You’re driving me to insanity

Crazy Chick

Stand up.
Check your room.
Is there space enough?
Make sure of that, particularly on the floor.
Put the volume up.
Take off shoes unless they are comfortable.
Press play.

(Too late …)

Go nuts for a minute or three.
Realize that the lyrics aren’t great, but let’s state here that they are not far from the truth. For some people.

Was it good for you too?

I need professional help.

But who is he?

He’s a comedian, actor, broadcaster, traveller and writer.
And while not all comedians are indeed funny, he definitely is.
He seems to be a truly sympathetic person too.
And he is a man I wouldn’t mind drinking a cup of tea with.

So when I stumbled upon a flyer saying that he was going to give a talk in London in November, I didn’t need to think very long about it.

Who do you think I am talking about?
(No his last name doesn’t start with an N).

Ch? complimento

The guy in the Curzon Soho ticketbooth:

“Are you German?”
“Ahhha. No, I am Dutch.”
“Oh, sorry, that must be quite an insult!”
“Well it isn’t the most sexy compliment ever, but hey.”
“I have been to Holland once, to Friesland in the north.”
He really tried hard.
“Where are you from then, you are not British either are you?”
“Aahh” I said.
“Ovviamente” is what I thought.

Monty Python’s Spamalot, London – review

Spamalot, the Monty Python musical finally opened in London 2 days ago, after a successful ride (Tony Award) on Broadway.

I am normally not that crazy about musicals, I tend to find them boring. But Spamalot is not your average musical, it kicks ass. It takes the piss out of every musical cliche you can come up with, it has stolen from every musical you can come up with, it is impressively actual and up to date, it is hilariously funny and has some very intelligent jokes too. The set design is fantastic with castles, palaces and things like a huge trojan, uhm, rabbit. And people like the Knights Who Say Ni (We are no longer the Knights who say “NI”. We are now the Knights who say “Icky Icky Icky Icky”). So silly, but so very funny.
Tim Curry is brilliant as King Arthur (he will play King Arthur until January 2007) always followed by his coconut gallopping assistant, and the Lady of the Water has an amazing voice, while singing beautifooly songs. And You get John Cleese as the voice of God. And ..

Well I am not even that big a Monty Python fan, but what can I say, you want to see this.
It’s big big fun.

5 random things

Reflections (Camden Lock by night)

  • How long does it take to get through 71 days nowadays. I am so eager to go to NY – I can’t wait that long!
  • The scary thing about class is the fact that the stuff you have written gets presented in front of the class. I told our tutor that that was scary. She said, don’t worry, I am not going to tell who wrote what. That wasn’t necessary, my face was glowing with so much redness that it lighted up the classroom. But my character profile did survive it’s first round of criticism, questioning, commenting and the best : new ideas of what to do with him. Time for a rewrite, and next week I need to deliver the girl. What am I talking about? About my film script that is slowly coming to life. Slowly. It can’t walk yet.
  • Talking about RED. I think RED is ONE excellent idea, and I am wearing white today.
  • If I need an instant laugh I watch this.
  • If I can wait a few days : Monty Python’s Spamalot has arrived in London. I’m scheduled for muscle laughter pains this Thursday …
  • If you want tickets, be quick, they sell like crazy.

Children of Men and The Departed – review

Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men

Tagline: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child’s birth may help scientists save the future of humankind. No children. No future. No hope.

Very nice use of colours, beautiful shots of London about 20 years from now (and it doesn’ t look good), but generally a very dark film. Interesting story, and even though I am not a big fan of Clive Owen, a film that is worth seeing. Julianne Moore is in it too. (And she will be in New York on stage playing opposite Bill Nighy in December). Uhm, an 8 for Children of Men. Worth seeing.


The Departed (2006) The Departed

Tagline: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Boston State Police department and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy’s identities. Directed by Martin Scorsese.

If you want my honest opinion about The Departed, which you probably don’t, but I am going to give it anyway : I don’t really know. You got 2 brilliant actors (Jack Nicolson is very scary as a gangster) and Leonardo Di Caprio is excellent as the mole infiltrating in his world. And there is Matt Damon too, playing the dirty cop. There are some very violent moments (a lot of blood and a lot of killing), but they are played in such a casual way that you nearly feel like this is daily routine for them. I think I have to say that the acting was excellent, but that the story maybe was less than that, even though they avoided the cliche ending. Hypes like this – I normally don’t get them, is it because Scorsese directed that everybody (the film reviewers) feels they should be jumping ? A 7.5 from me. There was a lot of shooting going on, but I wasn’t blown away.


Tina Dickow – Dingwalls, Camden

Drawing with Light
Drawing with lights in Dingwalls : Love Actually in Lights

It was about half a year ago I last saw her, in Dingwalls in Camden. At that time I had just arrived in London. Now 6 months later, Camden is a place I know relatively well, and I am no longer that intimidated by the “Do you want skunk” question. I rushed there right after work, needed something to eat and decided to give the happy hour ?2 Chinese shop a go. I hoped my stomach would be happy for more than an hour with this, and I didn’t want to know how long this food had been simmering, probably all day. A large coke in Dingwalls takes care of most of the possible stomach disturbers. Tina Dickow is magical, her songs still seem to hit something as I found myself crying more than once during the concert.
It was a good night.

Here is a bit for you to hear

(limited availability – you’re too late …)
She is touring the UK at the moment, highly recommended.

One touch can fill a life of longing
Not much is so much more than nothing
Yeah – All you need is
An open smile to win you over
One single step will bring you closer
Yeah – All it takes is one

And when you?re running for cover
And you feel the sky falling down upon you
And when it feels like forever
Since you?ve seen the face of someone who loves you

Then one is all that you need
All that you need to keep you warm
Is all that you need
All that you need to move you on
It?s all that you need
All you need is


Huge Enjoyment

Kaiser Chiefs
Kaiser Chiefs

Not only did I get a subscription for the BFI/NFT for my birthday from my colleagues, they also gave me half a year of Love. Lovely, Actually, I need Love. And despite the fact that I do think you need to see a film in the darkness of a cinema, this turned out to be an excellent gift because LoveFilm has every single DVD ever published in stock, also BBC DVD’s and DVD’s from stuff that has been on the telly.

And so I rented peculiar things like a particular episode of Reilly Ace of Spies (so young!), episode 2 of Kavanagh Q.C. – Series 3 (so funky with the wig!), Auf Wiedersehen Pet (at last, and so posh!), AKA, True Blue (in a rowing boat) and Longitude (more wig). What pleasure to finally catch up on all this stuff, and what joy that LoveFilm has all those DVD’s. I do think that I messed up their automatic recommendation system though, because they can’t really figure out how my taste of DVD’s is put together. Only I know that : the weird way.

This weekend I received Kaiser Chiefs Enjoyment DVD. This award winning British band didn’t interest me one single bit a year ago. I knew their Every Day I Love You Less and Less hit, and that was about it. But they changed that, they made a DVD about their band and their story and had it narrated by the most funky rockin’ person in London. Now, that suddenly sounded very interesting, and not only is the DVD very interesting from a film makers point of view, because it is great, well done, very original, and some ideas from this DVD are written down in my Inspiration notebook – but the old style film clips from London, Leeds and Birmingham are narrated in such a goofy, funny way like only Bill Nighy can do it. And there is lots of it on the DVD.

While watching all this, I realized that I knew quite a lot of their songs, and that I actually quite like them. So, here, have some :

(Limited availability – you’re too late)

Love + Rock, Baby.

Oh, yesterday while eating a pizza – a story popped up, I grabbed my notebook and wrote it down, and had a cold pizza to eat. My only concern is if it maybe is too long for a short. But now I know they do popup occasionally, at moments where you least expect them. Which is wonderful and a huge Enjoyment too. More Enjoyment : France is number 12.

Act for me

Watching people doing audition for a role was another new film making related experience. One of my fellow wannabe filmmakers is going to shoot a short, and he was kind enough to have me around to watch the process.

The setup was a short piece of a script where 2 people, one a nurse, and the other a mental patient should have a conversation.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • I saw 4 pairs of professional actors performing, and it was amazing how differently they did it.
  • Professional actors are absolutely willing to do shorts on expenses only basis.
  • There are loads of good actors around in London.
  • It doesn’t take long to spot if someone has learned their lines or not.
  • Some actors travelled all the way from Leeds (they get travel expenses paid) for a 10 minute audition in London.
  • Good actors make you forget quickly that you are watching 2 people on 2 plastic chairs in a small room, they pull you straight into the story.
  • Watching an audition is interesting and exiting, and I also felt that I had a good sense of picking the right actor for a particular role, which might become handy should I ever make that short myself.
  • I want to trade some bags of shyness for some bags of courage.

I have a lot of respect for people who dare to jump out and go make their shorts, as I don’t feel I am ready for that just yet. I have to find some more inspiration for a good story, write a decent script and dare to just do it. It will come if it is meant to be I am sure about that. In the mean time I help other people out with theirs, meet a lot of nice people that way, and get some hands on experience.

This weekend I will meetup with an old travel friend of mine, we were in the same group travelling around in Mexico in December 2003. Can’t believe it has been three years since that trip. I have seen him once after that in Holland, now he is visiting London with a friend of his, so a perfect opportunity to meet up and have a tea.

Apart from that I am going to relax this weekend, go visit my Cafe, and see if I can get some ideas out of my weary head onto paper.

11 countries

The Girl on tour
USA, Netherlands, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Portugal.

I had no idea when I started this that she was going to travel this far. And despite some hickups along the way, people have been very kind to keep their promises of writing a review and making sure that she was send off to the next person on the list. Another good thing: nearly all people who already have been visited by her loved her.

I hope more countries will follow, having a representative of all G8 countries on the list would be fantastic.

Would you like to join ?

Read more about TGITC on tour here, and signup.

Everyone is welcome, also if you live in countries that are already on the list.

Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world.
But it’s a start.


From posh to rock ‘n roll

I got a free ticket for a film at the Raindance festival. I had no idea what kind of film I was going to see, but it turned out to be Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone.
If you are a fan of the Ramones this is probably a must see. If you are a real true fan of the Ramones, you probably were there in the cinema, because Marky Ramone, one of the last Ramones alive, was there for a Q&A session after the film. Marky is a very popular guy, he has 5729 friends on Myspace. And Marky looked exactly as I remembered him from the days where I was truly young : tall, black clothes, too long hair (painted black) and a rock ‘n roll face.

If you are not a fan at all, like me, you would have bored yourself for about 2 hours, annoyed because the film was so loud that you couldn’t take a powernap. And wondering why everybody in the cinema seemed to think that the Ramones really were one of the biggest rock’n roll bands ever. Biggest rock ‘n roll band ever ? Rolling Stones would be my bet, but what do I know.


Posh Girl
Posh Girl

It is not the type of shop I normally would dare to set foot in, Hawes and Curtis. But I have been looking in their windows quite often, because I love their shirts, both on men (especially when worn under a suit) and for women. They had sale now, all women shirts for half price, and so, while feeling as awkward as Julia Roberts shopping on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman, I stepped inside. Because I secretly love posh shirts like this. Because I need some nice clothes for planned future theatre visits. Because I can’t always walk around in t shirts and sneakers. Or yes I can, but I don’t want to. Because I might become a bit more of a Londoner wearing a Hawes and Curtis shirt. Because I think they are funky. Because I felt like it. Because I am worth… Oh, come on.

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Eternal ramblings from a messed up mind II

Do not feed or flirt with me

I got internet at home again. Hurrah ! Now, BT, why exactly did it take 2 weeks to get that in order?

I have a little bit more respect for, as they actually had a decent interview in today’s edition. With Kevin. He looks happy on the picture. And I love Kevin just a little more now because he describes London as “one of the most exiting, thrilling, energising and culturally alive cities in the world.”
Exactly Kevin, you got it.
And I respect him even more after reading that he is working in the Old Vic for free, his salary going directly back into the Old Vic. Passion it’s called. People with passion, I love. Living in the same city as the world’s 2 best actors, how good is that. On stage with the both of them.

Right. Class tonight was good, but 2 hours is simply too short, they need to do something about that. We watched a lot of shorts again, and I learned a great deal from that, again. I slowly start to understand how those films are built up. Might become handy later. In the mean time we need to think about a character for our short, and about ideas for shorts in general. They will come those ideas, won’t they? I don’t have to worry that, at this moment, they seem very far away. I need to have a talk with Davy.

I saw 2 films I am going to say something about.

The Queen with Helen Mirren. This film a behind the scenes portrait of how the royal family handled the news about Diana death. Helen Mirren gives an Oscar worthy performance. Another. Fantastic. British. Actress. Another great film. Go see it.

And yesterday I saw The Devil Wears Prada. Talking about great actresses : Meryl Streep is brilliant and hilarious as Fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestley. And Gideon’s Daughter Emily Blunt does well in this US blockbuster. The film is entertaining, recommended if you just want to relax and enjoy, and since it was situated in New York : I could feel the New York fever itching with every New York scene I saw. I am getting restless, I am counting down the days already, I look forward to you, New York. A lot.

And a last thing, I like this picture of Camden, it turns my world upside down. It was nice to be there in the quiet morning hours before the tourists take over the place. And the water is a wonderful mirror. I look forward to see Tina Dickow there next week.

I told you I had a messed up mind. Oh, and I am only kidding. Please do. Both the feeding and the flirting.