Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Archive for October 30th, 2008

Excursions In The Narrative Arts

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I went to see Sweet Cider, the new production from Tamasha, at the Arcola last night. It is a fairly familar bunch of elements – interracial, interreligious relationships, honour, family, gender – but it is a good balance of weight, simmering frustration and humour, only slightly shading off into melodrama at the end. A very good young cast too.

Afterwards I re-watched Lilo And Stitch. God, that film is awesome. Okay, it slightly tails off when it focuses on ohana but it is simultaneously more adventurous and more grounded than most disney films and the individual scenes involving Lilo and Stitch are wonderful. The only real misfire is Bubbles, a social worker who happens to be an ex-CIA agent and looks like Ving Rhames. It is one weirdness too far.

Earlier in the week I watched Cloverfield and Iron Man. Both suffer from having feeble, idiotic plots but whilst Cloverfield is every bit as bad as I expected, Iron Man is as good as I’d hoped. Much of this is down to Robert Downey Jr, who, like Johnny Deep, he has the personal presence to inject life into what could otherwise be a typically soulless Hollywood commercial property. The film wisely focuses on him and (much more than I was expecting) the creation of the suit, including lots of nice incidental detail. It is interesting to see a depiction of an engineer hero rather than an action hero in a blockbuster. The plot is still stupid though.

Written by Martin

30 October 2008 at 16:43

You’re All London Dicks

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It’s a huge misfortune, this will-o’-the-wisp attraction exercised by London on young men of brains. They come here to be degraded, or to perish, when their true sphere is a life of peaceful remoteness. The type of man capable of success in London is more or less callous and cynical. If I had the training of boys, I would teach them to think of London as the last place where life can be lived worthily.

George Gissing, New Grub Street, 1891

Somehow, without me really noticing, this month marked the end of a decade spent living in London. God knows how this happened. I promised myself when I moved here that it was only for ten years, tops, but now I imagine I will be here for the Olympics at least.

“London’s kind to the confident. Otherwise, what is there? Get on the tube in the morning and people stare straight into your face from less than one foot distance. That’s no way to live.”

M John Harrison, ‘The Good Detective’, 2007

I’ve had a west, north, south and east postcode. I’ve been bombed on my birthday. I’ve been sad and I’ve been happy and I’ve been in limbo. I guess I’ve changed a lot over this period but the only think that comes to mind when I think about how living in London has changed me is this:

I can now use chopsticks

Written by Martin

30 October 2008 at 16:13

Unintended Consequences

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Every time I see this advert I can’t help but think of this notorious Tori Amos promo photo and then I can’t shake the feeling that Knightley has smuggled a little piglet under her bowler.

Written by Martin

30 October 2008 at 15:10

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