Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tim Burton - Awesome

On a recent venture to Melbourne I went to an art gallery (for something completely different) which wasn't so much an art gallery but the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. They are currently having a Tim Burton exhibition and it is super cool and fabulous. At the exhibition you can see drawings from his sketch book, even from when he was a child, letters of correspondence between himself and the Disney Company, props, costumes, drawings, paintings, sculptures... all kinds of Burtony, weirdy, wonderfulness!!

This costume was there...

as was this one...

There were beautiful drawings...

And of course, movie clips, such as this favourite...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Music I Can't Stop Listening To...

My sister is a musical connoisseur of sorts. She is an awesome musician herself, playing violin, cello, piano, guitar and singing, and is an amazing song-writer as well. But she just loves music. Every time I see her she has a new song for me to listen to which for me, is a bit of a hit and miss game. What frustrates her the most is when I am completely uninterested in a song and then tell HER about it next time I see her as though I discovered it. This happens a lot. Sorry.

However recently she played me this beautiful song by Meghan Tonjes (who made a start on youtube) and I immediately scurried off and bought her album from itunes and have been playing it ever since!!

The WHOLE album is as awesome as this song!! When does that ever happen? I think that she is just marvellous and should be listened to on repeat by everyone forever. There you go.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Affinity by Sarah Waters

Oh my goodness Sarah Waters, you are sensational. This is by far the best of hers I've read so far. I now have Tipping The Velvet and Fingersmith in my possession, but am desperately trying to save them. Like thats going to work. So Affinity. The blurb reads:
From the dark heart of a Victorian prison, disgraced spiritualist Selina Dawes weaves an enigmatic spell. Is she a fraud or a prodigy? By the time it all begins to matter, you'll find yourself desperately wanting to believe in magic.
I DESPERATELY WANTED TO BELIEVE IN MAGIC!! This book completely sucked me in. And while I dare not reveal if Selina was in fact a fraud or a prodigy, this book is so compellingly believable that it almost doesn't matter. Almost.

This story is told from two perspectives, that of Margaret Prior, a lady visitor to Millbank Prison in Victorian London, and Selina Dawes, an inmate. Margaret becomes increasingly interested in how Selina came to be at the prison and they develop a friendship of sorts and Margaret's interest in the art of spiritualism grows. Behind all of this lingers Margaret's sadness, the loss of her beloved father, the rejection by a lover and the secret of her sexuality.

As with many of Sarah Waters' novels, several of the characters are homosexual however this is never the basis or most important part of the plot. However in this story, it is used as an important plot device and works in a very successful and heartbreaking way.

I don't want to go on and on about this one, I find it difficult to say much without giving it all away. Just go and read it because it is truly awesome!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jersey Boys

I recently went to Melbourne to see my Grandma and attend her 90th birthday!! Impressive. But being a massive musical fan I took the opportunity to see a musical while I was there. And when I say I took the opportunity, it was actually my sister's idea and she will most likely inflict a serious tongue lashing upon me if I don't acknowledge this. So we went and saw Jersey Boys. I desperately want to see Mary Poppins only that opened 2 days after we left. Typical.

So as the picture indicates it is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, an apparently very famous singing group. Now I will admit that I only heard of them for the first time a few years ago when Colin Firth mentions them in Love Actually as he is driving his maid home. So I was very surprised to find that I knew most of the songs. Who knew they were so famous? Lots of people I guess!!

The boys who starred in the Aussie production were Bobby Fox as Frankie Valli, Scott Johnson as Tommy De Vito, Stephen Mahy as Bob Gaudio and Glaston Toft as Nick Massi. Wowzers, they were just incredible. There harmonies were simply perfect and the Bobby Fox's falsetto was perfect. It was such an awesome production and I loved every minute of it.

Awesome yes?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hairnets and Holidays

So I have just come back from an amazing weekend away with Aimee over at My Fluttering Heart (where you will find a similar post, without the rant about hairnets) and 7 other fabulous people. We did a fabulous amount of nothing, sleeping til 11 some days, laid on the multitude of couches, lit fires (and discovered that we WERE in fact amazing girl scouts), toasted marshmallows and played endless rounds of Trivial Pursuit. It was so much fun. So so much fun. We went to the Bunya Mountains which are about 4 hours West of Brisbane and are the home of parrots, bowerbirds, wallabies (yay) and ticks (not yay).

The weekend was full of those amazing moments that you wish you could just store in a magic lamp to replay at will. The discovery that we had in fact brought approximately 8kg of lollies. The moment when we spontaneously broke into Total Eclipse of the Heart but couldn't remember why. Having a sing-a-long in which my sister sang an indescribably moving original song and everyone joined in on the final refrain. Finding a bower bird's beautiful almost glittering blue next. Playing Trivial Pursuit and being asked a question in which the answer was My Heart Will Go On and obviously then singing the. entire. song. Finding an old book about gnomes and regaling everyone with endless 'facts' about them. Oh such fun.

Picture courtesy of my friend's iphone

On a less magical note, what is it with hairnets? I went to the supermarket this afternoon and was getting something from the deli and everyone there was wearing hairnets. Getting dirty hair in my food was never something I had thought of or was concerned about until I saw people wearing hairnets. Then my mind was drawn to the disgusting flaky scalps and thick greasy hair that were stewing beneath those hairnets and will now inevitably end up in my food when the offending hairnet is gallantly removed and hair escapes, Baywatch stlye, on all the olives and feta cheese. It is just gross.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Underwhelmed Not Carried Away

Last weekend my two besties and myself went to see Sex and the City 2, like, seriously late. We had planned to see it earlier but figured it would be a good one to see now to escape all the Twilight hype!! I never watched the show, but really quite enjoyed the first movie, I can appreciate it for what its worth without being a snob (which sometimes I unfaily am!!). However number 2? It really was a poo. Sorry fans. I was really underwhelmed and disappointed. I leaned over in my seat to shine the seating light on my watch to see how much longer I had to sit there and thinking to myself "I hope I don't miss too much of The Princess Diaries" which was on TV that night. Tragic.

I think it just took lavishness way too far. It began with the gay wedding of Carrie's friend Stanford and Charlotte's friend Whatshisname which was just too much. Too too much. Although in saying that, the highlight of the movie for me was during the wedding scene with a very random appearance singing and dancing to Single Ladies in what I think was supposed to be a dress, but in fact looked like a daggy, daggy jumper. OK, a daggy, daggy jumper with sequins on it. And though I am the first person to jump to the defense of sequins, not even the sparkle could save the atrociousness of her outfit.

And isn't this show supposed to be all about the fashion? You can be sure of 4 things when you watch anything from the Sex and the City franchise: 1. Samantha WILL have sex. 2. There will be shirtless men, mostly around Samantha. 3. You will have to lean out of your seat to see around Carrie's nose. and 4. There will be awesome clothes. Again, disappointed. In this film they looked mostly ridiculous, most of the time. All the clothing did for me was make me think of all the other things they could have spent this film's budget on. The starving children in Africa? Breast cancer research? Refugee health? Rescuing nurses from the unsightly clown pants that you just can't run away from? Hell at least that one has a fashion focus!

Then they go to Abu Dhabi. I have never felt more uncomfortable in a cinema in my life. I understand that they were going for politically incorrect jokes and that that was the point, but I just felt that it went too far too many times. I just wanted to crawl out of the cinema with my head in a paper bag and go safely home to Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Which I duly did. The minute the credits started rolling. Sorry Best Boy and Gaffer, I know it is rude to walk out of the cinema prior to the end of the credits... I do acknowledge your work. I think it was probably the best of the lot.

For all you fans out there, I apologise for slaughtering something you love. It just didn't do it for me. Perhaps I didn't need to be so scathing. You can say what you like about Harry Potter when it comes out and I won't hold a single thing against you. I promise.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Really good movie: Mother and Child

I went and saw this movie with my sister a couple of weeks ago and we were both super excited because it has been yonkers since we went to the movies. We picked this one because it looked quality and it had received great reviews and because it was on at the cinema that all the rich wives (buttery highlights, excessive amounts of gold jewellery, acrylic nails, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy darling, you know the ones!) go to.

There was an exceptional cast for this film, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson and Naomi Watts were awesome and there were some amazing performances by some relatively unknown actors as well.

This film really explores the relationship between a mother and a child, mainly following three women: one who was forced to give up her child for adoption after giving birth at the age of 14, one who is unable to conceive and looking to adopt, and one who was given up for adoption at birth. It is a really fascinating exploration of what makes one a mother. Beautiful and incredibly moving.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

One Day is the story of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley who meet on the night of their graduation on the 15th of July, 1988. The novel then follows them for the next twenty years and catches up on their lives on that one day, the 15th of July.

I can't stress enough how much I loved this book!! I bought it on a whim because I was in the ABC shop and it was sitting up nicely with a First Tuesday Book Club sticker on it, and as I love that show I decided that I would, for once, try and read one of the featured books. I have just returned from Hobart where I was visiting relatives for a few days, and just gobbled this book up in all my spare moments.

I didn't expect to enjoy this book quite so much as I did, especially given that there is barely room for the title of the book through all the critical acclaim littering the cover and I'm sure this novel falls under the category of popular fiction, a genre I generally avoid. However this book is poignant and sad, and funny and so true to life that I think it would appeal to everyone. Sweeping generalisation? Probably. But I, at least, was surprised by how much I liked it.

The characters are likeable, if not consistently. Emma is an aspiring writer who after university gets a job in a dingy Tex-Mex restaurant called Loco Caliente, where the specialty is a fish burrito. Yuk. Dexter, however, somehow always falls on his feet, spending his first couple of years post uni travelling in places like Italy and India until landing a job in television. The whole way through you are desperate for the two to finally open their eyes and get together. However there are the usual complications: misplaced letters, a posh and frosty wife, a stand-up-comedian boyfriend... So do they or don't they finally realise?

Of course I am not going to spill the beans on this one. It is a delightful romantic comedy, such an easy read. I laughed out loud, I cried more than once, I desperately wanted them to figure their lives out, and along the way I learnt a thing or two about living for the moment and when to let go. Plus it is beautifully written, David Nicholls has that rare ability to make you laugh and cry in the very same sentence. I desperately want to go back and read it again and again and again.
"Love and be loved.. if you ever get the chance..."