I've got the week off, which was supposed to be my time for being super-productive fannishly, but so far has translated into a lot of cleaning and cooking (I'm having a little dinner party for some colleagues tomorrow evening). While the place is looking spiffed up, I'll take the pictures I promised, as I've now hung all the art I got back from the framers. There's still one large area over my bed that needs something to fill it, but I haven't decided yet what that might be. I've got some of my paternal grandmother's saris, which would certainly be very striking, but I'm not sure that I want to cut them up.
I've also been doing some re-enjoying - of books, TV, and movies. I reread The True Meaning of Smekday, which was just as enjoyable this time around - I really love Tip and J.Lo and rediscovered that poomp is just a funny-ass word. I rewatched all of Firefly (including the movie) and was struck anew by how goddamn lovely Nathan Fillion is as Mal. I mean, that show was cast just beautifully - there's no one I would have replaced, despite not feeling much one way or the other for Sean Maher - but Nathan just inhabits Mal so deeply and intuitively that it's really astonishing. Every inflection, every reflex, every flash of emotion on his face feels completely real. What a phenomenal character. Firefly is easily my favorite thing Joss Whedon has done. And last night, as I was filing paperwork away, I rewatched Cold Comfort Farm, which is one of the few movies that equals the book on which it's based. Man alive, that is one hilarious movie, and every person in it just commits to the lunacy. Because I think of everything in Sherlock (or, really, Martin Freeman) terms now, I couldn't help casting John Watson as Flora Poste, confronted with the daunting task of civilizing the Holmeses; this doesn't work when you really think about it, as "highly sexed young men on farms" are not always called Sherlock and Mycroft, but it's pretty damn amusing. And speaking of old favorites, has everyone seen these pictures of Josh Charles being gorgeous(thank you, musesfool!)? Oh, also! I just saw that To Kill a Mockingbird is being rereleased in theaters for its 50th anniversary - one night only, November 15. Who's in?
There's been new stuff to experience too! I saw Argo and enjoyed it tremendously. The previews were numerous and I wanted to see about half of the movies they were pitching - particularly Lincoln and Les Mis and maybe Zero Dark Thirty. (The Hobbit is a given, despite the lack of preview - Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, and Lee Pace? HELL YES!)
And some theater.
I saw the Globe's touring production of Hamlet and was pretty underwhelmed. There was some interesting staging - starting with leaving the house lights on so that the theater felt more like the open-air Globe - and the whole cast had a nice energy, particularly in the play-within-a-play scene. Horatio and Claudius were the real stand-outs here, and, really, no one else came close. The women especially were pretty lifeless - neither Gertrude nor Ophelia seemed like a real person. The oddest decision, however, was Hamlet's. The actor playing him looked very young (far younger than Horatio and maybe the peer of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) and spoke all of Hamlet's lines as if they were in-jokes he shared with the audience. I get that pretty much all of Hamlet's lines are so well-known that it's hard to make them sound fresh, but this approach made them emotionless and distancing. It was a gamble, and one that didn't pay off for me. 6.5/10
And I also saw the new musical Chaplin, which was another hit-or-miss experience. The lead performance, by Rob McClure, started off well and only got better as Charlie aged and stopped playing the Tramp (Zachary Unger as kid-Charlie was fantastic). Some of the staging - particularly a scene in which Charlie's squaring off with each of his wives in a boxing ring - was very good, but often it was too cluttered and too involved; I got the feeling that the director had promised each ensemble member a chance to show off their bag of tricks, which didn't help the show as a whole. The actress who played Charlie's mother was just terrible, which surprised me, as I'd seen her in another show and liked her. The music was pretty uninspired, though there was one show-stopping number and Jenn Colella made the most of it. 6/10
Also, I'm writing! Nothing yet for my upcoming birthday, but I've got two long Sherlock stories on the go now and want to get the first one wrapped up this month if possible. That would free me up to write not only my Yuletide assignment but also some treats, if the prompts are good.
So, what are you all up to? Anything fun?