Thursday, July 23, 2009


i hate television.
but i was exceptionally bored tuesday night and found myself flicking through channels. after discovering absolutely nothing appealing, i came across a show called the big bang theory. i stopped because i saw sara gilbert -- as everybody knows, lesbians in primetime are fascinating:

portia de rossi / arrested development,
pam grier / the l word,
tyne daly / judging amy? i think?
it's like watching a dog walk around on it's hind legs.
oprah, ellen, rosie -- daytime is where lesbians belong.

anyways, i watched this show for about two minutes.
and then nothing much happened. i lost interest and was about to change when i saw the man in the photos above.

aside from being the new love of my life, jim parsons is now the only reason i watch television
him and mariska hargitay.
and dog the bounty hunter.
and that's it.

btw, laurie metcalf plays his mother on the show.
meant to be?
i think so.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

i've loved you so long.

i have been feeling very cheerful for the past few days.
so cheerful in fact, that i have neglected my posts.
and in keeping with my high spirits, no complaints today.

this afternoon, i saw a film that was so profoundly moving that i just had to tell the world. il y a longtemps que je t'aime is the directorial debut of philippe claudel and features a performance by kristin scott thomas that is so sublimely acted you have to see it to believe it.

thomas plays juliette, a woman having just been released from prison after serving a fifteen-year sentence for the murder of her six-year-old son. with no other family or friends willing to speak to her (given the nature of her crime), she moves in temporarily with her sister lea (played brilliantly by elsa zylberstein), a university professor with two adorable adopted vietnamese daughters, a soccer-enthusiast husband and his mute father. 

(normally, i hate it when casting directors deliberately search for child actors that are so nauseatingly sweet and cute, as i feel it ruins the reality of the picture, but these two were a unique breath of fresh air). 

the sense of closeness and actuality that exudes from the typically quirky french family is turned upside down when this former criminal is brought into the picture, particularly for the puzzled young girls who have a lot of questions for this aunt that they never knew existed. what is so phenomenal about this picture is thomas' dedication to the character, who says very little throughout the film and wanders about in a haunted near-existence, with a face completely careworn and so heartbreakingly sad, it alone should have won her a much deserved academy award.

(mind you, sally hawkins' performance in  happy go lucky garnered her just about every major award of the 2008 season - - los angeles film critics association: best actress ; berlin film festival: silver bear award for best actress ; boston film festival: best actress ; new york film critics circle award: best actress ; golden globe award: best actress in a musical or comedy - - and even she was no match for angelina jolie's pathetic and heavily lobbied nomination for changeling. many great female performances in 2008, and very few of them actually appeared at the oscars).

juliette is slowly regaining the trust and love of the few people who know of her past. she maintains a job as a medical secretary (as she was a doctor before her son's death), buys her own apartment and ultimately meets a man to whom she tells her secret.

the impending climax comes nearer the end when we discover the exact circumstances of her crime. a photo and letter written by her son is accidently left on a bedside table, and eventually found by lea. on the back of the letter is a medical formula (written by the former doctor juliette) for a type of euthanasia which she administered to her son to end the constant pain he was suffering from a terminal illness. all along, everyone had assumed that she had poisoned her son deliberately, when she merely helped to humanely put him to sleep. she never told anybody the truth, even at her trial, because as she says: 

"the death of a child is worse than a prison. you live in it every day. i wanted to go to jail".

the film ends here and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
i watched it alone, but you get the idea.

a phenomenal performance by an incredibly underrated (and surprisingly french) actress. bravo ms. thomas.
it almost makes you wonder why her next co-star is jessica biel.
now that's versatility.

Friday, July 3, 2009

mollie sugden (1922-2009).

this truly was the week of death.

michael jackson.
farrah fawcett.
karl malden.
billy mays.

...and now mrs. slocumbe. and she actually meant more to me than all of the above four. combined.

mollie sugden, one of britain's most beloved comedic actresses passed away at the age of 86 yesterday. 
she was spot-on in her delivery and timing, particularly as the iconic mrs. slocumbe on are you being served?, one of the GREATEST TV SHOWS EVER.

no stranger to the bbc, mollie was also known for her titular role on come back, mrs. noah, as the overbearing matriarch on the liver birds, and her impressive dramatic stint on coronation street.
she also recently guest starred in a hilarious skit for little britain.

a true comedic legend. 
taken away.

i really can't deal with this.
i will be dedicating my entire weekend to a much-deserved aybs marathon, courtesy of the 14 season box set i bought a while ago.

mrs. slocumbe will hopefully join miss. brahams and mr. humphrey in that great big department store in the sky.

john inman (1935-2007)
wendy richard (1943-2009)

the bachelor - patrick wolf

Dulcimer. Harpsichord. Ukulele. There are few instruments that Patrick Wolf can't play.

On The Bachelor, his first of two releases slated for this year (The Conqueror is slated for late 2009 /early 2010), Wolf abandons his subtle genius in songwriting and musical composition and opts for a more bombastic, in-your-face sonic assault that feels all too static for the messages behind most of the thirteen tracks. 

Of course, Wolf has continued his traditional use of strings, namely the violin which tends to make tracks like “Hard Times” to “Blackdown” to “The Sun is Often Out” all the more dense and depressing than their titles suggest.

Alternatively, in a move that seemed brilliant on paper, Wolf enlists the vocals of Tilda Swinton, Oscar-winning art-house-cinema-queen and muse for Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf, who proves surprisingly unnecessary as “The Voice of Hope” on tracks “Theseus”, “Thickets” and “Oblivion” (mind you, if Tilda Swinton volunteered to help me darn a pair of socks, I would die happy). This marks the second time that Wolf has used a rich, vocal counterpart to serve as the fairy godmother to his lost little boy persona (bluesy-mod icon Marianne Faithfull provided similarly pointless “words of hope” on 2007’s The Magic Position). Another guest contributor on “Battle” seemed equally superfluous—proving that sharing the spotlight does no justice to Wolf’s strong vocals. Far too many times, I found myself saying: “Patrick should remain stripped down and solo on his records” (no pun intended).

I am speaking of course about the artist’s recent foray into glam rock territory and his desired compulsion to don tin-foil creations that leave nothing to the imagination and, more often than not, show off far too much skin for anybody to take seriously.

Do yourself a favour and visit his S&M-themed video for “Vulture”, which oddly enough, is the single best song on the album—because it fits absolutely nowhere and is so perfect a match to the new persona that Wolf is trying to become: (“My D-D-D-D-D-D-Dead Meat / You’re D-D-D-D-D-D-Dead Meat” Come on. That is pure pop gold). No longer a frizzy-haired, pan-flute-toting hippie sprite. That was so 2004. This year is all about glam. Fashion. Make-up. And electronica—all of which has proved lost in translation to this once die-hard Patrick Wolf fan. This is supposedly why the excessive violin use over bass-beats that would make Goldfrapp jealous really didn’t work for me. I suppose I come from the old school where accordions and drum machines should be kept at either ends of the spectrum.

Don’t get me wrong—Patrick Wolf is still extremely talented, and The Bachelor is for all intents and purposes a good album, but I feel though that his newly discovered place in mainstream UK pop is severely limiting the once sublime beauty that was palpable and all-too-evident in his earlier LPs.  Hopefully, with the money he earns from this record, he will take some time and retreat into the woods to come up with something that better highlights his immense musical talents; preferably one that won’t alienate old fans and / or scare new ones. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

whine and dine.

i recently had lunch with a friend of mine.
we sat across from one another, positioned so that i could see two other tables out of the corners of each eye.

at the table to my left sat a very attractive woman, about 25-30, sitting alone with a glass of white wine, nibbling a humble spinach salad and reading a book.

at the table to my right sat a woman with the same build, same facial features, similar style of clothes and roughly the same age. however, this woman sat spoon-feeding two horrible, rotten kids. before you ask, they were definitely hers as she was constantly threatening them with spankings, withholding lucky charms (who brings cereal in ziploc bags to a restaurant?) and telling them that "their father was not going to be happy when they got home". they were also shrieking "mommy!" every two minutes and running around, much to her embarrassment. (and the restaurant... let's just say it was not the local mcdonald's).

it was right out of the episode of satc where samantha confronts the mother and her noisy child at the five-star restaurant, only to have pesto sauce hurled at her ungaro blazer.

i personally don't understand how or why, in this day and time, a woman of that age would have not one but two children. the options for unplanned pregnancies are always available (sometimes, frighteningly so) and yet women would sooner ruin their early lives by becoming something that most of them are completely unprepared for. you want to bring a perfectly well-behaved child into a nice restaurant--that's fine.
you should be able to tell whether your children are the type that can sit through a meal without throwing crayons and pulling each other's hair.

the whole event reminded me of a really great poem by early feminist writer and poet katherine philips (1632-1664).

a married state

a married state affords but little ease:
the best of husbands are so hard to please.
this in wives' careful faces you may spell,
though they dissemble their misfortunes well.
a virgin state is crowned with much content,
it's always happy as it's innocent.
no blustering husband to create your fears,
no pangs of childbirth to extort your tears,
no children's cries for to offend your ears,
few worldly crosses to distract your prayers.
thus are you freed from all the cares that do
attend on matrimony and a husband too.
therefore, madam, be advised by me:
turn, turn apostate to love's levity.
suppress wild nature if she dare rebel,
there's no such thing as leading apes in hell.