Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Heath Ledger, Interstellar, JEBO, Memento, Neighbours, Parliament Choir, Peter Jackson, Prometheus, The Dark Knight
You do learn something new every day, in my case that F7 switches on Caret Browsing on my laptop. I left it open two nights ago by accident and my cat slept on it, opening many windows, attempting to log on to my bank account (thankfully the thing about monkeys and typewriters also appears to apply to cats and laptops) and, in a worrying display of awareness and intent, opening something called Scratchpad. I shudder to think what he was intending to do with that. Still, he failed to erase anything, or, at least, anything I have noticed thus far, so all is well.
This means that my two Christmas carol arrangements are still on track to be completed by tomorrow evening, so that they can go off to become part of the Parliament Choir Christmas music folder. I really want to get them to the stage where the only remaining work to be done is minor tinkering, because I want to get back to the Carta Cantata proper as soon as possible, though I have been working on it in my head alongside these two yuletide offerings.
Up early today in expectation of the man to fix a water leak I am going to use the opportunity to get the hammer down and plough on with my writing. I have been productive over the past days, taking advantage of a lull in the house-buying storm, though I am aware that I need to make hay while the sun shines, for I am sure that more forms and signatures will be needed soon. At this point it does really feel as though I will be tucked away in a country cottage come Christmas, which gives a target to aim for.
This weekend I’ll also be rehearsing with JEBO for the first time in a while. My impending move will bring me closer to the boys in the band, and I am hoping that my undimmed enthusiasm for our musical activities will at least point us in the direction of making the third album I know we have inside us. At one point demos began coming out for the new material before it all went quiet, so it will be great to be close by and to be an integral part of the unit, rather than somebody who lives at the other end of the M5.
I watched the first two of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy the other night, and it reminded me of what I want from a decent film. Nolan is right up there in the canon of my very favourite directors, and I heartily endorse all that he stands for – as little CGI as possible, a cinematic experience, a rock-solid cast of people who can act rather than simply frown, and so on. He has a sci-fi film coming out in a couple of weeks – Interstellar – and, clearly not learning from the whole Prometheus shambles, I am getting hugely excited about it. In fact, as I watched The Dark Knight with the late Heath Ledger’s searing performance centre stage, while Gary Oldman and various other luminaries circled around, I found myself wishing fervently that Nolan rather than Ridley Scott had applied his lens to Prometheus. Ah, well.
What Nolan stands for is, to me, the antithesis of Peter Jackson, with those interminable Lord Of The Hobbits epics (or whatever they are called) – bloated, badly acted, with an overbearing and hectoring musical score Which Tells You What To Feel and scene after scene after scene which could come straight from a video game. Nolan’s films have effects which look real (mainly because they usually are) and actors who do not need to signpost every passing thought with a frown or a sad face. I still cannot quite believe that the truck flip in The Dark Knight was achieved without a drop of CGI, but there you go, the man is good at what he does. I said once that Nolan managed the seemingly impossible by taking Batman out of the comic and the comic out of Batman, so fingers crossed for Interstellar.
I think I need to rewatch his Memento, a great film, but not really one I could claim to understand. The much-underrated Guy Pearce is in it, leaving Neighbours far behind and proving his worth. In fact, he ended up in Prometheus as well, although for some reason he went uncredited…