Sunday, 30 November 2008

Adventures of last weekend...

...finally got a minute to finish off the post I started in the week, but first off there is another Poundland entry here with a good observation about Michael Crichton that had never occurred to me.

Also, here is the Ten Dead Men US DVD artwork made bigly:

I guess it's not as bad as I first thought, and it is mainly the fact that it's not Brendan's body that makes me think it looks weird. I would've preferred something more subtle but I know, subtle doesn't sell DVDs.

Anyway, this happened last weekend when Brother Pete came to visit. Saturday we watched films and I recommend the hat system when choosing which film to watch when there are a number of you present. This was developed during a similar weekend in Cardiff with Geraint where we were overwhelmed by the selection of films available on-demand and required a fair and efficient selection process. I tried to make it more exciting with a kind of Russian Roulette element, choosing only films that sounded terrible. So I suggested the same tactic on Saturday night. This lead to the bizarre yet enjoyable triple bill of Contour, Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Death Sentence. Perhaps not the most consistent in tone but I think at least everyone present got to see something they wanted to see and a good time was had by all.

Sunday I’d got tickets to see The Dark Knight on IMAX and since it takes about three years to get anywhere by train on a Sunday I decided we’d make a day of it. Rather do the usual touristy things we went further afield to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. It’s a weird little place full of stuff you’d expect to find in the attic of a mad scientist’s house, but it’s also clearly had a lot of money spent on it so the weird displays are quite well-kept. I recommend it to anyone who likes pickled dead things in jars. Other highlights were the oversized insect models, the wall display of stuffed dog heads and a rather well-preserved fake mermaid. It’s not quite as good as the Booth Museum in Brighton though – doesn’t give you the same sense that the Ark of the Covenant could be sitting in a box in a backroom.

Then we went to see Dark Knight which was awesome, although cheats a bit as only the sequences shot with the IMAX camera are projected in IMAX. That sentence makes me sound thick, but what I mean is the aspect ratio is all over the place because it’s 4:3 for the IMAX shots then goes back to widescreen for normal shots. This is fine when lengthy sequences are shot in IMAX, but less good when there’s a brief IMAX shot of a cityscape that then cuts back to widescreen, like you’ve got your TV on the wrong ratio setting and it keeps flipping back and forth. Anyway, it’s still my favourite film of the year and it was cool seeing it massive with decent sound. Also, it's the only film I’ve ever paid to see three times.

So we head back to the tube only my London geography is way off as I haven’t been for ages and I walk in the wrong direction. When I realise this and we get to the nearest station we find that there’s no trains going anywhere near where we want to go. So we decided to walk to Victoria, despite it being 9.30pm on a Sunday and freezing cold. It turned out to be a good decision – we saw all the sights lit up and the streets were practically empty. It made London seem like really nice place full of cool big things, instead of a crazy, busy place full of annoying angry people. Not sure I’d recommend sight-seeing on a Sunday night in winter as I don’t want to be responsible for anyone getting mugged, but if circumstances allow it is a cool way to see the city.

Monday Andrea was off work and we all went to a Garden Centre. We don’t have a garden. However, we thought it might be like the magical Christmas garden centre in Stafford where there are crazy lights and animatronic Jedi. But it was just a normal garden centre and therefore a bit rubbish. We did find a cool country pub though, and sat listening to two posh-sounding old ladies talking about ghosts and headless babies.

The only other thing of note was watching Dead of Night when we got home – an excellent film that I’ve had on DVD since last Christmas and completely forgot about until now. It’s probably the best portmanteau horror film, probably the best English horror film and certainly has one of the best and genuinely horrifying endings in horror film history. You have to ignore the comic relief in the middle though – an unfortunate side-effect of being produced by Ealing Studios.

Since I’m rambling, I’ll mention writing even though I haven’t been doing any. Various scripts are being sent out to various people so I’m waiting for various responses. There are potentially exciting things on the horizon but until they come close enough to become actual things I’m deliberately not getting excited at all. And I have been taking in some of the Dark Room feedback and think I’ve found a few ways to sort it out in the next draft. The writing it as a novel idea actually really helped as it made me stop thinking about the script as the definitive version of the story which made it easier to contemplate losing some of the things I’m attached to. So a second draft is more of a possibility now, but there is also a rapidly expanding document on my computer with notes for the novel.

No comments: