Hey, Barbecutie

Archive for February 2011

For your reference…

The King’s Speech reigns supreme at Oscars – Daily Mail

Colin Firth takes Oscars crown – The Telegraph

Academy genuflects to King’s Speech – The Guardian

Oscars 2011: The King’s Speech reigns triumphant – The Guardian

The King’s Speech crowned with best picture – The Guardian

Oscar is the jewel in Colin’s crown – The Sun

Oscars 2011: The King’s Speech reigns – BBC News

Oscar results: Long live The King’s Speech – News of the World

‘King’s Speech’ Reigns – Huffington Post

‘King’s Speech’ makes lots of speeches at Oscars … – Los Angeles Times

Oscar crowns ‘King’s Speech’ – Chicago Daily Herald

ROYAL MINT! COLIN FIRTH NETS KING SPEECH’S RANSOM – Daily Star

‘King’ reigns over Oscar night – Philidelphia Inquirer

‘The King’s Speech’ Crowned Best Film – ABC News

The King’s Speech reigns at Oscars as Colin Firth wins best actor – Evening Standard

Reign of the King’s Speech – The Mirror

Coronation of Firth and ‘The Kings Speech’ at Oscars – The Independent

CROWNING GLORY FOR KING’S SPEECH – The Express

Two bits of excellent news:
Firstly, the wonderful team at Storm In A Teacup have released issue 2 of their titular zine, once again featuring alternative female artists and writers dealing with female-positive topics and creating delightful things. I am extremely pleased to say that I have a story featured amongst the illustrious company, and even moreso that Bex Massey has created an illustration to accompany my piece. One of the most wonderful things is to have done something that inspires another person to make art, so I’m very excited and humbled. The zine also has a cocktail recipe, so you know you want to get some of that. It’s available from all good zine fairs and by e-mailing storminateacupzine@gmail.com. Big thanks to Elizabeth Martin.

Secondly, wordPLAY is making its triumphant return to the Good Ship in Kilburn on 15th March in aid of Cancer Research UK. We have pulled together a splendiferous array of writers and performers to say words at you until your head explodes with joy and also hydrogen. It’s a line-up so deliriously awesometacular that we aren’t even having music this time around. And it’s hosted by me, and you know how you love to hear me say things in that silly accent of mine, as well as the much more capable and coherent Nancy Clarik with moral support and gentle guidence of the beauteous Becca. So do come and support our charity, and you will be rewarded with an evening of unequable literary lyricism from a group of massively talented peoples:

Booker-longlisted, pioneer of the New Puritans, and thoroughly excellent fellow MATT THORNE

Wickedly wonderful poetry from Carol Ohemaa

and our spectactular guest stars
Liz Adams

Sam Buchan-Watts

Sophie Buchan

Jack Kelly

Leslie Tetteh

then don’t forget to poke me in the face and tell me you love me for letting you know all about the art that’s running wild in the world.

Or,
A boring person puts too much thought into something that doesn’t matter

As the world turns away and politely diverts its eyes from political revolutions, social disintegration and natural disasters, its attentions are drawn to things that don’t matter: SHOWBIZ. I’m a film dork and the Academy Awards are like Springtime Hallowe’en for me. Given that I have a qualification in Filmic Bullshittery, I have decided to give my predictions for Sunday’s event, just to see how wrong one woman can be:

BEST PICTURE
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
Winter’s Bone
True Grit
The Social Network
Toy Story 3

WILL WIN:
Somehow, bizarrely, I have seen all but one of the ten nominees this year (sorry, the Fighter, you look boring). This is probably the closest one to call, and it’s probably between The King’s Speech and The Social Network. I suspect The Social Network might snag it, since the Academy may consider awarding Colin Firth prize enough. (For what it’s worth, I would rank The Social Network in my bottom two – along with The Kids Are All Right – for dullness and the near-terminal presence of Justin Timberlake.)
SHOULD WIN:
Inception. The first intellectual blockbuster in a long time, proving that the industry has massively underestimated the audience’s capacity and willingness to pay to see something more than the usual mindless shoot-em-ups and explodathons. (Subtext: Hollywood thinks you’re stupid.) And perhaps this is why Inception has been somewhat left behind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Above is a thing of loveliness, a short film from the hitRECord collective entitled Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeenth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo. A dreamy, steampunky fairy tale with a Joyce-esque nonsense narration that twists and teases language so perfectly that my head almost exploded. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is turning out to be one of these sickeningly productive polymaths (I’m looking at you, James Franco) who thrill and depress in equal measure, with their cool eye for creative wonderments and keen focus in actually getting shit done. Every weekend of this year I have resolved to get a short story started and finished, of any length, of any first-draft-questionable quality, and eight weeks in, I have a couple of stop/start sentences of blaarghable blathering. Meanwhile, JGL’s off Inceptioning and running creative collectives and wearing suits in public AND he got to kiss Zooey Deschenel. But rather than having a teary-eyed resent-filled moment of lust at his prodigious output, let us all learn something from this. I don’t know what that something is, but it’s good to have a soul-crushing realisation chaser to a thing of magnificent fabulosity. NOW LET’S WRITE A STORY.

Finally, in the fading days of February, the dust has settled well enough for me to reminisce about 31st October. I love Halloween without rhyme or reason. It tingles with memories of the first proper time off since coming back to school, shops full of black and orange tacky cardboard accessories, and bowls full of monkey nuts, even though nobody ate them. We lived in a house with a big shadowy garden, surrounded by huge evergreen trees, our forest, casting strange shapes, becoming unfamiliar and suitably spooky after 9pm. Racing around the strange perimeter, burning fingertips with a sparkler, dressed as a witch, usually. (How things have changed.)

More recent Halloweens have involved less time off, more alcohol, and equal amount of themed sweets. I also enjoy using the term “ghosties”. On Halloween evening, it’s best to find yourself on the upper deck of a bus through London, watching the mentalists and ghouls in costumes wandering the streets below (though I suspect you’d see it any day of the year, around Shoreditch, most likely). I don’t really like dressing up, and yet I have a compulsion. For an event I love, I need to celebrate with the whole of my heart. However, in past years, my plans have been thwarted by circumstance – work, lack of suitable plans, cold feet… Here are some costumes that might have been:

1. Unicorn

Yes, I’m still bitching about this.

2. Rosie the Riveter

An eternal symbol of female strength and gender equality, not to mention looking pretty natty in the headscarf. But can you cope with an evening of pulling the same gun-flexing pose all evening?

3. Low-era Bowie

It seems that once you hit 16, your costume is supposed to be less traditional and more sexy/scary. A sunken-cheeked, heroin-eyed, beautiful and damned apparition, the Thin White Duke balances androgyne sexuality with an eerie gaze deep into the abyss.

4. Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club

Because there’s nothing more terrifying than a bitchy rich girl with issues. (See also: Winona Ryder in Heathers)

5. The green Beatnik alien from this Pan’s People video

Two things: I have the Monster Mash on my ipod year round, and Pan’s People were fucking mental.

Of course, it’s never too early to start planning this year’s Halloween extravaganza. In the past, I have made the mistake of going too obscure (hence my Louise Brooks costume being transposed into Kelly Osbourne), so this year I’m going mainstream…

Lichtenstein!

Columbo!
Columbo!


This…thing!

As a young man, [Salvador Dali] was totally asexual, and forever making fun of friends who fell in love or ran after women – until the day he lost his virginity to Gala & wrote me a 6-page letter detailing, in his own inimitable way, the pleasures of carnal love. (Gala’s the only woman he ever really made love to. Of course, he’s seduced many, particularly American heiresses; but those seductions usually entailed stripping them naked in his apartment, frying a couple of eggs, putting them on the woman’s shoulders, and, without a word, showing them to the door.)

— from “My Last Sigh” by Luis Buñuel.

Okay, I’m not going to eat the butter, but if this day ends without me eating some kind of East Asian cuisine with my appalling chopsticks skillz then I have failed as a human person with a gastronomic system.

I feel fairly guilty that I write here so rarely. Not that I’m depriving the world of my unique insight – there’s plenty of navel-gazing white girls who assume they’ll be something some day but probably won’t get round to it (though I expect my excessive sentence helps me stand out a little) – but that it reminds me that I don’t really have that much to say. I suppose it’s good that I’m disinclined to bore my two readers (hey guys!) but I really should put more of an effort it.

That’s my problem with writering at the moment. I start a lot of stories, or have plenty of ideas (wispy, feeble ideas, but ideas nonetheless) but actually writing them down is a lot of effort. I had a conversation with someone who told me how they liked the idea of writing, and they liked having written, but actually sitting down and writing was absolute anathema. But I love to write. When I write, it’s all that’s in my head, it’s all I focus on. I just don’t seem to get that far. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more like apathy and confusion. Other things come up. Other things are easier. My biggest problem seems to be that I haven’t yet finished reading the internet. My biggest worry is that if I don’t write regularly, I’ll end up clunky and out-of-shape (metaphorically. Literally also but the writing or lack thereof has little influence on that). People always go on about how WRITING IS A MUSCLE and while they’re not wrong, they’re also prats and I don’t want to enter into all that malarkey. I just want to finish this story about a man that’s stuck up a tree. (SPOILER ALERT: THE TREE IS A METAPHOR.)

Tonight I am going out and I think it might rain on me but ye Gods I am getting dumplings.