T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh
teylaminh

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Weekend, film review, work moan...

I need to start coming up with better subjects. Or just start doing more interesting things. I'm not sure which...

Aaaanyway. I can't even remember when I last updated. On Thursday at work I spent the majority of the evening helping Ama put up decorations on and around Gaynor's desk for her birthday on Friday. Which was good, because it gave the work a chance to pile up...

Paul went out on Thursday night and came back at about 1.30 in the morning, much to my irritation, and subsequently had Friday off sick... although this was mostly due in part to spending 45 minutes waiting for an 11 to turn up and getting fed up, and then learning that the entire 11 route was flooded. I don't think I can blame him for that, even though he was perfectly capable of going through town. :P

Friday was quite busy at work due to two people going on leave and trying to get all their work done before they went. I should probably have stayed later than I did, but it's just as well I left at 4.15 because it took me neary an hour to get home. I wanted to get to Symphony Hall for 7.00 to pick up our tickets. This gave us about an hour in which to cook, eat and get changed (in my case, anyway)...

We got a taxi in the end, because the traffic was awful. Then I got stuck in a queue at the box office (where there was one window open) because of the Slowest People in the World donig whatever they were doing there, and then we had a drink in the bar and listened to some free jazz from a hammond organ-led band which was playing there, before heading in to sit down...

In retrospect, I probably should've gone to the loo before the thing started, because I spent the last hour or so desperate for a wee...

*ahem* Anyway, it was most enjoyable, and very different from the first time Symphony Hall showed it. I don't know if it was a different organist or the same one (it was Nigel Ogden so I'd have to dig my old programme out to check) but this time he seemed to take it a lot more seriously. The last time it was shown (just after the organ had been installed) there were snippets of modern, popular songs thrown in. I remember specifically that the organist played the French national anthem at the start (as crowds are milling about outside the Opéra), "There's A Place For Us" when Erik lures Christine through the mirror, "Rule Britannia" when she and Raoul plot to run away to England, and "Under the Sea" (from Disney's The Little Mermaid) when Erik snorkels to his unexpected visitor... which, honestly, is SUCH a silly scene to begin with that the added hilarity of the song choice made it all the more ridiculous. I also remember he played the theme to The Pink Panther when Agent Ledoux of the Secret Police (a.k.a 'the Persian', a.k.a. 'Nadir'...) appears on the scene, due to his uncanny resemblance to Peter Sellers. There were also little extra touches with Erik's 'doorbell' being rung by someone knocking something (it echoed quite ominously around the auditorium) and a man in a cape stalking mysteriously across the stage at the start...

So, this one seemed entirely more serious, playing up more to the fact that the film is a classic horror. There were nice little touches, for example when the new managers are laughing at the tales of the Opera Ghost, and a good, dramatic stop when Erik catches Christine reading his manuscript.

Overall, I think I preferred the first version. Both were entertaining in their own right, but I felt the adding of popular / well-known music not only added humour but gave a more real sense of what going to see a silent film would have been like at the time, as popular music of the day would undoubtedly have been included then, too...

As far as the film itself goes, it remains one of my favourite versions, as the dialogue is close to the novel and Lon Chaney's Erik is just sarcastic and bitter enough. Mary Philbin's Christine also comes across has having more brains than Leroux gave her credit for (despite the heaving bosom), and, as ever, I love the useless, jealous Raoul, falling over himself to save Christine and getting in a terrible mess. It has one of my favourite ever Erik lines, too: "Feast your eyes, glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!" It's just so wonderfully, pretentiously Victorian. I love it. :D

It's quite strange in some places, because either after or before the caption cards you can lip-read what the characters are saying - in some cases even when there are no captions. It's so effective that your brain fills in the gaps and you can almost hear them talking... The best example is Joseph Buquet scaring the ballet girls with his, "There is no nose..."

It has its moments of complete silliness, of course, with the aforementioned snorkelling scene (WTF? Why is the boat on the wrong side of the lake to start with? How the heck did they get to the house without it?), and also Ledoux and Raoul with their arms over their heads as they wander the catacombs.

It's also nice to compare it to the musical production, as Andrew Lloyd Webber was very much inspired by the catacomb sets from this production, and it shows most evidently in the going-to-the-lair sequence. The downward-sloping archways are very obviously reproduced in the musical by a moving, bridge-like structure. (PS: To the reviewer in the Metro who said that Nigel Ogden's organ accompaniment should have been on the 2004 movie to drown out ALW's orchestrations - frell you to Hezmana. You can't compare the two that directly, so leave your opinions out of it and review what you're THERE to review. I would take Lon Chaney over Gerard Butler any day of the week, but that's neither here nor there.)

The only thing I don't like about the silent movie is the ending, which has Erik being beaten to death by an angry mob and thrown in the Seine. Whilst it's somewhat ironic and touching that he is drowned near Notre Dame, home of that other tragic hero, Quasimodo, it is, nevertheless, a rather 'dumbed-down' ending, for want of a better word. I can let it off somewhat because it's technically a classic monster movie, and audiences are not supposed to sympathise with Erik in this version (I'm still torn to this day whether they ever WERE supposed to do so, to be honest) so it makes more sense for him to be thwarted at the end, rather than disappear into the ether. Despite this, I still like it a whole lot more than the 1945 Claude Rains version, which gave Erik (or Erique) a whole lot of pointless history to explain the deformity. Which is all well and good, but doesn't particularly explain his insanity...

I shall now stop rambling. It is a wonderful film, and I hope this means Symphony Hall will have more repeat showings of the other films they've put on over the years. I managed to catch Nosferatu with last_dance, but ended up missing Metropolis (to see, of all things, Spiderman 2...) and also the Chaplin double bill. As the Hall was packed on Friday night, with any luck the popularity of this showing will mean a repeat run of those films, or perhaps others which haven't been shown yet.

I can't help but feel the Electric should be taking the wheel in this regard, though. I have absolutely no inclination to spend any money there these days, especially when both screens are showing the same film, which you can watch up at AMC for half the price on a screen three times the size. The Electric is not about blockbuster movies; it's about traditionalism, and they would do well to remember that. I suppose, unfortunately, they're just trying to make money.

So, after the film we got a taxi back to Kings Heath and went to the Pear Tree to meet joetimewaster and miss_scooter, who had attended a BSL meet-up. The meet-up was abandoned, though, because apparently nobody from Jeanette's course had actually turned up despite encouragement from their course tutor...

We had a couple of drinks in there and nattered about television and film nostalgia, which was nice.

Got back and saw a bit of Jonathan Ross and the end of Big Brother and probably something else I don't remember, and that was about it...

On Saturday I had a morning of nodding off into a deep sleep about four times (complete with insane dreams) until Paul woke me up at 11.00 to tell me his Scrabble rack was rubbish and to offer to cook me breakfast. We did very little over the course of the day except spend too much in Somerfield (as usual) and watch television / play online.

Paul went out at about 10.00ish (a whole hour later than expected thanks to Justin's impeccable time-keeping, as usual) and promised to be back at 12.30 at the latest. He was actually back at 1.30 and was greeted with a "What the Hell time do you call this?!" as soon as he walked through the door. After some profuse apology / explanation he then left me alone to watch television in the front, turned the light off and promptly fell over against the radiator, almost breaking the contents of my bedside table, at which point I shouted at him to go away.

He emerged about 45 minutes later at 2.30ish asking if he was welcome, as he'd considered sleeping on the sofa. At least he was apparently true to his word and only drank orange juice instead of the beer he'd originally planned...

As a result of falling asleep in an annoyed state, I woke up on Sunday with a splitting headache, and spent the majority of the day on the sofa watching television, other than a brief trip to Sainsbury's to get bread. I nearly fell asleep before the second instalment of EastEnders, in fact, and spent the rest of the day trying not to fall asleep.

Paul cooked dinner (lamp chops, mm), which was very nice, despite the fact I'd been feeling out of sorts and slightly sick all day. As a result I didn't even have the energy to look at my next UB fic chapter, let alone fight with FNN's hellish upload interface. I should probably get it posted tonight if I can...

Luckily I feel much better this morning other than the usual tiredness, although I seem to be getting that thing again where I'm perpetually hungry no matter what I eat, but full as soon as I start. Very annoying...

There have been two make that three annoying things happen today at work...

  1. Firstly, an email this morning from Marie to say that Lexcel (Legal Services inspection-type body) will be around next week and the week after, and that we should all wear our ID badges. One problem - I do not have one. This is entirely my own fault. I kept putting it off at LAO despite weeks and weeks of hassling from Tina in my supervisions, mostly because a) I'm forgetful and b) the horror stories I was told about the Scary Man in the Lift. The same reasons apply here at Legal, unfortunately.

    So, I remembered that a consent form was required from one's manager in order to obatin said ID pass, so emailed Marie to say I didn't have one and could she please fill out the form so I could get it done. Meanwhile, I went on the intranet to find out the telephone number for booking an appointment. The Inline page on ID badges says that you need to bring your payroll number and some form of ID, and you only need a consent form for temporary members of staff - which, I suppose, makes sense, given Carol W filled in my consent form in the first place whilst I was still on a temporary contract...

    Anyway, I rang up to make an appointment - the earliest one they have is 2 July (!!! - how many frelling people are they hiring lately??) when I will be on leave, but whatever. Also, what they neglect to mention on the Inline page is that before you ring up, you need a GLAMIS code from your line manager...

    *SIGH*

  2. The second annoying thing wouldn't have been quite so annoying had the ID badge thing not already irritated me... I did an amendment for a fee earner in another team for something I'd typed earlier. When I took it back to her and hovered politely by her desk so as not to interrupt her dictation, she gave me a very impatient "Well?" look and then snatched the amendment off me. She did say 'thank you', but it's a rather empty expression when the attitude behind it is appalling.

    Mind you, this is the same woman who demanded to have her letters written after her name on correspondence, rather than just her job title (i.e. "Solicitor") like everyone else. She has also, before now, sent back an amendment of some grammar which she herself had dictated in the first place. I may have improvised a little; god forbid the letters we send out make sense. I've read some incoming correspondence, and ye gods! - legal firms need to frelling shoot their typists, seriously..

    She was meant to be replacing one of our Solicitors at some point. She's an absolute nightmare, so I really hope it's not true...

  3. Finally, the annoying ditz of a trainee who actually qualified and became an annoying ditz of a lawyer emailed me this afternoon.  Whilst she was working on the Adults team she put into typing her self-authored Trainee Induction Pack and also, apparently, a case study.  I remembered doing the amendments on the bloody induction pack but the other thing must have either been when I was on leave or when everyone was being annoying and taking all the work, but either way I didn't type it.  She wanted me to email her the work "I'd" done because she couldn't find them.

    At the time of doing these things, I - and the other typists, apparently - had saved all the documents into the lawyer's individual file because they weren't to do with any specific cases.  It should also be noted that our filenames reflect the date something is typed, the typist who typed it, and the fee earner it is for, for absolute ease of reference.  However, this particular fee earner clearly hasn't understood this and automatically assumes that the typist who works for that team has typed the document - god knows how she gets on in teams with more than one typist...

    It should also be noted that I left numerous post-it notes on the un-named typing for her telling her exactly where I had saved it.

    Anyway, so, there were two case studies both done by different typists who were not me, and I didn't know which one she was talking about, so I emailed her all the various Induction Pack documents (learn how to use a frelling page break, people!, Ctrl-return, Ctrl-return, CTRL-RETURN!) and also the two possible case study documents as well, telling her I didn't type them and also that her stuff was saved, as it always is, in her individual file.

    I shouldn't be surprised.  This is the fee earner who kept calling me 'Rachel' but still somehow managed to remember my name when emailing, and managed to ignore a big red arrow pointing to the file name AND file path of a document I once did for and instead come and ask me where it was...

    How do these people qualify as Solicitors??


At least on Mondays I can leave work early.  Roll on the lottery win, please.

In the meantime, here is a brief to-do list:

  • Upload third chapter of UB fic.

  • Give Eni list of musicals I have on CD.

  • Copy musicals if requested, and send.

  • Print off letter for Katie's CD.

  • Buy belated birthday / good luck card. (She's going back to college... 'chef school', apparently.) - tick!

  • Send CD and letter.

  • Upload BBC2 Sunset Blvd. recording MP3 to webspace.


Oh, and also, there was an Annoying Child in Birthdays this afternoon, as I was trying to get Katie a card.  Apart from the entirely different annoyance of the staff deciding to restock the shelves just before closing time (not to mention the awful traffic), said Small Child kept screaming "Mummy, I want a chocolate!" and banging on the glass by the till where the Thorntons continentals are.  And then proceeded to go underneath the lift-up bit of the counter where the staff enter and saw pawing the chocolate.  The mother's pathetic attempt was "No we don't" in response to "I want a chocolate" and "You're not supposed to be in there" or something equally pathetic.  The poor girl on the till was looking more and more flustered - I mean, what can you do?  If you grab the child and put it back in the main body of the shop, the parents'll do you for child abuse... but honestly, when the parents are doing such a piss poor job of disclipining their children and teaching them about where not to go in shops, it's hardly surprising so many of them end up as juvenile delinquents...

ANYWAY.  That's more than enough for one day. :P  I typed most of this at work - you can tell it was quiet. :)
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