28 February, 2007

best thing i've seen in a while

** and making its way to the country soon **

''Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo finds an unlikely home forfilm noir in the forgotten hinterlands of the Spanish interior with his gripping, assured debut "The Night of the Sunflowers." A dark, substantial plotline parceled out over six increasingly tantalizing episodes and an intimate knowledge of the dynamics of Spanish rural life are the twin foundations for a beguiling piece with a shot at welding Spanish concerns to a U.S. genre. At home, word of mouth has generated unexpectedly decent B.O. for an item that should take root at fests and has the kind of cult appeal that could see it blossom offshore.''

** and since ANY excuse is a good one to bang on about subtitles. this spanish DVD has english subtitles. unlike italian DUBBED ones.

27 February, 2007

first loves

back in 1992, age 16, i was a hefty an awkard thing residing in cambridge. nurturing many obsessions. one of the more notable and enduring ones was for russian ice dancers. my favourites were marina klimova and sergei ponomarenko. as far i'm concerned this performance, which ousted the french-canadian siblings (she was married at the time to christopher dean), which won them the olympic gold medal is unsurpassed and counted as one of the highlights of my then-life (bach did help). i had a recording of it on VHS and watched it many times, until it was sadly lost or perhaps broken. my joy to find it again? without compare.

harriet brown cannot take your call right now..

** harriet brown was greta garbo's alternative name, when she was travelling incognito and wanted, well, to be alone....just for a change..**

More one-act plays

f: i really don't want to be here
o: i know
f: where would i rather be?
o: at home! with DVDs! and maude snuggled under the covers!
f: yup
and you? in bed! with christian bale! and crime books! and crosswords!

26 February, 2007

did you see the oscars?

a one-act play

f: did you see the oscars?
p no i slept through the entire thing. am feeling a bit under the weather
f: you were juiced weren't you
p: okay yes, it's true

earlier, talking about her upcoming nuptials...

p: the eyes. we are going to do eyes up big and my boobs. will be right out there in the dress. who cares about the lips (as an aside, p doesn't boast much in lip matter)
f: that's my girl. I HAVE NO DRESS
p: silence
f: or underwear for that matter
p: well, and that's different than at other times because...?
f: it's not
p: captain commando
f: to the rescue

24 February, 2007

mina divina

se lei ti amasse io
se lei ti amasse io
saprei soffrire e anche morire
pensando a te
ma non ti ama, no
lei non ti ama, no
ed io non voglio vederti morire per lei
no, no, no non crederle
non gettare nel vento
in un solo momento
quel che esiste fra noi
se lei ti amasse io
se lei ti amasse io
saprei soffrire e anche morire
pensando a te
ma non ti ama, no
lei non ti ama, no
ed io non voglio vederti morire per lei
ma non ti ama, no
lei non ti ama, no
ed io non voglio vederti morire per lei.

* when the mood hits. nothing but mina will do. she is the best drug for the recovering narcotics anonymous. loved by men. straight and non (unless you're alberto and being contrarian...). and of course women.

** right. off to be sociable against my better judgement

our saviour

for the eagle-eyed amongst you. this face is a familiar one on my blog. in april's italian elections, she saved prodi's butt. and well, she's about to again!! she is in fact, my hero. if andreotti is the devil incarnate, she is the angel descended from heaven. alas, she wasn't around wednesday when the shit hit the fan. if she had, who knows, things might have been different. she's 97 now. going on to 98 soon. god bless. where do you think she was? in bed? convalescing? dying? wanting to be left the hell alone as would be her right, goddamit, she is almost 100 and has lead a FULL LIFE???? NO. this amazing woman. well, she was in DUBAI. and come wednesday or thursday, when prodi gets on his knees and grovels for votes in the senate to win a confidence vote, she will be there, dignified and reliable as always. saving his ASS, yet again. I LOVE RITA, the oldest senator. and the only decent one.

the clincher

well... governments rise and fall. shit happens.

but i've had an epiphany. at this point there is nothing left to do but throw the rag in, and move to the far east. bite the bullet and have lots of euroasian children. because frankly, this is the result. and it doesn't appear to be a one off. and frankly, i think it's worth the sacrifice of a cashew here. and there. when it comes to globalization you have to take the good with the bad.

suddenly i feel a lot better about having to wake up in 4 hours to cover more italian political WANK.

21 February, 2007

immensely moved

my dear, dear friend renato has shared my obsession with Tis Pity She's a Whore (1973) for over a decade. religiously we would sit and watch it almost weekly. forever moved by the staggering beauty of the visuals. the photography (filmed around the countryside of my native bologna). the costumes. a ravishing charlotte rampling. an oliver tobias that is the epitome of male beauty. and a soundtrack by ennio morricone that may just as well be his best, and least known. this masterpiece, by patron griffi is something out of visconti. and at the very root of everything i hold sacred. this soundtrack landed at my door today, by courier, on the one day of the year i am in. am close to tears.

"go out shining sun, turn this day into night
the joys of a thousands hells are with me
and all that is left of me."

20 February, 2007

visual perfection

"There are times when viewers might find themselves weeping during The Vertical Ray of the Sun without quite knowing the reason why. Tran Anh Hung's exquisite film is not only great cinema, it also has moments when it is an unforgettable painting or an indelible piece of music capable of provoking an uncontrollable emotional response."

twas the case then. tis the case now.
am breathless

one-act play

tell me what i want to hear

f: hey darling
p: hi sweetie. been reading one of your marlene books. the one by her daughter
f: AND?
p: it's good. LOTS of gossip. i love it
f: remember you prefer greta
p: do i? this has great stuff on when marlene is old and she won't stop drinking. she pays people on the street to bring her booze
f: you can tell me the truth you know....
p: no

18 February, 2007

mother and daughter obsessions

simone weil

f: mamma, am having a mental block, what was the name of that jewish-born french woman with a thing for the cathars who starved herself to death?
m: simone weil
f (secretly pissed she couldn´t remember): ah yes
m: she is one my heroines
f (doesn't want to agree but, when she´s right, she´s right...): yes, mine too


remember, remember the 18th of february

La osa mayor
da teta a sus estrellas
panza arriba:
y gruñe.
¡Estrellas niñas, huid;
estrellitas tiernas!


poetic exploits ages 6-10

a visit to my parents, for an impromptu visit, has unearthed a mine of embarassing literary wealth....

such gems as:

My Summer Term (age 7)

Sun gleams bright
hearts are light
golden day
we all say
a lot of time to play
not only for a day
not a speck of french
and i can play with friends (errr)

to such classics as BOLINA the CHICKEN (a bit long, i did like to bang on even back then)..this is my personal favourite..

once upon a time there was a group of wild chickens who lives in the woods in brazil. one day they decided to have a contest of who was the fattest of them all. the contest would be in a month and the judge would be the cock, red breast. at once all the chickens began eating to get fat. and after a fortnight they burst and popped like balloons for they were much to fat. only one chicken was alive and that was bolina. so at the end of the month bolina won for she was the only one left. god punished the chickens by making them with little brains.

and a whole series devoted to poldie, the korean dog (her tails wags, with the motion of zig zag etc.)

oh dear.
and then the masterpiece that la tiz guards jealously as the most precious of gems. one of many dedicated to my favourite colour.

GREY (age 10)

grey's the colour of the fog
the ghost creeping close
the misty clouds gather close
the rain patters on the grass
the ghost nears to the bed
where the child lies
suddenly the bright light shines


what is courage?

Main Entry: cour·age
Pronunciation: 'k&r-ij, 'k&-rij
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, from quer, coer heart, from Latin cor -- more at HEART
: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

a bold woody allen said, in Love and Death, in times of war i'm a hostage...Mark Twain has said, Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it. and i could not leave out winston, Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. ah yes. now that i like.

16 February, 2007

teenage crushes/seminal adolescent movies

ah yes. not sure i'm up to describing the millions of ways, let me count them, of why i adored and still worship this film and will never tire of seeing it over and over. but i do remember rewinding over and over, when my parents gave me a minute's privacy in the tv room in our house in cambridge, the scene of the boys frolicking naked in that idyllic pond (puddle) tucked away in those faerie woods. predictably, i fell heads of heels in love with julian sands (freddy honeychurch's/or rather rupert grave's floppy hair was just a fleeting infatuation by comparison). i know it was true love because it trumped my disappointment that julian's penis appeared rather small and shrivelled. then again, i was nine, and back then i didn't really have much else to compare it too. enough of that.
as an aside, still rate THAT kiss one of the best in film history...

disclaimer: this entry was liberally inspired by someone's recent revival about some film or other, name escapes me, about boys and poetry reading.

the empress

down in the boudoir by the kitchen garden, empress of blandings had just woken refreshed from a light sleep. she looked about her, happy to be back in the old familiar surroundings. it was pleasant to feel settled once more. she was a philosopher and could take things as they came, but she did like the quiet life. all that whizzing about in cars and being dumped in strange kitchens didn't do a pig of regular habits any good.
there seemed to be edible substances in the trough beside her. she rose, and inspected it. yes, substances, plainly edible. it was a little late, perhaps, but could always do with a snack. whiffle, in his monumental book, has said that a pig, if aiming at the old mid-season forlm, should consume fifty-seven thousand eight hundred calories. and what whiffle said today, empress of baldings thought tomorrow.

she lowered her noble head and got down to it.

14 February, 2007

globalization gone awry

premise. i do have a horrific cold and have spent the best part of the past two days with an airplane blanket draped round my neck, trying my damnest to look like a fashionable hang man.
however. some things bother me (e.g. dubbing). another one is saint valentine's day. perhaps erroneously i thought that being flung to a different part of the world, where this pointless and particularly obnoxious and materialistic holiday should/does not exist or bear any link to the culture, i'd be spared the ignominy of having pink hearts and plastic flowers rubbed in my face. BUT NO. on the airplane i got given a heart-shaped biscuit. ``happy saint valentine's,'' trilled in depressingly chirpy tones (shorn of any shade of irony) a motley assortment of improbable characters (including random leppers that surely have the more pressing task of missing limbs to worry about and fat women with flaps of flesh bursting from their PINK saris). whole news programmes were devoted to flower bouquets. whole pages of newspapers were plastered in love text messages. am telling you. they've taken it to a whole new level, here in india. maybe they spotted the opportunity to make a buck and ran with it. all i know is they've taken the rose-tinted wh smith card and raised you a shock-pink billboard. inside the depressingly impersonal meridien hotel, a pair of identical twins sung love ballads from the 80s. all three restaurants (mexican, italian, chinese - note no indian) served special menus that sounded as daft as they probably tasted. i wouldn't know. clearly they were all booked up. by people deciding to be in love on this day of all days of the year. i went to bed. utterly appalled. it was all too much. for one day. i think kali, the goddess of destruction, shares my sentiment. in fact, am sure a few thousand goats are being slaughtered as i type.

13 February, 2007

feverish bombay

feverish me. temperature. cold sweat. pulsing headache. but what a city. what a city. colours. people. skyline. skyscrapers. smells. seething masses. signs of an early monsoons. boys elegantly playing cricket. it's all kind of swivelling around and around. i braved a lot to get here. including 3 broken taxis -- the most enterprising driver tried heroically to fix the window swipes with a large brick.

12 February, 2007

it's beyond my control

the start of a new 2007 obsession. half chinese. so clearly there is a leitmotif. and the icing on the cake: she was in a spate of quebecois films, including amazing BLACK ROBE with the divine and beyond hot lothaire bluteau aka jesus of montreal.
am spluttering and ill in calcutta. courtesy of excessive air con. so i need something to clutch to beside a masala tea. and well, watching goats' throats getting slashed to the goddess of distruction, kali, while strangely soothing, has left me..well with a thirst for more.

Click here! for a little tribute to canada, home to most/some/all my/and i bet yours (though you just don't know yet) biggest crushes.

10 February, 2007

wild oats, she is called

what must one do with them?

a rhetorical question

destination: calcutta

LittleRedRucksack: primed and ready for action
HomeWaxKit: painful and satisfying
Passport: crammed with visas
Temperature: 37 degrees


09 February, 2007

a cracker?! yay? nay?

okso. am LIKING the sound of this. two very trusted sources say...

The Village Voice
"Veronica Mars is a sharp teen noir in the making. Tinged with class resentment and nostalgia for Veronica's lost innocence, this series pulses with promise"

Joss Whedon -- creator/genius behind buffy
"Best. Show. Ever. Seriously, I've never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn't making, and maybe even more than those. (...) These guys know what they're doing on a level that intimidates me."

08 February, 2007

Dico? errrr...Dico!

Italy's Cabinet Approves Draft Bill to Recognize Gay Unions

By Flavia Krause-Jackson
Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government tonight paved the way for same-sex unions, approving draft legislation that may permit homosexual couples to share benefits such as residency, pension and health care.

At a government meeting summoned at the last minute, Prodi's Cabinet took just over an hour to approve the draft bill giving legal recognition to long-standing, unmarried couples, regardless of sexual preference. Out of protest, two key ministers didn't participate.

Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear he strongly opposes the move and his biggest political ally, Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, skipped the meeting in favor of attending mass. Mastella's UDEUR party, has enough senators in the upper house of parliament to sink the measure if he aligns himself with the opposition.

NOT without my little red rucksack

well, looks like i'm going to india just as the proverbial shit is about to hit my old friend, the FAN.

"Thousands of riot police fanned out across India's technology hub of Bangalore on Monday ahead of a court ruling on a century-old water dispute which authorities fear could lead to a repeat of deadly 1991 riots." (ahem. Reuters)

well, bring it on, i say, as long as i've got an LRR on my back. with a renewed sense of resolve and an odd fit of superstition (tot A, pipe down...) am going to trudge the length and breadth of rome. crucifixes and beads have been of no use whatsoever in watching my back when faced with possible carnage.

07 February, 2007

errr... ``amazon.co.uk. recommends..."

11:29 a.m.
random email

We recommend:
Hotel California: Singer-songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons 1967-1976

We recommend:
Balls [2004]

Recommended because you purchased or rated:
* Longtime Companion [1990]


06 February, 2007

carve your name


am a huge fan of le duc's
incisive and pithy reflections on those popular teen show that seem to transcend the genre and turn into something altogether more subversive. be it for a minute. a season. or maybe two. as is the case here. invariably both he and i tend to zero in on a particular object. case in point ..
Popular (for the uninitiated...... Sam McPherson and Brooke McQueen, high school students at Jaqueline Kennedy High School, are opposites. Brooke is a blonde popular cheerleader, and Sam is a dark-haired unpopular journalist. Their respective posses are forced to socialize when Brooke's dad and Sam's mom get engaged....

le duc has dug a where-is-he-now on Christopher Gorham, who in the show goes from being the nerd suffering unrequitedly for the love of the blonde to the object of both girls' affection. He's done rather well for himself. he's moved on to playing with his bro's tackle in Harry & Max. very well done. bravo.

From my point of view, am very impressed with carly pope's career. from aformentioned unpopular journalist she is back on the telly. playing the most discrete, hippest drug dealer in Hollywood named garbo who seduces anorexic actresses on the side after a Qualude too many. fab. show is called dirt and all about reputable publications.

so you see. there is something for everyone!


or carly?

take your pick. or don't.

04 February, 2007


the banality of legends

How do you like me?

big, bulky, dense, sweeping, invariably tragic. possibly russian. but german will do just as well. what am i banging on about? why novels of course. and the joys of staying up till 4 a.m. with your book of choice. and know it's ok because it's not a week day.

03 February, 2007

cold war kids

saturday morning, pre-market

01 February, 2007

Mahatma flavia

Fast is no more

Este Azul

Ay, este azul
Que les quiero contar como fue
Por momentos se queda en mi piel
Ilustrándome el paisaje aquel.

Ay, este azul
Golondrina que vuelve otra vez
Musicando mi zaguán de ayer
A esperarme de barco en la sed.

Ay, este azul
Provinciano se quiebra en mi voz
Como antigua vidala en adiós
Como un breve puñado de sol.


you break my heart

nueva cancion