Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A poem I wrote once.

(inspired by Charles Darwin)


All new ideas are treated with suspicion.
People just do not appreciate being told that
They are wrong,
Regardless of the facts.

Preposterous. Pagan. Infantile.
Just a few of the names hurled
At the theory.
They are some of the milder ones.

He wonders if he should just give up.
Nobody believes him anyway.
So much research, writing, thinking
All thrown back in his face.

His brain urges him to go on.
Mankind were descended from the ape.
It’s true. They must know.
Science must prevail.

Even if it’s not respected now
He will spread the word.
His theories, the facts.
Nothing but the facts.

The world will thank him someday.



Hmm, I probably shouldn't quit my day job, right?


One is one of my favourite songs of all time. It featured on the soundtrack to Magnolia and was sung wonderfully by Aimee Mann.

One is the loneliest number
That you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It's the loneliest number since the number one

No is the saddest experience
You'll ever know
Yes, it's the saddest experience
You'll ever know
Because one is the loneliest number
That'll you'll ever do
One is the loneliest number
That you'll ever know

It's just no good anymore
Since you went away
Now I spend my time
Just making rhymes
Of Yesterday

Because one is the loneliest number
That you'll ever do
One is the loneliest number
That you'll ever know

One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number
That you'll ever do
One is the loneliest number
Much much worse than two
One is a number divided by two

19. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

omgz i wrote something?!!

All About Eve came out in 1950, the same year as Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder’s subversive portayal of Hollywood and its actors. Mankiewicz was equally scathing in his look at the world of Broadway stage, portraying the mythical ruthlessness and petulance of stage actors. Both were big hits, and All About Eve was nominated for a record fourteen Oscars, winning six, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing.

It’s the best film about theatre that I've seen, also happening to say more about the film industry too. Sunset Boulevard might be the film about stars that dwell in the glory days of the past and live in self-delusion, but All About Eve demonstrates how they allowed their egos to get like that.

Like Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve tells its story in the form of a flashback. It all kicks off with the presentation of a prestigious stage-acting award to the eponymous Eve Harrington, accompanied by the commentary of theatre critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders). He introduces us to the players in the world of Broadway before we go 9 months back in history before Eve was a star.

The film then charts the story Eve and how she has wormed her way into the acting clan. She does so by getting into a circle of theatre friends around an aging (and insecure about it) actress Margo Channing, whom she attempts to be a protégé of, using her a persona of friendliness and self-deprecation to mask a sinister plan of getting to the top.

All About Eve is an absolute treat in terms of acting. The role of the older actress, Margo Channing, was considered for a range of in-form actresses, from Gertrude Lawrence (wanted script changes that the director did not), Susan Hayward (too young), Claudette Colbert (pulled out back injury), Marlene Dietrich (Mankiewicz didn't love her), and Ingrid Bergman (would not leave Italy) before Bette Davis was finally chosen.

It’s the role of her lifetime, playing a character that ran only too true – a brilliant actress, but one who felt her time was running out. Bette Davis knew she was handed a dream role when she was cast as the resolute diva caught up in the throes of mid-life crisis both on- and off-stage, and she’s amazing her in performance. She’s selfish and tough yet at the same time, vulnerable and insecure.

Getting suspicious about her increasingly distrustful follower Eve, Margo lets her friends know that she doesn’t trust her, though they, taken to Eve’s put-on niceness, disagree, mistaking her fear for jealousy and harshness. Not willing to resolve the problem in a dignified way, Margo goes on a rampage and has a go at anyone who comes near her.

Bette Davis was born to play Margo Channing and, in my opinion, is even better than Swanson in Sunset Blvd. She can be a catty cow or a coy pussycat, and Davis loves every scene she gets to tear into. At the same time, however, she evokes real sympathy for Margo. The film may be titled All About Eve, but Margo is and always will be the real star of the movie.

Her supporting cast are to die for. Celeste Holm is excellent as Margo's sensible best friend, who at first is on Eve's side but eventually sees how conniving she can be and how ruthless she is in climbing to the top. When she took on the narration, I just got the feeling that things would turn out alright for Margo. She's the closest character to any of the audience throughout the movie, as, she is pretty much a spectator herself.

Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe are a joy in their respective roles as Margo’s boyfriend and playwright. George Sanders plays his trademark role as the cad with such cynicism and unfriendliness that it’s no wonder he bagged the Oscar. As the diabolical theatre critic, he has some of the best lines of the movie.

Thelma Ritter again proves why she is the best supporting player in the biz - as coarse but loyal Birdie Coonan, a member of Margo's "drone". Anne Baxter is pretty good as the sneaky Eve, though obviously my opinion of her performance is tainted by the fact that I despise her character (realistic as it was). There’s even space for a Marylin Monroe cameo, in which she steals the show in the ditzy-blonde trope that she would carry for the rest of her acting life.

All About Eve's screenplay is another one of its assets. Written by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz from the Mary Orr play "The Wisdom of Eve," it features strong characters and great dialogue that is witty, bitching and biting. Despite its running time, at nearly 2 and a half hours, it never drags on. Each of the characters are so perfectly drawn, you could imagine them doing things just like that in the 50s.

Femininity, aging, betrayal, manipulation and ambition are just a few of the themes touched upon in All About Eve. It's funny, but it's also a lot cleverer than it looks. It's got melodrama, yet somehow never goes over the top. All About Eve takes the age-old story of a young performer buttering up an old one, with the intention of usurping them, but makes it into something new, something utterly brilliant. Not to be missed.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

A bit smug.

Grr to Emma Watson. Not only is she wearing quite a pretty dress in this picture, but she has her arms around Rupert Grint. My Ronny.
Anyway, yeah. I don't know what the point in this picture was, except for my to voice my displeasure (for the upteenth time) toward Watson, Radcliffe, and to a lesser extent, Katie Leung. Which do such bad actors get nice clothes, a fat paycheck and fame? Grr.

Things I’m Looking forward to.

Dirty Sexy Money
Channel 4 have been teasing us with adverts for this show for ages, and it finally begins this Friday! I don’t actually know what it’s about exactly, but from what I can see, it looks to be a sort of Desperate Housewivesesque blend of comedy and drama with a bit of intrigue thrown in, with a top-notch cast, featuring Peter Krause as the family lawyer, Blair Underwood as the rival millionare and Donald Sutherland at his most sinister as the paterfamilias. There looks to be hot actors, affairs, scandal and revenge galore. It looks to be a terrific and witty look at family, loyalty and of course, money.

Third (Portishead) - Rockferry (Duffy) - Franz Ferdinand's 2008 album (will it be called "not yet?" or are they just teasing?) - Mr. Love & Justice (Billy Bragg) - Rachel Yamagata's album - Velocifero (Ladytron) - Hello Destiny (Goldfrapp) - This Kind of Love (Carly Simon), to name but a few. I'm also eagerly anticipating Scarlett Johansson's crapping all over Tom Waits songs in "Anywhere I Lay My Head", just so I can have a good laugh. (Poor Mr Waits though!)

Classic fm’s hall of fame countdown
With my violin exam coming up, I’m forcing myself to listen to more classical music for the aural part of the exam (one of the things they test you on is playing a piece of music and you have to talk about it.) So I’ve been tuning into classic fm a lot recently, and the classical music does wonders for my general spirit and concentration levels when doing homework. Anyway, the point is, every year, at Easter, they run down the listener’s top 300 pieces of classical music. Last year, the top three were The Lark Ascending (Vaughn Williams), Cello Concerto (Elgar) and Piano Concerto no. 2 (Rachmaninoff). I’ll be listening out this year to see where my favourites Pavane by Faure and Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns finish.

Desperate Housewives
It’s been so long since I saw the last season that I almost forgot about everything, but a quick 15 minutes on the Desperate Housewives website refreshed my memory. Gabby has entered into a shambolic marriage. Edie has tried to kill herself. Lynette has cancer. And Bree is hiding her daughter’s pregnancy by pretending to be pregnant herself. Plus, I hear that an old friend of Susan's moves back onto Wisteria Lane. It should be terrific!

There’s a lot of films I’m looking forward to that are coming out this year, but I haven’t heard much about Doubt, which sounds like a weighty drama. IMDb plot synopsis:

Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx, it centers on a nun who grows suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young black student. Is she being overly protective or not protective enough? And can she work within the system to discover the truth?

I don’t actually know how much the plot will interest me, but when you have Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a movie, who cares about the plot?!

Hmm… that’s it really. Anything I should be excited about but have missed? Remind me!

Monday, March 10, 2008



The whole nominations were a bit of a shambles, and I kind of had a horrible feeling Knightley was going to win, but still. Gah.

All I can say is, thank God James McAvoy won Actor. Had he lost out to Daniel Radcliffe...

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Dinner Date with Rose Byrne.

Nathaniel over at the brilliant Film Experience tagged me in this interesting little meme earlier this week, but I’d been rather busy all week with mocks. I can do it now though!

1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry who you'd like to have dinner with and tell us why you chose this person.
Ordinarily, I’d say either Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock or Tim Robbins, but today I feel like someone different: Rose Byrne.

I’ve picked Rose Byrne because of, well, Damages. Along with University Challenge, it’s my highlight of Sunday night, and whilst the show clearly belongs to Glenn Close, watching it has made me realised just what a good and underrated and likeable an actress Miss Byrne is. Despite being 28 years of age and landing her first acting role when she was 12, she’s actually surprisingly unknown. I think she’s a terrific, if understated actress, and she’s appeared in some big-name movies like Star Wars and Troy, along with a good number of indie films, with one of the most photogenic faces I’ve ever seen; I’m really surprised that more hasn’t been made of this woman.

Plus, she just seems cool and up for a laugh.

2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.
Following Damages, I can’t imagine Byrne in anything other than a pencil skirt and smart blouse. I would probably make an effort and raise the bar from my usual hoody and go for a blouse and a pair of black trousers. I’d also make an effort in the cuisine; spag bol it is then. But I'd have classy classical music in the background. A bit of Grieg, methinks. [He's actually Romantic, but whatever.] Or whatever music she's into. I hear she likes Missy Higgins, Sarah Blasko and Cat Power.
And if we were to go to a restaurant, I'd pick Zizzi's (the only good restaurant in South East London?)

3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.
01. You’ve got a starring role in the 2008 release The Tender Hook, playing a woman torn between her conman lover and an honest young boxer. What was it like to step out from the shadows and be in the limelight? And is the film actually any good?
02. You worked with Cillian Murphy on Sunshine and were you able to concentrate with such loveliness right in front of you? [I would ask the same thing about Tate Donavon, but I’ve been told that that’s not something I want to shout about.]
03. When it comes to ruthlessness and integrity in the movie biz, does it pay to be more of an Ellen or a Patty?
04. You and your I Capture the Castle co-star Romola Garai are both two of my favourite working actresses, yet neither of you two are household names. Does the fact that Scarlett Johansson and Emma Watson are, when lovelies like you two aren’t, mean that Hollywood is beyond redemption?
05. Beside acting, what other aspects of filmmaking would you be interested in entering?

4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so that people know the mastermind behind this Meme.
I can't think of six but I'm calling on all my teenage girl blog buddies! Just a Girl, Kayleigh, Catherine and Anahita, get writing!