Thursday, 29 November 2012

Seen & heard November


1. Liberal Arts
I really wanted to love this film but found it problematic in its portrayal of women.  I felt that they all, but particularly Elizabeth Olsen's character, only existed insofar as they were useful to the main character - played by writer and director Josh Radnor.  It would definitely not pass the Bechdel Test.  That being said, there were a few very relatable and quotable lines (my favourite was, "I'm trying to stop using reading as an excuse to not particpate in life"), and I loved Zac Efron's recurring cameo.

2. Rust & Bone
Another one I didn't love as much as I wanted to.  Stunning performances and some incredibly memorable shots, but there were a lot of issues crammed into one 100 minute film.

3. Argo
Finally a film I liked uncomplicatedly!  Very funny, and with a fifteen minute sequence which left me literally jiggling in my seat with nerves.

As well as going to the cinema lots, I watched a stack of DVDs when I was off work sick.

1. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
As far from a generic teen romantic comedy as it's possible to get, this wise and witty film is as much a love letter to the joy of being a music fan; to New York; to the sheer thrill of being young and staying up all night.  I don't quite buy the stunningly gorgeous Kat Dennings (back when she was still good, before the exrecable Two Broke Girls) as a plain Jane, but that's a very minor quibble.  I adore this film.

2. Meet Me In St Louis
I forget how utterly cheesy this film is, and not always in a good way.  But worth it for the bliss of The Trolley Song and the wonderful Christmas sequence.

3. Singin' In The Rain
This is more like it!  It has only the merest hint of cheese, and when I felt utterly horrible and like death, it put a smile on my face.


1. After a blissful two week interlude of silence, the humming sound in my house is back, and worse than ever.  In a futile attempt to sleep better, I've taken to listening to music when I go to bed.  Sigur Ros make good bedtime listening, but getting the most play is J Tillman's Year In The Kingdom album.  Tillman was the original drummer in Fleet Foxes before leaving last year to concentrate on his solo stuff; a good move, because his lovely acoustic melodies have been lulling my to sleep very nicely.

2. I'd never heard of Sweet Billy Pilgrim until Saturday, when The Boy invited me along to see them in Leicester.  They were amazing live and although I don't like their recorded stuff quite as much, I've been listening to them a lot since the weekend.  I would suggest Kracklite and Truth Only Smiles as being good places to start.

3. It's that time of year again!  The moment when Sufjan Stevens' Songs For Christmas boxset comes out is always a sign that Christmas is well and truly on the way...

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