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).
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: (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.

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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: 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: (mr flibble)
Well, at least that production of Macbeth was ticking all the boxes of my bad production bingo: bare black stage, a wooden chair, a fall of glitter. Check, check and check.

What a pity, and Hugo Weaving was so good, damn good, a magnificent Macbeth, full of sound and fury. If only we could have seen his Macbeth in a more tradtional production, and, hell, a traditional staging really would be radical in this town.

I can see now why our best actors go overseas. They have to. This was...woesome. It was like watching Gandalf bestride Ramsay Street, with glitter. (Yes, I know he played Elrond, but you get the idea, he was playing it big, the others, not so much).

Let down by the production. The whole putting the audience on the stage in the world's most awful plastic chairs just made us gaze yearningly at the comfy chairs that now formed the backdrop. The whole thing was a gimmick, and I've seen it done much better, at Traflagar's Macbeth, fer starters.
more: and then it got worse )
mockturle06: (Dean)
This morning I woke to the news that both Homer Simpson and William Shakespeare were now following me on Twitter. The very idea of it just made me smile. Clearly I preach to a broad church - smirk.
I think it was just cause I posted an article on Simpsons quotes as memes (thus telling the age of writer and reader, and a tweet on going to see the STC briefing for the Scottish play. Alas, I was really tired and kind of fed up so I don't think I got as much out of it as I usually do, but Hugo Weaving was there, right in front of me, and that has to count for something.

What can I say, the moment I realised I was in for another extreme re-imagining of Shakespeare, my heart just sank and everything else was just mechanical listening, though the ghost story was cool (well, somebody had to ask about the 'curse' and at least it wasn't me).
more: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Disorders of macadamias, it sounds like some fiendish Booker prize baiting wankery, soon to be adapted by S. Stone for the stage, a bare stage, with lots of shouting.

Sorry, another Sisyphean task of indescribable soul sucking repetition and pointlessness, and thus my mind wanders. Why, I ask, again, am I always the one to be stuck with these jobs. Always.

Dear Past Me, thank you so much for remembering to buy the box of peppermint tea I totally forgot to buy this morning, and for putting it away properly so I wouldn't find it until I was really desperate and scrabbling away in darkest cupboard corners. What a treat, surprise tea. Most excellent, dude.

Ah, senility, every day is like Xmas. I'd like to say it's just chronic lack of sleep, but no, I'm probably dribbling out grey matter onto the pillow every night.

It probably explains all the trash tv I've been watching lately. I should be so ashamed. And yet, and yet, on the run through the tunnels this morning (actual subterranean malls I run through to cut a few corners off my 2km walk from where the bus dumps scum like us, on the city limits, lest we rabble sully their hallowed halls, and where I actually work, within the gleaming citadel) every other shop, still shut up but nevertheless blaring out the MOR pop and rock, all of it from the 70s today (one day it was 1982 from point to point and I was totally having an Ashes to Ashes experience), and, anyway, I smiled. Just a little smile.
more: )
mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)
You know, I do try to support my local bookstores. They don't make it easy. Ordered a couple of books on the weekend, from the meta rec list (that is, a book or author is mentioned several times in one week, I decide I should take the hint and read it), well and good, but now they've cancelled my order because none of the books, which were listed as being in stock, are in fact, in stock, or even in print. Not good, Dymocks. Not good at all. Hello, Amazon...

You know, there will come a point, and I'm passing the signposts already, where I just go straight to Amazon without even bothering. Lift your game, Dymocks. Lift. Your. Game.

Mind you, Amazon are in my poo books right now because my Kindle app has ceased functioning on my Samsung and I was halfway through several books, which I will have to probably try and source in print form, only to have Dymocks cancel my order due to sloppy stock-keeping, then back to Amazon again, only to have my order lost, stolen, backed over several times by heavy machinery, half eaten by a wild animal, recycled as firelighters...

So, ya wanna hear about the fillum I went to the other night? Tom Hiddleston's latest. Avoid at all costs.

It wasn't that it was bad, per se, and, as the women behind me were saying, one expects a certain level of wank, but...
more: making bad choices )
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
I just loved the Grimm xmas episode. Best xmas tv episode in a very long while. Just silly enough to edge out the sweet, and even 'the message' wasn't ott, just a bit about treading a middle path re xmas expectations and making the best of whatever your deal is, which is kind of nice and practical, rather than all those 'best xmas evers' one has to sit through that just make one wrtetched. Yeah, I liked it. And Nick beat up Santa, twice. Well, once was the Krampus, and kudos for using real mythology, and, better yet, having to actually tone it down a touch for telly.
more: holiday photos, travel grumbles, holiday fugue )
mockturle06: (Dean)
I kept seeing Cleaver come out when Gogo got going, I said. Oh, many times, affirmed Himself.

Despite a stupid week/month and stupid weather, we were off to see Godot. in what was, frankly, the best production I've seen, and will probably ever see of it.

It had everything I could ever want, including, and especially, a cast of four absolute faves: Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Mullins and Philip Quast. Quast was a most theatrical Pozzo, and Luke's aptly named Lucky entirely stole the show from Hugo and Rox, which is no mean feat, as the two boys were on top form, clowning about, completely owning the stage while portraying such lost, almost ghostly souls, and there was a real affection there, which I think make for the best Didi and Gogos. The history the actors can draw on really helps sell the sady adorable co-dependence of our two heroes.

Despite the much reported troubles with the production, I think, personally, it was all the better of it, the cast having been made to wait for a director that never arrived (that particular irony not lost on anyone), I think, saved them from overthinking it and filling the blank empty spaces with too much trickery. (I know I'm not normally one for bare empty spaces, but it's Beckett, it's required - what I object to is staging high Victorian drama as post-Beckett bleakness, it's not appropriate and not clever).
more: in like flynn )
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
Even cranky one eyed parrots get the blues. Or maybe he was all sooky and wanting to snuggle because I had the blues. Big time. It's work. I know I'm not meant to talk about it, but to end up with the stuff I was trained at and liked to do given to others, and back with the deadening filing and errand running I used to do when I was 17, it's just destroying. Utterly destroying.

That said, wasn't Ripper Street a treat last night?
more: enterprises that were service for all mankind )
mockturle06: (Avengers)
Ripper Street is one of those shows that frequently feature real people, and real people who have only just passed from living memory (that is, not like the War of the Roses, which is as now as much myth as documentary and archaelogical evidence, though they've made some great and surprising strides of late). Usually, stuff like that is cute and gimmicky, like on Murdoch Mysteries, usually featuring people who've been fictionalised before, but still, where is the cut off point between real people and real lives and fiction? A hundred years? Less?

Because while the Titanic and WWI pass into myth, they were making absolutely nothing to do with reality American films about WWII, pretty much before those Yanks even got into the war, and, well, I'll spare you the usual rant about American forces claiming Australian battles as their own, ditto the Brits claiming Oz victories and the Yanks claiming Brit battles, and so on and so forth. But the point is, turning recent history into fanciful myths is nothing new. Some might even call it propaganda or merchandising.

So where do you draw the line? And are the famous and infamous fair game, while the little people are incidental to anything going on anyway (chances of them featuring that guy in the same class as Doyle, or that guy firing one of the first shots at Gettysburg, have, so far, been slim to none, even in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer).

Do people care? Do relatives care? Does the Doyle estate bother about Doyle turning up in Murdoch Mysteries? Do Winston Churchill's descendants care that he apparently greenlit Daleks for the war effort? What's tongue in cheek, and what's completely tasteless? What's too soon?
more: hey babe, take a walk on the wild side )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Bard busting, big time. First I went to see a screening of NT Live's Othello. It was everything they said it was, and more. Man, that was shattering, a relentless landslide of vicious, petty, insecure men, flustering over pride, all hemmed in the pressure cooker of an army base. Of course, it's the women who suffer, they always do. Would that there was a little blue pill for male insecurity.

It was relentless, yet funny, too, until the final act, as Iago winds Othello tighter and tighter. Such an easy target, and it's cool that being non WASPy is so integral to the part, as Othello is so conscious of his outsider status, that he is resented, that his position is precarious, that he is so easily undone by a few whispers, tugging at ideas and fears that must have been already squirming there to be plucked at.
more: the only way is verona )
mockturle06: (Sherlock)
As I said, if I need a reason to smile today, and I will, I can think of last night's Boardwalk Empire. I'd had a frankly dreadful day and was in the mood for a bit of orchestrated violence, and, well, Boardwalk delivers. There were some darkly comic moments, all concerning that merry band the Capones, but I did giggle and smirk. It was cathartic.

Today I'm in dazzle camouflage, because the mousey blacks and browns weren't working as far as deterring threats go (and there were/are threats), so I figured be loud, be a bigger target. Not sure it'll work, but man, this dress is crazy when you stand in sunlight. Heh.

It was either that or stay in bed, and that was option 1 to a gazillion, but I did get out of bed. Don't know why, I'm sure to cop it again today. I'm rather tired of people being horrid.

So, plays? Yes, sort of. Despite the ruination of my weekend I did slip out to see a screening of The Globe's Twelth Night again, because it's too funny (and having begged them to screen close by, I feel morally obliged). It was partially ruined by two idiots who staggered in late, climbed over just about everyone to get some seats, then talked loudly to each other, you know, all 'who's that' and 'why is he doing that' and everyone else is grinding their teeth and wishing they'd shut the fuck up for five seconds and maybe they'd catch a bit of plot, but no.

We thought maybe they'd just come for Stephen Fry, but no, they talked through all of his bits, too.
more: who da man? )
mockturle06: (mr flibble)
Not a lot to say since I'm not allowed to talk about what I did, what's bothering me greatly, the terrible setbacks and small triumphs of a tiny speck in this crushing mill wheel of life. Nor do you want to hear about the massive piles of magazines to be scanned, shirts to be ironed, etc that are glaring at me daily (and can keep glaring as I'm having a rough week, hot water bottle wise, this week and am not in the mood).

There were snacks, though.

And cake. Surprise cake on Tuesday. I was off sick from ---, and even though I had --- and --- it wasn't happening because, oooh, not good. Spent most of day trying to sleep, and when I finally staggered as far as the couch I found I'd slept through cake being baked (I didn't think I was asleep but I slept through that). Apparently the lemons I'd aquired were gettin' on, so lemon iced tea cake it was. That was nice.

TV? Hardly anything this week, except Hell on Wheels, which I find strangely compelling. Oh, and the Newsroom. It's been absolutely wretched this season, and it has caused me great pain and distress to see a formerly beloved show flopping about limply like a dying fish, crushed under the weight of mandated retooling. And then Jane Fonda showed up. And saved the day. That was...magnificent.

Now, if only Leona/Jane could show up on some other shows I watch and kick some annoying little weasels to the curb, life would be so much better.
more: the mirror crack'd )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Well, it wasn't a disaster in the rational scheme of things, but it did feel like a rolling comedy of unfunny errors. Having to change the dates was my fault. Everything that happened after? Well, that was probably my fault, too.

Decided to go down to Melbs to see the world's most miserable and depressing Monet show. Seriously. It was just (as always, never the good stuff) the last works of the last years, when he was mostly blind and distressed over WWI. I've always wondered why the five hundred (or seems like) paintings of his pond, and now I know. World War One was raging outside, pretty much on his doorstep, and instead of engaging I guess he retreated, which is a valid response, imho. Especially when you're old and tired. I can see it now. It's all too horrible to deal with, lookit, waterlilies, so tranquil, so constant. I get it, but it's effing sad.

Then it all gets smeary and ugly as he seems to just melt and bleed all over the canvasses. Pretty awful, I thought, watching the man disintergrate before my eyes, canvas by canvas. Like I said, a wretched exhibition.

Much better was the accompanying Australians In Paris exhibition, because all Australian artists between about 1880 and WWI had to go to Paris. And so they did. So here are the usual suspects (Condor, Preston, Ramsay, Fox, etc) painting in France instead of what are now outer suburbs of Melbourne (then, rolling hills of semi-rural wilderness). I liked. Because it was my usual crew of favourites, and whle I prefer their Oz paintings (because the light is right, I can never get over the dimmer ASA 100 light in Europe, even though I know it's true) I didn't mind the odd peasant, the obligatory haystacks, and those wonderful, wonderful flower gardens and Chinese lanterned parties. Why do Parisian parks always look so good on canvas, and are so drab in reality?

So, that was fun, and surprisingly well attended. Put on some Aussies and no one will go (cultural cringe), but mention Paris, and you'll scoop up a few punters. It's a shame they're not more highly esteemed or well known (I was the only one who didn't need to read the bios, and I got some odd looks cause I didn't) in their home country (as opposed to country of origin, the question of what qualifies an artist as 'Australian' is vexed, but as an art historian put it bluntly 'if they've pissed here, they're Australian', which is the test I use for the British Actors list, if you're interested) because those Aussies, they were mixing with Monet, Van Gough, Toulouse-Lautrec, etc. Right in it, in other words. As you'd expect from an Australian abroad - grin.

The other exhibition I saw was the Hollywood Costume one at ACMI, a cut down version of the V&A exhibition. I assume it was cut down as it only went for one room, and I remember reading quite a few key pieces did not travel. I think it was my abiding fed up-ness, and the crowds, because even though I saw Audrey's black dress from Breakfast at Tiffanys, Marilyn's infamous rayon-y thing, Tippi's green dress from The Birds, Kim Novak's green dress from Vertigo, I was all very meh, especially as it was mostly Depp, Di Niro and Streep, actors I do not care for.

One thing that did bemuse me, and I'm sure there must be a proper term was it, was the period costume paradox. That is, when a designer tries to evoke another age, they tend to scream the era in which their outfit was made. Thus the very Thirties outfits for Cleopatra, the oh so Sixties dress for Camelot, and Sean Young's Oh My God It's The 80s dress from Bladeruuner that was supposed to be evoking the 40s.
more: monkey god and godot )
mockturle06: (matt and tim)
You know, I could wring my hands over drowned polar bears and flooded islands as well as the next bleeding heart pinko greenie, but when I hear that pasty little Englishmen are contemplating wearing shorts in the city, this is where I must draw the line. No, no, a thousand times no. We must stop this outrage and do something about climate change and warming trends. Now. This instant!

No one should ever have to see an Englishman's knees. It's just too terrible to contemplate.
more: look what they did to my show, ma )

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