Sunday, 24 February 2013

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas was considered the book that was impossible to make into a film.  I have just sat through the film and agree with this statement.  This film jumps timelines that makes Inception look like a walk-through book for a five year old.
If you ask me what the film is about, I could guess it is about love, about friendship and about the courage to make a difference in your life for others. But that is just a guess.  The truth is this film has no clear message.
I can accept time travel and the same souls on different time levels with ease.  What I can’t accept is the terrible editing in this film that makes it hard to watch and almost impossible to enjoy.
There are  two outstanding storylines (it is about several different characters throughout time played by the same people)in the film.
The first one is a gay love story.  It is a very passionate beautiful story which I really felt for the characters.  However within the first five minutes you already know what the outcome of this story is going to be so it makes it hard to get close to the characters.
I also very much enjoyed the story in the future of a girl waitress who escapes her destiny to find another life and love outside of the hum-drum she was born into.
The trouble with this film is continuity. Why are the same actors playing different characters? What is the point of this?  It is not the same soul reborn or a love story through time - so why? It is  not clear how anyone is linked!
I consider Tom Hanks to be one of our greatest living actors.  He does not disappoint in this film but I struggle to see how he and Hally Berry are connected through time.  They just don’t seem to fit well for me and I wonder with all the other complicated story sub-plots why anyone would give this film the time of day.
The truth is this film does not deliver.  There are elements of John Carter and of Inception but both these films had what a good film needs – a story about love with characters you genuinely care about. Cloud Atlas jumps so frequently it is hard to care about any of the characters enough to follow what may happen.  It is a hugely disappointing film.
A good film needs to make money.  This is the truth of the world we live in. We want to go to the cinema to either escape our lives for a few hours or to feel something (shock, heartfelt love, heartbreak, fantasy etc).  If a film is good we will choose to go repeatedly to see it.  We will recommend it to friends and buy it on DVD.  Cloud Atlas is not one of these films!



Harry Hill - Sausage Tour

Harry Hill - Sausage time national tour.

I felt like an alien last night. I had arrived on a planet that didn’t speak my language.  I went to see Harry Hill on his sausage time tour and didn’t understand most of it.
If I were an alien visiting and Harry Hill was representing the human race, Goodness only knows what they would conclude.
Harry Hill started the show with a blue and white checked mattress being pushed into the front row and then jumping on it like a five year old. Some gags were very funny such as ‘Tim Curry, Tim rice – what is it about the name Tim that makes you think of Chinese food’  I also enjoyed the ‘You’ve been framed’ jokes .  Harry just described a few generic scenarios and then said ‘see you after the break’.  He also explained God backwards is Dog so Jesus backwards is sausages!  He was rather close to the bone to start on Muslims and their worshipping of Allah (known to Harry as Alan).  Everyone around me was laughing and even crying with laughter.  I sat there politely smiling and pretending to understand what was going on but the truth is – I had no clue!
The second half of the show descended into what I can only describe as madness.  It must have been devised on the back of paper napkin at a roadside cafe. It was total chaos and with no continuity or understanding.  I have decided that I just don’t conform to what other find funny.  There were less jokes and more slapstick humour such as a man in a leotard from Dignatas trying to smother Harry with a pillow. Or the scene where Harry tries to drink a bucket of water.  Or a huge floating sausage coming out of Harry’s mouth.
I was disappointed with the lack of any knitted characters or ‘there is only one way to find out – Fiiiggghhhhttt!’ 

Would I go to see him again?  Probably not.  But there are hundreds in my place who would so I don’t think Harry Hill will be going anywhere soon.



Saturday, 16 February 2013

Kraftwerk ist fantastisch!!

Kraftwerk ist fantastisch!!

I had already felt like I had won a golden ticket (just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Kraftwerk at the Tate tickets were ridiculously hard to get hold of.  You knew this was to be an uber cool event.  There were many angry fans who couldn’t get tickets but that just added to how special and unique this event was going to be.
We headed down to the Tate Modern and found out that people had been queuing from midday to try to get a return ticket.  (The show didn’t start til 9pm!) We knew we were lucky!
Security was very tight.  You needed your whole party with you and the card you paid with to get access to your tickets and wristbands.  However staff were friendly and excited.  Many famous people had been over the last seven gigs (including Grace Jones, Mick Hucknell and Boy George) and tonight was the final Kraftwerk gig!

It was a very civilised affair.  We were issued with cushions to sit on to wait in the turbine hall for the gig to start.  People were dressed quite smartly and I was in a minority being a woman as there was many more men than women! So much for Valentine’s Day, Kraftwerk is more important!
We all patiently waited and the time flew by chatting to fellow fans.  Kraftwerk opened by saying guten abend and launched into Tour de France.  Oh did I mention it was all in 3D!  Kraftwerk’s suits glowed in the dark and the 3D was amazing (especially for Vitamin – I felt like I was tripping on LSD as the 3D came right out the screen at me to touch).  This was no ordinary 3D but this was no ordinary band!

They did all the old favourites; The Model (which was poor graphics considering all the other amazing graphics), Autobahn had amazing cartoon like graphics, Trans Europe Express, Computer Love, Neon Lights, The Robots, Techno pop. I had known that Coldplay had sampled Computer Love but felt ashamed that I did not know Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force had sampled Trans Europe Express.  This show educated me.

The whole experience was one every person there will never forget.  Those lucky ‘golden ticket’ winners know they have experienced something amazing.  Kraftwerk started back in the 1970’s but still feel as fresh today as ever.  It was almost like a resurrection – what Kraftwerk had preached about 30 years ago has now come to be.  Computer Love sing about a Data Date and here we are meeting and dating strangers on the internet. How ahead of the game are they?!!

Verdict: Kraftwerk was everything I expected from them and more!  A visual feat to match the precise and clean electronic sound of music. In a word: Amazing!


 More photos here: