Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Seen and heard: September 2012

Fundació Coll Bardolet - a favourite art gallery, when visiting Valdemossa, Mallorca; though his landscapes are impressive, truly stunning are his pictures of Mallorquin folk dancers: energy and movement conveyed in a zen-like way by just a few strokes of the brush.
Paintings by Ingacio Gelabert - the young man who carried our bags at our holiday hotel turned out to be an up-and-coming artist, fresh back from exhibiting in China, helping out in the family business.
Downton Abbey new season - starting with money troubles for the estate, very authentic.
State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain 1970-1974 - by Domenic Sandbrook, which I bought after watching his compelling TV series, to get more of his historically-detached view of a period which was very formative for me personally, and also (he argues) for Britain as a whole.
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - audiobook with Michael Jayston (Peter Guillam in the 1970s TV dramatisations) reading John le Carré's words very well. Though my wife did think it was an odd choice for holiday entertainment, while sun-bathing.
Maid in Manhattan - Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in a Cinderella / Pretty Woman re-versioning, seen on TV. Interesting, with all the guff talked about Downton Abbey's rigidly divided world of masters and servants: are there less rigid divisions between international celebrities, staying in $2000-a-night hotel rooms, and the maids by whom those rooms are cleaned? Also interesting: invisibility is presented (I'm sure authentically) as being the cardinal quality of a hotel maid, just as it was for domestic servants in the Downton era.
Hope Springs - new film, with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a middle-aged couple trying to re-discover the romantic marital spark. Nice to see (1) the pair of them, especially Tommy Lee Jones, getting better with age; (2) a positive and realistic-looking presentation of psychotherapy, in this case couple therapy; (3) older people having sex. Sorry kids, your parents did do all that, you know, otherwise you wouldn't be here.

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