst way, well, I never thought it'd be Chris, but there you are. Who knew my clean-cut honey could be all gritty and sweaty and oh, yeah. 
 
And it's a damn shame he didn't get more kudos and encouragement for doing this. And I'm sorry I don't give the boy the respect he deserves, especially when some of my lauded Brit boys have become caricatures of themselves (hello, Benedict), or making regrettable life choices (hello, Tom). Lately Benedict seems to have gone the full Widow Twankey pantomime, twirling about in his roles, the subtle shades of performances like the one in Stuart a long distant memory, not to mention both he and Eddie playing wizards decades before I ever expected it of them. Oh dear. 
 
So, yeah, giving Chris some love, and there are worse things than being a Disney princess (or crushing on one). And I haven't even mentioned the space movies yet, but taking such a beyond well known role and making it his own, well, that's stylish, that is.
 
So there are a few Chris Pine films that aren't too shabby. (Notice I didn't mention Bottle Shock. I hope someone burnt that hideous fright wig but I suspect one didn't have to get too close to an open flame for that to happen). He does a half decent spy, too. I'd love to see him as Felix, James Bond's BFF, but I guess I never will (but stranger things can happen, never expected to see Hiddleston, after Shakespeare and Chekhov, in a giant monkey movie).
 
And I'm looking forward to seeing him in Wonder Woman (with Spud!), even though I suspect dearest Steve is going to get fridged so bad. And I'm also curious to see how he manages the quatum leaping deadbeat dad in a Wrinkle in Time, too. That was one of my books as a kid, as was Wonder Woman, so, you know, it's important. (Between those roles and Star Trek he's pretty much hit all my childhood fancies, so it was kind of inevitable that Chris Pine would cross my line of sight, sooner or later).
 
Sorry, but I don't have much else going on right now, which is probably a good thing...
 
mockturle06: (Dean sad)

I wish we had marriage equality here because frankly I'm tired of all the nudges and winks, especially at this time of year. I've stayed silent for so long because if you're gonna hate on me, I've no time for you, but it's tiring. I'm not single because I'm a man-hating lesbian. I'm still pathetically single because I'm a very weird, very ugly man-hating spinster.

Not that it stops me pining over The Pine, but he's still a guy, and probably as much a dick as the rest of them, despite his carefully considered and thoughtful quotes.

Man-hating is probably a bit strong. I don't hate men the way men hate women. I'm just afraid of them, like any predator. I've taken too much abuse, physical, sexual, emotional, financial, verbal, and these are such truly scary times.

So I'm fine with the Pine, but observed at a safe distance, behind barriers and glass. Like any predator. Even the very pretty ones.

Such terrible times. I remember when my social feeds were full of silly cat videos. Now they're full of real nasties. It's anxious making, I have to say.

I'm also having a rough time with the whole being hit by a car thing. Not that anyone is taking is seriously or being kind. No, I take it back, one friend gave me a hug and chocolates. Others, not so much. Which is almost as upsetting as getting run down and being left alone to crawl out of the road, in front of bystanders, too (one fucker beeped his horn and drove around me). In case you're wondering why the milk of human kindness is running a little sour this post. I'm not having a good time.

Read more... )
mockturle06: (Dean sad)

So, there I was, party at the Belvoir, glass of cheap, woody red in hand, and one of theatre's leading light's, Eamon Flack, turns around and there he is.


And there I am, stupidly opening my mouth and attempting to say something intelligent. Yeah, I think you know what happened next.

Hindenberg

more: never meet your heroes )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

Saw the wicked fairies last night. Midsummer Night’s Dream, STC at the Opera House. Flippin’ marvellous. Somehow they managed to out-70s the 70s (or was it early 80s) production I once saw, which left such a lasting impression on a young gel, which is pretty damn amazing, though it helps if you’ve got Bruce Spence in the cast. Lots of knobs and nudity and welcome back Sydney theatre, how I’ve missed you.

The blatant and savage sexuality was deliberate, to underline the cruelty in the play, the women threatened with death and date raped by men who see them as nothing but property and/or a means to an end, a take of the play that has razor sharp focus this week, which made it even more electrifying.

So we had freakish costumes on your bog standard bare stage, strobing and music (which was perfect, btw, and the second time this week I’ve seem 50s music used to sinister intent, no wonder young Matthew Backer was getting David Lynch vibes off the piece).

The casting was great. When I saw Matthew Backer as Aerial, I knew he’d make a great Puck. I was right. Matthew Backer was the most perfect Puck ever, part cabaret host, part imp, naughty boy and delighting in chaos, so pleased with himself. And Josh McConville's Bottom, the riotous play within the play entirely making us forget his earlier terrors. Never has a death scene been so milked dry (dry being ironic given the blood being sprayed about to comedic effect). Theatre’s gain is a great loss to sword and sandal flicks, given his over-the-top-and around-the-other-side performance as Pyramus (too bad Thor has wrapped in BrisVegas).

The cast, perfect, the staging, dark and the stuff of nightmares, the highlighted themes of sexual cruelty running true this week.

Btw, quite the night for celeb spotting. Hell, we had the director (yay, Kip) and an ex-Premier I loathe and detest in our row, + many more. That ex-Premier stomped on my foot, like the ruthless ruling class sod he is. Luckily I was wearing my DMs, like the proper working class gal I am.

Enjoyed the whole evening, crispy sweet potato chips and a Sydney Sling in the bar (with a view of the bridge) especially (though paying for it now and deadlines to keep).

Meanwhile I overheard someone mutter ‘not bigger on the inside’ re another game of sardines in the lift. Hey, maybe the odd spot of Doctor Who cosplay from the upper levels (joyless policy wonks) isn’t my fevered imagination. I always think I’m the only one in the room who watches telly, because it’s usually true. It’s always so condescending, that I watch. Yeah, what have I learnt from telly?

Oh, nothing much, just how to face death, methods for coping with betrayal, fear and cruelty, what not to do in the office, how to game a stationery order (thank you, Radar), the history of economic exploitation, philosophical explorations of what it means to be good, why bad boys are bad for your health and why you should say yes more often than you say no. That do fer starters?

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Still wrecked from seeing Helen McCrory in the screening of NT Live’s Deep Blue Sea yesterday. I love Helen McCrory, she always rips me apart, even playing Aunt Polly on Peaky Blinders.

There’s no way I should have been seeing a play about a suicidal woman, but I did, and I’m glad I did. It was the most, raw, real, honest and truthful play I’ve ever seen. Most plays are by the privileged classes whose idea of a disaster is an imperfect macchiato, but this was real. I recognised the truth in this, apparently written by a playwright who knew what he was writing about. And he did. The egg sandwich was mocked by middle-class monsters leaving the theatre. They didn’t get it. They’ve never been there. I was screaming at Hester to eat the damn sandwich, knowing if she could make it through the sandwich, she’d make it through the night. Because it’s like that.

That was the most real moment I have ever seen on stage or screen. I’m still a wreck. What can I say, I’ve had a few darkest night toast slices myself. My life has not been kind (doesn’t matter whose fault it was, you feel, it’s real).

So there was that. Otherwise I spent all weekend trying to kill someone. To borrow from that ancient Jimmy and the Boys song, ‘I’m not like everybody else’. Heh, not by a long shot. Agatha Christie makes it look so easy – and no-one ever comments on the plain fact that this woman seems to have spent most of her time on dig sites and the like thinking of ways to kill people, as in, oh, look at that plinth, pushy, pushy, or that ornamental hairpin, stabby, stabby.

So, yeah, I was thinking of playing with Holmes/Watson tropes, and what do I get? Poirot and Hastings and the Orient Express, in space. That last bit should be said ala Matt Smith. I just love his delivery on ‘…in space’, every time. It’s all gee whizz plastic spacemen in a cornflakes box, put in by writers my age, but young Matt manages to nail the delivery every time despite being born long, long after plastic spacemen ceased to be cool. He makes them cool again, or tries to (never brought back bowties, either, but it was a damn fine try).

So, yeah, wallowing in the McKirk, big time. This is a big thing, jumping ship after a lifetime’s OTP, worse, re-watching TOS with McKirk coloured glasses (start with ‘plum’ and continue on). It was the problem with the Kelvin-verse, they keep trying to push the tradition, but it just wasn’t there, barely a civil word, an extraordinarily unearned Khan set piece. Nope. They made it an AU, they should embrace it, and the McKirk just pops on-screen. If all the bitching and grabby hands doesn’t convince you, or the old married couple matching outfits, how about the wait-until-he-smiles moment at the birthday party. Aw. Totally.

Well, like I said, I wasn’t well, upset and drugged when I was watching it and it hit me, in a dazzling aura (that’d be the hospital drugs). I’m just stuck on it, but I’m having fun and unreality is at least getting me away from frightful reality (housework never done, too long hours at work on projects that go nowhere, dreadful neighbours, everything in the area being knocked down and concreted over). Trying times.

So sorry (not sorry). Have a new fandom, but not. It’s all very something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I’ve got something to preoccupy me, which is the main thing, because, as I think we’re all agreed, this is proving a particularly difficult year.

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they plated Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

Of course, if there had to be one kookaburra with a sweet tooth, he’d end up in my yard. We have been rinsing the dregs of honey and jam jars out for the lorikeets (who usually aren’t that appreciative, to be honest), but the day Himself put out the left over icing, well, somebody went nuts for it.

Now, whenever I’m in the garden, I hear the low trill of a kookaburra letting me know he’s nearby and waiting. Oh dear.

The other poor animal I’ve ruined is the little scalped lorikeet. I’m not sure how he ended up so thoroughly scalped, but scalped he was, but aside from that he seems fine and happy, it’s even growing back, a little, at the back, like an odd bright blue mohawk. The only changes to that wee critter is that he’s tamer and fatter than his brethren, because somebody was all sooky with him when he really did look quite dreadful.

Parrots come and go, the table service is never to their satisfaction, but I did see a bearded dragon sunning itself by the banks of the river on the way to the theatre.

It was supposed to be a wet weekend, as advertised, when I booked my tickets, but no, the most perfect day for weeding ever (and I’d already been rebuked over the grass in the front yard so it needed doing). Ah, well. I did see a Globe screening of Antony and Cleopatra, or Clony, as I kept calling them, and it was fabby.  I know some folks take issue with all the romping and cavorting at the Globe, but I’d rather that than some of the dread earnest pieces I’ve sat through. Himself didn’t snore, which I take to a solid indicator of entertainment value.

It’s really Cleopatra’s story, from start to finish, which is probably why you don’t see it performed a lot, and never in film (not properly), and I liked the human moments taking precedent over the big off-stage battles (lack of CGI FX means ye olde playwright had to actually develop character – discuss) and I still such a Shakespeare fan. He writes the best roles for women.

The other great play with a strong woman demanding and taking centre stage was Venus in Fur at the Darlinghurst Theatre, and this I loved. I’d not been to the Darlinghurst Theatre before (though it’s closer to work than the Belvoir) and it was a lovely little theatre, with the nicest front of house staff (the guy who made my cocktail, yes, they had Venus in Fur cocktails and I’d had a day, also took my ticket and asked how I’d enjoyed the drink – I like that attention to detail).

Before that they’d had a dinner deal with a nearby restaurant that I signed on for out of expediency (figuring I’d not have time to wander the streets aimlessly, nor did I) and it was a bit meh, and omfg, that loud, loud drunk lady at the next table you could hear from the street, but the food was nice, and if you ever want to pretend you’re in an episode of Number 96, then I’d recommend it. But it very much added to the flavour of the evening.

Anyways, I’d wanted to see the play, having read about it performing elsewhere, and from what I’d seen and read, this appeared to be a very faithful staging, and that’s exactly what I wanted. And it was good, the acting was great, fantastic, and even though I could see where it was going a mile off, and the sex games seemed to rather overdo the whole discussion of gender roles, I did like it. Very much so.

I’ve also seen the Belvoir’s Seventeen, it of the viral Twitter campaign that managed to secure the rights to a Taylor Swift song – and it was worth it, the dance was hilarious. What was Seventeen? Well, it wasn’t complex, it wasn’t deep, and yet it was. It was a cast of older actors playing teenagers, getting drunk, dropping truth bombs. That was it, pretty much, but it’s simplicity, it’s joy, it’s sadness, it was a delight.

Thus proving, dear Belvoir, that not everything has to be avant-garde, enfant terrible, obtuse, abstract and just plain awful to be art. A simple tale, well told and well acted, is a thousand times more memorable and enjoyable.

But you know me, I go to the theatre to be entertained, not lectured to, so I’m weird that way.

Which is probably why I didn’t enjoy NT Live’s Everyman that much, as it was, well, a morality play, so it was nothing but lecture, but honestly, it was a bit 80s, no, make that way too much 80s, and the synchronised coke snorting, well, yes. I’m surprised nobody was wearing red braces. So yes, it was big on the Christian themes, but to be honest, the whole ‘don’t be a dick’ thing is very Aristolean, and while I’m totally on board with that, there was just too much gold and fluro for me to cope with. Also, Himself snored all the way through, so that’s a low score on the snore index.

I did enjoy NT Live’s Man and Superman though, just to be difficult, as it was nothing but lectures about morality and gender roles, but as I’m a massive Shaw fan, and it was Ralph Fiennes at the height of his powers, it was just so bloody wonderful. I loved every minute of it (alas, it suffered a middling score on the snore index).

And am I right in thinking the devil in Man and Superman was far more entertaining, and thoughtfully provocative than god in Everyman. It must be true what they say, the devil really does get the best lines – grin.

Less concerned with gran themes, but still on redemption and what it is to be a good man (or good dog/cat) was Brendan Cowell’s The Dog and The Cat at the Belvoir. This was downstairs in the broom closet and so I was lucky to get tickets because it was so very wickedly funny.  Oh so Sydney and very autographical, Brendan even castigates himself in the script as only being able to write what he knows, but what he does write is so acutely observed for all its absurdity. Brendan is a funny, funny man, and stamps his works so completely that even when the male lead is being played by someone else (here and in the film he’s got out) you’re still watching Brendan Cowell. And I don’t have a problem with that.

I also went to see Of Mice and Men at the Seymour Centre, mainly because I’d missed the NT Live screening of the Broadway production, and it was niggling at me and so off I went. And, oh my, that was a night. Firstly, I walked there because I thought I ought, and it was a lovely evening, and then they had mulled cider for sale, which made me very merry indeed, and I’m kind of fond of the Seymour, even though it still screams university property (there are so few English speaking students now the drama club has folded).

Anyways, what a production. Even though I vaguely knew the plot (spoilers) and it was very much foreshadowed with the mouse and the dog, it was such a tight twisting turn to the very end, and it such a small stage, it was magnificent. So visceral and raw, so simple in setting and telling. There was a review about casting the perfect old dog for the first act, and they had – either the reviewer went the night I did or audience members sob into their scarves every night. Whoops, spoilers.

So, yes, the cast was amazing, right down to the dog, and Sport For Jove always do amazing, faithful, versions. (Honestly, you don’t need fluoro lights to zing up a play, you just need smashing actors). Loved it.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed this year. I missed out on the usual subscriptions, but I like it better this way. Instead of having to bundle shockingly awful plays with the good ones I’m instead picking and choosing what I want to see from all over the place.

Which is why I went to see the Bell Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet down in Melbourne.

Because Josh.

I’d never been further than the foyer of the Melbourne Arts Centre before, and let me tell you, the fake brass and fake red velvet go all the way down, well, until you go even further down and then it’s wall to wall aubergine and steel. It looks like a large suburban RSL (oh dear). The effect was to have me quaffing a large glass of red even though my recent heightened allergies make such an action questionable in the extreme. Fortunately, no such after effects, and my seat, purchased only a fortnight before, wasn’t that good, but, ah, the play’s the thing.

I heard grumblings on the way out (and I wasn’t with Himself but still somehow expected to elbow the snorer beside me, a complete stranger), but I loved it. I liked the vaguely modern, vaguely not indeterminate setting, I loved the rather obvious references to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and I loved Josh. Josh McConville, best Hamlet I’ve seen yet. Angrier than Tennant, more present than Law, even better than, yes, way better than Schmitz. My boy Josh, he kept it real.

So, yes, I was down in Melbourne. Again. Because Bowie.

Yes, the V&A David Bowie Is exhibition, or some of it, at least, had made it as far as Melbourne, and oh yes, another pilgrimage was called for. Demanded.

So off I set, to the Friday night session (having been up since ye gods early in the am and still having to wait three hours for my flight so it paid to be prudent) in a special occasion dress I’d bought that afternoon (because there was no morning in Melbourne, grumble) to wait in the Bowie bar. This was my plan. As they had timed tickets I figured I go the night they had the bar going, hoping it be more fun and mean no pram – yes and yes. In fact the bar, which I think they were hoping to be a sophisticated affair, devolved into a school disco by the end of the evening. Best ever. Still, Bowie, I hope, would have enjoyed the crowds as just about everyone had carefully curated their outfits and there were some amazing looks –outstanding. So waiting in the bar was definitely a great entrée to the night (not an American entrée, because that just makes no sense).

And I did enjoy myself. Not quite the same as seeing it the first time, in London, but the wine buzz was happening, the crowd way way, way, way groovier and friendlier, and they only thing that made my smile turn upside down was how small it was (two rooms as opposed to the V&A labyrinth) and how ACMI had insisted on organising it objectively rather than subjectively, as Australian museums will insist on doing, so it lost all context, and it a Bowie show, that’s just so not right, as the original show took in the many ages, phases and faces of Bowie as he changed from one creation to the next, lived one moment to the next, and it was like a journey, An odyssey.

Here instead we had all the lyrics in one cabinet, so you couldn’t watch and sign along with the video, while admiring the video costume and album cover work.  Nope, costumes all against one wall, so Ashes to Ashes was standing shoulder to shoulder with Life on Mars, and all the videos wee against the other, on a loop so you couldn’t see them all, ditto the films.

So that was a touch annoying and disappointing, as discovering he’d actually written down the ‘beep beeps’ and singing along to Starman had been highlights before. But the crowd was fun, the bar was fun, and I did really enjoy myself, more than I feared I would, second time around.

So there I was, walking back with my Bowie bag of loot (exit, through the gift shop), like a salmon swimming upstream against the be-scarved hordes of the football stadium which had just got out (no idea, Victorian teams are more foreign to me than UK teams). But the hotel was close (my favourite, I even had the same room) and they had cheese toasties on the late night menu so I sat at the bar devouring that, and then everyone came in and ordered one (my, I was popular for that one, as the night-kitchen wasn’t prepared to make a dozen, all at once).

A grand night out. It truly was. I’m so glad I went.

And if you don’t know by now I’m a mad keen Bowie fan, well. Not that I have the albums. I bought one, once, as a kid (I never had pocket money but my Dad taught me to pick up loose change in the lane behind the pub and I managed a nice little nest egg, let me tell you) and was dragged by my ear back to the shop by the auld harpy and made to exchange it for a lesser work by lesser artists (let’s not compare the prices on ebay, lest I get my blood pressure up again). But yeah, going to the Bowie exhibition is always a revel in what I enjoy, illicitly enjoy, and a big FU to the auld harpy, so win/win all round, in my book. And I had fun, real, proper fun.

Ah, but it wasn’t all Bowie and the Bard. Oh no. The other big ticket item on the agenda was catching the tram out to Rippon Lea, a grand old estate, and going to the Phryne Fisher exhibition. That was also big fun. Once again, Melbourne did itself proud. The front of house staff were so very friendly and helpful (unlike the National Trust nazi I was accosted by up here) and Rippon Lea is the best and the exhibition was so much fun. Not just room after wonderful room of fabulous costumes from the series, but they’d also set up a murder mystery, with clues and props hidden in every room. Groups were going through in costume! Ah, Melbourne, so not Sydney (and thus all that it needs to be). That was so much fun. I went around twice, once to ogle the costumes and once to solve the mystery.

Then I had tea and sandwiches in the shed/stables, which looked like it had been set decorated especially for the exhibition, and then a wander around the grounds in the wintery sun (when the sun vanished it was colder than Glamis castle in the snow, I kid you not). That was also quite nice. I saw spring blossoms and ducklings.

I also stumbled across a book fair, featuring every book I’ve ever wanted (oh dear, lugged back a suitcase full of books) and I took in the wartime art exhibition, which featured emotional blackmailing WWI posters, even stranger WWII filmed propaganda, embroidery from Changi and a tracing of the nose cone of Enola Gay. All very strange, horrible, funny and moving. Yes, funny, the small sculpture of the two American sailors rolling drunk was a lark.

So that was my trip to Melbs. Magnificent moments from start to finish. Even a walk through a mad Blade Runner-esque art nouveau laneway in the rain was magical.

Couldn’t live there, though. I’m worried the wonderful would become ordinary. Can’t have that. I need somewhere to runaway to (somewhere that isn’t Adelaide).

More Sydney theatre in the form of the STC’s The Present. Check out the cast: Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Toby Schmitz, Eamon Farren, Jacqueline McKenzie–on stage, all at the same time! Well, mostly, you know.

And it was great, very, wickedly funny, even if it was a bunch of bored middle-class white folks bitching and moaning and waving guns around – because it’s Chekhov. Someone always waves a gun around during Chekhov. By heck, Toby even grabbed a guitar and sang A New England (one of my so very favourite songs) for reasons not entirely clear but not caring. (A thought occurs, if Toby’s here, should I expect Black Sails spoilers?).

Richard, as ever, was in his element with the drunk acting and aging lothario bit (basically, as the Herald rightly observed, turning Rake up to eleven), Cate ran from bored to brittle to wild and back again, and Eamon’s eye rolls could be seen from the back row (where I was, or near enough). 

On the snore index, high marks indeed (i.e. no snoring, and guffaws, even).

Also, there was a Q&A with the cast, alas high-jacked by budding actors putting themselves forward 9the bane of all Q&As) but still pretty interesting (and Richard was taking this performance very seriously, whereas others he’s been more light-hearted in the Q&As). Cate meanwhile singled out a member of the audience for their particular laughter (oh, she’s a wicked one).

And still more, the sponsors threw on a soiree so there were packets of gooey macarons (due to my dear coat’s  capacious pockets I ‘accidentally’ acquired two packets), nibbles including sliders to die for and goat cheese tarts and free drinks, oh man, the drinks – they kept refilling my glass (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).  That was dinner (and morning tea).

A grand night out indeed. And I didn’t spill anything down my beloved green spotty dress. Yay.

Reading? A couple of Rebus novels in-between my harder going tomes. Just dragged myself through through the Divine Comedy, and now onto Scott’s Waverly. I was hoping it’d be at least a bit Outlandery, as it seems to share an awful lot of similarities in plot, but I tell ya, if it doesn’t kick off soon I’m going to lose my patience with it (never mind the misogynistic intro by some puckered old Oxford queen, I mean don, who railed against female novelists of the 19th century, including St Jane, while praising Scott; a very shaky premise imo on what I’ve struggled through so far).

Telly? Enjoying Humans at the moment. Colin Morgan notwithstanding, I just like the slow burn plot. Lots of interesting ideas and philosophies are woven through the narrative without being particularly shrill (like Doctor Who tends to be these days, yes, I said it).

Ditto loving Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I know it wasn’t well received but I like it very much. It reminds me entirely of the creepy, weird and off-kilter British shows I used to watch as a kid in the 70s (usually featuring those harbingers of doom, morris dancers). So I like it, I really do. I think the actor playing Jonathan Strange should be the next Doctor, and I just love the weird.

Penny Dreadful, of course, continues to be a lurid dark fairy tale, and I’ve no problem with that (I even ended up watching the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, my other dose of Rox this week).

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.


more...photos )
mockturle06: (boyfriends)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail  I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

Well, it’s a red letter day, not that it matters to me. Daredevil is dropping on Netflix, and someone, Netflix arrived in Australia at last, I got an account, I upped my IP contract, and…I’m working. Not just today but the weekend, too.

Oh well. I’d only waited years to see it, and they’d cast sweet little Charlie, too. Most of the reviews are ok, it sounds like the worst they can say is same old, a point rather hilariously made in one piece that referenced the Lego Movie’s Batman song, and, yes, well, point.

I mean, I was only saying the other day how the Flash has been different (so far) by being a bright, colourful and cheerful superhero show in amongst all the gritty angst, and, as the piece pointed out, surely Frank Miller’s 80s Reagan era darkness has had its day, whether you’re talking about Daredevil, which was a dry run anyway for the Batman which set the template for the next 30+ years.

So yes, poor old Daredevil, seemingly like yet another moody streetfighter, when he was actually the pioneer and poster boy for darkness and misery, but there you go.

Not that it matters, because I can’t see it (not that I could, because in reality I know I’d just be staring at buffering circles until I cried, but you know, not happy).

In other news, no theatre and darkness – actual darkness as we’re off daylight saving and into Autumn now (even the weather has finally caught up) so it’s black when I go and black when I come back.

Didn’t have to work over Easter for once, and, as it bucketed down for two days, and a bit, and as I was bereft of superhero shows (no SHIELD, Arrow or anything else out here, and they’re rounding up pirates so it’s no go at all) and not of a mood to sit through any barrow pushing historical drama (and I’m not talking actual barrow mongers here, though they’re always there hiding the fire hydrant they couldn’t move, but you know, those films/tv shows that push issues, when lack of running water went hand in hand with institutional injustice, etc.), I dug out The Champions, which I’d not watched in years.

more theatre, tv )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

Well, it’s a red letter day, not that it matters to me. Daredevil is dropping on Netflix, and someone, Netflix arrived in Australia at last, I got an account, I upped my IP contract, and…I’m working. Not just today but the weekend, too.

Oh well.  I’d only waited years to see it, and they’d cast sweet little Charlie, too. Most of the reviews are ok, it sounds like the worst they can say is same old, a point rather hilariously made in one piece that referenced the Lego Movie’s Batman song, and, yes, well, point.

I mean, I was only saying the other day how the Flash has been different (so far) by being a bright, colourful and cheerful superhero show in amongst all the gritty angst, and, as the piece pointed out, surely Frank Miller’s 80s Reagan era darkness has had its day, whether you’re talking about Daredevil, which was a dry run anyway for the Batman which set the template for the next 30+ years.

So yes, poor old Daredevil, seemingly like yet another moody streetfighter, when he was actually the pioneer and poster boy for darkness and misery, but there you go.

Not that it matters, because I can’t see it (not that I could, because in reality I know I’d just be staring at buffering circles until I cried, but you know, not happy).

In other news, no theatre and darkness – actual darkness as we’re off daylight saving and into Autumn now (even the weather has finally caught up) so it’s black when I go and black when I come back. 

Didn’t have to work  over Easter for once, and, as it bucketed down for two days, and a bit, and as I was bereft of superhero shows  (no SHIELD, Arrow or anything else out here, and they’re rounding up pirates so it’s no go at all) and not of a mood to sit through any barrow pushing historical drama (and I’m not talking actual barrow mongers here, though they’re always there hiding the fire hydrant they couldn’t move, but you know, those films/tv shows that push issues, when lack of running water went hand in hand with institutional injustice, etc.), I dug out The Champions, which I’d not watched in years.

Usually viewed as the lesser cousin of Department S, when watched by itself it’s not that bad. Sure, Richard is way creepy (I saw Mr Gaunt in the filmed version of The Old Vic’s Crucible with Mr Armitage a few months back) and Craig is insufferably smug, and Sharron gets on my nerves (and what is with the massively bogan names, anyway, it’s hilarious). But it’s written by Dennis Spooner, the usual suspects show up (Peter Wyngarde and Vladek Sheybal have popped up so far) and I’m anticipating a white jag hurtling towards a quarry at some point (I’ve already had one car go over but it wasn’t the white jag).  I also love how every episode starts with Google maps, or a very los res hand drawn version, but basically, they drop a pin every episode. I love how the Prague Spring means the bad guys are Nazis or the Chinese, and not the Commies, who might yet buy the TV rights.

I was particularly bemused by the episode where Craig is tortured in a minimalist, modernist room via the thermostat going violently up and down between boiling and freezing, the lights going on and off and voices through the wall. Well, that explains those hotels I’ve been staying in – they’re ex-NEMESIS premises (although the voices that really kept me awake were the couple having the noisiest, most violent sex ever and it went on so long that when they finally had their massively big finish everyone on the floor broke out into spontaneous applause, and yes, that was in Melbourne).

So, working my way through my Champions boxset. And loving it.

Sunday has become tricorn hat night (and will even more once Poldark starts), but so far I’ve got Turn, Outlander and Black Sails.

Turn has become a little more even handed, in making everyone unlikeable arseholes, but it still has its moments, has JJ Feild, and Burn Gorman is still doing his very best Governor Frontbottom (in fact he’s acing Frontbottom so much I’m almost start to like him – shock, horror).

Outlander is back, once again improving mightily upon the book, and yes, events have been somewhat lurid and questionable, but hey, it’s a romantic adventure and it does what it says on the tin. And then some. It’s still a total shortbread biscuit tin lid of a TV show, but it’ll do. It’s Scotland packaged for Americans, and, well, I knew I wasn’t going to be getting Taggart – smirk.

Black Sails finished up and so stuff happened, and I was almost surprised, as they’d drifted so far from the book prequel they were supposed to be, but, turning hard, they course corrected and, well, stuff happened. And my, I noticed young Schmitz is no longer the dewy waif I used to swoon over at the Belvoir. My dearest Toby, use sunscreen – smirk (my bedroom telly is far less forgiving than the back row at the Belvoir).

I should also mention they’d actually set sail in the last episode, which is only bemusing because the Peanut Gallery keeps grizzling that the Love Boat put to see more often, and their crew was harder , and wants to know when Dick Van Patten and Charo are showing up (I suspect he’s not a fan and has been suffering through my double Toby timeslot).

Vikings also set sail, but we’re so far behind I’m being terribly spoiled regarding which characters are getting the actual axe, so it’s kind of sucked the enjoyment I had from it.

It’s hard avoiding spoilers when we’re several series behind the rest of the world. Even when I try, too.  I’ve had set photos of Character X dead on the floor and #RIPCharacterX, and that’s in my news feed, not my fandom feed, so I can’t win.

A welcome addition to Tricorn Hat Sundays is the man himself, Ross Poldark.  I think we can pretty much blame Poldark for my enduring obsession with gentlemen in historical dramas of a luridly romantic and soapy bent (everything I know about rotten boroughs I learnt from the original Poldark) . So, what did I think of the new version? Well, I have little problem with Aidan Turner 9even if it did seem like he was phoning in the last season of Bing Human, the yellow gloved waving rant about program scheduling is still an oft quoted classic in our household) and I’ve no problem with the source material, simplistic though it may be (rather like in Turn, you know who to boo and hiss every time they come onto screen, panto style, because it’s so telegraphed) and it’s Sunday night and I have my Outlander/Poldark double and oh my.

A week later and I do have access to Daredevil. Well kinda, sorta. Unlike the most flea-ridden WIFI enabled mud hole, I’m forced to try, and I do say try, if it wasn’t Daredevil I should have given up on Saturday, as I said, try and engage with 21st Century technology with 19th Century infrastructure, that is, copper wire, as we’re not even broadband enabled (and nor will we ever be as it is actual policy to refuse my area broadband, transport, education and medical care as we are poor scum and have no rights) , so I tried to watch it. It came down in fits and starts, so fight scenes that win rave reviews are like jittery silent film Buster Keaton fights to me, all jerky and uncoordinated, and it keeps pausing, lending moments unintended doom-laden portent and meaning, and I miss whole bits as it skips forward. Please, please tell me there will be a DVD release at some stage.

But other than my technical difficulties, man, so far, yes. It’s Daredevil. Faithful to the source material without being slavish, cherry picking the good bits, making it really work.  And the casting is spot on – Charlie has entirely won me over.

It’s still all darkness, though. Literally, all blacks and acid yellows and greens, very thematic, but I’m cool with that. It works, even it’s a bit of a cliché at the moment (there was a hero tv drinking game going round on Twitter where you took a sip every time someone said ‘this city’. As Stephen Amell warned, do not attempt).

I’m still bemused by the amateur villainy, though. Compared to this city, those bad guys in those darkness shows have so much to learn about milking that cash cow dry.

Meanwhile, no dragons  (don’t even get me started on PVR fail) but mainly because I already had tickets to Endgame, and so I went, and that’s two hours of my life and no dragons I’m not getting back. It was dire, dreadful, tedious, bleak and insufferable. And that was just the woman, either drunk or doddery, she shouldn’t have been allowed out as she could not, would not turn off her ‘effin’ phone.

So, yes, trying to meet the education I never had by attending another Samuel Beckett play, as Godot wasn’t so bad and this one had Hugo Weaving and Bruce Spence in the cast. How bad could it be? Oh. Now, Hugo was magnificent, as were the rest of the cast, the set was perfect, no technical flaws at all, but the play, oh the play, it wasn’t my cup of tea at all. Bleak, bleak, bleak, with a side order of bleak and bleak dribbles of bleak gravy.

I tried, I failed, and I missed my dragons (Game of Thrones started last night). At least the cast enjoyed themselves. Apparently it’s quite the intellectual experience to rehearse and perform it, but to watch it? Not so much.

So that’s enough of me trying to improve myself this week (besides, I worked Saturday, proper work, for work, instead of trying to watch DD, so that’s enough of me being virtuous for the week, imo).

Actually, I’ve just been rather wicked. Several times now the floor has been perfumed by sweet, sweet curry and today, and today I eschewed my Calvinist hard apple and went the curry. Burp.

And doubly bad because last night I pigged out on Chinese last night. It was very ordinary Chinese, not even close to my local, which isn’t exactly hatted, but it was close to the theatre and, being a mom and pop Chinese outfit, actually opened before the show and ran themselves ragged to get us all fed and watered before curtain up. Unlike the posh café down the road which seem to be solely an enclave of snooty waiters behind closed doors. . Mind you, there’s still nothing to eat down that way, aside from this canny Chinese outfit. This is what happens when evil developers pull down all the theatres that ran along the entertainment strip, with all the restaurants and transport, and force theatres into worthless industrial warehouses outside the city limits. As I said, the wicked developers in Daredevil? Amateurs.

I also bought a pretty yellow trivet for my dribbly teapot (I swear it’s not me, my other teapot of the same make never dribbles like this one).

Like I have money to burn – not. But needs must, the desk was becoming a modern art work of tea stains.

Oh, and I had tea and a biscuit. I was gifted a tin of my very favourite Fortnum and Mason Lucifer biscuits, for doing the smallest job ever (as opposed to the sods who grumble when I through 300% against the wall) and, oh, bliss. I’ve bribed every one with biscuits, it’s all good. Finally, someone who gets that a promise of a biscuit is a far better motivational tool than threats of violence.

And Netflix, Netflix is wicked. I’ve known folks for over 20 years and they’d not had a clue what I was into. It took Netflix a week.  Well done, their algorithm. It’s also wicked because instead of being out in the yard getting bitten to pieces (which I did not do because I was going to the theatre and who needs to be covered in rashes ad bites – that’s my excuse) I was inside trying to watch DD. My parrot cried, I mean totally sobbed, outside my window (and was gone by the time I raced out, wretched in guilt). Wicked.

Clearly, impulse control isn’t what it could be at the moment.

Later…still resisting the Netflix, mainly because the commute is so awful I spend four or five hours every night trying to get home (the same commute took under an hour in 1990) so I’ve no time for TV, reading my emails (or anything online) sleeping, cooking, eating, doing housework, paying bills).  Last night the sun set, night fell, it started to rain, still couldn’t get on a bus. Took me over two hours, just to elbow my way onto a bus (the others went past full or could only fit six more people on, and I wasn’t one).

I did make time for the Justified finale, which I watched late, but managed to stay awake, because all those ‘nobody get out alive’ previews had me feeling a touch anxious. So they turned it around. Just this once, everybody lives!  Well, aside from this year’s bad guys, who had to make up the quota, and give us the proper, oh so proper vintage TV western showdowns we weren’t going to get otherwise (anyone who says they don’t make westerns any more has clearly never looked up from their Mad Men feed).

I did love it. Sentimental as hell, and proud of it. Highlights for me were Raylan’s impish smile when Art pulls over like an angry Dad on a road-trip, and Raylan gets his way anyhow, the entirely non-sentimental farewell to Tim, and the last scene with Raylan and Boyd (almost acknowledging that it wasn’t a western, or a crime story, but a love story – let’s call it a romance, in the 19thC meaning of the word, which should cover it).

Yup, it was a good ending. The show had started to wobble and weary, but it was a good ending.

Finally got up to the episode where Athestan cops it on Vikings, and that was sad. I think I drifted off in a few places from exhaustion, but I got the gist. I liked Athelstan, and thought the character still had uses in being Ragnar’s confidant, showing us the enigmatic man’s inner thoughts, but I guess that confidant thing is what got the odd little monk killed. Floki can dress it up all he wants in theological debate, but he was just jelly, big time.  Anyway, after escaping teary scenes in Justified, Vikings made up with it with a very vulnerable Ragnar just ripping my heart out as he grieved alone on the mountainside.

Also took two goes to see all of the first episode of Wolf Hall, the Tudorsploitation pick du jour (I can’t remember where I read the term but I love it and I’m using it). I was just tired after working all day, and it’s very quiet, and surprisingly lacking in heads flying off, for Tudorsploitation, at least in the first episode.  It is, however, very faithful to the books, which is pleasing (so many things have been of late, it’s gratifying). 

It’s a bit dry, but so are the books, but it has some of my favourite Brit thesps in it and I suppose if I want all the trimmings of Tudorsploitation (gruesome deaths, sex, intrigue, appalling table manners) then I’ve always got Game of Thrones, which of course started this week (and I had to wait two days to see it). Honestly, first episode was more than a bit meh for me, more a very long recap than hitting the ground running with new adventures, but I guess it’s an old dog now, in TV show years.

Later still…there was gardening. Well, I really wanted to watch Daredevil but that wasn’t going to happen – the copper wire non bandwidth gives all the fight scenes a jerky silent film Buster Keaton quality, the screen freezes on a shot of a coffee pot giving it uncalled for meta meaning and then I’ll miss whole chunks as it stutters and skips forward.  Painful.

And the freakish native passionfruit vines the birds keep depositing in  the backyard (the ones covered in purple berries, whodathunkit) had grabbed hold of the old listing Hills Hoist, so Something Had To Be Done. That was me, wrestling vegetation, pulling large, angry spiders down on top of me (ouch) and basically not having fun. 

So I still look like I’ve been dragged backwards through a hedge over a dozen times, because I pretty much was, and my hair seems to have set that way. At least the spider bites worked out – spidey sense had me leaping out of the way of a car running a red light, which I couldn’t see because it was dark, pissing down and I had my hood up.

It’s still raining, I can hear it lashing against the window. There’s the rain I was promised. Oh well, it’s not like Netflix was happening, and some vines were vanquished.

mockturle06: (Avengers)
It's supposed to be super hot today, and I'm still cosplaying the Crimson Horror from last week. Well, of course I forgot my sunscreen when off to Sculpture by the Sea. Remembered the hat, but not the sunscreen. No worries, I'll pick some up on the way, right? Nope. None to be had, for love nor money. So, ignoring my sizzling skin (where my 90% redheaded DNA will out) I trooped around the cliffs in bright sunshine.

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?).
more: photos within )
mockturle06: (Dean sad)
A friend was still bemused at my great disappointment at having braved cyclonic winds on Monday (Auntie Em! Auntie Em!) on various errands, and bringing back some bananas to take into work, the weather still so fiesty it blew several branches in through the door after me, I went and done forgot them. I thought 'I'm feeling a touch peckish, I'll go get that banana I...left on the kitchen table'. Apparently my disappointed face is still giving her mirth at the memory of it nearly a week later.

I did make some friends here. I'll miss 'em when I'm gone. Yep, they finally, finally, finally gave me my exit date. Shit just got real. I told another friend and they burst into tears. It's not too good.

So yesterday I just hit a wall, couldn't write a job app, though researching some of the jazzy jargon they used in the ad wasn't entirely a waste of time, I just couldn't get it going, aside from the old routine jobs that I apparently can do sleepwalking. Ah, I'll miss that, knowing the job so well I can do it on low battery power if need be.

So I took myself off early and went to see the exhibition of prints at the art gallery I'd nearly missed. Oh my gosh, that was excellent, an amazingly cool selection and all hits, no misses. I mean, I've been to print exhibitions before but they tend to err overly on the side of architectural plans or be way too baroque and there's a limit to the number of cherubs I can endure. But this was great. The span from 1500 to 1900 meant every half dozen or so prints (it's a local gallery, our exhibitions are tiny and could fit in the loo of an international gallery) you were onto another century, but I liked that, because I was on the clock and I was very much in the mood for a general oversight rather than in-depth examination, and it was entertaining without being exhausting, and, as I was very satisfied to see, essayed the passing fashions and issues (even if that wasn't the intent) in ways other disappointing exhibitions I've been to this year have really not.
more: Hammer horror )

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