Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

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A Sunday afternoon’s entertainment for a Gentle Lady

April 6, 2008

When we were in London, I bought a DVD with the recent TV series Cranford. I’d heard it lauded to the skies, and now I’m about to start watching it. I think it’s about 5 hours long, so will not finish it today, but I’ve been looking forward to it very much. I love the novels, and would watch almost anything created by Sue Birtwistle, so I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

Not sure I’m qualified to call myself a Gentle Lady, but who’s going to complain?

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Tea and Galaxy Quest

April 5, 2008

Drinking peach ball jasmine tea – the kind where the tea leaves are rolled up tightly, and unfold into a kind of blossom when you pour hot water over it. We’ve had this tea for some time, and so I thought I’d finish it before it gets too old. Also, I’m watching Galaxy Quest. I’ve seen it once before but remember almost nothing. It’s a lot of fun, and has Alan Rickman.

An hour later – subtitles rolling: oh yes, lots of fun. So very cheesy and sentimental in such an intentionally over-the-top way. A good evening’s entertainment.

In my tea glass is now something that looks like a sea anemone, or a Tentacled Being (TM). I don’t think I’ll add more water – it’s still nice, but I’m about to go to bed instead of taking in more caffeine.

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October 21, 2007

I am not a big movie goer, but this week I’ve been to the cinema twice. (Which makes it four times this year, I think.)

On Thursday, we went to see Stardust. It is, as you hopefully know, an adaptation of the excellent book by Neil Gaiman, which is a kind of fairy tale for adults. It has received very mixed reviews in Swedish papers, but it seems as if a lot of the reviewers had no idea it was a book to begin with, and it’s obvious they hadn’t read it. Big surprise there. Movies should of course stand on their own and be enjoyable to people who haven’t read the book (which is one reason why I think most books shouldn’t be adapted), but if you are going to get paid for reviewing a movie in a newspaper, it should be part of your job to find out the basic facts about it.

In any case, I love the book, and I also loved the movie. It was fun, and beautiful, and although they had changed the story around a lot I didn’t feel they had ruined it; the actors were good, and as usual I didn’t recognise any of them, even the ones I’ve probably seen in other movies. An added bonus – for all of us in the theatre if not for anybody else – was the fact that the cinema was virtually empty. There were very few people there, and no children, which meant no loud talking or running around or kicking my seat from behind or any of the other things that tend to make movie going an annoying rather than an enjoyable experience. This experience was very enjoyable indeed.

Yesterday, we went to an afternoon showing of Bergman’s The Magic Flute. I have always loved the adaptation – we had it on four or five LP records in a large, square box when I grew up, and I read and re-read the libretto and listened to the records over and over. I thnk I’d seen the adaptation three times before, never on the big screen, and it’s been any number of years. So it was a good reunion, with equal parts nostalgia and re-discovery. The story of the opera is a bit thin and silly, but the film is much more than that; I hadn’t appreciated the meta parts of it before as much as I did this time. The film is about The Magic Flute being produced as an opera, with glimpses of the audience, the props and scenery very much belonging tto a theatre, and between the acts, we see the Queen of Night smoking a cigarette, Pamina and Tamino playing chess and one of Monostatos’ slave boys reading Donald Duck. And of course I love the music. There is nothing difficult or challenging about it, a child can appreciate it (as indeed I did as a child), but I’m not afraid of saying I like it all the same. A few of the arias, such as Sarastro’s In Diesen Heil’gen Hallen (I dessa helga salar) almost bring tears to my eyes, they are so beautiful (and Ulrik Cold’s voice is just wonderful). The copy of the movie was old and rather scratched in places, occasionally, between scenes I even think there were a few seconds missing. Which made me wonder if I’m ever going to be able to see it again. I should get it on DVD before it’s too late, perhaps.

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September 2, 2007

The Chronological Donald was fun, I’d seen it before but it’s the kind of thing that bears re-watching many times. I’d forgotten how annoying Leonard Maltin’s commentary was, though: he pops up before some of the movies to tell the audience that the movies are very, very old, and so we should not be offended by the contents. Instead, we get offended by his assumption that we’re too simple-minded to understand that a movie from 1935 will reflect a different time than our own.

Or, no, I shan’t be unfair: I’m sure it’s not Maltin personally who makes the assumption – he’s just hired to do the job. That the Disney corporation doesn’t think much of its audience is something we already knew. But they did make good short films back when.

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