Unordered List

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Neil Marshall set to direct "The Last Voyage of Demeter".

This one probably falls into the category of Don't Get Your Hopes Up Yet, but I can't bring myself to care. The mere concept of a seafaring vampire movie directed by Neil Marshall causes me to froth at the mouth.
The Last Voyage Of Demeter concerns Dracula's journey from Transylvania to England, during which Dracula killed all but one of the ship's crew. Unlike every other aspect of the Dracula story, the voyage to England hasn't really been explored much, but under Neil Marshall's direction I'm hoping for it to grow into an awesomely schlocky, 19th-century version of Alien. It's really an ideal subject choice for this type of fanfic-esque movie because in most Dracula adaptations, the the sea voyage remains almost entirely offscreen in order to set up a more dramatic scene when the ghost-ship drifts into the English harbour with nothing but a coffin and a madman onboard. This way you can pick your favourite Dracula adaptation, and watch it with  The Last Voyage Of Demeter sandwiched into the middle! The Demeter story shouldn't step on the toes of other adaptations, but it's still not likely to include a whole bunch of irrelevent additions like one sees in loose adaptations such as Guy Ritchie's Holmes franchise or the recent Three Musketeers movie.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Haute Couture: Ulyana Sergeenko and Maison Martin Margiela.

I was going to write about Batman today, but thinking about The Dark Knight Rises for any prolonged length of time causes my brain to dribble out of my ears. Time for me to do a u-turn from one of my passions (superheroes) to another: FASHION. 

Ulyana Sergeenko
Outside Russia, Ulyana Sergeenko is still relatively unknown. A comparatively young designer, she's only shown a couple of collections so far but is already getting primetime Fashion Week slots off the back of her fame as a socialite, photographer and street-style star. I tend to be very wary of people whose supposed ~fame~ stems from street style because I don't believe that "having good dress sense" is a legitimate reason for critical acclaim, and is usually code for the person in question being the child of somebody famous. That being said, Ulyana Sergeenko's Couture show was very impressive, lending a certain gravitas to the kind of Eastern-European peasant styles that usually turn out looking twee.
This was an emphatically wintry collection, with each of the models looking far warmer and more comfortable than one typically sees in a Couture show. There was a noticeable absense of eveningwear, which I found rather refreshing considering how much of Couture season is ruled by glitz and extremity.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Teen Wolf 2x09: Party Guessed.

Previously: Teen Wolf 101: An introduction to the eighth wonder of our world. (Now available in audio as well!)

Why does Teen Wolf hate happiness? At this very moment I'm collecting vials of my own tears to freeze into an ice-sculpture, which will then be mailed to dastardly showrunner Jeff Davis as a sign of protest regarding his unendingly cruel treatment of Lydia. Stiles trying and failing to get a comically huge box through Lydia's door was the one moment of respite in this episode's otherwise horrifying montage of violence, trauma, and mass hallucinations. (Note: Because Dylan O'Brien is a Hayao Miyazaki animation of a baby animal, he makes the action of pushing a box through a door completely hilarious and adorable.)
This episode saw our favourite crew of preposterously good-looking "teenagers" attend Lydia's birthday party, which realistically featured Allison and Lydia wearing the product of several hours of decision-making while Stiles and Scott just turned up in the same shirts they wear to school every day. Like last week, "Party Guessed" was so full of drama that no one took their shirt off, although several people did get thrown into a pool. And Derek has this whole bloodstained vest thing going on that gives the audience a wealth of opportunity to notice that he moves about 100 times as many muscles in his arms as he does on his face, even when he's standing still. Rarely has he looked more like a videogame cut-scene character than when he was hanging out in the Werewolf Den, clad in little more than the Die Hard vest, blood, his ever-present five-o'clock-shadow, and a ton of hair gel.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Teen Wolf 101: An introduction to the eighth wonder of our world.

Anyone who follows me on Tumblr will know that the past month of my life has been a rapid downward spiral into Teen Wolf obsession. Circa June 2012, I was still innocent of the wonders of Teen Wolf; completely unaware that it is the Shakespeare of our era/Twilight for people who enjoy emotions that make sense/set in a beautiful alternate universe where homophobia doesn't exist. My life was empty and barren, a tragic wasteland wherein I laboured under the assumption that Teen Wolf was a mediocre MTV show populated by a cast of bad actors with great hair. The real honest true truth is that every actor in Teen Wolf has brilliant comic timing (in addition to, yes, great hair), and one of the main characters is played by a guy who, despite having zero previous acting experience, is so talented his that his very presence onscreen is like an icecream scoop directly out of my heart. One day he will be showered with Oscars and Emmys and adoring fanmail from around the world, but in the meantime he'll have to make do with people like me reblogging 40,000 gifs of his face every day. This actor is Dylan O'Brien. He plays Stiles.
If you watch Teen Wolf, you love Stiles. If you don't watch Teen Wolf, you are merely living through a brief period of confusion prior to the inevitability of falling in love with Stiles.
An accurate illustration of Teen Wolf fans & their attitude towards Stiles. (source)
I won't even attempt to write about the events of Teen Wolf in their entirety, partly because it's impossible to summarise a show that amounts to the distilled essence of perfection, and partly because that would take about 50,000 words. Because I'm a really good-hearted person, though, I will provide a brief 10-point guide to the defining points of Teen Wolf as it stands as the cultural touchstone of my generation.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2.

Previously: Henry IV Part 2.

This post is gonna be wayyyyy less in-depth than the one I wrote for Henry IV Part 1 because nothing happens in this play. I'm serious. Maybe there was some heavy editing going on or something but as far as I can tell the only things that happen in Henry IV Part 2: Electric Boogaloo are:
  • Random soliloquays about how hard it is to be king.
  • The world's greatest collection of Rude Mechanicals, indicating that "LOL, he's a women's tailor" is a joke that remains hilarious for 500 years.
  • An extended sequence of Tom Hiddleston's oiled and gleaming torso.
  • Sad Falstaff.
  • The King is dead; long live the King.
"I just can't wait to be King!"
It was like one of those situations when there's a really awesome, successful movie, and then someone's like, "OK, let's get a sequel up in this joint!" except instead of writing a whole new story they just erase most of the character development from the first movie and try to do it all over again a second time. Although this time round there's little to no plot, and the supervillain was defeated at the end of the last movie so instead of a battle there's just an awful lot of tragicomedy scenes involving an old fat conman slowly sinking into gout, despair and failure along with his new collection of comedy sidekicks. I don't know much about the circumstances surrounding the writing of this play, but I can easily imagine Queen Elizabeth writing to Shakespeare all, "More of this Falstaff fellow, my man! He makes one LOL!" and Shakespeare sobbing into his inkwell as he tries in vain to think up something interesting that happened to Henry V in the years leading up to his coronation.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Some hopes and dreams for The Dark Knight Rises.

I'm a little concerned that I'm not going to like this movie. Christopher Nolan's Batman films make great action-thrillers but they're not exactly fun. In fact, it occasionally seems like Christopher Nolan actively avoids fun. Good luck with your franchise of Serious Grown-Up Movies that attempt to legitimise a billionaire's decision to fight crime in a bat costume, dude.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But the first one came out when I was fifteen and far less critical than the hardened nerd you see before you today, and the second one is 37 hours long (that's about 30 hours of car chases, 5 hours of Christian Bale growling angrily, 1 hour of Heath Ledger, and 1 hour of "other") so I've never managed to rewatch it all the way through. There's no denying that Heath Ledger's Joker is one of the best movie psychos of all time, but my main memories of The Dark Knight are of extended sequences where cars and bits of rubble crash into each other while Christian Bale howls his manpain at the moon. So I'm kinda trepidatious when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises. Without the helpful cushion of fannish delusion (Christopher Nolan's neverending quest to tell a "serious" superhero story has resulted in some of the most sterile and humourless comicbook movies ever, which isn't exactly conducive to geeking out), I'm unlikely to ever be as enthused about TDKR as I was about the Avengers.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier: Resort and Menswear 2013.

Previously: Jean Paul Gaultier Couture: Dandies, Decadence, and George Sand.

A Jean Paul Gaultier triple-bill! I probably should've posted these first, as an aperitif to the high-end extravagance of the Couture collection last week, but I got too excited and forgot about them.
The Menswear and Resort collections had far more in common with each other than with the Couture show, both taking inspiration from two of Gaultier's favourite design themes: sailor suits and Indian fashion.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1.

Previously: The Hollow Crown: Richard II.

I was a little more prepared this time round because unlike with Richard II, I'd actually seen this play before. And, perhaps, Prince Hal's story is easier to follow than Richard's because he's a less ambiguous protagonist -- a character you can root for. Richard's flamboyant incompetence was entertaining to watch, but was distinctly unheroic. For all that Richard II was aesthetically pleasing, it didn't have the same gleeful excitement of Henry IV, with its clear-set coming-of-age journey for Prince Hal and its cast of crowd-pleasing comedy sidekicks. Falstaff's constant supply of old-fat-coward jokes may have been designed for an audience of 16th-century drunks, but I'm easily pleased and found him hilarious. (Possibly because I have the spirit of a 16th-century drunk.)
Tom Hiddleson as Prince Hal was, put simply, totally awesome. I'd been looking forward to this play in particular both because I love Henry IV/Henry V story, and because Tom Hiddleston was clearly such brilliant casting. And having seen it? I'm now coming to understand why Tumblr is basically a giant online shrine to Tom Hiddleston. Within about fifteen seconds of him coming onscreen I had little hearts in my eyes like an anime character, like, what was even happening. Hiddleston's Prince Hal is so charming and handsome that I'm now desperate to see him play a genuinely unappealing character. Because, you know, the only other thing I've really seen him in is his role as Loki in Thor and The Avengers, who despite being a villain is still pretty lovable. I found myself comparing the two, and the one thing that stands out between them is Hiddleston's ability to play royalty. The level of automatic, commanding entitlement both Loki and Hal display is wonderful, although they show it in very different ways.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture: Dandies, Decadence, and George Sand.

This review may be a little on the dodgy side because I wrote it through a veil of tears while pouring chocolate truffles and absinthe directly into my mouth and smoking a cheroot in a ten-inch-long holder. GUYS, I JUST LOVE THIS COLLECTION A LOT, OK. Gaultier's a triple-threat expert in the field of awesome yet faintly ridiculous haute couture, his main failing being the restrictive nature of his influences. This season, as with so many of his previous collections, Gaultier was inspired by Victorian dandies, vintage corsetry, tuxedoes, and classic Indian fashions, but even after thirty years in the public eye he still seems to be able to turn out new ideas for stunning couture.
photos from
The show opened with Erin O'Connor in a top hat and tails, dressed in an homage to George Sand. Gaultier has long enjoyed playing with gender-roles in his shows and even though his new Menswear collection was revealed only last week, this Couture show included new "menswear couture" items as well as several womenswear outfits worn by male models.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Spring 2013 Menswear: Carven, Galliano, Demeulemeester, and McQueen.

I've seen this described as "botanical", which I love because when was the last time you saw womenswear being described as "botanical"? Guys, they're wearing florals. Deal with it.
All the models in this show were dressed like Victorian teacups and if you put them anywhere near a garden they'd either flee in terror or remain firmly on the footpaths until a servant had fetched some lawn furniture and a rug.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Spring Menswear: Moncler Gamme Bleu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yohji Yamamoto, and more.

Moncler Gamme Bleu
Compared to Moncler Gamme Bleu's recent nominally-sports-themed collections, this one was practically restrained. Not a fencing mask in sight! And some of the clothes actually looked like clothes! Almost a disappointment, to be honest. I'd become oddly invested in the idea that Moncler Gamme Bleu was a label that had actual real-life customers who faithfully bought Thom Browne's seemingly unwearable designs season after season. Moncler Gamme Bleu always seems like a label invented for Saturday Night Live's Stefon sketches, you know?
Misgivings aside re: the tragic lack of truly ridiculous clothing, the show itself did look hella fun. The theme was sailing, meaning that most of the outfits looked like a cross between waterproof sailing gear and parts of yachts. I highly recommend watching footage of the show because it includes a line of Charleston-dancing sailors alongside the catwalk.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Hollow Crown, Part 1: Richard II.

Caveat: I am no Shakespeare scholar. I come at Shakespeare from the perspective of a pop-culture nerd, meaning that when I lived in London I was the person getting weird looks from the ushers at the Globe Theatre because I'd be all like, "No, don't give me a programme! I don't want spoilers!" Spoilers for King Lear, that is. I get why some people like to read plays before they see them, but I wouldn't read the script of The Avengers before seeing that so why should Richard II be any different? Usually this works out fine as long as I pay attention to the performance, although I did have some trouble the other week when I went to see Alan Cumming's one-man Macbeth, which was kinda hard to follow because, you know, he was playing all the roles. Fortunately I'm Scottish, and all Scottish people are forced to memorise the plot of Macbeth while being beaten with birch twigs and standing on a blasted heath at midnight as a rite of passage, which certainly comes in very useful in situations like this.
The other problem facing me when embarking upon the first installment of the BBC's Hollow Crown series was a complete lack of knowledge about the Wars of the Roses. I'm pretty sure that the Wars of the Roses are a History class staple in England, but Scottish education system tends to concentrate more on the Reformation, mostly for practical reasons because people in Scotland still get into barfights on a semi-regular basis about things that happened during the Reformation. I watched Richard II with a group of Scots and even though we had at least one History degree among us, we still weren't 100% certain whether Richard II took place in the 14th or 15th century until we wikipedia'd it afterwards. (N.B. Watching Shakespeare's English History plays in a roomful of Scots is ideal because the entire plot revolves around English people killing each other, which gives us all a schadenfreude thrill.)
As soon as Richard showed up I knew I was going to love him. I'd never seen Ben Whishaw in anything before, but I can now go on record to say that he's my new #1 casting choice for any roles that require a slimy, effeminate dweeb to Gaius Baltar his way around all the other characters while flopping onto furniture and sobbing about how misunderstood he is. A+ KINGING, BEN WHISHAW.