This post has a lot of cut-tags... *muses*
I have resolved to see more movies this year. Somehow my movie-going habits slid away from me in 2006, and I regret that. Last night I tried to see 'Little Miss Sunshine' but it was sold out, so I wound up seeing 'The Queen' instead. I enjoyed it a great deal more than I thought I would.
Little known fact: Boppy did her history thesis on power and piety in eleventh-century British monarchy (think Edward the Confessor and Margaret of Scotland). What has this to do with 'The Queen'? A lot actually. The relationship between a monarch and their people is a complex one. There is a sense of obligation and entitlement on both sides--this was very well explored by the movie. Medieval monarchs knew the value of public demonstrations of humility. At particular times of the year, or on significant occasions, they undertook such acts as washing the feet of beggars or distributing bread to the poor. My thesis argued that these acts, superficially self-humbling in nature, were also acts of power at another level of analysis. They connected the monarch to the people and were all the more powerful and poignant for being incorporated into the pageantry and opulence we normally associate with royalty.
When the Queen got out of the car on the way into Buckingham Palace to walk among her people, read the cards on Diana's flowers and speak to the visitors, I was strongly reminded of these acts of monarchs of old. It was, as Blair was well aware, the best thing she could have done to reassert her authority. The 'humiliation' as the Queen (in the movie, at least) called it, served a purpose in reminding people of the power of the monarchy. The crowd, that moments ago had been reviling her, offered flowerrs and curtsied.
The world has undergone profound and swift change within the last fifty years. The monarchy has not kept up, yet some of the same patterns surrounding power remain. It is important to connect with your people, no matter how entitled you feel to your position. Arguably the medieval monarchs were even more secure in their thrones--they may be deposed by rivals, but a monarch of some sort would remain. The position was, after all, god-given. The monarch of today cannot trust to that alone. The threat is not just to the specific monarch but to the entire structure. All the more reason to connect with your people--and in our world, that means change, change, change. And humility, though NOT humiliation. Edward and Margaret would have been able to tell Elizabeth that. ;-)
I think what I most enjoyed about this movie was Blair's journey--because it mirrored my own emotions very well. My family include some hardcore Scottish nationalists, so I was eye-rolling at the royals from the beginning, yet it frustrated me so much to see them destroy themselves that I found myself 'with' Blair in wanting them to pully it together. I thought it was a very effective movie portraying a fascinating era in British history which I remember watching with great interest at the time.
Meanwhile, Friday Night Lights is killing me with emotion. I've just finished watching 1.06 and 1.07 and if I wasn't still sniffly, I'd power on for more. But it packs such an emotional punch, I think I need a break first. I'm starting to love Tyra! I really enjoyed the development she got in these couple of eps as a girl who wants to make something more of her life in this shithole town. That actress is wonderful, and she sells the character's vulnerability and strength perfectly. For entirely superficial reasons, I confess, I latched on to Tim early on as my favourite eye-candy on the show. And hey, he had inner pain. Inner pain is good! *g* I thought I was objective about the nature of this attachment until the show totally KILLED me with the hospital scene and then his speech to Jason. Ow, my heart!! *clutches* The awkwardness! The offering of the ball! The teariness! The hand-holding! I'm officially suckered.
And finally, even Smash's plot gripped me. I really REALLY don't like loudmouth/braggart characters normally. I cannot stress this enough. Yet, I really felt for Smash when he fucked up in 1.07, especially when he looked over to his mother in the stands, all deflated. All that bravado hides how incredibly fucked up he is and the character's so well drawn, they made me care! *reeling* WHY DO I CARE ABOUT THESE DUMB FOOTBALL GUYS?! But omg, I SO DO. And I love Matty and Jason very much too and I just want them all to be happy, dammit. And yes, I'm still sniffling.
Tomorrow the Boy and I are starting a healthy-eating/lifestyle plan. I'm a little daunted, but it's very necessary after the usual Christmas-New-Year eating extravangances. At the end of last year, my gym closed unexpectedly. This was really distressing for me as I'd been finding the yoga there so beneficial. Well, the good news is I've found a place to continue practice. It's in this fantastic converted warehouse studio, and the staff are brilliant, but the yoga is HARD. I'm going to have to work my butt off to tough it out there. Which is probably exactly what I need, but I'm feeling, well, challenged right now. And I'm also going to be getting on my bike a lot more--both for fitness and environmental reasons. So wish my muscles good lucks! ;-)
And on the food front, one of the best things I did towards the end of last year was sign up for delivered organic fruit and vegies. I get a box once a week of what's in season, and wow are they GREAT. And bananas are back! BANANAS! :-) (There was a banana crisis in Aus last year, for the few of you that I did not bitch to about this.) But man, I do NOT know enough recipes with root vegetables in them. Sweet potatoe, anyone? Pumpkin? Send your vegie inspiration in my direction because these boxes are forcing me to get creative. As is the all-singing all-dancing breadmaker that the Boy's parents gave us for Christmas. Homemade bread is a very lovely thing, but it has 38 setting. THIRTY-EIGHT. I'm going to have to give up full-time work to master this thing!
And finally, I need to guilt myself into vidding. So, first it was the unrippable DVDs. Now it's the vid itself. supacat cast her eye over a preliminary draft of my Clex vid and informed me (accurately, as always) that it required something other than hard cuts in a few spots. She's right. But it's thrown me into great angst as that means doing something creative/artistic. *quakes* I'm really not sure I can do this. I tried a few dissolve transitions and eeep they look SHITE. I don't want to kill the vid with effects--what it needs is a very subtle touch in a couple of spots. Instead, every time I play with something now it's kind of the equivalent of someone splashing tub of black paint onto a halfpainted canvas. *shudders* But I must, must, must finish this. *resolves*
Oh, and I've cut my friendslist somewhat. I finally hit that point beyond which I can't actually keep up with it. If you think you've been defriended accidently or would like to be added back again, please drop me a line. It was not my intention to hurt anyone's feelings.