Film Of course I'm deeply excited by the prospect of Steven Soderbergh's version of 'Solaris'. And I'm sure some women are equally excited by the prospect of seeing a lot of its star George Clooney:
Were you surprised there has been such a fuss about whether your ass would stay in the picture?
Yeah, I was. I think Fox is struggling to find something to get ink on. But it seems like sort of a non-story. It's not that hard-core. We've seen worse on so many television shows, and so it felt like that was one of those things where they're just going, "What do we do, how do we sell this? Maybe we sell it through sex." Which is fine. It's certainly closer [to what the movie's about] than the original [ideas to market it], which were as sci-fi, because if young men show up thinking it's going to be a sci-fi film, they're going to be really pissed. Solaris doesn't fit into a category you can give a sound bite to--so, how do you talk about a film that is really for adults?
Hollywood post-millenium, everyone ...
ID It's a cushion. It's a mirror. It's a mirror cushion. Is this what Davros uses to cuddle up to late at night when he's watching Ed Wood movies?
Work The last day of work in any job is never the same I’ve found. I remember the last time, it was an absolute event. Today few cared. Some that knew did say good bye but they were when I returned from lunch, so on leaving I was simply told by the others to have a good weekend, and that they would see me on Tuesday. I just wanted to get out. Leave. So it was simpler just to say the same to them – to tell them that in fact they wouldn’t be seeing me Tuesday would have only promoted more questions from them. I didn’t know these people. We weren’t even friends. For once I wanted to just disappear.
TV Charles Kennedy to host 'Have I Got News For You' No comment.
Lunchtime I'm currently being dwarfed by a nine foot high Christmas tree. It's leaning, still wrapped, next to the internet machine I'm using at the library close to work. It would be terribly sinister were it not for the wafting aroma of pine. Suddenly it really does feel like Christmas is four seeks away. On my way here, as the rain lashed down I stood momentarily outside a house -- through the net curtains they had already put up their tree and decorations and the lights were dimmed; it looked like a warmest place in the world. I think I'm going to go home tonight and put up our advent calender. It plays a different tune as each window is opened. I can't wait to here it's rendition of 'Away in a Manger'.
Watching with Wharfdale
My So-Called Life DVD boxset
There used be a TV programme on Sunday nights on BBC One called ‘When the boat comes in’. I was very young, so the only thing a remember was the theme song, which was something along the lines of ‘You shall have a fishy, on a little dishy, dah dah dah dah dah, when the boat comes in.’ I suspect there was a fishing subject matter somewhere in there, but whenever our family had the tv conversation at Christmas my Dad will look off into the distance and get misty eyed. When I’m his age and I’m talking to my kids there’ll be on programme I’ll bring up and bore them rigid about. The difference is I’ll be able to get it down off the shelf and pop it into the DVD player.

The magic of the internet means that I don’t actually have to go on at great length about what the show is, or why it means so much and which my favourite moment is. It’s all been covered already by myself and others. So instead I’ll be keep with everything I’ve noticed rewatching the series over the past few days. I refer you to this FAQ as a pretty good way of finding what I’m on about because I’m going to be shockingly insular and only talk about it for people who already love the series and are thinking about shelling out for the boxset. I’ll also demonstrate time and again why it’s better than ‘Dawson’s Creek’ in every respect …

Angela I’d actually forgetten how vindictive she could be. Apart from the incident in which she sells the ‘Dead’ tickets her Dad gave her, there are all the times she entirely unsympathetic to Brian, Sharon and her sister. But staggeringly everyone is like that. Showing a depth of characterization not seen elsewhere, all of the characters are portrayed as been as mean, nasty, helpful, good as we all are. Even Brian, who for much of the series is portayed as wounded puppy is entirely hateful towards Delia Fisher, and completely fails to relate during the substitute teacher episode. Better than DC? In DC the characters never mean to … in MSCL they do time and again … which is the more realistic?

Story-arcs I hadn’t realized how MSCL doesn’t do story arcs, or at least not in the traditional way. What arcs do exist are more developments within a given situation. For example, Angela slowly getting closer to Jordan; Angela and Sharon making up; Angela and Rayanne falling out; Brian falling for Angela. Whenever a major event does occur (Sharon’s Dad’s heart attack), it lasts an episode and the developments are more about the character than the thing. They aren’t allowed to rule their lives – in that same episode although Patty and Graham are cut up about the heart attack, they never lose focus on the running of the business. Also some things slow burn – Rayanne’s drinking problem is in there from the start but it’s pretty subliminal, we don’t really notice it, just like real life. Better than DC? Recently Dawson’s Dad died. Most other plotlines stopped for about three episodes while all of the fall out worked its way through as though nothing else was happening in the character’s lives. In MSCL when Rayanne slept with Jordan, although it had magnitude, only those directly involved were effected. Everything else just carried on regardless.

The Adults I hadn’t noticed before how integral Angela’s parents are. Every episode features a plotline about them and unlike other teen shows it’s not from the kids point of view. There are even a couple of episodes were their story has more significance (‘Father Figure’). You can see why ABC had issues with finding a slot … Better than DC? When Dawson’s Mom had an affair it was more about how it effected Dawson. When Angela’s Dad was thinking about it, it was about his marriage instead – Angela wasn’t in much of the equation.

Parody Oddly MSCL doesn’t seem to afraid of parodying itself. One of the zeniths of this is the moment in ‘Halloween’ when Angela’s younger sister Danielle does a pitch perfect impression of her big sister playing on the mad angst of earlier episodes (toned down a but by then). Better than DC? Ripe for parody, DC runs away and hides from it. DC’s stock in trade is echoes – visual or textual references to previous storylines and moments, such as Dawson and Joey’s first kiss.

Visual I forgotten how visual many of the shows are. From the view from under Angela’s cardigan in the first episode; through the montage about kissing via the scene were Brian glimpses Rayanne shaving her legs there are hundred are memorable moments. Better than DC? To be honest, I watched two new episodes on Sunday and I can’t remember their being a single shot which made my mouth fall open. That happens time and again on MSCL.

DVD So what do you get for your sixty odd quid? It’s a weird one actually. Unlike the origami adventures of the Buffy boxsets (all folded card board) here we have each disk in a separate standard plastic dvd box wrapped into a card board traditional of VHS boxsets. Each box has the same picture of Angela on the front and episode descriptions on the back with little pictures which might be from the series. It’s all very uniform. And cheap looking, but to be honest it doesn’t matter. This is one of the situations were the product is more important than the packaging. There are no special features. No commentaries, no trailers. But again it doesn’t matter because of the quality of the product. I’d rather have nothing than something half-hearted like some onscreen essay. Especially if it kept costs down. I do have a gripe with the annoying menus. I would have preferred something silent with the black and white MSCL logo and the options. Instead we get the annoying rock version of the theme from the closing credits of the pilot, over a mess of pinks and a far to red shot of Angela looking like she’s got piles. No really. It’s a nightmare. Better than DC? So far only four episodes of DC are available. Nyer, nyer nee nyer neyer.

But one we can live with. It somehow feels wrong that I’ve got access to this in *this* condition. Go. Go buy now … and that's all I have to say about that ... for now ...
Life My posting absense is because of (a) my continuing cold (called into work sick today ... back in tomorrow) and (b) watching my newly delivered My So-Called Life DVD boxset (which has made me feel a whole lot better and of which I'll wax lyrical in future postings I'm sure). In the mean time, two things which strike me as aposite. For some reason this reminds me of Ricki in later episodes; and this strikes me as something which might have made the series even shorter (god forbid) ... [via Katie's Head, related Metafilter thread]

Blog! Milk Plus -- it's about films ...
History Winston Churchill has been voted as the Greatest Briton. Yes, he gave some great speeches when he needed to, but who gave him the language to make them? [Mefi]
Blog! Take care of yourself Dave. If you can survive university, you can survive anything ...
Telecommunications One of life's absolute joys is passing a payphone when it starts to ring and there is no one about. You dash to answer it, and if you get there in time there is always that instant of possibility that there will be someone on the end. The Payphone Project: UK allows us all to spread the joy ... time to add mine ... [via wrzl]