17th May – ‘I see dead people’ and fat ones

A sleepless night spilled over until morning. I found myself at four in the morning watching a delightful television programme named ‘Fat Families’. Falling into a slumber soon after whilst watching a repeat of ‘This Week’ – always a fan of Andrew Neil and Michael Portillo.

After a troubled sleep I went to bed at ten in the morning until two. My sleeping pattern was now sadly scuppered but not terminal. I lazed in the sun again in the afternoon, trying to enjoy the meagre rays while they lasted. Next, I watched ‘The Sixth Sense’ this has been quite a film week for me. Never having seen it before I was surprised by the twist at the end. It was a well put together thriller and surprisingly spine-tingling.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Later I went for a meal with my mother and her partner and then to the pub with my friends. I did not stay at the pub too long, yet managed to fit in the obligatory pints of Guinness. After losing at pool, in which my skills have not exponentially risen, I headed home.

Unforeseen, I feel surprisingly tired.

Your writer,

Edmund Donnellan.

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16th May – Eurovision and ‘Kontroll-ing’ the horror

Awakening around midday, I ate some fruit for brunch. Since it was moderately balmy I sat outside for a while. Unfortunately, the cloud coverage built in density and I returned inside. I was still sore from jogging yesterday so did nothing strenuous – at all. For a meal I ate a corned beef plait, which was a less pleasant dish than I remembered, although beggars cannot be choosers.

Then instead of doing anything remotely intellectually stimulating I watched both Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals back-to-back. This was a lengthy way to spend a day, despite this I quite enjoyed it. Who does not find entertainment in questionable translations and dubious taste?

Following this I watched a Hungarian thriller called ‘Kontroll.’ The essence of the film follows a team of ticket inspectors, whilst a hooded figure is murdering people by pushing them in front of trains. I enjoyed the film, it was a tense psychological thriller and left ambiguities as the best European films do. One of the reason I believe I appreciate horror films and thrillers is the fact I have quite an over-active imagination and am easily put on edge by tense films. While enjoying them at the time, I can discover that sleep deserts me, hairs stand on end and sounds reverberate around the house leaving me highly-strung for a few hours. This is exclusively in the darker hours, but watching these types of films in the middle of the day would be an injustice. The paradox is, I enjoy the horror but probably should look away.

Neurotic and skittish,

Edmund Donnellan.

12th May – Being an introvert and Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I consider myself an introvert rather than an extrovert. Whilst I enjoy social encounters and time with friends, I need to spend time alone to rekindle my energy. I imagine this is the opposite for an extrovert, who would have to assemble friends to recharge from solitude. However, I perceive that I am only slightly on the introverted side and have become more extroverted as I have aged. When I was younger I could go a good week in my own company before experiencing a need to venture out of my sphere. Now after one day I feel content, yet after two or three I get itchy feet and a desire for social contact. This might be because one is more ready to seize life in adulthood whereas in the yesteryear I was happy to trundle along.

Awakening at the exceptionally early time of eight o’clock – this is because I am not the best sleeper after a few drinks – I ate scampi and chips for breakfast. Now even I will admit this is not classic breakfast fair, but it hit the spot.

During the course of the day I watched the final Harry Potter film with my mother, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.’ Now I will admit neither the book nor the film are high art, but I remember that I enjoyed reading the tomes when they were first released, when I was a teenager. Nonetheless, although this film has been arguably the most critically acclaimed in the series, I found it was one of the least faithful to the books. In my humble opinion, the first film is of greater delight to Rowling purists as it is closer to the original text, although has a more meandering pace.

In spite of this I am not saying one can never utilise creative license when adapting a novel for screen. It is rather the unnecessary changes, simplification and stylisation that I dislike. Sometimes it is necessary to make large changes to a book’s direction for film but then it should only be an influence on the film not its authoritative source text.

A film that I enjoyed, which is meant to be close to its original book, is Roman Polanski’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ . A memorable psychological horror film from 1968. I prefer older horror films in general because of less reliance on computer generated special effects; which I still find quite unconvincing.

Anyway, I have mentioned little of my day, as there is not much to tell. I went over to my father’s house on the evening and there is nothing outside the mundane to tell. On the other hand, I am going to the horse races tomorrow so there should be much to tell then.

Your writer,

Edmund Donnellan.

9th May – A ‘Memento’ of Chekhov and cats

English: Colossus, a huge white-and-tabby cat.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being at home I slept until the early afternoon. I made no pretense to attempt to preserve my sleeping pattern. However, later on in the day after begrudgingly dressing and making some semblance at getting ready to seize the day, I went to my grandmother’s house. My cat now lives there and I was very happy to see it as I am fond of her and cats in general. The cat in question was a rescue cat and has a tendency for biting the hand that feeds it. Yet most who come across it grow to like it. I wonder if one can switch from a cat person to a dog person and vice versa later in life or is it fixed from childhood?

I did not achieve much for the rest of the day, I read some of my Latin textbook and watched a film. The film was a 2010 adaptation of Chekhov’s ‘The Duel’. It kept my attention and I believe I will try and read the novella. But what captured my attention most was the setting. Apparently it was Croatia parading as the Caucasus but the surroundings seemed as if one could spend a summer there very happily.

A few days earlier I had watched the film ‘Memento’  starring Guy Pearce. The film follows a man with retrograde amnesia who is trying to find his wife’s killer. The film is meant to be a very accurate portrayal of this type of amnesia and one empathises with the main character’s plight. He can only remember for a short period of time. However, it is the end of the movie which opens a can of worms and the viewer must make their own interpretation of events at the end. Although, what makes the film particularly interesting is the reverse chronological order. One sees the protagonist kill ‘his man’ at the beginning and then we see each scene leading up to this. Normally, I am a person who appreciates mostly clear linear plot devices. But this works well with the film and the ambiguities that are piled on by the end. I would heartily recommend it as a psychological thriller and leave it for you to trawl through the internet to find the ‘true’ interpretation of the film.

I went to bed after Chekhov

Cover of "Memento"

Cover of Memento

as there were hundreds of television channels and seemingly nothing on.

Your film overloaded friend,

Edmund.