One day to go, and it seems like the BBC is falling all over itself with excitement. Who isn’t excited at this point? Cynics. But most of them are just jealous they have to watch it on television.
I am one of the lucky people actually GOING to the Games. I refuse to shut up about it.
But I am learning that the hardest part of going to the London Olympics may not be managing to get tickets; it will undoubtedly be overcoming all of the obstacles (hurdles, if you like) between home and a seat in a stadium.
Busy trains and buses are the least of my concern, I think it’s the security queues that will be the most difficult. I have just opened a letter that accompanied my tickets, which I first dismissed as colourful rubbish. It outlines all the things I can and cannot bring into a London 2012 venue. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- There is an “airport” level of security at all venues. So, higher than “train” but lower than “submarine.”
- I am expected to arrive at a venue 2 hours before the event is scheduled to start so that I can get through security and to my seat in time.
- I can’t bring my police scanner into a venue.
- Controlled drugs are banned, as are “substances which look like controlled drugs.” So much for my bag of icing sugar.
- “Excessive amounts of food” are prohibited. Who is this arbiter of what constitutes excessive?! I can imagine the fights with G4S security guards already. Weeping Mums forced to hand over their greedy picnics composed of 3 too many scotch eggs. Screaming children devastated at the loss of their extra bag of Hula Hoops.
- “Large flags, banners and poles.” This is a bit of a kill joy move, surely. No large flags? Who doesn’t love to see obnoxious flag wavers in the stands when you are watching on TV? Large, obnoxious patriotism is what the Olympics is all about.
- “Noisemakers such as hunting horns, air horns, klaxons, drums, vuvuzelas and whistles.” I’m with them on vuvuzelas, but this is set to be the quietest Olympiad yet. Next they’ll be regulating the appropriate volume of clapping and the pre-approved decibel range of cheers. Screaming is prohibited.
- “Any objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification intended for ‘ambush marketing.’” Now we are in properly controversial territory. Much has been made in the media already about the monopolistic policies of the IOC when it comes to their corporate sponsors, but it will be interesting to see how the “political statements” policy is applied. You’ve been warned, Aaron Sorkin fans who have lines of dialogue from The Newsroom emblazoned on t-shirts.
- “Flags of countries not participating in the Games.” Is this a rule put in place to avoid any awkward Taiwanese flag controversy? Are G4S security guards and military personnel drilled on the appearance of every country’s flag and which are prohibited? If there are 205 countries participating at the games this year, who ISN’T participating? More questions than answers here.
- “Oversized hats.” Well here’s something that people from every nation, class and creed can agree on. You hear that, Queenie?
Wish me luck.
Over at vman.com: Tobey Maguire interviews Andrew Garfield about being Spidermen!
TM That’s very cool. A lot of what you’ve been talking about, the connectivity between you and the story and the fans, it seems like you have a great respect for the character.
AG Very much so. Peter Parker is such a positive character—he’s pure wish fulfillment, an underdog. I grew so much from him when I was a kid, from the comics all the way up to the first movie you were in. I was 19 when I saw [Spider-Man]. I got a pirated dvd at portobello Market with my friend terry Mcguiness, and we went back to my skanky apartment in North London and we watched it twice in a row and then practiced your final line in the mirror!
AG Terry has this thick accent and every time I would recite that line he would laugh this very distinct laugh and say, “No, man, you could never be fucking Spider-Man. You’ll never be fucking Spider-Man!” I was so humiliated and upset. But, um…fuck you, Terry!
Amazing, right? The whole thing is very congratulatory and borderline obsequious, and of course you will learn that being Spiderman is very IMPORTANT, but it’s still worth a read. Go have a look.
Bazz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby has been popping in and out of entertainment news headlines since he started casting, with rumours circulating that Ben Affleck would be playing Tom Buchanan (how great would that be!) and Blake Lively would be playing Daisy (how terrible would that be!). After settling on Leonardo DiCapprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton as the leads, we found out the whole thing would be shot in 3D, prompting a collective “WhaaaaaaaaaaaaTTTT?!?!” on Twitter and in college English classes.
The film is now in the can and set for a December release, but we have been given the first of many trailers that I’m sure will continue to generate firm opinions.
The movie looks sleek, visually rich, and certainly Luhrmann-esque… but part of me thinks Lurhmann should only be allowed to operate on a small budget to rein in his lasciviousness. Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet remain his best films, demonstrating Luhrmann’s knack for creating a unique visual style to frame genuine and powerful human moments. Unfortunately this trailer feels more like The Great Gatsby channeling Moulin Rouge. The aggressively ostentatious opulence of the aesthetics seems at odds with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quietly complex characters. But I will try to reserve judgement until I actually see the finished film!
Meanwhile, I think we can all agree that the soundtrack to the trailer is completely great. Have a listen, on repeat:
Jay Z and Kanye West f. Frank Ocean – No Church in the Wild
Jack White (cover of U2) – Love is Blindness
For those of you who don’t watch Hollywood awards shows every year, you may have missed that Matt LeBlanc now has “, Golden Globe Winner” after his name.
LeBlanc has a brilliant, oddly career redefining role in Showtime’s Episodes, playing none other than… himself.
This is no Joey reincarnate; the show is surprisingly deft at skewering Hollywood nonsensery and narcissism, and above all takes aim at the impossibly ridiculous machinations of American Network broadcasting corporations and the process of bringing a show from pilot to air. Under the helm of Friends exec producer David Crane, you really get the sense that the writers and creators of the show are knowledgeably speaking from horrific-yet-comedically-rich experience.
The show is definitely worth watching, or you could just go ahead and read this spoilery interview in The Guardian here, where LeBlanc discusses the similarities and differences between him and his “character.”
North America has been suffering from a serious drought in politically focused television programming for the past 7 or 8 years. Not since the heady days of The West Wing and Spin City have audiences been presented with two fantastic comedies/dramedies with a political bent. (Why didn’t those successful shows spawn an era of copy cats? There were no Grey’s Anatomies to their ER if you know what I mean. But perhaps for this we should be grateful.) Armando Iannucci’s Veep and Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom are happily bringing politics back to scripted television. Well, HBO. Close enough.
BUT THERE’S A RECESSION! And I work freelance! I’m exorcizing my shopping demons here. You’re welcome.
(Plus, this post gives the site kind of a GOOP vibe, right? Aspirational consumerism!)
- The Dylan Dress, Club Monaco. But if I was wearing it, I would be smiling instead of open-mouthed pouting. www.clubmonaco.com
- A Gurgle Pot! It gurgles! It’s a pot! What more could you possibly want? Perfect! www.gurglepot.com
- Recipe Cards, Rifle Paper Co. I am obsessed with this press, they make some incredibly beautiful things. Decorative recipe cards would make my life more complete. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. www.riflepaperco.com
- Eggwhite Soap, with Chamomile Flowers & Lecithin. Okay, these will run you for about $4 so I actually did buy one. And it’s pretty great! Eggwhites! Who knew? If you want your skin to feel light, fluffy and chemical free, like a new-born chick (?), I recommend. www.lehsoap.com
From BBC Radio 4,
The 60s were nearer to WW1 than they are to today.