Sunday, 9 January 2011

Who can? The Barbican!

Despite a Brunel University Degree in Film (impressive, I know), I do not feel particularly comfortable talking about my views on films. Having discussed and dissected films for 3 years, I came to the conclusion, that you either like a film or you don't. You don't need to explain why and sometimes it's impossible to do so. You don't need to cogitate for hours on why the Director chose to give the protagonist a limp. The actor simply had one leg shorter than the other. Get over it. I think ones enjoyment of a film is quite a personal matter and very often other peoples comments on films have spoilt any pleasure I may have had in them. I can not stand Mark Kermode, Jonathan Ross or Winkleman. The only film reviewer I have ever liked is Barry Norman. But I think that had more to do with his soothing voice and smart collection of ties than his thoughts on film.

Having said all of that, however, I can not recommend "The Kings Speech" highly enough. It was superb! I love a film based on a true story and also anything to do with the Royal Family is a juicy extra bonus. It has a fantastic cast, is beautifully shot, the attention to detail is superb, I wont go on, although I quite easily could. It's basically a really well crafted film. I rated it 9 Crowns out of a possible 10.

The Wig had booked us tickets to go and see it at the Barbican which is another place high on my list of favorite places. The Barbican is pretty amazing and I think its also something that you either like or you don't. To some people its a big grey concrete monstrosity but to me it is much more than that. It was opened (by the Queen)  in 1982 and is Europe's largest performing arts centre in Europe. It was built in the Brutalist style of Architecture which is certainly not to everyones taste, and I'm not the hugest fan of this style of building, but if you go beyond the exterior to what's inside, you really will be spoilt.  When I was a kid, my Aunt used to work at the National Skating association which was on Goswell Road, around the corner from the Barbican. Sometimes, in the school holidays, she would take me in to her work and we would pop into the Barbican as a treat. On one occassion, she took me to see Batman at the cinema there. Can you imagine how amazing that was for my teenage self? It was amazing. A great memory and also I think the moment that ignited my interest in Batman which would, years later, be the subject for my dissertation.

As well as the excellent cinema (lots of leg room and comfy seats), they have very interesting Art + Photography Exhibitions, Theatre and Music performances and now a newly refurbished restaurant! The restaurant used to be the one thing, I thought, that let it down, but now its had a make over its a lovely place to eat, meet friends, hang out and generally feel inspired. The food actually tastes pretty good too (although their cakes were slightly on the dry side, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend those). So if you are in the area, get yourself down there, you might like it.

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