Sunday 30 October 2011

Great Snakes, Thundering Typhoons and One Amazing Film!

Here are two links to the Belgium Premiere and the UK Premiere (I hope they still work): 

Yes! That's right its the long awaited Tintin post. On Tuesday this week I finally, after weeks, months of waiting, I finally got to see The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. And it was AMAZING! I was literally laughing my head off, it was truely that funny and I am not just saying that because I am a HUGE Tintin fan. I saw it in 2D and the animation was near perfect. Both my sister and mum (on separate occasions) complained about the size of some character's noses but then I reminded them that that was how the drawing were like in the original comics. I loved every minute of it. I should mention that the opening credit sequence was beyond inspired. Using drawings from the comics and (my sister pointed it out) the actual font they use in the comics as well. Everything was thought of right down to the very last detail. It was excellent casting, Jamie Bell would have been my choice too, especially as he is also a huge fan of Tintin.

For those who aren't familiar with Tintin, he was created by George Remi, born in Brussels, Belgium. Remi wrote all his stories under the name Herge, which is how everyone remembers him. The first Tintin story appeared in a weekly children's magazine called Le Petit Vingtieme in 1929. There are 23 complete Tintin adventures and they have been translated into over 50 languages. The film is based on three of them; The Crab with the Golden Claw (where Tintin first meets Captain Haddock), The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.

I got to see the film again, this time in 3D and at a really awesome cinema, The Ritzy in Brixton. First I had seen a film in the cinema and it was the first time I had enjoyed a 3D film even if I had to wear the glasses on top of my glasses. The film was even more amazing second time around and I laughed at the jokes more it seemed. Everyone in the room seemed to love it too. I have no idea what those critics were watching when they gave the film odd reviews. They obviously are not Tintin fans.

Other than see the film this week I finally finished a book, Tintin in the New World by Frederic Tuten. After reading the last page I kind of wished I hadn't. The end was so unbelievably depressing but I can't explain it any better or I might spoil the end. The story is about Tintin growing up and exploring his own mind and how he is looking for something more than an adventure. Any die hard fan should read it but I warn you, its nothing like the comics, its slow.

I'll end this post saying GO SEE THE FILM and this amazing bit of animation by a guy who was offered a job by Steven Spielberg after he saw this:
I did also have a link to an article about whether Tintin is gay or not but The Times newspaper has deleted it or won't let me access it. Oh well its out there somewhere.

I can't wait until the next Tintin film!!!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Basking in July & Roasting marshmallows at a BBQ

This weekend more films were consumed, marshmallows eaten and sparklers lit!

After buying simply superb hat which Dunia said I should buy (excellent advise) I took it out for its first outing to London Southbank. I was early for the Miranda July talk so I basked in the sun and ate an apple while listening to Fred Astaire. A very good moment.

So then I went to my long awaited Miranda July Masterclass and I was sat in the front row feeling very awkward. I don't usually go for the front row, mostly because they are always sold out or because I know I'll feel uncomfortable.This time though, was really good. Annoyed at first as the Masterclass started really late which meant I couldn't go see The Artist after, but then when it started I forgave the poorly timed events and sunk into Miranda July world.

I thought after she denied me permission to adapt one of her short stories I wouldn't forgive her (I haven't) but listening to her talk about all her projects (she is a performance artist, writes fiction and makes films) she held my attention for the entire two hours. She mentioned briefly that she is writing her up coming novel and how she planned to make a film where the audience participated. She wanted to have words on the screen where all the men in the world talk to all the women in the world. All awesome ideas. I am yet to see The Future as I missed it at the London Film Festival and the screening at the Tate Modern but after seeing a few clips from the film I can't wait! After the talk I wanted to run home and draw on my shoes and watch You Me and Everyone We Know but instead I strolled home and got ready for drinks for my friends birthday. And it did it all while trying to search for the film's soundtrack.

After a very hectic, drunk, expensive but very good previous night I woke up early on Sunday and made cupcakes. Like you do. Then I got the tube to a pretty awesome unusual Autumn BBQ. Unusual because we all sat outside in blankets and coats in the cold weather and watched The Addams Family while roasting marshmallows. We also lit some sparklers and some fireworks. Halloween was thrown in too with some carved pumpkins in the garden.

After that awesome weekend I had the worst day at work and I found out something awful. I had missed the UK Adventures of Tintin Premiere, I had missed Jamie Bell. But more on that later.

Saturday 22 October 2011

We Really Do Need To Talk About Kevin

I haven't read the book, I know I should, but after seeing the film I don't think I want to. I'm one of those people who either reads the book before the film or not at all. Sounds bad but if I read the book after I will be forever comparing it to the film and can't see the characters as anything other than those who played them in the film and I need to imagine. But I am forever saying there is one exception, Little Children by Tom Perrotta, loved the film, loved the book.

I have been looking forward to seeing this film because of all the buzz that was around it at Cannes and also, it has a female director, Lynne Ramsay. I got to the cinema a tad early and waited a few moments then, as the cue got longer for the ticket booth, I started to panic. I don't why I panic for such things but I do. Then I saw a notice on the door saying they had sold out of the showing I was meant to see with my friends. I panicked and tried calling then. No answer, still on the tube. Then Dominic Cooper, British actor, walked into the cinema, walked out again. He was also on the phone. Then for a good 5-10 minutes it was just the two of us making frantic phone calls and looking up and down the street. It was quite amusing. Then I decided to go in and buy the tickets but it was also Dominic Cooper had decided to do the same thing. So of course I couldn't follow him in, it would have looked like I was following him. Anyway we got to see the film on time, sat in the font row and enjoyed a harrowing film, just as the poster and adverts had promised.

The film is about Eva (Tilda Swinton, who was amazing) the mother of a teenage boy, Kevin (Ezra Miller) who went on a high-school killing spree tries to deal with her grief and feelings of responsibility for her child's actions. The film is told in flashbacks mixed with the present day. It is a very good film and I know I keep saying that when I talk about films but it is true these films are very good. This film is of course different from the rest. It wasn't depressing for a start and it had me on the edge of my seat in the way I didn't know what Kevin was going to do next. I thought it was great casting especially all the Kevins, they all looked like they were same child and they did all look like they could be Tilda Swinton's. Casting aside, after seeing it my mum asked me (she read the book) how did Eva come across? For me, I felt sorry for her then I started to not understand her, why did she visit Kevin in prison after what he did, especially after the awful reveal near the end. From start to finish I felt sorry for her, being punished by her own child who she only tried to connect with. Go see it, its out now and see what you think.

Monday 17 October 2011

Feeling Restless in London & The Rules of Pedestrian Rage

While walking to the tube station in Hounslow I did not enjoy the countless stares of confusion and disdain. I suppose people were not prepared for my comic art themed tights or they were just weird. These strange stares continued when I got on the tube. I didn't understand, I wasn't wearing anything crazy or acting crazy. Worst part was when a middle aged couple sat opposite me kept staring at my tights. They may not have seen them before but there's no excuse for obviously looking at my legs/tights.

When I got to Piccadilly my pedestrian anger kicked it. I am not too fond of over crowded places especially on a Saturday night in central London. I really hate it when you are walking as fast as you can yet its not quite fast enough for the person behind you so they take over. Then as soon as they're in front they slow down so they walking next to you and so you slow down to get rid of them which makes you late for whatever you were hurrying for. The universal rule is you either take over the person in front and walk much faster or you just frak off! You can tell that these people on Saturday did not know this universal rule. In the end I weaved in and out of groups talking in my normal voice "get out of the way fool!'

Finally got to my destination, Ed's Diner where I had an amazing burger and a milkshake with some awesome friends. We were all going to see Gus Van Sant's new film Restless at the BFI London Film Festival.

The story was tragically beautiful. Centered around Enoch, a funeral crashing dropout with a ghost for a friend and tragic past. At a funeral he meets Annabelle, a Darwin enthusiast who has cancer. From there the two fall in love but as with all stories there is far more to it than that. I really loved the characters, I can't remember the last time I had seen a film with such in depth characters. What I mean by this is that their personalities are given depth and were unusual. When was the last time you saw a film where the main character was a teenage naturalist? I really enjoyed this film and story even though it was depressing but not in the way Melancholia was. I strongly recommend this film when it is released.

After a few delicious cocktails I ventured back on the tube and thankfully, less stares this time.

Friday 14 October 2011

The Scandalous Affairs of Barbara & Boris Hoganstein: Final Part

Like all stories, this one has come to an end. And like all stories this one ends with heartbreak, death and a cleansing fire.

As Kitty lay on the ballroom floor crying her eyes out, the police were called. With all the confusion inside, a few guest went outside for fresh air. There they found Devon Cain's body and there was more screaming, though this time from other guests. The staff tried their best to calm people down and corner off the areas where the bodies were.

Throughout this confusion and mayhem Boris Hoganstein sighed and quietly slipped away from the crowds. He calmly walked upstairs and went into a deserted room. He had taken a case of alcohol with him, taken from the bar downstairs and placed into the middle of the room. He sighed again and paused for a moment.

Barbara waited downstairs near the front entrance. She looked at the people in the ballroom, Kitty on the floor, Jonathan's body covered by a table cloth and closed her eyes. She had hoped that it wouldn't have come to this but there was no other way out.

Boris began emptying the bottles, pouring the liquid on the curtains, on the furniture and on the carpet. When all the bottles were empty he reached into his waistcoat pocket and took out a box of matches. He struck a match and dropped it on the soaking carpet. It lit up immediately.

Barbara opened her eyes. The police had arrived and were taking Kitty away, she didn't struggle. Other police officers were talking to other guests, getting statements about what happened. She looked up at the stairs to where her husband had gone. She thought about what he had said just before Kitty had shot her husband. Their secrets would come out sooner or later. Who knew what that P.I had found out, his notes could be in the Empire house, the police would find them and then what? He had said there was one way out of this. She had nodded, kissed him and whispered in his ear, 'Do whats best my love'.

From where she stood she could see one of the room light up with flames, smoke began to fill the air, people looked up in awe. Someone shouted FIRE and soon everyone was charging for all the available doors. Barbara didn't move. She couldn't, not until she saw him. The lower floors began to blaze and still she waited. Smoke filled the air, she could hardly see. Then she felt someone grab her hand a pull her towards the open door.

Outside, hundreds of people stood staring at the house on fire. It was incredible to see. Boris pulled Barbara out of the house and onto the green grass and away from the crowds. She turned to face him, embraced him as if she would never let go. He whispered in her ear, they both took one last glance at the fire and disappeared in the darkness, hand in hand.

So ends this tale of Boris and Barbara Hoganstein but for this strange couple their affairs are not yet over and there are far more scandalous tales to tell . . .

Tuesday 11 October 2011

The Scandalous Affairs of Barbara & Boris Hoganstein: Part 9

When the gunshot was fired both Hogansteins were at the bar. They were already in shock from the evenings previous events. Barbara dropped her glass of wine, Boris only spilt his drink. The glass shattered causing a few others to turn and look. The gunshot in the distance had sounded like a cork popping so no one made a fuss. The smashing glass got their attention but as it was a ball no one seemed to mind apart from one of the waiters who has to clean it up.

Outside, Jonathan and Kitty were standing face to face. Jonathan had fired his gun but not at Kitty. Devon Cain, who had been standing behind her, stumbled over and fell to the ground. Shot in his thigh. Kitty gasped and collapsed on the ground next to him. She started to cry hysterically while Jonathan blamed her for this and that he'd known all along about their affair. How could she betray him like this, how could she bare to look at him after what she had done, after what he'd made her do. He stood there and calmly said all this. Devon looked up and quietly spoke. He knew this would happen but he never imagined that Jonathan was the sort of man who would shoot someone. Jonathan answered that when the woman he loved and married betrayed him, it made him change.

Boris and Barbara by this time in the confrontation had moved over to the open window. Hiding behind the curtain they heard everything.

Still on the ground, bleeding, Devon asks Jonathan about his friend, George McJanet and did he know about the blackmailing. Jonathan smiles and says of course, who else would it be, but even his Private Investigator couldn't find proof.  From behind the curtain, it all makes sense now for Boris and Barbara. Devon's heart sinks. His mind wonders of the events earlier that evening when his friend had come to see him to tell him the truth about the debts, the blackmail and yes, the Hogansteins. He remembers how he had gone into such a rage. He couldn't believe his own eyes when he looked at his hands covered in George McJanet's blood. Looking up at Jonathan he wished that things had been different. He wished that he had never let go of Kitty, that he had never leant George the money and that he could have stopped that fire, all those years ago. Yes, as Devon Cain was about to die, not happy memories but regrets flashed before his eyes. With a few final words from Jonathan, you deserve this, and a cry of desperation from Kitty, Jonathan pulled the trigger. This time a bullet to the head. Kitty cries out. Jonathan Empire begins to walk away until he hears a click. He turns around, Kitty stands there, her dress covered in Devon's blood, holding a small pistol. Her face is stain with tears and make up. Her hands are shaking but she knows what she wants now. Jonathan springs into action and runs through the open door back into the ballroom. But as he passes the bar, he trips over the waiter cleaning up the glass from the floor. He fall onto the fall, people stand back and gasp. Kitty runs in and before he can stand up straight, Kitty shoots her husband three times in the chest.

Chaos follows. Kitty drops her gun and breaks down into tears, people rush around her, waiters check Jonathan's body and the Hogansteins, quietly disappear.

Write Make Work Watch

I've just noticed how I've totally neglected my blog and haven't written anything in over a week! Sorry about that, usually I'm more on top of things.

In my defense I have been trying to write 2 (now 3) scripts for three different reasons. Two are for two different competitions and one is, well just for me for the moment. But I haven't gone past idea sketching phase. Going through a bit of writer's block trying to write these ideas down.

Another source of distraction from blogging has been my other blog (Boring Fish Cards). I've been making more cards and badges and actually selling them! Hazaars all round!

And of course I have been looking for work, the biggest distraction of them all! Apart from watching films of course. Only two films at the cinema since last post, Jurassic Park and What's Your Number. Before you say, 'what!' everyone likes to watch a rubbish predictable film every now and then. So how could I say no to a comedy with Chris 'Captain America' Evans and Anna Faris? It was actually quite funny. As for the classic that is Jurassic Park, I don't need a reason. Its awesome dinosaurs, Sam Neil's hat, the Laura Dern face and Jeff Goldblum's quotes: JOHN:"All theme parks have delays, when Disney Land opened in 1952, nothing worked." IAN:" Yeah, John, but when Pirates of the Carribean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists"

In future I will try and blog more often starting with the last few parts to the Hoganstein story . . .

Sunday 2 October 2011

The God of Thunder, a Singing Whale, a Depressed Bride and Mexican Footballers

While still desperately looking work in the industry (TV or Film) I cheered myself up by watching plenty of films and yes, drinking various coffee, tea and fruit teas. Even thought this weather is unbearable I still like to drink my hot drinks.

First film I watched this week was Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh accompanied by strawberry tea and savoury biscuits. I hadn't seen this film since it came out in April and in the weeks leading up to its DVD and Blu-Ray release date I had had cravings to see it again. I needed my Marvel superhero fix. For those who haven't seen it, it based on the Marvel comics' character The Mighty Thor, the God of Thunder. Thor is banished from his homeworld of Asgard by Odin, his Father, and ends up on Earth where he is found by Scientist, Jane Foster. You may remember her from such ridiculous posters as (see below). I really enjoyed this film and I know there are others who didn't. But you have got to see the fun side and as my friend Amy said, the awesome design of the film.
After Thor, later in the week I watched two classics from my childhood which were accompanied by some Irish Cream flavoured coffee. First, The Water Babies (1978) a half action, half animation based the book of the same name. I remember watching this when I was younger but watching it again I had forgotten all of the friends Tom, the chimney sweep hero makes on his travels under water. There's the Scottish lobster, Jack, the exaggerated french swordfish and of course the extremely camp seahorse, Terrence. And when I say camp, I mean camp. When i was younger I probably didn't realise this but watching it now, its actually really funny. I found it on youtube in 7 parts and I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys British 70s films.

The second film, isn't really a film, its a short made by Disney. My ultimate favourite, The Whale Who Sang at the Met aka Willy the Whale. We had a video of this short with three others but its mysteriously missing from our video collection. So I found it on youtube. I love this story of a whale who sings opera. Its the sort of story I wish I could write but then this idea could only work in animation. Rewatching I also thought how incredibly sad and depressing the end is and this is meant to be a children's animation. Go and watch it, you'll see what I mean!

Now for the films I had never seen before. At the cinema I saw Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. As I was in the cinema, the only drink I could enjoy was water, but afterwards I treated myself to an Ed's Diner milkshake, long overdue. The film was incredibly beautiful, the first 10 minutes were slow motion sequences featuring the two main characters, sisters Justine and Claire, Kirstin Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. They way it was filmed reminded me of Tarsem's The Fall as all the opening shots looked like photographs. In Melancholia, they looked like paintings, works of art. The film was very good but very depressing. The first part of the film, everything slowly unravels throughout Justine's wedding day and it is enjoyable to watch but then suddenly there is point where I realsied, this story is depressing. But don't get me wrong, its still a good film. The second half I found myself getting paranoid and worried as story moves away from the depressed Justine and onto to Clair who is scared of the approaching planet, Melancholia. Afterwards when discussing the film, my friend Chris said he didn't understand why Dunst won best actress at Cannes and I agreed. For me Gainsbourg was by far the standout actress in the film. Go see it and see if you agree.

Last night, while sipping some Damson Plum tea I watched Frost/Nixon. When this first came out I wasn't particularly interested as I felt it was just in a long line of films where Micheal Sheen had played a famous person. But after watching, I was wrong. It was tense film on a subject that I didn't know much about so it was also refreshing. If you missed it, I'm sure its on BBC iplayer.

Finally, this morning, while drinking some ordinary coffee, I watched Rudo & Cursi starring two actors I love, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. It is about two brothers who work on a banana plantation and play football for their village team. Both are noticed by a talent scout and are taken to Mexico City to play for different teams. I have had this film on my shelf for two years, waiting for the right time to watch it. It was worth the wait. Being about football was off putting at first but there is hardly any football scenes in the film and only one of them is actually on the pitch. It is more about the brothers and how they cope with coming from a poor background and then how they cope with fame. The ending was a surprise but satisfying. I found out after watching it that it is the sixth top-grossing Mexican film of all time.