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Writer's Block: Go it alone

Do you think society puts too much pressure on people to be in relationships and/or have children? Do you think this ostracizes people who would be perfectly content to remain single and/or child-free? Is this pressure worse around the holidays?

No not particularly but we all need someone to love.

Writer's Block: Who's your BFF?

Who is your oldest friend (i.e., the friend you have known the longest)? How often do you see or talk to each other? Do your close friends tend to stay the same year after year or change over time?

I've got a few good old friends but literally (as in been my friend the longest) would be Frances who I met a few days before the first day of primary school. Our mums were buying us schoolbags.

I don't think old friends change much.

Writer's Block: Memo to Myself

If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't go to university for a few years.

Life is simple

Battleship Island

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Let The Right One In

Finally got round to seeing this after being moved from hearing a programme on Radio 4 about the sound effects employed (apparently the effect for the little girl, Eli's eyes opening in bed was created by recording the sound of a grape being peeled with a high condensor mic - yeuch) and the fact that the title is derived from the Morrisey song Let The Right One Slip In.



Anyway, I was thrilled and can safely say it's my favourite film of the year so far, if you haven't already been, go, you wont be disappointed. I'd say - it's kind of like the 'Anti-Twilight' if you happen to have seen that but my mate Chris wrote a much more detailed review of it for his facebook page and although I'm not always with him on his taste, he seems on the money with this one:

Mon 5:07am
 
"It's not very often that the creepiest film of the year is also the sweetest but, although the setting (Sweden), genre (horror) and themes (alienation, retribution) lend themselves to the grim, 'Let the Right One In' has a heart warm enough to melt the iciest Scandinavian snow.

Indeed, Tomas Alfredsson has made a film which constantly subverts expectations. The angelic, blond-locked Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is being bullied at school and is glad of a pale, bewitching distraction in the shape of Eli (Lina Leandersson), the girl next door. Adolescent relationships are awkward enough at the best of times but this one is complicated further by the fact that Eli is a vampire.

Alfredsson's direction is schizophrenic, but his lop-sided mixing of art-house intelligence with occasional Hollywood vampire schlock does not detract from the film's impact, quite the opposite. Although 'Let the Right One In' has several bloody genre satisfactions (a scene involving cats is perhaps unintentionally funny and the vengeful conclusion a delight), this low-budget film opts predominantly for psychological chills rather than hair-on-end frights.

The setting and choice of side characters also delight in the unglamorous. No high-school prom queens here. Eli's victims, who Alfredsson takes care to introduce, develop and flesh out (pun intended) as proper individuals and not just sacrificial lambs, belong a hard-drinking, cackling group of middle-aged, jobless working-class Swedes. Think Ken Loach meets 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

Eli is the 'monster', yet the film seeks takes to extremes the idea that society's notions of the monstrous are frequently more black and white than is the reality. Indeed, rather than assuming the victim role we expect, it is Oskar and not she that is consumed with impotent, unfulfilled rage. Eli kills out of physical necessity, yet her apparently innocent 12-year-old cohort has bloodlust of his own.

And yet, there is something Roald Dahl-esque about the retribution meted out to the film's various villains that is contradictory but oddly satisfying. The conclusion could be accused of being reactionary, but in the modern movie world of liberal moral relevatism, a little bit of unapologetic vigilantism is a breath of fresh air.

This will not be this year's most successful vampire flick, an honour that will fall to the admittedly enjoyable 'Twilight'. However, there are far more dark, bittersweet delights to be had in the grimy streets of Stockholm.

Take your girlfriend to see it - 8/10."
 
Chris McKiddie

Bank holiday monday


'cept I'm at work - bah humbug.

Busy doing overtime so here's a pic of Rowan and one of her sister's wee lambs taken last week when we visited the farm. One, two, three.....aw!

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"That's the story of Jesus"

Happy Easter darlings.

At this time of year I'm reminded of Bill Hicks incredulity at how we celebrate Easter:

"I was over in Australia during Easter, which was really interesting. You know, they celebrate Easter the exact same way we do, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children that a giant bunny rabbit... left chocolate eggs in the night. Now... I wonder why we're fucked up as a race. I've read the Bible. I can't find the word "bunny" or "chocolate" anywhere in the fucking book."

Golly


We found this old moneybox in the farmhouse on Kerrera. My dad tells me they used to be very popular and are now worth quite a few bob.



I don't see their general popularity resurrecting however.

In other news, it looks like we may have found a lovely flat to stay in...stay tuned!

The Cheesy Grin by Edvard Munch


Cycled into work at 7am, pouring with rain, instead of wearing full waterproofs I only wore the jacket so I'm sitting here with soaking jeans and shoes as I type this praying I don't catch a cold.

Still, whenever I'm miserable at work I look at this picture of Nick Cave pinned to the wall and feel vaguely cheery: