Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Reviews: November 2011

I’ve been seeing a fair bit of stuff, reading a lot and generally enjoying stuff this month so thought I’d share a few of my experiences in the hope that you can enjoy it too.

This a fantastic film which I could really relate to and it left me reflecting on weekends I’ve had in the past much like the one depicted here (only without the drugs, Mr Officer) and about missed opportunities. I absolutely loved this film. It was quietly intense, moving and funny. It worked on different levels for me, both as an entertaining examination of a series of interactions between two very different men and as a meditation on some aspects of modern life for gay people. I’d defy anyone, gay or straight, not to enjoy this gem of a film which is winning awards and acclaim left right and centre. It’s definitely worth catching. I loved the writer/director’s previous film “Greek Pete” too but this one definitely blew me away. I was thinking about it for days afterwards which has got to be good. Oh, the boys are quite cute too, which is nice.
Yes. You’ve read it right. C, the arch anti-tv snob is talking about TV programs he likes.
The Slap

I loved the original novel this was based on and watched the Australian TV adaptation with trepidation, expecting it to be a bit glossy and crass as TV adaptations often can be. It’s actually really well executed, capturing the brutality and raw edges of the novel. Any TV program which makes your hand twitch whilst watching it as your desire to slap vile people and children mounts, is working for me. It’s on now on BBC4 and available on the catch up service for the next month.

I only know one other person who’s privy to the sublime joys of Madmen. It seemed to go under the radar here in England. I’ve been working my way through the DVDs and loving it just as much as the first time I watched it. The show is set in the early 1960s in a New York advertising agency and is very perceptive and wryly amusing. The interiors, clothing and period detail are beautiful and the characterisation is acutely observed. You feel like you should be wearing a lounge suit and sipping a cocktail whilst watching it. I’m also in love with the main character, Don Draper, in spite of his philandering ways. I’d forgive him.
Nottingham Contemporary

I don’t always get contemporary art, finding some of it baffling and inaccessible. It can excite me but also can leave me cold and I know a lot of my friends and acquaintances wouldn’t conceive of going to an art gallery, seeing it as pretentious tosh. Paul, my partner, is an artist and since meeting him, I’ve seen a lot more art and am still having occasional mixed feelings. The current exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary is amazing. I loved it. The work of Klaus Weber is visually stunning, easy to grasp the concept and as ever in this awe inspiring space, presented well. It contains strange gadgets, a museum of random oddness and pictures made by bees. I’d definitely recommend this, it’s free to see and there’s also a really nice cafe bar. What have you got to lose?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I’ve mentioned before that I have a morbid fascination with asylums and the history of mental illness and psychiatric treatments. As such, I’ve always loved the film of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The production of the play at Leicester’s Curve Theatre was pure genius. It’s hard to perform such an iconic classic of a piece and do it justice but they more than achieved this. The stage set was dazzling, a huge temple of a brilliant white hospital ward which captured its stark beauty. Nurse Rached was suitably frightening and lit to perfection. The whole production was polished and worthy of a West End theatre or Broadway production.
The Curve is a great theatre which puts on loads of innovative and eclectic plays and is well worth a visit. It’s a stylish place too with a breath taking foyer area and the stages are perfect for creating inspiring stage sets and scenery worthy of the shows.
They’ve just released the new season of plays for Spring and Summer and there are some corking productions coming. I’d recommend checking it out.

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