Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Animated Discussion: Svankmajer's "Surviving Life"

Hem. Hem. My GreyDoll tribute picture here... after watching Jan Svankmajer's feature length animated film "Surviving Life" which is a mix of live-action and cut-out animation....

....Sorry, distracted here by reading a Guardian review of the film in which the writer said that the film be "reminiscent of  Terry Gilliam"... Scuse me!! I think that be the other way round. Huh? Well OK I think maybe Gilliam be not discovering Svankmajer until after he had done his "Monty Python" animating... but still a bit uneasy about the suggestion that Svankmajer's style be influenced by Gilliam's..... twiddle, twiddle, nit-pick goes I. Anyway here is a nice piece from the Independent (1997) where Gilliam interviews Svankmajer.

As you do know I be also fascinated by dreams and... animation... so this film be for me... funny, dark, dreamy and technically lovely. I have mentioned Svankmajer before but maybe not done him justice cos he be so important in world-cinema, adult/art type animation.

As you can see I have just posted the trailer for this film. The DVD gives extras including a behind the scenes view of the painstaking process (not least for the actors methinks) of making the cutouts and incorporating the animation and live action.

Surviving Life UK Trailer

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Moths Do Fly

We be proud of our Burnet moth "nursery" in the driveway.
I may have implied that I be not the tidiest of gardeners.
So this time of year sees the edges of the driveway covered in long grass, plantains, hawkweed.... and Bird's-foot Trefoil.

Have often seen the gaudy day-flying Burnet moths fluttering around here. And chrysalises too. This year for the first time I do spot caterpillars and do not realise till checking up that these are the Burnet caterpillars... and they are indeed munching away on the leaves of the trefoil plants.

I always have a soft spot for trefoil flowers. I also remember the Burnet moths flying on the cliff paths around Sennen in my youthy days in West Cornwall. Now I know that they are interdependent. And am glad I be a bit lazy in the tidy gardening department. The chrysalises are already hatching and tuning into the iridescent peacock and crimson moths.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Summer Sun... Birds Do Fly

Yesterday mornin' I look out at the garden. A brown bird flies in and stands on the bean frame. I can see only part of its back and tail and think it be a blackbird... but it looks too big somehow.
I look again. It's a female sparrowhawk, calm as you like, sitting and looking to see what she can see. Quick as a flash she flies off into the next garden.

Later, we drive out.... and pass a field of hay being cut.
In the sky above I see a spiraling tower of buzzards riding the thermals.... eight in all I count.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sun And Heat At Last

Oooh Yes. It be frazzlin' here. I do some garden stuff and have to stagger in to recover. It be so hot that Mrs D has switched from a glass of red to a glass of fizzy water with a slice of lemon. Sittin' there... on the sofa... fanning her little distressed self and reading her crime thriller.....

The Old Man did call me out to look at a cricket on the wall top out front. It be a small Great Green Bush Cricket... about one and a half inches long so not fully adult yet, maybe what they call a nymph. (Remember I did post a picture of an adult on the house wall last year?) This one looked a bit wobbly on its flower stem. Tried to get a photo again but didn't want to disturb it really. It started to munch on the hawkweed it was sitting on so I guess it had got the hang of things.

Certainly a day for natural encounters. I goes into the garage to fetch some vegetables.... What? It be cool and dark in there... a good place for keeping the veg...I be sayin'. So I go in for an onion .... when something dark and leggy scrabbles away from me. I jump feet and yell. But it be a toad. And it be more frightened than me I bet. It do scuttle away behind some flower pots. Fancy that, a toad in the garage is worth more than two in the... the.... erm.... I dunno.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Our Own Retro Film Season: David Lynch

I did post before that we be cracking open our DVD box set of Lynch's "Twin Peaks" a while back. We did indeed watch it all with the relish of the true "Peakies". The Old Man and I still have "Fire Walk With Me" to watch. So that be good. By the way did you know that Riverside Studios in London hosts a "Twin Peaks Festival" this October? Neither did I.

Anyhow I realise how much Lynchiana do fit in with Mrs D's crime thriller obsession... not just the "Peaks". So 'spect to say more on the subject as The Old Man and me do work our way through the feature films.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

This Summer....Oops Shouldn't Have said That...

But tell me... are you looking forward to... you know what? That "event"... up country... Soon... new buildings... lotsa people running around and jumping up and down and some others watching it all? If they got tickets? If they can get past the army to get in? If the missile launchers don't suffer an error of launchment? If the trains/coaches/buses/taxis can get them there? If their picnic lunch is not confiscated on the way in and/or they do not die of thirst if they do not wish to drink soda/coke?

You think I am being extreme, don't you. But I must be careful which words I use at the moment. Leastways, I suppose if I be in business I have to be careful. You can see the list of words and visuals that businesses around the country cannot use at the moment by way of promotion... in this article from The Independent a couple a days ago. Oh Deary Me. Who would be a Beauty Salon trying to advertise their special offer on "Summer Bronzing Sessions"... or a travel firm flogging "Summer 2012 trips to London"... or a computer shop offering "Golden Deals on PC Games"?

So just in case you be thinking that the Olympics be a symbol of all things sporty and fair-minded and international....
Silly Billy! They's not a symbol. They's a trademark.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Being Walter Mitty (Mrs D's Dark Side)

Now as you may remember Mrs D is doing much reading and reviewing of crime fiction these days for the website Euro Crime. She be red of eye and buried under a pile of books surrounded by discarded pages of what she likes to call her "reviews" (which are published under a nom-de-crime of course).
I did complain to you before that this be getting in the way of my film career. She have made little progress on her latest animated offering... for which she do offer me many a lame excuse.... "a crisis of creativity". Pah!

But now I be noticing another side-effect of her crime reading and it be alarming. If she enjoy a book and do get thoroughly into its characters... she becomes one of 'em. The latest book she be reading is featuring a broad-shouldered cargo pilot. She be wandering around offering terse one-liners and muttering phrases like:
"Nose down in an irrigation ditch.... devil of a job...best not to ask, old man..."
She be sounding like Alexander Armstrong. I do fully expect her to grow a moustache soon. (Don't laugh. At our age this be well possible.) I would not mind so much but last week she be an octogenarian Florida P.I. All crinkly George Burns smiles, bagels, and antacid tablets.

This be a worry. I did not know she would become Walter Mitty, lost in her world of books. Hope she steers clear of the serial killer ones.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Footsbarn Theatre's "Indian Tempest"

OK. So I be dressed up a bit early for the theayter. But don't go very often!

Have just booked tickets to see Footsbarn Theatre's "Indian Tempest" at Hall for Cornwall in Truro... not until September. So I guess I'd better sit down again and have a cuppa tea or something.

Footsbarn originated in Cornwall in the 1970s but now the company is based in France. They have strong connections with India and this production involves Indian actors and musicians as well as European.

As you can work out from this I like my Shakespeare viewed from an angle. Not for me a straight play on a straight stage. Did anyone watch the televised "Julius Caesar" a week or so ago? That be strong.

Anyway. I be off with my cuppa to sit and wait for September.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Lost Weekend

In which The Old Man is glued to his chair for most of the time.
It's Wimbledon finals.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

And On The Subject Of Scandi-Crime Remakes...

...I have to say that... now the fuss had died down... and the proximity...
I be watching the "The Killing: US" and be enjoying it.
If I put aside any expectation of it being the same as the Danish original, I do say that this version is a good and gritty crime drama, darker and less glamour-filled than most US crime series. Both leads (Linden and Holder) are good... though I think maybe Holder is really Danish and I need the subtitles..."Knowaddahmean, myman?"

Tellya, if it weren't for what we thought it be meant to be we would be saying this crime series be a "jolly good show".

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Aaaah! Another Wallander

Much as I enjoy the French crime series "Spiral"... which be reprised on British telly up to last weekend.... I admit to being jolly happy that we get another Kenneth Branagh "Wallander" series as of next Sunday.

OK. OK. There be much disagreement over Branagh's portrayal of Menkell's Kurt Wallander amongst Scandi-crime fans. But I do always like him in the role, he do look like I imagined the unshaven one do look when he be rather up against it. But there is a great following for Krister Henriksson in the Swedish TV version which I do also enjoy.

Whatever. I be happy that we be getting three more episodes from Branagh starting Sunday 8th July BBC One at 9pm with "An Event in Autumn".

Damn... does that mean we don't get no Swedish sun and blue skies? I be looking forward to some sunshine from somewhere.