Credit: The Unusual Suspect
I think I was about sixteen when I first saw Singin’ in the Rain. It was probably a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I remember being stuck indoors on my own, lonely and bored with a mountain of ironing to do. Ten minutes into the film I actually had to stop ironing and sit down, worried that I was inevitably going to burn a hole in something because I just couldn’t keep my eyes off the TV screen. When it had finished, it left me with such an indescribable warm and fuzzy feeling that I immediately went online and bought the DVD, and watched it again when it arrived in the post a few days later. It’s been my favourite film ever since.
I watch a lot of movies, and often I’ll experience that amazing warm and fuzzy feeling as I once did that rainy Sunday afternoon, but none more so than when I went to see La La Land last Tuesday. I’d had my eye on it for a few months having read about it in an upcoming releases blog sometime last summer, and had even attempted to buy tickets to see it at the London Film Festival in November, but unfortunately they sold out in seconds.
Since its release, it has received overwhelming praise from audiences and critics from across the world, scooping up a whopping seven awards at the Golden Globes – more than any other film ever. It has also received 11 Academy Award nominations, and has been hailed by many as the best movie of the year so far.
Recently, I had a job interview at Hearst Magazines – the big shots in the publishing world – at their London offices near Carnaby Street. I had arrived early and was waiting nervously in reception, but it wasn’t long before the lady interviewing me arrived downstairs and introduced herself – let’s call her Jessica*.
To get upstairs to the main office, you needed to scan an employee pass and go through a turnstile – Jessica of course already had hers to hand, and wandered through before noticing that I had no way of doing the same. To let me through, she leant forward to scan her card again, but then pushed the bars on the turnstile forward so quickly that I barely had the chance to squeeze one leg past, let alone two.
I now had the metal bar on the turnstile uncomfortably positioned in between my legs and half way up my dress, and I was straddling the damn thing like I was on a seesaw. The interview hadn’t even bloody started yet and here I was getting over-friendly with the furniture. Clinging onto my dignity like a hapless MP caught toying with things one shouldn’t, I hopped backwards onto the leg on the correct side of the turnstile, and attempted to lift my other leg over the metal bar without crashing spectacularly to the floor. I succeeded, but not without elegantly falling into a baffled Jessica, who was stood behind me, and three other random people who could hardly believe what was happening. Feeling very warm and flustered, I muttered something about making an interesting first impression, but Jessica just smiled. In case you were wondering, I didn’t get the job.
As a devout member of the Wittertainment church (Hi Jason), I thought it was only right to do a brief round up of all the films I’ve seen and fallen in love with this year – from the mainstream to the smaller, less noticeable stuff that you might have missed.
Alongside these choices, there were loads of other movies released in 2016 that I just haven’t got round to seeing yet – namely, Zootropolis, Ghostbusters, High Rise, I, Daniel Blake, Son of Saul, and Nocturnal Animals.
I’m also going to see Moana on Saturday and Rogue One on Monday (YAY) – both of which I imagine would be ranked highly on my list were I writing it at a later date. That said, this blog has already suffered without new content for almost two months, so best crack on.
A United Kingdom
This biographical tale has a fascinating political backdrop that conspires to break apart an interracial marriage in a post-war world. I love Rosamund Pike in absolutely everything she’s in, but it was David Oyelowo who really blew me away in his role as Seretse Kharma, the black chief-in-waiting of Bechuanaland who dares to fall in love with a white woman from South London.
There’s one incredible, almost tear-jerking scene in which Seretse appeals to his tribe, asking them to consider what it means to separate a husband and wife simply because one is black and one is white – emphasising that by ‘giving in’ to racist regimes and pressures from the British Government and South Africa, they are accepting segregation rather than fighting for equality. I found this film incredibly moving and powerful, and I encourage everybody to see it.
A few weeks ago I started planning a list of 24 things I wanted to do on my 24th birthday – and I wanted to try completing them all with 24 hours. A few of them were bigger and more exciting challenges, while others were smaller milestones and first-time experiences that I probably should have done years and years ago. The whole day was magical and went by in a flash, and I loved every second!
Photo Credit: To my boyfriend, Michael – I’m sorry that I forced you out of bed at 6am on your day off to race around London taking photos of me. Thanks for being awesome, I really wouldn’t have been able to complete this list without you. Thanks also to my friend Daisy for inspiring the idea, and my Mum and my brother for their contributions and for joining us on the adventure!
It was a Wednesday evening, and settling down to catch up on an episode of Bake Off, my sweet tooth had started to throb. The sight of Genoese sponge and chocolate ganache was almost always too much to bear during an episode of this beloved programme, and it wasn’t long before my mind began to drift, not to thoughts of dreamy Selasi and the fantasy of him baking cakes for me all day long, but the sweet treats lurking in my kitchen cupboards only metres away from my seat. I was already quite certain that there wouldn’t be much to satisfy these cravings (we hadn’t been for our weekly shop yet), but regardless I got up from the sofa in a quest for something sugary.
Alas, much like those of Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboards were bare. Still, there were bananas in the fruit bowl I could probably snack on, and perhaps a stale cereal bar if I really wanted to push the boat out – but no. I wanted to be wild and spontaneous. I decided it was time to make one of those mug cakes you often see featured in BuzzFeed listicles and student recipe books – demonstrably a lazy-person food designed for the can’t-be-arsed. How hard could it really be?