After seeing Cats I thought that I had seen all of the musicals that I wanted to see (with maybe the exception of Jesus Christ Superstar, though I don’t really have any huge desire to see Phantom on the Opera, though some Gilbert and Sullivan might be a goer). However, one day last year I discovered that they were advertising The Book of Mormon on the trams, and a part of me suspected that it was coming to Melbourne. Well, it was, but ironically they had started advertising the musical a year in advance, which quite surprised me because I didn’t expect that it would need such a long period of advertising, that is until I asked a friend who pointed out that the show is incredibly popular, and you simply can’t walk into the theatre and buy your tickets because the shows end up being booked months in advance. As it turned out this was the case here in Australia – well, not quite, but the show that I saw had sold out.
You know, I could analyse some of the modern films, and in a way I do, but one of the things that I have discovered while spending too much time watching Youtube videos is that basically everybody does that anyway. Honestly, you really couldn’t believe how many write-ups there are of Tenet when it came out, and that is not to mention other films such as, well, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Yeah, sure, all of the established media companies will have multiple write-ups about them (along with reviews), but so will countless numbers of bloggers and Youtube channels. In a way, it is a crowded marketplace, and I am only one of many.
There certainly were quite a few museums along that stretch of road on the southern bank of the Mainz, and it was always going to be a bit of a toss up as to which ones we would end up visiting. As I suggested previously I was somewhat glad that the World Cultures Museum was closed because, well, the more I thought about it the more I realised that I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing a museum focused on world cultures – I personally prefer to experience them first hand as opposed to in a museum, though I have written a post on Australian Aboriginals since there was a room dedicated to them at the Museum of South Australia.
We were fortunate enough to have an exhibition of some of the works of Vincent Van Gogh come to the NGV this year, which has made me expedite my post on my visit to the museum that is dedicated to his works – the main reason being that I really can’t write a post about the exhibition at the NGV (the National Gallery of Victoria, which in my opinion is by far the best art gallery in Australia) without first writing a post about my experience at the titular museum in Amsterdam. The problem was that you aren’t actually allowed to take photos in the museum, the main reason being that because he is such a popular artist the museum is going to be crowded and if everybody were to stop to take photos of the paintings then it is basically going to ruin it for everybody. Fortunately the museum actually have posted all of their paintings on the web, so even though I left my notebook in my bag, I am fortunate enough to be able to simply go to their website and use that, as well as the notes I made on my mobile phone, as inspiration for this post.
It seems as if there is a resurgence of interest in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, though when I say resurgence I am referring to having seen three plays of his over the past three years, which is significant because I pretty much haven’t seen any of his plays previously. That probably has a lot to do with not actually knowing about him, or having any appreciation of his work prior to purchasing a copy of Pygmalion and proceeding to read it. The other problem is that the lack of options when it comes to theatre in Australia, but then again it does teach me to keep my eyes open. However, the stage on screen series that are now being played at various cinemas around Australia helps a lot as well. So, when I discovered that Saint Joan was going to be one of the films shown I took the day off work, made my way down to the Palace Brighton Bay, and began to treat myself to another play that I am not expecting to see again any time soon.
I must admit that when I first saw this film years ago, back in the days that I was in Youth Group, and had a pretty one-eyed view of the world, I would have probably have had a heart attack upon realising that not only would I be writing a blog post on this film, but I would also be praising the film as well. I guess when one does have a pretty black and white view of the world and is blinded by the fact that people aren’t supposed to like Madonna (despite the fact that she still sells lots and lots of records, and people still flock to her concerts). However, here I am, and I guess the reason that I now see this film quite differently is because with age, comes wisdom.
I should start off by saying that it is a real shame that this film flopped as badly as it did namely because not only do I tend to quite enjoy films by Guy Ritchie, but he also has this ability of adding his own personality into his productions. While his first forays into the world of mainstream cinema tended to be stories that he had created, of late he has been exploring more popular topics, in particular Sherlock Holmes. In fact his portrayal of everybody’s favourite Consulting Detective was the impetus for me actually going back to the original works to see what they were like. However, I will leave any further comment on Sherlock Holmes for another day as today it is King Arthur’s turn.
Ah, yes, advertising – a pet hatred of mine, yet it is one of those things that capitalism seems to need to produce in order to survive. In my mind the concept of advertising (and marketing in general) is to convince somebody that they need something that they don’t want, and to then make them part ways with an extraordinary amount of money to possess it. The other aspect is built in obsolescence, and I have to admit that I cringe every time I hear a sales person mention that the product I just bought will need to be replaced in around two years (though my laptop is currently four years old, as is my desktop computer, and at this stage I see no need to replace either).
Sometimes I need to be careful when it comes to asking my brother which museum that I would like to visit because he ended up picking the World Cultures museum and I suddenly realised that I wasn’t particularly interested in going to a museum on World Cultures. Fortunately it turned that it was closed, so we then went to the next museum on our list – the Film Museum. Well, as it turns out the Film museum was much more interesting. However, at first a part of me was a little hesitant on going in, though I eventually gave in to my curiosity.
I remember sitting in a courtyard of a hotel in Paris with a beer in hand, and a book, when an American woman entered and began to talk to me. The hotel backed onto a major railway line that went from Gare Saint Lazare out to regional France, and trains would be regularly travelling past. The woman asked me if the trains would be doing that all night, though I suspected that the answer was no (particularly since the last train from Rouen to Paris left Rouen at 8:20 in the evening). However, it started me thinking that Paris is probably the only city in the world where trains rumbling past your hotel at 10:30 at night could be considered romantic, or was it just that these rumbling trains reminded me that I happened to be in Paris, not that I really needed all that much of a reminder.