Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Kurt, Steven and Yelp are Close to my Heart

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Last night brought another delicious Yelp Elite Event into my life – this time we were welcomed by Bar 21 in the Northern Quarter to sample their wares and check out their disco-tastic dance floors. In recognition of Bar21‘s ‘Movie ‘n’ Music’ theme, the evening was to be focussed on all things famous. It was suggested that we dress up as something film-related. Considering my very poor effort at the previous Elite event where we were asked to dress in ‘Summer attire’ and I wore sunglasses, I decided to actually think about my outfit for this event. With the use of my office’s printing facilities, a pair of scissors and a box of safety pins, I transformed an average red dress into HOMAGE TO B-GRADE MALE ACTION MOVIE STARS THAT I LOVE.

So many handsome men have attached themselves to me.

So many handsome men have attached themselves to me.

Steven, Kurt, Chuck, Jean-Claude, Arnie and co were well received by my fellow Yelpers and there were some mighty fine film and music related tees worn on the night as well.

I had never been to Bar21 before and, to be honest, I had purposefully avoided it. From the outside it had always appeared a bit concrete and uncomfortable, so I was pleasantly surprised when I ventured inside and discovered a bright and cheery bar full of memorabilia. Anywhere with a giant photograph from Back From the Future on the wall is a winner in my world.

We were allowed to choose a drink from their extensive Happy Hour list and Hannah and I were particularly happy to see that Doom Bar ale was an option. An excellent start to the evening.

The super friendly staff made us feel very welcome and took us on a tour of their downstairs dance floor. I think I will need to return for some serious hot-stepping one evening. It has been a long time since my last dance session… too long.

Next was a cocktail master class where we were shown how to make two drinks and then allowed to sample the tasty concoctions. Unfortunately (although probably luckily for our brain cells) there were 30 Yelpers and 15 glasses of each drink so there were a few sharpened elbows pushing their way through to get their drink of choice. Humans + free alcohol = messy. Hannah and I decided sharing is caring and went halfsies. The cocktails were good although neither would be something I’d normally choose. One had a cream layer and the other tasted like liquid Haribo. SWEEEEEEEET.

Mixology madness

Mixology madness

After the cocktails we were all in need of some food and we were overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of dishes put out for us to gorge on. It was a meatlovers’ delight with chorizo, salami, ribs, burgers and more kinds of chicken wings than I’ve seen in a long time. And it was tasty! I wouldn’t normally have chosen to come to Bar21 for food but I was really impressed with what I ate. The beef burgers were served with proscuitto and blue cheese – so good. Sadly, they were also drenched in some sort of brown sauce that was far too strong and completely overpowered all of the flavours. After I had attempted to remove most of the sauce the burger was definitely a winner on my plate.

Food! Photo credit: Hannah's phone.

Food! Photo credit: Hannah’s phone.

Dessert came out as we were still stuffing our faces – lime curd or chocolate mousse tartlets were our choices. Surprisingly I went for the lime as the chocolate didn’t look dark enough for my liking. And the lime was good – nice and sharp and served in a deliciously buttery pastry. Yum.

If we hadn’t consumed enough, out came a birthday cake to celebrate Yelp Manchester’s 10th birthday. Marzipan covered red velvet cake anyone? Yes please. As we forced the cake into our mouths (ok, there was no force involved. It was delicious.) Bar21‘s Thursday night quiz began and in our teams of 4, 5 or 6, we competed to the death to win great prizes and ultimate glory. My team failed miserably and finished in third-last place. We were largely let down by the Australian on our team who didn’t know how many stars were on her own country’s flag. Yep. For shame.

As the evening came to a close and I headed home to bed like the Grandma I have become, I felt that great sense of pure satisfaction after you have had a great night out. Good food, good drinks, good friends, good times. Looking forward to Yelping it up once again in September.

P.S. My stupid phone died during the cocktail master class so I have a serious lack of photographs of food. Very disappointing.

Made by Hand

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Through a friend I have discovered a website called This is Made by Hand where they have produced movies about people who create products by hand. There is a movie about Joel Bukiewicz who owns a knife business in Brooklyn called Cut. He was once a writer and now spends his days making hand made knives in his studio. This movie touches many nerves for me as I often wonder if writing is really where I want to be and this past year has been a big experiment for me to see what else tickles my fancy. I still haven’t found it yet but Joel’s story makes me smile.

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Dreaming of a Midnight in Paris

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I have been meeting a lot of new people during my six months in Paris and recently, whenever I mention that I am a writer who has moved to Paris to ‘be inspired’, the person I am speaking to asks if I have seen Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris. As I generally dislike Owen Wilson, don’t really enjoy Woody Allen’s work, and found the advertising posters for the movie to be particularly off-putting, I had avoided seeing it. However, everyone insisted that I go and see it and so Tom and I finally spent a rainy afternoon sitting in a tiny cinema, reminiscent of the Luna cinemas in Perth.

Midnight in Paris

Oh it's so awful...

Ok, I will admit it straight away – I cried at the end of the movie. Not because the movie was so amazing or the script so wonderful, but because Owen Wilson’s character was me. Someone searching for something that they can’t necessarily get but hoping that Paris will provide them with the answers. No, I haven’t gone back in time and met amazing writers from the past or fallen in love with someone from the 1920s but I do walk the streets of Paris wearing rose coloured glasses and seeing this city as the be all and end all. The main reason for my tears was that the movie painted Paris as I see it – amazing sites, beautiful people, constant excitement – and it frightens me that I am going to lose it all soon. Owen Wilson’s character arrogantly decides to “move to Paris” – although I do wonder how French immigration feel about that – and all I want to do at the moment is make that declaration myself. Luckily for Owen, visas don’t exist in the movies.

Anyhoo, the movie itself was fun and easy to watch and I didn’t completely hate Owen Wilson but I think that’s just because we suddenly had something in common. The script wasn’t bad, the plot was acceptable and Woody Allen managed to make a fairly exaggerated story line seem somewhat acceptable. It is a fairy tale for adults but who doesn’t like to escape with the fairies every now and then? Plus it was fun to play spotto with the scenes in the movie – I get a bit of an ego kick when I watch a movie set in a city like Paris and tell you exactly where they are. Owen Wilson spends a lot of time down near the bridge Pont Neuf (built by Henry III in the 1500s) and keeps walking past where I explained the history of Paris to my tour groups.

Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf in real life

Oh, and I think the reason why I managed to like Owen Wilson was because I detested his girlfriend and her family so much. Those characters were a bit excessive with their dislike of Paris and their over-the-top wealth. I found them to be more unbelievable than the characters from the past.

Winning Tickets is Good.

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Summer has arrived which means outdoor cinemas have opened their doors! HOORAY! If there’s something I really love about summer it is the fact that I get to watch a movie outside. My absolute favourite is Sommerville at UWA and the Perth Film Festival started on Monday night. I managed to win a double pass to the opening which was quite great. The movie was an Australian film called Summer Coda starring Alex Dimitriades and Rachel Taylor (the computer hacker from Transformers).

Allow me to set the scene – Tom and I arrived quite late and so most people had laid their blankets/pillows/”Sit here and die” signs on chairs in order to save their seats while they picnicked under the pine trees. We managed to find two free seats in the middle of the theatre and sat waiting for the show to start. The location is fabulous – sitting amongst the pine trees always makes me feel like I am on summer camp in America and that tomorrow I am going trout fishing. The smell is delicious, it is cool yet protected from the wind, and despite being next to some busy roads you feel like you’re far from civilisation.

On Monday night the average audience member age would have been 55+ with a lot of Western Suburbs ladies wining and dining with their friends before enjoying a bit of culture. I don’t mean to be rude – that’s just how it is. It did make for a very amusing moment as everyone headed to their seats for the start of the movie and in the row in front of me a group of five had a bit of an argument with a group of three as to who exactly had ‘bagged’ a seat. Watching grown adults fight over a seat is entertaining, particularly when the losing party then gets huffy. It’s like being back at Primary School again and someone gets picked last in a sports team or has to go to the back of the line because they don’t have a partner. Anyway, moving on.

As it was the opening night, Shelagh Magadza opened the event and we then had to sit through the director and star of the film (Richard Gray and Alex Dimitriades) being interviewed by Mark Naglazas. When I first realised we would be witnessing some sort of ‘launch’ I was quite excited but when I then found out it would involve the man who has managed to create a successful writing career despite being an annoying movie reviewer, I was less pleased. The two guests were great – well spoken, fun and they didn’t get too serious. Mark asked stupid questions, particularly to Alex, such as “Did you enjoy working with the director and would you do it again?” How was Alex supposed to respond? No? The crowd became quite restless during the interview and seemed pleased when it ended and the movie began.

Summer Coda

A hot date.

The movie itself was an easy to watch romance set in Mildura in Victoria. A girl who was born in the area but who left with her mother when she was a child, returns home for her Dad’s funeral. She then meets a man who works on an orange orchard and they fall in love, blah blah blah. It’s a nice movie but nothing to really jump up and down about. Tom has a habit of researching reviews of movies before we watch them, and he reported that critics didn’t like the movie while the general population found the characters ‘deep’ and the plot ‘exciting’. I’m clearly a critic. The script needed work and there were some very weird scenes that seemed to come out of no where. But I was in a soppy, romantic mood (although one kiss in an entire movie is a bit boring) so I was happy to watch it.

Lots of good films coming to Sommerville this year – check out the schedule here.