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I was planning on updating more regularly once I was done with the ECDL exams, but now I'm sitting here over an entry I've kept adding the occasional half-line to for the last week, and it feels like I've lost the knack of writing completely. Damn.

# Rewatched Casanova, which I actually enjoyed more than the first time, when it took me a while to disentangle David Tennant's Casanova from his Doctor, because the combination of same writer and same lead actor broke the fourth wall a little too much for my taste. There are of course still a lot of elements that turn up again in DW and TW, a lot of Casanova both in the Doctor and Jack, but with more distance from DW it was easier to watch and appreciated the story for itself. It's lovely and tragic and heartbreaking, and while I can't put my finger on it, because neither the story nor the cinematography are ground-breaking or unconventional as such, there's something a bit wild about it that I really liked. What's... I'm not sure if 'odd' is the right word here, but I can't think of a better one, is that even though the second half of the story is depressing and tragic throughout, like with Edith ('That stupid daft man and all his adventures, don‘t burn him!') what lingers in one's mind in spite of everything that followed is the sheer joy of the beginning. (It's the same with Ten, really. For all the angst and pain, what I'll always associate with him even more than that is his joy at travelling and all the possibilities of the universe...)

It also reminded me of what RTD wrote, although in a different context, in The Writer's Tale about how he loved writing liars. From the scene where Casanova first meets Henriette to Edith's lie in the end, when she's taking over the telling of the story, making him believe that Henriette is coming, so that he can die in peace, it's all about stories and pretending and a never-ending back and forth between lies and truth, what the truth really is, and that often it's both this and that, rather than this or that. (In hindsight I wonder if this is where the truth/lie/pretending theme in Jack and Ianto's relationship in CoE came from. Admittedly Fragments would probably have been enough to base this on, but watching Henriette and Casanova, who both lie about their social backgrounds, lying to everyone else, but sometimes not to each other... it's not the same situation, obviously, but something about that did recall Jack and Ianto.)

cut for quotes )


# Also rewatched Bob and Rose, and much as I love TW and would absolutely watch another season, however unlikely it seems at this point that this is going to happen, I really would like to see something from RTD next where he doesn't feel obliged to write 'big' (or, worse, 'bigger'), but goes back to do doing character studies like that... (Also, Harriet Jones Penelope Wilton! How could I have missed that the first time?)


(# MD next!)


# This is probably my favourite program by Stephane Lambiel since Ne Me Quitte Pas. I really love what he does with the music here, translating it into a visual medium. The Rigoletto is perhaps more of an eye-catcher, but I've always preferred his serious programs.




 

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# Met with R. yesterday, had a coffee (or hot lukewarm chocolate in my case) and then saw Another Year, which R. picked, because it was her birthday.

I don't know. Mostly I don't know how I'm supposed to read this film, because for me it was in its quiet way one of the cruelest films I've seen in a while and I'm not sure if that was the intention. There's this perfect middle-aged couple, Tom and Gerri, with their beautiful house, their garden, their well-paid, interesting jobs; they're happy, they're successful, they're calm and competent, no matter what the situation, even in the face of death; you never see a crack in the facade. You keep waiting, because surely it must happen at some point, but it doesn't. You never see beneath the facade. You don't see any real emotions. Around the middle of the film the son finally brings home a girlfriend, and it's the same. Perfect couple, love each other, great jobs, no conflicts that we see, his parents love her. All this, while around them peoples' lives are falling apart. People are breaking to pieces and it doesn't really touch them; they're aloof and secure in their happiness. God knows Mary was annoying, realistically I wouldn't have known what to do with someone like her either, but the little mime in the end where Gerri tells Katie in a whisper that Mary is in the kitchen and Katie pretends to hang herself with her scarf was just cruel. The end was very good in its own way, but also quite terrible and thoroughly depressing.

# Signed up for Tai Chi again for next semester. Stopping with the belly-dance classes and taking up Tai Chi instead was maybe the single good decision I made last year. It's so much less stressful, it fits me (mind, body, self-image) a lot better, and I'm feeling good after classes. Plus, the years of learning choreographies came in handy. Now if only I could bring myself to practice every day... *smacks lazy self*

# The best part of yesterday's gala IMO were Sinead and John Kerr. This is exactly why they've more or less become my favourite ice dance couple over the last few years. Brilliant.



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I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by the Europeans this year, there wasn't anything that really grabbed me except maybe a couple of the pairs' programs, and those only slightly, but Florent Amodio's reaction to winning the gold medal is just adorable. You can't watch that and not grin.






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Is it just me, or did Ice Dance get really boring somehow? It used to be my favourite discipline to watch, and I was bored to tears watching the fee dance. Granted, I missed the short dance, perhaps that was different, but it was all so... same-ish, all in the elegant to cute range. And painfully gender normative to boot. It's as if everyone is afraid to do something even a little out of the norm and risk losing points. Even the Kerrs fell in line.

Or are the rules killing creativity? I really do miss couples like Anissina/Peizerat, or Denkova/Staviski. Does anyone even do the reverse lift any longer?
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I love the internet. ;)

solitary_summer: (octopus)
For those interested in figure skating/figure skaters: Plushenko, Lambiel, Weir & Joubert group hug, completely adorable. (Via [livejournal.com profile] lambiel_ru and this entry, scroll down to the last picture.)

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Hm, I just watched Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet movie, all four hours of it, and now I'm feeling bad for having complained about David Tennant. I think I've simply fallen out of love with the play as such; I'm not really getting anything out of it any longer. There still are a few quieter moments where I can recapture some faint echo of my original love for this film (most notably the graveyard scene), but generally speaking, meh. A bit too shouty sometimes, although OTOH at least it's not crazy!Hamlet all the time, and certainly too grandiose and choreographied, which is a pity, because what Branagh is good at is reducing a story to its purely human components and just letting it play out. The filmed illustrations of text/dialogue are more than a little awkward.

Horatio was the Prime Minister in CoE. He.

It's things like this that make me increasingly wary to make any kind of quality judgement beyond, Yay, I liked that. I loved that film a lot at the time, and now I couldn't honestly say any longer if it's good or crap, or it it's just me who has changed. And I'm probably the only person ever to worry about this kind of stuff. *headdesk*



On that note, something I still haven't got tired of watching yet is Stephane Lambiel's exhibition performance from the Europeans. Except for the enthusiastic Russian commentator being vocally enthusiastic over the first few seconds, but nobody seems to be willing to upload another version that is good quality, not squished into the wrong size or has an obnoxious pink frame. And I didn't think of recording it. But otherwise, wow. 'Speechless' pretty much covers it.



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I know I've said it before, but I really hope the Olympics will work out for him, especially with the health problems he had/has. Now I doubt he'll be able to beat Plushenko, unless Plushenko makes a couple of mistakes and Lambiel absolutely none, which realistically is something he's not been all that great at even in the past, which made watching him skate always a bit of a nerve-wrecking experience, but... Artistically, he's much better than Plushenko, IMO. Didn't love the short program, but this is beautiful.
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Fantastic. Utterly beautiful. I so do hope un-retirement and the Olympics will work out for him.

*fangirls wildly*





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Emptied my wardrobe & packed up all my clothes, threw away stacks of print-outs, reading lists and whatnot from university that I haven't looked at in eight years (and don't remind me of the two big boxes full of ph.d. material still lurking looming standing on top of the wardrobe) and the chaos is finally starting to clear up a little, but not enough, or fast enough. The last few days have been so hectic, while at the same time with all the delays it never felt quite real that I would actually move, the new flat itself suddenly seemed like something I'd only imagined. I still can't quite believe that today was the last but one time I'll be coming home from work to this place...

(Also made a complete back-up, just in case, which I've been too lazy to do since I bought the external HD in, wait, what was it? November-ish? Oops.)

I'm so hyper right now I'm not even tired, but suspect I'll crash pretty hard when this is all over.

And speaking of over, not that it's going to be very noticeable considering how little I've updated lately, but I'll be offline starting tomorrow until next Friday morning, when hopefully I'll be restored to the internetz, er, my internet access will be restored.


What else? Liked last week's Dollhouse (more about that maybe later, when I have the time to rewatch and get my thoughts in better order), but still think that Eliza Dushku is miscast. Especially after that episode. She's all right as long as she's playing a version of Faith, but IMO not so very good at the rest of it.


Linkspam, because I was browsing YouTube when not panicking and/or packing... Maybe my favourite Stephane Lambiel moment, from 2006. I don't actually remember the programs, but I still remember the exhibition. (A bit pixel-y occasionally, but well worth watching.)


And what with all the talk about Dreamwidth lately... It just doesn't feel like the kind place I'd fit in. I lurk my way around fandom, and occasionally post long-winded meta for a fandom where few enough people are interested in that, but that's the extent of my fanish activities. I actually quite like lj as it is, complete with its lack of coolness, and I find the fact that it has such a large Russian user-base rather fabulous, because a wide range of fascinating photos aside - pick up Russian while fangirling (*cough* [livejournal.com profile] lambiel_ru *cough*)? It's a win-win situation. *g* Except, I suppose, when my teacher will be starting to roll her eyes once I'm starting to talk or write in fangirlish netspeak Russian...


Bed, I think. As in, now.

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There's chaos all around me, I still don't know whether or not I'll actually be able to move into the new flat on Friday, & consequently am pretty much on the verge of a nervous breakdown, although today is at least better than Friday, when I was pretty much hysterically crying on the phone with my mother for half an hour or so, and there are a million things I should do rather than watching figure skating videos on YouTube, but, damn.





Men's figure skating has become quite boring to watch since he quit.

solitary_summer: (malingo (© clive barker))

[Gwendal Peizerat (Russian team-jacket, blond, badly French-accented English) interviewing Evgeni Pushenko (Russian team-jacket, blond, badly Russian-accented English). It really was kind of cute.]

[Ladies' figure skating has always been my least favourite discipline, because of all the (over-)emphasis on prettiness, gracefulness, femininity. These women are athletes, it seems unfair that being pretty/sexy should play a much more important part than with the men. I've caught myself being automatically prejudiced in favour of skaters who ditch the pretence of a skirt for the bodysuit, and I love both Slutskaya and Sokolowa's styles because they're both so very elegant and beautiful but in a way that shows their power and strength much more directly...]

[Still, it occurred to me that watching figure skating is perhaps the girliest thing I do. And yes, I'm aware that this statement is wrong and discriminating in just about every way possible, but I'm not in the mood for an in depth analysis.Or an essay. Except possibly for occasionally squeeing over cute animals, alive, stuffed, or drawn. Oh and, musicals. Apparently I'm a girlier girl than I thought I was... Right. There was a point to this post?]


Oh, ::sigh::.

There was supposed to be a second, more serious rambling, introspective, already half-sketched out (and, ::gasp::, not-figure skating related) part to this post (hence the brackets above), but I doubt it'll get written today any more than it did yesterday, when I wasn't distracted by tv. So... eh. I'll leave the profundity for later.



Thank god Olympics are mostly over.
solitary_summer: (skipper (© clive barker))

spoilers for Olympic Ice Dance results )

So, meh. This should have been a longer weekend-related entry, but between one thing and the other (::cough:: tv watching and more tv watching) it's become much too late again, and I should be sleeping, since I promised M. I'd open the shop tomorrow...
solitary_summer: (letheo (© clive barker))

[Disclaimer: This girl really knows nothing about figure skating, and less about its technical finesses; I watch, and like, or don't.]

Is it just me, or did Plushenko have better programs in the past, especially when Yagudin was still around to challenge him and always push the artistic aspect just a little further? Now it's back to jumps, jumps, jumps, and these complicated, fast step sequences, and yes, it's all perfectly executed of course, and there's enough choreography to pretty it up, but the the program lacks emotion, it's a too cold perfection, too obviously designed to collect as many points as possible, in my opinion. And it's hard on the other skaters. You could see it in the Short Program when he skated first, and again in the final group today, the damper he put on everything when it was clear that no matter what they did, they wouldn't even have a remote chance of beating him. It takes something of the spark out of it, if you know you aren't competing for gold anyway, I would imagine. And really, it isn't fun to watch, either.


Although I seem to in an extra nit-picky mood this evening... I didn't much care for any of the Free Programs, although I was happy for Lambiel in the end...

solitary_summer: (candles (© clive barker))

Work-related unpleasantness... )


And it had seemed like a good day, only an hour before. I was getting lunch, the sun was shining, it wasn't too cold, I felt bouncy and calm all at once... ::sigh::


)O(



Spent the evening mostly watching the Men's short program on tv; Pushenko skating first really takes the fun and suspense out of it. He's just too perfect. Decided to cheer for Lambiel from now on, because cheering for Plushenko is rather superfluous already. Very nice program, too. Weir - at the risk of sounding offensively gender-stereotyping, and he could bring it off, but that swan-lake choreography would have been rather too feminine for my taste for most female skaters. Joubert on the other hand... what point of masculinity is he trying to make with that James Bond program. Boring, at least to me, but I can't remember he's ever had a choreography that I'd found compelling. Van der Perren - if he could make it through a program just once without falling or messing something up he'd make both me and the guy who comments figure skating events on Eurosport very happy persons. Such a pity. And Lindemann, ouch. Ouch, indeed. It really should be common decency not to stick a microphone in someone's face fifteen minutes later and expect them to explain, or even attempt to explain, what had gone wrong. You could see he was still near tears, that's just plain cruel. I remember when he won Bronze a year or two ago - he was so exuberantly happy, before the medal ceremony he went up to Plushenko and hugged him, and you could see how Plushenko had this split-second WTF?-moment, before he hugged him back, it was just too cute. I really hope he gets it together again.
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I think I may have been watching too much figure skating recently... I actually recognise the Russian national anthem.


[Not a spoiler for the pairs' final result, btw, but a propos some other event on tv.]



spoilery edit... )
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Yesterday: finally got to visit the Leopold Museum, only, oh, about two years after if opened. Go me. [/sarcasm] Anyway, not overly impressed - or perhaps grumpy to begin with. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put large windows into a building meant to primarily exhibit paintings, a good part of which are behind glass... the view across Vienna was kind of nice, but it didn't compensate for all the times I had to actively search for a spot where you could see the painting rather than all kinds of reflections. This being an dark, overcast day. Architecture is perhaps the art that can least afford being self indulgent, but sadly so often is.

Some beautiful late 19th century impressionistic landscape paintings, Emil Jacob Schindler, Tina Blau, Eugen Jettel, Rudolf Ribarz.

Exhibition, SCHIELE / JANSSEN: Selbstinszenierung, Eros, Tod, vaguely interesting, though I was not really in the mood to put up any real intellectual effort... some of Janssen's etchings ('Tod'), however...endless variations of dissolving, running, fading, fragmented or distorted faces, some self-portraits, some not... strikingly (nauseatingly) conveying the concept of death, dissolution of self.

Schiele, but perhaps that's the result of a certain over-exposure you can't quite avoid here, I only like in small doses, and best at his most abstract and minimalist. Or, again, his landscape paintings. (Sich umarmende Mädchenakte, Liegendes Neugeborenes, Selbstseher, Tote Mutter, Kleiner Baum im Spätherbst, Herbstbaum in bewegter Luft, Versinkende Sonne)

Otherwise... the Wiener Werkstätte design for the most part is too severe for my taste, some of the Albin Egger Lienz landcapes I rather liked, but the greatest part of the more modern work goes right over my head/heart/obviously all too limited artistic appreciation ability.

.:.:.:.


Home, watched the taped men's free program and ice dancing free dance from the World Figure Skating Championships, though without much enthusiasm. I miss Yagudin, he really pushed things choreography-wise. Joubert et al... *shrug* Emanuel Sandhu seemed kind of interesting. I didn't even watch the whole of Lindemann's program, but he was so radiant when he won bronze (as opposed to the obviously quite pissed Joubert), you just had to be happy for him... (And someone give Plushenko a haircut. Being from Russia is really no excuse for that kind of thing today.)

Ice dance... Really liked Navka/Kostomarov, though Denkova/Staviski were more interesting, and especially their exhibition program was stunning. And whoever did the Carmina Burana program earlier, liked it a lot, but still forgot the names...

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