Keep us from being together

Film Every now and then a costume drama is released which is supposed to re-invent the genre. That was the buzz which followed Patricia Rozema's excellent version of Mansfield Park in 1999 and here we are again, six years later with Joe Wright's new Pride and Prejudice. Other than being Jane Austin adaptations, something both of these films have in common is actually how they don't re-invent anything; all they're doing is bring contemporary storytelling techniques to the literary adaptation, which is something which has realistically been happening for years.

It's a startling film actually, with a restless camera burrowing in and out of crowd scenes gathering dialogue, action and plot points in its wake. Time and again there are moments when it becomes clear that conversations are occuring in real time, either when the characters are dancing or at rest, giving the actors room to really develop their performances. It's an entirely Altmanesque technique, the ball sequences in particular resembling Nashville and unsurprisingly Gosford Park, with familiar dialogue given just enough time to breath but information offered visually.

This is the first Kiera Knightly performance I've enjoyed outside her totally nuts appearance as that college princess in The Hole. Giving that major scenes have become little more than a synopsis in the edit, in Lizzy Bennet she's carrying an awful lot of the emotional core of the story and if the film succeeds its because of her. But really it's an excellent ensemble with not a duff performance, even in the parts which have become seriously curtailed. If Matthew MacFadyen's Darcy looks slightly uncomfortable I would imagine it's part of his performance and not as some reviewers have suggested because he's trying not to be some other actor.

Screaming in Digital

TV After a tip-off from someone at the Restoration Team website, I found an entry at the BBFC website that the webcast with the Nth Doctor Richard E Grant, Scream of the Shalka was rated on the 20th September, which would suggest a DVD release is upcoming (although oddly, the censors are listing it as a video...). It is available on the web, but it'll be nice to see it on a proper television. But what of the audience? Is this something that people who buy the Classic or New series releases would want to buy?


Life So the inevitable happened. I was enjoying myself last night, really enjoying myself, then 11pm began to creep up and I had to leave the group to go to the station for the last bus. It seems incredible that there are no trains between two major cities, Liverpool and Manchester, so close to each other, after 11:20 at night. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I've checked National Express and their last goes at midnight. The YHA is £20 a night. If anyone can better either of those I'll be eternally grateful.

It was a bit of an adventure. I was able to see some more of the student end of Manchester where all the halls are, and what I missed by not moving into one of those (quite small rooms). Things took a turn for the biographical as we passed a pub which my friend Chris's band Roosta played at once (which is now called 'The Pub' just in case there's any confusion) and on the bus home I sat next to an an old friend, Louise, someone I haven't seen for about five years. This is why I never say goodbye.

The Rachel McAdams Fan Club

Film John from Sore Eyes has posted an excellent comment piece on The Notebook in this old thread, which goes on to speculate as to what Rachel McAdams might like to do next. Careful of honking great spoilers for Red Eye though.

I'm ...

Film The excellent and underappreciated Rosario Dawson is to headline the Clerks sequel. This is going to be really funky.


Film Who will play David Icke? Edgar Wright directs Them an adaptation of Jon Ronson's book and documentary tv series.

mini adventure

Life Met my course tutors and the rest of my course mates today. I've excitement and trepidation about lectures which begin next week. I'm sorting out my options. The biggest difference I've noticed with my undergraduate study is that although aspects of this are taught, much of the study and time will be spent researching personal interests. The structure is looser but and brilliantly challenging. In other news, I'm going out into Manchester tomorrow night. Even though I'll be getting last train replacement bus service home and it leaves at the city 11:20 I really want to make an effort; I like the people I'm going out with (well of course) and it'll be a great little mini adventure however long I'm there...

Well c-listers like me ...

Quote "The existence of an A-list is of particular importance to newish bloggers, those who check their stats more than once a day and fret about the fact that they haven't hit an average of 200 yet. These are also the types who are most likely to identify A-listers from Technorati, and leave bland, identical comments about what a great blog they've got, in the hope that someone will click on their URL. Yes HumanityCritic I'm talking to you." -- Karen

Invisible airplane

Film Why would Joss Whedon look here when casting Wonder Woman when the perfect actress is right under his nose?


Links Some tags are so random, yet so beautiful that when you fall into them, you need to grab them and hold on tight. Here is the place to look for everything which their users find to be awesome. See also excellent, great, good, amazing, astounding and just for those of us brought up in Liverpool in the 1980s, skill.

Ch-ch-ch-changes ...

Quote "Keep talking and keep laughing. Changes can be hard on people, even good changes. Talking about things and taking time to have a little fun can make a world of difference." -- How To Deal With Change [via]

Any more pie?


find your inner PIE @

Stupid things.

Life I'm caught up with university which is something I hoped would happen. Tomorrow I have my first course related meeting when I hope to find out what all this is about. Today was about just enjoying being there; a short introduction to the IT systems in the morning and a talk about a research based module in the afternoon, the rest of the time trailing about with good people I've met since all this excitement began. I felt so relaxed, which is different for me -- I'm usually gladding about wanting to do everything and plan everything straight away. That will come. I'll be that person - probably after I've found out exactly when my lectures and seminars and whatnot will be, how many days I actually need to be in Manchester. Until then, I'm content to smile, listen, follow and try not to say too many stupid things.

There's your trouble

Quote "Although by and large I enjoy being a man, I've always had an awkward relationship with some of the niche aspects of maleness, such as the dull preoccupation with sport and pubs, or the deluded belief that breaking wind is funny. I like to think there's more to us than that." -- Charlie Booker