Feb. 17th, 2013

commonpeople1: (Avatar)
Friday Night:

Watched Paedo Roman Polanski's The Tenant. Still a disturbing movie after all these years, in particular its climax in the building's courtyard. Would love to know what Zizek makes of it: teeth inside walls, cross-dressing, people hanging out in public lavatories covered with Egyptian
hieroglyphics. To me, it's a film about schizophrenia brought on by isolation, perhaps an allegory of Polanski's own life - and even foreshadowing his escape from America and life in France.

On Saturday:

Ate pancakes with homemade syrup, honey, butter, bananas and blueberries for breakfast.  Drank coffee.  Listened to the Best of the Subway Sect while reading an article in Uncut about Vic Godard. He became a postman in the 80s and has been in that profession for nearly 30 years, but still recording music on his spare time. Then I listened to Tom Waits first album, "Closing Time", while reading another article in Uncut about how that album came to be created and what Waits was like at the start of his career. I did not like the album (too sentimental) but found a cover of "Lonely" by Bat for Lashes that is very good.

Went for a walk with my boyfriend to his
studio in Bow, keeping track of our movements through the App "RunKeeper" on my iPhone.[2] Wandered to Mile End afterwards and had lunch at a new restaurant on Mile End Road, Box Noodle. Walked through Mile End Park and visited Matt's Gallery. It had two free exhibitions: an installation by Susan Hiller called "Channels", with flickering TVs and real recordings of people who have gone through near-death experiences; and an installation of found objects by Mike Nelson which reminded my boyfriend of "Outsider Art", and for myself of Jason Voorhees.

Susan Hiller "Channels".

Mike Nelson

Walked down Mile End Road and had a look around a small exhibition in the Whitechapel Gallery on the multi-media magazine Aspen, which was published between 1965 and 1971. It was a bit like McSweeney's, with each edition curated by a different person and featuring people like Susan Sontag and William S. Burroughs. Roland Barthes' "Death of an Author" was first published in it and you can see the original draft with corrections at the exhibition. I studied this essay back in Montreal when I was in Uni - reading it again reminded me of contemporary dance for some reason, and the question of how much of a piece is the choreographer's and how much is the dancer's (limitations). Still, obviously, an interesting question for writers and what they create.

Bought pizzas and salad at Tesco, took the bus home while my boyfriend returned to his studio to collect some material he'll have printed this week. Played Xenoblade Chronicles. Made pizza with salad and ate it while watching cheesy 80s Brit chiller Haunted based on a James Herbert novel (somebody please make him stop writing! Won't somebody think of the trees?) The only good thing in it was Aidan Quinn, a bit of eye candy to distract you from the terrible performances, the silly story and the ridiculous special effects. Bizarrely, during Aidan's sex scene with Kate Beckinsale, a body double was used for him!


Next, we watched the documentary The Dungeons Masters, about three people whose lives revolve around Dungeons and Dragons. Funny, fascinating and horrifying in equal measures.[1]



On Sunday:

Had bagels, fried eggs and coffee for breakfast.  Went for a 5K run in the glorious sunshine over Victoria Park. Ran past a Canadian couple we recently met through a Scottish friend we have in common and said a quick hello. Drank a protein smoothie, took a shower, shaved and washed in the bathroom's sink a pair of winter gloves and socks.  Now writing this while waiting for Wink to bake some french fries in the oven and prepare Tuna sandwiches with the last of the bagels.

[1] I used to play Dungeons and Dragons in my early teens - I got all my friends into it.  There's even strong evidence I was the first to play Dungeons and Dragons in Brasil!!!  And I'm not kidding - it was something that didn't exist over there - it was given to me as a gift by my dad in the mid 80s after one of his trips to England. But I'll never be able to prove it.
[2] By the end of the day we'd walked about 9km accumulated over an hour and a half.
commonpeople1: (Avatar)
The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably one of the best children books ever written. It starts out like it means to be a high gothic drama, with spoiled little Mary losing her family in India and being sent to live with distant relatives in a dark and cold mansion on the Yorkshire moors. She's left to her own devises in the large house because nobody has time for her - especially not the serious and remote Lord of the house - and soon she's hearing strange cries in the night from one of the bedrooms. But all of this is just suspense wisely used to hook the reader. It's when she meets the gardner and starts spending more time outdoors (something she never did in India) that sun literally pours in and the book turns into a homage to Yorkshire's beauty.

There's a particular garden on the grounds that nobody has been inside for ten years - a secret garden that doesn't even have a visible door anymore. Mary discovers its entrance with the help of a bird and soon she's enlisted a local boy (who talks to animals and smokes pipes) to help her clear it.

I felt as happy finishing this read as I did when reading Pride and Prejudice. Only I now have a really strong desire to get back into gardening!

View all my reviews

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios