It’s time to check-in and have a quick word with yourself. I want to know: what type of person are you? 🤔
If one of your friends was in trouble, are you the kind of person that would do everything you could to help them out of trouble?
Are you a dog lover?
If you saw someone hurting a person or animal in the street, would you step in and stand up for them?
Do you like funny cat videos, and make aww noises between laughs?
If you saw an injured animal in the street, would you go out of your way to take it into a vet?
When was the last time you helped out a complete stranger because there are just too many assholes in the world and you don’t wana be one of them?
When was the last time you did something that did not serve your own interests?
Two years ago, I had a word with myself. Or rather, a few Vegans had a word with me. I was slammed with shock and went on a fear-filled guilt trip.
😱 the animals, the environment – omg I must help save the planet!!!
I decided to stop eating meat. In fact, I didn’t stop there. I decided to quit fish and cheese and eggs. FULL VEGAN.
And while I’m at it, I’m going to chuck the fags in an’ all.
And the recycling, I must get on top of the recycling too!
Oh and I definitely need all new Cruelty Free Make-Up and Household Products…
Oh I never felt more alive. I had such purpose! I finally had a reason to –
Oh who was I kidding.
I was smoking again within a week and eating the odd McDonald’s by month six 😶 Eventually, a year in, I found myself eating animals again 😖
I made excuses about it because I didn’t buy meat from a shop, and only ate it when I went out.
…Unless I was cooking for friends that came over.
…Or I was looking after my Niece 👀
…Or getting takeaway 🙈
Yeah, I failed miserably 😔
The change was too fast and I had no idea how to make food that satiated me; most meals felt like they were missing something. Alternatives like Quorn were great and I love their sausages and chicken nuggets (which are better than McDonald’s in my opinion 😌). But what was I gonna do, live on Quorn? I think not.
Ok, so I did finally quit smoking, almost everything I buy is Cruelty Free and I’d say I’m one of the top recyclers in Hull – but even if the meals I had at home were Vegetarian it wasn’t good enough and I lived in blissful ignorance with my ‘buts, ifs and maybe’ excuses.
Something happened though; I heard a sound-clip of Pigs screaming in a Slaughterhouse as they were gassed…
It made me cry. Not just a little bit, but I actually sobbed myself to sleep. It made me take the time to think about it. I mean really, really think about what I was doing and what I was part of.
There were my cats, (all four of them) rolling about on the bed, snuggling up for cuddles as I cried and cried and faced the real truth of what happens every day to millions of animal babies. Every animal has the potential to be a pet, a member of your family… could you cope if you imagined your cat or dog was treated the same way we treat pigs and chickens and cows?
Well, that was two months ago and I haven’t eaten an animal since, no matter where I’ve been or who has been at my house. It’s a bit slower than before. I’m still eating Fish, Cheese and Eggs and I don’t feel like my meals miss anything anymore (maybe because I’m still eating Fish, Cheese and Eggs 🙈). I don’t eat them everyday and the plan is to finish the Fish I have in my freezer and then I’m going to let go of Cheese and Eggs. It’s like the past few years have been a bit of prep’. I’ve gotten used to eating meat-free meals (despite all the times I didn’t). In all honesty there were a lot of times I couldn’t face meat, but sometimes the cravings would just take over – and I was weak.
So if you are thinking of making the change, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it first time round. Most of us are brainwashed from being children to think that this is ok. We don’t often see the consequences of our actions, or worse, we choose to ignore them when we do. I expect only a few people will have made it this far into the post once they realised what it was about – it’s easier to stop reading than to have a word with yourself.
So, well done for making it through, it’s almost over, and with a challenge no less.
That is the challenge. If you can face it, acknowledge it and still swallow your food then you have a stronger stomach than me.
If you can’t swallow, if you can’t make it through the video or even your meal, then maybe you just opened a door. Maybe you will make a different decision next time you go shopping? Maybe you will try Cottage Pie a different way? Or, learn how to make a new Taco Tuesday fave? Maybe, just maybe you will think twice before you pick up that cellophane wrapped animal.
Everyday we make choices about the type of person we are, but do we ask ourselves if they are good choices? Everytime you ignore pain and suffering you are making a decision about who that person is. Nobody is perfect, but there’s no harm in trying everyday to be better. I don’t know who said it but this is one of my favourite sayings is this:
It isn’t about one person doing it perfectly a thousands of times; there just need thousands of people trying to do it – only then, will there be change. So please, have a word with yourself.
If you want to learn more, here are a few links to some informational sites:
Hola ma chicas, if you’re a wee bit interested, here’s a list of films I’m going to make a date with this month. It’s not all of them, I know, but they’re chunkiest most juiciest ones I wanna see.
Judy 02/10 Staring Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley & Finn Wittrock Directed by Rupert Goold
Film: It’s 1969 and Judy Garland arrives in London for a five week sell out tour while battling depression, alcoholism and drug abuse. Judy looks on the star and her final performances just a few months before her tragic death at 47.
Fact: some of the performances from that very tour in ’69 can be found YouTube.
From me: Judy’s life was a rollercoaster from being Two years old because of a hellbent and obsessed mother. Between the ’30s right through to the ’50’s, The Hollywood Studio System churned out films like toys off a conveyor belt until the US Government ended their monopoly; Judy was just one of the many cogs that churned that belt and it’s no secret how badly she was treated. Judy was starved, forced fed drugs and abused as a result of her young life in the system. This film is from her final year so I can only imagine it’s going to pack a punch.
Joker 04/10 Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy Directed by Todd Phillips
Film: An origin story of the DC Character, Joker. Set in 1981 and failed as a comedian Arthur Fleck, slowly descends into madness, chaos and crime.
Fact: The Joker’s character is inspired from the film “The Man Who Laughs” made in 1928. It’s based on a novel of the same name. A King sentences the main character, Gwynplaine, to have his face carved into a grin for crimes his father commited.
From me: I reckon any new depiction of the Joker is going to bring you back to all the Joker’s you’ve seen before – it does me. Cesar Romero 1966, Jack Nicholson 1989, Heath Ledger 2008 or Jared Leto 2016 – are all going to be compared to the next. The beauty being, with every new Joker – we get to see another deranged and depraved depiction of one of the most popular villains in cinema. One thing always remains the same, Joker is Batmans polar opposite but we have never seen such a detailed ascent to anarchy. I can’t wait to see how Joker got started being the most fun murderer on Tele.
Gemini Man 10/10 Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen Directed by Ang Lee
Film: A retiring assassin, Henry Brogan, finds himself pursued by a mysterious killer that can predict his every move. Discovering that he’s being hunted by a younger clone of himself, Henry needs find out why he’s being targeted and who the creator is.
Fact: The film was first conceived in 1997 and has been tied to several writers, actors and directors since. Production didn’t actually begin until February 2018 though, meaning this film has been in the making for over 20 years.
From Me: “If I knew then, what I know now”, comes to mind when I heard what this film was about. Yes, yes, there’ll be fighting and action and we will all get to see a CGI version of the Fresh Prince, but I do hope the film has a bit more to it considering it’s seen so many writers over 20 years. Perhaps there’ll be some sort of poignant life lesson amongst all the fighting.
Maleficent 18/10 Directed by Joachim Rønning Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley and Michelle Pfeiffer
Film: It’s been a peaceful Five years for Maleficent and Aurora until Philip decides to propose. Suddenly, Aurora and Maleficent find themselves on opposite sides of a war between fairies and humans when Philip’s mother, Queen Ingrith manipulates the family apart.
Fact: the film wasn’t meant to be released for another Eight months.
From me: I expect this film will be fantasy version of Jeremy Kyle mixed with a hint of Romeo and Juliet. There’s nothing like the complexities that come with a family, especially two from opposing fantasy worlds. I am sure there’s going to be a few families that relate to the manipulative mother in law, Queen Ingrith.
Zombieland : double tap 18/10 Directed by Ruben Fleischer Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Bill Murray
Film: Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock are back with a handful new survivors to join the Zombieland orphans. The Zombies are badder than bad after evolving into super Zombies, so we have to hope that the family and their new members have evolved into something stronger too!
Fact: The film is going to be released 10 years after the original as a special kind of anniversary.
From Me: Of all the Zombie films I have ever watched, Zombieland was my favourite (closely followed by Dawn of the Dead and World War Z). I loved the fact that it was a funny horror film with moments of real heartfelt drama, (oh, and “Bill Fucking Murray” was in it too). I aren’t sure how they are going to match the Original, but man, am I excited to see the gang again.
Terminator: dark fate 23/10 Directed by Tim Miller Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong
Film: Nearly 30 years after T:2, Sarah Connor and the T-800 must come to aid of Dani Ramos, a human-cyborg hybrid, when a liquid metal terminator is sent from the future.
Fact:James Cameron, the original creator of the franchise, only came aboard as a Producer when it was suggested Dark Fate would be a direct sequel to Terminator 2 and all the films since the 1991 blockbuster, would be discarded from the timeline. He had one condition, Schwarzenegger was involved.
From me: I’ve seen all the Terminator Movies, but I’ve only seen Terminator 1 & 2 more than once (I could probably recite T:2 backwards… maybe not). The films that came after Terminator 2 were never going to live up to the originals because they just didn’t have the same message, they weren’t trying to convey the same idea that Cameron’s films are rooted with. Cameron doesn’t make action films, he makes films about people, about humanity and the two sides of it’s face; Then he decorates them with action and drama (Do I sound like a Cameron fan-girl?). There may be a few that disagree but I genuinely hope that there’s a Cameron stamp on this film, that’s the only way it will Terminate at the Box office – ha.
The beach bum 25/10 Directed by Harmony Korine Starring Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Jimmy Buffett, Martin Lawrence and Jonah Hill
Film: Moondog’s a writer that loves Pot, Beer and Good Times. He’s never out of his comfort zone until his daughters wedding, where a bumpy journey of losing control and self discovery begins.
Fact: While he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, McConaughey told how Snoop Dogg swapped out fake prop marijuana.
From me: McConaughey is one of my all time favourite actors and like every other film he’s in I am sure it’s going to be great. It’s on of the only reasons it made it on this list because it sounds a bit silly. But, I have only briefly scanned the internet to get bits of info about it so I don’t spoil it. It could be amazing. I already feel like ‘the making of this film’ would probably be as good as the film though and that’s after only a few minutes of scrolling posts about it.
Monos 25/10 Directed by Alejandro Landes Starring Julianne Nicholson and Moisés Arias
Film: on a remote mountain in Latin America a young group of rebel soldiers watching over a hostage are driven apart when they’re ambushed and driven into the jungle.
Fact: The film is set on site, in some of the most remote places of Latin America, that have never been filmed before
From me: This film has been circulating for less than 6 months and it’s already accumulated awards and nominations of all kinds. I had to be careful finding things out about this film because I really did not want to spoil it. As it turns out, it was not difficult to see that there’s children, alcohol, drugs, sex, the great outdoors, violence and an overbearing presence known as the Organization; the drama that will unfold, I can only imagine, will be dark and brutal.
Doctor Sleep 31/10 Directed by Mike Flanagan Starring Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and Kyliegh Curran
Traumatised by the events of his childhood Dan Torrence, struggles with alcoholism and finding peace in his life. Sought out by Abra, a teenager with the gift of the ‘shine’ she begs for his help against a cruel cult, the True Knot.
Fact: The Doctor Sleep Novel by Stephen King came out in 2013 and Warner Bros started developing the adaptation by 2014.
From Me: It must be really something to write a bunch of stories and create a movie franchise like Stephen Kings has. Imagine writing the most nightmarish things you can think of and one of the largest entertainment companies on the planet just churning them out; making them real on the big screen -Must be mental. I don’t have much to say on this film because I refuse to read about it until after I watch it.
That’s my Film Feast this month anyway. I hope you enjoy being at the pictures as much as me.
MAIN CAST: Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Elizabeth BAnks
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 30min
There are spoilers below…
I try and avoid movie trailers out of fear that they will spoil a film or take something away from it. Most of the time I feel like they show way too much information and as though they somehow force me to develop an opinion about a film before I have even seen it.
Brightburn was one of those times I ended up seeing the trailer and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I developed an opinion about the film I did start thinking up questions about it and I was coming back to Superman every-time.
ooooo, I thought, interesting – my initial reaction to the first few seconds of the trailer. Then as it went on I began to cringe a little, ah I don’t know. I mean, a bad Superman? Is that where they’re going with this? We’ve seen Superman turn bad. Then again, we’ve never seen him start out bad. Ok – they’re either gona do this good or it’s gona be real bad.
I kept seeing odd buzz words around the film though: Horror, Gory, Bad seed, Evil Superhero. I was wondering, how dark is this gona be?
When I thought about a bad Superman, I couldn’t help going back to the 1983 Superman III starring Christopher Reeve. It’s the one where Superman splits into an evil version of himself after being exposed to synthetic kryptonite. He becomes a bit of a horny, juvenile alcoholic. Sure some of the stuff he does is a bit bad, but considering the power he wields he doesn’t go thatmental. This got me hoping Brightburn wasn’t just about a moody Mama’s boy going through puberty.
To be fair, the trailer made it quite clear the little dude in this film was one step ahead of getting wasted, blowing out the Olympic Torch and straightening out the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Superman III). He is definitely a bit of a psycho, but how far was he really going to go? Was he just going to maim people? Or was this angelic looking kid going to just go to full on Killing sprees? I think there’s a few occasions in the DC comics where Superman goes a bit nuts and even starts killing members of the Justice League, so maybe he will go that far?
The Gunn brothers, Mark and Brian, that wrote the screenplay are adamant the film is not based on a ‘bad Superman’, but an already evil alien raised on earth. I don’t read about films until I’ve seen them so most of this I didn’t really pick up until afterward.
However, perhaps I should have observed that statement a little harder while I watched it. I got caught up on this whole Evil Superman parallel, that it was easy to only see the Superman element.
Yes! There’s bunch of references paying homage to Superman from the red cape to the laser beam eyes. Yes! Like the Superman back-story, a baby crash lands on a farm and Mr & Farmer decide to raise the baby as their own, but you can read more about all those on another site.
Forget for a minute that Brightburn had anything to do with Superman at all.
What got my skin crawling is what’s implied about Brandon’s backstory and what he’s going through. After much consideration, I think Brandon is less like Superman – and more like some killer Wasp-Bee alien, and here’s why.
To give that a little more context, I’m going to start from the scene in the school where Brandon talks about bees and wasps.
By the complex answer he gives his teacher when they’re learning about the Bees and the Wasps Brandon appears to be smarter than the average kid. The other children tease Brandon; he is clearly different to them and maybe they all sense that.
I don’t think this scene just makes a point about how smart Brandon is, or how the other kids in the class are bullying him. I think this scene is a big clue about why he landed on Earth and what makes this film stand away from Superman.
I’ll expand on what Brandon talks about to show where I’m coming from. Brandon says about the aggressive nature of wasps and how they don’t have the ability to create hives so they take them over by brute force. True Brood Wasps are insects that infiltrate host nests as larvae (like Brandon as a baby) and are raised by the adult hosts (like Tori and Kyle). Cuckoo Bumblebees do the same, but also release pheromones in order to slip past bee security and kill or subdue the queen of entire colonies and take them over, forcing the host worker-hive to feed their offspring.
I think showing him being bullied is by the other kids at school could also be seen as they are poking the wasp nest – so to speak but I won’t get carried away.
When Brandon wakes up in the middle of the night after a seizure, the hidden space-vessel he came in seems to have sent out psychic messages awakening his powers of strength, flight and speed (not to mention the laser eyes). Later in the film Brandon cracks the psychic code and realises its telling him to TAKE THE WORLD – which he seems to take to like a Cuckcoo Bee takes a colony.
Yeah, from here on in, Brandon starts displaying a whole load of manipulative and twisted behaviour that involves bloodshed and threats – but there’s a fair few indicators that what he’s been going through doesn’t just start after the seizure in bed.
Knowing that despite his innocent appearance, Brandon is not a real human child, Kyle points out the things he’s noticed as they have raised him.
Kyle and Tori discover some magazine clippings which aren’t just teenage boy spank-bank material. Beneath a few pictures of bikini models, there’s pictures and drawings of the anatomy of people. The notebook that he is always writing in is quite tatted and used up and when we see it later in the film, there’s a lot of disturbing content (even the logo he stamps everywhere is like a rudimentary bee or wasp stamp). It all suggests these are things that have been playing on his mind for a while. It’s not quite as simple as a Space-ship talking to him awakening some sudden urge to kill, it seems Brandon has been wondering what people look like from the inside-out, for a lot longer.
Does he want to know our anatomy so he can kill us easily? Does he want to lay eggs in our abdomen? Is he going to eat us when he is done? I mean, when he stuck his finger in the blood on his dying uncles face, I half expected him to lick it off!!
Ok I aren’t clutching at straws here – I can give this Bee-Wasp Alien theory a bit more traction.
Another part of the film that seems to back up the idea of Brandon infiltrating Earth to potentially colonise it like the Cuckoo Bee, is his interest in Caitlyn. Despite the fact that he crushes her hand, in some sort of controlling and manipulative effort he still wants to pursue her sexually. The reason I specifically say sexually, is because the first thing he does after Kyle ‘gives him the talk (about the birds and the bees‘) is stalk her in her bedroom. It’s also more carnal than it is romantic especially because he actually stalks her. Even after he breaks her hand he is still imposing. Has he intended her as his mate?
Ok so enough about that – one of thee main and most definitive reasons I think Brandon is a Wasp Monster… The insect-like hooded-mask he wears. I mean, come on, could you get more symbolic than that? He hovers like a wasp, he moves at speed like a wasp, he’s aggressive and parasitic and imposing – he even wears a wasp mask!!
So if I forget for a minute that the word Superman is even remotely related to this little monster, I become extremely creeped out. I reckon Brandon is more likely from a liege of Super Wasp Aliens that can morph into their hosts, permeate an entire planet and destroy it with no conscience.
If you think I’m totally off the mark then message me or comment. I’d love to hear it.
MAIN CAST: Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hamill, Aubry Plaza
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 30min
There are spoilers below…
The year before I was born, Charles Lee Ray possessed a doll and began a murder rampage that lasted over 30 years-
well he didn’t, ’cause Charles Lee Ray was a fictional character in a film called Child’s Play – but the Doll, Chucky was recognised by any kid born in the 90’s as the franchise kept pumping out horror films. We even saw Chucky get married and have a kid!
Ok, so by the time he had that kid, anyone who saw the original few movies was beginning to get a little bored (to put it nicely) and by the time Cult of Chucky came out, Chucky was nose-diving into box-office bomb-oblivion.
The other night I went to see a contemporary take on my favourite killer toy and I don’t know what I expected (I’d purposely not even read a synopsis on the new film), but I did not expect what I got.
I was sold. Reboots are risky business. You may have the die-hard fans of the originals who want scrutinise every frame for fault; pre-dispostioned to hate whatever comes onscreen, then they go off and spread their narrow opinions.
Well, other than being really really picky, I think for a reboot – Child’s Play 2019 is bang on the money.
Ok, so instead of a possessed doll, Child’s Play 2019 is something more like a killer toy version of Alexa. Buddi is an artificially intelligent Doll. Designed for the modern family, he syncs with all your Kaslan Products. He keeps an eye on your kids, remembers their favourite shows and he is the best friend every kid deserves to have (that’s the sale angle anyways).
Manufactured in a Vietnamese factory a disgruntled worker decides he’s going to switch off the safety protocols of a Buddi doll, before he throws himself out of a window.
After seeing the Buddi doll may be faulty, a shopper returns it to the store – where a single mum, to a kid called Andy, works. She takes Buddi home and the rest is history.
The best thing about a reboot is that it’s a new start to an already existing fictional universe. It gives other creative minds the opportunity to put their new stamp on an old idea.
One of my favourite things about this reboot is that it’s taken something implausible (voodoo and possession) and made it plausible (computers, internet, the cloud, artificial intelligence). The “fear of technology” isn’t a new concept when it comes to horror films, but it does help to draw you in when you can conceive the idea as a true possibility.
Lars brings the Chucky Franchise out of the Voodoo age and into the Digital Age. The kids have phones, the old lady across the hall can finally work Uber and drones are on sale at Zed Mart; If there’s a time to be scared of AI, the time is now.
My second favourite thing about this movie is Andy and his mates. This kinda ties in with the 80’s theme of adventure nostalgia seen in the new IT film and Stranger Things the Netflix Series. People are mad for a bit of kids against the world. I thought the acting was brilliant and the dialogue and interaction with the kids, the adults and even Chucky was believable, engaging and funny. Quite a few times through the film I couldn’t help but think Chucky was the cutest! I even felt sad for Andy and Chucky when Falyn pulled the power source out of Chucky’s chest.
I thought Lars did a smashing job of sharing out the credit while also making the new Child’s Play New. Not only were there a bunch of nods to the original Child’s Play but also to a whole other movie catalogue from around the same time.
From the very start, the original Orion logo in the opening credits was probably what had me bought and sold. I remember it vividly from all my favourite films when I was a little kid. I remember it at the start of Robocop and of course Lars even slotted a reference to that in too.
There’s a few little eggs for Child’s Play, the most obvious being the Doll, Andy, his (almost single) Mum and of course the whole thing gets started with a violent death on a stormy night.
Other acknowledgements are when Andy begins the Buddi set-up he tries to call the Doll Han-Solo. Mark Hamill is the voice of Chucky and played Luke Skywaker in the Star Wars films. Han Solo was the other main guy in Star Wars and Chucky just ends up naming himself completely ignoring the Han Solo suggestion.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a slasher movie from 1986. About this time, a whole host of slasher-gore films were beginning to pop up where comedy was a staple element. Seeing how everyone finds it hilarious to see Leatherface wearing a victims skin during a scene where Andy and his new mates are having a movie night, Chucky becomes kind of inspired by the violent scenes on-screen and decides to give it a go himself.
From 1988 – the year the original Child’s Play was released, Andy’s Bedroom has posters of Poltergeist III and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
Killer Klowns is another Horror-Comedy. Like in E.T the Extra Terrestrial, another 80’s movie, Chucky’s finger lights up when he is controlling various Kaslan products.
In the 90’s another movie franchise began called Leprechaun, about…. you guessed it, a Leprechaun. Only this Leprechaun is pure psycho killer. Like Child’s Play and Texas Horror, this too is riddled with funny scenes of death and violence. You can see the reference in the Zed-Mart toward the end of the film where there’s the Leprechaun version of the Buddi2 doll and the Pot of Gold accessories.
There’s a couple other eggs hidden in there but you should just have a crack at trying to see them yourself by watching it again.
I know I will be.
It’s the best reboot I’ve ever seen and I am already hoping there’s a sequel.
We had picked up driving snacks and water in Asda and my co-pilot, Sam, was passing me crisps dipped in sour cream and slices of broccoli quiche as we went. We only stopped once an hour after leaving Hull; I wanted a Soya Milk Cappuccino from Starbucks – nom.
Only as we were approaching the last few junctions into Coventry, did I lose my head. My leg began to ache again and I could feel the skin around the bite getting tight.
So when a van with three men in the front pulled out on me at the roundabout, I shouted every swearword, held my horn down and made sure they saw me sign them. Naturally when I saw they were shouting something back, I was enraged.
“Ugh – who do they think they are? Shouting back?!?! I’m going back round!! I’m gona drive into them.”
“Oook, calm down, calm down -” everyone soothed.
Trying my hardest to get a grip of myself I said, “Sorry, I’m tired and my leg hurts.”
“Shall I drive the last bit?” Sam asked.
“There’s only 18 minutes left, I’ll be ok” – I could almost hear everyone’s thoughts: You might be ok, but we aren’t, you psycho. “- thanks though.”
A few minor rants later we were at the Apartment we had booked.
We parked up next to an SUV with its windows down and plumes of Ganja smoke pouring out.
“Let us in”, I joked.
And that’s when the heavens opened, no really- let us in, I thought.
On the way from Hull we had gone from fluffy clouds, rain, big black grey clouds and stunning sunshine. We really had no idea what to expect from the weather tonight. Google had changed its mind every time we looked.
We grabbed every bag and case we could, nobody was going back out in that – and we scrambled for the front door and sweated up 2 flights of stairs.
It was 3pm.
For the next few hours the rain came down like it was trying to cleanse Coventry of some biblical stain. Never mind Spice Girls, it was looking more like Drowned Girls. The doors to the arena opened at 5pm but there was no way we would be there by then and none of us could see sense in getting there so early.
The others were only too excited to go to the concert and all I could think is how much I wanted to put my PJ’s on and rest my leg. Going out in the cold rain was the last thing I wanted to do. I may have been feeling sorry for myself, but I was genuinely gutted.
The day was ruined.
Within half an hour I was pretty much done and ready. It worked out well because I don’t think I could have managed any other Spice. I had the easiest dress up; trainers on my feet and Braids in my hair.
“I need help with my eyelashes”
“I can’t do my make up”
“What can I do with my hair?”
– well lucky for these lot, I was a bit of a Skilled Spice too and after a bit of sticking and a bit of spraying and lots of puffing and blowing and yanking – I had a Baby Spice, a Scary Spice and a Ginger Spice to go with my Sporty Spice.
….It only took 2 and half hours.
Ok, so everyone looked amazing and I couldnt help feeling excited again.
Time for a photo shoot – well, a phone propped up in front of the TV with a timer on – shoot.
We Zig-a-Zig-ahhed, peace signed and pouted for a good 20 minutes before I looked out the window – ughhh it was so deflating, but Sam and Kate and Alex seemed completely unaffected. All I could think is how gorgeous they all looked and how washed out we would be after the rain got us.
“Did anyone bring a brolly?”…
“No”, everyone chimed.
Sam was counting the Uber down and we knew we would have to make a run for it. As the Uber approached it seemed the rain was getting worse.
We all started to check and pack our little bags.
We touched up our make up.
“Cigs, phones, keys…??”
“Three minutes, ok lets head down”, Sam shouts.
Everyone chugged their final drinks.
“Have you got the tickets?” Kate asks.
“Oooh my God, noooo”, shouts Sam with a giggle, “I almost left them”.
“SAAAMMM!!!” we all shout.
“I’m too excited”, she squeals as she shoves them into her little pink backpack. Thank God for Kate.
We made it down the stairs without falling down them, which was a win considering the Heels on everyone but me.
By the time we were in the Uber, the downpour was so horrendous, we could barely see out of the windows.
I was now Grumpy Spice.
I’m just going to stand at the bar, I want to go home, is it over yet, my leg hurts so bad, this is shit… of course I didn’t say any of that, but you could have probably read it on my face.
As we were pulling into the side of the arena, Sam, Kate and Alex were a gaggle of gorgeous squealing Spice Girl fangirls; meanwhile, I was looking for those people selling ponchos on the side of the road because that was where I was going to ask the driver to pull up.
There were two poncho sellers as we got out the car. A woman first then a man almost right behind her.
I saw immediately what they were selling were little more than bin-liners with hoods.
“How much for four?” I call to the lady.
“Three Pounds each!” She says and I can’t help but scoff.
“Give us four for a tenner?” I ask and she shakes her head in disgust and mutters something under her breath.
The guy behind saw me and I shouted the same over to him, he resisted a little, but Sam was on it and already pushing a soggy £10 note into his hand. Defeated, he dished out the hoods.
“Yessss!” Why I felt this was such a win is beyond me, but I was chuffed to bits with my tinted pink bin-liner hooded poncho.
So with my mood lifted, despite the god-awful rain, the only thing really messing me up now, was my leg. The cues were only a few people deep, so we had timed it perfectly… or had we?
We weren’t waiting long to get into the arena and out of the rain but once inside, there was a 15 minutes wait for the toilets, (I wasn’t bothered about that- I was just happy to be out the rain) and the brief moment on the loo was sweet relief to my poor foot while I was sat down.
The next cue was the food and beer cue!! This was easy going to be half an hour. There may have been nobody in the cues outside, but that was because they were all in cues in the arena waiting for beer and burgers.
In all our waiting about in different cues, I noticed all the men. From 16 to 60!! There were loads of them. What were they all doing here. Spice Girls had a following that surpassed a thousands of 8 year-old school girls and I was shocked to see the range of their audience. But the more the merrier, I guess.
Through the gaps in the stands we could see the rain was stopping. Even in our plastic ponchos and half sodden, we were still the best dressed Spice Girls in the arena and I was chuffed to bits at how awesome everyone looked.
I won’t say what we ended up paying for 4 pints and a burger, but what really pissed me off was that it said there was a veggie option on the menu and when our own Ginger Spice, Kate, asked for one, the server said nowhere in the arena does veggie food!! She was a total bitch about it too (we even saw someone with chips a bit later, but it was way too late at that point). So I hope karma gets a hold of her and gives her a severe rash or something for being so rude. Poor Kate settled for a bit of a burger bun, but she was far too excited to care.
Anyyyyyways!!! Finally we were getting somewhere, the rain had become nothing more than a trickley spit. That was enough for Alex and Sam – they tore off their plastic ponchos in an epic effort to show up the real Spice Girls! Alex even looked so good she ended up on Mel B’s Instagram. G’wwwaaan Alex!
As for me and Kate, we were a little more skeptical about the weather and ours stayed on a little longer. I was keeping mine on because as soon as we found a spot away from the crowd down the side of the arena, I planted myself on the floor. I was going to drink my beers and rest my leg.
I didn’t care who was looking (everyone looked). I’d had less than 3 hours sleep, I’d driven two and half hours and barely sat down since I got out the car, I was cold and wet, my leg hurt and worst of all… I WAS THIRTY TODAY!!!!
Yes, I felt sorry for myself. More than anyone had felt sorry for themselves in the history of feeling sorry for themselves. I was sitting on the floor of that stadium until I had finished this beer and that was that.
It was my birthday and I’ll sulk if I want to.
Ten minutes into my resting-sulk, a ripple of commotion began fluttering through the crowd. It was too early for Spice Girls so it could only be Jess Glynne, the support act; one of Alex’s favourite singers.
I had no choice, something was starting and as patient as Kate and Sam and Alex had been, they needed to be closer to the show – who was I to hold them back.
Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the atmosphere, (or maybe I really just needed that ten minutes on the floor) but as music started I was lifted (figuratively and physically, because I needed a hand up). Alex, Kate and Sam’s excitement and squeals were infectious.
To me and a lot of others around us, Jess Glynne looked a lot like she was coming out of a Ket-hole and she seemed tired and bored. My sister on the other hand, couldn’t have been more thrilled and was having the time of her life, so that was good enough for me.
As the crowds grew louder laughing, singing and dancing, it was as though the Sun wanted in on the action, and glorious orange beams of light began to light up the arena; it was time to lose the ponchos.
… and go for another wee… and get more beer!
Alex and Kate went first, missing the last two songs from Jess Glynne’s Crack Set and with only minutes to spare Sam and I decided to brave it.
After fighting our way through the crowds… well I smashed people out the way dragging Sam behind me – we finally made up to the stairs, then down to the toilets where 40 other women waited in line. Now if there hadn’t of been attendants checking the male toilet doors, we would have happily hovered over a urinal but not wanting to get thrown out, I restrained myself. So from Stand 23, I dragged my Baby Spice all the way to stand 36 where we waited all of 3-4 minutes for a loo.
As it turns out, Sam’s feet didn’t hurt until I made her run 13 stands worth of arena…
“Aw no, we still need beers”, Sam reminded me. Feeling a little bad for being the most comfy and agile Spice Girl at this point, (as well as for my Grumpy behaviour) I decided to take one for the team because minutes before I was due to be served, we heard the Intro to Spice up your Life.
“Sam, Go Go, get us a little vid of the opening!!!” I shouted, getting butterflies and goosebumps all over. It took everything I had not to start screaming with the overwhelming excitement I felt in that moment.
“No, I can’t it’s your birthday, you go”, Sam argued.
“Get your Baby Spice Ass up them stairs now, I will be up in a minute I am almost being served” I shouted. With the biggest grin and a little squeak she was flying up the stairs!!
Moments later I had 5 bottles and was running up the stairs after her.
AND THERE THEY WERE!!!!!!
Every good thing I remember about being a little girl was right there!! The Mother Ducking Spice Girls Baby!!!!!!!
It took my breath away!! The real girls were stood right there, singing their hearts out. Trotting up and down the stage like they did in their 20’s. Here they were now, with a whole generation of life and experiences behind them like we all did. They had all grown-up!! But here we were and I felt eight years old again.
Grabbing my hand and with so much hysterical energy that it almost came off, Sam took over dragging us both back to the spot where Alex and Kate were waiting.
When they saw us through the crowds we were finally complete. We were a frenzy of screams and squeals.
We sang, we laughed, we cuddled, we screamed, we cheered, we danced we screamed and cheered some more!
I was not prepared for how overwhelmed and emotional I felt seeing our childhood superstars chatting and laughing and singing right in front of us. I imagine a lot of people might think, Oh Come On, it’s only the Spice Girls for God sake; but to think when I was a little girl, going to concerts just didn’t happen to us, they were just too expensive. So stood there, in that moment, it was like we were at a concert we had been waiting 20 years to go to.
It may have been a helluva day –
But it was nothing compared to the birthday night of my life.
The night was mindblowing from one song to the next! The Spice Girls, from what I have read, have had some rave reviews. I aren’t going to go into much detail about the night with the girls on stage. They were absolutely fantastic and deserved every bit of praise they get and if you didn’t get chance to go then I am sorry you missed out.
That’s how old I was when Spice World, the Spice Girls movie came out in 1997.
I remember knowing every single dance move and every word of every song. I had their official Spice Fever cheap bubble bomber jacket that I wore until there were big tears with fluff coming out.
Let’s just say, like millions of other young Girls, my sister and I thought we were real Mini-Spices!
To many of us Generation Y kids, they were the original Girl Band. Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty – a girl for almost every personality. Good or Bad – thousands of us Loved It.
Imagine my excitement when my Dad’s Girlfriend messaged me and my sister to say she was dragging us both, with her friend, to see Spice Girls on my 30th birthday (courtesy of Dad’s bank account – thank you, Dad).
The date was June 4th. The place was Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
No expense would be spared. This was the concert of our lives. There were going to be t-shirts, dress-ups, playlists and poses!!!
On the lead up to an event we had been waiting for months, we made so many plans for the day, it had to be just right.
So naturally, when it came to the actual day, a LOT of things went wrong.
I had been lucky enough to have a birthday party planned by my friends on the 1st of June. It was Festival themed – with tents, music, a BBQ and acrobatics in the grass. Despite my friend Amber, spraying us all down numerous times with bug repellent, I was bitten by some cheeky little nipper on my foot.
Nevermind, one bite is annoying, but manageable, ay? Hahahaa, nope!
As midnight rolled over and the 3rd of June became the 4th (my birthday), I was on the phone to emergency doctors worried I may need my foot amputating. Of course, I was being dramatic but I did have a bad infection and I spent the early hours of the morning seeing a GP who had to prescribe me with antibiotics (for a brief moment I was devastated until he advised me that alcohol was not a problem with this particular brand – what a win).
Off I went, hobbling home in pain, now dreading the concert I had looked forward to for the most part of the year.
I flopped into bed gobbling down my first Antibiotic, and with a cold flannel on my poorly, bright red and purple throbbing balloon ankle I tried to sleep.
When I woke up a few hours later I threw back my covers in a panic because I could still feel the ache. Although it still looked like I’d been bitten by zombie, my leg was a lot less swollen. Thank God, I thought.
Keep your leg up, everyone said – and ohhh did intend to. There was a two and a half hour journey to Coventry – plenty of resting time.
From a mixture of road-rage, stress and headaches I’d given up my car over a year ago, but I could still bomb about in my Dad’s if I needed to. On this occasion though, Dad’s girlfriend, Sam had opted to drive so I looked forward to keeping my leg firmly rested on the back seat
We all planned to meet at my Dad’s house, so at 9.30am my sister picked me up with my bags.
I was surprised to walk through the door and see banners, balloons, party poppers, a cake, cards, presents, a breakfast banquet and everyone lined up shouting Happy Birthday.
I was immediately happier. The ache in my foot was fading away and being replaced by excited squeals.
So, let me introduce you to the Spice Girls from Hull. There was me, I was Sporty Spice. Alex (my sister) was Scary Spice. Sam (Dad’s Girlfriend) was Baby spice. Kate (Sam’s bestie) was Ginger Spice (Posh spice wasn’t doing the tour so we weren’t too bothered about finding our 5th traitor Spice).
After a photo shoot by Dad (a real photographer), we had our t-shirts on and our bags packed – the car loaded up and Spice Girls CD at the ready; so it was time to get on the road.
– oh, er after we went to Asda… Oh, and then the petrol station… Oh, and back home for the SatNav…
That was it, really…
…but just as I got my poorly leg sprawled out on the back seat (over my sister’s legs) -“Oh no”, shouts Sam, as we set off for the 3rd time, “I haven’t taxed my car”. We all look at each other.
“I’m on it”, shouts Alex, “what’s your Reg Number?”
They to-and-fro questions and answers as Alex tries to make the transaction on her phone.
“Unable to complete- MOT Out of Date. Sam, when is your MOT due?” Says Alex.
“Whaaaaat?” Squeals Sam. “Not for, like, another month. Let me call your Dad.”
At this point we are only approaching the town centre and not too far away from home.
“Dean, we can’t tax my car it says the MOT is out of date”
“Whaaaaat?” He laughs down the speaker phone. “Hang on, let me have a look.” There’s a pause, some scrambling and paper-shuffling noises at the other side of the line — “Sam, it ran out yesterday.”
“Saaaaam” Me, Kate and Alex shout in unison.
Sam let’s out a nervous giggle and a much quieter “Oh No”. We all see her look about the car and realise she needs to pull over.
“Dad, I shout from the back, can you get your car to us on St Andrews Quay? We will pull over there. You can take Sam’s car home and we will take yours.”
“Going to have to, aren’t I”, he chuckles.
The phone clicks off. There’s a silence before we all burst out laughing and start ribbing Sam.
“I can’t believe it, I thought it was next month”, obviously a bit shocked, she then says, “erm, I can’t drive your Dad’s car though”. Before anyone can get anymore concerned about the situation –
“Don’t worry I love that little Golf”, I pipe up, “it’s a right go-er, I’ll do it.”
“What about your leg though?!” She says, a little worried.
We turn into the car park of the Quay.
“It’ll be fine, I’ll only be using it to accelerate, if it gets bad, you might have to bite the bullet – but Kate and Alex can both drive too. We’ll be fine.”
Thirty minutes pass and my little brother rolls into the car park.
“Yayyyy,” we all cheer, “Thanks Ben.”
We repack the cars, going from a 2006 Ford Fusion 1.6 TdCi to a 2006 Golf 2 Litre SDI 60mpg car in a few minutes. We weren’t messing about.
I strap myself in, adjust the mirrors, make the seat low and get into gear.
We tear out the car park before Sam shouts again, “Oh no, WE LEFT THE CD IN THE OTHER CAR!”
“Let’s just get there shall we”, Kate and Alex shout.
MAIN CAST: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Merwan Kenzari
RUNNING TIME: 2hr 8min
There are spoilers below…
So as far as I’m concerned, if Guy Ritchie wants to make more Musicals then I will back that situation 100%.
Aladdin follows the almost identical story-line of its 1992 cartoon original. Aladdin, a poor thief on the streets of Agrabah, meets Princess Jasmine and falls in love with her. It’s not until Aladdin finds a magical Lamp and a Genie within, that he can become a Prince and be worthy of her. Of course, an evil sorcerer threatens all of these wonderful romantic plans so it is up to Aladdin, his monkey-friend Abu, a loyal magic Carpet and Aladdin’s Genie to save them all.
As for all things technical; when it comes to the way this film is shot, in all it’s bright and beautiful glory, I was wide-eyed and taken in. I have always enjoyed Ritchie’s style of camerawork and editing, and this film is different from his usual grit. It’s vivid and colourful from start to finish, mimicking the rich vibrancy of the cartoon. Compared to Live-Action, there can be a lot of unnatural manoeuvrability with camerawork and lighting in a cartoon, so Ritchie’s style is a perfect match since Disney clearly wanted a ‘live-animation’ equivalent of the Original.
The setting of the City and the Palace is almost stage-like, which is a common design for Musical Movies because they’re built for ease of dancing and movement (not only from the actors but the set and props too). It’s a layout which adds to the feel of animation because of how it moves in the background to make way for the action of the characters.
Although I can understand the stage-like layout of the film, despite the controversy attached to the place, props and detail (more on that soon), I was really disappointed in the costume designs. They were very Disneyland-esque and I won’t be surprised if they are on mass production for the staff in theme parks, or when identical outfits are flying out of Disney stores the world over.
From late last year, I heard a lot of dubious comments and opinions from people when it was announced that there would be a Live-Action Aladdin, and of course there were going to be; an unknown fact about Disney’s original Aladdin cartoon, was that it had a bit of bad press back in the day when it sparked racial controversy. It may have claimed more than a whopping $500 million at the Box Office, but between racist lyrics in the songs to the prejudice depiction of the antagonist characters, it really hit a nerve with Middle Eastern and North African audiences, and rightly so.
A real problem with blockbuster movies and the size of the audience they command (especially in a young audience, like Aladdin), is that prejudice representations of any creed or cultures leave a real-world impression ( to be fair, any negative stereotypes perpetuate adverse impressions on races, sexes, sexual orientations, religions… the list goes on). In some ways I see it as borderline irresponsible of film-makers, when its possible their audience could be naive enough to take these depictions seriously.
Characters and Lyrics aside (because Ritchie has changed them somewhat), Orientalism is the main perpetrator casting a shadow over both Aladdin movies.
Orientalism is something which has grown into a monster in terms of how the western world seem to imagine the Eastern world. It has been growing since the late 1800’s in things like art and stories which have almost always come from an outsiders perspective opposed to someone with knowledge and experience of actual communities and their cultures, traditions or beliefs.
Aladdin is a film that cemented Orientalism into the western perception far before Ritchie got his hands onto it. Despite how well I think Guy Ritchie has done creating a film with colour, more in-depth character development (compared to the cartoon) and humour (personally, I don’t think Will Smith had some bad lines); I think he still managed to ignore most of the free lessons critics and advocacy groups have expressed about the problems in the original.
Although there’s a lot of improvement in the characters (thankfully the Sultan isn’t a babbling man-baby and the Genie, for all his power, wants to go on a date), the costumes make the actors look like life-sized dolls and the whole city design from the Palace to the River to the Market is make-belief of all the pretty things from Asia and North Africa. There is no real depth, and for all the talk about ‘the people’ by Princess Jasmine, the film has almost nothing to do with them.
This film could be set anywhere, and its that transparency that acts as an affront to Middle Eastern and African culture insulted by the original cartoon. Or, perhaps the point was since Aladdin comes from a mishmash of cultures it is set in a place-less place; I aren’t sure that is good enough, maybe it should have been set in the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, Washington DC or on Route 66 if that was the case, and Disney should not make a culturally contraversial film if they aren’t going to do their utmost to respect and teach about the culture they’re portraying.
As it stands, on the surface, Ritchie simply made the 1992 Aladdin into a Live-Action Movie and not a lot more.
MAIN CHARACTERS: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr., Alessio Scalzotto
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 38min
What a treat of a film this turned out to be.
Rim of the World: Dariush, Zhenzhen, Alex, Gabriel
the World is about four totally different kids that meet at a summer camp.
Abandoned by the adults, it’s up to Alex, Dariush, Zhenzhen and Gabriel to save
the world when Aliens invade.
If you watch it close enough you will see that is only one part of what this movie has to offer; there are layers, upon layers, upon layers to this film.
stuffed to the ‘rim’ of movie references from the last thirty-odd years making
it a relatable, fun flick for adults and kids alike. It’s a mix of Sci-Fi, Horror,
Adventure and Comedy genres, and it has absolutely no qualms with throwing
every stereotype in the book into the mix.
recently audiences have been going mad for the likes of Stranger Things and IT
for their nostalgic throwback to the Western World’s most favoured Adventure
blockbusters of the last few decades. Movies like ET, Goonies and Breakfast
Club were the backbone of Generation X. Unlike Stranger things and IT, Rim of
the World is set in the present, but with the same sort of adventure format.
Generation Z benefits from references of movies like Gladiator and Rush Hour
and then more recently the Millennials will be more familiar with Wolverine and
countless politically incorrect inferences we have all grown up on to pack a
funny punch; filmmakers have cleverly highlighted contentious issues, instead
of hiding them beneath the surface as a cheap gag trick. The main clue that
this film is openly commenting on politically charged stereotypes or agendas is
when Carl & Logan, the Camp Leaders (who are also “the black men on
Campus”) are sitting about the campfire talking about Toy Story 3. It’s
not to say that Carl & Logan’s interpretation of Toy Story 3 is true
(“the ruling class justification for the inferior conditions of the working
class”), but it is how the filmmakers say to the audience, “yes,
films are meant to talked about; yes, they have hidden meanings and agendas –
including this film; and yes, we know what we are doing – that’s the
list all of the film references in the movie, I am sure there are a tonne of websites
that’ve already made it their mission to; besides, spotting them yourself is
part of the fun because for many of them it’s just one line of dialogue or a
prop or special effect that’s the reference instead of the actual name of the
think is so important to take away from the film is its coming of age theme and
The guy that wrote the film, Zack, has mentioned in a few interviews about the emotional importance of the films he grew up on in the 80’s and the lessons they taught him and millions of others. They relied a lot on how kids in the audience identified with what the characters are going through. Childhood traumas like bullying, poverty, grief, peer-pressure or some sort of in-house/domestic abuse are usually used as part of the background info in most of the main character arcs. In Rim of the World, it’s all about abandonment. Alex’s Father died traumatically in front of him, Dariush’s Father is going to Jail, Gabriel’s Father leaves when he’s Ten and Zhenzhen is an orphan – Not to mention they’re all left alone by the ‘adult camp leaders’ when the whole movie kicks off.
the plot of the all these Generation X movies features a Headmaster or Evil
Grown-up, a Monster, or in this case Alien, which acts as the metaphor for the
main characters’ trauma and how they overcome it is always based on how they
pull together and ‘Stand By’ each other; it’s the lessons they learn through
their friendship that gives them strength, not just in the immediate battle,
but also the one they are fighting at home or school.
the World packs a LOT into an hour and half. I could mention that I thought the
special effects were kind of wooden and I could say the introduction of the
characters and even some of the interaction and dialogue sometimes felt awkward
and unnatural and I don’t think many would disagree. However, the fact that
it’s full of hints and clichés from the last forty years makes me thinks all of
this part of its purposeful charm.
it does well to be its own unique take on western pop-culture. It brings
together the last three generations of audiences in a hilarious, albeit crude
and obvious, complement of one-liners, shoddy CGI explosions and an evil looking
monster while also facing the crushing trauma of family torment with your best
mates at your side.
It is no secret how much I love my cat-fam. Hugo, Patch, Jessie & Batcat.
I’m so boring when it comes to my cats and I can almost feel everyone’s eyes roll into the backs of their heads when I start to tell yet another story about them. If I work with you, if you’re my friend, neighbour or family, or a stranger in the street, you will hear me talk about at least one of my four cats during an encounter.
This one is about Patch.
I used to have a beautiful black cat called Scarlet but she took it upon herself to leave me and I never saw her again 😦
She just never came home.
Since then, I have been dreading the day that I notice I’m a cat down.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that my cute but scraggly Batcat, had her momentous achievement of getting into the house through the cat-flap (it had been months of trying to coax, cajole and con her to use it). Since then, not only does she come in, but she goes out too; she’s a fully fledged cat-flapper-cat.
Alas, a few days after the cat-flap breakthrough, Patch decided that the day had come to put me through the same trauma as Scarlet.
Although Patch is one of my more aloof Kitties and only comes to have the odd bit of attention when no other cat is about, I can always rely on her come meet me in the street when I home from a night-shift..
On the fateful morning of April 12th I didn’t get my usual fussy Hello.
A little worried, but also aware of my tendency to over-react, I went to bed knowing I would be up in an hour or two for my new KCom Lightstream upgrade, (that’s fibre broadband to you non-Hull natives) and she would probably be home by then.
Less than two hours later I was awakened by my horrifcally loud door-bell and two very polite, smiling (& strapping) KCom engineers.
“In there fella’s,” I directed them to the living room at the back of the house, “help yourselves”. I stuck my head out of the front garden gate and gave a short whistle for Patch. Nope, still no sign (“don’t over-react, don’t over-react, don’t over-react”).
After a few trips in and out of the back garden, the odd whirring of drilling and stapling of wires, they were done “Bye, Love” they say, and they were off.
Still, in the hours to come, there was no sign of my fur-baby Patch. Thoughts of all the horror stories I had ever heard were beginning to race through my mind and by tea-time I had resided myself to the fact that she wasn’t coming home or she was cold, injured and hiding – alone and frightened somewhere.
I went out several times into the night looking for her. Every moment that passed only convinced me more that she was gone for good.
By the next day I had over 50 shares on a Facebook post, had driven about Hull with my sister following up on any dead cat sightings people posted about and replied to several comments and messages from well wishers and cat lovers alike providing me with comforting advice (which surprisingly enough, actually was comforting).
"She may have been spooked and is hiding until it's safe to come back"
"She may have just gone exploring, Cats do this from time to time"
"Mine was missing a whole two weeks before she came back, I know what you're going through, try not to get too upset at this point"
Other comments included advice about when was best to go and look for her and different ways to lure her back.
It was a horrible day at work, I was worrying the whole time. It was so nice to hear from people and what their experiences had been. I was trying to convince myself that this was a normal thing that could happen and maybe I shouldn’t bee too worried at this point; it had only been a day (this was not me over-reacting by the way).
By the end of the day, one of my posts had racked up nearly 80 shares. That may not seem a big deal to some people but to me I was so grateful that there was a whole 80 people that wanted to help me out.
It was a late finish from work and it wasn’t until 11:30pm that I rocked up at home with a frog in my throat when I realised for a second day that she wasn’t home. All the comments and well wishing that had kept me calm through the day didn’t seem to mean much when I didn’t see her trot up to me in the street.
It was a little after midnight when I went back out shaking my treats, with no real expectation of seeing Patch… but who comes trotting around the corner like nothing had happened?
None other than Mohammed Ali… haha – kidding, it was my little fluff-ball, Patch.
Of course I spent the next 20 minutes sobbing uncontrollable tears of joy and Patch did nothing but try and wriggle free wondering why I was being so clingy.
She hasn’t done it since. In fact, in the last few weeks since she has even taken to sleeping upstairs with the rest of the cat-fam. I aren’t complaining.
Yes, I am here to tell you that reading films is a thing.
Have you ever watched a film and felt puzzled at the end… and then had to Google the meaning? (and then wondered afterwards, who are these people that know this stuff?)
As it happens, they’re people that read films. It’s not an exclusive skill and I bet you’ve even done it yourself a few times without realising and if you’ve ever spoken to anyone in depth about a film you’ve seen, then you definitely have.
Since over a century ago when films were invented there have been huge changes in what we expect from them. From at first not having any sound, to the soundtrack being one of the most important devices a filmmaker may rely on, to computer generated images opposed to handmade props and puppets.
Like art and music and poetry and storytelling, film-making has been a fluid evolutionary process as it expands and experiments with new ways to project our interpretations of humanity.
That was a deep I know, it gets worse.
When we study English in School, we learn how Shakespeare used storytelling devices like Metaphors in Imagery to convey the states or the emotions of the characters. More than that, they would sometimes communicate entire existential crisis’, like mortality!! There are now even studies into how Shakespeare may have been a political rebel, hiding subversive messages in his works.
Films are a great way to learn about people, kids, friendships, relationships, politics, cultures, humanity and even history (I know they’re generally fictitious but sometimes they inspire people to do a bit of research). As the years have passed the dramatic became more realistic, backdrops became Ariel shots and the suspense became more intense. Reading films is about appreciating those changes and asking why they happened.
It’s not to say that every single film is trying to ask some life changing question or state some intense political agenda… However, many of the most famous (and infamous) films do use different devices and techniques to make some sort of statement, and that goes to show as an audience, that we like watching clever and meaningful film-making.
There’s a lot of places for Directors to hide clues and messages in plain sight. They reinforce something in the plot, create a theme or develop the characters and their motives but mainly, they show us the story, without telling it.
Go to my next post reading films: a breakdown for what to look out for next.
Films are multi-medial. They are a visual and auditory platform.
Because our imagination is stimulated by both sounds and pictures at the same time Films take command of more of our senses than most other Art to create special atmospheres, feelings or to bring out emotions.
The Visual and Auditory techniques used to tell the story are things like sounds, music, lighting, camera angles, and editing. Then films can be interpreted by the literary elements such as plot, setting, characterisation, structure, and theme and the text in the screenplay.
What is important is how all the elements are used together in making a good film and how effortlessly they blend together.
Below are a few of the main things you to look out for when you’re reading a film.
Plot and structure
Plot is the pattern of events arranged to emphasise links between events
Setting is where and when the story takes place.
Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the film and is related to the main characters.
Characterisation is how the characters are described.
Narrator and point of view
The narrator is the person telling the story. Point of view means through whose eyes the story is being told.
Genre’s are a series of socially agreed conventions within the story (or in this case, the film) developed over time.
In films imagery are the elements used to create pictures and relateable sensations in our mind.
Theme’s are the universal ideas that shine through in the film (in other words, what is it about, in general)?
The soundtrack is not only dialogue and music, it is all the other sounds in a film too.
Use of the camera
A camera shot is based on the camera’s distance from the object. A camera angle is how the camera is tilted while filming.
Lighting focuses the audience’s attention on the main character or object in a film & it sets the mood or atmosphere.
Editing is the way in which a film editor together with the director cuts and assembles the scenes. The way the scenes are joined together creates the rhythm of the motion picture. Scenes can be long and drawn out or short and choppy.
Keep an eye out for my next post about reading films….
Here I am, having a catch up with myself at 2.30 in the morning, but it serves me right for having a 3-hour nap earlier.
I’m completely out of sync with my sleep this week and I’ve been unable to get back into a rhythm since my last night shift a few days ago.
If you work nights, you’ll understand the struggle of managing your day life and your night life and your social life and your health life and… I’m sure you get the picture.
So here I am, trimming and pruning the next few posts (I don’t like doing one thing at once… no, I have to do everything at the same time) while also writing this one.
But enough moaning about that I only have 2 more nightshifts and 3 very long and excessive day shifts before it’s all over and I change jobs. I may have enjoyed most of it while it lasted (it was an interesting experience), but for so many reasons I had to give it up.
It’s been an arduous month of interviews and multi-tasking and babysitting (so much babysitting), but I’m so excited to say that I’ve found another job and I will be working days again (and no more weekends).
The photo above is an hour before I attended my final interview… er, yesterday I guess… after a night of, well, 3 hours sleep (like the picture says).
This has been one of the most testing months I have had in a while but I feel like it’s all been worth it even though I spent a lot of time worrying about things that seemed to just fall into place anyway.
It could be all the sunshine & vitamin D or maybe I’m finally just crawling out from under the rock I’ve been living under, but I finally feel excited for something and it has been such a long, long time.
There’s a clear link between the origin of the play and what’s known as western philosophy. A few philosophers and playwrights developed the principles, the techniques and devices in storytelling (including films, books and plays alike) that we use today.
Philosophy on its own, just means the solving of problems – Big problems, with broad subjects like; existence, knowledge, language and reason. It can be applied to all sorts of things.
Why are plays so important?
Being able to read or write was not something just anyone could do a few thousand years ago. Even if people were telling stories, unless they could shout very loudly or write them down, not many people would hear them except through word of mouth which means there was a lot lost in translation.
Luckily for us, some storytellers did end up finding ways to write their stories down. But, it was hard enough finding anyone that could write, so imagine trying to find anyone that could read!
Someone eventually saw a niche in the market though, and figured that those who could read, could read stories out loud to a group of people… and so it began. Plays.
Have a guess where it all started… Did you guess Ancient Greece? Gold star for you!
The first Plays were performed in Athens in the Theatre of Dionysus around 500 BC and they consisted of one actor called the Protagonist who told a story with the help of a Chorus (a group of people). A man called Thespis was apparently the first ever man who went on stage and acted as a character. He even went on Tour after winning one of the first documented theatre competitions. Ha! Imagine that, Thespis on Tour! People loved him and he was a complete celebrity – like Thespis Depp or Brad Thespis.
As time went on, the Tyrants and Politicians (same difference really) would buy their people’s favour by building theatres or sponsoring plays and employing playwrights to write for them.
Plays were so popular that within years there were Theatres popping up all over the place. But it didn’t stop at reading out loud, these were exciting times and once the ideas started rolling, they just snowballed.
A Playwright called Aeschylus (aka The Father of Tragedy), decided to change the game. He added a Second Guy to help tell the story. So there were 2 men telling the story and less chorus! The second person became known as the Antagonist. Aeschylus literally introduced the Conflict amongst his Characters. This is where storytelling evolved into something really complex.
We had our first Goodie and Baddie on stage.
So, Aeschylus had a student called Sophocles. You will never guess what he did… OK, you might. Well, he introduced a THIRD GUY!
Sophocles did other great things too but the competition was tough by now and he was overtaken by Euripides.
More of Euripides’ work survived because it was more popular than Aeschylus & Sophocles’. He was all about the representation of traditional mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. That’s because us lot in the audience loved to be able to imagine our plain-Jane selves as heroes.
Anyway, then there was Socrates who happened to be a this great mind-blowing philosopher who, in 407, met Plato. Plato abandons his first ambitions of being a playwrightand becomes Socrates student and personal biographer.
Then! After ALL that comes along Aristotle. Aristotle begins studies at Plato’s Academy and becomes his student and with that, the first ever Play-Writing Manual was written.
“Tragedy is a form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear. Its action should be single and complete, presenting a reversal of fortune, involving persons renowned and of superior attainments, and it should be written in poetry embellished with every kind of artistic expression.” – Poetics, Aristotle
It was written by Aristotle called and was called Poetics . It was like the beginning of Literary Theory. It talks about the elements found in storytelling and shows where they appear in Plays.
It documents the start of literary theory as we understand it today. It supports the close connection between philosophical thinking applied in plays, stories and films.
The link between plays and western thinking is clear when you see how closely these men all worked together. The stories that were told and the impact they had were an insight into our psyche at the time and much of it is still relevant today. The Greeks explored the world they lived in and what it meant to be human through the Plays they watched and the reason the rest of us in the western world did the same is because we could identify with each other through them.
Stories go hand in hand with philosophy because they’re our way of thinking about those big subjects – existence, knowledge, language and reason.
There were only really three types of Play at first. Comedy, Tragedy and Satyr. Poeticsoutlines them all in the introduction however the main subject of the book is Tragedy (there may have been a second book which covered Comedy but it’s thought to have been lost).
The Comedies mainly made fun out of the men in power (and their vanity). The Tragedies were about Love and Loss, pride and abuse of Power. Typically the Protagonist would do something really bad and be arrogant or foolish. But, as he realises what he has done, his world falls apart around him.
Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides are thought of as the Three Great Playwrights of Tragedy.
The Satyr plays were short skits which played between the acts of Tragedies and they mocked the misfortune of the Tragedies characters. The origins of the play and what you can find from the public interaction with them is how important they were to the culture in Greece and subsequently the rest of the world.
We may think we have evolved and grown but even now when it comes to most of what happened in all those Plays written in the few hundred years after 600 BC we still find the stories are relatable. Why? Because they are stories about the human condition and they were written by philosophers that shaped our history, way of thinking and perspective.
Thousands of years on we can identify with the stories they left us – so what does that say about the films and stories we see and hear today? How relatable will they be to the future generations?
Tuesday was my best day, I had thee best time from start to finish.
My morning started with a nightmare… and yes, you may be thinking ‘how on Earth can a great day start with a nightmare?’
It’s because I actually love nightmares. With the same logic of why people go on roller-coasters, go bungee jumping or watch horror films; they do it for a rush. To me a nightmare is like a surprise horror screening in the cinema of your brain… which is kind of apt because I ended up having a whole movie day.
Well this nightmare was so bad that it made me bolt upright in bed gasping for air for the first time in a few years. So you can imagine how racy my heart was. The worst thing about this was that there was no way I was getting back to sleep straight away.
The 2nd best thing that happened was to my sweet, scrawny, tiny and very dopey Batcat.
For Christmas, I got a cat flap and all the cats, except Batcat, loved it from the first Day. It was like a letterbox for cats. When they figured it out, it was like I could almost hear them saying ‘Mam – this is amazing, it’s our OWN DOOR!’ and they were in and out of it all day and have been since. Batcat on the other-hand was having absolutely none of it. She would cry and cry and cry until I opened the door. Despite my weeks of trying to coax and help her through, she didn’t seem to grasp the whole concept of the flap.
So back to my Tuesday morning where I needed a walk around the house with a glass of water to shake off this dream of being chased and eaten by a giant bacteria-worm down my Dad’s street.
Not surprisingly, there was Batcat, sitting at the back door whining for me to let her out. So I did, but not before warning her I was going back to bed so she was staying outside.
Off she went and off I went, back to bed. So there I was, dozing off and about to re-enter dream hell, when I heard that familiar letterbox noise, not once, not twice, not three times, but over and over and Over and OVer and OVEr and OVER.
I threw back my covers, in a rage! What was going on down there?!
I stampeded down the stairs ready to find out which of my little furry demons were trying to wind me up. But there, from down the hallway, I could see the tiny paw of my freaky Batcat.
I couldn’t believe it, she’d gotten her paw through the flap. Her whole Paw! Suddenly realising this could be the moment I had been waiting for – I stopped.
‘Come on girl, come on – you can do it!’ I coaxed in my softest voice while I crept toward the door, ‘Tsk Tsk Tsk, come on.’
Well, what can I say when I saw that little head come all the way inside I knew she had finally done it. It was like seeing a child walk for the first time, except better cause it was my baby Batcat! She chirped as she came through the cat flap and I scooped her up, giving her the most cuddly cuddle and strokes.
It was amazing and easily makes its way into the best thing that’s happened in months… Judge all you like.
So obviously after all this excitement there was no way I was getting back to sleep.
Me and Batcat went back to bed but we decided on a morning movie; The Spy who dumped me.
That was my 3rd best thing and I just need to say that every time I watch Mila Kunis in a film, I fall in love with her more and more. She is a great actress and absolutely drop dead gorgeous but she plays it off with such humility. With every film her characters get better and better. Next to her was Kate Mckinnon as her best friend and What. A. Pair… It made me want to call all my best friends and go to Prague… again.
The 4th was seeing my Family and finding out more about the latest project my Dad was into.
Then taking my little Sister and my baby nephew for food.
I went to see Pet Sematary at Cinema– completely alone.
That’s right, there was nobody else in the screening with me. I was so excited.
There was a bit of an issue though. I had geared myself up for a heart attack level of scare so bad that I would be white with terror and need an ambulance before the end. I must have ‘bigged it up’ too much though.
It was nowhere as terrifying as I thought it would be. I liked the soundtrack a lot, bodies dragging themselves around on wooden floors and bones crunching underfoot in the woods. A few scenes did make me shiver but I could have just been cold.
Then for the 7th event of the day, Costa! I went with a friend and I AM SO GLAD I DID. Obviously after seeing Pet Sematary, Stephen King came up. Then naturally IT came up and my friend casually mentions a metaphor I didn’t notice when I had read the IT book before. I could not let this pass me by (more on this when I read the book). I hadn’t read IT since I was 15, so within minutes, I was furiously tapping away on Ebay.
I’m now impatiently waiting for a copy of IT to make its way to me in the post.
The 8th best thing was A Clockwork Orange at Odeon
Popcorn and Pick ‘N’ Mix.
The 10th best thing of the day though… Recliners.
That’s right, Odeon have done their cinema out in Hull and Oh My Days! There is no other way to watch a film at cinema AGAIN.
They have actual, super comfy, recliners in in some of their screens. Oh Man, Oh Mannnnn!! The comfort level was through the roof. I even saw a few people go with blankets – which I am definitely doing next time I go. I don’t think I can leave it very long either. I want to take one of those recliners home with me. It was such a premier experience. Especially seeing A Clockwork Orange on the big screen which, by the way, gets better every time I see it.