Friday, 30 March 2012

Where Have I Been?

To many different places is the answer.

I have watched many films, both at the cinema and at home. Have I told you that I am a member of Lovefilm? I have the unlimited package, 3 discs at home which is great value at £13.27 per month. I watch at least 4 films per week so I certainly get my money's worth.

I have joined a new cinema, Picturehouse in Liverpool. It is very similar to the Cornerhouse in Manchester that I regularly visit. I am a member of the Times+ and they are running an offer of half price membership, £16 instead of £32. Considering that I recieve 3 free tickets is was worth the price. I also recieve a discount on all purchases as well as numerous other offers. If you are in the North West I recommend membership to both Cornerhouse & Picturehouse.

So what I have been up to?

I watched the new Werner Herzog Documentary - Into The Abyss. This was a pre-release screening @ Picturehouse that included an after film Q&A session with the man himself via link from London.

Interesting film that concentrated on a murder case in Texas. The documentary explores the people involved in the crime and the families left behind. It also looks at the use of the death penalty. For anyone interested in this subject Herzog currently has a TV series showing on Channel 4, Death Row. The previous 2 episodes are available here to watch.

Others films I have watched recently that I can recommend are:

In Darkness - Poland's entry to the Oscars this year that follows a true story set in Lodz during WWII.

The Skin I Live In - Banderas stars in this excellent, if not slightly wacked out film with revenge at the core of his actions.

Ni Liv - Again a true story set during WWII but this time set in Norway as ordinary people help a man on a failed sabotage mission escape capture and to the safety of neutral Sweden.

Chocolat - A few of my friends needed a "girly chick flick" to cheer them up so we watched this lovely film set in a quiet French village that receives a rude awakening when a choclatier sweeps in and tempts them all during Lent.

The French Connection - I thought this was a great film with an great performance from Hackman. Lots of action and interaction with his partner that keep the pace thoughout. Nice car v subway train chase too :-)

I went to see the BBC Philharmonic again at Bridgewater Hall for one of their "Reflections on Debussy" performances. As to be expected from the BBC this was a very enjoyable show with nice and delicate music played in perfect harmony.

Three ballets have been watched, Giselle at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool and Romeo & Juliet & Swan Lake at the Opera House in Manchester. Whilw I don't always know the story or who is who I love to watch them dance, especially the men. I find their fast twirls and energetic moves very entrancing.

I return to Paris in May, where I watched my first ever ballet but alas there are no performances scheduled for the time I am in town :( The only show I could watch is the opera Barber of Seville but the ticket prices are silly at €90 so I shall pass.

Films/shows coming up include a free screening of Sideways courtesy of California Classics, a visit to Royal Opera House during my visit to London where I am watching a new performance of 3 short ballet's. Rigoletto & La Fille Mal Gardee are two performances live from the National Theatre I shall be watching but via the Odeon cinema.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

My Recent Adventures

I have been a busy bee recently. Films past & present as well as an Orchestra have been appreciated.

Tatsumi was a film following the career of renowned Japanese cartoon artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi

I found this to be very informative regarding the creation of "adult comics" in Japan. Artists found that their material was not deemed suitable for the main audience, i.e children. This new genre was called Manga.

I took another trip to Bridgewater Hall and watched The Halle Orchestera again. As per the other time I have watched this Orchestra it was a wonderful performance. I decided to try the "cheap seats" in the Gallery this time and found them to be the best seats so far. I shall certainly book seats there again.

Lots of films watched recently:

Les Diaboliques - Great film with a fantastic twist
Thes Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Hilarious old folk
Four Lions - How not to be a terrorist
Disturbia - How to spy on your murderous neighbour
Cell 211 - A guard caught up in a riot
Tell No One - What happens when your dead Wife appears online
Picnic At Hanging Rock - Very strange bunch of schoolgirls
The Most Dangerous Game - You will be thankful not to be on this island
Repulsion - Crazy woman
Rampart - Very naughty policeman
Roman Holiday - Lovely feel-good film of a wonderful city
Raiders of The Lost Ark - Timeless classic
The Infidel - A Jewish Muslim
Midnight Cowboy - Bloody fantastic film
Howl's Moving Castle - Animated fun
Pather Panchali - A real look at rural Indian life

Lots more planned over the coming weeks

Oboe Concerto by the Berliner Philharmoniker. I am watching this concert as part of the Odeon Plus Culture

Arrugas, a Spanish animated film following two men in an old people home.

Another trip to the RNCM to watch the group Portico Quartet

The week will finish with La Caza at Cornerhouse.