(Week 17: April 21- 27)
This week I finished my rewrite of my Alien short story, The Eighth Passenger, and I’m pretty darned happy with the the outcome. I’ve been considering trying my hand at narrating an audio version of it, but haven’t yet found the time (I suspect, however, that my soft British tones may not be quite the right fit for an Alien story).
I’ve since resumed work on my new short story, which is also going pretty well. The decision to shift the narrative into the present tense has helped the feel of the story immensely, and I’m pretty excited about getting this one wrapped up.
Fridate horror this week found us watching the original Prom Night, which I somehow never realised starred Jamie Lee Curtis. And which also taught me that Jamie Lee Curtis is a pretty good dancer–although, on reflection, True Lies had already proven that.
Given the year of its release–following Halloween and joining Friday The 13th–it’s a surprisingly restrained horror movie, which seems to have its roots more in the late 1970s thriller genre than in the fast developing slasher movie. As such, it puts a lot more work into backstory and the mystery surrounding the killer’s identity, but still manages a few good murders along the way. It perhaps brings a lot less to the genre than its counterparts, but it’s a fascinating example of a genre in transition.
On Saturday we managed to catch up with Avengers: Endgame. I’m not going to write much about it here since I don’t want to spoil those who are still catching up with their Marvel movies. All I will say is that it proved to be an immensely satisfying follow-up to Infinity War, but the creators are entirely justified in claiming that it’s more than simply Infinity War Part 2. I’m also still quite stunned that they managed to deliver a story that was even more epic in scope than Infinity War itself.
Monday was a day off for the family, which gave us a chance for some family movie viewing time. The Kinderbeast, for reasons unknown, decided he wanted to watch The Muppets (the 2011 film with Jason Segel). I’ve only seen this once before, and I’d totally forgotten that I LOVE this movie. It’s so shamelessly kind-hearted that you can’t fail to love it, but it also packs in a handful of hilarious meta jokes *and* some insanely catchy songs. If you want to feel something approaching joy in your cold dead heart for just a few hours, I strongly recommend watching The Muppets.
I finished the audiobook of Dracula at long last. My quick thoughts are that the vocal gymnastics performed by Simon Vance (reading Jonathan Harker) and Katy Kellgren (performing Mina Murray) were astounding. The narrative structure typically demands that each actor perform several characters, and these two somehow slip effortlessly into whichever accent required. Alan Cumming was excellent too. Tim Curry, however, was a disappointment, his careful enunciation making it sound as if he had never seen the text before and was reading it aloud for the first time.
One new thing that struck me during this listen was that Anthony Hopkins’ seemingly extravagant performance as Van Helsing in the Coppola version of Dracula was remarkably close to the characterisation in the book. Rather more so, in fact, than Peter Cushing who is, ironically, remembered best for portraying the Count’s mortal opponent in the Hammer films.
In conclusion: it took a while, but it was still a rewarding listen.