Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Simon Pegg and Sisters of Mercy

When "The World's End" came out I heard rumours that it had a strong Goth soundtrack and they weren't lying. It was exciting to discover that Simon Pegg and his cohorts Nick Frost and Edgar Wright shared my fondness for Goth music. When Simon talks about his favourite Goth bands and creates his playlist it overlaps with mine continously. Thus it has become one of my favourite movies to watch just because. No I can't quote lines from the movie because I have to admit I kinda watch it like one long music video. Being a fan of Sisters of Mercy I can see similarities in scenes to some of their videos and also Fields of Nephilim videos. In general it just captures the total vibe. How can I not love a movie which has a main character, Gary King, who loved Sisters of Mercy so much he has the bands logo tattooed on his chest and he still loves them. He also still wears a band tshirt and  the quintessential coat of his youth. Gary remembers the 80's as the best time of his life and wishes he could relive them and this is the basic plotline of the movie along with some aliens, violence and humour thrown in the mix.

This movie is the third installment of "The Three Flavours Cornetto" or as some call it the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy". The first was "Shaun of The Dead" which is a comedy disguised as a zombie flick or a Rom/Zom/Com. The Cornetto flavour or colour of this film is Strawberry which signifies all the blood and gore. The second is "Hot Fuzz" which is a comedy disguised as a cop buddy movie with a mysterious cult included. Here the Cornetto colour is the Original flavour, colour blue aka Men in Blue. "The World's End" is the last in the trilogy and it is a mixture of comedy, science fiction and little green men. In this one the flavour of Cornetto is green mint chocolate chip and you have to watch for the reference.  I like all of them but I would reverse them for my order of preference.

These are just a couple of the fun posters you can find when searching Cornetto Triology :)

Because of my fondness for Simon Pegg he now makes my daughters list of favourite actors, who are mainly British. Her favourite Simon Pegg movie is probably "Absolutely Anything"(2017), which rates really high in her books as it  includes Monty Python allumni in the cast and is directed by Terry Jones. British humour, thus Monty Python is very popular in our household. The movies starring Simon Pegg we have watched together so far are:

                                           Shaun of the Dead
                                           Hot Fuzz
                                           The World's End
                                           Run, Fatboy, Run
                                           Hector And The Search For Happiness
                                           Absolutely Anything
                                           Man Up
                                           Kill Me Three Times

In "Cuban Fury" (starring Nick Frost) Simon Pegg has a cameo which we both caught because we had recently watched "Kill Me Three Times", it was the mustache which caught our eye. "Kill Me Three Times" was probably the first movie she watched that has done a nonconsecutive storyline and she still isn't sure whether she approves of the techniques. We also realized she has seen The Boxtrolls and Room On The Broom - voice actor. Simon Pegg has now become one of our go to actors for what we call our Film Studies Course, yes we discuss plot, genres etc. I am movie buff so I enjoy introducing her to actors/actresses that are not standard North American fare. If I can sneak in music also, even better, especially when it is a band like Sisters of Mercy :).

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Goth Girl

In the late 80’s and the 90’s I was a Goth girl, in many ways I still am. In high school I was often referred to as the girl who wore big boots, short skirts and long coats. My husband likes to sing "Short Skirt Long Jacket" by Cake to me whenever we come across a picture from that time. The long coats and short skirts were most often my own creations or something that I had modified from a thrift shop. My attire did not change much season to season even though I grew up in a climate which includes 4 definite seasons. And I assure you fishnets are not the best thing to wear when it it -10 C and colder, though I would do up my coat then. When I moved to Toronto to go to Fashion school I stopped wearing any colour other than black and to this day I still have a hard time wearing bright colours. Colour enters my wardrobe through accessories mainly, one of my favourites being funky striped socks worn with attention getting footwear, laceups, mainly black, occasionally shades of red or purple. For footwear my favourite has been Fluevogs for about 25 years now. Looking in my closet you can see my obsession with Fluevog footwear, some of them have been resoled, restitched, and some hardly worn but they are all beautiful. Throughout my teenage years until my early 20’s every year my Dad gave me a birthday card that read I.O.U one pair of boots. My favourite boots presently are the Zachary which are no longer being made :( . My pair is well worn, have been resoled and restitched and need some TLC again. I have my fingers crossed that they will release them again as lace up boots with no zippers are practically impossible to find. If I am not wearing these with a skirt or bloomers my other go to's are my burgundy derby swirls(Fluevogs of course) with pants.

My go to boots - Zachary from Fluevog

I have always read voraciously and during my heavy Goth phase I read a lot of theology and philosophy when I wasn’t focused on fashion and music. I still have an extensive collection of books on Voodoo, History of Witchcraft and the odd Neitzche mixed in with my other reading material. I listened to mainly British music during this time as they had a stronger goth scene(Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of Nephilim, The Mission etc) otherwise it was punk or industrial music. Most of the other kids were into Hair Metal or ProgRock at my high school and I didn’t meet many other people who had similar listening trends until I left home. Being Canadian I tried anything put out on Network records the home of Skinny Puppy and Sarah McLachlan, opposite ends of spectrum for music. Of course I was a Skinny Puppy fan out of those two, though I have always respected Sarah as a strong female Canadian musician. I had many friends while living in Toronto(college years) whose goal in life was to look exactly like Robert Smith of The Cure, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus or truly believed Sid Vicious was a good roll model. Some even followed the fashion of the Rude Boys of Ska music or did the total Rockabilly look. Normally these weren’t boundaries to be blended but I have never been inclusive in my fandoms or subcultures and I really hope some of the evenings we spent at the pub together at my insistence resulted in some lasting friendships that wouldn’t of happened otherwise. At this stage in my life I was pretty fearless in starting conversation with anyone who happened to catch my attention.  Something I am sad to say isn’t as prominent now, it seemed so much easier when I was in my 20’s to just strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Goth Phase also equaled Club Scene participant. The only night I didn’t go out was Saturday as that was when all the frat boy/jock types were out. Sundays and Mondays were the best as then I went to clubs/alternative spaces with staff from other places. Otherwise Thursday was a great night for Goth music or seeing a band at Lee’s Palace. Because of my interest in fashion and especially alternative fashion I also met a variety of people from the fetish scene. I honestly can’t believe I use to make and wear creations made from PVC fabric or latex, neither fabric is meant for comfort. Those outfits were made to be seen in, pose in, definitely not for dancing. But every time I went to the Tazmanian Ballroom it was like going to a members only fashion show. One of the aspects of the evening was showing off your outfit, this was also the era of Jean Paul Gaultier and the iconic cone bra he created for Madonna, the resurgence of lingerie as outer wear and the start of body modification entering the mainstream. Going to a Con nowadays has a similar vibe at times when I see people reconnecting, showing off their outfits or their latest obsession. Fashion and dressing to please and express yourself is very important to me. I am one of those people who will paint a fence in a velvet skirt if that is what I chose to wear today though comfort has become more important to me then it was. I still prefer boots over shoes, my skirts are longer nowadays and I still own a variety of long flowing coats.

And just for fun here is a link for Short Skirt Long Coat by Cake - not very Goth but a catchy song :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

February Books

February was a good month for reading. This was partially due to more time spent on the bus :) taking my daughter back and forth to the SIFF Film Camp she was enrolled in during her Winter Break. That week I was probably reading a book a day, I think I ended up reading 12 or 13 books in the month in total. For transit reading I normally pick a non-fiction book which is more of an essay format. It needs to be engaging, thus not a dry academic read. The more academic reads I keep for home where there are fewer distractions.

I have just recently discovered the Fan Phenomena Series, check them out if you are interested in Pop Culture. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the first I have read in these series and I enjoyed it immensely. We just recently watched the complete series in our household as a family. We even participated in a Buffy Trivia Night mid December so it was fun to read essays focusing on the series, they ran from academic to fandom based.

Andi Zeisler is an author/columnist I discovered recently who was pivotal in the creation of the magazine Bitch. I read We Were Feminists Once first which discusses through essays how the word feminist has developed and how it has become a marketing buzzword. In reading this book I also discovered her great interest in Pop Culture and that she had a published book on the subject, Feminism and Pop Culture. I enjoyed both books, neither was overly preachy and covered a nice range of topics.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce was a book recommended by the Book of the Month club. I worked at a small independent record store part time off an on for a while in my 20's so it piqued my interest. The main character is a man who can find the perfect match of music for each person who walks into his store at that point in their life. The music history that was interspersed throughout was an added bonus and I can see why it is getting compared to High Fidelity.

The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey is the first book of a series with a supernatural aspect. It was fun and I will probably pick up the next one at the library at some point to read.  Sherman Alexie is an author that I have come across numerous time at local bookstores so I finally decided to read Fight. He is a local Pacific Northwest author and writes about being Native American. One of the things I enjoyed in this novel was its setting of Seattle.

The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller is the first novel from this author and hopefully more are in the works. The Power by Naomi Alderman is a science fiction book I picked up at Ada's Technical Books & Cafe. Both these books are about alternate realities where females are in power. Both are very well written and cover the topic of "What if girls ruled the world". They can be read for pure enjoyment but be warned they may start you thinking about politics, sociology and philosophy.