Tuesday, November 29, 2016


What I’ve Been Watching
Catastrophe S2 – S2 kicks off some time advanced from S1, with Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan married with 2 kids, still finding their way with sass and black humour, but things start to fall apart. This is one of the best shows on tele, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Raised By Wolves S2 – Following the story of Germaine Garry and her crazy family, including 5 siblings, all of whom are ‘home-schooled’ by their Mum and her Dad, Grampy. This is simply one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time, a must watch!!!!
Masters of Sex S3 – Continues the true story of Bill Masters (the brilliant Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (the fabulous Lizzie Caplan) and their study of human sexuality. They are now working in a new work space, are published and things are going swimmingly...until they are not... I love this show and it’s period attention to detail, not quite as great as Mad Men, but close.
Westworld – I am continuing to watch this new frontier show, but it is frustrating me. i feel like I am missing something so will continue. I do find the behind the scenes of the fake world more interesting than the fake world!
Everything is Copy -  this was a brilliant doco about the late , great Nora Ephron, directed by her son with Carl Bernstein. It is a marvellous and joyous exploration of her life, her legacy, by those who knew her the best, friends, actors, directors, other writers. I adored this and was thrilled such a thing existed. Nora was a trail-blazer and unlike no other.
Dream of Life – this is a great doco following Patti Smith around, with a mix of old but mostly new footage and Patti just at her most sublime best. My favourite bits were her visiting with her parents, just adorable.
Inside the Actors Studio – this is one of my faves, and mostly been watching repeats I had seen before, but this month I came across the George Clooney one – which somehow I had not seen, and it was perfection!
700 Sundays – is the Billy Crystal theatrical one-man show. It was taped for tele, and it was remarkable. He effortlessly glides through his childhood in little stories and pieces, from whimsical, to hilarious to poignant. One moment you are crying from laughing, the next you are crying.
Musicares Carole King -  This was a tribute to Carole with a lot of people singing her songs.
Musicares Bruce Springsteen – same thing and equally as amazing.
Hollywood Docos -   a couple of long running docos on Hollywood, filmmaking, various studios, actors, following through the decades. Great footage and old interviews too.
F1 Doco – fab doco going right back to the early days of F1 and how very dangerous it was back then. Absolutely terrifying footage.
Looking for Grace – an Aussie film about a runaway teen, this was very very different to what I expected. Filmed from different points of view and twist you don’t see coming. I’m unsure but still thinking about this film!
The Daughter – an epic story set around the wedding of the family patriarch (Geoffrey Rush) and his much younger bride, and with every family there are hidden secrets, will they tumble out and destroy everyone? Great story and fabulous cast including Miranda Otto, Sam Neill.
Mississippi Grind – Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds meet up and take a gambling trip to New Orleans. Gritty drama at it’s best, Ben shines!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – this was a bit silly,  but loads of fun.
Deadpool – was my movie of the month! What fun to see a super hero movie not take itself seriously!
What I’ve Been Reading
Summer of ‘82 by Dave O’Neil – this was a fun hark back to being a teen in the 80s, following Dave through school, suburbia, love, and music. Hilarious and familiar.
Cosmic Quest by Heather Couper – a fascinating look at the Cosmos, from Galileo to Newton to Hailey. Telescopes, black holes, quasars, stars, planets, and astrophysics. Heather made it all simplistic to understand without dumbing it down.
Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer – there is a lot of what you would expect from Amy within this book – pushing the boundaries, and feminism, which is fab. But what surprised and interested me more, were the private things about her and her family, specifically her being an introvert and how she survives being on the road and being switched on. Fascinating!
My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante – I’ve succumbed to these popular novels. I want to find out what is so ‘good’ about them. Not that impressed so far, a rambling tale that needs a LOT of editing, about two friends, neither of whom are likeable characters, surrounded by even more unlikeable – really unlikeable – characters. Very soap operay and misogynistic.
Long Road to the Narrow North by Richard Flanagan – this was a Book Club book and completely enjoyable. I am normally not a fan of Australiana or War and this covers both, but done in a readable and interesting way. There are moments of frustration and drama but the story is infused with love and humanity and humour. You can see why it won so many awards, stunning!
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson   - this is the most astonishing book, set in 1893 with Chicago bracing itself for the World’s Fair. There is a lot of construction with famous architects descending the city. Inventors, scientists and so forth flocking to make history. At the same time a young man is setting up shop in the local chemist in hope to lure young women into his trap, you f women that may be coming to the city for the fair, yes a serial killer is operating. Larson weaves all these factual events together (with a little license) for the most dramatic and real story.
The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton – this is looking likely to be my top book of the year. Finally! A memoir by Winton, and it is stunning. A mix of amusing childhood stories, poignant memories of his motorcycle riding policeman father, thoughts and musings on the beach, sharks, whales, conservation, and much much more. Written so beautifully you feel as if you are there with him at every turn. I am certain this is the tip of the iceberg and more books like this will surface in the forthcoming years.
What I’ve Been Listening To
New Beth Orton – which was sublime and beautiful
Carole King – because how can you not!?
Aimee Mann – live concert in a church on Fox, amazing. She gives me the shivers, love her voice long time.

Diana Krall in Rio – there is something spellbinding about Krall, her voice is not perfect but is perfect for whata she sings. Her nuances piano playing is fab, her seriousness of face, yet whimsy of interpretation. And the fact she is married to Elvis...sigh...I could listen to her and certainly watch her play the piano forever.

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