Last night, I saw Midsommar, a film I’ve had my eye on for a while. It’s received very mixed reviews in the press, but I loved it. I felt it was pretty much what you’d get if you got Alexander Jodorowsky to direct the Wicker Man
Microbe et Gasoil
I saw this recent Michel Gondry the other day. The Science of Sleep is one of my favourite films. Microbe et Gasoil is a lot more naturalistic than a lot of his other films, but it still has a lot of the same little touches. Two misfit 14 year old boys decide to build their own car. When it turns out to not be road legal, they turn it into a shed on wheels and go on a very slow road-trip round rural France, in the spirit of a Jacques Tati film. Lots of fun.
So now it’s 2015, the year of the future. I expect a fax to pop out of somewhere unexpected any minute now. I had a very sedate and teetotal Christmas and New Year due to injuring my shoulder and then coming down with a bad case of the flu that lingered on forever. I wanted to get a few creative projects finished over the Christmas break, but that put a spanner in the works. Already this year I have started a new job, been to Paris for a few days and turned 30.
The Phantom Tollbooth
I recently watched this documentary about the Phantom Tollbooth, one of my favourite books when I was younger. (I still have the same battered, dog-eared paperback copy). Milo, the main character, is a boy who is always bored and doesn’t see the point in anything.
I went to see the Double a little while ago. My friend Ellina has thing about Jesse Eisenberg and she wanted to see it. I haven’t been going to the cinema often enough recently. I like Dostoyevsky, enjoyed Submarine, and liked Jesse Eisenberg as an unbearable teenage boy in the Squid and the Whale so it was a good choice. The film owes a lot to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
Making Tracks- live cinema
A little while ago my friend Erika Pál had the animation she made for our MA show in Whirligig Cinema’s Making Tracks festival. She made recordings of the students describing dreams they’d had, and painstakingly created the animation with oil paints on glass and time-lapse photography. Here she describes how she made it. She doesn’t have it available to view online at the moment, so here are some stills from her website.
February books and films
Not a great deal to report here, I haven’t read that much or seen many films because I’ve been busy doing unfun things. Less of that, please.
1) Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong- James W Loewen
Separado! Gruff Rhys ac y gaucho cymraeg
I finally saw this film today. I’d wanted to see it since I’d heard of its existence, but not got round to it, but it was definitely worth the wait. Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals saw a singer on Welsh tv in the 70s who used to go onstage wearing a poncho and riding a horse, and then sing flamenco and samba songs in Welsh with an Argentinian accent, and he was spellbound. His grandmother told him it was René Griffiths, a distant uncle of his from South America. An ancestor of his in the 1800s joined the Welsh colony in Patagonia after accidentally killing his cousin in a rigged horse race.
I went to see two films at the BFI the past few weeks, both well worth seeing at the cinema rather than on dvd.
Like the librarian said … everyone respects the dead
Yesterday I got the dvd of Kids for £2, and I watched it with Vicky & Tukru. V had somehow never seen it, and the last time T had seen it was about 10 years ago when her down-with-the-kids history teacher had played it at school (yeah, Finland …). When I was about 15 or so it was my all-time favourite film along with Heavenly Creatures. I don’t know what that says about me. If I’d seen the film now as a 26 year old, it wouldn’t amaze me (maybe creep me out instead). I think what made the impact on me at the time was that in the age before cheap DVDs and easy downloading, it was the first really raw film I’d seen, and I was obviously longing for rawness at the time. Glossy Hollywood high school films had absolutely no relevance to my life
Don’t Put Out
The other week I was in Brighton to see Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, a forgotten film from the 80s about a fictional all-girl punk band with Diane Lane, Ray Winstone (yes, really), Paul Simonon and half of the Sex Pistols. They’ve started doing a cinema club at the West Hill Hall showing cult films with bands playing afterwards. This time the bands were Trash Kit and Woolf. I found out about it when I was at the copiers and the guy in front of me was copying flyers and we got chatting and swapped zines and flyers. I wish that kind of thing happened to me more often. A good evening filled with friends and good feelings. Bands and film recommended. I want to be back in Brighton. ( I decided to go not via London to see if the cheaper ticket was worth the bother- it wasn’t, it took me 4 hours and between 4-7 trains each way)
O Bagpuss, fat furry old catpuss
I also didn’t put my pictures from Canterbury Museum up. Here is Bagpuss on his cushion, he has an honourary doctorate from the University of Kent you know. In real life, he’s about the size you’d expect.