mercredi 28 décembre 2011

2011 in shorthand: Cinema

I haven't been to the cinema nearly enough this year.  Trawling through my diary for the things I've seen on the big screen - which means I may well have missed loads of them - this year's outings included:

Black Swan
The first thing I saw at the pictures this year, and possibly the best.  I loved how it divided the audience into those who were spellbound and those who were lol-ing.  I was in the first category - unsurprising, as I think you'd have a hard time cramming more Stuff I Love into one film.

Royal Wedding
Yes, I went to see it at my local cinema.  I turned up at 9am with my friend Kirsten, ate snacks, drank Champagne, sobbed continuously, and then went for breakfast afterwards.  A great day.

A new favourite - I love Kristen Wiig, and this was such smart writing that I may as well have been watching myself on the screen (I have been a bridesmaid A LOT).  I know many feminists who had misgivings - I don't really care, it made me laugh and it felt positive and  it had Wilson Philips.

Harry Potter
I always think I don't like Harry Potter, until I do.  Always a nice one to see in a crowded theatre - we all stood up and cheered for Hot Neville.

X-Men: First Class
A surprise entry into my favourite films of all-time.  Jane Goldman's influence was obvious, which was mostly what made this so cool and 60s-pop as well as action-classic.  I love how the X-Men films use incongruously great actors, which elevates the entire proposition - McAvoy and Fassbender were awesome.

samedi 24 décembre 2011

The Perfect Rock Wife

Here is a (very silly) short story that I wrote, about my (sob - I don't even know them, obviously!) feelings on Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore splitting up.  Devastated, frankly.  It's based on real-life events - ask me and I'll tell you.  Or not, whatever.

The Perfect Rock Wife
Think Kim not Courtney. Think Kim not Nancy. Think Kim Kim Kim. Think Kim and Thurston. Of course.

It’s an important day. It’s a constant mantra.

She picks up a red lipstick. She puts it back down. She goes for the mascara, to match the Breton stripe, the lovely, comfortable shoe, the appropriate miniskirt, the cleaned teeth and careless hair. No dirty boots here, please. Not any more.

My friend Goo has a real tattoo. She always knows just what to do.

It’s no joke. It’s the way to live. Happiness is feeling good about yourself. Sticking with things, doing it your own way, living in a town full of lesbians and one day bringing out a clothing line for the cool middle-aged. That’s what it’s all about. Sonic life.

She is satisfied. A vintage satchel full of books and an ironic bicycle. A vinyl collection and a kitchen full of cast offs. She is ready.

Her phone beeps, modernly. It’s her best friend Lou; she has bad news. Good things don’t usually start with ‘I’ve got some bad news’ – this girl knows that much.

It’s not just any old bad news, either. It’s Kim and Thurston. It’s sticking with things and living your values and wearing the perfect A-line skirt and living in that town full of lesbians.

The future of Sonic Youth is uncertain, apparently. Same goes for her faith in the world, frankly.

I feel like I’m disappearing. I’m getting smaller every day.

But when I look into your eyes… I’m bigger in every way.

Kiss me on kiss me on the lips.

Sonic life.

mardi 20 décembre 2011

Living The Life

I love it when Favourite Things come together.  Namely, two ladies whom I love separately and equally joining together in predictably witty conversation.  Two wommen I have long admired and would like to be friends with.

Fay Weldon and Caitlin Moran, in conversation on fancy sofas on the Sky Arts programme 'Living The Life'.  Basically, just talking for a while.

I fully recommend it if you can get hold of it.  In the meantime, here are my highlights:

Fay says that girl children never fully trust their mothers!

Caitlin says that she never would have found a boyfriend in a world pre-The Smiths!  Or REM.

Fay's second husband didn't like her writing because he didn't like the sound of a typewriter!  Or was it all a ruse to stifle her creativity?

Caitlin says boys just want you to wear a T-shirt and eat  cornflakes!

I agree with basically all that they said.  In fact, I wish I could have joined in.  Or that they could have just kept talking all night.  At my kitchen table.  With me.  And a bottle of wine and an olive.

You get it.

lundi 19 décembre 2011

In praise of... Emma Forrest

Dear Emma Forrest,

I'm really glad that you exist.

Firstly, because I love your work.  In this order, your books are some of my favourites: Cherries In The Snow, Your Voice In My Head, Damage Control, Namedropper.

When 'Your Voice In My Head' came out this year, I read it in one gulpy sitting and then it stayed by my bath and then my bed for most of the year.  It's now on the edge of the bookshelf, by itself, easy to get to.  I believe this is progress.

You make me feel hopeful because I think your brain and your body are both kind of like mine but better.  You had the kind of precocious career that I fully expected for myself and in my case only kind of happened.

Without meaning to sound creepy, I think if we met we'd probably be friends.  Maybe not.  You never can tell.  It's about magic as much as stuff in common, isn't it?  However, I think we'd have fun watching films and talking about Bruce and music and other cool stuff, swappping clothes and going running or to yoga together then having a cup of tea.

Thanks for doing good writing and living well these days.  Keep on keeping on.

All best,