Anyway, after that we went into town for various things. Got some heat-protection oil for use with said straighteners from Superdrug, and went to Reveal to see if I could find a new black cardigan. Reveal's a very bad place to take me. I came out with a black cardigan (with one of those wonky, diagonally fitted zips, very odd), a beige jumper (they were 2 for £15), some fishnet sleeeeeves (with thumbholes!) and a new coat. It's a duffelcoat in cream with pink/purple tartan-type stripes, with a hood and furry cuffs. That was a ridiculous £15, too.
Also went to HMV and got the American Beauty music, as I've been meaning to get it for a while. Prettiness.
Went to Thorntons and WHSmiths, too, for birthday stuff. And then off down to UGC to see A Very Long Engagement. It's directed by Jean Pierre Jeaneut, of Amélie fame, starring Audrey Tatou and a few other familiar faces from Amélie. I saw the trailer for this when we saw POTO and immediately decreed that it was a must-see...and I wasn't disappointed.
It's about a girl, Mathilde, waiting for her fiancé, Menech, to return from the trenches. When news arrives that he might be dead, court-marshalled to death for 'self-mutilation', she starts up a search to prove that he's alive, involving a private investigator and her parents' solicitor, as well as the fiancées and wives of those involved, and eventually tracking down what happened on the day he and four others were supposed to be executed.
It's absolutely frelling beautiful, which isn't surprising. The colours are muted but distinct, with a definite contrast between the two different worlds of the story: the rural outskirts of the farm where Mathilde resides with her aunt and uncle, toned in deep yellows and oranges, and the grey, almost monochromatic wasteland of the trenches. The contrast works amazingly well, and above all else serves to highlight the horror, mortality, and utter pointlessness of war. It doesn't try to soften the blow of the amount who died, nor the way they did, nor the desperation that drove the opening five of them to blow holes in their own hands in a vain attempt to be discharged. There's no "for God and country" patriotism, only reluctant soldiers enlisted against their wishes, going slowly insane from anger and fear, 'Jerries' impaled on bayonets, and corporals literally blown to pieces by grenades. It only makes the peacefulness of the countryside so much more poignant and homely.
The story is not dissimilar to Amélie in concept, with the main character - in this case Mathilde - going on a physical and emotional journey to solve a mystery. The character of Mathilde is also very similar to Amélie. It has the same range of eclectic and bizarre characters, each one made more 'human' by anecdotal stories about their lives, both amusing and tragic. And, like Amélie, the film is ruled over by an omniscient narratress.
I can't really say much more about it for fear of spoiling the entire plot and the ending, but I will say that it's very well-executed, beautifully shot and directed, and very cleverly put together. There's also a very random cameo by Jodie Foster speaking in French with an American accent. Quite odd indeed. I'm sure when I was watching it I had a lot more to say, but the visuals completely overwhelmed me all the way through, and I've forgotten most of it. Everyone has to see this one. I'm serious.
So, a rather pleasant afternoon.
I'm hoping I don't have to go to my father's tomorrow. I can't remember exactly when he said he was flying out to pick up Annabelle, but I'm sure he said it was the 6th... doubtless there'll be many angry/ranting/disbelieving posts very soon, so consider yourselves warned... Anyway, I have far too much I need to do:
~ get screencaps lots of screencaps, for various purposes up to and including the MHOTP! challenge...
~ make a t-shirt, amongst other things
~ write and sent sweeterthing's birthday card - talking of which, what's your address again, please?
~ do another bloody London write-up
~ share graduation photos, though I might wait until I get the official one sent through
~ start reading Derek Acorah's book before I get it signed. It'd look bad if I turned up with it blatantly unread...
~ finish chapter 7 of Come Forward, dammit.
On the plus side, I did finally put all of my writing into a better container. The two folders were beginning to get a bit full; one of them was stuffed with Star Trek/Sunset fic alone. So now they're in one of those concertina-file thingies instead, and I've taken all the various bits of writing out of the back of my A4 pad, as it was starting to look a bit over-stuffed.
Over and out.