Tuesday, November 08, 2005

And now for something completely different...

Dreams. What are they? Well I can tell you what they are based on what happened last week. Picture this…, books, movies, music, food, beer and sweet rain.

On a cold snowy Tuesday night, a young man gets on a plane. The plane can’t take off because of all the snow. After the plane is de-iced, it takes off for a magical land.

On a rainy Wednesday afternoon, the plane lands in the magic land. The young man has enough time to get off the plane, get to his hotel, take a shower, navigate the train system and reach paradise in the evening. What is paradise? I will tell you. It is Highbury, home of Arsenal Football club. A dream? Yes indeed.

Who would have thought that one day I would be able to watch my cherished football team play not one but two games. Dreams indeed! Sure it rained during the games, but so what? They won both games. I had perfect seats and could even be seen on tv during the telecast of one of the games (only in freeze frame, slow mode).

Would this be the ultimate dream? Yes it would have been enough. But there’s more…seriously, how can there be more?

In between the two games, the young man (err that’s me in case if it was not obvious) was fortunate enough to attend the last day of BFI’s 49th Annual London Film Festival (Thursday, Nov 3). I could have seen 4 movies but I opted for 3. Classy venues, classy festival!

1) 1:30 show at Odeon West in Leicester Square of Factotum. This Bent Hamer directed movie is based on a collection of Charles Bukowski’s stories. Matt Dillon stars as jack of all trades (or lack of any trades) – Henry Chinaski, Bukowski’s alter ego. Not a bad flick. It accomplishes what it sets out to show, even though it is slow at times. The director was in attendance and he talked about how he got this movie funded (no major studios wanted to touch this movie, big surprise there), how Dillon was selected, etc.

After the movie I had a 30 minute gap before attending the next show in the upper theatre.

2) 3:30 show of Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures. This was my favourite movie of all three and easily one of my fav movies I have seen this year. I loved it. I will write more about this movie later. This was one of those movies that really make movies worth watching.

3) 6:30 pm show of Sangre at the National Film Theatre. This Mexican independent movie is probably more over-rated than anything. Sure it is pure cinema verite but really nothing special. After watching this movie, I decided to skip the late night show of the Thai movie, Citizen Dog.

Now before the movies, I had enough time to browse at the biggest bookstore in Europe – Waterstones at Piccadilly. I have visited this place before and it is just amazing. One could easily spend hours and hours. And even spend more buying books. Scary thought. And on Thu night, I was able to visit and spend a few hours in one of the best music stores out there – Virgin Music Store at Piccadilly.

On Friday, as if I was not having enough fun, I got to take a tour of the Arsenal football club. After which I visited Brick Lane and surfed for perfect Bangladeshi cuisine. I reached a bit too early for dinner but I was still able to find a near perfect Chicken Biryani dish.

On Saturday, I got to see another game and on top of that spend a beautiful night out in Leicester Square. I fell in love with this place back in 1999 and it still has that same magic. As an added bonus, I attended the opening weekend show of De battre mon coeur s'est arête (The Beat That my Heart Skipped). This award winning movie at the Berlin Film Festival has gotten rave reviews. But the real reason I wanted to see this movie was because of Romain Duris. He was perfect in Exils and is quite good here. I liked the movie overall but don’t think it is as perfect as it is made out to be. Nonetheless it is a good movie. Also, it is supposed to be a remake of the American movie, Fingers – something which I have not seen yet.

Anyway, it was a perfect 5 day trip. Dreams......... :)

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