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I had a book related mishap this week. I started reading Weaveworld by Clive Barker, thinking it was his Imajica. (They have similar covers, shhhh). I read about four chapters, thinking 'this isn't as good as I remembered, and where the hell's the hermaphrodite assassin anyway? Also, carpets? What?'

Anyway, Weaveworld (weaveworld refers to a magical world in a carpet) is interesting although it has random moments of gyno-paranoia that left me quite traumatised. Some of the imagery is just-- yeech. But well, this is Clive Barker I suppose. It's not gripped me enough to finish it.

Moving on, 'In Search of Dracula' by Raymond T McNally and Radu Florescu arrrived today. It's a seveties version with a lurid cover! It was only 39p, compared to the £15 for the more recent one with an Edward Gorey cover.

cut for luridity )

Although there are surely more learned works, I'm hoping for the low down on Vlad Tepes - not so much the impaling as about his complicated relationship with his brother Radu, and the activities of his apparent nemesis, Mehmet III, who kept Vlad's head preserved in honey after his death. It's a strangely compelling story.

As an aside, I watched Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula recently. Weirdly, it makes perfect sense if you see it as a tribute to Roger Corman, especially if you go to IMDB and find out that Coppola worked as assistant director for Corman during the Hammer Horror years. I have to admit I squeed and then continuted watching the film through new, Hammer oriented eyes. There's something about the colours and the sets and the art direction that is deeply deeply evocative of Corman's Hammer films. I must've watched a Hammer horror film every Friday night for years when I was little, as probably did most of the UK population in the 70s.

***

In other news, bidding for my fiction services ends at midnight (GMT) tomorrow.
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LJ, I does not understand you. Why are you showing me posts from 16 May on my friends list?

Anyway. I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. I'd avoided it up until now because the story is such a slice of unremitting grimness that I was scared of what the film might be. And in fact I'm sorry I didn't watch it sooner because it was quite beautiful, drawing out the yearning and romance between them more than the book ever did. I liked the sense all the way through that the lives they were leading with their wives were essentially a replacement for the kind of domestic life they could never lead together, and that they might be imagining each other in those roles - it made everything all that much sadder.

I have had a spurt of reading...
Victorian Sensation by Michael Diamond. Laid to rest any further notions I had that people in the Victorian era were any more stuffy and repressed than we are. He looks at the notion of 'sensation' and how scandals and gossip would absolutely grip the nation, and for weeks on end. It's also interesting to learn how outspoken the music halls were about everyone and anything, particularly their 'betters'. He does a sort of review, going through: royalty, murder, sex, politics and the 'sensation' novel.

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, about a psychic medium and her traumatic life. 'Beyond black' is how she refers to the afterlife, the details of which she keeps secret from her public because it would upset them too much. Her banal life of being overweight, eating leaky sandwiches at motorway service stations and moving into in a 'new build' is undercut by the presence of her appalling spirit guide Morris. He lives in curtains and draining boards and likes playing with himself. Colette, her assitant, is aggressive and stony faced. I'm hugely enjoying it so far.

Vikings: Wolves of War by Martin Arnold. He writes in a very engaging and non judgemental way about the Vikings, who were basically a race of entrepreneurs, as far as I can tell. Rather violent ones, when they weren't farming. It's fairly short, so obviously there's detail lacking, but for an overview of who they were, their expansion, culture and the (sometimes scarily violent) change from paganism to Christianity, it's very good.

X Men 3

May. 29th, 2006 11:14 pm
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X Men 3 questions )
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I saw Master and Commander tonight, in a packed theatre, in the front row so I had to swivel my head back and forth to see everything. It was marvellous. The battles. The music. The beautiful friendship. The hundreds of perfect little details, not one of which I can remember right now. Ah, well, I must go and see it again. Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany were excellent. And cute too

Thornton's have brought out something called 'Toffee cream liquer'. I own a bottle. Yum.

Nano-ness

Nov. 2nd, 2003 11:07 pm
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Prologue and
Chapter one of the Good Omens all singing, all dancing angels-in-space story.

I saw Finding Nemo and thought the animation was stunning but the script was hopelessly sugary. Humbug! But I really enjoyed the gulls, and the peevish crabs, and Dory. And Alison Janney as the starfish!

And I now have season 5 of Buffy. So this weeks it's digging, writing, Buffy.

Scariness

Oct. 26th, 2003 11:24 pm
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My nose hurts! I can't decide whether to go to work tomorrow or not. On the one hand, I feel slightly better than yesterday, but on the other hand I'll be trailing round the NEC all day, and that'll be quite hard work.

And I suppose the 'here's Johnny' line in the Shining is quite scary, or would be if it hadn't been done to death over the years. It was no.1 in C4's 100 Scariest Moments. I never really did like the film as much as the book. Kubrick made Wendy into such a drip, whereas in the book she's far more resourceful.

Two of my favourite (if that's the word I'm looking for) scariest moments are; the end of the Wicker Man- the dark silhouette of the wicker man is so horrifying- and the final scene of the 1978 version of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, with Donald Sutherland's inhuman scream. Chilling.

But, Donald Sutherland! I have a thing about Donald Sutherland, despite the fact that he's worn a moustache for most of his career.

Mmmm

Oct. 9th, 2003 09:51 pm
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The Big Gay Desert Love was as fabulous, big and gay as I dimly rememember it from years ago. Peter O'Toole plays Lawrence with a strange seductive quality, and as so very vulnerable. And the way Ali looks at him. And the flirting. Good grief. And there were lots of paths: it begins with a view down a road in England, paths in the desert, tracks of feet across the sand, the path of the setting sun over the water. Like, he was, you know, on a journey. Sorry, but that's about my level of complex thinking tonight.

And [livejournal.com profile] amptowl! Yay for you!
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Oh wow. I watched Gangs of New York last night. Daniel Day-Lewis stole that film - he was stunning. From the very first shot you see of him he lights up the screen and you think who the hell is *this*? I can't think of another perfomance quite like it. The character of Bill Cutting should have been risible- everything about him was ridiculous, from his butchery obsession to his clothes, moustache and hair. He could so easily have been a two dimensional baddie, but he wasn't - he had depth, and was deeply scary, yet like all the best baddies you're in danger of falling in love with him. And I'm sure Day-Lewis threw in some cheeky De Niro impressions along the way, as a little hommage. De Niro was apparently up for the part back when the film was originally supposed to be made, in the 1970's.

This is really a film to sit and watch a few times. Besides the main plot there were so many little historical notes, like the competing fire engine crews, and the street slang, and the fashions! And the history of Five Points itself was fascinating.

Trivia fact: Johnny was played by the actor who played Elliot in ET!

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