Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Summary (first of 2014, how momentous!)

This week, I have mostly been…


Seriously. It’s been great. Well over eight hours a night, I think. I feel like I’ve got my QB mojo back good and proper.

In between slumber I have also been:

Reading | Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Amy and Nick Dunne: have a more unlikeable and dangerous couple ever been committed to print? This was the first book I read in the New Year (on a mission to clock up 50 books this year, did I mention that?...). Let’s hope book number 2 of 50 has me at least rooting for one of the protagonists.

Note to self: Hey, Self, remember you do at some juncture need to review Pride and Prejudice and Two Boys Kissing

Rewatching | Labyrinth, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins

Ah, David Bowie. Labyrinth is arguably one of my favourite films of all time, ever and ever, amen. I love how he plays Jareth the Goblin King with that delightful, blasé, throwaway edge to him. Makes me love him even more. Despite Jareth’s unnatural obsession with a teenager. Despite the mullet wig and those very tight tights.

This is by far my favourite sequence of the entire film (second favourite has to be the Escher-inspired Within You sequence):

And incidentally, on the subject of that As the World Falls Down masquerade ball sequence, have you seen this recent Louis Vuitton advert featuring Le Bowie? Remarkably derivative of that aforementioned sequence, I’d say.

But in a good way.

As for TSOM and MP, what can I say? Both are Christmas/New Year staples. And 1960s Julie Andrews was just a little bit sublime.

I somehow missed most of Mary Poppins this year up until the Fiduciary Fidelity Bank scene, but I was always left a little bereft by Feed the Birds:

Seeing | Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake @ Sadler’s Wells

This is ballet, Jim, but not as we know it.

I should disclaim, here, that roughly forty-five minutes in, I realised that my scant knowledge of the original story of Swan Lake (by way of Black Swan, to add to my culture-shaming) was moderately redundant.

{Utterly unrelated and highly gratuitous Black Swan trailer, I thank you}

Matthew Bourne has taken the story behind Swan Lake and (according to my cousin who took the initiative to look up the story afterwards!) combined it with elements of Tchaikovsky’s own life, in a moderately contemporary tale of royalty, maternal rejection and exploration of sexuality through freedom (represented by swans, there we go). Or, as Wikipedia would have it, “The plot of the ballet revolves around a young crown prince, his distant mother, and his desire for freedom, represented by a beautiful swan. This scenario is an unofficial interpretation as Matthew Bourne does not believe in scenarios for his productions and prefers the audience to interpret the story for themselves.” {Source}

It’s hard at times to tell when the story is set – but that doesn’t matter, it’s all metaphor.

What does matter is that when those swans dance (and yes, the swans are all danced by men) it’s a spectacle of pure, unbridled masculinity and elegance. (*fans self*) And it’s beautiful to watch. We were in the second row back, close enough to see sweat and hear the orchestrated moments of exhalation, and see every last sinew in motion. Which is never a bad thing, friends.

It isn’t an entirely all-male cast contrary to popular belief – key roles such as the Queen and the Prince’s ‘inappropriate’ girlfriend, and guests at the Royal Ball, are danced by women.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is on at Sadler’s Wells until the end of this month.

Remembering... | that I neglected to post any mention of this little gem of an early-learning book, found in a dear little shop in Cambridge:

Not that I'm obsessed with Jane Eyre or anything (and not that my best friend bought me the 2006 TV series on DVD so I can enjoy more Toby-Stephens-Rochester in the privacy of my own home!)...

Also found on the internet and in the sphere of The Media this week:

Following on from my list of resolutions promises for the year, Stuart Heritage on why New Year's resolutions should be abandoned (made me smile)

Also in the Guardian Weekend, Let's Move to Lydd and New Romney (among my favourite places in the world!)

It's been just over ten years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended on television. Excuse me, what now?! TEN YEARS?! TEN SPIKELESS YEARS?! Ahem. Radio 4's Front Row ran a feature on the legacy of Buffy last week.

...Yes, I listen to Radio 4.

...No, only at my parents' and only after The Archers (which I hear only under duress).

Back to work aka reality tomorrow. 


Christmas does that to you...

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