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gaining (a new) perspective (line)

Originally uploaded by Jeremy Dennis.
I am fat with culture today. I have holes worn in my feet to prove it. Saturday (having briefly confirmed the uselessness of the i-pod nano by observation) we drifted, via some prefab art (Damian said it looked like the excretions of buggy house-building nanobots) outside the Tate Modern, to the Globe to watch Pericles, Prince of Tyre, a play about which I knew nothing. It was rather confusing; it's one of Shakespeare's later special-effects spectaculars, assembled from random reports, widely reckoned to be not one of his better efforts ... I could have done without the cold-looking girl wandering around in her knickers, and the rope-dancers were occasionally a bit over the top, but god knows the Globe isn't about subtlety. We got rained on, hugged (Patrice Naiambana as a griot-ish Gower), and had to duck to avoid both swinging sailors and joyful capers (master of physical play/Helicanus Marcello Magni cuts a fine caper) so it was all to the good, and John McEnery as Pericles! He synched so nicely with my doleful mood:

O you gods!
Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
And snatch them straight away?

Later, through floods, fury and delays to Dalston, for Andy's birthday party. It's a sad business, going to a party whose central character and object is dead; who remembers to phone the stragglers? Who sets the plans? Introduces people to each other? Who keeps the music playing? Everyone left, of course; but it's so bitty, so perforated, and everything keeps on running away. We got home cold and late, autumn stumbling us into a taxi. I slept deep, not too troubled.

The following day I waded into the garden through spitting rain, in the mood for digging and planting for the fist time in a long time. Planted (shrubs, herbs, bulbs, perrenials, grass seed on the bald patches) a long perspective row of solar-powered lawn lights in defiance of the turning season. They lit up slowly as the sun went down and I listened to some records and caught up with important online tasks like fishing important messages out of the spam-filters and looking at Tom of Finland cross-stitch and other filthy crafty things.

Later we went to see Strings, a full-length puppet animation which presumably knocked its funding through in the brief surge of interest in master puppetry that followed Being John Malkovich. Impressive craft, but let down by generic cod-fantasy plot #2, halting dialogue, and a chauvinistic outlook. Still, for when I wasn't feeling uneasily like I was reading 1960s editions of National Geographic, there was fun to be had with the conceit, the creepiness and spotting the scenes lifted from Star Wars sequels.

I spun a few photos when I got home, and noted that some dark horse called Anthony and the Johnstons had beaten all the favourites to the Mercury music prize. Hang about, hadn't I come across them before somewhere? Oh, yes, of course -- I'd linked to them ages ago over a couple of odd furry-fantasy animations (not that sort of fantasy, alright?) just off their website. Even looked around for a couple of gigs to go to, but they weren't in the right country at the time.

Exhaustion notwithstanding, I slept very badly.


( 11 worms — Feed the birds )
12th Sep, 2005 14:02 (UTC)
we said a toast to Andy on Saturday- so maybe somewhere, somehow he'll have had the pleasure of spying on a group of very drunk girls talking about cock a lot.
12th Sep, 2005 14:05 (UTC)
I think
he'd've liked that. "In remembrance of me, talk of cock".
12th Sep, 2005 14:07 (UTC)
Re: I think
today Jeremy you've made me smile, which makes up for all those times you've been making me cry.
12th Sep, 2005 14:29 (UTC)
I really enjoyed Strings, I thought the cinematography made up for its failings in dialogue and derivative plot. I just wish it hadn't had the Diseny dog ending.
12th Sep, 2005 14:50 (UTC)
kill the bird!
Puppets are hams, puppet animals doubly so -- probably included because it is the classic childrens' marrionette, I had one -- but, it did make for a rather sniggersome ending.

Oh, it was striking stuff, visually. The awesome vistas. The huge ensemble shots. The beautifully-lit reaction shots on unmoveable faces.

But I found myself frequently wishing they'd gone for an actual, time-tested story of the epic type, rather than reconstructing something rather worse from scratch.
12th Sep, 2005 14:34 (UTC)
I wonder if Strings could actually be performed on a puppet stage? Probably a dumb question since I guess they were wanting to take it to the cinematic level. I also found the fantasy storyline kind of clichéd and Star-warish. Is that all men can come up with?
12th Sep, 2005 14:44 (UTC)
Beautiful, wise, freedom-fighting native women who don't wear many clothes and are in touch with the earth in a way mere men can never understand? Sigh.

Although, on a side note -- one of the men I went to see it with was very freaked out by how the ideal of female beauty was represented by having nothing at all in the waist area (those through-the-stomach shots! ew!) and made comment on the prison escape scene: "Feel the strings, Hal!"

On the whole, would have been better done by Svankmeyer. Not that he'd have told that story ... ah, Little Otik. Alice. Faust.
12th Sep, 2005 15:25 (UTC)
Use the Weft, Luke!
There is a thread that joins all of us to the great tapestry of lifekind...
12th Sep, 2005 15:31 (UTC)
Meh, I think M.I.A should have won. I saw her at Glastonbury.
12th Sep, 2005 16:41 (UTC)
Tom of Finland Cross stitch just restored my will to live...
Antony & co are fine, but I *heart* the Kaiser Chiefs.
12th Sep, 2005 16:45 (UTC)
... my work here is done (bows). Oooh, not quite:


Cute litle Kaiser Chiefs, see them bounce!
( 11 worms — Feed the birds )