Monday, 20 January 2014

working in oxford, contrast to australia, film fest, fishing

Worked in Oxford on Saturday. Grey, stark and showery along the Oxford canal.

A contrast to Australia. Loved staying with family and soaking up the sun. Looking back, it's like a dream.

Particularly memorable walks along beaches before the sun got too strong - apart from anything else, such fascinating rocks on the shoreline.

The Australia trip was also something of a film fest - not just on the plane but in Queensland itself. Here's a list:
  • Love Actually - great to catch up with this one; apart from anything else students talked about this being an example of multiple narratives while discussing Geoff Ryman's 253 last term: can see what they meant; wiped a tear from my eye at the end...
  • Letters to Juliet - not brilliant though I loved Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero's performances
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - enjoyed this; thoughtfully done; but I was dipping slightly - exhausted by the flight from KL to Brisbane; numb
  • Stoker - outstanding acting from Mia Wasikowska and photography; can't help thinking this is nod at early Polanski like Repulsion and Cul-de-sac
  • The Guard - troubling tragicomedy from the lesser-known brother (John Michael McDonagh) of the writer-director of the next film, who nevertheless created Ireland's highest grossing domestic movie; ace performance from Brendan Gleeson
  • In Bruges - a clever disturbing and anarchic movie from Martin McDonagh, author of the brilliant play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (which I read on the Killeries, just up from Leenane back in the late 90s); excellent performances all round: Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes; as with The Guard, not for the squeamish!
  • Australia - great to see this in Australia on a sweltering evening; unashamedly emotive plot and performances; exquisite!
  • Django Unchained - tragicomedy with petabytes of ketchup; loved Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson; but Christoph Waltz was stratospheric; intriguing 'Australian' cameo from Quentin Tarantino; excellent wry moment when he blew himself up!
  • Diana - what an odd life D led - a distant cousin who I never had the privilege of meeting
  • The Hunger Games - solid fantasy
  • The Other Boleyn Girl - brilliant; learnt things I'd never known about before, including that Queen Elizabeth was brought up in the household of an ancestor (can that be right?); also, J especially liked Mark Rylance's performance ;-)
And there were more films...

Fishing's different in Australia btw:

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back, and I am sure we all look forward to more of your dismal winter rural pictures :-)