Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sewing round a problem?

Today, I've taken a break from the film watching, I've got a bit a creative - sewing round a problem.

Recently I bought a Hugmeister pillow. Its great and really supportive while I'm sleeping (I'm one of those 'how many knots can I tie myself in' sorts of sleepers). Its 110 cms long and only comes with one pillowcase. You can buy new pillowcases, but they cost £6 each and only come in 6 colours. I decided I would rather 'save the money'. Funny thing is, making the cases myself only actually saved me £1...So what shaped my decision not to buy off the internet? I think it comes down to patience and choice.

To be honest, its not a strong suit of mine. I hate waiting. I am not very patient for well, anything. Having waited the couple of days for my pillow to arrive I didn't want to wait any longer. Making my own meant I now have two more cases in less than a day after I first desired a few more. It eliminated my need for patience. I reckon I am learning patience in enough areas of my life to choose speed on this occasion.

To be fair to them, they did give me the opportunity to choose between 6 colours. But whilst I like block colours none of them really fitted in with my creamy yellow walls. So I went to my local haberdashers and bought these two patterns. The peacock is really striking, its a statement piece in an otherwise very grown-up space, the flowery one on the other hand is a happy on-trend blend with my room. I liked the freedom to choose between some 22 prints of varying brightness and patterns.

I think as a woman today living in the UK I have got really rather used to my own freedom of choice and access to my desires right here right now.

Whilst working on my giant pillowcases I was listening to a radio play of 1984. This too made me think about patience and choice. The Big Brother society denies people a choice, to the extent that it even tells people what to think. The people who are really free are the Proles who can sing and think, and dance outside of Big Brother. What even is choice anyway? Surely more than choosing my own pillowcases!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Deutsch-Kino-Love 2

OK, I admit you have waited a long time for this blog post. I have been exploring some real life big issues, like why are all the poor people in the Les Mis film Northern? And is the body under the car park King Richard III? (no!), and what about the Gay Marriage bill or Women Bishops?! So herewith part two of my German cinema series; today featuring Das Wunder von Bern (HMV buy) and Barfuss (Birthday/Christmas gift) both good, quite different films.

Das Wunder von Bern (2003)
This Wortmann film is set in 1950’s Essen and is the story of a football-mad boy (Matthias) and his trip to the 1950’s World Cup in Bern, Switzerland. When we first meet Matthias he is growing up a world without male role-models. His dad is still in a Soviet prisoner of war camp and his brother dreams of revolution; Matthias turns to footballers for inspiration. This film, whilst ostensibly being about the downright miraculous victory of the Germans in the 1954 World Cup at Bern is also about family. About the adjustments of Matthias’ family with and without his dad, the loyalties of a husband when greeted by fame and fortune, the duties of a father and a son to the family and making it work. And it is also about the experience of war and recovery through the eyes of a child; thoroughly reminiscent of the photos I saw on my Archaeology of Modern Conflict course.
Das Wunder von Bern was a beautiful story to watch. The set design and the location shooting take you back in time, not a simpler time, but a different world to ours; where women wore pretty dresses and the men called the shots (intentional pun!). Like Goodbye Lenin! some of the footage is interspersed with real historic footage which adds an extra glorious dimension. And my own father, who isn’t generally that interested in Foreign Language Cinema lapped it up too!

If you like football, World War II or beautifully crafted films you will love this! I’d give it a secure 4/5.

Barfuss (2005)
Nick is a bachelor who has trouble holding down a job. On one such job, working as a cleaner in an asylum he meets Leila who he interrupts trying to commit suicide. Leila becomes Nick’s shadow following him all the way from Munich to Hamburg, seeing the world through the na├»ve eyes of a child and emboldening Nick to make good life decisions. This rom-com is apparently loved by people who also loved 500 days of summer and Love Actually; I can see the resemblances with an extra psychological twist. There was the occasional painfully slapstick scene but I liked the fact that even Leila was treated like a complex  character despite her fragility. And I think I recognised the party location as Benrath Castle but I could be wrong…

Great rom-com, a little long in places, but feel-good and a great sofa comfort… 7/10.