Sunday, 25 April 2010

Promises, promises

I did promise, back in Copenhagen, that I'd share my thoughts on what actually happened, once I'd moved job. It has taken longer than expected, but I have moved job.

I'll try to post something concise, novel and interesting later this week.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The mole

There are a few bits of literature out there that deserve to, nay need to, be preserved for the cockroach civilization that is bound to follow us, somewhere down the road to eternity. Hamlet, for example (though I have never seen what all the fuss was about - just kill the bleeder and be done with it). The Cherry Orchard. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. (Only joking). Sadly, I've not created any masterpieces. The Live Parrot sketch hardly ranks alongside leaping nuns or Del Boy falling over.

But this. It's not particularly new (I first read it ages ago), and it is, after all, only a restaurant review, but it is the English language stretched to its absolute limit. Incredible.

The eyes ... the eyes...

My trip to the opticians confirmed what I had always suspected. I am, in fact, superhuman. I am short-sighted in my left eye, and long-sighted in my right eye. In this way, like Ivor Cutler, I can use my left to see insects and bacterias, and with my right I can see the stars and the nebulas.

Sadly, the optician is an evil optician and, jealous of these incredible powers, she has prescribed me glasses.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Being is believing

It appears that I, too, am pregnant. Or at least, I'm undergoing hormonal changes that, in my case, appear to be making me gain weight, and have weird dreams.

How weird.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Never seen Citizen Kane


Contains spoliers. And, indeed, spoilers.

Within a few weeks, I've seen The Godfather Part I, and The Shining. There was a woman on Radio 4 pooh-pooing Citizen Kane, but I don't believe her and I'm going to get the DVD out soon.

The Shining was somewhat disappointing. I wouldn't put it in a top 100 of anything, and it's no surprise to read that it wasn't critically acclaimed on release, but is now well thought of. The respective careers of Stanley and Jack probably have quite a lot to do with that. And I bloody hate Stephen bloody King and his tired "psychic child" meme (although possible this is my fault for watching The Langoliers, which was dreadful). Don't even get me started on "It". Grrr. Suffice to say King could teach Donaldson a thing or two about flaccid prose.

So, the bad stuff. Nicholson is bad. I don't care if "Heeeeere's Johnny!" is one of the all time great moments in cinema (and it probably is). He's bug eyed and crazy from scene one (just as Kubrick was worried he would be) and as a result you don't get any sense of the characters slow descent into madness. Just grab the axe already and start chopping! And the film doesn't actually make any sense, does it. I mean. It would be just lovely if there was total ambiguity here. Is this the supernatural, or merely some guy cracking up and a oversensitive child? Is Lloyd the barman the devil, or a figment of Jack's imagination? Indeed, does the entire thing happen because the hotel manager has sowed the idea in Jack's mind? But then the 'ghosts' break Jack out of his prison cell, and the pyschological thriller has been replaced by a not particularly clever horror flick.

And the character who dies is just ... well ... stupid. Couldn't they have found a more subtle way to get a working snow-mobile out there?

But there is some remarkably good stuff here. The two sisters. The kid himself, who despite my hatred of child actors is actually really good. The final scene in the maze, though heavily telegraphed earlier in the movie, is really impressive. Most of all, there's the fantastic way in which Kubrick has shot the hotel, particularly my favourite bits where the kid is cycling round and round the place on his tricycle.

OK, so I'm not a fan of horror movies, and I've already pointed out my antipathy towards Stephen King, but I felt here was a genuinely brilliant movie that just wasn't, because of Nicholson's overacting, and a screenplan that didn't match the brilliance of the cinematrography.

Still, it's a very good film. But "The Shinning" is better. Now that is one of the greatest things to ever have been recorded on celluloid.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

That's embarrassing

I was listening to "Taxman" on my headphones, and just for a second I played air-guitar in the office. I hope no one noticed.

Monday, 5 April 2010

No Man Is An Archipelago


British Sea Power's next Album is a soundtrack to a documentary that was recorded 76 years ago. Odd.

The link, aside from the fact that I like British Sea Power, to this blog, is that Kate & I have just got back from a splendid weekend on the Isle of Wight. Usual suspects attended. 10 units of alcohol per drinker per night were successfully consumed.

"But hey!", you cry, "you haven't posted for a month and this is the best news you can offer?"

Well, no. There is news of a very significant nature. Indeed, the very significance of this news is more significant than any previous news, even news from May of last year. To whit, Kate & I are expecting a baby, in September. Which is considerably more of a hassle for Kate than it is for me. Mumsnet might give you an idea of the sort of hassle that can occur. I am glossing over the details.

I'm not sure I can top that, so I'll sign off here.