Monday, 29 April 2013

On Saturday evening...

...we were having friends over to the house.

As we waited for them to arrive, my wife stood in the sitting room, head tilted slightly to one side, arms folded, watching me as I tidied things she had probably just tidied two minutes previously, as I rearranged things she had no doubt just rearranged herself.

When the doorbell rang, we both headed to the hallway to greet our friends.  She was ahead of me, so, as she got the door, I paused and hastily rearranged the flowers in the vase sitting on the hall table.

As she opened the door, she looked back at me over her shoulder, rolled her eyes, and said: "for your birthday I'm going to get you a Y chromosome".

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Truth is singular. Its versions are mistruths.

The above words are spoken by the character Sonmi-451, played by Bae Doo-na (a.k.a. Doona Bae), in the film Cloud Atlas which I went to see at the Odeon on Lothian Road last night (after another excellent meal at
El Quijote).  I have to say I find those words a challenge to those of us whose hobby it is to write versions of the truth.  What, for example, should I do if I want to use a photograph to illustrate something I write and the scene depicted could be taken as the inspiration for the for the piece, but wasn't?  Am I being dishonest?  At the very least, it will make me try to remember to tag posts "fiction" and "non-fiction" where there might be any doubt.

Cloud Atlas is directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, best known for, respectively: Run Lola Run and: The Matrix trilogy, so I suppose I should have been forewarned, but, not having read the book - or much about the film - initially I found the structure puzzling.

All soon became apparent however, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  Okay, it wasn't the greatest thing I've ever seen, but I'm still surprised we didn't see more of it during the awards season.

I didn't think there were any weaknesses amongst the ensemble cast, with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry especially showing why they are paid the big bucks.  The stand-out performance for me though was that of Jim Broadbent; from Percy the Park Keeper, through WS Gilbert, Harold Zidler, and John Bayley, to his multiple roles in Cloud Atlas, he is always such good value!

As well as spotting the Edinburgh locations (such as the Scott Monument - a.k.a. Thunderbird 3 - pictured above), it was amusing to see the Clackmannanshire Bridge featuring as the Swannekke Bridge, and the mean streets of Glasgow standing in for the mean streets of Buenas Yerbas.  It was also interesting to see the Serra de Tramuntana doubling for Big I' and Port de Sóller transformed into 19th century San Francisco.  More versions of the truth: such is the magic of film.