A weekly round-up of what I have been watching, listening to and discussing. Rather than just posts about film, this is a bit more all-encompassing as I think my interest in cinema and art crosses over and between a variety of sources...
Slowly getting used-to waking at 6am again. Always a tough get-up, but I did manage to watch lots of good films this week. Well, not 'good' maybe, but films ...
Highlight of the Week
Animal Kingdom: A close friend has just moved to London and as a filmmaker himself, I look forward to lots of film-watching, filmmaking and conversations about what Jurassic Park 4 could possibly be about. We had a film-night during the week, watching Animal Kingdom - a film he had not seen before, whilst I had not seen it for at least a year - despite buying it on Blu-Ray six-months ago. It is still fascinating, and a favourite film of 2011, but I can appreciate how if you didn't like the passive, detached lead character Joshua (James Frecheville), then it would be a tough watch. The kisses from 'Mum' (Jacki Weaver) is also so uncomfortable to watch.
Batman Returns - The best of the four-film anthology between 1989 and 1997. Tim Burton takes his gloves off and goes completely gothic with his interpretation.
Batman Forever - A little bit too nuts I'm afraid and Tommy Lee Jones seems uncomfortable whilst Jim Carrey goes OTT. Val Kilmer just seems bored whilst Nicole Kidman acts out a role that simply seems to be ... offensive.
Batman and Robin - It is alot of fun watching this. And I would take the ridiculous of Arnie's 'Mr Freeze' anyday over Two-Face in Batman Forever. Ume Thurman's role is simply tragic - she seems to be giving it her all, but it just doesn't work. George Clooney is just out-of-place in this role whilst I can recall why I fancied Alicia Silverstone when I was younger.
Animal Kingdom - See Above
Now Playing Podcast - I have really got into this podcast ever since Ol' Shep Burman recommended it to me after my Rocky-writing on Man I Love Films. At least all the pain of watching Batman and Robin was worth it when I could laugh along with Arnie, Stu and Jakob discussing the film. I do not condone the recommendation of Batman Forever, but I completely agree with the single-recommendation of Batman and Robin. So bad, it is funny.
Slash Film - Adam Quigley didn't like Prometheus, Why am I not suprised.
The Matineecast - Only just started this podcast-listen, so I haven't heard the discussion on Prometheus (Blame the drilling near London Bridge on my commute) but to think that Ryan is now at a stage whereby 'Know Your Enemy' has three rounds of questions simply shows how well he has done. I think what I love about these questions is that you inevitably ask yourself the same questions when you listen - and its a tough one to answer. I also like how Ryan holds the guest accountable for not-watching the film 'classic' they hadn't seen in their first round of questions. It could easily go: "Have you watched Conan the Barbarian yet?"/ "No"/"Well then how can you call yourself a film fan?" [guest feels suitably embarressed and shamed]
The Simpsons - I have completely stalled on my watching. but it seems I may be able to finished Season 7 within the hour. Its a tough thing to consider - am I getting behind because the series is getting weaker or is it because, since Christmas, I have watched every episode since Season One?
Disney War by James B. Stewart - I started reading this when we visited Zagreb and put it down on return. About the political struggles within the company under the leadership of Michael Eisner. I've only just got into it so... expect it to reappear next week...
Tate Modern - I revisited (kerrching on the membership!) the Damien Hirst exhibition with Sarah. Interesting fact is how an art-piece named A Thousand Years (1991) shows a decapitated cows-head amongst desperate flies, dying in an electrocutor. We were told that the cows-head is replaced by a different head each week. But without maggots emerging (something which was famously criticised about the original piece), there is question hanging over whether it is an actual cows-head at all. I would assume it is not - but clearly, the ambiguity of this set-up means that we are supposed to believe it is a real head.