vanessarama: (Default)
In news that has nothing to do with anything else going on in my life, I had the privilege of seeing 'Testament of Youth' yesterday.

Alicia Vikander was STUNNING. She totally made that film. Even better, she made Vera Brittain into someone relatable and understandable, whereas I didn't really like the Vera I met in the book. Alicia is so good that there isn't a moment where you spot her acting, if you know what I mean. The supporting cast were also superb. In fact the film's weak point, I think, was Kit Harington. He played a very good pretty young poet, but he didn't at all convey the charisma and the natural leadership which the real Roland must have had. He seems to have been almost worshipped by his friends, but that didn't really come across.

Some things were exaggerated for dramatic effect, but they didn't really detract that much - in fact I think most of the poetic license taken was quite acceptable because it helped get across the point they were trying to make. I know it wasn't entirely true to the bare facts of Vera's story but I think we mustn't forget either that Vera herself intended her story not just as a lament, or a memory of four young men she loved who were lost, but as testimony to the futility and utter waste of war. If a bit of dramatic exaggeration helps bring that home, it does its purpose. And I must say, it did.

Colin was, naturally, wonderful and lovely. He didn't have too many scenes but he made the most of what he had, especially managing to get across the mixed resignation and bitterness of Victor's wounding and the prospects of life blinded. Also, he was briefly topless and he has some damn fine muscles in his back :)

The film really did manage to convey the sadness and waste of war. We were in a theatre full of nattery people but you could have heard a pin drop during practically the entire film. It was a good job.
vanessarama: (om nom cheekbones)
I've been having some interesting feelings about all the fan reactions I've seen to this photo of Colin Morgan for the filming of Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth'. There have been lots of "OMG war injury! how can I bear it! I'm going to cry" etc etc comments. I find it tremendously funny. I've never had problems looking at Colin (or any other actor) in injury makeup or getting faux-hurt on screen (it's acting! acting!) and I suppose I find a lot of the reactions very melodramatic. Then again, most of them are probably teenagers, and so everything is infinitely more intense and dramatic. I hope they're teenagers. Otherwise, how do these people bear living in the real world?

One of the most pleasing things about this is that a whole lot of those fans say they're going to read 'Testament of Youth'; those who don't know much about the war's effect on Western society will learn some context. I was a bit shocked the other day when I saw someone asking on Reddit why everybody is obsessed with WW2 but nobody ever speaks about the First World War and got a shock. What do you mean nobody ever talks about the First World War? And then I realised they were probably American, and I don't think the US has such an emotional connection to WW1 as it does to WW2 where they had much greater involvement. Here, of course, WW1 is more in the national conscience because of Gallipoli and the ANZAC thing.

Speaking of the lovely Colin, I am still waiting to see Quirke properly; the downloads were fairly crap quality and while I have the DVD on order it hasn't shipped yet. I've read the Quirke books. I enjoyed them although they also irritated me, mainly because there seems to be utterly no reason why Quirke has so many women falling all over him. He doesn't say much, he's not charming or affectionate, we're given no indication that he's particularly attractive, so why does he get so much casual sex? In the 50s, no less? Hmph.


Nov. 26th, 2013 08:40 am
vanessarama: (colin colin colin)
OH COLIN. You silly boy. Everything about this photo, from the ridiculous outfit to the belly-skin to the expression on his face, is fabulous.
vanessarama: (Default)
From here:

"Colin Morgan in white underpants, tied to a jukebox, being bullied by Ben Whishaw is one that will stay with you. I won’t spoil the scene, but suffice to say they get up close and personal."


spoil the scene spoil the scene spoil the scene PLEASE spoil the scene
vanessarama: (bearded colin)
Have just realised how long it is since I posted anything, apart from today's amusement.

I am busy! I now have two pieces of consulting work on the go. It's challenging and exciting! Also, the giving circle I am involved in is really taking off. It's a great concept - 100 people who each contribute $1000 and that means you can make one big grant to a small charity and feel like a big donor with a relatively small amount.

Colin Morgan missed the last few performances of The Tempest due to illness and rumour has it he's in the hospital on an antibiotic drip, poor lamb. I hope he gets properly better soon. Sad that he missed the last performances when the last night is usually fun, and it was so obviously something that gave him such joy. Cue happy Colin curtain call photos). Not to mention the rest of us.
(Thanks as always to [ profile] rodneyscat for always finding and posting the best Colin shots).

(I love curtain calls. There was a time when I got tearful at every single one I saw, just because everyone always seemed so happy and lovely. I do find myself caught up in big swirls of crowd emotion, sometimes).

In genealogy and history news, I went to the State Library's Family History Feast, which is a free one-day genealogy seminar series. This year's Feast concentrated on WW1 ancestry. The opening speaker was absolutely amazing - his grandmother had told him never to become a soldier, because her uncle had been a soldier and had gone missing after the Battle of Fromelles. He did become a soldier, and he got together with some friends and through diligent examination of aerial photographs before and after the battle, as well as German photographs taken of the mass burials, they identified the likely gravesite and went there to excavate. And they were right. One of the first objects they detected was a Good Luck medal given to a soldier by his local shire, and they worked out by a process of elimination that the only person that medal could have belonged to was his great-uncle. Eventually the Army got involved. They have now recovered 249 lost diggers, and identified 124 of them, one being his great-uncle, and his grandmother got to say goodbye to her beloved uncle a month before she died.

He showed us an aerial photo of the battleground, and where the different units were, and pointed out that one of them was a unit formed in the part of South Australia which had been mostly settled by German immigrants - so young men called Schmidt and Blücher were firing at other young men called Schmidt and Blücher, for such a pointless war. It was a story told so simply and with such down to earth humour, but so moving. I got tearful, and I bet others did too. You could have heard a pin drop in there.


Jun. 23rd, 2013 12:04 pm
vanessarama: (smiley colin)

Peter Marks is the Washington Post's theatre critic. Via F Yeah Colin Morgan.

My Colin love still knows no bounds.

The Tempest

May. 8th, 2013 09:40 pm
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
Well, it was wonderful.

Let me begin at e beginning through - the first wonderful thing of the day was meeting the very lovely [ profile] mirabile_dictu, who has been a virtual friend for something like a decade now. She is so sweet and bright. So that was a lovely beginning.

We had tickets for the Talking Theatre after the play. Colin wasn't there, but Roger Allam and Jessie Buckley were and they were both awesome. Sadly, although the event was sold out there were a lot of empty seats - I suspect that some fans who had paid for it just didn't bother turning up when they realised Colin wasn't going. A shame, because it was really interesting. There was also a huge clutch of what I suspect were fangirls in the middle back of the room and they were bloody annoying, kept whispering loudly to each other while the actors were talking and one of them even kept yawning and pretending to sleep on her friend's shoulder. More fools them because the session was very good.

Now. The play, let me tell you about it )
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
And now for something completely different; Things I Like!

1. Opening night of The Tempest fan comments. YAY YAY YAY I AM GOING TO SEE THIS TWICE.

2. 17 Sundays. If you are a lady of curves living in Australia (or even overseas, they ship worldwide) check them out. Their clothes are extremely cool and extremely comfy, and not expensive for what they are. They've also got a range called 17 Sundays Basics, which is cheaper. You can also buy them at The Iconic, which sometimes has a bigger range. It's odd but they have completely revised the way I dress and the way I feel about my body, and how self-conscious I am. Today I am wearing their Snake Eyes wet-look leggings and the Mercy Belt, which is a big three-buckled waist belt, and I feel like a million dollars in them. I can also highly recommend their dresses and I just got this jacket in which I feel like another million dollars.

(This recent shopping frenzy is, unfortunately, mainly due to me thinking every couple of days "I've had such a crappy day, I deserve a present!")

3. Discarded Images - a tumblr full of awesome little images from mediaeval manuscripts. Did you know people were just as obsessed with pictures of cats in mediaeval times as they are now? I particularly love the many cats licking their bottoms which appear in margins of Gospels and the like. Not to mention the plethora of mediaeval fart jokes and surprisingly explicit nudity.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)

(courtesy Merlin's Keep)


Ben emailed me at work to tell me he had won and I smiled for the rest of the day! Colin winning for the win!

I wish so many good things for him.
vanessarama: (pic#)
... because I've just returned from family Christmas and we literally finished watching the episode about ten minutes before we had to dash out the door so I haven't had time to digest it properly, but in the meantime, I spoil you in here! )
vanessarama: (cat!colin)
Review of latest Merlin to come, but in the meantime, Colin in shorts and pink legwarmers doing a Flashdance moment on a chair? What would I give to see that? A LOT. Seriously, a lot.

And secondly, the interview with Whedonopolis and Katie talking about how awesome Colin was on her last day. This is why everyone loves him.

I have no actor, I have no nothing, I’m with all these people I don’t know, it’s my last day of 5 years, and I start to get really upset. I don’t realize that Colin is on the other set and has – we had talked about it earlier on in the day, he was gonna come over and do my clapper board – and he discovers that he is not going to be allowed to come over to do my final scene with me, not even read in for me. So he organizes with the AD to give him the nod, and what we did was, on the second unit we would wait for Colin to do a take on the main unit, Colin would run over, he’d do my lines, then he’d run back. So he’s running back and forth between the two. Second unit’s standing down and waiting for him. He comes to my last take, and he does the clapper board and I’m waiting for the golden wrap, which is where everybody goes around and gives you a goodbye and a well done, and nothing happens. Colin’s just standing there. What I don’t realize is that Colin has refused to go back to the main unit until everyone from that unit comes over, everybody comes down from production, about 150 people, came down, waited 5 minutes – he refused to go back! – ‘til I got my proper golden wrap. I wouldn’t have gotten that had he not been so stubborn. So my final day, instead of being me with a load of people I didn’t know who didn’t really care, I got the entire crew and Colin Morgan – giving me a round of applause. The man’s a legend, is my short story.

(RL is pretty onerous at the moment, and so I give thanks to Colin Morgan for existing).
vanessarama: (silly boys)
... that this is the final series of Merlin. I am sad but not as sad as I expected.

I am sad I won't have more episodes, and I am sad because there was some potential there which I think was just missed. But I do think it's better for the show to go out on a relative high. I know plenty of people disagree with me but I think seasons four and five have been pretty bloody good. I know people are upset we haven't had a revelation of Merlin's magic, but to me that was not an essential (although admittedly it was on the wish list). I had thought they might do a "Wicked Day" on us and give us the revelation in ep 3 or 4 this season, but alas no.

For me, this is the first fandom I've been in where I haven't either lost interest or had things turn sour before the end.

More previous fandom reminiscing )

The thing about all those fandoms (well, most of them) is that even going back to the first one, I made many friends who are still dear friends to this day. Sometimes your fandom friends are like ships who pass in the night. Others are people who stay with you and who you care about even if you don't have much in common any more. I hope you who are my Merlin friends stick around. I have only friended you if I think you're pretty awesome in other ways, not just because we share a fandom for a while.

I do feel it is a natural thing for Merlin to stop while it's still going strong. I have a feeling that if it went for one more season I might begin to lose interest and I don't want that to happen. Merlin came to me at a high point in my life (in fact when I first saw it I was exuberantly loving being in London with my dearest friends) and it has distracted and comforted me through some tough times as well. I had some happy fandom experiences, including seeing the premiere of season 3 with [ profile] loreley_se and [ profile] rodneyscat who have been LJ friends since the LOTR days. I even started writing fic again, and although I haven't produced much I am happy with what I did produce, and I enjoyed doing it.

And for the first time ever, I had a meet-your-actor experience that was absolutely perfect. Meeting Colin Morgan at Supanova was the only experience of its type I've had where I got exactly what I wanted out of the experience, and I was still in love enough with the show to appreciate it. I'll always treasure that I had that moment.

And Merlin introduced me to Colin Morgan and Bradley James. Thank you for that, show.

Now give us an awesome ending.


Apr. 5th, 2012 07:39 pm
vanessarama: (merlin: slightly amused)
Today at work my colleague L overheard some chatter about Colin Morgan and asked "Is he the lead actor in Merlin? The one with the thin face? I think he's the weirdest looking man! He's just creepy!"

Later on after most people had gone home I pulled out my iPad and showed her this and said "How can you say he's creepy?"

L: That's not him.
Me: Yes it is. This is the same person as *flips to Merlin-costume shot* this.
L: No! That's not the same man.
*more of the same for some time*

I think I persuaded her in the end. But still. Ahahaha :)

And in other news, I got all my work done this week despite the odds! And in other other news, LONG WEEKEND!!! I am making pancakes and lots of veggie soup, and a special someone is making us a lemon drizzle cake.


vanessarama: (Default)

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