Une bonne journée

Today has been a fun day, with a dash of gallic flavour. C’est bonne, ca.

Around midday we headed down to the Secret Cinema at Leake Street, the tunnels underneath Waterloo. As usual with Secret Cinema we had no idea what film was going to be shown, just general instructions on what to wear (50s/60s European with a white scarf) and where to turn up. I knew that Secret Cinema involved re-enactments of the film around seeing the film itself, but not much more than that. So, looking a lot smarter than usual for a Saturday afternoon, we rocked up to Leake Street to find a large queue of people entering, and lots of soldiers herding people along, all talking French. I was ‘lucky’ enough to be singled out by the soldiers, and made to stand with my hands against the wall as my identification documents were confiscated. Then after some minutes myself and the other detainees were taken to a dark room, followed by an indoctrination talk with spotlights in our eyes where we were asked to sign out name as belonging to a terrorist organisation. Even knowing that this was all an act it was pretty unnerving, especially when a planted audience member was taken to one side, beaten and thrown in a prison cell to be tortured. Magnifique!

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Movie Review: Molière

Molière is a French period movie set in the 17th Century and starring the wonderful Romain Duris, puppy eyed lead from The Spanish Apartment (L’Auberge Espagnol). The story follows the life of the French actor and playwright Molière through a period of his life that historians don’t know much about, imagining what happened based on his own plays. So Molière gets thrown in debtor’s gaol in Paris, only to be rescued by a rich benefactor, Monsieur Jourdain, who wants to learn the fine art of acting in order to impress a woman he’s fallen in love with. Taken out to the country we meet the other players in this act, Jourdain’s wife and daughters, and members of the French royal court – nicely setting off the beauty of the sets with their internal ugliness.

Molière is a great movie, deep, visually stunning, yet hugely funny and moving. Romain is at times dark and brooding, then generous and funny, and all fully fleshed out by his highly talented portrayal of a complex character. Definately a must see, even if you’re not a great fan of sub-titles. Read my full review of Molière here.


Just got back from a tiring but fun day trip to Calais with G’ette and Simon. Had to get up at the unearthly hour of 5.10am (GMT while I’m still in EST – yep, that means 12.10am) to drive down for an 8.30am ferry from Dover. Brought back many fond memories of my last trips over to France which were oh so long ago – yes dear ones, probably before the Ecu was even spawned from whatever twisted mind it came.

Much delights were to be found in the French hypermarche – wine, chocolate, wine, cheese, wine and of course cheap stationary. Did I mention the wine? Also got the chance to experience how British mobile phones actually work in other countries, and the difference in service levels between French and New York restaurants. Very.

Now I’m just completely exhausted having only really had about 10 hours sleep since Monday morning… Somehow managed to fit a trip in to see Blue Jam at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Chris Morris of Brasseye fame wrote this sketch play and it shows. Very bizarre but often extremely funny. Enjoyed it immensely until halfway through when I realized that part of me was not enjoying the contexts – for example a woman getting a plumber in to ‘fix’ her baby that has been dead for 4 days. This has since lead to many discussions about whether it’s right to laugh at this stuff or not, or whether it’s fundamentally wrong/unhealthy/whatever. I was reminded of a sketch show I went to see just under a year ago in New York (Kiddies/Pumpkin Corner or something like that – the name escapes me). The last sketch was highly disturbing and left a very bad taste in the mouth, discussing child abuse between disabled siblings. Living in New York has definately changed my sense of humour, is that a good thing or a bad thing though? Answers on a postcard please.

Oh, and on which note, Grand Theft Auto 3 (PS2) is a really enjoyable game – very clever, highly addictive and well done. The main character runs round town carrying out gangland tasks and stealing whatever car he fancies all to earn more money/success. You have to question though whether sleeping with a prostitute to raise your health levels, and subsequently pummeling her to death to steal the money back is healthy for your mind. And you know the kids play this…. God I’m getting old!