Rickman

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Is it cool with everybody if I head back to bed for the rest of the month?

First Bowie, now Rickman – this month is just incredibly sad so far. It’s also making me think and I don’t have time for that right now! So I’m going to wax lyrical on my top three (four actually because I just thought of one as I was typing that) favourite Rickman moments, then I’m going for a hot bath.

I know I’m not alone in my pain and despite what some naysayers are saying on Twitter about the very public outpouring of grief for both men, I think it’s a beautiful thing. Imagine leaving such a legacy behind you?

I hope Alan’s family are all together. I read that he’s been happily married for 50 years, isn’t that the sweetest? I just can’t imagine how his wife must be feeling.

Disclaimer: I’m not a Potterhead so you won’t find Snape on this list. Not that I didn’t like him in the role or anything, just that it didn’t speak to me in the way the below did. 

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Jamie in Truly Madly Deeply (1990)

Ugh just typing that makes me choke. This film taught me that grief can be very very ugly and snotty – but still beautiful AF. Jamie and Nina (Juliet Stevenson) are very much in love when Jamie passes away. Before Nina even begins to process her absolute heartbreak, Jamie returns in his ghostly form and they are reunited.

I wasn’t that old when I first saw this and I always thought of it as the ‘English Ghost‘ (released in the same year) but sorry, Patrick, this film is so much better in all it’s tear soaked glory. The leads are perfect together in every way as they learn to finally let one another go – and you’ll bawl until you can’t bawl no more. FACT.

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Sheriff George of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

A year later, Rickman stole the show in RH:PoT, one of the most enjoyable films of my adolescence. And you’re damn right I can quote it word for word.

As the naughty naughty Sheriff of Nottingham, our boy was pure delight. I can only imagine that he was having the time of his life in this pantomime-villlian role which is really compelling to watch. One of his best lines, spat out with pure vitriol, will always be one of my favourites: “Locksley, I’m gonna cut your heart out with a spoon!”

See also: “[to a wench] You. My room. 10:30 tonight. [to another wench] You. 10:45… And bring a friend.”

Love-Actually

Harry in Love Actually (2003)

I just saw this a month ago and it got me again, as it does every time: that moment Karen (Emma Thompson) figures out her husband Harry is almost definitely cheating on her. She goes upstairs and has a little cry to Joni, before pulling herself together and getting on with it like a motherfucking boss. Every. Time.

That’s Love Actually to me and what brings me back every single year (I’ve mentioned my annual viewing with my BFF Panda). But that scene could not be without potential love rat Rickman and he’s incredible sexy in this role.

A cheating swine but sexy, nonetheless.

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Super Hot Tangoing Businessman in Texas’ In Demand music video (2000)

Panda and I always reference this as her ‘happy place’ and this is the real kicker. Rickman tangos with beautiful Sharleen Spiteri on a petrol station forecourt and we swooned. Like proper swooned.

(There’s this bit, with this look).

What a gentleman. What charisma.What a fucking waste of one of the greatest actors and voices of his generation. 

View here for yourself here:

Enjoy!

RIP sweet Rickman ❤

I Used To Love Him: Michael Jackson (AKA Teenage Idol)

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“Hey spider, you’ve got a Michael Jackson stuck to your butt…”

Who did you idolise as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end? Via The Daily Post (January 11th 2016)

Justin Bieber? How young do you think I am?! (*Fluffs hair*).

It’s been quite a pressured week, so I’m taking time out to do a blog prompt because sometimes I like to seek inspiration rather than think for myself, alright? So sue me.

Obviously this week we very suddenly and shockingly lost a true legend in the shape of Bowie, and the world is still reeling. I haven’t seen this much widespread grief since Diana (or the person I’m about to wax lyrical about) and it’s incredibly sad.

It’s made me think on and off about heroes growing up, personal influences and how they mould us as young people and how we carry them into adulthood, like pretty, shiny talismans (men?).

I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson from a very early age. Like OBSESSED. Every video, album, film starring my boy – I was all over it. My Mum made me a ‘Bad’ birthday cake and there were MJ themed parties. I even convinced the girl next door, who was terribly uncool and ate only oranges and peanut butter, that I was named after my hero.

“Michael can be a girl’s name too, you know” is what I’d haughtily respond when she questioned me. I wish my name had been Michael to be honest but alas, my parents were not major fans themselves nor mind readers.

I would lie in bed at night with my Walkman plugged in, lip syncing the Vincent Price bit at the end of Thriller to myself. I knew all the words to Liberian Girl.

Man in the Mirror actually did make me look inside myself and ponder if I really needed to change. I decided the answer was no, I was only ten and perfect as far as I could see. 

Alas, my hero did some heinous things that caused his shine to all but extinguish. I won’t rehash those things here, nor will I deny them because I believe the accusations are true. There’s no defense and no amount of love for a former idol, who carried you through the awkward years into adulthood, that can excuse what he’s done.

My hero was messed up and then he messed up very badly. I think even before he died I’d forced myself to move on because good people don’t hurt the vulnerable, they don’t hurt anybody, even if they themselves seem vulnerable and childlike.

My ultimate hero wasn’t going to be a bad man even if he was Michael Jackson, King of my Heart. The first man I ever loved who wasn’t my father.

I can’t remember how I processed all that but I must of because by the time he died I was very sad but accepting. It had seemed only a matter of time, judging by his frail outward appearance and rumours of drug abuse. And again, how could I forgive him?

I still feel sad for the loss and that I’ve never felt the way I did about him since, about anyone. No more idols for me.

Actors and Musicians I like very much, sure but nobody I’ll ever pretend to be named after.

I Used To Love Him #1: Kiefer Sutherland

Where have all the cowboys gone?
Where have all the cowboys gone?

I was reminded this morning of my gargantuan crush on Kiefer Sutherland back when I was still a kid. It all but evaporated the minute he (allegedly) cheated on Julia Roberts back in the early nineties, but until I decided he was no longer worthy of my love, I was obsessed.

Looking back I think I fell for him in The Lost Boys, aged just ten (Me, not him, obvs). His character wasn’t exactly heart-throb material, being an evil vampire an’ all but I liked him all the same. A year later came Young Guns and suddenly, something was stirring within me.

I’m confident it wasn’t sexual desire, though maybe subconsciously as I broke through into early adolescence, but I wasn’t really thinking in those terms then. I can’t explain what it was but it was there and so were the posters on my bedroom walls.

Cheer up guys
Cheer up guys, you’re supposed to be in love

It was with to my dismay that he got together with, and subsequently engaged to nineties sweetheart, Ms Roberts. I was pretty in love with her too to be fair; that hair was so naturally gorgeous, her smile so wide that how could I not be under her spell too?

I wanted to be her and since I was head over heels for Kiefer, I accepted the union because, frankly, what more could I do? My childish heart quickly grasped the reality of being 13 and unlikely to ever meet and steal him for myself.

In 1991 they were due to marry in a lavish ceremony, according to People magazine, and a great article from that year I just found online. Although, having read it back I wonder if I’ve distorted my version of events.

Did Kiefer cheat with a stripper on his Stag night as I had been lead to believe, or did I imagine it? Or was Julia the naughty one, leaving the country pretty sharpish with Jason Patric on her arm, having just shattered Sutherland’s heart? (And who can really blame her?).

Who knows what went on back there in the heady nineties? All I know now is perhaps I should have heard Kiefer out; not reacted so strongly to a piece of celebrity gossip that could very well have been completely made up.

If only I’d had the wisdom I have now, back then, eh? Maybe he’d still be on my wall and in my heart.

Then again: Freeway, Eye for an Eye and The Vanishing – perhaps not.

The Only (Riot) Grrrl In The World

robyn2Ever notice how the best songs are the heartbreak anthems? Sometimes not even anthems, some are weepy little poems that still have the power to cut you like a switch blade (hey there Joni).

Even though I hung up my angst a long time ago (does one ever?) and am not currently nursing a sore heart, I still love the fist pumping, imagine myself standing on tables, shouting at all the pigs that ever let me down psalms the best.

As I shuffle reluctantly to work every morning, my iPod bruising my ear canal ever so slightly, I always have to make the final push with a great song in my head, that extra protection against the day ahead.

Now I write all this with the best of intentions but my musical catalog contains an awful lot of Janet Jackson so it’s usually something like What Have You Done For Me Lately? off Control that gets me fighting.

JJ notwithstanding, it’s funny how some lyrics just jump out and elbow you in the ribs, isn’t it? They have the ability to drag you back through time to the exact moment you found yourself standing hesitantly outside a coffee shop after a blazing row with a boy you’d only been seeing for a few Summer months.

You remember your carefully chosen words, and how carelessly he batted them away like fruit flies. You remember how black his eyes became in rage, the chocolate-brown evaporating from them completely, making him look demonic. How you had known right there that this was it, that no matter how lovely his skin felt or how pumped you were that he chose to spent these hazy twilight hours walking around the city with you, it was done.

You recall the tears that you thought would never end, your best friend’s hand on your back and the thought, even in that moment, that you were crying not for this, but for everything bad that had ever happened to every person in the world.

Most of all you remember that it was over because you decided it was; that you weren’t going to take shit any more.

That’s what a heart-break tune will do and it doesn’t matter if you’ve moved on, if you’re happy now. It doesn’t matter if you rarely think of them; those fuckers built you up to be the fabulous person you are today and tribute must be paid, even if it’s angry.

Especially if it’s angry.

So what’s my go to angry anthem? You’ll not be surprised to learn there’s some utter toot in here: Since You’ve Been Gone, Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Dancing On My Own, Raspberry Swirl. Sinead O’Connor’s You Cause As Much Sorrow. Mr Brightside. Harpoon.

Army of Me.

All my loves.

Special mention to Joni’s Case of You which saw me through a wonderful break up (I loved it). Less punch facey sure but just as powerful. (I’m listened to Joni as I tie up the ribbon on this post with a flourish, because she’s the one).

It is true that every girl has a fighter inside, a riot grrrl or a punk, whoever she wants it to be. She may be a soft touch like me, most of the time, but given the right theme tune, that fighter will awaken to stomp the shit out of her memories, free to fight another day.

So what’s your angsty/angry/fighter theme?