Interviewer: “What do you think of ‘R-Pattz’ actually?”
Rob: “I would like to break the hands and mouth of the person who came up with it.”
We’re taught to lie from an early age, and – when we’re older – to be diplomatic, to spin and to generally gloss over the unpleasantness in life. That’s why, when someone genuinely just does not give a f***, it feels like such a breath of fresh air. Especially when, like Rob Pattinson, there doesn’t seem to be any malice behind it, just a general sense of exasperation with how eye-wateringly stupid the world is.
I’m no Twilight fan – I haven’t read more than a paragraph of the first book and thought the first two films (not seen the others) were f***ing awful. Rob Pattinson, though, I’ve got a lot of time for, and here’s why.
It’s been a funny year. I spent most of it pregnant, which is a lot like being really hung over for nine months. Not really conducive to productivity. Now my tiny bundle of trouble is here, blog posts are hastily composed in the few minutes she is able to sleep without being cuddled up on my lap. It’s been a funny year generally, though. There were terrifying natural disasters, tumultuous political events, and a slew of zeitgeisty buzzwords. There were the riots in the the UK, which was the logical result of our filesharing culture: if you tell people that they can take music, films and games without permission, payment or consequence, then of course they’ll just start smashing shop windows and stealing televisions and consoles to play them on – because, really, what’s the difference?
Steve Jobs died, to worldwide mourning, and John McCarthy – who coined the term “artificial intelligence” – died the same month, to little fanfare. Amy Winehouse succumbed to her addictions, and Charlie Sheen miraculously survived his own. A royal couple who actually seemed to like each other got married. Lady Gaga got boring. An American preacher predicted the Rapture – twice – and was a little embarrassed when the dates passed without incident.
And a number of things were released that I rather liked.
“Mostly only art created by women has any validity. The male experience has been created and recreated so often” – Everett True, 1992
That is such bulls***. It’s like saying that only Tuvan throat singing/rock hybrids have any validity because you don’t get much of that, either. (And, f***, it’s good stuff.) I don’t flip the sleeve over to check the gender before I’ll listen to the record, any more than I’d think too much about whether they were, say, Turkish. And, yes, a Turkish act does bring a certain flavour to the mix that you rarely get with non-Turkish acts. It’s informed and shaped by its Turkishness but not wholly defined by it because it’s more than that and to reduce it to that is to insult it.
Take Aylin Aslim, for example. I don’t know who she is, but I love her. I don’t have the slightest clue what she’s singing about (though Google translate tells me it’s called “ghoul”). There’s definitely a Turkishness to what she does, but I don’t set out to listen to Turkish folk. I just like this one – her – because she has such a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude and playful energy that makes her an absolute joy to listen to.
The cinematography is beautiful. It’s the first thing I notice. If the first film was glorious Disney sparkle and the sixth was eerie and blue, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2 goes straight for post-apocalyptic grey. It’s as bleached and hopeless as Terminator 4, but has the poetry and grace of the first Pirates of the Caribbean. It could be Gore Verbinski at the helm, and that is high praise, but fair: Potter 7 pt 2 is a very good film.
I was having a bit of a DVD marathon today, re-watching the Harry Potter films in advance of seeing part 2 of Deathly Hallows next week. It occurred to me, while watching the films, that you could have slipped any number of lines from other films into the dialogue with nobody much noticing the difference. For example:
Pottermore, the much-discussed secret Harry Potter project, has been described today by JK Rowling as being an interactive website featuring 18,000 words of footnotes to her books. The site, opening in October, will allow fans to read in-depth biographies and other background material that did not make the Harry Potter books.