Trying this this afternoon… minus the tabasco.


A deliciously aromatic gazpacho with a touch of spice…RECIPE

(Reblogged from beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood)




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(Source: perpetually-fabulous)

(Reblogged from humansofnewyork)

3 Films a Week (3) : Beginners

I HAVE been watching 3 Films a Week… But i should really have called this 3 Reviews a Week, as that’s where the challenge lies… Actually. Writing. About. The. Films. 

But it’s never too late, as Christopher Plummer charmingly demonstrates in…

BEGINNERS (Mike Mills, 2011)

I think that segway was really classily done, but I’m not going to make a big deal of it or anything.

This film was indie-quirky. That’s for sure. You could tell it was going to be indie-quirky from the trailer. I was warned by various reviewers and friends that it was so indie-quirky it hurts. So I didn’t go see it in the cinema.

But actually, I found all the indie-quirks unique, creative, pleasing, exciting, hey, maybe inspiring. The big gestures like the repeated sequences of photos showing what life ‘looked like’ at the time of different characters’ formative years (‘this is what the president looked like, this is what stars looked like, this is what happy looked like’) and the subtitled pet dog (played by COSMO, the forgotten canine star of this year) were fun but I can see why they would grate on some people as being too affected and showy. But where the quirkiness really worked was in the details of the characters’ lives… McGregor and his mother’s games involving miming shoot-outs and spontaneous, rambling driving trips (‘you point, I’ll drive’), Plummer’s character’s younger gay lover’s habit of capturing bugs from the garden in his hands and revealing them to him, except sometimes, the hands are empty!

I enjoyed these little acts of defiance against the mundane-ity of everyday life. I liked the message, that you may be trapped in a life you can’t quite work out how to change, and it may take a long, long time before you find a route out, but these little games, little moments of self-expression and creativity, are what keep you sane and ready for when the chance arrives to be something bigger and better.

Christopher Plummer is just effortlessly wonderful, and his plot-thread provides all of the film’s most moving moments.

The romance between McGregor and Melanie Laurent is flawed, certainly - the writing is a little shallow, the ‘obstacles’ a little forced, the arcs a little vague. BUT I still found their courtship entertaining to watch, and their chemistry was very delicate, and vulnerable, and sweet. I think they both did very well, Laurent in particular, as on paper she was little more than a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. 

Addendum: Is Ewan McGregor going on a little life-affirming, quirky romance-movie odyssey? First this, then ‘Perfect Sense’, and soon, ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’. I could compare it to ‘Brassed Off’, ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ and ‘Little Voice’ in the 90s I suppose. (Okay, Brassed Off isn’t that life affirming). Anywho, I approve (well, we’ll see about the salmon fishing). 

PPS: I will include some kind of synopsis thingy in future. I hate them so much though. I always skip past them when i read reviews because, like, who doesn’t already know the plot of a film they’re reading a review of?


Blade Runner


Blade Runner

(Reblogged from suicideblonde)

Crazy-ass show. Mostly silly and hyperactive, but with some moments of glory, mainly involving Jessica Lange or Evan Peters, the latter being a bit of a revelation (though I do remember noticing him in Kick-Ass and wondering if he’d turn up again) whom I hope becomes the next Johnny Depp (90s not 00s), the former being a super-sassy legend who totally deserved that Golden Globe, even though most people (quite rightly) cant watch the show with a straight face. 

I did just watch the episode entitled ‘Smouldering Children’ which if it was the only one you saw, you’d think the show was a LOT better than it actually is. It’s got some great acting from Lange and Peters, plus lil Taissa Farmiga (who im surprised to note from her imdb page is younger sister of Vera Farmiga by 21 years!), and a really quite disturbing and tragic twist. 

So yeah, the most surprising guilty pleasure of recent memory has been this evil twin of ‘Glee’ - whatever will Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk think of next? 

P.S. I am LESS pleased by the total wastage of Connie Britton, who basically spends her time being scared, confused, sad and a bit hysterical. It’s exactly the kind of wimpy wife role that I imagine her getting the producers of Friday Night Lights to PROMISE she wouldn’t be doing when she signed on to be the awesometastic Tami Taylor. 

3 Films a Week (2): The Romantics

THE ROMANTICS (Niederhoffer, 2010) 

I guess someone saw The Big Chill and thought, hey, I can do that. They pretty much did except this is even less meaningful and the soundtrack aint half as good (not horrible mind, just your typical indie-film airy folksy tunes). There aren’t enough good films about old groups of friends dealing with the passage of time. I can only think of Beautiful Girls right now. (Does Stand By Me count? Not really. I’ll mention it anyway.) It just didn’t convince me of how close this group was and how fantastically fun it must have been to know them in their glory days at college. They never say anything funny and frequently try to say things that are smart and poetic but actually sound incredibly dumb (“You inspired me!” … “I’m afraid of the ocean!” [read: metaphor for love]). The ‘fun and crazy’ characters (Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood) fail to inject enough fun and craziness into the proceedings, and the ‘brooding and intense’ characters (Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel)… well, those actors’ names are enough to tell you what went wrong there.

It’s a very pretty film. The actors are pretty, their clothes are pretty, the house is pretty, the scenery is… etc. I try to finish every film I watch, but even if I didn’t have that policy, I’d probably have kept going simply because it does lull you into an amiable haze of aesthetic pleasantries. Also it was nice to see Seth Cohen. 

3 Films a Week: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I am not able to write a blog. I am a slow thinker, reader and writer. I simply dont have the time required to write something I would be happy to ASK people to read. But I still want to get my thoughts on film into words, to have a record of what i’ve seen, and to encourage myself to SEE MORE FILMS. I used to watch one every day pretty much! I probably should have slept more as a teenager…

I will be trying to watch at least 3 films I havent seen every week, hopefully 1 in the cinema every fortnight. That means I should have seen 156 films by the end of the year. If I do 140 I’ll be happy. Well, let’s say 142, that way it has my lucky number in it.

After I see a film, I will write any thoughts that I happen to feel like having while I’m sat in front of my laptop, into this little tumblr box, and press send. Sometimes, if I’m feeling extra productive, I’ll add a picture. 

Anyway. First film seen in a cinema, 2012:


Rooney Mara was just as great as I expected she would be. And she was the only person whose fake Swedish accent didn’t bother me. She did the whole damaged weirdo thing great but what I liked most was her comic timing. She was so funny that sometimes Salander and Blomkvist (or however you spell it)’s odd couple interactions reminded me of Sherlock? Her being all cocky and precise and odd, and him being all scruffy and bemused and then impressed. Daniel Craig was pretty decent, a good fit for the role and only did that thing where he reads the line like a 12 year old in a school play about twice. I liked the way he dangled the glasses off one ear to show just how focused he was on solving the mystery. He was a grouchy dork, just like Watson. My favourite moment was when he accidentally knocked a bottle off the top of the fridge and then caught it. That was nice. Because that happens sometimes – you knock shit over, even when you’re trying to solve a murder. And it was probably the only bit where I didn’t feel like I should be concentrating harder.

 I saw the Swedish version so kind of already knew the solution to the mystery, but I honestly don’t think I’d have understood the details of what happened if I only had the Fincher version to go on. The way certain evidence starts to link up at the end was really rushed over, just suggested via montage - either pay attention, or don’t. Well I appreciate the ideal of not underestimating your audience, but for real, without already knowing the plot, I’d have been lost. Compared to the meticulously constructed labyrinth of clues in Zodiac, Dragon just kind of breezes past its mystery – I doubt Fincher felt much inclination towards making a fictional, overly-complicated, twice previously told (book and film) crime plot explicitly clear when two thirds of the audience already know it and you can use that screen time for other things, such as bottles falling off the top of fridges (genuinely my favourite bit!), or Joely Richardson (20 years too young for the part!). Despite not having a clue what’s going on though, you’ve got the slick Fincher style, the edgy Reznor score, and the prickly Larsson characters to make up for it. All in all it was damn good.

 I think my favourite line was the one written on Lisbeth’s T-shirt:

I attribute my disappointment with office-life to this show…