Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Case for Foreign Signage 1

Quiet as I have been the last wee while, I have none the less been very judgemental. Below are some images that struck me on my recent travels:

1. Santiago Aiport: Either very clever or not quite right.

2. Lima: Less white than I remember them

3. Lima: Everybody wants some Bimbo

4. Cuzco: The Golden Arches turn black. Showing their true colours perhaps?

4. Cuzco: Selling everything from shoe polish to fruit.

5. Arequipa: Pregnant limbo dancers first.

6. Nazca: Watched over by Jesus, Mary and Dolly

7. Santiago: A whole new concept of a very old idea.

8. Santiago: How happy is this cat?

9. Santiago: Another war criminal flees to South America.

Verdict: Funny what you see when you travel abroad. And boy how I love it. Nine images out of nine.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Case for A Bit of a Lull

You my find that I am fairly quiet on the blogging front for the next wee while - I am off out and about, Judging things in other lands.

I shall return...

Verdict: Lame excuse, but it will have to do. No rating.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Case for Lips

You know what they should do every year? Perhaps even every month? Have a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening at the Embassy. The reason I say that is because I went to a screening at the end of May, and I was absolutely blown away by the number of men and women who like to parade around in town dressed up in suspenders, feather boas, and ridiculous amounts of make up.

I was not so bold myself, as I was really not terribly sure how the whole thing would turn out. So I got dressed up in some Brad Major-esque duds (basically, my normal clothing really), and headed into Wellington to see what other Wellingtonians would make of it.

And what was made was an absolute mess. I was not quite sure how interactive this version would be, considering the beautiful state of the Embassy, but the Embassy staff themselves were selling bags of water pistols, pop corn, toilet paper, noise makers and news paper for those who had forgotten to bring al
ong their own. The only rule: don’t throw things at the screen; and like the good obedient sheep New Zealanders who want this kind of event to be staged again are, this rule was respected.

I sat next to a particularly chatty Rocky Horror veteran of many raucous screenings and with a wardrobe crammed full of character costumes. Her enthusiasm was almost overwhelming, so much did she have to say and so little did I have to prompt her. She had indoctrinated her daughter into the Unconventional Conventionist way of life, and was there with her daughter’s like minded friends. They hooted and howled and stood up and sung – as did everyone really, all with much abandon.

The only thing that let the team down (which was kind of a point in my favour, considering my own rather reserved participation), was the obvious lack of knowledge of the “official” interactive script . Yes, there is at least one
(a link to one here), even if during an actual screening and recitation, it is almost impossible to make out the words. I have not memorised the entire script myself, truth be told, but there are certain (fairly simple) smidgeons that I retain. And it was evident that there were others in the audience who knew different tracts than myself, but it was also evident that there were very few of us within the crowd.

And you know what would solve this criminal under-education? More regular Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings! I await in antici…

Verdict: Always heaps of fun if you can let yourself go with the flow. Don’t dream it; be it. 10 sweet transvestites from Transsexual, Transylvania out of 10.


The Case for Stomping Grounds

I have to thank my rellies for taking me along to see Stomp 2009. While I was a big fan a few years ago of the show Tao: the art of Japanese drumming, the idea of Stomp, while similarly percussion-based, also felt to be wrapped up in the ugly paper of tap dance.

Yes, I admit that I am prejudiced against tap dancing. I can admire the skill and dedication, the rhythm required and the technicality of the execution, but if I see a single performer going at it for more than five minutes, I tend to end up in a coma. I find it amazingly, incredibly, and tautologically tediously dull.

So I was pleasantly surprised when the incredible performers in Stomp only gave in a couple of times to tap dancing solos. For most of the time, they were dancing collaboratively, or hitting or rubbing or rustling something to make (mostly) loud and inspirational music.

During the performance I did have a Scrubs-like side bar moment, imagining what the casting call must have looked like. The performers on stage were a United Colours of Beneton mix of unbelievably talented dancers and/or musicians, and finding people who would meet those exacting requirements and, in some cases, be willing to act in roles that were defined by their looks must have been an incredibly difficult task.

I was surprised that there was no intermission during the performance, but then the whole thing was choreographed to allow the performers to relax a bit from time to time, but not get too warmed down and thus be unable to perform to their best later. There were the odd mishaps, though nothing so cataclysmic that the show came grinding to a halt.

Overall, the Stomp 2009 was an amazing spectacle. Given the option of seeing this or Tao again… Hmmn, I am not altogether sure which I would prefer. All I know is that I wouldn’t be let down either way.

Verdict: Stomp 2009 banged its way into my affection. An incredible mix of different ethnicities, sexed and body types came together in a smashingly good time. 8 Dr Marten’s boots out of 10.