My classes have been a combination of super interesting and super boring this past week. Super interesting because of what we were doing about, but super boring because of the films we watched. In British Contemporary Cinema, we’ve been learning about film funding in the UK and where it came from (which, in a roundabout way, links into my internship) which I’ve found fascinating. Sadly, on Monday, we had to watch a Richard Curtis film- Four Weddings and a Funeral. Those of you who know me, know I hate romcoms with a passion, and Four Weddings and a Funeral was basically a combination of everything I hate about romcoms. Hugh Grant being the main thing, of course. As for Epics, Spectacles and Blockbusters, my seminar on Friday morning was spent discussing the narrative values of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Avatar, which eventually spread out into discussing other films which are epics, spectacles and blockbusters. However, the films we were watching were less exciting- 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire. I’m not that keen on 300 (Frank Miller’s films tend to bore me as they always look the same) but I really enjoyed 300: Rise of An Empire. If you treat is as an accompanying narrative, rather than a straight-up sequel, it seems to work pretty well. It didn’t have the annoying Miller-esque cinematography style that its predecessor had, and female characters were treated a little bit better, which was a welcome change. I think much of the improvements in the 300: Rise of an Empire are due to a different team. It had a different director and was written by different people. Something else which improved it is that while it was stated as being an adaptation, it’s only in name; the work its meant to be adapting isn’t completed, which gave the filmmakers freedom to make something good, rather than slavishly adapting Miller’s work. In case you can’t tell, I think Frank Miller is extremely over-rated.
One of my followers on Twitter sent me this incredible Twitter serendipity after I tweeted about finishing the book.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know the difficulty I’ve been having with American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I got 200 pages in, in about 2 or 3 sittings, and had to stop, for at least a week. I couldn’t deal with the torture scenes. I wanted to read it and get it out of the way, but I had to build up to it. So, on Tuesday night, I ran a hot bath, and took an hour or so to finish it, skimming the particularly gory chapters. I enjoyed it (for the most part) and really enjoy the way it’s written. I think Mary Harron’s adaptation was superb, and captures Patrick Bateman incredibly well (thankfully with less murder!) and works really well. Moving away from one extreme, I also read Let It Snow, a YA Contemporary fiction by John Green, Laureen Myracle and Maureen Johnson. I’m quite a big YA fan (and especially of John Green) and have heard good things about this book for quite a while. I read it in one go on Thursday evening and I liked it… Mostly. The book is split into three sections, which are all set on the same night, but based around different people, and each author writes a segment from a character’s point of view. I really liked John Green’s story (angst-ridden teen love, so sweet!) and Maureen Johnson’s (teen love again, but with the underlying message that perfect people don’t exist) but wasn’t too keen on Laureen Myracle’s. The character wasn’t particularly likeable. While this was the point for her story, I just found her annoying, as well as the final segment when she got the pig and there’s a section about how all the characters in the book come together in a Starbucks. The ending was a bit lacklustre, but otherwise, it was good.
Outside of class, the films and TV I’ve been watching have been a mixed bag, to say the least! The Boyfriend-Wonder and I watched Dredd and Jackass 2 on Wednesday night, which is quite possibly the weirdest double bill ever. I find that the Jackass films, apart from being gross-out material, can be quite funny, and they’re good to put on if you’re feeling lost and want to watch something dumb. As for Dredd, you all know I’ve seen it before, but the Boyfriend Wonder had not. He enjoyed it, and was pleasantly surprised by it. I also watched Shaun of the Dead with the Boyfriend-Wonder on Saturday night as our Valentine’s Day festivities. We’ve seen that films dozens and dozens of times but it never gets old for us. We also started biker drama Sons of Anarchy. We’ve only seen the first episode so far, but I really enjoyed and I’m looking forward to watching more. The Boyfriend-Wonder wasn’t too convinced by it, which brings up the tricky question- do I watch it without him?
This week I also saw my bestie Gina for the first time this month! We exchanged Galentine’s cards (thank you Parks and Recreation!) and hung out in Sheffield. We had lunch in my favourite bar in Sheffield, Bungalows and Bears, and then traipsed through town going in various shops. We hit Waterstone’s pretty hard, and I made the most of their buy one get one half price deal, where I picked up Let It Snow and Fangirl for just over £10. It was nice to see Gina again, and we planned our next meet-up to see Big Hero 6, which will hopefully be next week.
I’ve been enjoying a lazy, PJ weekend. I got new loungewear at the start of the week, and I rarely take it off! You might have seen my silly selfie on Instagram on Monday showing off my new dressing gown, but it’s my new favourite item of clothing. Yesterday I was playing Diablo most of the day, and today I’ve been writing and catching up on blogs.
How’s your week been?