Sunday, 28 September 2014

Tiger Puppies

So, anyone I've seen in the last few days has already heard about this, but the rest of you are in for a treat. A couple of nights ago I had one of those dreams that you just can't get out of your head, and given that it wasn't a hideous nightmare involving the slaughter of innocents, I thought it'd be nice to share it with as many people as possible.

In this dream I had gone into a pet shop and, on an impulse, bought three puppies. These were not just any puppies, however. They looked exactly like miniature tigers! Take a moment to picture them. Tigers that are small enough to pick up with one hand! So adorable! And before you start thinking that I don't know that tigers are cats, and that their babies are called cubs, in my dream they were definitely a kind of puppy because they barked.
"Woof!" Just like that!

On the way home from the dream-pet shop I started to worry that maybe buying three puppies when you already have three kittens wasn't the best idea I'd ever had. What if they didn't get on? I'd have to take the puppies back to the shop, and they were so cute that it would have been heartbreaking. Thankfully, when I got home all the puppies and all the kittens curled up in a big pile together and fell asleep.

When the tiny tiger-puppies woke up they started yapping, so I put them on their little leads and took them for a walk. It was bloody lovely. Now all I have to do is wait for some cunning and not too evil scientist to genetically modify me some tiger-puppies and I'll be sorted.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

People's Climate March

I've had a most pleasant afternoon dancing up the Embankment on the People's Climate March. This link will take you to the main website. It's mainly full of pictures from the New York March, that being where the conference on Climate Change is occurring on Tuesday, but there are events happening all over the world and there are tweets and pictures coming in from those as well.

In London there was a real carnival atmosphere. We lucked out and joined the march right next to the Hare Krishnas. Now, you might be thinking that hours of listening to a bunch of people in orange, chanting, isn't your cup of tea, but today they'd gone for something a little different. The Hare Krishnas had teamed up with an amazing singer and a drummer, being pulled along on the cart they usually use for taking food to the homeless. They'd swapped their tambourines for a bass guitar, a trumpet and (most excitingly) an electric ukulele.

They grooved up the road singing Wild Thing and No More Heroes. We sang Hear the Word outside the gates of Downing Street and cheered to the singer's calls for responsible action on climate change and austerity. We all clapped, whooped and boogied up the road, all the way from Temple to Parliament Green.

It was so much fun!

There were people of all ages, religions, races, classes, whatever, and it was such a good feeling to have such a large and diverse group with a positive message that if we work together we can make a change. If we could harness the energy and positivity from today's march, I don't think there is anything we couldn't achieve.

We could change the world.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Go and See "Pride"

  1. It's jam-packed full of the finest actors our country has to offer, all being their usual amazing selves. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine, Dominic West, to name but a few. Andrew Scott gives such a good performance that I didn't spend the whole film thinking he was Moriarty. Also, given that over half the cast are speaking with accents other than their own, I thought they all did a brilliant job. My mind has just been blown by the fact that Ben Schnetzer, playing the Belfast-born Mark, is actually American.
  2. The costume department have also done a stellar job. Anyone taking part in the current revival of 1980's fashion needs to see this film and then have a think about their clothing choices. From the small town miner's wives' mullets, to the alarmingly bejeweled purple shirt one of the main characters wears to a concert, all of the style horrors of 1984 are up on the screen for all to see.
  3. It will remind anyone who might need reminding why they should never vote Conservative and never read tabloid papers. They both vilified the striking miners and supported homophobia and that should never be forgotten.
  4. It's the kind of film we ought to be making in this country. This is a part of our recent history that could be all too easily forgotten and shouldn't, because it's really a beautiful story about people coming together to fight prejudice and injustice. I was only three in 1984, and it was so interesting to see a film about events that were occurring in my formative years, that I was vaguely aware of at the time without necessarily understanding, including being reminded of that advert warning about Aids that scared the shit out of me at the time.
  5. Dominic West has an amazing dance scene that will fill my heart with joy whenever I think about it for a long time to come.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Blood Moon - I Didn't Forget You!

In all the excitement/exhaustion after the festival, there was one film I saw at the Frightfest weekend which I really enjoyed and neglected to mention. It was on one of the Discovery Screens, home to the smaller budget, interesting little films, that the organisers never-the-less want to bring to the world's attention. In previous years we've never made it to the Discovery Screens, lacking the organisational skills to find out about the films that were on there. However, this year we decided to branch out because, a) the Vue made it really easy to get tickets and, b) we'd heard that one of the main screen films (Nymph) was worth missing.

So we found ourselves in Discovery Screen 2 watching Blood Moon a British made, Western set, low budget monster movie. I'd already come across the director, Jeremy Wooding, during my on-going Sean Pertwee mission, as he directed the incredibly fun The Magnificent Eleven, where The Magnificent Seven meets Sunday League football.

This time round it's more The Wolf-man meets Stagecoach, as a group of passengers travelling to a small, frontier town are hijacked by outlaws. While trying to outwit their captors, they discover a much greater threat, a monster that only appears on the night of the blood moon. It's a rattling yarn with a cast of familiar characters, the young newly-wed couple, the sassy business woman, the enigmatic gun-slinger, but with enough little twists to hold your attention and a nice feeling of mounting tension as the monster attacks and the people are slowly picked off.

One of my favourite things about Blood Moon are the sets. It's filmed in the only Western Town in Kent, a place called Laredo, which I am now desperate to visit. The authentic look of the buildings and their content, along with the fabulous costumes make it all the easier to believe that the events are taking place in 1897, Colorado, and not a particularly wet, 21st Century England.

I think the highest praise I can give this film is that at the end I found myself wanting to know what happens next to all the characters, and I would definitely be up for watching Blood Moon 2.

Oh, and everyone we spoke to afterwards said that Nymph was terrible.