My photo for me, art and photography.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Someplace where there isn't any trouble
I got bored.

My Morning as a Time Traveller

The District Line into South Kensington was cancelled this morning because of a powercut, so I was wondering how on earth I was going to get into work. I had to go to Waterloo and take the Jubilee line and change to the Circle line at Westminster - I've never been to Westminster station or taken the Jubilee line before but oh my GOD this morning was a weird experience - London tubes are pretty much identical - kinda grubby tunnels with billboards plastered on the opposite side of the tracks with grubby white tiles going up the passenger side of the wall and across half the ceiling with some more posters and maybe a tube map or something up there too. Rows of identical looking people lined up, crowded along the platform all pushing to get on first.

The jubilee line was almost deserted. It is a maze of connecting tunnels that are lined floor to ceiling with grey things that look like speakers/subwoofers. They're all identical, bright strip lighting overhead and then you pop out into these big open spaces with aluminium tread plate underfoot and Huge metal pipes running overhead. Some long tunnels have travellators, again, it's all silver/grey and glass with strange lighting, and then the platforms themselves you have a sheet of glass blocking off the tracks from the platform with sliding doors which hiss open when the train arrives and you have to step down into the train, which I've never had to do before. Then out at Westminster and it seems to never end. I had to get up onto the Westbound circle/district line platform and there were all these people dressed in black marching past me like I'd been catapaulted through a time portal into some surrel futuristic ant colony or something and I seemed to be the only person who didn't know where I was going and looking around taking it all in - going up about four silver and glass escalators with little portals of light coming through the sides, again massive tunnels and tubes suspended from the ceiling... it was like walking into a Zamyatin novel or the set of Metropolis or something.

Dave Cole sums it up far more succinctly than me in his blog:

'Westminster tube is, for my money, the least human station on the underground.
The exposed steel and concrete, marked in places by damp and leaks, gives you
the feeling, if you go down its great maw towards the Jubilee line platforms in
the early morning, of the human race having become troglodytes after the surface
was rendered uninhabitable. It feels like a post-apocalyptic industrial complex
built for an army of workers that are turning to dust somewhere. Clearly, it is
designed to handle a large throughput of passengers but its open galleries,
sheer drops and inhumanly large scale mean that, except during the busiest
periods, you feel as if you’re on a Ridley Scott movie set. It is a vertiginous,
agoraphobia-inducing and ugly building that makes us feel like ants in a giant
formicarium and not people.'

At least I can't complain that my commute in was boring this morning.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A Few more films.

Dean Spanley:

Really enjoyed! Although a good portion of the film was the three of us watchers (friends) debating whether or not Jeremy Northam’s nose was real or prosthetic (I personally don’t care – I’m just in love with the man’s voice – he could read me a bed time story any day). It looked lovely and the old chap playing his dad was hilarious! I dunno his name, sorry – I’m hopeless with names.



Oh my GOD!! who wasn’t in this film??? seriously – Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sofia Loren, Penelope Cruz all on one screen… It’s like the cast list reads like the phonebook of Hollywood Royalty. Great numbers – amazing choreography – reminded me quite a lot of Cabaret because of the style and the dance was obviously heavily influenced by Fosse, who choreographed Cabaret. Wasn’t too keen on a couple of the melodies af the songs – Judi Dench I think had more than enough in her to have more of a challenging song that she could have rocked, and also I personally felt Nicole Kidman’s song was a little low and monotonous for her when we all know what she can do thanks to Moulin Rouge, but that’s just me being picky – I really did think the film was excellent.

Star Trek

Watched this because everyone has been banging on about it for AGES so I was like 'FINE’… it was pretty good – I mean it looked flashy and cool and I like that they focussed more on the characters as individual people rather than on the technobabble aspect which the shows seem to like so much, so I felt that made it more appealing to the general public of those who wouldn’t necessarily go to watch a ‘trekkie film’ – like all the other trek films before – this had a TOTALLY different feel to it – the other films to me were like extended episodes of the series where they’d been given a fat budget to play with, but this was a proper MOVIE movie. They also did a great job of getting a cast of younguns together who looked the parts too, the only one I wasn’t really convinced by was Chekhov – he looked a bit like a nervous little toy poodle than the other guy in the original series, but I liked him because he was sweet and forgot to take the handbrake off,  so I didn’t mind. But yeah. All in all, a good film, although my brain kind of switched off when the massive SFX bomb was dropped towards the end -  full on action and massive explosions and stuff  kinda bores me so my mind wanders off onto it's own little adventures.

Angels And Demons


I really loved the Da Vinci code movie (I feel I should point out that I haven’t read any of the books) and this latest one… it started off ok – I mean, all these films LOOK very good – I mean – no expense spared on the budget with cameras and set hire etc, but… to be honest, I really couldn’t tell you what the hell this film was about. Something about people being branded, statues pointing at places and some fella being drowned… obviously totally to do with religion, but after going' ‘oooh’ over the introduction, I just totally zoned out. Really couldn’t give a rats what was going on.

District 9

I couldn’t watch this film. It was AMAZING, the bits I could sit through, but I’m a complete humanitarian/softie so I couldn’t handle it – that kind of treatment of individuals and that level of cruelty and disassociation and total lack of sympathy and compassion between two beings just does not compute with my brain. I really want to know what happens, but it just disturbed me too much  so I had to leave, because I was watching it on my own and go so completely immersed. This film is EXCELLENTLY done – it’s done like a documentary, and.. yeah ok so there are aliens walking around, but the way it’s been done and put together is so incredibly well done and so convincingly portrayed that.. well.. for me, anyway, I had immense difficulty thinking ‘this is JUST a movie, Tash, it’s not real’… beause this film isn’t’ JUST a film about aliens vs humans, it’s a very intense social commentary on just how absolutely VILE we are as a race. We’re really disgusting creatures – and I know in the film it’s south africans vs aliens, but it could just SO easily be about.. for example, black v white during the colonial times with slaves on plantations and how they were treated, it could be about Jews v Nazis in the 2nd WW and how we treat anything we regard as being below ourselves and that we take a disliking to en masse. Watching this film really made me almost feel ashamed to be human in a way because we KNOW that these things do happen and we are the cause of it. If you’re not a complete bag of mush like me, go and see this, it is AMAZING. I just wish I was made of tougher stuff so I could have made it though the whole film.

Friday, 1 January 2010

4 Kids Films and one Grownup Film – my opinions of

I’m a big kid at heart. Had the end of year blues in a big way last night – definitely not helped by a horrible toothache from my wisdom tooth deciding to make a bid for freedom resulting in a colossal headache. So basically I spent the day in bed with a hot water bottle on my face  feeling sorry for myself watching kids films on BBC iplayer to cheer myself up. I’m wondering how much ‘wisdom’ this tooth will bring me in the new year.

Watched a grown up film the previous night so I’ll do that one first:

The New Sherlock Holmes Movie

Brilliant film. I’ve grown up on murder mysteries- I LOVE them and my dad absolutely loves Sherlock Holmes, so I’m used to a tall, elegant, immaculately dressed, soave, slightly peculiar in the head Victorian opium addict with a cape, a nose like an eagle and a deerstalker or a top hat.

Basically this bloke:



So when a tall, elegant, immaculately dressed, soave, man appeared on the screen I thought ‘Yep. That’s my Holmes’… and then the camera panned down to a rogueish, scruffy, bohemian hobbit-like creature who opened his mouth and said ‘Watson’.. I was very confused. I was like ‘WHAT??? that’s not Holmes! That’s never Holmes!’. He is as far from the Holmes I’ve grown up knowing as you can get really, BUT this is not necessarily a bad thing. The banter between Holmes and Watson is absolutely brilliant and by about the first 10 minutes of the film I thought ‘You now what? If he wants to be Holmes, that’s fine by me’. His English accent was pretty convincing too – there are few things that irritate me as much in films as an American attempting to do an English accent and getting it wrong. I really couldn’t find fault with him. The girl from The Notebook was also in it – she looked pretty but that’s about it, I thought she was pretty irrelevant as a character – seemed she was kind of thrown in there with a vague tie to the plot to serve as eyecandy for the male members of the audience. The bloke who played Moriarty was excellent! (although he looked quite a bit like the lovechild of the Sherlock Holmes pictured above and Poirot, which made me smile so I didn’t find him as scary as I perhaps ought to have done). Quite a few special effects used in this film, but unlike most new films they weren’t done to death – they added to the film rather than compensated for a lack of a storyline (think The Pirates Of The Carribbean – Davy Jones’ Locker as an example of all Special FX and no substance). A couple of bits were predictable and I thought maybe more of a danger element could have been put in there to balance out the comedy (if I’m being brutal) but all in all a really good film which I’d give a good 8/10 for.

The Incredibles

Seen before a number of times – great characters, brilliant animation and creativity. Always a good watch when there’s nothing on.


Never seen this before, even as a kid (It was all about the Secret Garden for me when I was a kid) – made in 1995 and featuring some kid called Emma(?)  Bolger.  Was pleasantly surprised – I thought this is going to be sickly and twee and full of mush. Really wasn’t that bad. Had Diana Rigg in it playing a nice old grandma which was a bit of a shock to the system as I’ve only ever seen her play Psychos before so I was half-wondering when she’d murder Heidi in her sleep or something LOL. Also had the woman in it who played the housekeeper in Father Ted as Heidi’s aunt. My main question about it was this: Why is Heidi Irish?? seemed incredibly random that the thing is set in the Alps yet the cast is English and Irish. I haven’t read the book so I dunno if maybe Heidi came over from Ireland or something when her folks died… who knows. I liked the kid who played her though – I usually find child actors insufferable, but she was ok.

Here it is on Youku if you wanted to watch it and can’t get iplayer

The Shaggy Dog

A good brainless post-christmas-dinner kinda movie about a man who gets bitten by a dog and turns into one himself to uncover a plot by mad scientists to make people live forever. Quite predictable – turned out mainly about the protagonist realising what a dick he is in regards to his family and resolving to be a better person.

Bridge to Terabitihia

Nice gentle-paced film about kids imaginations. Quite slow, if I’m honest – one of those films that kind of drifts along for hours without any real direction. Had a twist at the end I didn’t see coming and which hit a nerve but a fairly likeable film about being a kid and growing up and learning that life isn’t easy and things aren’t always as they seem. Thought the girl in it was beautiful – she’s going to be a real looker when she grows up! Not the best actress but I liked her, and the guy’s kid sister was absolutely adorable and a great little actress for such a pint-sized person. I think she’ll go on to do good things.


So. Those are my films from the past few days. Going for a walk with the folks today so I may (or may not) have some photos worth doing something with when I come back.