Wednesday, 26 January 2011


A story of a woman training for two separate ballet roles one pure and good, the other dark and sinister or a woman claiming her life from her domineering mother and maturing rather later than others or a woman;s breakdown into mental illness or a horror movie. I suggest you watch the film to decide.

The use of suggestive imagery to try and represent multiple themes is prevalent throughout the film from the murdering of her alternate/ understudy as a sign that she had put aside the worries of competition to the attacking of her mother depicting the choice to have a full and longer career. The main idea is that the nothing is at seems and everything has a double or treble meaning.

At the end of the film A and I had a discussion about whether or not a film such as this can be entertaining. I prefer a film to be more straightforward and if there is any imagery in the film it is designed to trick the viewer rather than to hide more subtle messages. If there is to be escapism then it is to far away lands and improbable tails rather than the inside of a tortured soul. On the other hand A likes a film that can be analysed in seventeen different ways and happily reads books dealing with the work of social workers.

In conclusion the acting was good and what Natalie Portman but herself through, or at least appeared to, was immense. The plot was winding and twisty and posed a number of theoretical issues to debate and consider but was it entertaining? Reasonably but maybe the subject of ballet just made it lack a little something.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Surveyors - Angry 1

My buyer has decided to lower the offer based on the survey she undertook and I feel it is negligent in truly assessing the value of the house as is so full of caveats its sole aim seems to be to cover his own back. For instance - the house may suffer from damp but there is no obvious source. (I couldn't find any damp but just in case I will mention it) It is also full of some non-sequiters such as the house was visited on a fine day...the guttering is rusted and leaks. It doesn't leak, it is rusty but it will do the job. The house does not have a mini circuit breaker - this is not a building regualtion but will make the house safer.
Ultimately this is not a new house but how politik is it to argue over £3000 in a market like this. After all taking it off the market may not result in a higher price and there is no guarentee that a different surveyor would not find more wrong. It may be useful to take this but demand some goodwill in return. After all it would be nice to live here until the new house is ready.


If a woman goes to law school to free her brother from prison for a crime he did not commit then the levels of suspense in the film are not going to be high.
Is she going to pass the course or might she fail?
Is she going to find the box of evidence that might be destroyed?
Is the evidence going to be enough to free her brother even when they consider he might be an associate?
Are the witnesses going to be proved to be liars?
Despite this it was strangely enjoyable with some nice looking visuals in Massachusetts and competent acting especially from Minnie Driver and Hilary Swank (who I convinced myself was Kirsten Johnson). The character of Kenny Waters had a few laughs and altogether it was a solid film. The only point of suspense was who actually committed the murder but as it was based in a true story and the case is still open they could not answer that.
In real life Kenny was killed six months after release when he fell from a 15 foot wall he was walking along the top of.

The King's Speech

This is a must see film. The characterisation is excellent and you firmly believe in the people and the change that they undergo. The humour that is subtly woven through out the film was delightful and a reminder that a film does not have to hit you over the head to make you laugh out loud. The acting is also amazing. Colin Firth plays a stammerer to perfection and it does not seem put on or comedic in the way Ronny Barker's stammer did in Open All Hours. The rest of the cast were also very good and when you have the talent of Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffery Rush, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon and Dererk Jacobi on hand then directing must be easy.
The one area that I was worried about was the accuracy of the film and despite some issues, such as the role of Winston Churchill, theses did not affect my viewing of the film in the same way that it did in a film such as Robin Hood.
The film also glosses over some historical facts such as the Royal families support for appeasement but this seems to have been a common view at the time. It also showed how Britain and the monarchy have changed in the last 50 years and the way that family dynamics and issues such as divorce have created new issues for families to deal with and none more in the public eye than the House of Windsor.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Letter to Chloe Smith MP for North Norwich

Dear Miss Smith

Today we found out that 6 full time members of staff are going to be lost from the best performing secondary school in your constituency.

This is due to the changes in funding that your party have put forward and the mishandling of education policy by Michael Gove.

It seems inconceivable that you could continue to support the funding of unproven “free schools” such as the two proposed for Central Norwich, the continuation of increased funding for failing academies and the setting up of a blinkered technical university college all at the expense of the school that has had its best ever year.

If you care that the students get the best education possible then you need to ensure that cuts do not get made in real terms to school budgets as these reduce the potential number of courses that are run, stretching the brightest, as well as support for the weakest being who will be taught in larger classes.

I realise that as a junior MP you have little say on a national scale but on a local level you could make a real difference. Some of the funding that used to be given to schools directly, such as school specialism money, is now being given to a central “pot” and then redistributed. It is imperative that all schools retains all of that previous funding level and there is not an administration charge made or the money redistributed generally. Do not let successful schools be sacrificed on the altar of political ideology but fight for proper levels of funding for all schools.
Your sincerely

Guy Mortimer

Monday, 3 January 2011

Horsey Gap

Horsey (pronounced Hawsey not Horse-y) is a very small village on the North Norfolk Coast where there is a small gap through the sand dunes. It would be particularly unremarkable if not for the seals that have decided that the beach is a perfect place to give birth to their pups. With a lot of other people we decided to go and see the seals today. After having a drink at the strangest coffee shop in Norfolk (and that is saying stuff) walked out to the dunes and found a pretty neat set up. The beach is roped off but you can walk along the dunes and see all of the pups. There is a seal warden there to supervise, although this did not stop people stepping over the barrier to get a closer look! The seals arrange themselves all the way along the beach so it is easy to see them. We also saw a barn owl on the way home to add to the experience.

RIP Pete Postlethwaite

Pete was one of those actors who always elevated the drama that he was starring in. Despite being very recognisable with a very craggy face he never played the same type of role twice and never in the same way. After a while you stopped noticing it was him and you got lost in the character that he was portraying. Despite being in two of my favourite films in Inception and Usual Suspects it was as Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill in two Sharpe episodes that I will remember him - after all he killed Teresa, Richard Sharpe's wife.

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