Posts Tagged ‘Woody Allan’

Holiday Planning

August 30, 2013

Holiday planning.

Lately we have got an urge to visit foreign shores again. It has been years since we last packed our bags, checked the passport and counted the travel cheques. Things have changed though. We have had more birthdays and things aren’t the same as they used to. For a start, I have reached the age where I need to be geographically acquainted to the nearest available toilet at all times. Is there a mobile App for that and does it work in Turkey?

I still remember that they have some strange public facilities/toilets elsewhere and even though the saying urges tourists; “do in Rome like the Romans,” I still have trepidations of unknown public bowel& bladder facilities and habits in foreign places. I believe there are places in some tropical paradises where one is advised to avoid the right hand of strangers. Perhaps it was the left hand? I have forgotten! I remember squatting really low down in gay Paris, keen as mustard for paper, any paper, and in howling desperation used unsigned travel cheques.

There is something very reassuring to the idea of combining both, to visit foreign shores and to always be within a couple of meters or shouting distance of a toilet. The answer, ‘the world cruise’. Can you just imagine the joy of peering over the QE 2 railing watching the African coast glide by, dream of Dr David Livingstone and at the first intestinal rumble be seated on gleaming lavender scented porcelain within seconds? Can you imagine?

Helvi is more circumspect about world cruising and even though she danced with the ship’s captain on a previous trip from Italy to Australia in 1966, ( our honeymoon) she suggested that one could be locked into spending weeks sailing around the world with some dreadfully boring people. Food for thought, she added. Can you imagine sitting around some couple at the dining table who keep going on talking about their superannuation or Camellias? 😉

People might think the same of us, I suggested. Speak for yourself was her quick and needle sharp retort. Have I been boring you, I asked her with my guilt on post-war automatic? Well, sometimes you can be, (never to let an opportunity like that one to get past), she answers with brutish honesty, but with a smile I know so well and love. Anyway, most of those cruises are by old fogeys and probably have intestinal problems like yours, she added.

What makes you think you are the sole owner of QE2 toilets? There is most likely a flurry of elderly people toing and froing to the toilets 24 hours each day and night, probably even queues, she added.

Remember that cruise boat laying idle mid-ocean a few weeks ago? All the generators had died, no power to flush the toilets with passengers laid out on the decks in heat of 40C with nappies and all sorts of other medical emergencies. After a few days they were towed into a harbour and met by ambulances. A nightmare.

Yes, but of the hundreds of thousands on cruises, that was just an exception. Come darling, let me decide on this holiday. There are gyms, libraries, swimming pools and lots of shops on board. We will probably meet new friends, like-minded and fascinating people who like Woody Allan, Kant and Chomsky. We could escape next winter, visit Finland and Venice, Dubrovnik and Messina, New York. That sound nice Gerard, why don’t you get some brochures?

Oh, I have downloaded them already darling. Here are just some.

Slap and Midnight in Paris

October 29, 2011

“The Slap” and “Midnight in Paris.”
Over the last few weeks I watched short segments of the TV series The Slap. They were short bits that I watched, so don’t take my observations as too factual or writ in cement, more like cast in yoghurt. Take what you like and chuck the rest.
Yesterday, with all the turmoil on the Inebriates and their Bleached Bones etc, Helvi and I went to see Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ here in Bowral. The difference between the two films could not be starker. I don’t know about you but I find watching The Slap almost unbearable. The negativity is just seeping out from almost every sequence. One can’t fault the acting, the filming and the expert casting, or indeed the story which is based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas… I am usual the first one to admit that the ‘art of things’ is what matters almost more than the technique or even the story. If it works it works, is my motto. The Slap works in the sense of a well made series, well acted but the unrelenting emptiness of the couples lives just spoils it for me. Too depressing!
The main character, the slapper, the son of Greek parents, is just about the pits. He seems to go through life between short bursts of ejaculating around the place and walks to the fridge grabbing a beer. All is enjoyed with the minimum of care or pleasure. He cuts an apple with utter contempt. He chucks his mobile phone about. He struts around his pool and house which would have to be the ultimate in hideous empty totally impersonal architecture. He runs a business whereby his only involvement seems to be the money. His son, a sad boy, whereby at one segment is seen to watch with his brutal father some segment of music with gyrating hip swinging female hopping dancers. Before that he watched his mother being brutalised by his father.
The only people who seemed to have some humanity about are the Greek parents and to some extent, the breast feeding mother of the slapped kid and her partner. (I even saw some books in their poor little house.) I remember the ABC making good TV, especially comedy. What with that silly Julia series and now the Slap. What’s cooking next?

Compare this with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Well, there is no comparison. We walked out jubilant. What a lovely story. The wife of the French president, Carla Bruni, is stunning as a tourist guide doing the rounds through Le Louvre or was it The Jardin the Versailles? The main character is forced to face the shortcomings of his shopping addicted American wife and their divergent aims. No matter how Woody Allen faces the cynicisms of the world he lives, his rather disappointing and glum view of so much of the culture he was born into, he dresses them up in artistry and above all humour. He gave us (and still is giving) wonderful films. I liked his “ not only do I not believe in a God, but try and get a plumber on a Sunday!.