Monday, 7 April 2014

112. Swim in the Olympic Park

I've spent the past few weeks forgetting what it feels like to be stressed. Not normal stressed, I get that at work, but whatever you call the kind of stress I normally endure on a bi-monthly basis. Yet it doesn't mean I've been happy, in fact I've been decidedly despondent, or simply put unsatisfied. I still haven't figured out adult life, but it's getting better.
Anyway, I realised recently I need to learn to let go. The whole point of this year was for me to do stuff I honestly want to do. I spent a lot of last year going through and doing a lot of things I felt I had to do and it never made me happy, and I never learnt to properly get on with it.
The problem is I don't know how to do that, so the key is the do little things to remind yourself how lovely it is to enjoy life, even if it's just for a moment.

This week I read an article about the opening of Zaha Hadid's olympic swimming pool in London. I realised quite quickly how awesome an experience swimming in that gigantic pool of light, warmth and chlorine would be. I think I like anonymity of swimming, but also it's very natural and tactile. It's also £4.50, which is ideal for a small worldly treat. So I'm adding it to the list 112. swim in Zaha Hadid's pool.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

#26 Sexy Beast

Surprisingly surreal, surprisingly real, definitely good

Sexy Beast was not the Guy Ritchie gangster affair I thought it would be.

I began expecting a bit too much hard man violence, oddball characters and a load of dialogue I'd find hard to follow if it wasn't for my sophisticated cockney linguistics skills (I have none). After watching number 32 on film 4's list of films to see before you die, I actually found that Sexy Beast did deliver all of these traits but was a different beast (eugh, really not intentional) altogether.

The film starts with the iconic scene of the greased up reddening body of  Gal, played by Ray Winstone, baking in the sun. Brilliantly, like Muriels wedding or a Mike Leigh film (my favorite filmic references), the film has a pleasant aesthetic realism which creates charming and funny scenes of gangster life in England and Spain. You catch yourself smiling rather than cringing at the open shirts, pink wedge sandals and red english faces which make up a brilliant pastiche of the middle aged expat glamour. What is great though is when this realism is punctuated with the surreal inner workings of Gal's mind. The whole thing is crafted so well and written so well that it feels more theatrical than a standard film.

The best thing about the film though was the unexpected element of a love story. Throughout the film you get an insight into one of the sweetest on screen relationships I've seen since Bruce Willis and his pot bellied girlfriend in Pulp fiction.

This is definitely a film I'd watch again and a dark but warming tale of a side to gangster life we never see; retirement.