Friday, 25 October 2013

Travels With My Film-Life: Switzerland and Sorrentino's "The Consequences Of Love"

Here we be in the understated luxury of a Swiss hotel watching a man who seems simply to watch... or is that all that he does?

It's Paolo Sorrentino's 2004 film The Consequences of Love which is a cool, slow, beautifully photographed.... Mafia film. No frantic chases, shouting, wall-climbing suspense. (Except for the ultimate in suspense at the end!)
Instead...a gradual involvement in the enigmatic existence of Titta Di Girolamo, a lonely and severely compromised man ... played beautifully by Toni Servillo... who appears to observe everything and everyone from the sidelines. And we are drawn in to observe his fatal vulnerability and fatal choices. In short... the aforesaid consequences.

This film is so coolly made and shot... I'm still not sure how I feel about it. No.. I do... this is a good one. It lingers in the mind. It's more than its plot. And it looks so good.

So I shall look forward to watching more Servillo and Sorrentino.
Next time in Rome itself with Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty"  released this year.

Meanwhile try a taster of "Consequences..."

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Consequences Of A Cramped Living Space....

.... because building work be held up by a lack of the "three dry days in a row" required by the sub-contractor.....

well... for me this do mean two visits to the osteopath who's trying to straighten out me spine. I mean... there's an awful lot of sidling and swiveling built into our days.

And housework? Oy Veh!

Monday, 21 October 2013

In Which Mrs D Dreams She Do Live In A Box...

She do dream that at night she goes to a "lock-up" store in a row of similar.... in corridor upon corridor of floor upon floor of same. She do enter this large plywood "box" with folding doors and she do close the doors and lock them.... Just in time?
Is that someone banging on the door?.......

Clearly real world building work be going on too long!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Grey Doll & Criminal Reading: Eoin Colfer's "Screwed"

Irish writer Eoin Colfer is well known for his children's fiction, particularly his "Artemis Fowl" series. But in 2011 he published "Plugged", his first adult crime thriller. It is set in New Jersey and features Irish ex-soldier Daniel McEvoy now a bouncer at a club. It is a fast-paced and funny crime thriller. (If "MASH/Catch 22" black humour is your choice.... and of course it is so with me. Incidentally, The Old Man and me did revisit the TV series M*A*S*H a while back, via a dvd box-set.  It be a mistake... to our dismay this particular mid-run series did not travel in time that well at all.)

Anyhoo... I do digress...

Colfer has published a second McEvoy book...."Screwed" (thematic titles are frequently de rigueur with crime series). It is a worthy follow-on and I do most greatly enjoy it. Danny is still battling between the pincers of crime and the powers of law-enforcement and is still teamed up with the slippery Zeb Kronski. This time he has multiple problems to solve in order to hang on to his life, his club, his girl and probly his cojones. Notable incidents involve the loss of Daniel's life-insurance (kinda) due to a lightning strike and his involvement with a pair of cops in rubber aprons and gimp masks.

Fast, wise-cracking and suspenseful, I do recommend. And you can read a review over at the Euro Crime site here.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

In Which Mrs D Dreams Of The Transformative Power Of Hair

Mrs D do wake up from a dream in which she is growing her hair. As it is curly hair.... she do tie it up out of sight.

But one evening... after partaking of an Indian meal in social company... she do fall asleep. On waking, she washes her hair in clear water.... and do find she have a cascade of long, snowy, wavy, impressiveness. She be transformed into somebody else altogether. Someone full of dignity and loveliness.

I do say.... Ha! That's some flight of fantasy.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Madame Deficit Considers Badgers And The Sporting Life

Zut Alors!
Badgers do play football.
Quel jolly animals. How intelligent. How sportif.
It is official that they do... for the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson have said that the little beasts have "moved the goalposts" in the night-shooting exercise that is the West Country Badger cull.

Of course I know also that badgers play football.
My own joli petit potager be proof of this.

Many a morning.... as I do walk through the garden....I find that the wooden logs that mark out the vegetable plots be moved aside and be all over the place. The naughty animals have been having jolly good fun with a midnight "friendly" five-a side game. And.... not only do I find this evidence of "moving the goalposts" but I do find their "ball"..... which be nothing less than one of my precious winter squashes....

Eh bien! You can see the scars left by a set of claws. Plainly some naughty badger have handled the ball. But sadly for them... the "Hand of God" have not intervened in the deadly game in Somerset. The firm that is charged with shooting the little players have had their license to kill extended. Mr Paterson do consider that not enough badgers have been killed to prove the experiment ....which is the badgers fault for rearranging the goal posts and for being badgers.

And what if this extension is not enough? Pouf! Mr Paterson be considering gassing next. He is most certainly determined to get the little blighters, ain't he?
Tiens! Guns and gas. C'est comme la première guerre mondiale une fois de plus, non?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Travels With My Film-Life: Glasgow And Beyond With Ken Loach's "The Angels' Share"

The Old Man and I do spend some time in Ken Loach's Scotland with a "heart-warmer" as people do so like to call these things.... "The Angels' Share"

Robbie is a street savvy Glasgow guy who's had more than a few brushes with the law. But now he's going to be a father and things have to change. How can you manage that when people have it in for you and you're down the bottom of the pile? Luck, brains, a helping hand and a gift he doesn't know he possesses - a gift for whisky knowledge.

What follows is a journey that is a crime caper taking Robbie and his friends from some of the meanest squalid bits of Glasgow to the distillery delights of the Highlands..... It's a Ken Loach fairy tale and therefore quite "grim" in parts.

A great film... be prepared for getting to grips with the Scots lingo...
Here's a trailer with the usual gruff American voice-over.....

Monday, 7 October 2013

Sorry... Long Time, No Speak

There still be some building work going on here.
And whilst it be going well so far... The Old Man and me are holed up in a very cramped sitting room containing far too many chairs.... whilst outside is the fog and the rain what have gone on for some weeks now.

So I be limping around like I been born on the side of a mountain.... moaning cos my elder hips do protest at the slalom course I work, each and every day, around the furniture in said room.

I shall be taking meself off to the osteopath on Wednesday....
.......See if she can unwind whatever has wound itself in a knot (which may turn out to be the whole of me).

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Graphic Passions: Rutu Modan's "The Property"

In "The Property" by  Rutu Modan (Translated by Jessica Cohen, published by Jonathan Cape, 2013).....

Regina Segal and her granddaughter Mica travel from Tel Aviv to Warsaw where Regina is hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw in World War 2. The visit brings back painful memories for the elderly Regina and in turn her growing secrecy puzzles Mica. Events are further complicated by the apparently coincidental appearance of a friend of Regina's daughter. Distrust and cross-purposes veil this story of bitter-sweet memories and the possibilities of reconciliation.

I enjoyed this graphic novel greatly. Modan's drawing style is deceptively simple and "flat" but still gives expression and characterisation.
And Boy... do some of those characters irritate me .... proof of Modan's story-telling skills. Flashback passages are rendered in sepia monochrome, providing a clear narrative for this subtle, contemporary story.