Friday, 28 February 2014

Seen & heard: January & February


1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire managed not one but two difficult tasks: a sequel that surpassed the achievements of the first film, and a book adaptation that more than lived up to the source material.  I absolutely loved this film, and handily I had forgotten a lot of the plot so was genuinely on the edge of my seat a few times.  But really, what's not to like about a blockbuster franchise which has a kick-ass female protaganist tasked with saving the boy and which is on the side of the revolutionaries rising up against an oppressive capitalist state?!

2. I really enjoyed the Coen Brothers' new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, set amongst the denizens of the early 1960s New York folk scene.  The mid-century interiors & costumes were beautifully designed and I liked the cyclical nature of the narrative.  The main character, Llewyn, is essentially a bit of a dick, but I enjoyed the film all the moreso for this fact: I think I would have found his travails unbearably sad if I'd actually liked him. 

3. Nebraska follows father and son Woody and David as they drive from Montana to Nebraska in a doomed attempt to collect a million dollar prize, which Woody thinks he has won after getting a marketing letter.  The performances in this film were amazing; I mistakenly thought that Bruce Dern hadn't gained an Oscar nomination for his brilliant turn as the elderly, alcoholic and increasingly confused Woody and was preparing to rail against the ageism of Hollywood.  Then I looked it up on IMDB and realised that he had got a nod, so I promptly shut up.

4. I've had this on DVD for ages but never seen it, but it ended up being the only thing The Boy and I could agree on on a recent Friday night.  The story of middle aged lesbian couple Jules and Nic (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), whose lives are rocked by the appearance of their childrens' sperm donor dad, The Kids Are Alright was pretty good.  Definitely one I'd watch again.

5. I refuse to be embarrassed by my rewatch of Miss Congeniality 2 because although it's not a patch on the first one, it's still good fun.

6. If you haven't given Fargo a watch in a while, I can highly recommend returning to it.  Still as brilliant and funny and bleak as it was when I first saw it on release in 1996 (I had to look that up, and my first reaction was, "Oh my god, I'm so old!").


1. I'm pretty obsessed with husband-and-wife due Tennis at the moment, and especially their new Small Sound EP.  Mellow summer sounds in the vein of Best Coast and Beach House, I especially love the lead track Mean Streets.

2. I finally got round to buying Haim's Days Are Gone, and it's a lovely album of, again, summery pop tunes.  I am proper trying to convince myself that summer is just round the corner!

3. The Boy loves Bruce Springsteen whereas I am decidedly not keen.  So when I heard a track (Hunter Of Invisible Game) from his new album, High Hopes, on 6 Music and actually liked it, I thought maybe I'd been converted and decided to buy the CD for The Boy as a surprise present.  Well, turns out I still don't like Springsteen as I only really love that one song, but hey, T liked his gift.


  1. So out of touch, the only one of those I've seen or heard is Fargo. And only because I've had 18 years to watch it. Is it really that old? Things like that scare me. Pulp Fiction is twenty years old. Eek!


    1. It's depressing to realise stuff like that. I had a scary moment recently when I realised that, to the kids I teach, Kurt Cobain's death was as far away for them as the Beatle's splitting up was for me at their age.

  2. I really want to see Inside Llewellyn Davis. I hope it is still out when I am next back in Edinburgh so I can go with M.

  3. I definitely need to watch the rest of The Hunger Games series too. I am a fan of Coen Brothers' movies and really wanted to watch Inside Llewyn Davis (not Inside Llewelyn Bowen as I heard someone on the bus refer to it! ha!) but never got around to it. Love Haim - Days Are Gone. Great album.

    Jen |

    1. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. Even T, who generally only listens to music recorded either in the 80s or by old men who were making music in the 80s, or hip hop, likes it.