I'm reminded of a conversation I had recently with a fellow time traveller:
Me: So when did you come to London, then?
Him: In the seventies at some point. Mind you, now it must be the... er... 90's... or 2000's... or something like that
Me: It's 2003, 29th December. It will be 2004 soon.
He didn't even know the decade. I'm fairly certain, I know the exact date and time. So who is the winner?
Yesterday was a good one from the point of view of movie watching. I managed to sit down in front of the TV for most of the day. I watched the tail end of a Morecambe and Wise compilation I'd started watching before leaving for London, which I then followed up with the Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren movie The Millionnairess. Ms Loren is indeed a most attractive lady - at least at the time of filming - and Peter Sellers is always watchable. However, I must agree with the reviewer on IMDB who says that the film basically doesn't work because the chemistry is all wrong. It probably comes down to bad directing and production. They saw a chance to put Ms Loren in some pretty frocks and make Peter Sellers do his oh-so-comical-indian-voice... and forgot about pace and the suspension of disbelief. It was pleasant enough. Not a bad film for a winter's afternoon. Perhaps a good Sunday movie... with biscuits.
I then followed this viewing with my first ever viewing of the musical Oklahoma! This was the DVD of the 1998 Royal National Theatre stage version, which was cunningly filmed for DVD largely in a film studio with occasional cuts to a live audience seeing the same show and responding. There's no doubt that this contained some sterling performances from the likes of Maureen Lipman, Hugh Jackman and Josefina Gabrielle (whom I recognise from something else, but I cannot say what). They sing, they dance, they act, they do their best. Trevor Nunn, as director, is not a man I want to question... except in one way. Why Oklahoma!? Why was it worth it? I'm still mystified. I could see the drama and the movement ramped up to the max, but I could not see why I gave a damn about the show. I'm still of the opinion that Oscar Hammerstein is mediocre at best, but was so ably underpinned by the excellent Richard Rodgers that nobody has noticed. My disappointment in the show comes from the fairly limp plot, strung out to too great a length with songs that appear to be for singing's sake, rather than because the scene has built up to a song. Maybe I'm a modern day cynic, but I couldn't believe a large number of the characters' actions and motivations. Having said that, I may have been watching the best ever production of the show and I enjoyed various parts of it immensely, so perhaps I've managed to avoid it at its worst. I also have bits of Rodgers' score running round my head - never a bad thing.
Turning off Oklahoma! after three and a bit hours (I watched the "making of" documentary to see if I could find someone say "it's a pile of shit, but someone held a gun to my head to stage it again") I found Wayne's World playing on cable and got sucked in. The colours were so bright and the antics of Wayne and Garth, coupled with one or two too many gratuitous shots of the lovely Tia Carrere somewhat kept me in my seat. The Paramount Comedy Channel editors were a little too over zealous in their dubbing - they removed far too many words like "ass" - but I can lip read. Good movie.
Getting ready for the day ahead. Which is today.
What am I doing here? I'm due a shower and a trip out.