Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Idiot Savant

Well, the paper at Exeter went well. Extremely well, in fact. Several people came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed it. It being TAG, of course, they enjoyed it in ways I can barely comprehend, but that’s not so important, eh?

I was evidently on some sort of endorphin high, because that night I danced for the first time in about four years. And enjoyed it! The night ended with drinking Archer’s in a hall-room at Exeter University until 2 AM. We should make this a tradition.

The rest of the weekend I passed in a fairly relaxed manner, but not so relaxed that I fell asleep in anyone’s paper. In fact, I even managed to take in some papers that may help my thesis, so it counted as work. I failed to dance at the TAG party, so it seems that my fear is actually of dancing in large groups. I was put to shame by the 78-year-old Lord Renfrew, who could be seen jiving to “Johnny B. Goode” at one point.

I hope everyone’s having a good Christmas. See you next year!

Monday, December 04, 2006


So I got round to seeing Casino Royale, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it does live up to the hype. That's right, for the first time in about 30 years someone has made a James Bond film that's actually worth seeing.

The reason for this is that they were finally forced into taking a good, hard look at the genre in the aftermath of The Bourne Identity and Austin Powers. So gone are most of the camp elements, to be replaced by a more-or-less gadget-free Bond who succeeds through ingenuity and being a borderline psychopath.

Daniel Craig does pretty well, too, which is the advantage of giving the part to someone who can act a bit, as opposed to Pierce "Carved Out Of Stone" Brosnan. He looks suitably gritty, as well, which matches the tone of violence in the film: as Mark Kermode said on Radio 5, this is about as extreme as the 12A certificate is going to get. A scene with strong homoerotic BDSM undertones? Never would have happened with Roger Moore!

Actually, I think we're all pretty happy that it never happened with Roger Moore.

Honorable mention should also go to Mads Mikkelsen, who manages to rescue Bond-villany from the specter (ha!) of Doctor Evil. And manages to do it while looking like a sinister version of Antoine De Caunes, to boot.

If I have a complaint, it's that the running time is a bit too long - there are about 5 points at which the film appears to end, onlyto start up again. Aside from that, though, this one is well worth your money.