(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed.
Ha. This was the month that The Sea, The Sea ate. It was my book club book and I made it half-way (that’s 250 pages) in three weeks. When I was actually reading it, it was relatively easy to read, but boy did I ever not want to read it. And I refused to read anything while I was supposed to be getting through this, because I knew that then I’d never finish it.
I did, however, read The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men aka the second and third volumes of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy. So good you guys, so good. So many feelings. I wish I had had Viola Eade when I was a kid.
(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed
Maybe I would also have read more if I hadn’t spent so much time in the cinema watching all the awards season films.
In the Heart of the Sea: Aka The Big Whale Movie, which was very nicely put together and thoroughly solid. And then I came home and watched Master and Commander.
Creed: Aka The Boxing Movie, which I went to see because everyone said it was suprisingly fab (and because Michael B Jordan) - and it was, landing all its punches, literally.
Room: Aka The Incredibly Uplifting Film about a kidnapped and imprisoned young woman and her son. It’s not not painful, but it’s remarkable in the way it evokes the ability of humans to survive and love in horrible circumstances.
The Big Short: Aka The Comic Tragedy about the 2008 Crash which I really enjoyed (despite the wigs and the somewhat misjudged celebrity cameos).
The Assassin: Aka The Impenetrable Wuxia Film That is So Gorgeous and Atmospheric that nothing else matters. Seriously: it’s impenetrable because it is itself and I’m not familiar with all of the details that add layers to the story, not because it’s just trying to show off. It was wonderful.
(Oh, and I saw The Force Awakens again, obvs)
At the theatre, I saw Hapgood at the Hampstead Theatre, which I loved. Spies, quantum physics and Tom Stoppard is my jam. I saw Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, which was my introduction to Brecht - and I am glad of the introduction. And I saw Rhapsody and Two Pigeons at the Royal Ballet, with the ‘baby dancer’ cast, which was a delight.
(3) Things which I wrote
I’m on a mission to re-watch (almost) all the Coen Brothers’ films before Hail Caesar comes out. I tried to work out why I really didn’t enjoy The Revenant. And I mourned David Bowie (with the rest of the world).
(4) A photo from the month gone by
(5) In the pile for February I’m reading J.G. Ballard’s High Rise for book club, and then we’ll see. I’m thinking that Ready Player One might be next in the pile. At the cinema I’m looking forward to Hail, Caesar, Deadpool and I may very possibly see Dad’s Army. And then the Royal Ballet have a Christopher Wheeldon triple bill that I am super SUPER excited about, because I get to see After the Rain, finally.