More like, music I got ages ago but didn’t get to write about, but better late than never.
Christine and the Queens – Christine and the Queens
Why does everything sound so much more charming when it’s sung in French, or with a French accent? Christine and the Queens is the androgynous alter ego of the French singer Héloïse Letissier, who alternates between English and French on this album but is at her most appealing when she sings in her mother tongue. Catchy, top-notch electronic pop with some provocative lyrics.
Caught up with the other Amy Adams movie released recently, and a very different beast to Arrival where she also starred. Directed by Tom Ford, it’s exquisitely photographed, strongly acted, and does well to create meshing narratives with their own moods and textures, but in the end it all felt rather hollow and trying-too-hard. There’s much to admire about it, but my reaction in the end pretty much boiled down to, so what.
Looking at the title, I presumed that this was going to be a book about the afterlife, something like The Lovely Bones, but in fact its meaning is one life after another. This book doesn’t treat death as final: its protagonist, Ursula Todd, dies when she is born in 1910 with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Then in the next chapter and the next life she gets another chance: the family doctor who originally couldn’t be present because of heavy snowfall makes it to her birth, and cuts the cord in time. A few chapters later, five-year-old Ursula and her sister Pamela drown at sea, then in another life they get rescued by a stranger who happens to be nearby. A year later she falls to her death out of the window while trying to rescue a favourite doll, then she is stopped by the kitchen maid before she climbs the windowsill and lives on.
I wasn’t sure at first if I could warm up to this movie about a bunch of twenty-somethings in New York, but in the end it was charming and well-observed enough to endear itself, though its charm is a tad on the self-conscious side. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is shot in rather plush and gorgeous black-and-white, evoking memories of Woody Allen’s Manhattan.
Ok maybe not. But given the choice, I think I’d still prefer to re-watch George Lucas’ misguided trilogy rather than this latest soulless snorefest from Disney. As terrible and stilted the prequels are, they’re at least terrible in a zany, colourful and unique way and whatever else they made me feel it wasn’t boredom.
I caught what was probably one of the last screenings of this film in Melbourne, from the far left seat in the first row of a tiny movie theatre. Which usually would have been a major source of irritation – I hate sitting too close to the screen at the movies – but all of that went out of the window as soon as it started. With less than half a month left to 2016, I feel pretty safe in saying it was my favourite film and best lead performance I’ve seen all year. While elegantly shot and full of oh-so-tasteful-and-French interiors, it’s very much a Paul Verhoeven film, provocative and full-blooded.