Saturday, 20 March 2010

Progress, Such as It Is

I've been slogging onwards with Dapper. I had a moment of joy when I joined the fronts but
since then the rows have been a lot longer. I've done a few more inches since this photo. And it's a much nicer colour in reality.

I'm not neglecting it, but last night I cast on for a giant sock.

No, it isn't really; it's a hat. A cupcake hat. I've wanted to knit one of these for ages. I've cast on 100 stitches for an adult size, although I'm still not sure that's big enough. I'm not quite sure who it's for. It's Rowan Kid Classic: I think the colour is called Feather.

I keep forgetting to tell you about this, which was a gift from Raveller after her visit last year.

The colour is a gentle lichen-ish green, too subtle for the light at this time of year. It's the Fibre Company's Road to China, a blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel and silk - do you have any idea how soft that feels? I think it will have to be a cowl, as it wuld be so gentle on the skin.

Knitting Mags
There's something about the covers of Interweave Knits which has been bothering me for a while but it was only this week that I made the effort to check: I was right. These three covers have all been used in the last year.

Is beige really a colour that makes magazines fly off the shelves?

There was a stunning documentary on BBC2 on Sunday night (14 March) about Detriot, Requiem for Detroit. It's available on iPlayer here although I don't know for how much longer. There's a clip on YouTube

and I expect more of it will become available there. I caught the opening shots and was hooked; it's a devastating story of a city and what led to its rise and its very rapid decline. With some hope at the end.

LoveFilm excelled themselves after the rude things I said about them, and delivered Goya's Ghosts almost immediately. It's very good, as long as you aren't looking for historical accuracy in the script - it's a made-up tale, set in period surroundings. It has a multi-national cast and was directed by Milos Forman, but was mostly filmed in Spain and is a US / Spanish co-production - some people have got terribly cross about the fact that Goya is played by a Swedish actor, but I have to say I got over the jumble of accents very quickly. Javier Bardem is staggering in it, not that I've ever seen him be anything less. I didn''t think Natalie Portman was so good, too modern, but the friend I watched it with disagreed, so take your pick.

If I knew Goya's paintings better than I do, I'm sure I would have recognized more of them amongst the background figures. I think there's must be miles of it left on the cutting room floor and I look forward to seeing the special edition double-disc dvd if it's ever released.

After that, I watched Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame. I hardly know where to start with this. It was made in Afghanistan and directed by a 19-year-old girl, Hana Makhmalbaf. The fact that her father is a film director doesn't really make this any less remarkable. The film gets its title from the figures of Buddha in the Banyam Valley in Afghanistan which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, and where the film is set. The lead character is a little girl of about six, who spends the day trying to get to school and is thwarted in lesser and greater ways. There were lots of times when I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You should see it. The little girl, Bakhtay, played by Nikbakht Noruz, is enchanting and all the other children in it are well, impressive. It's shot in dazzlingly clear digital sunlight. I hope things are better by the time Bakhtay grows up.

And back on Planet Shallow, tonight I watched Fracture, which is just a legal detective story with a twist, but it's very stylish and has lots of good actors - Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pyke, Fiona Shaw - and an ace script, a perfect Saturday night flick.


Janet said...

Helen I'm so glad you liked Goya's Ghosts. It makes it so much more interesting to share the experience. We've watched a couple of science fiction ones lately which I wouldn't recommend. I just wonder why my son watches them but I guess he liked the trailers and decided to try them out. I was relieved when he said he thought they were bad films.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, that film Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame sounds like something I'm going to have to make a point of finding. I wonder if I need to start up a NetFlix membership again?

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