Archive for the ‘Film and TV’ Category

Who else in the UK watched episode 1 of  The Miniaturist on BBC1 last night? I thought it was a great adaptation of Jessie Burton’s first novel. I won’t see episode 2 for a few days, so please don’t spoil it for me!

My favourite thing about the programme is its colour palette. It looks like a Dutch painting in its own right, perhaps by Vermeer.

Family prayers in “The Miniaturist”

The dollhouse at the centre of the plot is particularly beautiful, and it was the reason why I read the book in the first place. I really would love to see the original house owned by Petronella Oortman, in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

But with one eye always on a possible subject for the next blog post in the Christmas Feasts series, I remembered Nella’s love of marzipan (a sweet taste we both love). The book goes into more detail about the importance of marzipan in her memories of her home:

‘My mother used to roll it into shapes’. There was always marzipan in the pantry, the only predilection for indulgence in which Mrs Oortman echoed her husband. Mermaids, ships and necklaces of sugared jewels, that almond doughiness melting in their mouths. I no longer belong to my mother, Nella thinks. One day I will roll sugar shapes for otber little clammy hands, voices baying for treats. (p.15)

This takes me back to one of my earlier posts in this series, about marchpane sculptures, inspired by E. T. A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. I wonder if Petronella’s mother ever created such works of art, and if Petronella herself has the talent and patience to do so.  


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Tomorrow is the last brunch of 2017 for the Glasgow Chapter of Geek Girl Brunch! Our theme is Christmas Films, and tonight I’ve been putting the final touch to brunch activities. So how can I not write today’s Christmas Feast blogpost about the food in Christmas films? I’ve already written one post on the four food groups in Elfso today I thought I would look at something grittier, if you can imagine that adjective been applied to a Christmas film, but still funny. Hello, Trading Places (1983)!


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While out today at the annual local Reindeer Day festival, I walked past a woman saying

The best way to spread Christmas cheer…

Instinctively, I joined in on the rest of the truly splendid sentence:

… is singing loud for all to hear!

Thus, how could today’s feast not be one inspired by the perfect Christmas film Elf? If you haven’t seen it yet, please go and watch it immediately. Go, now. Go. Are the cotton-headed ninnymuggins gone? Excellent; then I’ll continue! (more…)

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I’m one of the officers for the Glasgow branch of Geek Girl Brunch – tagline: Geeking out where mimosas are involved. The theme of our Christmas brunch this year is Christmas films, so I got down to a spot of – ahem – research yesterday by watching A Miracle on 34th Street (1994). This wonderful remake of the 1947 original has been one of my essential Christmas films since I saw it during my first year at university. Not only is it a great story, but it’s beautiful to look at. I would even now happily wear all of young Susan’s wardrobe. More immediately relevant is the fact that it gave me today’s blog post focus.

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I seem to have started every blog post in recent years – yes, years; that’s how bad it has been! – with an apology for not having written in so long. Despite all my good intentions, I have not been able to turn things around to start writing more regularly. Life and work are equally busy, and there was no sign that was going to change, until … (more…)

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Last weekend, I finally sat down to watch Netflix’s new series Anne With an E, heading off to bed after two episodes (which isn’t a comment on the series, but was down to the lateness of the hour). I’ve loved the Anne of Green Gables books since forever, as discussed many times on this blog, and approached this latest adaptation with some hesitation – I’ve avoided reading any spoilers, but haven’t been able to avoid completely the criticisms levelled at this version – that it’s too bleak and grim, which seems completely at odds with the nature of Anne as a person, and with her life in Avonlea. I’ve never seen an episode of Breaking Bad, but the Anne show creator Moira Walley-Beckett was one of its’ writers, and that fact has come up again and again as informing her work. In an interview with the New York Times, Walley-Beckett mentions  that “I am drawn to the psychology of wounded people.” L. M. Montgomery’s original book does make subtle mention of Anne’s difficult life before coming to Green Gables, so the characterisation of Anne as wounded is being true to the source material. But how far would such an interpretation be taken? I was both intrigued and concerned. (more…)

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As almost everybody I know is currently saying, how can it be 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired? It’s been such an important part of life, and I can still remember the first time I saw it, completely by accident. I was at university, with less than regular access to a television, so had somehow managed to miss the first series. One day at the family seat, I was channel hopping, and stopped at the sound of Cibo Matto. Hello, ‘When She Was Bad‘, where have you been all my life? Note: before you proceed, if you’ve never watched the show, there will be spoilers in this post. (more…)

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