Not Really Book Related

Things have been a bit hectic since I got back from my Montreal mini-break. The new profile photo was taken at the Botanical Gardens. Well, actually, outside the Botanical Gardens, since the two Scottish earth signs in attendance balked at the $16 entry fee. Oh sure, they throw the Insectorium in there... *shudder* No thanks.

I did see a couple movies at the TIFF, including Control (the Ian Curtis bio pic) which I've been excited about for a while. It's a beautiful movie, especially if you're a fan of Anton Corbijn. The director's mark is all over this movie, and you always know you're in the middle of his work. That said, the dialogue and characterizations are rich, and you come away feeling great sympathy for all involved. Sam Riley plays Curtis, and does a fine job of making someone so mythologized a real person. Though, I think the guy who played Curtis in 24 Hour Party People did a better Ian Curtis dance. Control is based on the book Touching From a Distance, written by Ian Curtis' widow, Deborah. Yeah, I misted up a bit at the end.

I was at the Virgin Festival for the two days following. Highlight of the weekend was Editors, who played on the B stage. Otherwise, I have to admit that I'm not at all cut out for festivals. Too many people, too crowded, line-ups, porta (porto?) potties. No, no, no, no.

While I was at the Virgin Fest on Sunday, the other Scottish earth sign was at the Joy Division documentary, where he scored me this:
Yes, that would be Peter Hook's* autograph. Ieee!!

I was presented with the autograph while on line to see Atonement, the adaptation of Ian McEwan's brilliant novel. If you have not read this book, stop what you're doing now, go find a copy, and sequester yourself. It's one of the best things I've read in years, and that's not an uncommon opinion. Hmmm, this is the first time I've look at McEwan's website. Very thorough! Impressive! Anyway, the movie. Keira Knightley is about the smallest human being on the planet, though it works in the film, since it's set, initially, in the boob-hating 30s. She's also a really, really beautiful woman, and a fine actress, as far as I'm concerned. The movie's sound wasn't mixed down properly, so we missed some of the dialogue, and the typewriter click leitmotif was a bit annoying. And, as is the case with most adaptations, there was a pretty important element missing in the movie, which I can't talk much about, because it ruins the book. Plus, my movie reviews are worse than my book reviews. I would like to mention the stellar work of James McAvoy. I hadn't heard of him before (but not being a movie person, that's no surprise), but he's very, very good in this film. Here are the two leads on the night I saw them at the film's opening.

Ulrich Schnauss' music is the soundtrack to the best dream you've ever had. Hearing it live and loud is like having that dream in the arms of the person you love the most. The first time I heard Schnauss, on his MySpace page I fell into a "bliss coma" (the same thing happened the first time I heard Slowdive's Souvlaki). I bought his latest record a couple hours later. The live show sounds gorgeous, but I've never been all that entertained by a guy and his laptop, no matter how nice the accompanying visuals are. So I pretty much just closed my eyes and let the music wash everything else out, which is pretty easy to do at that volume, when the bass is rattling your ribcage.

One of the openers was Madrid, whose live show sounds more rich than a trio should reasonably be able to create live. Good stuff. Picked up their EP at the show, which is a bit more nouveau-new wave than the live show, which sounds more shoegazer/dream-pop. Either way, opening bands don't generally make such a good impression on me, so good on 'em. They're semi-local too (apparently from Niagara Falls)!

And that's all I have for now, kids. A month of no blogging, and this is all you get. Ha! Hopefully I'll have more to say soon, since I just got my copy of Away and I'm racing through Carol Shields' Republic of Love so I can get to it. *According to that Wikipedia page, Hooky plays a Yamaha BB1200 on "Joy Division's Closer LP and every New Order album." Cool! I play a Yamaha RBX270J.