Thursday, 3 November 2011

Not Completely in Love

It turns out that Comet isn't so moreish after all. It's one of those patterns that the first half takes no time at all, and the second half takes the rest of your life.  However, by working on it ceaselessly I managed to get to the stage where I could reasonably cast off and seam.

It doesn't say to block it but in everyone's photos it's plainly been thoroughly blocked, so I did that.

I was looking forward to seeing the pattern when it emerged, but it hasn't really. I suppose I didn't block it enough but it fought back quite hard.

I wish I had listened to my inner knitter and made it in the round. I kept wondering why it had a seam and I still do. But it's just a small attack of Post Knitting Disappoinment Disorder, not a major tantrum.

My loved one had good test results last week but will still be convalescing for a while  and will need something cosy. I forgot to take a pic of the bottle of matching nail polish which I parcelled up with some dvds and will post with it tomorrow. I hope she likes it.

While we're on the subject of family members, it appears that airing opinions about movies on the internet is a genetic trait - check out Internet Voices for some recent releases.

I caught Stupid, Crazy, Love recently. I have to confess that the presence of Ryan Gosling was one reason. Someone else clearly feels the same.

Oh, and this.

I know, I'm old enough to know better. More here, at FeministRyanGosling.

Anyway, back to the film. There's usually a character in a romcom who has to do something completely unmotivated and unconvincing in order to get the plot going, and in this case Julianne Moore is stuck with the role. Steve Carell is luckier, as is Emma Stone. At first I thought she was the girl with the saucer eyes from Glee, Jayma Mays, but she isn't. I laughed a lot at the funny bits. It has to be said the characters with the best chemistry are Steve and Ryan - chemistry doesn't always have to be sexual and they have the best lines and pace their scenes brilliantly. I would watch it again, and not just for Ry.

I forgot to say I saw Bridesmaids. I think I laughed once, at one of Melissa McCarthy's lines. She's a lovely girl, who's to be admired all the more for succeeding in Hollywood while not being anorexic, so why would a film which is supposed to be feminist put her in such hideous clothes? Why would they make her a figure of fun? Why is the 'heroine' always in very short skirts which reify her out of existence? And so on. So much of it seemed to me to have been done before: perhaps these things have to be discovered by each generation.  And could we please, just once, have a film or book about women which doesn't have any bl**dy cupcakes in it?

I thought I had written about Drive, but it appears that I didn't. It stars Ryan again, and Carey Mulligan and some other very good people including the wonderful Bryan Cranston, but you know what, hiring a lot of good actors doesn't stop it being full of pointless violence. I couldn't quite see why Ryan and Carey had taken it on except that they had next to no lines, just lots - and I mean lots - of meaningful glances. Albert Brooks is in it too and I always find him unbelievably wooden: other people claim he's very good so that must be a failing on my part. He really spoils Broadcast News for me.

And I should benmore tolerant, Knitlass. I'll watch Burke and Hare when it comes on the telly.

The third series of Southland is showing now on More 4 on Thursdays at 9.00. You can catch up on earlier episodes from this series on 4OD, and it's worth getting the first two series on DVD. Simply, it's a cop show set in Los Angeles, but it's outstanding. It has a documentary style, with a James Ellroy twist: the sun is always in your eyes and terrible things happen, and yet we keep going. It's produced by John Wells who wrote ER and made Third Watch and The West Wing, so you can imagine how well it does gut-wrenching emotional involvement and ensemble acting. It got cancelled after the third series, which brings home how tough Hollywood is: if John Wells can get cancelled, nobody's safe.

On a slightly less angst-ridden level, there's a new natural history series on BBC1, Frozen Planet, about the North and South Poles. The first episode did feature a very badly beaten up polar bear so it isn't all creeping glaciers. Before it started I thought it might all be a bit familiar but within ten minutes I was gobsmacked.

I hope this clip can be viewed outside the UK.

I keep thinking this must have been set up, but it couldn't be, could it?

PS I'm sorry to hear that this clip of a Very Naughty Penguin can't be viewed from Canada, grannypurple. It shows some male penguins lining their nests with stones - someone on Twitter said that the female penguins were off buying hats, but surely that can't be true? One male penguin is working quite hard while his neighbour pops in every time his back is turned and steals a hard-won stone. This seems to be quite widespread behaviour as the thief has to fend off another male penguin who is stealing stones from his nest. It's tempting to see this as typical of some human behaviour too, bu that would just be sheer anthropomorphism, wouldn't it?

Even if you can't watch the programme, it's entertaining to follow the comments on it on, Twitter using the hashtag #frozenplanet