Monday 15 December 2008

Dean Spanley

Dean Spanley is a delightful film. It is truly one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Last night we sat in Cinema City, transfixed and transported into this marvellous film. It was a most enjoyable evening.

You would imagine that a film based around the notion of re-incarnation would not be a barrel of laughs, but how wrong you would be. This joint New Zealand/British production has a weighty cast headed up by Peter O'Toole. You just can't go wrong with an actor of O'Toole's stature. The man has you entranced, metaphorically filling the whole screen with his presence. This giant can act just with his eyes. Add to that a great performance from the antipodean thespian Bryan Brown, someone who deserves greater international acclaim, and you have yourself a film not to be missed.

I suspect that this film is the sort that is not going to be widely accessible. That's to say that it will be a rare commodity in large cinema chains and smaller towns. That is a shame as it is infinitely better than any Hollywood offering, and at the same time could easily be appreciated by the masses.

Set in England, just after the Boer War, its two main themes are dogs and re-incarnation. I loathe dogs and dismiss re-incarnation as mumbo jumbo (or mumble jumble as Peter O'Toole says in the film), but despite that the film does not suffer one jot.

This is a thoroughly enchanting, very funny and touching film, which I commend you to watch given the opportunity.

Monday 8 December 2008

It's snotty by train

I’ve been ill for two weekends in a row. I currently have a cold which broke out on Saturday morning, and the weekend before I had some flu-like bug that kept me in bed for a day and a half.

One of the joys of public transport is you get to travel with members of the general public and all their faults, their inconsiderate manners, their disgusting habits and their germs. I’m convinced I picked these two illnesses up travelling by train. Those over hot or freezing cold contraptions that claim to offer a transport service for the masses. With the extreme changes in temperature and the way you are often packed in it is no wonder that trains are a breeding ground for illness. And by way of an added bonus they transport these unwell people to so many places, spreading diseases far and wide.

I hate public transport, sniff!