strange_complex: (Ulysses 31)
Start of term = busy = also tired when not actually busy = still haven't finished writing up the Starburst Film Festival I attended in late August. Friday and Saturday are covered at the links; the schedule for Sunday is here, with what I did below.

Sunday schedule.jpg

Space-flight and puzzle games )

Interview with Toby Whithouse )

23. Aliens (1986), dir. James Cameron )

Red Dwarf series XI: exclusive first episode preview and interview with Doug Naylor )

Finally, it was time to depart, sad that it had already all come to an end, but already making plans for future fantastic film-related adventures as we bid one another goodbye. I'll certainly come back for another Starburst festival if they do it again next year.

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

strange_complex: (Dracula Risen hearse smile)
The tl;dr version of this film festival is that the content was awesome, but the organisation was really pretty poor. It was a first-time event, so didn't have an established loyal customer base, and it hadn't been advertised anything like as effectively as it could have been, so that I know a lot of people who might have wanted to go to it didn't know about it until very late in the day, and in fact it is quite possible that the organisers and guests outnumbered the paying customers. The timing was also frequently off-schedule, leaving us either waiting up to an hour for something to start, or rushing from one thing to another without a chance to get the dinner we'd planned for in between. Thankfully, it was never quite so bad as to mean that I missed anything I'd been looking forward to as a result, but I really hope they get better at both advertising and timing if they run this festival again, as otherwise it is doomed to failure.

Anyway! I'm going to write it up day by day, to keep the entries manageable. This is the overall schedule for the Friday, which true to the organisational spirit mentioned above was released at around 8pm on the evening before the festival was due to begin, i.e. way too late for most people to make sensible arrival plans in advance.

Friday schedule.jpg


Getting there and settling in )

Scream Queens: Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick )

19. Gothic (1986), dir. Ken Russell with intro by Stephen Volk )

20. Dracula A.D. 1972, dir. Alan Gibson )

Thus our first day ended, and it was back off to my snuggly student nest-bed for a rather short night's sleep ahead of day two...

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

Lesbian bingo

Sunday, 20 July 2008 21:12
strange_complex: (Me Art Deco)
I went on a lovely excursion today with [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau to Hebden Bridge: allegedly, the lesbian hub of Britain.

Glitz knitting on the train )

I'd been there the previous Friday for Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, but had only got to see it relatively briefly and in partial day-light, so when [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau expressed a desire for a Sunday excursion, it seemed like a great opportunity to go back for a proper look. It's ever so picturesque )

The weather, alas, was rather English, which curtailed our photo opportunities, and also put paid to some half-conceived plans to go for a walk along the river. However, so were the people )

In fact, the need to take shelter from regular showers of rain, coupled with the ready availability of charity shops, antique shops and festival stalls, meant that the day ended up developing largely into a very rewarding shopping trip. [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau got two very pretty tops and some nice bread (which I'm sure she will post about shortly), while I got a nice lilac blouse, a very classic-looking battered denim jacket and the purple flared trousers of my dreams! Seriously, they are the trousers my sixteen-year-old self would have died for - except that back then, they would have fallen off my hips. Now, however, they fit perfectly. Yes, there may be some advantages to growing into a slightly more womanly figure, after all...

Oh, and I got one other thing too. *embarrassed shuffle* A thing I knew about, but had actually consciously planned not to buy, lest it shatter my fannish illusions. As Glitzy will testify, though, it was Not My Fault - it just fell on me in an antiques shop. For £4. So now I have a copy of Who On Earth Is Tom Baker?. Oops!?

V-day

Thursday, 14 February 2008 11:32
strange_complex: (Tease me)
Here's wishing a happy St. Valentine's day (or, as I personally prefer to think of it, festival of Venus) to one and all of you.

It's apparently become fashionable these days to be cynical about Valentine's day, and talk about commercialisation, and the packaging of complex emotions, and sexism, and the compartmentalisation of something which should be celebrated every day, and so forth, and I do see the merit in a lot of those arguments. But as with any of these things, your own Valentine's day is as good or as bad as you choose to make it, and fundamentally I think it's a good thing for humanity at large if we have a day set aside in our calendar to communally remind ourselves of the value of loving others.

This morning, from a warm seat on the bus, I watched a fresh-faced boy battling through drizzle on his bicycle, with a bunch of flowers clutched against the handle-bars - and that's nice. In the sandwich shop, they'd drawn little hearts on strips of paper, and stuck them along the chiller cabinet shelves - and that's nice. A girl walked along chatting to her friends, holding a lilac heart-shaped balloon - and that's nice. It would be even nicer to see it every day I guess, but the function of festivals is to remind us to foreground things which might otherwise slip our minds in the daily rush of life, and I think it's helpful for us to have Valentine's day for that purpose.

I can't actually participate actively, since I'm a cold-hearted beeyatch, and frankly the idea of being in a real relationship with another actual human being still gives me The Fear. But I see that many of you are bolder and brighter and braver than me, and to all of you who manage to do it successfully, I say hooray, and good for you. So if you have a boy or a girl to kiss today, give 'em a kiss from me. I may not play much myself, but it's fun to cheer from the sidelines.

Poot!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007 22:01
strange_complex: (Vampira)
I am disappointed.

See, now that I live in my own house instead of a flat for the first time ever on Halloween, and in a reasonably family-ish neighbourhood, too, I figured I might get kids round trick-or-treating. So I was ready! I had a huge bowl full of yummy treats. And I made sure I left the porch light on, and all. But no children came. :-(

I wanted to ward off evil spirits with propitiatory offerings, dammit!

I guess now I will just have to eat all those sweets myself...

strange_complex: (ITV digital Monkey popcorn)
Last night we celebrated Halloween Proper by going to see The Corpse Bride, me with A Bat On My Head again (although I did very thoughtfully take it off while in the cinema). It was delightful, in every way an animated Tim Burton film featuring legions of the dead, tragic lovers and cold-hearted parents should be delightful. And Christopher Lee! Wow. *wide-eyed admiration*

Of Tim Burton's offerings this year, I think I liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory better overall as a film, but I liked Christopher Lee much more in Corpse: perhaps precisely because he was playing an animated character, forcing a concentration on his voice. And did Tim Burton know what that voice counts for! Quite deliberately, we heard it booming out in disapproval and exasperation significantly before we set eyes on the character it belonged to (Pastor Galswells), demanding our attention and making us sit up straight in our seats. From that point in, the character really stood out for me as a brilliantly gruff authority figure, with Christopher Lee milking it for all it was worth. And his utter dismissal of Victoria when she turned to him for help was just the icing on the cake.

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter were fab too, of course, as was Richard E. Grant as the slimy, pompous Barkis Bittern and a much-beloved Michael Gough as the wizened old skeleton, Elder Gutknecht. But I think the greatest thrill for me (besides, Mr. Lee, natch) was the performance of some chap I'd never heard of called Enn Reitel as the worm who lived inside the Corpse Bride's head. It's obvious from his IMDb page that he specialises in vocal work, and his brief for Corpse was clearly to sound as much as he could like Peter Lorre. Which, given that the real thing can no longer be had, was most effectively done, and suited both the Burtonesque context and the character of the worm beautifully.

On the other hand, Danny Elfman is just not as good as writing songs as he once was. Or ever was? No - I swear some of the songs in Nightmare Before Christmas were ace. But Charlie was disappointing musically, and so was Corpse. Pity, but not enough to spoil them.

And so Halloween is over, and November begins. Good luck to all the writers out there who are starting NaNoWriMo, and the painters who are starting NaPaPaMo. And may I wish a Happy All Saint's and Happy Diwali to everyone.

Corpse Bride bits about to be cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] christopherlee_.

23:5

Friday, 5 November 2004 15:22
strange_complex: (Default)
I think I've done this before as part of a larger quiz. But since it's now doing the rounds as a meme in its own right:

Book snippet meme
Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 23.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal, along with these instructions:

"The quindecemviri of sacred affairs declare: On the day before the Ides of June, we will give a beast-hunt [in... and begin games of the circus...]"

It is from an inscription recording the presentation of Ludi Saeculares by Augustus: super-special games in Rome which were held only once a century. The inscription is a bit damaged, hence the square brackets and dots at this point. Quindecemviri are just a board of fifteen men; the day before the Ides of June was what we call June 12th. This is actually line 163 of the original inscription: it's a damned long one.

The book was a sourcebook entitled The Roman Empire: Augustus to Hadrian edited by Robert
Sherk (1988).

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