Life getting in the way a bit

So i’m aware i haven’t blogged for a while but as the title says – Life’s been getting in the way a bit. In a good way though. Since moving house and in the last few weeks, i’ve read more, seen some great movies, discovered some great vintage shops/jumble sales/car boot sales in my new locale and have even picked up a crochet hook again (though less said about that, the better…). My daughter has also started School nursery a couple of afternoons which has given me time to write this.

So – recent media consumed includes:

Films –

The Descendants (Clooney, cried buckets)
Harry Potter and the last whatsit (you know, the last one – was pretty good)
A Dangerous Method (Cronenberg – Jung v Freud – Keira Knightley a revelation; Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen wonderful as always)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (recent prequel with James Franco, Freida Pinto and John Lithgow as well as rent-a-creature Andy Serkis. Was so much better than i thought it would be. Those Apes were ANGRY)
Disney’s Brave at the cinema with TheYoungLady (twice! – as i said to someone – possibly the first Disney heroine who didn’t make me want to puke. Lots of stuff about changing your fate and i cried at the mom/daughter bit. It was good)
Volcano – (not new i know but have never seen it. Great disaster movie and Tommy Lee Jones – whaddaguy!)

Books

We were the Mulvaneys – Joyce Carol Oates. I found this a struggle as the pace is slow but it was a rewarding read.
The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins. Couldn’t quite believe these were kids books – glad i read them before seeing the film. Wonderful.
The Fifty Shades Trilogy – EL James. Amazingly badly written tripe. (nb – not me being prudish – there were definately some sexy bits but it was so badly written and Grey and Anastasia so unlikeable)
The Ice Princess – Camilla Lackberg. Now, i do normally love Scandi-crime but got a bit bored with this and didn’t finish it.
11.22.63 – Stephen King. Read even less of this. Time portal at the back of a diner where the protagonist can maybe chnge history and stop the assassination of JFK? Nah. Gave up.
Going to attempt some Leo Tolstoy next (War and Peace or Anna Karenina?)
I also quite like this new magazine http://www.thesimplethings.com/ and Mollie Makes Both of which are just too darned cute.

Recent thrift/bargains loot

Am heading to St Ives, Cornwall, UK for a week’s holiday soon where i’ll hopefully return from laden with all manner of artsy, hippy, surfy stuff. Looking forward to visiting Tate St Ives gallery and maybe the Barbara Hepworth museum – loads of small galleries and artists studios to visit too.

Films and me plus what i’ve watched this week

I love films. From watching black and white Fred Astaire films on a Saturday night to doing my English degree dissertation on the two Scarface films and the development of the gangster film genre (which I wrote in the 2 weeks before the deadline after my dissertation ‘advisor’ said that what I’d written was just a history of the genre (err..yes?!) and didn’t include any feminist, Marxist or any other kind of nonsense critical theory then it was essentially worthless. Anyhoo, did fine with my degree in the end and whilst it instilled in me an intense dislike of assigning a particular form of critical theory to film, it didn’t affect my love for the form.

I embrace all film styles though and am no film snob, watching most things from foreign language classics to High School Musical with the exception of the Saw-type gore-porn of recents years. I have a real fondness for musicals with two of my all time favourite films are Singin in the Rain and The Sound of Music, I love a good B movie and recent additions to the genre Starship Troopers, Independence Day and The Day after Tomorrow I’ve watched countless times.
I love a good, quirky indie film – Whip It and Youth in Revolt I really enjoyed; Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia I thought was wonderful and left me sobbing, as did the Disney film Up which is one of the most heartfelt films you’ll ever see. Sometimes I just need a bit of Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell silliness though.

I will watch pretty much anything with Celia Johnson, Dirk Bogarde, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Julianne Moore, Kristen Scott Thomas, Joan Cusack or Steve Buscemi in it. I have removed Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino from this list as they’ve made some real shit recently.

Hitchcock, Vincente Minelli, Fellini, Scorcese, Woody Allen, Tarantino, Michael Powell and David Lean are just some of my favourite directors. Brief Encounter and This Happy Breed (both early Lean) plus The Red Shoes and Peeping Tom (Powell) are another more favourite films.

This week I’ve watched (so far):

    DVD: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Disney) – currently on heavy rotatation in our house thanks to TheYoungLady.

DVD: Snow White (recent-ish live action with Miranda Richardson as the Queen) – Recent addition for TYL. It was ok.

    Skyplussed Movies Premier: Love and Other Drugs – Jake Gyllenhaal/Anne Hathaway. Hot slutty guy falls in love with Hot arty sick girl. They shag then split then realise they love each other even though she’s getting more ill. Hated it and fast-forwarded through second half of film.

Sky movies Family: Hachi: A dog’s tale – Joan Allen/Richard Gere and an Akita dog. Had this on while playing with TYL. Had to stifle sobbing. Lovely film.

    Sky+ from BBC2: Starter for 10. If you didn’t know this was written byt David Nicholls (One Day) you could guess. Clever working class essex boy (James McEvoy doing a great job of being the awkward fresher) falls for blonde pretty girl but realises the serious brunette is really the girl for him. I liked Mark Gattis as Bamber Gascoigne and Benedict Cumberbatch as wanker Engineering Postgrad+ leader of the University Challenge team. Predictable but well done and I enjoyed it.

      Lovefilm DVD rental: Captain America: I like how they made Chris Evans look all skinny and weedy at the start. Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L Jackson. It dragged a bit and I got bored enough to draft this post…

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