Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Prestigious Review

Apparently there is some debate raging about whether blogger’s have the required qualifications to review. It certainly seems to have inspired some witty fiction, vitriolic debate and a backstage look at reviewing. Anyway here’s my contribution:

I don’t know if I mentioned this but this is how 2006 started. Myself, Colleen and Siobhan were stood in front of Sacre Coeur and as the midnight hour chimed out two German Magicians wished us Happy New Year and performed a small trick for us. For one tiny second my face slackened and that look of childish wonder crossed my face.

I’ve just been to see The Prestige. Why? Well, because I like Christopher Nolan. What has he done? Memento and Batman Begins. Why do I like those films? Well, because Memento was a clever way of presenting a story and Batman Begins finally presented the Batman I know and love. What have these two films got in common with The Prestige? Well, it’s clever and Batman and Alfred are in it, except Batman is Alfred and Alfred is someone else, but really the same person he always is. Confused? Well that’s kind of the way the film leaves you.

I went to see it with Claire. Before hand she had sent me two reviews. Quite amusing really; one was in the Guardian, one in the Observer, one hated and reviled it, the other loved it (actually I skimmed over the second, but I think that was the gist of it).

So I left the cinema undecided and wondered. I skirted past the hordes of tourists quickly to reach that piece of open sky above the cemetery. The bit of the walk where you can appreciate the stars and the moon and that’s when I understood and a smile crossed my face. Ah, so that’s what it was all about. So I’ve decided I liked it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Forty Three Days

On October 16th 2006 my phone was cut off for some bizarre reason or other. So according to my journal this is what I was up to:

· I spent hours on the phone to France Telecom and was consistently given different information from different people who were pretty consistently god damned rude;

· I lost my temper many times with various people at France Telecom and shouted and swore more in French than I have done in the last six years;

· Over a very nice glass of red wine, Colleen, Siobhan and I wrote a poem for Minx’s Samhain competition (never got the chance to post that);

· I reworked the spirituality story for Skint’s competition (never got a chance to post that, but you see there was hope there at first);

· I wrote a list of things that I couldn’t do without a telephone or the internet.

· Floppy moo pissed me off (see previous post);

· The dentist got pissed off with me because I had smoked in the three intervening weeks since he had begun cleaning my teeth and salt blasted my face as he did the rest of my teeth (but I do have clean teeth);

· I thought of a way to rewrite Sirens;

· I got stood up for the first time in my life;

· I became infatuated with a man who parks his bike down the road (I am now intimately acquainted with his battered silver bicycle, but have not seen him since);

· I joined/went to a writing group and turned up like a keeny with Heart Attack to share and discovered I had to read it aloud. On later reflection I realised that when I said that the inspiration for the story was a dream that I probably came across as completely bonkers;

· I wrote three versions of the same story, this story actually makes up the vast majority of the last month’s notes and for some bizarre reason it only came out right last night;

· I missed trains (nothing new there);

· There was a Europe wide power cut and I sat wrapped up in my sleeping bag bathed in candle light writing (there is now candle wax all over my phone);

· I decided to quit my Masters course (although that decision was kind of taken out of my hands as I missed all the e mails asking me what I was up to and they kicked me off);

· I took to wandering around Montmartre before ending up on the steps opposite Sacre Coeur and viewing the city;

· I had writer’s block for thirteen days

· I got plastered on bad Beaujolais Nouveau and discovered that my porn star name was Goldie Heythorp, although we all agreed that Goldie Nelson was better;

· I had a bad experience in a Chinese Karaoke restaurant;

· I went to my first ever opera, although it was an opera/spectacle. I liked the opera bit, but wasn’t sure about the random balls of fire that kept being shot into the air;

· I reviewed the book shops of Paris;

· I tried to inhabit the skin of my brother and discovered that I didn’t really know too much about him;

· I went to see The Prestige, which I loved for various reasons (I wrote it down somewhere);

· And finally in the writer’s group last week I sat through the worst story I have ever heard in my entire life, while the group leader sat opposite me trying to make me laugh (bastard – I probably had nail marks imprinted in my cheeks by the end of that).


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