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Silence Exile and Crumpets
 
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Friday, January 11th, 2002

Time Event
12:30a
Irritating to hear the Tory transport spokesman being allowed to get away with the sheerest of nonsense on the radio this morning. The interviewer pointed out that all the good European railways are publicly owned and the Conservative was allowed to get away with saying, oh yes, but the Japanese railways are privately owned. Which is true in a sense, but the distinction between public and private is only somewhat applicable in Japanese terms anyway; I suppose interviewers are mostly told not to tell people they are lying or stretching the truth. It was noticeable that no-one told Blair he was either lying or mistaken when he claimed that the Kiley bond issue was responsible for bankrupting New York...

And does anyone else suspect that the way to bet on the next Archbishop of Canterbury is in terms of who is not going to make a fuss about marrying Charles and Camilla? Blair is not going to appoint anyone who would cause a constitutional crisis he doesn't want.
11:24p
Lust objects.
I thought that I could never regret going to see a movie with the divine Eliza Dushku in it, but Soul Survivors has proved me wrong. The film seems tediously long at eighty-five minutes, though my guess would be that it lost some scenes, some plot logic and some Elizaness along the way.

Eliza is the best friend of a woman who has crashed her car, killing her estranged boyfriend, and the relationship between the two women goes from bad (covering each other with emulsion and then soaking it off in the shower) to worse (Eliza snogging some sinister Gothette in the library and telling our heroine that she does not understand.) It turns out that Eliza is dead, and, presumably in hell - whereas our blonde heroine gets to wake up and find the boyfriend is alive. Well, yippee. If the film were not so inane, it would probably be homophobic.

And yes, it is another failure in that well-known doomed attempt, the de-dyking of Eliza's image; sadly, a few minutes of Faithesque snoggage is not enough to redeem this utter mess of a film.

Meanwhile, over in another undistinguished Hollywood career, Seth Green is one of the weaker things in the distinctly patchy Rat Race - he is better than Rowan Atkinson or John Cleese, both of whom reach the nadirs of their careers, but not as good as Whoopi Goldberg. (NB This is called damning with faint praise where I come from...)

The movie is a silly race movie - a bunch of stooges are set up by high-stakes gamblers to race each other for a fortune - but has one or two nice gags along the way, notably the coach full of Lucille Ball fans who go 'Waaaah!' whenever things go wrong. Writing that down, I realize that maybe you had to be there.

Multiplex roulette; bet your mind upon it. I will go and see a proper film on Sunday.

Meanwhile, The Turn of the Screw was the best horror entertainment on offer in London this week - James's classic ghost story in Britten's terse operatic version at the Royal Opera House with the beautiful, stick-insect thin Ian Bostridge as the ghost-vampire villain Quint. Some people have buns of steel - he has consonants of steel and even when hitting difficult high notes would win gold if enunciation were an Olympic event. Catch it on the radio...

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