Links

Jun. 20th, 2014 06:23 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Why Icelanders are wary of elves living beneath the rocks - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27907358

Bard garb: dramatic Shakespeare costumes - http://www.theguardian.com/stage/gallery/2014/jun/17/bard-garb-shakespeare-costumes-from-around-the-world-in-pictures

Football Section:

How Belgium Built Their Golden Generation - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27827569
Or yet another way of doing it that the FA will ignore.

On why Iran are one Liverpool fanzine's second team - http://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2014/06/iran-id-like-introduce-someone/
Really worth reading.

The Birthday Paradox at Brazil 2014 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27835311
Or using the World Cup to explain a mathematical axiom.

Meet the World Cup ref who’s richer than the players he bosses about - https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/the-rio-report/meet-world-cup-ref-richer-players-orders-around-130800130.html#more-id
Given that you couldn't pay me to be a referee, I have no idea why he does it.

World Cup 2014: Golden goals, golf carts and other innovations - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27870956
Various innovations, that worked and didn't, from this and previous World Cups.

An exhibition of the work of Paul Trevillion, sports artist - http://www.theguardian.com/football/gallery/2014/jun/18/paul-trevillion-strand-gallery-master-of-movement-in-pictures
The stories that go with the pictures are wonderful.

Hamlet

Oct. 23rd, 2013 11:45 am
redfiona99: (Thinking)
No, I don't have a Hamlet problem.

I went to see the National Theatre Live showing of the Rory Kinnear's Hamlet - http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/15342-hamlet.

The fun thing is that I wouldn't have known about the National Theatre doing this kind of thing if it hadn't been for [livejournal.com profile] evilgmbethy which, given that she lives an ocean away, might tell you something about how well the NT do their advertising over here.

They are forgiven for that, and for the terrible lighting in the opening scene and the occasional technical hitch on Cineworld's end because oh, it's a good Hamlet.

Rory Kinnear's Hamlet sails past both my tests for a good Hamlet, in that I didn't think "oh get on with it" at him at any point nor did I end up actively cheering for Laertes. He looks like an over-grown student and still looks young enough to be Hamlet*. There's something so soft about him that I wanted to go "oi, Claudius, stop being mean to your nephew". And the look on his face when he realises that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz have betrayed him.

I love that they gave the background characters stuff to do, like the look of horror on Bernardo's face when he sees the old King's portrait, and the courtiers's screaming terror at every new attack.

I admit I was a bit dubious when they were bigging up the surveillance theme in the intro but they actually went through with it, using their budget so that there was always someone in security uniforms in the wings watching, and how they treated Ophelia and oh, it was a well done theme. Funny thing was some twenty-something early fuddy-duddies in the audience were tutting about that and I'm like no, this was a good thing.**

And then opening bit with Claudius doing his speech as a "King's Christmas Broadcast/Fireside chat" thing was clever, as was the ending with Osric and the rest of the courtiers glad-handing Fortinbras and choosing to ignore Horatio because the truth is dangerous and oh, I did like what they did.

It wasn't perfect, see above complaints about the lighting, but it was good.

* which is pretty good going given that it turns out he's a good 5 years older than I though he was. This is not a dealbreaker for me, neither of my favourite Hamlets are young enough to play him.

** then again they were comparing this negatively to the Tennant Hamlet which IMO wasn't as good as this and I realise matters of taste are subjective but they're wrong and I'm right.

Henry V

Sep. 26th, 2013 04:32 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Saw this version - http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/education/discovery-space/previous-productions/henry-v at the cinema yesterday.

Not impressed.

Now for some reason, when I saw Dominic Dromgoole's name as director my subconscious went "well, that explains it" but since my conscious cannot recall anything else directed by him that I've seen, that has to remain an inexplicable reaction. If anyone can think of any reason for it, I'd be grateful.

As for what was wrong with it, I am aware that everything is not a useful answer, and is also deeply unfair to what were a decent Henry, a good Exeter and some really good work by the guy playing Captain Jamie/Orleans/the soldier that Henry gets into a fight with/the Earl of Cambridge and by Captain Gower.

The major problems are fourfold:

1 - I, personally, hadn't ever really considered Henry V to be a broad, farcical comedy. We're talking bad Carry On levels of broad. But not as funny (mostly, Gower and Fluellen, and Gower and Jamie and Fluellen, and all the other scenes where Gower was the only sensible head anywhere in France were all funny). It just lead to some whiplash problems of "wailing over the boys in the luggage right back to comedy" or "wailing over English dead right back to comedy" without a break.

2 - Which brings me to point 2. The pacing was off, there were three or four scenes were someone was supposed to be emoting, but while they were setting up the next scene and just getting in the way. Seriously, let those scenes run for an extra 20-30 seconds, let the actor leave the stage in some manner more natural than being bundled off and suddenly, for an extra one or two minutes run time, it works better.

3 - also allied to point 1 - it fell on the wrong side of the risqué/vulgar line far too often. And I'm fine with deliberate vulgarity. It just felt so leaden. I'm not sure you can have boring vulgarity but this came very close.

4 - All of the Eastcheap characters and Fluellen could have done with turning it down about 6 notches. Particularly Pistol. Pistol caused a full-on "oh no, there's going to be another Pistol scene, isn't there. Do we have to?" reaction. He seemed to be speaking along the text, and just hoping he'd get to the end of this bit without getting anything wrong, and rhyme and meter and meaning could go hang.

It wasn't all bad, I mean, I loved that the three traitors played the French nobles and as I said, Gower, Exeter and Henry were good, particularly Henry. He was so very believable in the Kiss me, Kate bit at the end. Although, this may be the only Henry V where the Kiss me, Kate bit is the best part of the play (they were so very adorable).

~~~~

I also saw the trailer for the new Romeo and Juliet, which is about as much Shakespeare's as Verdi's Otello is Billy Shakestaff's. Really, there ought to be a trades description rule about it. It's not just because I'm bitter and think I could write better faux-Shakespeare than Julian Fellows, although that plays a huge part in it.

Hamlet

Aug. 24th, 2013 08:49 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Back from this season's RSC Hamlet.

It wasn't as good as As You Like It but I've come to the understanding that that As You Like It was exceptional.

While this, it wasn't bad, it's just I see Hamlet completely differently to how this production had him )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Just back from seeing the RSC doing As You Like It.

It was fantastic.

Really fantastic )

I don't think I can get across how joyous it was. Like honest to goodness I want to hug everyone I meet because we're alive and it is awesome levels of joy.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
The question is spoilery for Dark Knight Rises )

~~~~

The last two questions of the Shakespeare meme will have to wait, because I'm still making my way through the sonnets. It has meant I've read Venus and Adonis and the Rape of Lucrece. I liked the latter more, possibly because I always feel mildly awkward wanting to tell the Goddess of love that "he's just not into you".

~~~~

While finishing that off, I shall start the 30 days of fan-fiction meme. The version I'm using was pinched from [livejournal.com profile] angstbunny

Day 1 - How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

I blame Blake's 7.

When it was being reshown on BBC2, I wanted to know more. At the time, the first google hit was http://www.hermit.org/blakes7/

On the website were some episode reviews. I think it was the reviews of Time Squad (that's definitely the first place I ever saw the word shipper - http://www.hermit.org/blakes7/Episodes/Reviews/timesquad.html). Possibly because Blake's 7 is an older fandom, there was already a distinct fan fiction presence and some either actually on the site, and definitely a link to them. So off I followed because I had to have more.

From there, having got the bug, I wandered over the fanfiction.net. And being bored, I had a quick click through to the wrestling section (this was many years ago) and the first fic I found was either by Bliss or Christine Ortega. Which was a stroke of luck because they wrote good fic.

I suspect the first fandom I ever wrote for was wrestling. Undoubtedly Kane fic. Because he was and is my favourite because he is wonderful.

I think the possibility is what drew me in. Canon can only do so many things, due to time and content constraints. Freed of those, fan fiction writers can do more.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
I promise there will be a more content-heavy post tomorrow.

Once again, I must beg for a beta. It's 1500 words of X-Men: First Class Emma Frost fic with too much Magneto if anyone feels like it.

I'm also having comma issues with the title of another fic. I'm trying to decide whether "My Brother Bill" or "My Brother, Bill" is more correct.

~~~~

The really silly portion of today's post comes from this post on Nerve.com - http://www.nerve.com/entertainment/ranked/the-expendables-ranked-by-lifetime-sexual-magnetism

Which is wrong, damn it. Mostly because there is no planet where Sly Stallone is more attractive than Jason Statham, not even early '80s Nighthawks era Stallone. Also, the top 3 really ought to be Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and either Bruce Willis or Statham. Actually, I'm okay with any variation of that top 4.

~~~~

I've meant to post about the Dredd trailer for some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PifvRiHVSCY

I am torn. On the one hand, it looks like it's going to be your basic action film, which is not what Judge Dredd is. On the other hand, some of the visual effects, especially the bits where you see things from the perspective of the slo-mo users looks so much like the comics and a lot of the scenery and costumes looks just right.

Also, they've got the greatest excuse for slow-motion shots ever :)

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Shakespeare Meme - Day #26: Your favorite couple

Beatrice and Benedict, easily.

Because they really do love each other and I don't dislike either of them. The next nearest possibility is Hermia and Lysander.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
Fic Writing - A question particularly directed at wrestle-fic writers but if anyone else has any ideas (or solutions) feel free to chip in.

Was there ever a consensus opinion on how widely you can disregard canon? Because I've finally finished 'Not Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead', only a teensy, tiny flaw has come to my attention, one which I did not notice because by the time that Turning Point 2006 (and the aftermath) got shown in the UK, it was February 2007. Unfortunately, if we stick with reality, the week where I have everything happening is Christmas week. So I either have to hand-wave reality, or move Christmas. Neither of which is appealing but ...

~~~~

Interesting article about films that have caused people to make complaints to the BBFC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18797882 I know some of you are interested in the whole process of film classification and there's some interesting quotes from the chair of the BBFC.

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?

Easiest choice ever. The world is full of charming drunkards, give me the coming man any day.

I still haven't seen all of the most recent BBC Henry IV, so I'm intrigued to know which way they've gone with Prince Hal. I have to admit I prefer mine more Machiavellian. My Mum prefers him to be more 'I am trying to see how other people live'. We both agree Hal has to have ulterior motives.


Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
Shakespeare Meme - Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role

The obvious one would be Matt Smith as Hamlet, because he's one of the few actors I can think of that is young enough to be Hamlet, and good enough to portray him. That being said, if he doesn't want to, I'd love to see him as Andrew Augecheek as well.

If Kenneth Branagh (Sir Kenneth Branagh!!! So very happy) ever decides to do The Tempest I and my mother, god willing, will be there in a flash, hang the cost.

Polly Walker as Cleopatra is also on this list.

Other Days )

Meme related - re: the AU meme (http://redfiona99.livejournal.com/778797.html) I'm trying to come up with a female version of 'hasn't got the cojones'. I've toyed with the obvious 'hasn't got the ovaries', but I'm not sure it works. I know "hasn't got the balls" comes from the habit of various cultures (I know the Roman definitely) for men to hold their genitals when swearing oaths etc, and I'm not sure there is a direct equivalent for easy grabbing, unless we're going for ODB style 'bam'-ing.
redfiona99: (Default)
TNA, once again being infuriatingly inconsistent )

Thank goodness for BBC Iplayer because they're clashing the Patrick Stewart Macbeth (which also has Scott Handy as a random [possibly Malcolm, if he is, I shall have to get this on DVD] [[OMG he is playing Malcolm!!]]) with TNA. That being said, dear Shakespeare directors, no more faux-Third Reich. Really. Really. Bored now.

Actually judging from a lot of the other imagery they're going to Soviet, not Nazi. I'm not sure that's any better, especially as they're handling it with the usual subtlety.

Also, dear director, if you cross cast probably Caithness, and then still have Banquo declaim that he can't tell a woman about Duncan's murder, after he's chased now female Caithness into the room to look for herself, it doesn't work.

It's even funnier when probably Caithness is Banquo's wife. I've looked it up, she actually got Lennox's bits.

Also, dear farking southerners, it doesn't matter that the place is actually pronounced Scoone. If you say it like that, the rhyme scheme doesn't work. In the play, it's pronounced 'scone' to rhyme with 'one'. Try not to break Shakespeare.
redfiona99: (Default)
So, there's this story that I'm writing as a novel, to hopefully maybe get published because what are we all if not wannabe "real" writers (before anyone yells, please note the bunny ears on real). And this is version two and a half, the half being the thinking but not writing stage that everything I write goes through. And throughout the mental stage and version one, it's been very simple, character A ends up with character B, characters C and D end up together, and character E spends the rest of their life happily doing the thing they love most.

So I'm writing and it's going fine, when suddenly, the character want to go off and be all A/E. This is not good, the rest of the plot is set up for A/B. I mean, it can be changed but argh! I'm still not sure what to do, but the point (or conversation rather) of no return is about to occur in the story.

~~~~

There's been another withdrawal in the Croatian squad (poor Slaven Bilic, in words you'd never thought I'd say) so the diagram will have to wait. It does also mean that the two Croats that have been subbed in will have their names properly annotated with proper diacritics which my laptop is being obscure about. However, given that it is frequently obscure about umlauts as well (as is my work computer grr), I think háčeks might be beyond it.

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play

Well I got to read Mercutio when we did Romeo and Juliet at school but I am well aware I have the acting abilities of a trout. No, my plans are all for directing plays. I have a thoroughly thought out plan for Romeo and Juliet, which I grant is heavily influenced by the ballets.

I do worry that there is the possibility of me turning into a monomaniacal director terrible a la Fraiser but I have yet to find that out.

I also have a version of 'Sleeping Beauty' if anyone is interesting which is revolutionary, if only in the sense of actually giving the swans something to do. I've yet to see any version of 'Sleeping Beauty' that shows any sign of anyone involved ever having had anything to do with swans. They're evil blighters, I don't see why they're so meek and mild in the ballet.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
No disrespect intended to anyone who ships the pairings I don't.

Six ships you're into right now

1. Fai/Kurogane
2. Crimson/Matt Morgan
3. Black Widow/Hawkeye
4. Charles Xavier/Erik Lensherr
5. Moriarty/Moran (from the RDJ Holmes)
6. Sherlock/John (Sherlock version - only not / more John is Sherlock's most important person, for whatever value that Sherlock is capable of. Not that I have excessive numbers of WIPs on this topic, more or less.)

Three ships you liked, but don’t like anymore

7. Phil Coulson/Pepper Potts
8. Jack Harkness/Toshiko Sato
9. Cap/Tony Stark, but only in the movieverse

Four ships you never liked

10. George Smiley/Peter Guillam
11. Matt Hardy/Jeff Hardy
12. Mycroft/Lestrade
13. Thor/Loki

Two ships you're curious about, but don’t actually ship

14. Mystique/Angel
15. Mystique/Azazel

(Um, those last two might tell you which character I'm writing a lot of at the moment)

On to the meme )
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The jubilee, whatever my own personal views* appears to have gone off well. Also, I believe, that political commentators, both on the left and chunks of the right, over-estimate the general public's dislike of Prince Charles. He might be a nimwit, but he's generally viewed as mostly harmless. Also, and this might just be my generation, if I wanted to make sure that people didn't vote to get rid of the monarchy, all I'd have to say would be, "imagine the other option, how would you feel about President Blair?" People really underestimate the dislike most people have for today's politicians.

And of course, there was Handel, Holst and Elgar. And Beethoven. I make no comment about the last.

* I am, needless to say, a republican (in the monarchic sense)

~~~~

I thought the ITV Euro2012 build up thing was good, if silly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt_xRVSCztM). The BBC one is better (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTlf59c_wlU&feature=related). It makes me want to go storm castles.

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day 22 - Underrated Play

True story time.

So the RSC do a cheap ticket for students thing, and after the wonderful Stu volunteered to drive (because trains to Stratford at the weekend from Leicester are terrible), I thought game on. So I looked for tickets, and the only play on at the right time with student tickets left was 'Coriolanus'. I knew the name of the play, but that was about all that I knew about it. It wasn't one of the big hitters, it wasn't even in the second rank. It might not lurk in quite as much confusion as the Two Noble Gentlemen Kinsmen of Verona (yes, I know neither play is called that but I still get them horribly confused) but not one I'd ever considered watching.

I wavered a little on whether or not to buy some tickets. In the end I decided yes, because I didn't know when the next time I'd be able to see the RSC do anything would be.

And I'm really glad I did because I loved Coriolanus. Both the play and the character. One day I will get round to watching the Ralph Fiennes version to see if it is the character himself or if it was just the version that I saw first that I loved quite so much but he's so ...

Well he's fine as long as you give him an army and a battle to fight, it's after that where it all goes horribly wrong. He's a man who keeps getting pushed into positions he's terrible for/at by advisors and his somewhat all-powerful, utterly terrifying, she-who-will-be-obeyed mother (who is all these things and still loves him and only wants the best for him). And no, I don't over-identify at all :P

It's very much one of those plays where you find yourself wanting to yell 'no, don't do that' at the main character. It doesn't help, he keeps doing that, the rolling stone of Roman tragedy stopping for no-one.

I really don't get why it isn't better known and better loved.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
Inspired by @pyschmedia (also known as the F1 data junkie - http://f1datajunkie.blogspot.co.uk/), I wondered if it would be possible to show both which teams contributed the most players to Euro2012, and the connections between the various leagues the players are from. To do this I used the gephi software. The graph produced can be seen here - Photobucket Click to make bigger, warning, it is quite large.

The data is as accurate as wiki can manage, so there may be a few players whose club allegiences are slightly arguable (a couple of players who are out of contract at the end of the season and there's a wiki-war over whether that end is counted from the end of the domestic season or the start of the transfer window) and was finished before news of Frank Lampard's injury came through. I'll update it to reflect that this weekend.

The results have thrown up some interesting things:

1 - contrary to my expectations, it's Bayern Munich, not Real Madrid or Barcelona that contribute the most players (13 vs 11 and 8 respectively). That isn't shown as well as might be hoped in the diagram, possibly because Real Madrid and Barcelona both mostly contribute to the Spanish team while Bayern Munich has non-German players representing their countries, thus pulling them into a crowded area of the diagram.

2 - while I was expecting certain countries to group together somewhat (I've had Danish friends who ranted at me about their national coaches fondness for picking players that play in Holland over players that play at home), I'm interested about which countries don't go into the main bit as much. These tend to be either countries where their players are drawn from teams from that country that have few foreign players representing their own countries (group A) or where they have lots of players playing in foreign leagues, but where the teams those players play for don't have other internationals in (group B) or a mixture of both factors (group C)

Group A includes Greece, Ukraine, Russia and Italy

Group B includes Poland, Denmark, Ireland

Group C includes Croatia, Czech Republic

Germany is an odd one out because most of their players play in Germany, but several players from other countries play in the Bundesliga. Sweden is the opposite, where most of their players play abroad, but for clubs with lots of other national representatives.

3 - There are several countries where 2 or 3 teams make up most of their squad - Greece, Ukraine and Russia.

Amazingly, Spain isn't one of them, with Barcelona and Real Madrid only making up 12 out of the 23. I don't know if this is a sign of the increased amount of money being offered to players to move away and I'm very tempted to see if the players are more dispersed now than they were.

4 - Related to the above, despite England being the only team whose players are all drawn from their own national league, England is in the middle of the the diagram because, with the exception of Greece and the Ukraine, every other country has at least one English-based player playing for them.

5 - If we temporarily ignore Russia, who are being pulled away from the point I'm making by Aiden McGeady and Pavel Pogrebnyak, there still seems to be some sort of dividing line down the middle of Europe, round about where the Iron Curtain went. This is interest in light of some comments made by TomᚠHübschman of the Czech Republic and Shaktar Donetsk who was bemused by England's decision to have their headquarters in Poland despite most of their group matches being on the other side of the Ukraine. He said he wasn't surprised though, because there was this belief that the further East you went the rougher it got, which, according to him, was utterly untrue, especially in the case of Donetsk.

The reason Russia is pulled so far by only three links from their players to non-Russian teams (and six links coming inwards) is because the rest bunch together increasing the power of those three links.

~~~~

I plan on doing this again as the tournament continues, removing the teams as they get knocked out. I don't think there will be much change in the central, heavily inter-connected teams, but I think their relative positions might change.

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day 21 - Over-rated Play

My Mum is going to kill me for this but Henry IV parts 1 and 2. Now, Mum would say that the problem is that the first version I saw (and the imprinting that goes with it) wasn't good. It certainly gave a somewhat cynical slant on everything (and, and Mum was most annoyed by this, nice-ified Lancaster). But I think part of the problem is I am not much impressed by charming drunks*.

It's not that it's bad per se, and it has lots of bits that work for me, but I don't get why it's held up to be the best history play**.

* I may just have given away my answer to a later question.
** although that could just be my Mum.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
There is proper all hell on about the GB wild-cards for the fencing. Personally, I believe the BFA saw all the press taekwondo were getting and weren't letting their place as most incompetent British sports federation go without a fight - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/9298569/London-2012-Olympics-legal-wrangles-over-selections-spark-fears-best-athletes-may-not-be-representing-GB.html Apologies for the Torygraph link but they're the only ones who cover fencing in any depth.

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Shakespeare Meme - Day 20 - Your favorite movie adaptation of a play

Shakespeare Re:Told - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1062205/ - I know they're not films but they're brilliant.

The Much Ado About Nothing has Damien Lewis and Sarah Parish as Beatrice and Benedict and they're wonderful and you want to punch him at the start and then by the end your shouting at the screen for them to kiss already. I'm not exaggerating, the whole house shouted that at the tv.

Also, it gives Hero something to do spoiler )

The Macbeth doesn't work as well, but there's a fantastic joke about 'the Scottish chef' and it features James McAvoy in leather trousers. I am easily impressed I know.

The Taming of the Shrew remains the only version of the damn play that I like because well, the Shrew is not tamed and instead ends up as Prime Minister. She does however, become a lot less abrasive in the process.

I still haven't managed to watch the S RT version of Midsummer Nights Dream but with that cast list it can't be bad.

~~~~

I'd suggest West Side Story but while I adore the music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HS7qeQvNJU) (also have Three Tenors doing the chorus 'I Want To Be In America' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXWXCz_482w ) but I'm not a great fan of the rest of it.

I love the Nureyev-choreographed Romeo and Juliet as well.

While not strictly a Shakespeare adaptation, Peter Sellers doing Olivier's Richard III speaking 'A Hard Day's Night' remains one of the few things that reduces me to helpless laughter every time - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLEMncv140s

Discussing Olivier, his Henry V is brilliant, spectacular and wonderful, but the opening, where it really is in a theatre is still my favourite - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOQozTk5Gj0

(The Branagh opening is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5dI65LvbrE , included because the comments tell me the Jacobi Hamlet is available on DVD. I sense a-buying about to occur.)

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
TNA - the best description seems to be one step forward, one step back )

Link Britain's Hidden Homeless written by Speech Debelle - Many people equate homelessness with sleeping rough, but life is also a struggle for those who have to live on friends' sofas or in hostels

Meme
After some delay Day #19: Your favorite movie version of a play

The Branagh "Hamlet" - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116477/

Mostly because it gives the whole play with a minimum of alterations to the script as she is written. And it's full of actors who I can hear and don't mumble. This is how little I ask of things.

And it does it with style and brio and good fight choreography and nice sets and clothes. And good actors. I find that helps too :)

Also, Branagh's Hamlet is wonderful. As I've said before, the difficulty of the play is that Hamlet is often a jerk, and Branagh's portrayal shows you the Princeling growing up before your eyes, so you're actually sad by the end.

I love it so very much.

The other option is 'Shakespeare: The Animated Tales' - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0147788/ Which I have on DVD at home home and was one of the best £50 I ever spent. The animation is wonderful, so is the voice acting, and the adaptations are done well, keeping the spirit of the stories while condensing them.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (rl)
There's a reason this is my RL icon.

Avengers, X-Men: First Class and half a dozen other reviews forthcoming once I'm able to do anything that involves thought without cussing at PhD students. Or particular student.

It's either that or marveling at Ronnie O'Sullivan's snooker playing. When he's got his brain in gear he really is fantastic to watch.

Or cursing luck on behalf of poor Colin Edwards (MotoGP: Colin Edwards to have surgery on broken collarbone - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/motogp/17973497). The worst of it (other than this is the second time in two years) is that it wasn't even his accident. I shall allow Steve Parrish to explain: "Edwards was on a slow lap during qualifying but he did everything right as he got way off the racing line and he didn't even see Randy de Puniet coming.

De Puniet then unfortunately fell off and skittled Edwards with him. Edwards' first words to the marshals when they helped him were unprintable, but along the lines of "what was that?" He didn't even know what had happened."


(full article here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/motogp/17974736)

Shakespeare Meme - Day #18: Your favorite dialogue

The bit I'm about to mention is my actual favourite, despite the temptation to say everything that comes out of Mercutio's mouth.

Henry V, act 3 scene 7 - http://www.shakespeare-literature.com/Henry_V/16.html

or from the start, to minute 7 of this



And yes, that is Julian Glover playing the Constable.

There's so many things I like about this dialogue. One is the word play, which is bitchy and funny, and actually quite caustic give that the only way for stuff to fall off armour in battle is if the person wearing it gets hit.

The second is that the Dauphin gets the verbal smackdown (to his face) that he's been deserving throughout the play. And the Constable gets to do it :)

I love the repetition of 'would it were day', because, well I certainly get like that between rounds in fencing so I can't imagine how much worse it would be for something that could lead to your death. It makes it seem more real.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
The Good:

I haven't lost my GI Joe DVD.

My strained muscle in my back has healed to the point that I can survive without Deep Heat (mostly).

The Bad:

Proteins. That is all I wish to say on the matter as if I add anything to that, it will all be four letter words and asterisks.

Spiders - you can tell it's Spring, the spiders are making a comeback. I am not freaking out, really, but I am very happy that I will be moving soon. I must start to tidy/pack up however which is also :(

The Shakespeare Meme - Day #17: Your favorite speech

Sadly I can't find it from a production but I've got to go with the horribly obvious:



All the World's a Stage

I prefer it in situ, because, while I love it anyway, in the play you get the feeling of Jaques, who being as he is a forerunner to Marvin the Paranoid Android, will never be happy, and he's all anger and spite and bitterness* which most non-play readings leave out.

*Obviously, character interpretations, they vary.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
Friends, Romans, people who live in countries that actually give numbers to humidity - what sort of humidity value is a native New Yorker going to complain about? I can elide, but I need to add words to this fic so I'm trying to hunt down details.

Actually, about that, if anyone has the time or inclination to beta a ~ 1000 word Mystique fic set after X-Men: First Class fic, I'd be grateful.

~~~~

Links:

What were the Romans really like? Different from us in many ways, but there is much that is familiar in Roman family life and in particular parenting - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17701080 I'm using the sub-headline because the main headline shows that whoever wrote the headline hadn't read the article.

London 2012: Why are world's athletes training in UK? - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17617531 Money mostly, it turns out. Actually an interesting article, and remind me I have to e-mail some RL friends with it.

Paloma Faith pretending she's ever kept anything real - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17658680

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day #16: Your first play you saw

If we're talking ever, ever by any method, then Kenneth Branagh's Henry V on tape, which my Mum still has. Thankfully it's not worn out yet.

If we're talking on stage, then Macbeth at the Theatre Royal. Annoyingly I can't remember the company but it was ace. 6 actors, 2 techies (and I suspect that one of the techies was one of the actors) and the most fantastic amount of thought had gone in. Real atmosphere, and Macbeth's death was one of those moments where time seemed to stop, and we were in a medieval Scottish castle. It was brilliant.

Other Days )
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Adverts

It must be said, the adverts have been getting good again recently. My mother's favourite is this Dulux advert:



Matters are made more amusing that my bedroom at home is that shade of yellow.

While I really like this BT advert which, annoyingly, I can't embed - http://youtu.be/BOxj69KNuC8

Again, possibly funnier if you've ever been over-the-phone tech support for parents. Also, I'll put money on it being baby photos that his Mum has just put up.

~~~~

The Grand National

The BHA will undoubtedly come up with better suggestions than this, but my suggestions for making the National safer are:

1) reduce the maximum number of runners to 30, which should lead to less crowding over the jumps, hopefully making it easier for horses to avoid each other.

2) if a horse unseats its rider before the race, or runs loose for any other reason, the horse doesn't get to run in the race.

~~~~

Shakespeare Meme - Day #15: The first play you read

Skipping quickly over the thing about how plays are meant to be seen/acted, not read (or certainly not read silently), my dusty memory would like to say Macbeth, but I think it was probably Romeo and Juliet.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
So we're probably putting in for a flat. This means there'll always be a floor for any of you lot while I'm still in Brum. I am trying to be calm about it, but I'm torn between panic and an odd sort of calm, which I think might dissolve into panic at any moment (AC/DC are helping with the avoidance of this).

The second viewing led to me observing on of the most fun game of verbal chess ever. What was actually meant in italics:

Mum's boyfriend: "So, do you have any idea why this hasn't sold yet?" ( Are you expecting us to actually meet your full asking price?)

Seller: "Well, we've had offers but they were insultingly low. We don't need to sell so we just walked away." ( Pretty much, yes. )

~~~~

Another funny thing was how different Mum and her boyfriend's memory of the flat were from how it actually was. Like totally different. Not just size of rooms, but things like colour and what state they were in.

~~~~

Friend of mine is just back from New York and on the way back she got the surprise of her life when Richard Branson decided to wander through economy class on her flight, checking that everyone was having a nice flight.

~~~~

F1

Nico Rosberg will never be one of my favourites but I'm so glad he's finally got a win under his belt.

NCIS

Spoilers for 'Life Before His Eyes' or episode 200 )

Knitting

So Operation Hat, and the knitting pattern that makes no sense, are finished. Unfortunately, the hat is probably too small for the intended recipient. Therefore, we move on to Operation Bigger Hat. Any tips on how to knit more loosely are gratefully received.

Shakespeare Meme - Day #14: Your favorite fight scene

I've been obvious and gone with the one at the end of Macbeth, as found here


It's the McKellen version, even if I was wrong in blaming Peter Hall for the direction, apparently we're to blame Trevor Nunn. It has the advantage of also show the 'tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow' soliloquy that I mentioned yesterday. It has the disadvantage of showing what I didn't like about that production. Sadly, it doesn't even with the award for worst lit Macbeth I ever saw (via TV), that goes the the Antony Sher one. Which annoys me because they had Harriet Walter as Lady Macbeth and I couldn't see her. And before anyone says, surely it's the words that matter, not the visuals, if I'd wanted to just hear it acted, I've got the Ken Stott radio version on tape, and that's perfectly satisfactory.

Other Days )

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