Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Bank Holiday Intake

Over the bank holiday weekend a planned camping trip (well, suggested would be more accurate...) was cancelled due to downpours and gales, as should only be expected for the last weekend in May. So instead of outdoor pursuits, or at least the pursuit of a good pub, we had to make do with indoor activities - our chosen pastime? Rediscovering films! HMV has a great deal on at the moment (3 DVDs for £20) and within it we managed to pick up a 3-pack of Merchant Ivory ('Howard's End', 'The Remains of the Day', 'The White Countess'), and two other films ('Amadeus' and 'Shakespeare in Love'. I know...). So we saw 'The Remains of the Day' and 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', which S gave me for Christmas but we hadn't got round to watching. On Monday, I did suggest another Merchant Ivory, but S decided he'd rather do some cleaning while watching 'The High Life'...

I must confess that before Saturday I had somehow never seen 'The Remains of the Day' - what a masterpiece of repression and denial. I did find it interesting that in the '20 years later' sections everyone had been aged except for Emma Thompson (who I suppose did have slightly more grown-up hair, but was unchanged other than that) and Anthony Hopkins, who looked exactly the same as in their glory days.

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' is an old favourite for an afternoon in, especially if feeling a little 'dehydrated' following a night out. Dehydration was mainly due to the late night involved, but that was not the only reason considering some of the conversations (probably the only discussion of the correct chemical symbol for Tungsten on Canal Street last Friday, probably not the only discussion about whether the blonde girl in the corner with the gynaecologically short skirt was in 'Girls Aloud'). So we relaxed with a piece of cake and S managed to stay awake for at least 60% of the film (a real achievement!).

Due to tiredness and dehydration, I also had a weekend off from proper reading, and picked up 'The Sign of the Cross' by Chris Kuzneski. This is in the 'Da Vinci Code' vein, good for a long journey or weekend where you don't want to think too much. There's absolutely no subtlety in it, and a feeling that Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland are just a homogenous Scandinavian blend of pine trees, saunas and Hamlet. I enjoyed it, even if I felt like giving most of the 'characters' (2D and utterly stereotypical) a good shake once in a while. All in all, a satisfying weekend, although a bit of sunshine wouldn't have hurt...

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