06 November 2005

Fungicidal Urges

Biochemically speaking, fungi are closer to animals than they are to plants. I find the squeaking noises mushrooms make whilst frying indescribably disturbing.

Took advantage of B.'s single day off this week yesterday to go into town together and do some shopping. B. finally got round to spending an Oil and Vinegar token left over from leaving her last job, while my birthday money was used very satisfyingly to purchase Anansi Boys, V for Vendetta and Six Feet Under Season Three, which I'm looking forward to reading and / or watching soon. (Revised Amazon wish list here, for anyone reading this who might be planning to buy me a Christmas present.) A very late lunch at the Boston Tea Party was followed by a trip to see The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which was almost deserted as nearly everyone else was out watching fireworks.

This classic of lapinthropic terror was highly entertaining, although I felt that stretching a Wallace and Gromit story out to an hour and a half was pushing the limits of the format. (Plus there were rude bits -- belching, nudity and more than one off-colour pun -- which I don't remember from the earlier films in the series.) As ever, the real charm and humour lay in the hugely inventive visual jokes rather than in the dialogue, although there are excellent voice performances from Helena Bonham Carter et al.

(Certainly the film is streets, and arguably whole motorway junctions, ahead of the banal rubbish which the cinema had selected as a supporting feature, presumably on the grounds that people who go to see animated films can't possibly be expected to have any taste.)

Speaking of Six Feet Under...

[OK, hang on, SPOILERS here if you haven't seen it...]

...the final episode, Everyone's Waiting, which aired on E4 last Wednesday, was truly phenomenal right from the opening scene when, instead of the death which has begun every episode so far, we were surprised with a birth. OK, so there's an argument for saying that the story was a little rushed, with the ever-dysfunctional Fisher family sorting out their individual and corporate issues in the space of an hour and a half's screentime, but still... the scene around the family dining-table, where all the surviving Fishers and ex-Fishers, disparate and unconventionally-connected though they are, come together as a family at last to toast the memory of their beloved son / stepson / husband / father / brother / uncle / brother-in-law Nate, moved me more than anything else I've watched for quite a while. And the final montage, where we follow the family into the future, was just phenomenal.

The series has always been about mortality, so it's fitting that it ends by showing us the deaths of all the major characters... but what other mainstream series would finish with tableaux set at various points during the next eighty years, and make a fair stab at appropriately futuristic design-work for all of them, even though most last only a few seconds?

B.'s back at work today, and not expected home till some mad time like 11:30 tonight, so I'm at home frying mushrooms among other things. If you use little enough oil, a huge plateful is only around 50 calories, and the whiny little buggers are delicious.

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