Thursday, September 23, 2004

"So, where's the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?" - Christina Aguilera

Looking for a film to watch this weekend, I found this site - not only a fantastic resource for independent cinema in London but also great for the "What actor would this cinema be?" schtick. Now, to expand this gimmick further, what sort of cinema would you be?

Me: Brixton Ritzy. Watch with Baby mornings, live events in the bar, obscure and weird foreign films in between showings of Harry Potter 1, 2 and 3 and Shrek, big sofas in the cafĂ©, organic carrot cake made by the cinema owner’s mum and a terrace overlooking the crack-fields of Brixton. Definitely.

Taxloss: ICA cinema (what else?)

Fizzwhizz: the film tent in Glastonbury that has been showing the same 12 minute loop of Withnail and I for the last 6 hours and all 9 people still there sprawled on hand-knitted beanbags haven’t noticed

Prandial: Curzon Soho cinema hosting a New Wave Spanish Film Festival with VJs and a “Test Your Stand Up Comedy Routine in Spanish” open-mic event in the bar afterwards

Devukha: Cine Lumiere, toujours, oui?

Planet Halder: open air screening of classic black and white silent movie projected onto the side of a Thames-side monolithic building with a specially devised score performed live by Asian Dub Foundation

McReadie: "Cinema? Fuck off, I’m watching the Alias triple bill on Channel 5."

Former Flatmate A: big swirly projections on the back wall of a sweaty Brighton club in the early hours of a Sunday morning that go round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and oh dear I think I’ve fallen over. Again.

Former Flatmate B: Lactose House Lecture Theatre Cinema 1 – The Thyroid Series: Episode 1 – Attack of the Hormones, Episode 2 – Fellowship of the Neurosurgeons, Episode 3 – Return of the Hot Flushes

My Bro: Prince Charles Cinema – 48 Hour Manga Marathon: How Much More Weird Shit Can You Take?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

"Stands the church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?"
"Yes dear, and brains too."
It’s Saturday night (or for the pedants, very early on Sunday morning) and I’ve enjoyed an evening of zombies, mussels and knowing burlesque topped off with a brief reading of Poppy Z Brite’s more lilac-hued American Gothic pretty-boy vampire horror, helpfully recommended by Taxloss as "like reading a homosexual necrophiliac Brideshead Revisited." As you can imagine, I fell on the proffered book like one of the slavering vampires its pages contain – he knows me so well.

We finally watched Shaun of the Dead and laughed our pants off - Spaced series one and two on DVD has to be my favourite ever Christmas present from the beloved and I have watched those two discs over and over and over and over again. And Shaun of the Dead is like watching an extra-long episode of this top-quality comedy series – with extra zombies! Fabulous. Especially the Paul McCartney and John Lennon outtake and the flipchart version of the film…

Knowing burlesque was an unexpected bonus of my visit to the Thames festival with my parents in the early evening. We missed the Akita Kanto due to rain but then we caught the first three (and best) acts of Lost Vagueness - I missed their big weekend event in Brighton despite Former Flatmate A’s best efforts to take me along when she went a few weeks ago, and was so excited to see this naughty bunch do their stuff right next to the London Eye…

Father was slightly dubious about being out in the cold and damp, and didn’t seem particularly impressed with the drag act MC who cracked jokes like "I used to be a music hall star… I sang songs like ‘My Lovely Thrush and Me’… I mix-up my old songs with more modern sounds now, I throw in a bit of hip hop and breakbeat… Maud Evans from the retirement home does the decks for me… she’s got Parkinson’s, she’s great at spinning the discs…" Then the can-can dancers came on and Father was surprisingly more focussed on the event, even making sure we all stood closer to the front...

The slightly ropey can-can dancers (one pair managed to completely fail the handstands with legs opening and closing bit but 6 out of 8 sets of crotches flashing in and out of view isn’t bad) was followed by a wonderful Marilyn Monroe in resplendent Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend outfit; she sang that well-known song and then launched into an amusing ukele ska version of Blondie’s The Tide is High with a selected loon from the audience providing the dancing with no trousers on.

A long tour of the rest of the festival was great with lots to see but cold and worryingly dark as the lights seemed to have short-circuited along the Gabriel’s Wharf stretch of the river – sort it out Ken! Nonetheless, I went home happy and slightly hyperactive, just like in the good old GLC days when this sort of riverside festival was a fixture in our summer holidays. A night carnival finishes things off tomorrow with what promises to be big fuck-off fireworks – yes, I will be there with bells on.

Great stuff. How was your weekend?
"It’s all crispy in my tits."
It’s good to know The Actor is keeping herself amused in between performing Shakespeare and her more contemporary stage roles – welcome to the blog and how good to be back in touch! Yes, it’s good to be back in touch with so many people I’ve wanted to speak to and know all about and hang out with since graduation so cruelly broke us apart and scattered us to different parts of the country with sadly more responsible and sensible adult lives. All thanks to Former Flatmate A and her Incredible 25th Brighton Birthday Bash - wow, what a gathering of people: I think it’s been far too long since we were all in the same place at the same time having a ball. In fact, the last time we were all together like that was probably at a ball – a post-exams May Ball (yeah, yeah Prandial, you can stop sneering now).

It all started with drinks in a play-your-own-CDs bar then dancing and being cool in a jazz-club that was appropriately low-ceilinged, funk-drenched and sweaty. The band was extremely good and we all had a good time including our friend who danced barefoot on broken glass and especially the birthday girl who was amazing in her hotpants and cheerleader pom-poms. I hope both items made it safely home…

Fond but slightly blurred memories of the weekend: Giggling in the back of a cab as we circled round looking for the right house and eventually being flagged down by the birthday girl high kicking in her hotpants on the front doorstep. We didn’t need to pay the driver a tip.

Eating pizzas in the kitchen and letting the parrot mock us from under her covered cage, our ears still ringing from all the very loud music.

Passing out on the sofa after an hysterically lengthy struggle to get into the sleeping bag.

Sitting around the kitchen table the next morning with all the Sunday papers with the whole lot of us settling into our fried breakfasts and hangovers.

Hopping off the train at Victoria and doing sensible Sunday shopping with Taxloss, returning to Earth slowly over lime sodas and the Observer.

Wah. I didn’t want it to end, but it did. We’ll just have to do it again…

In other news, I've been avidly watching CSI series one on DVD and I need help. Well, really I need series two. I can't get enough of it. We all mock Channel Five for its rubbish content but in between the sensationalist tits and Hitler programmes, there's gems like CSI - and World's Wildest Police Videos. Such shameless TV. Sigh.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

"Temper... rising...fury...mounting..."

Taxloss: What's wrong with you? What are you watching?
Me: (Through gritted teeth) It's this godawful review show, they're talking about this shitty new Spielberg film, The Terminal. Why, WHY is he making a gentle rom-com out of what is a truly awful situation a real man once found himself in - there are issues about asylum-seeking, the US attidtude towards refugees, the useless, frustrating bureaucracy displaced people face - and he casts Tom fucking Hanks who is more American than... America to put on a stupid, patronising, embarassing "foreign" accent and makes him get his leg over with Catherine Zeta Jones! An American air stewardess! Who isn't actually American! Grrrrr!
Taxloss: Calm down!
Me: I can't! I'm so angry! I'm going to turn green and all my clothes will fall off!
Taxloss: (incredulous stare, baffled silence)
Me: You know. Like the Hulk.

I was making a chick pea and spinach stew. I asked future husband to taste it and he clumsily dropped two chick peas onto the living room carpet, where they rolled off. We found one, but the other proved more elusive.

Taxloss: I can't see it.
Me: [bemused at the state of affairs]You know, we're looking for a chick pea.
Taxloss:[faux-panicked] I CAN'T FIND A PULSE!

Some bits of conversation from the living room and kitchen, just because.
"I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me."
Emily Dickinson, I Had No Time to Hate Because

Busy busy busy but in a good way and anyway too busy to grumble - and too busy to write here, but here I am on a Saturday afternoon, still in my dressing gown, perched on the sofa, idling and enjoying the idling I've missed sorely in the last two weeks...
- 5.15am: out of bed
- 7.15am: on train to Coventry
- 8.30am: in cab to Warwick university, stuck in the school run
- 9.00am: training course starts
- 4.00pm: training course finishes
- 4.30pm: on coach to Birmingham
- 6.00pm: launch party at Birmingham Rep, receiving guests with my clipboard, name badges, glass of wine and a cigarette
- 8.30pm: leave Birmingham Rep, feeling slightly wobbly
- 8.45pm: shakily demand Virgin trains changes my ticket from 10pm to 9pm; they refuse me politely
- 9.05pm: stagger around WH Smith
- 9.25pm: go to platform and wait
- 9.35pm: still waiting
- 9.45pm: still waiting
- 9.51pm: realise I'm on the wrong platform
- 9.55pm: can't find right platform. Panic
- 9.57pm: on right platform, breathless, told train is delayed
- 10.05pm: board train.
- 12.25am: look for taxi. Can't find taxi.
- 12.35am: finally get in taxi
- 12.44am: realise taxi is going in completely the wrong direction
- 12.47am: stop taxi, prepare to cry, order driver to turn around and fret about the fare. Taxi driver decidedly unimpressed, unapologetic and unswerving in expecting the full fare. Argue vaguely against this
- 12.52am: pull up to my door with Taxloss waiting patiently with extra cash. Taxi driver surprisingly nicer to me once he spots our rather nice street and the faithful fiance at the door. Leap out of cab into his arms

Quite eventful, really. And how interesting to finally see Warwick University, one of my choices for my degree; an odd place, a cross between a business park, council estate and extended lecture block with bonus Arts Centre. I wonder what kind of student I would have been if I had studied there? Any thoughts, Prandial?

Off to celebrate Former Flatmate A's 25th birthday in Brighton (cripes, another train journey!) - time to wipe clean the crinoline and brush off the fez if I want to be the star of the dance floor. Now where did I put my lucky cravat?