A few weeks ago, at about 4am, something landed on my head. It was lighter than a hamster but heavier than a sequin. Still half asleep, I batted if off and returned to my dream where I was making chelsea buns with Kevin Costner in the celebrity version of the Great British Bake Off. In the morning, I found a small green stick on my pillow that on closer inspection, looked suspiciously like the LEG OF AN INSECT. Ages after, I was rummaging in my pant drawer and found a ruddy great cricket nestled in among the gussets and yes, it was one leg down. All of which posed the question, don’t insects who’ve sustained massive injuries such as loss of limbs bleed to death? Also, what was sustaining the cricket in my pant drawer? Later that week, I was in France at a drama workshop, killing time before the cheese market opened. There were 15 Sarah Bernhardt wanna be’s and a couple of Maurice Chevalier’s but there’d been a mix up with the rooms which meant the philosophy debating society had taken the big room and we were relegated to a walk-in wardrobe. Having endured a near-death experience in an Icelandic sweat lodge, my present predicament, being sandwiched between a rotund individual called Florence, an industrial sized filing cabinet and a sloping ceiling all felt perfectly fine. Even when we were invited to do something spontaneous with a feather boa and a cricket bat, I somehow managed to be creative without taking anyone’s eye out. However, after an hour or so of some very energetic improvisation, the lack of air had catapulted some of us into giddy hysteria. Sebastien, a slip of a lad with a pigeon chest and Chinese slippers, started singing ‘Fly me to the Moon’ at the top of his voice and when we played blink murder, my screams and the ensuing kerfuffle almost caused a stacked chair tsunami, at which point the head of the philosophy debating society burst in, complaining that they weren’t able to hear themselves think. Talking about disturbances, I went to see the very French film, Rust and Bone at the cinema the other night and during some post-coital murmurings between a woman who’d had her legs bitten off by a killer whale and a man who punched gypsies for a living, a lady in the row in front trumped loudly. Well that makes a refreshing change.
Archive for the ‘films’ Category
Once upon a time in Anatolia, a man had a perky prostate, went for a wee by a bush on a dark, windy night and then did a bit of chatting in a very cramped car. Meanwhile, a man who looked like Jesus tried to remember where he’d buried the man he’d recently murdered and a pretty girl made some tea in a candlelit cupboard. The chatting and the searching went on for about three hours and then, right at the end of the film, when they’d found the body, a very moany mortician performed an autopsy without an apron. As you can imagine, it was a bit messy and one man was squirted in the face with some liquid poo. Then I went home. Sadly, the late hour meant I had to make do with a very makeshift meal of beans on toast with two inferior chocolate biscuits for pudding. My next visit to the Duke of York’s was on Saturday to see the Met’s La Traviata. As usual for the DOY’s operatic occasions, the cinema was full of old people with very neat hair and shiny shoes. There were a lot of sandwiches and flasks of tea flying around the auditorium and quite a bit of coughing, tickly and chesty, although no-one died which was a bit surprising, given the proliferation of perambulatory type support equipment in the auditorium. The opera followed the usual operatic plotline – trollope type with decent size rack has an epiphany, falls in love within 5 seconds of meeting portly man, rolls around on the floor for a bit and then pegs it. The End.
At my Friday night film premiere, I made the briefest of appearances on the big silver screen. It wasn’t like that on the night of filming; ‘lady with loud laugh at cocktail party’ had chit chatted her way through a very crucial scene. As usual, I was professional right down to my finger tips and had thrown myself into my part, creating quite a personality for Daphne, despite the fact that all I was required to do was drink Ribena in a tweed skirt with my head cocked on one side. I was a swinger from Saltdean with a very fat husband who was having it off with a lollipop lady. Anyway, on the set, I was positioned just inches away from our hero, David Morrissey, who was rammed up against the bookcase with no socks on, looking deranged. Trying hard not to look at Dave’s lovely feet (smooth and cornless) I was bantering with an elderly, limp (in a gay way) gentleman with a strong aroma of fags about him (ciggies not homosexuals). If my memory serves me right, I was telling him the joke about the wide mouthed toad, although this is quite hard to do with a plastic wine glass in one hand. Anyway, this was cut from the final version – all we saw was me sashaying across the room away from limp man, presumably, on my way back to my swinging, super fat husband. In close up, I have to say, I was very surprised to learn that when laughing, my right cheek looks enormous. Later on that night, I went to a Finnish pub where all the bar staff (and some of the punters) were dressed as Girl Guides, and everyone was drinking Fisherman Friend flavoured vodka and nibbling on chunks of reindeer; it was that sort of place. The next day, I went off to the Hop Farm Festival where I discovered Iggy Pop has one leg longer than the other and Lou Reed is a bit surly but has a lovely head of hair. Oh yeah, and leaving the Indie Disco, I saw Tricky Dicky, ex-East Enders bad lad having a conversation with a telegraph pole. What a weekend!
I’ve just been to see a film about a man with a cough; it started as a tickle but then developed into death. Set in the sleepy idyll of rural Calabria, Le Quattro Volte was fabulous if you like goats, trees or smoke. It was a little sparse on plot: elderly goatherd has a tight chest so goes to the village church and buys a pochet of floor sweepings from a cleaner which he then dissolves into water and drinks while wearing a pair of combinations (there’s not many times you can bring a pair of combinations into a conversation, so I’m going to milk it. Please excuse the dairy pun). There are some rather nice close-ups, like the one of Mr Cough taking an al fresco dump (I’m wondering how he does this while wearing combinations but maybe he has a back flap). We also see a few goats looking puzzled as some men dressed as Roman centurions pass by their pen en route to a crucifixion party. By way of animal contrast, we see some snails who must have super powers because they’re in a saucepan with a brick on top one minute, the next, they’ve escaped and are running riot in Mr Cough’s kitchenette. Then, Mr Cough stops coughing and pegs it, thank God and we move onto a long bit of nonsense involving a lot of burly men chopping down a tree, dragging it down a mountain and then putting it back up in the middle of the village. Finally, we get to see some men making charcoal which is quite a dirty affair. I won’t be going to Calabria in a hurry.
Another day, another French film stuffed to the gunnels with crying and kissing. In a nutshell, we had a bunch of Gallic miseries on holiday doing a lot of moaning while their supposedly bezzie mate lay dying in hospital, having come off his scooter after a night snorting absinthe in a Parisian brothel. We never did find out what his injuries were although the shockingly bad make-up suggested botox gone wrong. ‘Oh woe is me’, various characters opined, having crashed their water skis or got a bit of cramp on an early morning beach run, after which they’d wail or shout or smash some of the beach hut crockery then drink lots of red wine. For some light relief, we had a few miscreant weasels in the attic and a man dressed as Bonnie Tyler. Oh, and there was an oyster fisherman with the biggest calves I’ve ever seen. However, the best thing about Little White Lies was the three children who spent the entire film looking bemused at the maelstrom of cheesy emotion that was swirling around over their cherubic curls. In the end, the friend dies and they all blub themselves into oblivion at the funeral, climaxed by the oyster fishermen emptying a big bag of sand into the grave. The French eh!
Yesterday, I learnt two things: that Grotte is French for cave and that albino aligators are a. freaky to look at, and b. may one day break out from their steamy Nuclear Power Plant home and look at some prehistoric art with their ugly eyes. Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams was great so long as you weren’t claustrophobic or averse to phallic symbolism. Down, down, down, we went in our hard hats and 3d glasses, into the Paleolithic caves to look at the pretty animal pictures and stalagtites and mites. It was all very Doctor Dolittle – bison with eight legs, a rhino with five horns and even a giant wood louse. I was particularly impressed by a mardy lioness who, the voice-over told us, was growling at her mate because he wanted it and she didn’t. There were a few handprints, made 35,000 years ago by a man with a crooked pinkie and half a lady’s groin. We also got to look at the world’s oldest female figurine, carved from ivory. I tell you, you’ve never seen a muffin top like it and don’t get me started on her knicker region. And all the while this was going on, in case we weren’t suitably mesmerised, we had a backing track of ‘angels’ singing to the rafters. Occasionally, we came out for a chat with an expert, like the paleantologist who we discovered, used to be in the circus but wasn’t a lion tamer, or the perfumier who’d eschewed the heady world of ladies pulse points and taken to sniffing mossy cracks around the Ardeche. Priceless!
I know it’s spring, not only because of seeing the odd flip flop but also because insects have started to copulate in my back bedroom. Yesterday, I tried to prize apart a couple of teensy flies who were bareback riding in amongst my brussel sprouts seedlings but unfortunately, I was a bit cack handed; it wasn’t so much coitus interruptus as coitus squashus; I only hope they were in the afterglow and not coming up to a rolling boil! Anyway, to continue on a theme of frustration, I went to see Archipelago at the cinema last night. It was set on a windswept island and mostly consisted of four people who didn’t much like each other, moaning, eating dinner, having long conversations about lobsters, and going to, and getting out of, bed. Every now and again, a Tony Blair lookie likie popped by to talk deep and meaningless, mostly to a young man who wore striped pyjamas and had a talking teddy (yes, it was as bad as that). To relieve the middle class ennui, there was a couple of scenes with working class people selling dead animals. As a result, I now know how to dress a pheasant which is a level of take-out not usually experienced from a cinematic environment. Anyway, there must have been a lot of weak bladders in the audience, either that, or people were leaving the screen in order to stab themselves in the eye in an effort to relieve the torpidity. Of course, they could have been going to complain that, in the distance, while riding his sit up and beg through the island’s windswept lanes, Edward’s corduroy trousers were a bit of a blur. We found out later that the Duke’s has had some men in and the focus has gone all doolally. I now feel a bit doolally myself!
Winter’s Bone, what a god awful drear of a film, great if you like banjos and bobble hats but not great if you’re into interior decoration and shower gel. The plot: young pretty girl, slightly surly, goes to lots of houses with swing doors and mumbles with grubby types of similar cheerless disposition. Girl is a bit too lippy (in a mumbly way) and gets banged about a bit in a barn by a group of men/women (it was hard to tell; they could have been both). As light relief, we had two fluffy chicks and a little girl riding a toy horse on a trampoline. Apart from that, I wanted to kill myself.
Friend X has a proposition for me: do I want to be a supporting artiste on a short film being made in Brighton? I’m to play ‘mature lady at a dinner party’. Any opportunity to show off, thinks I although I’m not sure about the ‘mature’ bit. When I learn there’s nudity and tomfoolery with creamy desserts AND buff thespians (ones off the telly) involved, I get very excited. My spirit is soon dampened when I learn I’ll be decked out in Harris tweed. Furthermore, my bouncing locks are to be scraped back and moulded into a sort of frigid librarian bun (a bit like my old Junior School teacher, Mrs Wibberly – yes, that was her name). When they’ve done with me (the hair takes longer than expected as daring bits keep trying to escape the confines of the bun), I meet up with my ‘husband’, Lionel, a gentleman with big teeth and a mustard sweater. Lacking any directorial lead as to my ‘motivation’; am I a chatty type? do I eat meat? how strong is my bladder? – I create my character – Daphne. Lionel and I are swingers although he’s very big boned so we decide he’s more of a voyeur than a participator. Daphne, however, throws herself into almost any milieu, most of it going on in Peacehaven. On set, famous telly actor is playing the piano in a private apartment. Daphne is sitting on a sofa, smiling serenely. Next scene, Daphne wears an Alice band and Lionel is hoola hooping on a Wii. Daphne laughs a lot in this scene. Next scene, there’s a crowd of party-goers in a corridor. Daphne is in sludge coloured top with chunky necklace, chatting to Anthony, an effete older gentleman who keeps popping Polo mints. Famous telly actor barges past and nearly knocks Daphne’s ‘Shiraz’ all over Polo man’s shirt. Daphne looks miffed but then, noticing that telly man is barefoot, assumes a perplexed visage. Daphne then gets into a huddle with Polo man, as foreground for a close-up of telly man looking a bit deranged, this time with socks on. We do low chat but I throw in a few shriekish laughs to fit in with my swinging personality. In the dressing room, it takes a while to shake off Daphne. Well, I am a professional, after all.
‘I am Love’ should be retitled ‘I am noisy’. Sumptuous, elegant, seductive, yes. But boy, did the Recchi household, with its endless wooden floors, take a battering from all those high heels. It was clip clop, clip, clop, clip, clop, upstairs and downstairs, and in my lady’s chamber. I didn’t see a patch of carpet, or a pair of slippers, just a lot of sliding doors and swishy scarves. Tilda had some lovely china and an assortment of Alice bands but then she got ravished by a chef and decided a bob was more practical, what with all that buccolic rumpy pumpy and hanging around in hot kitchens. Talking of hot kitchens, the film had a strong flavour of Master Chef, what with all the food close-ups. One minute they were smacking their lips over an upmarket Cornish Wafer, the next dishing out what looked like cabbage water with somebody’s foreskin in it. And in one memorable scene, Tilda did a wonderful impersonation of John Torode. I’ve never seen mastication like it.