Friday, 29 January 2016

Film Friday: Room

Plot: Based on the best selling book, Room stars Brie Larson as a young mother who is kidnapped and held in the same room for eight years. We see her and her son Jack as they try and cope in the confined space, before Joy thinks of a solution to get them out.
Guest appearances: William H Macy plays Joy's dad, who can't seem to cope with thinking about the situation..
Overall: With excellent performances from both leads (Jacob Tremblay is especially amazing!) Room is well worth a watch. Bring your tissues.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Books & Graphic Novels Lately

Here's a round up of books I've been enjoying recently...

1. As If! The Oral History of Clueless by Jen Chaney
Clueless is an unashamed favourite of mine, I've watched it countless times and this book was a great easy read over the Christmas holiday. Featuring interviews with the director Amy Heckerling, cast and crew, chapters include The Language of Clueless, Casting Clueless (rejected actresses for the parts of Dion and Cher included Lauryn Hill and Angelina Jolie!) and Remembering Brittany Murphy.

2. Filmish: A Graphic Journey through Film by Edward Ross
Before Filmish, Ross published a series of zines all about the history of film, so I was happy to receive this graphic novel which delves further into cinematic history. Each chapter features a different theme, from the body to architecture and language.

3. Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
I've long been a fan of Tomine's work so was excited to read his latest graphic novel. As always the artwork is fantastic, and the stories dip into normal people's lives, telling stories of loneliness, parenthood and stand up comedy. My only slight bugbear with Tomine's work is the stories are always left very open-ended, which I sometimes find a bit frustrating!

4. Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Last year I wanted a new graphic novel to read, and after some research decided to purchase Roz Chast's best selling graphic memoir, 'Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?' which documents time spent with her aging parents during the last few years of their lives. Although the subject is sad, Chast's memoir is a wry and funny tale of a daughter struggling to cope as her parents have to move out of their home and deal with multiple health issues. It's a story which many people will find familiar and moving.

5. Art Schooled by Jamie Coe
Art Schooled tells the story of Daniel, who enrols in art school and struggles to make friends in a new town. Some of the characters will be familiar to anyone who studied a creative subject at uni, and bears similarities to Daniel Clowe's Art School Confidential.

6. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Having recently enjoyed Ansari's Netflix series, Master of None I am now halfway through his book, Modern Romance which looks at dating and relationships in the digital age. It's an entertaining look at the rise of online dating and how things have changed radically since our parents' generation, when it was common to marry someone who grew up on the same street as you. It also looks at the most successful online dating photos (a selfie taken from above for women and a mysterious side glance ideally taken with a cute animal for men apparently!) and how smartphones have changed the way our conversations and relationships work.

Next on my list is Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.

Have you read anything great recently or are you planning to? If so, do share!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Film Friday: Love is Strange

Plot: In Love is Strange, a recently married gay couple (Alfred Molina & John Lithgow) struggle when one of them is fired from their job at a Catholic school. They are forced to look for somewhere cheaper to live, and end up sleeping on couches of friends and family in different parts of New York city.
Fun facts: Ben (John Lithgow) plays a painter, and the paintings in the film were done by director Ira Sachs's real life husband.
Overall: At first I wasn't sure whether to persevere with Love is Strange as I found the couple's friends and families quite selfish and mean, but as the film progressed the story evolved and I really enjoyed this sweet and understated drama, which led to a very moving ending.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Dreamy Days

I hope everyone has had a toasty, twinkly, tasty Christmas! I haven't blogged much recently, but here are a few things I've been enjoying over the winter months.

Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I'm no Star Wars fan but even I enjoyed the latest installment! Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac were all great and I even felt a bit emotional during some of the scenes.. I don't know what came over me.
Netflix-ing Aziz Ansari's latest series Master of None, which took me a while to get into but by the end of the series I really liked it. (Though the episode with Claire Danes was rather odd!)
We have also just starting watching Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer and it's intriguing... a must for Serial fans.
Listening to Adam Buxton's podcast. Sad to hear about the passing of 'Baaad Dad', but it was lovely to listen to an Adam & Joe Christmas reunion Podcast on a long drive home after Christmas.
Playing board games galore over Christmas and New Year. Our friend Tom gave us his 'Dixit' game and we have played it lots with family and friends over the holiday, definitely recommend it!
Reading The L-shaped Room, As If (a book devoted to Clueless, what's not to love?!) and some great graphic novels I'll share soon.

What have you been enjoying over the Christmas holidays? Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. xx

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