keep your hand at the level of your eye

i just found this amazing youtube mash-up today – it is the original japanese cast of the pantom of the opera singinging ‘stranger than you dreamt it’ alongside the 1925 lon chaney phantom film
fucking brilliant!

i don’t know if if i’ve ever bored you with how much i hate joel scumacher’s phatom of the opera but i’m going to. finding that clip has just brought all my seething resentment about it bubbling to the fore again.
let me put my cards on the table here: i like musicals. there, i said it. and yes, i like the phantom.
it was always going to be a bit dicey translating it to film. alan parker did a really good job of evita but by nature of it’s ‘theatricality’ (ok, implicit borderline ridiculousness) phantom was always going to be a little more tricky.

so they gave the job to joel ‘i nearly killed batman’ schumacher.

everything about the film is terrible. too many static shots of people standing signing at each other. too much gerad butler swishing his cape around like a cow tail. too much of jennifer ellison murdering every line she has. just too much, really.
i’ve since found out that mr s originally wanted antonio banderas for the phantom which would just about explain why gerad butler is playing it as antonio banderas as zoro. almost.

there are a lot of awful things about the film which, to be fair, are also awful about the stage version but somehow they read so much worse on screen. the orchastration is pretty outdated to say the least (drum machine and keyboard aplenty) but how hard would it really be to sort these out a bit for the film? the original novel by gaston leroux is gothic in the traditional sense (closer in tone to the novels of jekyl & hyde or frankenstein) and there was a wonderful opertunity to team up the musical score with something just a little more believable and darker. instead it’s like someone described ‘goth’ down the phone to their mother and told them to direct it. whilst playing flamenco music.

ironically, the one thing in the film that i was most worried about before hand was the only thing i really enjoyed in it: minnie driver as carlotta. i have always pictured carlotta as more of a hag-diva, a miriam margoyles type. but give the girl her dues – she did a good job of brightening up an otherwise loathsome experience.
oh, that and getting to see simon callow sing – i could watch that man read the back of a tin of peas and be happy.

but the leads – oh god. neither of their voices are anywhere near rich enough for the roles. the girl who plays christine (she is so dull i can’t even remember her name and refuse to google out of spite) is just a wet little lassie who could be a million other wet little lassies. her voice is clear enough, but so boring. the benchmark will allways be sarah brightman and and michael crawford. sarah brightman has an incredible vocal range and allthough she is most known for being able to hit those incredible high notes at the end of the title song it’s often when she sings in the lower register that she really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. she often reminds me of an operatic kate bush in that sense.
and michael crawford had just the perfect voice for the part: dark, emotional, syrupy. he can be quite creepy in places but also childlike and delicate.

this video clip sums up everything i hated about the film

when she appeared around the corner on the horse i actually burst out laughing in the cinema.
no need for the horse. none.

Look at your face in the mirror, I am there inside

i finally got around to seeing mirrormask tonight and – oh my goodness – i loved it so much. if you haven’t seen it yet the clip above is the perfect taster. it shouldn’t spoil anything but is an amazing set piece in it’s own right.
mirrormask is a proper fairytale – suitable for quite young kids but with some wonderfuly creepy bits too. visually it contains the most amazing imagery but also some superb ideas. it deals with the classic allegory of adolecence and the love/hate relationship you have with your parents at that age, but with a unique twist that feels at once modern and ancient.
i loved coraline and this was in a very similar vein, but all the better for being in glorious 3d.

hoggy hoggy hogwarts

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look! i just built my own hogwarts! exactly how cool is that???!!!

brett by numbers

since the gig i’ve been obsessing over all things anderson and trawling through the back catalouge. it’s nice to ‘rediscover’ songs you’ve loved for years. after a while you stop hearing them when you’ve listened to them so many times but every once in a while you can still put your earphones on, close your eyes and capture something of how it felt the first time you heard it. also, i’ve found songs appealing to me now that i never really liked at the time. i’m not sure if this is due to my tastes changing or just hearing something removed of the time and context.
so whilst i’m obsessing i thought i might write a little multi-media tour through brett’s career. partly for those who don’t know much about him, partly for those who do and partly for some good old self indulgence!
mr anderson (a phrase which i can now only hear in hugo weaving’s voice) was originally known as the lead singer of suede – of whom, please excuse me while i quote myself:

like many pallid adolecents stranded in early ninieties suburbia suede were my teenage dream. they were the band i would wait forever outside a venue for, the band i talked to when no-one was looking, the band i would take a punch for.

more than a band: a badge. a gang. a gun.

 

so without further ado i shall begin at the (almost) beginning…

    first album ‘suede’

animal nitrate – 1993

this is the video i properly fell in love with suede to. i can still remember watching it (open mouthed and holding my breath) on 120 minutes in a scene not unlike the ‘that’s me, that is’ bit in velvet goldmine. it had everything i could possibly want in a pop video at that age – grimy urban settings, deviant sexuality, david lynch curtains, good cheekbones, arse spanking, thinly veiled drug references and social politic. oh aye, and a breakdancing pig.
hard as it is to believe in retrospect this video was considered ‘controversial’ at the time and the chart show infamously refused to play it in full…
Continue reading “brett by numbers”

staring blankly at my navel

last night i had an epiphany of sorts. i was in the 13th note watching a band when someone got up and bumped the table on the way past. before i knew it i had moved it back into place.

and there it was – the thunderbolt moment. a microcosm of my personality.

oh god, i thought, that’s what i am:

the kind of person that straightens the table in a rock bar.

who are you and what have you done with hermione granger?

thanks to brucha for the animated gif

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a big topic in the potter fandom right now is the rather obvious spot-the-difference between the original order of the phoenix poster and the new ‘extra breast for your buck’ imax version (it’s not just the ‘final battle’ that’s in 3d etc..) this has been talked about a lot elsewhere but.. you know, i’ve got to have my say too…
most hp fans are pretty angry about it but i just feel sort of weary to be honest. we’ve been here so many times with other young girls in the media and with hermione/emma watson.

well, maybe a teensy weensy bit angry too.

damn it, i’m livid!

from a general viewpoint i have a major issue with photoshoping a 17 year old’s breasts to make them look bigger, no matter what the movie.

from a potter-specific perspective it angers me because of all the characters to do this to hermione is the most upsetting. for those who don’t know the books well hermione is a bright, bookish girl descibed in philosopher’s stone as having “a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth” indeed when she glams it up for the yule ball in goblet of fire – in the book at least – she actually performs magic on herself to be ‘pretty’ for the night. but having made her point (mostly to the gobsmacked ron) she returns to herself the following day. (as opposed to the ‘transformation’ in the film which is basically just an allready rather pretty girl with – shock horror – her hair up and a frock on) it’s not that hermione is ugly or plain or whatever that is important – what is important is how it’s not the most important thing to her. she begins the books quite socially awkward and as she get’s older she does mellow a little but she is still the outsider girl’s heroine. ballsy, uncompromising and clever as all hell.
now, i apreciate that many of the characters are prettied up for the big screen – and to be honest i think most notably so with the male characters such as snape and krum. however all of this dollying up is just such an anathema to hermione’s basic character that it’s really getting beyond a joke. when the hair got smoothed down i let it pass. when the pink hoodie came out i let it pass. good god, i was even coping with the now infamous ‘does my hair really look like that in the back’ quote. but this is too much. i am putting my small pink foot down.
those are not emma watson’s tits and they are certainly not hermione’s. at this rate i won’t be entirely surprised if they replace emma watson with an olsen twin for half-blood prince.
emma watson is 17 and the character she plays is 15. i appreciate that retouching and photoshopping actresses is common practice in hollywood but all of the other characters are exactly the same and, as peachespig on livejournal said,

I have no problem with them displaying prominently one of their attractive actors; everyone likes to look at pretty people. But I do have a problem with them singling out one seventeen-year-old girl and basically telling her and the world that the ratio of her bust size to waist size is insufficient to sell their movie.

jo herself has spoken out about exactly this kind of thing in the past and now they are doing it to her own – favourite – character.

enough.

how about some hermione fan art instead?:
Continue reading “who are you and what have you done with hermione granger?”

scholastic harry potter box set

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it even comes with a key.

all i can say is that the uk box set had better be as totally, incredibly, wonderful as this one or i am going to be faced with a pretty tricky dilema come october.

i work very hard, but i’m lazy

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tanya over at momentary solutions has just posted a blog about working from home that says so many things i agree with that i want everyone in the world to read it. i love working from home and, unlike tanya, do it purely out of choice but like her find that peoples concept of it is often distorted. as though somehow it’s not really work if it’s at home.

along with the many myths she debunks, one of the big problems i have is that as well as work encroaching on non-business hours i find that my ‘personal life’ encroaches on work. i’m at home? oh sure, that means you can call me any time (and as many) as you want even though you’d never do that if i was in an office…
just because i can do things more or less when i want (depending on the dreaded deadline of course) doesn’t mean i actually have any more time than anyone else for domestic chores, visits to relatives, trips to the pub on a wednesday afternoon.

i’m not a student for god’s sake!
(joking, i’m joking)

i also find that the line between work and play online can be a very gray one – deviantART being a prime case in point. is it converstion? is it promotion? is it both?

my lifestyle is great and i wouldn’t go back to the 9-5 for anything but it’s not a complete doss, whatever folk think. the title of this post is from an elastica song called waking up and i think it pretty much sums it up for me. yes, i’m lazy in that i don’t want to slog away in a job i hate for the rest of my life. yes, i’m lazy in that (shock horror) i often don’t get up before 11am (but usually work well on into 9,10,11pm) and yes, i’m lazy in that i am writing this in my pjyamas.
but i do work very hard.

er.. yes, so – on that note i’d better go get on with it.