I’m house sitting at a friend’s with Netflix at the moment, so I decided to watch this movie. It’s one of those staples that seems to regularly pop up on free-to-air TV, and I swear I’ve seen the same scene of John Nash (Russell Crowe) trying to chat up a pretty girl at the bar with disastrous results at least three times, but for whatever reasons I just never got around to finishing the movie.
I absolutely loved Let the Right One In, Lindqvist’s brilliant, original and macabre first novel, which offered a new take on the well-beaten vampire story, so when I saw this one at my local op shop I grabbed it immediately. While I didn’t think that Harbour was quite as strong, it’s got some of the same haunting power and memorable imagery that made Let the Right One In unforgettable. Lindqvist’s been nicknamed a “Swedish Stephen King”, apparently, and I can see where the comparisons come from: he’s got the same ability to really dig into his characters’ disturbed psyche, and conjure the atmosphere of dread from the most mundane, everyday details – but with a more European sensibility of his own.
I only watched this movie on a recommendation, because the trailer frankly looked lame and not an enticing prospect at all. In the end I was very happy that I did, because the film was absolutely delightful. The Coen brothers can be hit-and-miss for me – their films are almost always worth watching but they’re as likely to stick with me as they are to leave me cold. This movie however clicked right away.
Went to see John Grant at my favourite music venue in Melbourne, for a night of exquisite balladry and funky grooves. Forum was only maybe two thirds full, which was enough for a good atmosphere while also making it very easy to move around. I started the concert second row from the stage before deciding that the sound was kinda abysmal there, with the vocals getting lost in the mix, and moved further away which improved things significantly. Because the floor wasn’t packed like sardines in the can, it was easy to move to quieter spots whenever people around me got annoying. People who talk non-stop, loudly, at a music concert are only one step above the people who blab during the movie, in my book.
A mid-week gig in Thornbury that’s unlikely to start before 10 pm would normally be a terrible prospect, especially during a week that’s already been sleep-deprived because of a late Mad Max showing at the Melbourne IMAX theatre. But if there’s any act worth going deaf in one ear and feeling like a zombie at work the next day for, it’s these amazing ladies. Sleater-Kinney for me was one of those bands I wish I got earlier into; I became a big fan with One Beat, loved their new direction on The Woods, saw them live twice… and then they broke up. Oh. Well then. So when I heard that they were making music together again and touring, I was pretty psyched.
Out of all original trilogy films, I was curious to rewatch this one the most, because I’m sure I had only ever seen it once, and remembered virtually nothing except the big scenes that even little green aliens on Mars probably know about. And something about the ice planet. Oh and this totally not awkward scene:
I was glad I wasn’t the only person interested in the 10am Saturday session of this movie at the Palace Cinema Como. It’s no fun being by yourself in an empty cinema, as I found out last year. Luckily, two more people showed up to sit behind me mid-commercials, and even better, they turned out to be a nice quiet couple who didn’t act as if they were watching Netflix at home, so I didn’t have to shush or employ a basilisk stare.