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.
Saint Joan – Europe’s Turning Point
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.
Desperately Seeking Susan – Dreaming of the Bohemian
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.
King Arthur – a Gritty Camelot
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.
Lies of the Admen
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).
Deutches Filmmuseum – The Illusion of Movement
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.
The Romantic Railways
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.
Shakesperian Connundrums – or are They?
I’ve just finished reading a book, Henry V, War Criminal and Other Shakespearian Puzzles, which explores a number of puzzles, and apparent contradictions, in some (or in fact most) of Shakespeare’s plays. I guess when you happen to be this hugely famous author any little mistake, or apparent mistake, is suddenly scrutinised extensively, and debated over by academics of all stripes. Then we have somebody like Shakespeare, who in many cases is viewed as not just one of, but the greatest, writer that the English language has ever produced, and we are speaking of a language that has produced countless numbers of great writers. However while writers such as Charles Dickens can produce a love/hate relationship, Shakespeare seems to be loved by all (except for those high school students who are forced to study his plays).
Survival in the Modern Times
I probably would have just left this as a review on IMDB but as it turns out there is a word limit on that site which means that I can’t actually say everything that I want to say about, well, this movie. Actually, I have to admit that as a website IMDB is pretty ordinary – it’s good for finding out about movies, and I do have a habit of writing a review of every movie that I have seen, but that is about it – unlike Goodreads it isn’t a website where you can discuss movies with people or actually write engaging posts on a particular movie. Actually, they did have some discussion boards but have since decided to can them, which is a real shame.
Leaving the Past Behind – The Butterfly Effect
Well, my original plan was to simply sit down on my couch on Saturday night and watch a film that I have already watch with the intention of not actually writing anything about something. Well, I guess The Butterfly Effect is not the type of film that one can simply walk away from and not think too heavily about what just occurred. Well, okay, you probably can, but as people suggest I have this annoying habit of thinking too much – not that that is a bad thing, but some people do feel somewhat threatened by people who do have this annoying habit of thinking about and analysing things and want to put a stop to it. However, this isn’t a post about anti-intellectualism, so I will leave it at that.