kate and pansy
think about taking over the world
but instead decide to take another drink
Thursday, December 23, 2004

It also probably completely and totally reinforced that southern californian tag. Next on the list, a film I took on dvd with me to vegas on the last trip. Alas, I only got to watch the first third. So I missed the happy dating, the break-up, the what these days would be called stalking, the mother's attempt at seduction and of course the whole prom scene. First time I came across Nicholas Cage. The Plimsoles appearing several times. A soundtrack I wish I owned (I wonder if I could find it on itunes...). I can even remembe ditching a Rainbow girl funciton and getting my boyfriend to drive me and my best friend down to the Galleria where we wondered around with wide-mouthed yokel grins for about 45 minutes before turning around and heading back up to the mountains. Ah. Valley Girl.

posted at 6:51 AM
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I didn't get anyone a goat. A fruit tree, HIV prevention and a midwife. And no I don't want a goat. Dear Santa, I would like for Christmas,
1. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell (I suspect I will be shopping for this on December 27th).
2. Subscription to lovefilm.com. Just six months will make me happy!
3. My very own home cinema and not one of those dvd players with lots of speakers. I've been watching Cribs, you know what I want Santa Baby.
4. Of course, something from Tiffany's would never go amiss. I'd really like a pair of the 1828 earrings.
5. A case of red wine, a case of white wine, a case of champagne and well several bottles of grey goose. If I have to get more wine racks, so be it!
6. One of those Boots portable little bars because I have visions of me at Castleward, mixing up martinis. Have bar, will travel!
7. A pony. Alright, maybe I am too big for a pony. A nice 10 year old well trained gelding along with a stable boy to keep him clean.

Thank you Santa.

posted at 12:44 AM
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Because I almost did film number 6 yesterday and thought, only for a moment mind you, that I would link it to a story in the local papers about two lads in a suicide pact. But I won't. Though a whole bunch of images flashed through my mind in hearing of the story all because of this film. I saw a good four or five times in the cinema when it first came out. Which is not something I have ever done before or since. I loved the set design. There is the chest of drawers in Winona Ryder's room and the handles are all punctuation marks. As always I love the dialougue and can quote great big chunks of the film. "oh, the humanity", "I don't patronise bunny rabbits", "static killed the dinosaurs". Yes it is a comedy. A teen comedy. But it is a dark satire with far too many good looking people with perfect lives. Not my high school experience. Though I might sympathise with the whole idea of blowing up the high school. I suppose I shouldn't say that post-columbine. And well it was my favorite revenge of the high school nerd (cos that's what nerds do, they grow up and write satires in which horrible things happen to the stars of the football teams) until Joss Whedon came along and wrote the show I will go to my grave wishing I could have written for with satire, more biting and more over the edge and even more successful. Makes my geeky little heart warm with pride, it does.

And the wall is painted. It looks great. Need new curtains now (the black ones no longer work in the room). There was also a wedding last week (with far too much drink taken and not enough water) and then a conference, which I did not enjoy and well I had a couple of job interviews for internal positions. They went well. That's all I am saying. That and I am now planning on buying a new car.

posted at 1:37 AM
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Friday, December 10, 2004

Wow again! It must be getting close to christmas!

posted at 12:51 AM
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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Which is a bit of a tragedy because today we finally reach an out and out romance in the film list (yes, I am female. no, I don't get the austen thing). Still, in keeping with the previous entries, it should come as no surprise that I love it because of its dialogue and its style. Indeed, I'd argue it is one of those movies that has ruined me. Much as in my ideal life I am an egyptologist by day and adventurer by night who has a big country house in the home counties with Hugh Grant as a neighbor on one side and George Clooney on the others (I think the would make entertaining neighbors, alright! I have visions of Hugh dropping by to borrow a cup of sugar) and am quite handy with an epee, I am also ideally, Katherine Hepburn having to choose between Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Now, I love Jimmy. I went trick or treating in Beverly Hills when I was 21 because someone at my university told me that when they went trick or treating the following year they had knocked on the door of Mr. Stewart's house and he had invited them all in for hot cocoa. I did not find Mr. Stewart's house. I did get a serious haul of candy. And also watched the scariest film I have ever seen. But we can talk about that later when the director shows up on the list. So, I want someone to call me yaw.

posted at 8:22 AM
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I actually think of myself as more of a jack of all trades and master of none or just plain old-fashioned dilletente but with less gin. Thanks for the decorating advice. For what its worth, it is a big room (but with low ceilings which is why the only place the shelves made out of an old rowing boat can go is next to the stairway) with a huge front window that you can see Larne Loch from (if you wanted to come and visit) and at the opposite end has two glass-pained doors leading to the dining room and then big double glass doors leading outside. So I think we are going to risk the burgandy and if it all goes horrible wrong, the Tedster will just get to repaint. I know there are those that think I am cruel, evil and selfish for putting together a list of fun activities for my parents when they visit. But really, they like to help out and they would get bored. Of course, that doesn't mean I am not evil cruel and selfish as well as quite tight when it comes to finances but hey I am not even buying the B&Q value paint this time but opting for premium paint! Of course I am worried just what I may end up buying if I go car shopping with the Tedster but I'll keep you updated on that.

And it isn't all Dashell Hammet. We get to revisit William Faulkner and the Coen Brothers as we hit another great noir writer, Raymond Chandler at number five. I struggled over this one. I thought should it be Casablanca? I can't do two Bogarts. And for the record Casablanca is probably the film I have seen the most times in the cinema. Easily 5 or 6. One of my favorite screenings was at midnight at QFT and you got a half pint of guinness with your cinema ticket (of course open returning home, the stalker ex-boyfriend showed up, but that is an entirely different story). But much as this list would have included Rashomon a few years back, it now no longer has Casablanca. It gets The Big Sleep instead. Think about it. Bogart. Bacall. Script by Faulker. Based on the novel by Chandler (who a) isn't sure what the plot is all about either and b) mentions Tehachapi in another novel). And well, it has great dialogue. I particularly love Mr. Marlowe saying, "I don't like my manners much either. I grieve over them on long winter nights." I do that too. Grieve over my manners. Not so much solving crime and getting shot at. And what is it with Mr. Marlowe. Women just throw themselves at him! Makes me want to go home and watch it again. Oh, and someday, maybe when I have friends again, I want to have a movie night and show it and the Big Lebowski. Don't know if I serve whiskey or white russians. But that is my idea of a great Firday night in.

posted at 6:17 AM
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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Not that anyone will answer. We want to paint a wall in the living room. At the moment all the rooms downstairs (except the kitchen, utility room and cloakroom) are magnolia. A nice, lovely magnolia. Well we also have a lovely portugese limestone fireplace (that I don't burn fires in because then I would have to clean it) and it sort of fades into the magnolia walls. So the H and I thought that if we painted the wall a different colour it would contrast more with the lovely fireplace. I had originally thought a deeper yellow, maybe a saffron or even being daring and going with a terracotta. The H wants to be really, really daring and suggested at first a deep aubergine. Now he wants a deep burgandy. I worry that the colour will a) be too dark and b) just through the rest of the room out of colour balance. Am I mad?

Number four on the list I always introduce as the reason I am a socialist. Strong words, I know. And lots of people say I am not a socialist or at the very least an exceptionally bad socialist. But at the very least its why I am a union member (and always will be). Its Matewan. There are certain directors whose work I will always go and see. Always. Go out of my way. We've already come across one of them with the Coen Brothers. Others on that list would include: John Sayles, Alan Rudolph, Hal Hartley, Spike Lee. I love Sayles. Lone Star is probably his most accessible and perhaps most mainstream. He has a cameo in Lee's Malcolm X (as an FBI agent, how intertextual is that?!?) but Matewan, as I said, has got those capitalism/owner bad politics that I love in Red Harvest. Cineamatic. Great cast. Strong female character. Tragedy and all the rest. I love movies. And I carry a union card.

posted at 5:06 AM
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Monday, December 06, 2004

But I do wonder am I sometimes perverse just for the sake of being perverse or am I genuinely perverse? And by that I don't mean taking part in minority sexual practices. Its more the 'Kathy always marched to the sound of her own drum' comments of my mother (who really did say that at one point). Take for instance, number three on the list. I don't know anyone else who would call this film their favorite of the Coen Brothers. Now I love the Coen Brothers. I have ever since watching Blood Simple on video my first summer of college while working on a jigsaw (not recommended as there were a few twists to the plot). I adored Raising Arizona (but Mr. Cage will appear elsewhere on the list). I even saw the Hudsucker Proxy in the cinema. And no its not Fargo, that would be too easy. Following on from Yojimbo, my third favorite film is Miller's Crossing. I don't know what it says about me that I have two films of the same story in my top five. Maybe its a good story? But back to the film! I love it from the opening with the hat being blown across the leaf-strewn forest. I love John Turturro who is just so slimey in the whole film. I love the cops. I love the guns blazing danny boy scene. I love this movie. It is so perfect. Particularly on the big screen. And it is one more for the noir column of my life.

posted at 6:56 AM
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Friday, December 03, 2004

Because when I finish my top ten movie list, I am posting my Christmas list. Number two of the list, if you haven't guessed already, is Yojimbo. It's my only foreign film! I saw Rashomon when I was 20 and was completely and totally blown away. Even now thinking about it, it reminds of a history prof. I had who maintained all young people needed to go to Europe because it was only when you are young that you had the egotism to think that as you strolled along the Seine and stopped for a glass of wine that you and you alone were finally getting the key to civilisation and old culture. And for years I can say that was my relationship with Rashomon. I thought the whole what is the truth, different narratives, the re-telling of the story again and again (this was before I fell in love with Faulkner or indeed Morrison's Beloved*), I was struck by the genius and for years that film was in the Kate top three. Then I watched it again in my late 20's and I wasn't as caught up. Yojimbo is different. Didn't see it until later. Always loved the story (indeed we are going to see it again at film number three). It was Dashell Hammett! He's a fellow traveller! Its all about the evils of communism! But forget the story for a moment, its all about the visuals too! From the moment the dog wanders across screen with the hand in its mouth, to watching Mifune using every visual trick I would usually associate with Clint Eastwood, it is a wonder. I bow down to Kurosawa who takes all the things I know and am familiar with in the western canon and puts them in an Asian context. Who bewilders and amazes me. Who constantly stretches my understanding of the narrative. And who does it with great visual flair (oh, the beautiful war scenes in Ran!)
*you think I will blog about movies and yet books and authors just keep popping up! I can never decide which medium I love more, film or book. Don't make me choose!

posted at 4:13 AM
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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Why reading is a gift from the gods and well maybe someday I will blog about tv. Well, other than CSI of course.

posted at 8:40 AM
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I've been inspired by the latest Channel 4 show that listed the top 100 films in UK based on bums on seats. The shows themselves lead to the inevitable discussion between the H and I on what we may have missed. I can't believe he hasn't seen "The Sound of Music" but then I haven't seen "One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" though I can remember my parents comign back from the cinema after seeing it. Anyway, I've been thinking about my top 10 films and well, I've got a list and I know I should start at 10 and work up but well, I figure the stuff I have to say about number one relates to other films and well, I can't figure out how I would write up, so to say so we are going to have to start at the top. Strangely enough it is Chinatown. I am not a huge Jack Nicholson fan. But I did, in my early 20's go through a big Polanski phase. I thought the way his pictures looked with the colours was simply amazing. And well, Faye Dunaway wears such hats! I also used to think that when I grew up I might have that kind of all together look that Faye has. I used to watch my mother shop while she tried to find a top to match trousers and then jewelry that went the outfit and I'd think someday when I am a grown up I will have my bag match my shoes. No more navy with black for me. It hasn't happened. And I don't think I am going to get much more grown-up. I pay my mortgage. I worry about the Blessing's education. I shout about people leave clothes all over the floor. I am a respectable cat owner. What more is there to the grown-up thing?

Anyway, this film puts down the structure for so much of what I like in life. The use of light and the whole Noir in the daytime (if my top ten list was longer it might include LA Confidential if only so I could talk a bit about Ellroy and Delillo). The alternative history to LA. Something I had never even thought about this before the film and always then leads me onto City of Quartz but which is one of those books that is seared in my mind. And well that great Robert Townsend script. And have I mentioned Faye Dunaway? The Hats? LA? Noir?

Tune in tomorrow for number two which I would maintain keeps up the noir theme despite being japanese and well western and well japanese and well western and...

posted at 6:58 AM
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Just like the state of nature, nasty, brutish and short...I was always fond of the nickname 'Craxi'...Sometimes I cook, sometimes I tend bar, sometimes I even knit. Mostly I try not to read the plethora of government publications that cross my desk and write one page summaries.
favorite food: lobster. ben and jerry's ice cream
favorite show: CSI
favorite drink: grey goose vodka (with ice, it doesn't need anything else)
age: far older than I like to admit/contemplate

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