Month: February 2016

Quote of the Day

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

(I’m pretty sure he meant, if you have a garden other people look after and prune and water)

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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Film Review

star-wars-new-hope.jpgFor all its massive flaws which I wrote plenty about, The Force Awakens did manage to pull me into the Star Wars world, so I’ve decided to revisit the original trilogy, which I haven’t seen in over 15 years. Well, not the “original” trilogy but the one George Lucas updated, which is ironic considering that all that extra CGI crap he added looks really really dated these days. Luckily, the annoying tweaks in this movie are minimal and mostly involve a few fake-looking critters and environments.

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The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman – Book Review

9781742755717I’ve read this book in a bizarre pattern – read the first 50 pages, got distracted and put the book away, decided to start over, re-read the same 50 pages, got distracted again for a shorter period, picked up the book where I left it, then finished the whole thing in a day while staying at home with a cold. It started off in an intriguing enough fashion, but at one point it becomes such an emotional rollercoaster it was simply impossible to put down. It’s not without faults, but it’s a powerful read about love, family and good people making bad decisions.

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Artwork in Progress

Eight figures completed, 4.5 to go… unfortunately all four are rather complicated so that’s 4-5 more months, at least. That’s the longest I’ve spent on any of my fabric projects, I’m so taking a long break after this one. I had to start a new sheet as well since the cardboard pieces aren’t large enough. I can’t believe I actually didn’t measure them when I started my very first figure – the yellow one on the left just fits. Phew!

RvB_Nov15

RvB_Nov15

Room – Film Review

room1This movie had one hell of a harrowing premise: a young woman is imprisoned in a tiny garden shed for seven years, together with her five-year-old son Jack born as a result of her captor’s visits. In order to create some kind of semblance of normality for the boy, she pretends that the 10 square metres they’re trapped in is in fact the entire world, that beyond the walls and the roof window there’s nothing but outer space, that the humans he sees on TV are make-believe. Though it’s clear that she can barely keep it together, Jack’s Ma nevertheless manages to sustain a remarkably innocent and even happy environment for him made up of ritual and familiarity, stories and games and birthday cakes, even amidst the horror of continuing visits by Old Nick, their jailer, during which Jack is told to sleep in the wardrobe. It’s not a huge spoiler to say that eventually Ma hatches an escape plan, which is as tense and suspenseful as any thriller (and very clever too!), and the second half of the film becomes about the mother and son’s adjustment to the world beyond the Room.

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The Danish Girl – Film Review

TheDanishGirl2.jpgBased on a true story of Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery in 1920s, The Danish Girl is unfortunately too wispy, sentimental and suffocatingly conventional to do its subject justice. I didn’t really expect innovation and fireworks from the director Tom Hooper (I am still bitter about him winning Oscar over David Fincher… why Academy why?), but even a pedestrian film can often be lifted by a great central performance. And there is a great performance to be found here but it doesn’t belong to Eddie Redmayne, who plays Einar/Lily.

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