cats

My favorite!

Someone asked what was my favorite picture of the cats. I’m pretty sure it was this one:

And of course, that was clean laundry.
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movie star drool

THX 1138

George Lucas’s first feature-length film (barely, at 88 minutes). I really like how the film is shot, lots of pre-Star Wars ideas especially the “mechanical” policemen who look like Village People forerunners to the Storm Troopers. However, I’m not quite sure what to make of the plot. Was there really a point, maybe to escape the false existence for the real one, however bleak the real one may be? Or not? Maybe if you’re a persistent dissident they’ll just give up and let you be?

I did very much enjoy the character who believes he’s a hologram escaped from the machine; it was a little bit of light-heartedness.

movie star drool

So, this might be sacreliege…

…in the ballet world but I really have a hard time watching Margot Fonteyn. All I can see is how technically deficient she is (bad feet, too) compared to even the corps dancers; she must have been mesmerising on stage but she doesn’t transfer to tape well. The close shots highlight each missed beat and poorly closed fifth position. I think some of this might also be due to how much both film and ballet technique has changed; steps are both done better and shot better. This confession blurted out because I watched An Evening with the Royal Ballet – which started out like The Nureyev and Fonteyn Show. The DVD opened with Fokine’s Les Sylphides (a ballet I happen to know the choreography for because Basil set it on the Dance Department) with Fonteyn and Nureyev, then moved to the Le Corsaire pas that Nureyev turned from a trois to a deux, Ashton’s La Valse (which I’d never seen and loved), and finishing with Aurora’s Wedding, a mish-mash of mostly Act III Sleeping Beauty combined with a little Act I so Carabosse could make an appearance. I had a little trouble believing Fonteyn was a young girl as Aurora – I had to squint a bit and pretend that I didn’t know she was past forty when the scene was shot. But surprise – Gerd Larsen played the Queen; she must have been around the Royal forever. Nureyev was magnificent; such a shame, he passed far too early.

Rounding out movie day, because after I went out shopping I came back home and barricaded myself in. I finished Sylvia which was a good biopic, a little slow in parts and a little melodramatic on the score, but shot beautifully and I thought both Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig played their parts well (Craig with dark hair was a little odd, though). Plath was definitely a woman both brilliant and ahead of her time; I also happen to like her writing so I’m a little partial.

Rounding out the evening was The Reduced Shakespeare Company, a comedy troupe that “does” all the Bard’s plays in ninety minutes. This was taped live so the three guys interacted with the audience quite a bit. It was funny until the “pretend-vomit-on-audience-members” gag whenever a female role died got really old. And I mean really old. Maybe it’s funnier in person.

PS: I forgot to say that Definitely, Maybe has once of the best literature-related plot devices – and inscribed copy of Jane Eyre. So sweet.

Current book-in-progress: Don’t ask
Current knitted item: Red variegated scarf … still.
Current movie obsession: Wall*E
Current iTunes loop: I finished all the old Filmspotting episodes; I got iTunes gift cards for Christmas….heh-heh-heh, now I must decide how to use them

random

God bless us, everyone

I generally think Tiny Tim is annoying, but he has a good message.

We were supposed to head to Illinois to visit my grandfather but Mother Nature decided that an ice storm was in the works. We have driven through nasty weather before (most notably through a snowstorm, approximately six inches, after I’d worked 530am to 1030am) but this year we were going to have my nieces along with. With the ice storm scheduled for December 26, the day we were going to be heading back to Iowa, the parents made the call to have Christmas in Iowa.

For the first time ever. Boo. I did miss seeing Grandpa. I don’t get to visit him very often and I know he was disappointed. One of my aunts tried to make us feel pretty bad about not coming but since it’s now sleeting/raining ice in Iowa, the same storm will hit central Illinois about 3 or 4 am and then trying to get back to Iowa would have been sort of dicey. I texted my cousin and he said that the interstates were not very good so he thought we were smart in not coming.

It wasn’t so bad actually. The aunt who pretty much drives us nuts (because she micromanages everything and is kind of a hag to everyone) was in Illinois so I could avoid her. And her nasty, cigarette-smoke tasting food (thanks to uncle-who-persists-in-smoking-himself-stupid). My nieces were old enough to have Santa come for the first time; I don’t think they quite got it but they did have fun showing everyone what “Sanna” brought them (Santa via Aunt Missy got them Skippyjon Jones books and dolls, now unfortunately called “Peepy Jon”). The girls also had a blast opening all their presents – they tended to get stymied by boxes that were taped shut and had to have some things opened for them once the paper had been ripped off. Everyone got pretty spoiled by my parents, me included; I get to go to Lowe’s and pick out some shower doors, paid for by Mom and Dad (and Dad will help to install them) and I got a duvet/comforter to replace my scary 18-year-old bedspread. Yay!

So I had a good Christmas Day, I have tomorrow off (yay, relaxing), but I missed my Grandpa. God bless us, everyone.

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So she’s not a dude?

I was being a bit Scrooge-y last night, so this didn’t exactly make my evening:

“I’m looking for a new book on the Civil War.”

“…OK…do you know who the author is?” (note – there are a number of books about the Civil War)

“I think it was published this summer.”

“OK, lets narrow this down to books about the Civil War published in the last year. By any chance, do you think this is by Drew Gilpin Faust?”

“Maybe, I just heard this guy wrote a great book about the Civil War. Is he any good?”

(oh, jeez) “Dr. Faust is a very respected Civil War scholar and she’s the first woman President of Harvard University.”

“oh.”

That’s it? OH? ***smoke, grrr, smoke***

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Atonement

I finally watched this film – amazing, just amazing. I first read the book last year about this time, stayed up all night on Christmas to finish it and now I with I’d seen the movie in the theatre when it released. This has to be one of the best book-to-screen adaptations I’ve seen. The conversion of adult Briony’s explanation, which is many pages long, to a television interview for her novel was brilliant. I also regret not seeing the movie in the theatre because of the cinematography. The movie is beautiful and has an amazing tracking shot for the Dunkirk beach – 4.5 minutes long and it’s amazing.

And James McAvoy has gorgeous eyes.

Now I’ve started another movie with a UK hottie and gorgeous eyes. Sylvia.