Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Snaking Away...."

Blog ( JUST like this gorgeous green creature I met at the Zoo last week) is having a short winter kip. Not for 100 years ( as in the best of Fairy Tales) or even for a mere 40 winks...probably til mid Feb.
See you then.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"DID Zzzzzola Have A Jacuzzzzi?!"

Q: "How WOULD past Celebrities cope with Fame?" novelist Max Brod asked of novelist Franz Kafka...last Friday night in " Kafka's Dick" at The Forum Theatre.

A: " Zola would install a Jacuzzi....and even T.S. Elliot would have people round for drinks...."
So wrote Alan Bennett....making us Laugh....and as ever, making us Think..

BUT poor Franz Kafka. AND also poor me. What gaps I have in my literary knowledge:
I hadn't realised Kafka ( that great Czech) had suffered such dreadful crippling self-doubts, e.g:"I've added SO many words to the world, I've made it heavier..."
AND I hadn't realised Kafka had such a scathing mocking tyrant of a father, e.g: : "What's HE ( Kafka) done? ...Written a book or two?! My father could lift a sack of potatoes between his teeth.."

But this Serious Doubt of Kafka... ( plus his Very Little Secret..) was made pretty obvious on we watched Alan Bennett's hilarious play, produced ( with much Food For Thought) by Tip Top Productions , see ...when we glimpsed Kafka, brought back to life with his mate Max Brod...and thus deposited ( along with his swirling thoughts on Work And Life) in the suburban sittingroom of the deliciously middleaged Linda and her cheesy husband Sidney..

THIS WAS a Veritable Friday night Treat.
I look forward to Tiptop's next "Seasons Extra" in April: Debbie Isett's: "The woman who cooked her husband" ...sounds tasty to me.
Hmm. Sorree.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

" Seeing The Glint In The Ordinary..."

The Sunday after Christmas saw us sitting in the cinema at 10:30 in the morning....along with 4 strangers, two of them noisily guzzling bacon sarnies... and two of them in throes of Loud Marital Disharmony... this Disharmony was SO absorbing I almost wanted the film to be delayed. However, the film wasn't delayed... and it was wonderful and if you've not seen it yet, do..
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood (with Aaron Johnson a compelling Lennon) this film gave us a 97 mins window into the teenage years of a brainy, quirky, arty, rebellious Liverpudlian lad... and we loved every minute.
In long ago years (and more recent ones) I've known simliar young men...and Johnson's performance was accurate, truthful, humourous....AND it was also immensely moving.
Through Johnson, ( plus a bevy of fine, well-established actors) AND a superb script by Matthew Greenhalgh ( we enjoyed his film re Ian Curtis of Joy Division: " Control").....we saw an era that's long gone, we saw a part of Britain, with its codes and mannerisms, its speech patterns and its cosy, middle-class routines that's also long gone......and in that context, we saw the rise of a Rock Star ( Lennon: Rebel to Rocker)......but MOST OF ALL, we felt priveleged to be part of a Coming Of Age story ... (that of the amazing Lennon, whose music will last for generations) BUT also that of (perhaps) any brilliant but ordinary teenager we may unknowingly pass on any old street...on any ordinary but brilliant old day of our lives.
A far-reaching and beautiful new film.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

"Chinese Lanterns In Lakeland Skies.."

Our Friends From The North live on the shores of Lake Coniston. And here is the fabulous view across the lake from their balcony, 1st thing New Years Day.

We arrived late afternoon New Years Eve in time for their regular NY Eve party. And although I've seen this part of the world many times, it never looked lovelier....
Driving along the length of the icy lake was magical: trees, black etched sculptures, beautiful skeletons...snow,
possibly every shade of white (!)... the brooding wintery mountains...and the moon: massive, majestic, mysterious...there in the dying light...

AND the party itself was as we expected: our friends' friends, brimming with smiles and stories.....we the outsiders but made more than welcome.
AND after Midnight, several folk released huge Chinese lanterns...up into the Cumbrian skies, along the ridge of the mountains, towards the vast waters of the lake...until they drifted beyond our sight....