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Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Oh, but it’s long. But hey, absolutely riveting and so beautifully written it gleams and glides moving swiftly and powerfully. She’s a thoughtful and careful writer. A gripping tale told with rich precision. And winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Oh, but it’s long. But hey, absolutely riveting and so beautifully written it gleams and glides moving swiftly and powerfully. She’s a thoughtful and careful writer. A gripping tale told with rich precision. And winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Watched this. Started the DVD last Saturday night. It finished on Thursday. I didn’t pause it or stop it or go back to it, I just left it running and it ran for days. It was longer than Lent, longer than a dream of Christmas, longer than the distance from here to the stars, and harder to understand than any of that. Harder than steel and the threat of biscuits.

I sort of loved it and sort of felt bewildered and confused. I think I need to re-watch it again soon I and really get to the heart of it. Or maybe I should read the novel. Either way I think it deserving of more work that I put into it on one viewing.

I thought it was beautifully done, by people passionate about the source material. Ambitious and exciting and vast and sprawling and messy. Like a life well lived.

Music was great, acting excellent. Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw particularly and inevitably wonderful. I swear I could see out my days just watching those two acting. And Hanks, Berry, and Grant all a revelation I thought.

I can see why it would have galvanized audiences, and there was a relentlessness about the endless scene changes, stopping you from ever getting quite involved, but that relentlessness was what made it ultimately satisfying. A really strange and decadent film to have got made in today’s Superhero film culture. A cherishable achievement.

Watched this. Started the DVD last Saturday night. It finished on Thursday. I didn’t pause it or stop it or go back to it, I just left it running and it ran for days. It was longer than Lent, longer than a dream of Christmas, longer than the distance from here to the stars, and harder to understand than any of that. Harder than steel and the threat of biscuits.

I sort of loved it and sort of felt bewildered and confused. I think I need to re-watch it again soon I and really get to the heart of it. Or maybe I should read the novel. Either way I think it deserving of more work that I put into it on one viewing.

I thought it was beautifully done, by people passionate about the source material. Ambitious and exciting and vast and sprawling and messy. Like a life well lived.

Music was great, acting excellent. Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw particularly and inevitably wonderful. I swear I could see out my days just watching those two acting. And Hanks, Berry, and Grant all a revelation I thought.

I can see why it would have galvanized audiences, and there was a relentlessness about the endless scene changes, stopping you from ever getting quite involved, but that relentlessness was what made it ultimately satisfying. A really strange and decadent film to have got made in today’s Superhero film culture. A cherishable achievement.

Apr 4

This was on TV last weekend. Very late.

Outstanding, stunning beauty, but best of all an amazing John Adams soundtrack which pulsed throughout like blood.

Swinton extraordinary looking, of course and as cool as ever.

Apr 2

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, review - Telegraph

No idea about this yet. On page 18. Good reviews largely when it came out. On some peoples best of the year list. Guardian gave it a poor review, but it was by Julie Myerson, who’s judgement I tend not to respect, so going to go with the weight in favour and give it a go. Long though. 776 pages or something.

Finished Perfect by Rachel Joyce. Had some issues with the structure, but came together beautifully with a not altogether unexpected twist but a lovely redemptive ending. Sad and touching and a reminder of what was so real and human about Joyce’s Harold Fry.

This came out this week. 

Astounding.

Like the boiling heart of a burning God spewing madness across a devastated landscape. 

If beauty and violence, terror and joy, fear and ecstasy can come together and trumpet bliss across a world, then here is where it happens. Boldly new and futuristic. And 44 years old.

This came out this week.

Astounding.

Like the boiling heart of a burning God spewing madness across a devastated landscape.

If beauty and violence, terror and joy, fear and ecstasy can come together and trumpet bliss across a world, then here is where it happens. Boldly new and futuristic. And 44 years old.

Awww bless. Finally got to see Le Weekend, which I have looked forward to since it came out. Much better than the script I read. The performances, direction, music, brought it to life. The theme of marriage, being together, tolerance, growing older, familiar, together. Knowing how to rub along together, accepting how you piss each other off but biting your lip because the joys, the benefits, the laughs are worth all the tiny frictions and frustrations. 

Soundtrack was great too, as it was for The Mother, another Hanif Kureishi film I saw recently and which was, again, profound about marriage, loss, age, desire. He really gets beneath the skin of this stuff in a way few bother to even attempt. An exceptional artist, I think.

Awww bless. Finally got to see Le Weekend, which I have looked forward to since it came out. Much better than the script I read. The performances, direction, music, brought it to life. The theme of marriage, being together, tolerance, growing older, familiar, together. Knowing how to rub along together, accepting how you piss each other off but biting your lip because the joys, the benefits, the laughs are worth all the tiny frictions and frustrations.

Soundtrack was great too, as it was for The Mother, another Hanif Kureishi film I saw recently and which was, again, profound about marriage, loss, age, desire. He really gets beneath the skin of this stuff in a way few bother to even attempt. An exceptional artist, I think.

Miranda Hart: My, What I Call Live Show review – 'a triumph of old-school entertainment' | Stage | The Observer

Took the kids to see Miranda Hart tonight in Leeds. Think the review in the Guardian was pretty accurate. Hugely good natured, energetic, rather old fashioned, but very funny, sweet. Rather empowering, a good message about being yourself, letting yourself be free. Nicely wrapped up.

Takes some confidence to be alone up there in these giant arenas. Just the funny observations you make, enough to hold thousands in raptures. The laughter flowed. Huge fan base. Proper charming and the kids loved it.

I’m kind of resistant to comedy on the whole, or I only like it when it’s a bit clever and self aware. (But not surreal. I can’t bear it when it’s surreal. Done to death.) The clever stuff though I love. Stewart Lee’s third series is on at the moment and some of that is remarkable, really funny but astonishingly complex. I think he may be a genius of his art form. One day the world will realize what he’s doing and get it, and they’ll celebrate him madly, and love him, and wrap him in cotton wool and lift him above the heads of great men and carry him to bliss.

But for now, he goes on. Just as he is.

And comedy can be both what he does and what Miranda does, just as fiction can be Finnegan’s Wake and The Thorn Birds.

Welcome to the spectrum and the myriad spaces between, filled by all and everyone. Rich and different and right for their place and time and audience, some pushing the boundaries, some immersed in them, some fighting, some watching. But all contributing, all adding to the debate.

A lovely night.

Here’s something which has not been out of the drawer for a few months but which turned out to be oddly astonishing and brilliantly inventive upon revisit. David McAlmont wrote the news of the year into a collection of song lyrics then set them to the music of Michael Nyman. It was pretty well reviewed when it came out but subsequently seems to have gone quiet. I wonder how many people heard it. It’s an acquired taste, but very beautiful.

Not on the album The Glare but available as a download on iTunes is The Coldest Place On Earth, set to the theme from The Piano, probably Nyman’s most famous piece and focusing on a Russian city where temperatures reached extraordinary lows.

Political, emotional, coolly beautiful and wise. Doubt we’ll see another, so relish this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/yakutsk-journey-to-the-coldest-city-on-earth-771503.html

My son Isaac is attempting a takeover of IMDB. 

He was watching Friends and I asked him what was happening. He said “Elliot Gould and Tom Conti are arguing about who will pay for the wedding”. I asked who Tom Conti was playing? “Helen Baxendale’s father”, he replied. 

I thought this uncanny. As a ten year old amateur footballer his knowledge of showbiz ephemera is impressive

My son Isaac is attempting a takeover of IMDB.

He was watching Friends and I asked him what was happening. He said “Elliot Gould and Tom Conti are arguing about who will pay for the wedding”. I asked who Tom Conti was playing? “Helen Baxendale’s father”, he replied.

I thought this uncanny. As a ten year old amateur footballer his knowledge of showbiz ephemera is impressive

Perfect by Rachel Joyce – review | Books | The Guardian

Finished Barracuda, which I thought was excellent. Now underway with Rachel Joyce’s follow up to the the excellent Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. If it comes close, it’ll be a wonderful book.