Saw "Four Lions" at the Curzon Soho, Chris Morris' black comedy about inept suicide bombers. Good film, deftly blending comedy and tragedy.
There is a bit of oddness of tone in the contrast between the exaggerated stupidity of some of the characters, with the more subtle expression of the others. Thought Omar's wife was brilliantly ambiguous: you're never quite sure whether she's a Lady Macbeth subtly leading the whole thing, or just taking an interest in her husband's hobby.
Completely unplanned, but we turned up to the showing where Chris Morris himself introduced the film, then afterwards there was a panel discussion and Q&A with him, another writer and two of the stars. Morris seems to have done a lot of research, he explained where some of the specifics had come from, like a white racist who reverted to Islam after September 11th since he thought it gave an opportunity for more havoc.
Worth seeing, if you have a thick skin and a certain tolerance for farce.
Saw Beak Street at local pub theatre the Tabard. "It's a story of dog eat dog in a cat world." Offbeat gangster comedy where the actors play humanoid cats.
The protagonist is flanked by two rather attractive female cats who provide a kind of Greek chorus in rhyme, as he tries to track down who betrayed him over the disappearance of his prized fighting mouse.
Pretty entertaining, with elaborate cat-acting and impressive vocalizations, also a couple of songs. But it didn't completely come together for me: not quite funny enough to keep laughing through it, but a bit too silly to get really involved with the characters.
Had some time to kill so saw Irving Penn portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. Some interesting photos, especially of people you know about. However a bit steep at �10 for photos that are already widely distributed.
Afterwards popped upstairs to look at the portraits of Edward IV and Henry VI to tie in with the historical novel I'm still trying to read. They were painted decades after their deaths though, so may not look much like them, though they may have been copied from older portraits.
Also saw the Alex Katz thing: cut-out portraits on aluminium displayed in multiplane rows with the front and back of each head.
Politics. Full ConDem Programme for Government. Poll of opinions on ConDems. Pretend-localism to continue. LRB, Richard Seymour, David Aaronovitch on Clegg speech. Alternative vote: what's in it for the Tories. Burqa ban plans across Europe.
Economics. UK borrowing estimates revised down. Fiscal idea for Europe: force national governments to automatically raise taxes if they run excess deficit. Why rating agencies are dangerously bad with sovereign debt.
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