Sunday, 30 January 2011


Uurgh I'm annoyed with myself and embarrassed at this most recent show of blinding insecurity. 

I may have possibly spent the last 10 minutes doing an attractiveness comparison with an irrelevant chick's facebook photos. 


In my defence, she should really have better privacy settings.  Seriously, who has their facebook page, wall, info and photos open to any Tom, Dick and Harry with a broadband connection?

In case you are curious, today I was hotter than her.  I'm not being bitchy, she's pretty, with gorgeous skin.  But whatever, Sunday's always leave me in a warm, self satisfied mood so sod it, I win this round!  In the harsh grey light of Monday morning I may come to a different conclusion and those emotional scalpels may leave metaphysical scars. 

Maybe I'm a masochist. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


By the skin of my teeth I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Fela! last week.  I'm not going to review it.  There are reviews, professional and otherwise, the length and breadth of the internet and they are universally positive.  I don't have anything to add.  Just go and see the show and you'll understand. 

But it did raise a few issues for me that I'll be addressing in the next few weeks, when I actually find the time and mental accuity to write something.  I have no idea why I'm so exhausted right now.  I'm going to suggest that I should probably stop being a bum and do some exercise since I'm doing everything else, taking my vitamins, sleeping a lot, eating right, drinking water, but running never actually materialised.  I think if I focus on the endorphin rush which I loved last year, I might be able to kick start something this weekend.  We'll see.

That was a bit of a tangent.

Yes Fela! (and I feel like the exclamation mark is important and should always be included) gave me ideas, so look out for them in the next few weeks.

Spike Lee - "The african butt shaking, hehehe" - seriously - these chicks were not playyyyyyying.  I've been doing my clock daily (Fela! joke - go see it!)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Chico and Rita

Originally I heard about Chico and Rita back in November and I was intrigued.  I made plans to see it at the Picturehouse, but unfortunately those plans fell through and I wasn't really in a cinema mood for a while after that.  When I finally looked for a cinema that was still showing the film, I was so disappointed to find I'd missed it.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  I couldn't even find it online *shh - I was desperate*! 

Thank God for facebook.  After an impassioned plea Film Chick came to my rescue and pointed me towards a little cinema off Leicester Square for film lovers.  It shows films that have finished their general release as well as some old flicks and preview screenings.  They were showing Chico and Rita until the end of the week.  So today I took myself to Green Park, strolled down Piccadilly and settled into my leather seat in Leicester Square, hoping that all the effort had been worth it.

Check out the trailer:

How beautiful is that?

It was definitely a readjustment, remembering how to appreciate hand drawn animation.  The imperfections, the movement, the facial expressions all added to "el espíritu de la película"**.

Visually the film was a treat.  Musically it surpassed even that.  Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie made two of many jazz musician cameos.  There was a little Casablanca, a little Josephine Baker and the song - Beseme Mucho.  I don't know who sung it originally, but Nina does it justice below. 

The film was never silent.  40s/50s jazz played a starring role with its own moods and the characters seems to act in accordance with the music rather than the other way around.  The film could have been a music video - and that is meant in every way as a compliment to the way that the images and the music combine for a truly sensual experience. 

Sadly even after all of this I left the film spectacularly annoyed!


Thursday, 13 January 2011

love and other drugs

Directed by:
Edward Zwick

Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie Randall
Anne Hathaway as Maggie Murdock

I watched this film just as 2010 ended.  I was in the Picturehouse with maybe 6 other people, embracing the peace and sweet popcorn that comes with a solo cinema trip.  I didn't have great expectations.  I had just watched The Tourist and seen how two actors, who individually are amazing, can suck the life from a film if they lack chemistry.  Save your money, The Tourist shouldn't even be bought on DVD.  Rent it if you must.  But don't say I didn't warn you.  However my girl-crush on Anne Hathaway and straight up lust for Jake Gyllenhaal meant I had to give this film a chance, and it didn't disappoint.

The film seems to consist of parallel plot arcs.  The first is an expose of the seedy, morally bankrupt drugs industry.  We're shown ostentatious displays of wealth by pharmaceutical companies, the greed of the drugs reps, and the unscrupulous doctors who push drugs from the company most likely to get them to Hawaii that summer.  The characters in this plot are almost uniformly obnoxious with few redeeming qualities and their lavish displays of wealth are nauseating.  Sadly we don't see any redemption for these characters and their excess makes them increasingly irrelevant as the film progresses.

The second arc is the love story and this is the reason this film touched me.  I didn't realise how accustomed I'd become to seeing teenagers fall in love on the big screen.  Boys with floppy hair and piercing eyes (Zac Efron and Robert Patterson, I mean you!) serenading a pretty, smart, ethnically ambiguous girl the night before the big game (thank you very much Disney).

But Maggie and Jamie are adults and this is grown-up love, admittedly through the eyes of two very emotionally stunted people who connect physically way before any emotion is involved.  The much reported nudity isn't explicit or exploitative.  It's really natural and fresh, almost European in its approach.  And a definite two fingers up to the typical Hollywood post-coital scene with the duvet demurely above the level of the breasts of the actress and pubic hair of the actor.

At first glance Maggie and Jamie are pretty cliche.  The slacker, turned smooth talking drugs rep with the ability to charm his way into any and all knickers, and the beautiful but terminally ill artist, with a spiky wit that keeps people at arms length - you have definitely seen these characters before.  But Jake and Annie (yes, we're cool like that) breathe life into these characters, flesh them out and actually make you care about their journey.

Unfortunately the love story is marred by the addition of Jamie's younger brother.  An unnecessary purveyor of masturbation, porn and voyeurism humour which stands out rudely from the overall tone of the film.  I wish that Zwick had left this character on the cutting room floor. 

Rating - 3.5/5

The best romantic comedy I have seen in a long time with some unfortunate, unnecessary additions.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Definitely not me - not today...

This morning I laid in bed and thought about running.

On an earlier trip to the bathroom I'd opened the blinds and noted the damp, puddle stained tarmac. I squinted at the grey on grey landscape examining the air for raindrops. It would be nice to explain my failure as the result of weather.

It wasn't raining.


I disengaged my phone from its nightly charge and crawled back into bed anyway. The morning routine of Facebook, BBC news and Guardian mobile was over quickly. Predictably the world had changed very little in the eight hours I spent unpluggled. But an informed runner is a better runner...right?

Whatever you have to tell yourself.

Last night I had all the necessary motivation. I located my underused sports bra (although it would probably be easier just to bandage the ladies down). My running shoes were clean and left by the door. I even sourced some bass-heavy house music from my current music teacher and superstar DJ friend.  I was ready!

Now I'm frozen with indecision. I'm not tired.  I'm in bed because it is the warmest, most comforting place in the flat and leaving it means I have to start my day. Starting my day means deadlines, requirements, patients, lectures and pressure, all of which (along with cold) are repelled by the almost magical qualities of my duvet. Adding running to the morning clearly is not an attractive prospect.

Why must I torture myself? I'm currently at the lowest weight I have been for years. With very little effort on my part (spending my money at rather than I'm happy with what I see in the full length mirror ~85% of the time. I have a genetically pre-determined tendency to carry weight on my legs not my belly (thanks mum!), which is apparently healthier (subcutaneous rather than visceral fat) but makes rocking a skirt problematic. But I lack fitness. Running for buses reduces me to a hot, sweaty, wheezing mess.

Maybe I'm not built for running?

It's time to get up...

...It's raining!

Monday, 10 January 2011