If there’s one thing worst than melting in the middle of a Great British heatwave, it is having to deal with all the people with Opinions™. If it’s not being bitchy about what people should wear (whether they be too fat, too thin, too pale, too leathery, too made up), it’s what they choose to do to keep cool. Honestly, can you just fuck off?
You might love the beach but some people are ginger and that means practically vampyric. Does the sunlight really seem like a good idea to you? Also, the beach is deathly boring and I’d rather be under a tree in the park or even better, at home on my bed under a fan wearing nothing but a smile – that’s how I deal with my Summer.
If I have to go out I’ll seek out the shade and I’ll wear what I want thankyouverymuch. If my eyeliner runs, that’s my business. If I want to go to the cinema in the middle of a scorching day, I will. If I want to wear black, guess what? Black it is.
Bellies out, arms out, ten Twister lollies in a day, shade, no shade, indoors, outdoors: whatever it is, it is.
The thing is, this heat is not typical for us, none of our houses are equipped to deal with these temperatures and we need unsolicited advice from others like a hole in the fucking head. We should be doing anything we can to get comfortable.
So this year, if you feel like sharing your thoughts on how others are doing Summer: just don’t.
Anyone else got feelings about this last season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race? Yeah me neither.
Except! It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, hasn’t it? Explosive arguments, dubious ejections (imho), conversations about race, gay conversion therapy, more rows, tears and above all fierce as fuck looks across the board.
And now we have our Queen and I’m not that sad about it. Sure, Aquaria is young, thin and white with a privilege not all contestants can claim themselves but she’s been open and conscious of that – and she has werked her arse off consistently to the end. Man, her looks time after time have been rich and powerful, with a mind-blowing attention to detail.
Aquaria is super young but she’s incredible – can you even imagine what more time and experience will make of her? That said, I was sort of counting on Kameron Michaels for his incredible lip syncing talent. Plus, I kind of like the concept of a quiet queen smashing the competition.
In some way I was also rooting for Eureka, the big girl who has also been an incredibly strong contender. The only downside is that Eureka isn’t completely likable and at times I feel she isn’t genuine. Shock horror someone might be playing up the cameras, right? But I sometimes get a disingenuous vibe and it puts me off. I guess we’ll have to wait for a fat queen to boast the crown in the future, then.
If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t that fussed about who won this season, they were all deserving in their own ways – and Season 10 despite its drama wasn’t as exciting as past seasons. Which is a shame because there were some queens with real potential in the line up – Miz Cracker, Monét X Change to name a couple – I was seriously pissed when Miz Cracker was booted out but then again she didn’t always nail the performance she was going for.
I don’t know, really none of them had the spark I saw in Detox, Adore Delano or precious Kim Chi – and that’s okay. We’ve all got our favourites. That said there were some stand out elements and here are a few of my highlights:
All of Aquaria’s high fashion looks
It’s hard to pick a favourite because they all bang but I would say that the bone mask, the rainbow fur, the wrestler look and Aquaria’s oil slicked mermaid were my favourites.
Dill With It
In episode 5 Miz Cracker dressed up as Dr. Dill, a giant pickle to help cure Mayhem Miller’s picklephobia on the “Bossy Rossy Show”. It was sublime with perfect comic timing and in my eyes marked Cracker out as a real contender.
The finale was fun and all but lovely Asia O’Hara really missed the mark with her dubious bra contraption. During the final lip sync for their life, she opened it out to release real butterflies into the open air. I’m not sure who green-lit an idea this dodgy but let’s just say it did not have the expected wow factor and many, many butterflies were crunched under foot by our queens. There’s a great reaction shot of Kameron processing what has just happened.
Oh, but apparently Asia donated a lot of money to a butterfly charity to make up for the faux pas, which is kind of cool, if a little too late.
Oooh gurl, the dramas! The Vixen stormed off set, Ru got shouty and Asia O’Hara went way up in my estimation when she showed really empathy for her sister (Vixen) – it was all popping off.
When Ru asked The Vixen and Eureka to open up about their dramatic fighting during the season, all hell broke loose, with The Vixen pondering why she was always been told how to react, while nobody got on Eureka’s case for the way she was acting. Which is a valid point. I’ve read a bit of backlash against the way Vixen has been portrayed and I’m inclined to agree. Asia’s call to help Vix rather than apportion blame fell on mostly deaf ears but she was pretty much the only person to speak up in her favour, and I loved her for it.
Oh, and lots of queens called Kameron out for being a snooty bitch. She did not like that one bit. LOL.
This was so relevant to my own interests because I was obsessed with mermaids as a kid – and none of the queens really let me down. Aquaria took hers to the next level but I also really enjoyed Kameron and Miz Cracker’s more girly traditional takes. Asian O’Hara’s fish face was also hysterical.
Episode 11’s Double Trouble challenge was super fun and I can’t deny I was very partial to Eureka’s Divine/Clueless inspired double header.
A big day in the UK today and one I feel quite sick about. For anyone reading outside the UK who doesn’t keep up with our politics, we’re voting on the EU Referendum – whether to leave or remain in the European Union.
I cast my vote early this morning and I’ll admit to feeling quite overwhelmed by the whole thing (and I was all on my lonesome too, what a big brave girl). It’s such a massive decision to make about something that honestly, nobody really seems 100% about. I have a view and have voted accordingly but who can say that it’s the right way?
Who can be sure that we’re not doomed if we stay in the EU? Is breaking off to be on our own the beginning of the end or is Boris right? Only time will tell now, which way the vote will go for a start and then what will happen to this country. It’s terrifying and all I really know is that all the hatred and the sniping has got to stop.
Sure this has opened my eyes to a lot of attitudes I’m surprised by but I’m done with people bitching at each other and threatening to stop being friends on social media (the ultimate dis) for not voting the way people want them to. I can barely make this decision myself, how can I tell someone else who to vote for?
I know this post is incredibly diplomatic but I’m just tired of all the hate talk. I’ve voted remain and strongly believe we should stay, that we’re stronger in the EU and should help others where we can. I know it’s not perfect and that there’s lots of work to do to make things better but I have an innate hope that we can do that.
I can’t get behind a campaign backed so strongly by Nigel Farage either, I’m sorry. And I know that Brexit supporters are getting a bad rap for being racists, which not all of them can be but it’s true that most racists are going to vote leave. I’m not here for that.
I’m not going to say everything is shit and I don’t care anymore. I will never do that. I love the country I live in, I love the fact I can work and travel around Europe as much as I like. I love that (if things remain) I could legitimately retire to a houseboat in Amsterdam and live out the rest of my life skipping around the canals in clogs.
All I can do now is keeping on hoping that remain wins the day. Results will be in tomorrow morning, so this time tomorrow afternoon we’ll know.
I’ve recently decided, whenever someone I know on social media makes a casual fat phobic comment, I am going to casually ‘unfollow’.
No words, no rage; just a simple click or two of that sweet, sweet button and I’ll be on my way.
I can’t take it anymore. Sure, these people have every right to an opinion but don’t they realise what they’re saying? Fat people shouldn’t be the butt of every joke; the ultimate cautionary tale.
You like food but are so lucky to have your mother’s metabolism, otherwise you’d be 15 stone? The horror. Being slim might be what you strive to be and to maintain, but it isn’t every person’s goal. Some people look different and are different – and insinuating that an overweight person is awful and ugly and undesirable is frankly, bullshit.
Some people weigh 15 stone, or more. Are they lesser creatures, placed on this earth to sneer at; to think “Thank God I don’t look like that.”? Posting pictures of ‘fatties’ too, well that’s just a waste of everyone’s time. Honestly? Look inside yourself.
What about the “I’m such a heffer!” girls? I’m more inclined to say that if they want to beat themselves up all day about how fat and disgusting they are then let them knock themselves out.
Body image is a tricky one because they might well genuinely loathe themselves and that’s their perogative, just because I see a perfect 10 doesn’t mean they do. But in saying “I’m so fat!” and pinching imaginary rolls, it can become a bone of contention. If you’re saying that about yourself, what the hell does that make me?
But back to the first type. Shame on you for shaming others, shame on you for your casual discrimination. Shame we can’t be friends anymore.
NB: I do get it, phobia of this kind has been drummed into us as women, as soon as we were old enough to understand it, maybe even before that. We’re beaten about the head hundreds of times a day by a beauty ideal that isn’t realistic. We’ve grown up being told we should strive to look a certain way. I’ve not always been so cool with myself, some days I’m still not and I haven’t always been as supportive of other women, ‘different’ women. I’m not proud of that but I am proud I now have strong enough self-esteem to address it. We’re all on the same side and we should be all about building each other up, nothing less.
It’s been a few weeks since the lastJillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab and I, personally, think that’s way too long.
I realised, whilst completing this weeks ‘assignment’, that I love the process of choosing/finding out what the new film is, watching and then thinking about it. Then thinking about the next one.
B-movies/horror/dubious monster flicks + being a snarky bitch are my life force so what better way to stretch my film reviewing chops than a combination of the two shared with someone who loves it just as much as I do? Plus, I’ve made a f**king fabulous new friend #winning.
This week we’ve got a very strong entry. Viewing it as a film lover, it’s probably the best looking/acted and special effected movie we’ve collaborated on yet (Sorry Killer Mermaid).
It also had me bellowing with laughter at certain points, which is never, ever a bad thing, but a little disconcerting when you’re actually supposed to be laughing along, rather than laughing at.
We start with a view of planet Earth with a meteorite/shooting star travelling at a rate of knots across its surface. Then we close in on a trawler boat floating in the middle of the sea. One of the boat’s crew witnesses the meteorite/shooting star as it hurtles past and lands nearby.
What is it with fishermen being so involved in our movie collaborations anyway? I’m not complaining, I just don’t know how I’ll feel when I next see a crap film and it doesn’t feature a beaten up old sea dog.
But back to our trawler. A particularly beardy seaman (Ron?), looks off-screen at something terrifying coming towards him but before his friends get to him, he is dragged away. One by one our hapless fishermen are picked off by an unseen something, leaving behind a heavy breathing youngster who eventually gets it too. Nice lead in.
The next morning, a (pretty) female police officer travels onto the island by boat and is picked her new and gruff (also hung over) colleague, O’Shea, who doesn’t seem exactly ecstatic to have her around. She’s in town to assist the local police force (of two people) as one of them is going on holiday.
They don’t exactly hit it off straight away but before they have time to discuss things any further, they’re called to deal with a very bizarre occurrence on the beach (directly after Gruff tells Lady Cop that nothing ever happens around here. Oooh!).
For some inexplicable reason (or is there?!), a load of poor whales have washed up on the beach. Gruff and Lady Cop (Lisa) arrive to find Dr. Smith (the amazing, beautiful Russell Tovey, the nation’s sweetheart), a Marine Ecologist scratching his head (actually, he’s measuring the whales and looking quite busy). He says that it is not uncommon for whales to beach themselves but hella weird for a whole gang of them to die at the same time.
As O’Shea ponders the deep cuts all over the whale they’re standing beside, Smith says that he thinks they were dead before they washed up and were probably torn up on the rocks. Smith then flirts outrageously with Lisa and I gain even more respect for him.
Shortly after this exchange, O’Shea goes to visit a local builder to borrow his trucks. Someone has to move the poor whales, but honestly, I’d love to know what they do with them afterwards. Full-on marine memorial, I hope.
While all this is going on, two fishermen (them again!) ensnare something exotic in a lobster trap (we can’t really see what it is but it’s clear this ain’t no lobster). My favourite character-to-be, Paddy, shows his trawler friend, and his friend gets squirted on for his troubles (not in the good way).
Later that evening, as the sun fades, and the last of the bloated whale corpses is carried away, the foreman shouts at one of his workers to go and get a shovel that’s been left behind. Poor Unassuming Worker (or PUW) runs back to the beach where he discovers some unusual looking eggs. Eggs! Alas, before he can share his discovery with the world, he is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ocean by… I saw nothing, could be anything…
While PUW is drowned to death, we learn that Paddy has taken his lobster trap, complete with non-lobster prisoner, back to his cottage and placed him in the bath. Seriously, I hope he’s added salt to the tub, you can’t just plonk marine life willy nilly into any old wet environment…
I’m going to skip forward a little bit here because this is a great film with lots of gore and horror, but I don’t want to go completely scene for scene. Basically, quite a few villagers perish, in humorous yet suspenseful ways.
The landlady of the pub decides to play match maker and tells a drunken O’Shea that Lisa obviously has a twinkle in her eye for him. He makes the mistake of going upstairs (she is staying in the Inn above the pub) and propositioning her, which goes down about as well as a cup full of cold sick. The two of them do start to bond though (who knew) after she locks him in the cells overnight to sober up.
Paddy returns home on the same night only to be attacked by his sea creature, a tentacle heavy blue beast. Miraculously though, it doesn’t kill him and he manages to capture it. Luckily for Paddy, he knows exactly what to do with the creature and hot foots it to see Russell Tovey, along with O’Shea and Lisa.
Over another bout of unbelievable flirting from Tovey, the gang work out a few things; a) that their little blue baby is female and b) was pregnant when she attacked Paddy. After this is determined, they figure that the father must be around here somewhere and using a map, chart out the areas these mysterious creatures have been hanging out. They decide to go to Black Rock, to have a poke around.
Black Rock (a cluster of black rocks), yields some interesting findings, e.g. some more eggs and… DADDY! Thing is, Daddy is ten times bigger than Mummy, and is seriously PISSED. He’s looking for his wife and babies, so you can’t really criticise him for wanting to take off people’s heads to get to them.
O’Shea, Lisa and Paddy run back to Tovey’s lab and decide it’s a good idea to set fire to Mummy so that Daddy can’t find her. They accidentally letting off the fire alarms, complete with water sprinklers, thus creating an even more soaked environment for Mummy and Daddy to slop about in.
In the kerfuffle to turn off the sprinklers, O’Shea is attacked by Mummy, who’s been to Alien Face Hugger Acting School and plays her part magnificently.
Somehow, O’Shea gets her off his face and she start throwing up blood, repelled by the taste of him. The gang ponder how O’Shea, and Paddy, the night before, managed to survive such an attack and eventually put two and two together; both men are utter piss heads with ridiculously high blood alcohol content, something the sea monster/alien or Grabber (as Paddy has named them) seems to be allergic to.
Off the back of this, the gang come up with the frankly amazing plan to get everyone together and pissed up in the only pub on the island, to keep them from harm. Oh yes, did I mention? Police back up can’t come until morning due to the massive storm that’s coming. OBVS.
So they go to the pub, rounding up the villagers as they go. Lisa has never been drunk in her life so the men get her completely inebriated and test out her blood on Mummy Grabber. It seems to more or less work so they get the party started.
O’Shea, uncharacteristically, volunteers to be the only sober person. Lisa is under the impression that he is a widower, which is what the stirring landlady has told her. She’s obviously hot for O’Shea which I didn’t get at first but am sort of coming around to as he proves to be pretty heroic (and looks like a craggier Michael Sheen). Along the way a few of the villagers we have come to know and love, lose their lives (and their heads), I won’t list them but let’s just say, Tovey’s Dr Smith never gets to pull Lisa.
I’m going to wind it down here because I think people should watch this film without me having ruined absolutely every element of it; but it all comes to a head as the eggs hatch, Daddy Grabber finds his way to the pub and there’s a final fight for survival (on all sides).
Do O’Shea and Lisa kick adequate arse and kill Daddio? Do they ever get off with each other? Does my beloved fisherman friend, Paddy leave with his life? Well, only one way to find out!
I liked it. I liked it a lot. The film is beautifully shot, with stunning scenery. I think I’d be happy to holiday on this island, you know once the Grabbers are finally cleared off the beach.
What I liked most about the film is that it made me laugh, really belly laugh out loud at certain points. It also had the feel of an Edgar Wright movie, making me think of Shaun of the Dead/The World’s End more than once, which might just be my association with the pub lock in, I don’t know but it’s good and is all about the smaller characters; the brilliant Paddy, the village GP, the pub landlords. They’re a riot.
A pretty good British/Irish creature feature all round. And it ends with O’Shea and Lisa agreeing to check on the dog left behind by one of the dead villagers, which is absolutely the way survivors (oops, spoiler alert!) should talk at the end of films of this nature. Dogs always get a bad rap in the movies and I absolutely hate it. So yey, Grabbers!
Jillian reviews films on her blog that could be considered a little bit off the beaten track. It’s not like they are all obscure though, Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under were quite popular TV movies back in the late nineties, though I had forgotten about both of them until Jillian reviewed them in her inimitable style.
It was when she reviewed Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same that I knew this was a girl after my own heart (before, actually but what? I’m playing it cool here). A bit of back and forth by email culminated in us arranging a virtual movie date and this is it. Welcome to our virtual movie date!
Since Jillian and I live on opposite sides of the world, we have been forced to watch the same film at different times, rather than share a tub of popcorn on the same couch. We’re aiming to post our reviews on the same day (today).
I think this is such a fun idea and it was all Jillian’s. I know we have to see how the first date goes but if it works and we both have a good time, I hope we’ll do this again. J, I’ve sort of based the structure of this post on yours as a tribute and… next movie choice is yours.
NB: Beware of spoilers. If you haven’t seen this film yet but intend to, you might want to look away now.
After shortlisting a few gems on Netflix (both the US/UK versions), we decided on this one. I’ve seen it before and am a big fan, while this will be the first time for Jillian (who had to source a copy as, surprisingly, US Netflix doesn’t have it). UPDATE: She has seen it before, I lied. My bad.
Where to Watch:
The Fitzgerald Sisters are obsessed with death and suicide, and in keeping with this theme, have made a pact to each other to get ‘out by sixteen or dead on the scene’ (which I think means killed themselves). Unfortunately, the sisters’ bond is tested when Ginger is bitten by a werewolf.
Ginger Snaps opens with a fairly innocuous establishing shot of a normal overcast day in suburbia. A mother is raking leaves in the yard while her young son plays in the sand pit. The kid appears to have blood on his face but as he has his back to his mother, she doesn’t notice straight away. Oh but we do, we dooooooo!
This artist blows me away in general and I have seen a few of her piece pop up over the years, and always been impressed. But I have a very special place in my heart for the Painted Ladies. They are magnificent!
Since it is unlikely I would ever be able to afford one of the original figurines, I have been looking at the photographic prints instead. Still a little bit of a hefty price tag, but maybe one for a birthday wish list.
Yet another US TV show that has sucked me in and won’t spit me out until I’ve devoured all five seasons.
PLL is actually pretty good. It’s no Gossip Girl, of course, but nothing is. It’s very twisty and turny; and feels like a continual teen horror movie.
The gist: When pretty (and bitchy) Alison DiLaurentis goes missing, her clique are left to wonder what the eff went on and who would want to harm her. While the girls had been drifting apart before the disappearance, they’re thrown back together by a common enemy, the sinister A; who is threatening to tell all their secrets, and worse.
Honestly, it’s been quite gripping. Thanks as always, Netflix.
NB: I should say here that I’m trying hard to cut down on my television watching during the week. Left to my own devices, I will just sit dribbling in front of the box for four hours straight every night without gaining anything from it. I know it’s no good for me, so I’ve been coming home and reading, blogging and pottering instead. It feels good.
This is such a material thing to include, but never mind. It’s a total game changer! You know I love ASOS anyway and lust after a lot of items on the site (too much), but upgrading to the Premier account has just been amazing.
Basically: Unlimited next day delivery, courier pick up if you don’t like something; the ASOS magazine to your door and preview emails about upcoming sales, all for just £9.95 a year. £9.95! I know I’m no longer shopping, but when I am… this will change everything.
So happy that this show is back again. I love it, even though I dislike at least 75% of the main characters. The writing is fantastic, the characters are flawed and frustrating; and I’m very interested to see where it goes.
I like Lena Dunham and will always be into what she brings to the table, even if she doesn’t always present it a way I agree with. I read Not That Kind of Girl and enjoyed it. I might come back to that in a separate post soon.
Ah, other bloggers. Such a massive part of why I’m enjoying blogging so much right now.
Again, my current favourites will fill their own future post in the next few weeks but this week I have had some great interaction, when I really needed it, and I am starting to feel very excited about my blogging future.
I have some fun things coming up, including a collaboration with a fellow film lover that really peaks my creative interest!
So that’s what I’m about this month! What are you digging?
Reality TV and I have been friends for some time. I was obsessed with the first few series of Big Brother (the regular one) when it first appeared on our screens. Back in 1997, when it was still looked upon as a social experiment and the biggest scandal involved Nasty Nick sliding a piece of paper across a table to try to influence his housemates’ votes.
(I forget the exact details but I recall vaguely that he either constructed his own writing tool out of household objects, like a prison shank or had sneaked a pencil in inside his luggage).
Whatever the story, the world went ballistic as he was ejected from the Big Brother house and I doubt he has been referred to as just ‘Nick’ since.
Those were the days. Reality TV, or its younger sister, Scripted Reality, has come on in leaps and bounds ever since (depending on how you look at it, I suppose).
I believe the first example of the latter came in with the American show Laguna Beach (which I never watched). This evolved into the infinitely more appealing The Hills (which I have devoured in its entirety more times than I care to remember, thankyouverymuch MTV). God bless you, LC.
This side of the Pond TOWIE trumpeted the next generation of orchestrated Reality Television, with the slightly posher (but only in upbringing and attire, if we’re honest) Made In Chelsea bringing up the rear. In between but since fallen by the wayside we’ve had everything from Desperate Scousewives to The Valleys. There was even talk of a Brighton based show of the same ilk.
It’s all pretty terrible. These people aren’t actors and they aren’t civilians either so all conversations conducted onscreen are awkward, no matter how heated. Since it’s all manipulated for our viewing pleasure.
The appeal of this type of entertainment for me has always been the fact that I can check in my brain at the cloakroom – and just enjoy the drama. Sometimes a girl just needs to look at pretty people arguing woodenly while looking out of shot. Them, not me.
Big B isn’t scripted though and I suppose that’s what brings me back to my point.
(I’m typing this draft to the sound of Perez Hilton simulating sexual intercourse, by himself, in the garden to wind up a bevy of ‘famous’ women including Patsy Kensit and some models).
It’s all just so grimy.
Perez, who you might know, is what we like to call here in England a bit of a penis. I say this purely because that’s all you can really say. His ‘personality’ is so large it dominates everything, only equaled in size by his gargantuan ego. Yet, there’s nothing going on indoors, I’m fairly sure. The people who shout the loudest always have the least to say.
I don’t know why I’m watching this time around. I’ve skipped out on the last handful of years, even the celebrity version because it all seems so tired. Scandalous celebrities keen to shed their ‘bad seed’ images, tabloid favourites keen to hold on to a little more fame time.
Sex in hot tubs, bed hopping; homophobic and racist slights. Borderline violence and a lot of shouting. OH THE SHOUTING.
Hand Mama two Neurofen, there’s a love.
This year has been turbo charged to say the least. In the week or so it’s been on air I’ve witnessed terrible misogyny and sexual assault.
I didn’t actually watch this episode when in aired, but on viewing the clip back (which is an audio clip, actually, no footage was shown of the actual act, in which a drunken housemate pulled open the front of another’s robe to reveal her bare breasts).
This was followed in quick succession by an older housemate being removed from the house for a series of disgustingly sexist comments toward the younger females in residence and a racist rant in which he used the ‘N’ word. No, not ‘Ninja’.
Last night Michelle Visage cried in the Diary Room about the behaviour of Perez, who in her eyes has set the LGBT community back 50 years. Rumour has it that he has quickly become the Most Hated Man in the country, although how do they qualify this? I’d love to know.
Personally I have an easier time hating people who are actually relevant, you know? As far as I can see he contributes nothing to the world, beyond gossip. Publicly, anyway.
As for the Wicked Witch of the show, the infamous Katie Hopkins, well she’s not really done much yet. I mean, of course she’s been blunt, that’s her whole spiel isn’t it? She has labelled Alicia stupid because she doesn’t read and there has been whispering around the breakfast table about bullying but I don’t know if she can be blamed solely for that.
And now they’ve sent in the Cavalry (to rescue the ratings?) in the shapely form of one Miss Katie Price. Which is perhaps the answer to the question of why I haven’t switched over yet.
Good old Jordan sent in to take on Katie Hopkins in a battle of the bolshy. The Beautiful and the damned. Or something.
I should be sorry. I should be changing the channel. Better still I should be switching off the gogglebox and reaching for a book.
But we all know I’m not going to do that. Maybe I’ll mute it though.
I found myself sobbing into our open fridge last night, whilst searching for cheese. Full of a sadness that is very hard to define.
It’s nothing new though, this phenomena. I mean, don’t we get all get introspective at this time of year? And The January Blues are a scientifically proven thing, aren’t they? An actual bonafide condition.
The reason for my tears seemed clear at first: it’s been a bitch of a week. I spend way too much time caring about my job. Conjuring up problems that just aren’t there; pretending the issues that actually are there, aren’t. Much, I’m sure, like every other employed person on this planet.
But I’m a lowly Marketing Assistant, not the CEO of a vast company, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue or a brain doctor. I organise things, write copy and give presentations; what is there really to stress about?
I think I can safely say that sometimes the littlest things trigger a very bad attack of The Doubts. Feeling inadequate because things aren’t going perfectly is one thing but given the right environment it can mutate.
Suddenly you find yourself cocooned in your robe on the sofa, losing your shit to Don’t Tell The Bride, lamenting how terrible your life is because you’re no longer 27 and what the fucking fuck are you even supposed to be doing with your life anyway?
My dreadful imagination has me homeless on the streets, never to be employed again. It has me penniless and alone because I never get over the horror of losing the job I don’t even know has the future I hoped for anyway. I curse myself for not being better, for not having a talent.
For being a bad person. A bad partner. A terrible sister, daughter and friend. I turn myself inside out, pulling at the stuffing until there’s nothing left. I don’t deserve anything, will never amount to anything.
I might as well leave this crazy city with nothing but the clothes on my back, like Julia in Sleeping With The Enemy on a Greyhound bus. See if I can’t start a new life somewhere quaint. Rebrand myself with a new name, maybe get a little job in a book shop.
Better this course of action than just going to bed, getting a good night’s sleep and getting the fuck over myself.
I blame January for all of this. For being miserable and underwhelming and poor. January angers me because it always comes in to the sound of trumpets and fireworks.
It’s not all that. It’s just another month but 86 days long.
I’m over it. The Blues won’t win this one. But if I want to mope and cry and eat cheese for the remainder of the month, then… so be it.
I don’t get to the cinema even half as much as I would love to, or feel I should and this is something I would like to change in 2015. However, I am glad I got to see this as my first flick of the New Year. It sets the bar pretty high.
Birdman is really good. I’m not the best reviewer in the world but I do love film and well crafted, well acted pieces, which this certainly is.
Well, I don’t know, can he? Does he? Only one way to find out.
I will say that I thought this film would be very different. In my head I was expecting something along similar lines to Paper Man (2009) (also starring Birdman’s Emma Stone) and/or Defendor (also 2009) but I realise that was just lazy presumption on my part.
Birdman is something else, in another league to those films, however much I enjoyed them. Shot in long, languid single takes and centred almost solely around one location, the theatre in which the play is being rehearsed (and then subsequently opens), it has a very production within another production feel.
I now spend some time Googling what I mean by that, and I’ve got no examples beyond Black Swan (2010), which is funny as two people close to me have separately compared Birdman and, specifically, Thomson’s quest for redemption (and one more blast at recognition) with another Aronofsky flick, The Wrestler (2008). Which of course shares themes with Black Swan (which I adore).
There are big questions that arise from the climax of Birdman, as they did with both those Aronofsky flicks that are interesting but are not something we can discuss here now.
I will say that both Glynn and I had different views on how it ended. Again, I can’t say what my view is, nor Glynn’s because: spoilers. But I liked the fact that it was left open to interpretation.
Stand outs for me were Keaton, who plays the erratic Thomson perfectly, mixing deep emotion with a quiet desperation. You just want him to do well I think and feel sorry when things look fraught or unlikely to pan out the way he wants. There are scenes that call on him to be very raw and he holds up wonderfully, staying likeable almost always. I like Riggan, even in his exchanges with his family when he’s being frustrating.
I very much enjoyed Emma Stone, as Riggan’s daughter, Sam, who has just recently come out of rehab. Now working as her father’s assistant, she still carries the scars of early life without him around and displays a quiet anger for much of the film.
Forming a bond with Mike (Edward Norton), the intense new method actor called in to take over one of the main parts in the play, may in part be an act of rebellion but in fact the scenes between them are quite sweet and give Mike more depth, turning him into less of a caricature of a theatre actor, into a living man. That’s maybe down to the romantic in me because that’s not really saying much, he’s pretty dickish.
Rumour has is that the character of Mike is a parody of Edward Norton himself, based on perception of him as an actor. I assume if this is true that he knows and plays up the character deliberately. If it is, then I like him a bit more now and he does play it well, Norton at his subtly maniacal best.
Other highlights (SPOILER ALERTS) are the scene in which Riggan accidentally gets locked out of the auditorium during an interval and inadvertently becomes the King of the Internet (a medium he has nothing but disdain for), and every scene featuring Lindsay Duncan as theatre critic Tabitha, who is resolutely out to destroy Riggan and his play.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I realise that I’ve hardly mentioned the surreal aspect of Birdman and especially the titular ‘character’ but believe me this has been deliberate. These elements are for you to discover and then ruminate upon yourself.