Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Say It" (2013) - my BBC / It's My Shout film.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Silver Linings Playbook" by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings PlaybookThe Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A charming, old-fashioned romantic comedy about mentally ill people.

Pat, the sympathetic, unreliable narrator tells the tale of his release from a mental institution following events the nature of which are only gradually revealed. What is immediately clear is that his obsession with his ex-wife is irrational, and that this aspect of his life is a train-wreck.

Suddenly, however, he is presented with another love interest, Tiffany, who has problems with her own. Needless to say, despite this apparent convenience, events do not progress with Hollywood smoothness.

The male characters' obsession with American football will be a problem for those readers who do not share it; as will Pat's habit of giving away the unhappy endings to classic novels.

The story-telling is fluent, the characterisations are compelling, and one finds oneself rooting for the central protagonists. The narrator's soft-pedalling of his own plight, however, means that we only get hints of the suffering he's brought to other people's lives; we are denied the complete picture.

Thus, it's perhaps a little too likeable to be entirely credible.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


My second British Theatre Guide reviewing assignment within a few days was to see "Luna", from Theatr Iolo and Theatre Hullabaloo; my first experience of a piece designed specifically for 2-5 year-olds (and their parents). It's the story of a young boy who combats his fear of the dark by making friends with an inquisitive moon creature, and learns some valuable lessons (though not about cosmology). Given that the venue was the theatre in Chapter, there was a degree of talking-back-at-the-TV style chatter from the audience, but it was all related to the onstage action. Accomplished and fascinating.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Maudie's Rooms"

Following a number of unamusing miscommunications, I eventually got to see Louise Osborn's "Maudie's Rooms", and review it for the British Theatre Guide. Co-produced by her own company and Sherman Cymru, it's a tale of finding courage and inspiration from the past, taking place in a sumptuously re-modelled abandoned building in Cardiff Bay. Slightly creepy fun for all the family.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Eight Things I Learned Whilst Watching Darren Aronofsky's “Noah”

In the Bible days, monsters made of rock walked the Earth.

Russell Crowe doesn't have a bad singing voice. Well, it's better than Emma Watson's, anyway.

Ray Winstone is capable of making even the most heinous villain appear somehow soulful and sympathetic.

A sacred text is no more reliable as a journal of scientific fact or historical record than a Hollywood screenplay.

Jennifer Connelly has still got it.

Sometimes good people will do bad things if God tells them to. (Although I suspect I already knew this).

There is actually someone named Logan Lerman.

Darren Aronofsky is some kind of barmy, epic genius.

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Bare Fiction / Wales Blog Awards

I received the news last week that my ever-growing collection of short bootleg films – The Blakeson Mashup – has been nominated in the Best Multimedia category at the 2014 Wales Blog Awards. Very pleasing, obviously, but up against some worthy competition. Frankly, it’s just nice to be noticed.

One of the films featured on the blog is an adaptation of Byron's poem "When We Two Parted", which was in competition at the recent Reversed Poetry Film Competition held in Amsterdam.

In other news, this weekend I received an advance copy of the second edition of the excellent literary magazine Bare Fiction, which includes a piece of mine:– “The Naked Major” (note the subtle Goya reference), a brief two-hander, which was given a reading by Dirty Protest in 2008. Again, one finds oneself in very good company.

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