Thursday, March 24, 2011

Catching Up

So many things, so little time (although at 3pm on a week day it often seems like there's an intolerable amount of time). In brief:

On Saturday I finally got along to the City Gallery Wellington's 'Crown Lynn: Crockery of Distinction' exhibition (I took the photo above on my walk there, it was a beautiful day). I loved the Dorothy Thorpe range with its bauble handles (although I do wonder how practical the handles would be in terms of holding your cup of tea) and found the whare ashtray of the Wharetana range pretty offensive; while the lamp base with a Maori figurine carved into it which had an image of the Queen to commemorate her 1953 coronation stuck on its forehead was a pretty strange combination.

I had convinced my Mum and her friend to go along to the exhibition when she was in town a few weeks ago and she had said they enjoyed it (especially recognising pieces their mothers and even they themselves used to have) but it was pretty small so they weren't there long. I ended up spending an hour meandering along matching everything to the catalogue and watching the wee black and white National Film Archives' video 'From Potter's Wheel to Mass Production' so I guess it just depends on your level of interest. The exhibition has a $6 entry fee but you get a great little booklet to keep so it's well worth the price.

On Sunday Alex and I watched The Graduate for classic movie Sunday. It was so not what I had imagined. I had always thought Benjamin would be a suave, charming young man who, while ultimately seduced by Mrs. Robinson, would do his fair share of tempting her also. I did not expect him to be socially awkward, slightly disturbed, and generally strange. I actually couldn't get over it for much of the movie. I believe I said the words, 'Why is he so WEIRD?' many, many times.

Such a great movie though, Mrs. Robinson is a babe (apparently Anne Bancroft was actually only 35 at the time of filming, and Dustin Hoffman was a 30 year old playing a 21 year old - I KNEW he looked older than 21), the soundtrack is by Simon and Garfunkel, there's a strong late 1960s aesthetic in terms of the colours and the clothing, and it's also quite hilarious in certain parts. Toast popping up just as Ben has finished explaining to his parents (who are in the kitchen) that he's going to marry Elaine despite the fact that he hasn't discussed it with her and she in fact hates him was a favourite. Also it seems like the filmmaker had just discovered the revolutionary technique of zooming. There was a lot of it going on.

I'm not sure about the ending though. I couldn't really handle Elaine even considering having a relationship with Ben knowing that he'd had an affair with her mother (also, I had always thought the daughter married the guy without knowing he'd had an affair with her mother and the whole point of the movie was that it was very fraught with tension and secrets, so I got a big surprise when Ben rushed in and told Elaine the truth before Mrs. Robinson could get to her; where did I get all these assumptions about the movie from?), so although, as Alex pointed out, it was satisfying that Mrs. Robinson didn't 'win', I interpreted Elaine's expression at the very end, after they collapse into the back seat of the bus elated and are staring ahead, as one of sadness and uncertainty. Because while she hasn't let her mother win, she's also lost her relationship with her mother and her father and she's with a weird guy who, while he may be in love with her, has slept with her mother nonetheless. Anyway, I'd happily watch it again.

On Tuesday I went to a documentary about Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Last night I saw My Wedding and Other Secrets. SO CUTE. Almost too cute to bear at times. And there were some pretty emotional moments as well. A little insight into another culture in New Zealand and a movie that generally celebrates love.  I now really want to see the documentary the film was inspired by; although will I be able to cope with that much cuteness in a real life context? Honestly, the movie is that cute.

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