Sunday, 31 July 2011

'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind', GFT, 29/7/11

I do adore these late night screenings at the GFT!
Sadly, this one was only half full which is a bit of a shame since this film is classic sci-fi!

The print was the original 1977 version which has never been released on video or DVD (the original theatrical release that has been released has scenes that were actually trimmed by Spielberg) and it's a film I've wanted to see on the big screen for some time.
It all holds up well, even the special effects which, although not as refined as today's standards, lend to the charm of the film. The detail seen in the model work is truly impressive when seen on such a large scale.

Again, what is really evident is how well Spielberg handles the human drama and delicately balances the human story with that of the special effects.
John Williams' music comes across better than before and the whole filmic experience is one to treasure.
I urge anyone who has the chance to go see a classic film, whatever the genre, on the big screen to do so - it is only when you've experienced them in their natural environment (sure, DVD is fine, but come on!) can you truly recapture the wonder and awe that cinema, at its best, can engender.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Use well the days. If you can.

Sometimes (often actually) I feel that fibromyalgia is winning the war on my life.
Today, as for the past few days, the sun has been shining down on us amidst blue skies. Summer!

I, however, have been feeling really quite terrible and find it a great struggle to even get to my kitchen.
Fatigue, lack of concentration and sluggishness are a few of the things I am combating each day and on such glorious days I feel like that I am so missing out on things. I am forced to endure memories of when I was able to enjoy the days and the nostalgia wracks me up!

I keep fighting against it but I fear that all my efforts are in vain as every small effort I make costs me more in pain and lethargy. So when I do attempt to make the most of the sun, I cannot.

It has not gone unnoticed that my social life has almost breathed its last. I imagine that it's at times like these that you realise who actually really gives a shit about you. Certainly in the last few years people have distanced themselves and fibromyalgia has cost me relationship wise.

As it is I am loathe to look out of the window, after all it only reinforces what I am missing out on in life.

I am aware that I am, perhaps, not as reconciled with this condition as I once thought I was ...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bobby Fischer Against The World, 16/7/11, GFT

Last night I saw the documentary film 'Bobby Fischer Against The World' at the GFT.
Primarily focusing on the infamous 1972 Fischer-Spassky world chess championship match in Iceland, the film uses archive footage, old and new interviews to give insight into the turbulent life of the great American chess player.

Informative, moving and humorous the film is well crafted with insightful commentary from the various participants involved. Non-chess players need not worry about being alienated as the film is not overtly concerned with the mechanics of the game, but rather deals with the obsession that overwhelmed Fischer leading to his paranoia and eventual fall from favour.

I first became aware of Fischer due to my interest in 'Chess' the musical where the character of the American player is often cited to be based on Fischer. Whilst aspects of Fischer's personality are clearly visible in the American character this documentary clearly shows how far more extreme, complex and self-destructive the real person was. Tim Rice chose, wisely, to only use the appropriate aspects of Fischer in his creation of the fictional American for the musical, using his own imagination and other sporting figures to round out his creation. Fischer, as shown in this film, was clearly more repulsive a person than Rice could ever wish to create.

My only criticism with the film is that I wish they'd tried to look further into that period of Fischer's life, following his gaining the championship through to his re-emergence for a re-match against Spassky, where he simply vanishes for a decade.
But, regardless, the film is a fascinating look at the man, his life and the lessons to be gained from his failure as a socially productive human being.

If you get a chance go and see this film. There are worse things you can do, after all.

Jurassic Park, 15/7/11, GFT

Another late night screening of a classic movie this past Friday; 'Jurassic Park' - a movie I've not seen for nigh on eight years.
I saw this twice on its original release which would have been when I was about 13 years of age. It was impressive then and it remains impressive today.

The direction, cast, music and effects all hold up well nearly twenty years (!) later. The latter is surprisingly true given the advances in CG technology, but those 'early' effects actually stand up better than most contemporary computer effects. Maybe because they are used only when needed and not, as today, virtually everywhere. But for whatever reason, I am more impressed by them, and how good they are, than I am when I see a recent, special effect-laden film.

Again the GFT screening was pretty near full it's just a shame that the bunch of twatty students who elected to sit behind my party decided that it was a showing of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and could talk (loudly) all the way throughout the film. They evidently thought it was a bring your own booze event too since they went through many a can of beer throughout the screening, leaving an array of litter behind them that I pitied the cleaners having to clear up.
It still puzzles me how people can have such a disregard for the other people that are attending and also for the property within which they sit. I also struggle to appreciate why such idiots would attend a film screening in the first place; they clearly weren't there to watch the film!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Everything's Alright - Dana Gillespie, Stephen Tate, Paul Nicholas

Another video constructed from the London Cast album of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.
This is one of my favourite songs from the show and this is one of the best versions I've heard.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Fibromyalgia Sucks!

Since I suffer with fibromyalgia I thought that I'd try and describe, every now and then, what it is like to live with it and how it affects my life day to day.

I am not medically trained in any way so I'll say here and now that sometimes it is quite difficult to accurately describe the symptoms but I can only do my best.

In my legs, especially in my shins most days, and joints I endure a pain that is like a dull, dental, ache which very occasionally becomes a sharp and sudden pain with no forewarning. I also feel a painful sensation akin to when one stretches a muscle and feels the ache. However, it's as if that ache just goes on and on with no release. It can seem especially bad at night when I am attempting to sleep. This may seem so because, without any other distraction to take your attention, you can notice the pain more. I may be wrong but it certainly is a form of torture, believe me.

The condition has also affected my mobility and flexibility. I was never the most bendy of people but I can say that once upon a time I was quite flexible. Nowadays, however, that flexibility is a distant memory. a simple example is that I find it painful and rather difficult to spread my fingers wide and straight and cannot create a strong fist. My grasp on objects has also been affected and I must take care when picking up objects. This especially makes things like cooking and showering an adventure!

On the funny side, my joints and bones pop and crunch when I move which can often amuse me. I have no idea why.
I guess it's better to laugh than cry, right?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Strange Findings ...

Have you ever bought a second hand book, opened its pages, and found a little memento from a previous owner? A small photo, a scrap cutting or a small bookmark, perhaps?

I find it quite interesting to think about the story that lies behind such things, more so if there's a marking or a small piece of writing; 'to  ----, with love from ----' and so on ...

Friday, 1 July 2011

The Day

The sun can be a wondrous thing. Bright it was this morning, and hot too. As the day progressed it cooled and some clouds drifted in, but still it was a glorious day.
Kelvingrove park was alive and the river moved peacefully under the bridge on which I stood. And watched.
The way the water moves, in various directions, off varying obstacles. The reflection of the sun on the river's surface ...

It is so good to marvel at the wonder of nature sometimes.

don't you think?