Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Allegedly based on the fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga, this is the story of a fashion designer in 1950s London (Daniel Day-Lewis, in what he says is his last film), his sister and business partner, the splendidly named Cyril (Lesley Manville) the woman who comes into his life and disrupts it (no spoilers here) (Vicky Krieps), and the ghost of his mother. Paul Thomas Anderson is a genius, There Will Be Blood is one of the greatest films ever made, and this is pretty damn brilliant too. London doesn't look like it did in the 1950s, I am very glad to say (I can just about remember what it did look like), so they are reduced to repeatedly showing a single Georgian terrace, probably empty now and probably owned by a Russian oligarch. There's a lot of rather annoying sub-West Wing walking in through doors. There's a lot of breakfast going on. I like films with breakfast in them. A lot of people walk up staircases a lot. There's a rather creepy soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood, who is apparently a former member of a popular beat combo called Radiohead. Oh and did I mention, all the characters are MONSTERS. With the probable exception of two of the seamstresses. Actually, I thought all those monstrous fashion designer chappies were gayers, but seemingly not. More than this I cannot say without spoilers. Go and see it immediately.
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Reading West will need to select a Labour candidate soon. It will have to be a woman, to the chagrin of the Central Committee. In recent years there have been apparently good and able female Labour parliamentary candidates in that constituency, but they have naturally been respectively undermined, briefed against and outflanked. So it goes. And the Reading West constituency retains a Member in the Conservative interest. Now the minds of the Central Committee core have been focused by the disastrous (to them) election of a Labour MP in Reading East, despite their best efforts. Something Must Be Done, they cry. Fear not. Step forward Cllr Sarah Hacker, erstwhile Mayor of the Borough of Reading, whose dad bought her a council seat for her birthday. Oh yes. She has thrown her hat into this particular ring, she tells us, and in these words: she has been considering this move for "a few of years" (Google Translate from Albanian, or Howarth speak?) and wants to "deliver on our city's potential as well as representing the town" - make your mind up girl, is Reading a town or a city? There's more! She continues "Being Mayor means I have an expansive network" - wtf does that mean? Something to do with exercise bands for the Zumba classes she keeps going on about? They aren't doing her much good, by the look of her. If I were her I'd ask for my money back. Where was I? Ah yes. This network is so "expansive", she says, it has "given me the chance to improves". Oh yesss. What has it got in its pocketses? It has gots lovely Reading Borough Council cashes, yess, it has. She wants to be "the first woman to represent Reading West in Parliament". Maybe she does. There is at least one Reading Labour woman other than this creature who is (a) possessed of an intellect and political nous (b) not corrupt (c) has some idea of what the world is all about. So there is still hope for Labour in Reading West.