Monthly Archives: April 2013

More bridges everywhere

Not that I liked The Bridge, as some of you might recall. But I was quite interested to read that they are making more bridges. And I don’t mean the second season, which you are probably already waiting for.

What is happening is they are making other versions of The Bridge. A bit like they did with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, where the Americans either felt they could do better, or that the world needed an English speaking version. But in this instance it’s the same people (i.e. the SweDanes) who are making the alternatives as well.

There will be an American ‘Bridge’ – naturally – set on the Mexican border. Another will be British/French, complete with corpse of politician in the Channel tunnel. That one will feature people trying to enter the UK, while the US version will cover drugs and trafficking and things.

They have kept some of the characters, and changed others for what will work better in the respective countries.

I will sit back and await the verdict on these new ‘bridges.’

Who – Hide

Doctor Who - Hide

Do they really have no idea when they’ve written a good episode of Doctor Who, and when they haven’t? Don’t they care? That could be the reason for so many merely tolerable adventures. Because once you hit facebook afterwards, there never seems to be any doubt when it’s been a good one.

Doctor Who - Hide

Hide was good. And that was good, as I’d begun wondering if it was going to be mediocre all the way now. Perhaps the Clara factor. That’s mean, actually. She is half beginning to grow on me. Even the Tardis is feeling doubtful, so I’m in good company.

Doctor Who - Hide

(I do wonder how old they thought the ghost hunter was, though. He looked a little young to have been in ‘the war.’)

Here’s hoping we’ll have one or two more good episodes. It would be ‘nice’ to have something to miss when the Doctor leaves/arrives.

She’s probably not dead

And neither is he. Probably.

It’s funny how when other television shows have just screened, facebook is awash with people commenting. For NCIS I have to sit in silence, except tonight when one of my favouritest crime novelists shrieked with worry about the fate of Ziva and Tony. And she clearly has the right kind of friends. Ones who know what it’s about.

But last year’s season finale bomb was worse. And people survived that. On the other hand, actresses of a certain age have to chose between having babies or playing their screen part, when shows run for years. S’not easy, as Abby might say.

Whatever happens later, this was one of the few worthwhile episodes of season ten. One where – thanks to fb friend – I sat stiff with excitement the whole way through.

And I love it that ex-Director Morrow is back!

Here are a couple of links.

Roger on tour

Tomorrow Roger Whittaker starts off on his latest (or will this one really be the last?) tour. It is much shorter than before, and it sounds like they hand-picked the towns and cities he will be appearing in. The first concert is in Halle/Saale.

Then it’s on to Rostock, Cottbus, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Berlin, Dresden, Erfurt, Magdeburg, Hamburg and finishing in Wien on the 10th of May.

I’m not going this time. It would have been nice, but it’s an awkward time of year, while hopefully being clear of the flu season for Roger and his band. And the dates and the venues didn’t match well for travelling from where I’d be travelling from.

Maybe next last tour??

Roger Whittaker

Pruning

Bookwitch has already mentioned plans to move house. Things have to be got rid of. There are far too many things.

But whereas too much china or even too many books can prove hard to throw out, they are slightly less personal than paintings done by someone close to you. Picasso is all very well, but Mother-of-witch produced an awful lot of pictures. Nice ones. At least I think so.

Art by Anna-Stina

The walls are full, and at some point I gave up on trying to frame more to hang. So the rest are still sitting in the cupboards where I put them while I was thinking about what to do.

Art by Anna-Stina

I can’t throw them away. Nor can I really take them with me, hoping to find a cupboard large enough to stash them in, in the ‘new place,’ wherever that will be. I once did a picture sale, and actually sold a tremendous number of the paintings. And I still have more.

Offspring would have to get themselves their own houses now – with plenty of empty walls – if the situation is to improve.

I’m thinking of the rolls of large black and white sketches, not to mention the prints, which as the word suggests, exist in quite a few copies. There are sketchbooks. What do I do with them?

Help!

Sleeping Beauty

Maybe it’s because I’m a little obsessed with houses at the moment, but I discovered a ‘new’ one the other day. Victorian, but new to me. I hadn’t walked near the park for a while, so was surprised to see something I’d never seen before. I  stopped and stood there, staring. Crossed the street to look more closely.

After a bit I came to the conclusion that the reason I’d never noticed this large Victorian house in the 25 years we’ve lived here was because it must have been hidden, Sleeping Beauty style. There could have been lots of greenery between the pavement and the house. And now the prince has come, putting it up for sale.

It’s a fantastic house, if you allow for it being old and tired looking. I’m guessing it has either stood empty for a while, or that someone elderly has lived there, unable to do much with it.

Hidden gem

The garage has to go, but other than that, it’s wonderful. It wants a lot of work doing to it. Not by me, I hasten to add. But it’s the kind of house that makes my fingers itch.

Trance

Messing with our minds. That’s what he did. Coming out from seeing Danny Boyle’s Trance we couldn’t totally agree on what had happened. Did they? Was he? Could it really?

But then, maybe it doesn’t matter. We saw several versions of what might have happened, and one was true. Perhaps. But not necessarily.

Someone steals a Goya. The question is who and how, but above all, where is it now? The art auctioneer, Simon, has amnesia and doesn’t know any longer. His crooked accomplices take him to see a hypnotherapist to find the painting.

Trance

I don’t actually believe hypnotherapy works quite the way it does in the film, but it’s an interesting mind experiment. Rosario Dawson is too young and too beautiful to be practising in Harley Street, but then the film wouldn’t work if she wasn’t attractive.

It’s hard to stop thinking of James McAvoy as anyone but the funny creature in Narnia, and I can’t say I like him here. Vincent Cassel makes a rather charming crook, however.

As Daughter said before she let us oldies go and see Trance, all you need is a sofa to hide behind when it gets too yucky. I found that closing my eyes worked well too.

At least Trance is not a cliché, the same as all other films.

I’m so excited!

It’s not always a film title matches how I feel, but Pedro Almodóvar’s new film  I’m So Excited! certainly does.

Cornerhouse will screen the UK launch of the film, featuring a live satellite Q&A with Almodóvar afterwards, on 23rd April at 18.30.

‘After the more serious territory of his recent output the film is being hailed as a return to his comic roots, and features cameos from familiar faces Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz.  A group of travellers face a life-threatening situation on board a plane to Mexico City and, trapped in a confined space, they let off steam, attempt to seduce and be seduced, lie to themselves and each other, and battle with fear, loneliness and the prospect of death.’

Sounds pretty good.

Arne Dahl

Perkele, that was bad.

Besides, why would one want a television programme/series/show whatever named after the author? ‘Hey, want to watch Henning Mankell tonight?’ That could lead to misunderstandings.

Not only was it bad and embarrassing, but we never got to the end. BBC4 didn’t say how many episodes, but we saw 90 minutes of it, and IMDb says it’s a 180 minutes long film. So ‘just’ one more Saturday? Can we take it, or do we leave ourselves ignorant of what the Russian mafia did?

Took a strong dislike to Paul Hjelm; both the role and the actor. The boss lady was reasonably brisk, and the ‘Finn’ was fun. Calling your children by number is efficient, although leaving one behind on the pavement less so.

But honestly. This left me ashamed to be Swedish. If you’re seeing red, that will be my cheeks.

Arne Dahl, Misterioso

Learning a bit of crazy

I’ve got so used to feeling crazy – off my own bat – that I was surprised to remember something the other week. You can learn crazy behaviour, too.

It was thinking back to when I took a Commonwealth literature course at university, which in turn I remembered because I was blogging about the death of Chinua Achebe. And starting to write about the influence of my then tutor – Britta Olinder – at the English department at Gothenburg, I recalled how she set off some new craziness in me.

Actually, I probably tempted her. I was wanting to take four weeks out of term to go to London. I always went to London in those days. It was my crazy. The thing is, you don’t expect a teacher type person to encourage you to skip four weeks of classes, and then to tell you all that you must do when you’re gone.

So, Britta got all enthusiastic and mentioned all the plays I’d want to see in London, including the one I sort of used to justify my absence with, Under Milk Wood. I was writing my essay that term about Under Milk Wood, at her recommendation.

The others in my group got all excited, too, and some of them asked me to get them various stuff in London. So, all was well, and I went to plays, including UMW.

Once back, I found Britta making plans. She wanted to go on a theatre trip to London. She thought that we should all go. Not necessarily in term time, but anyway. She looked through the Observer for inspiration, and she picked a week in February (this was 1979) and phoned round all the theatres and made group bookings for tickets.

Then she set about getting funding. I’m such an idiot I’d have happily paid myself. But with various gifts and group dicounts and with it being off season, we got our week for the princely sum of around £45. That’s hotel, flight, eight plays and two tours. Even in the stone ages that was good value. And off we went.

I mean, the thought would never have occurred to me that you could see two plays in a day, and that you could go to the theatre every day. We did, and on matiné days we got two performances. In he mornings we gathered in the breakfast room and talked drama. Britta told people how to get to the theatres, and I corrected her and suggested a better way. We were all happy.

We saw so much and such varied stuff. Plays I’d never have thought of picking if I’d done it on my own. We saw ‘real’ actors off television. John Thaw. Did the tour behind the scenes at the National. It was great.

And once the seed of madness had been sown, I knew I could do this alone, and I did. Obviously not with funding from any bodies of any kind, but it was a good hobby to have discovered. And all because I was keen on truanting from my education.