Wednesday, 27 February 2008

the greatest

song of the week. cat power.


i'm sitting at the torp-airport close to oslo right now, with approximately 1,5h to kill time. sure, i got some books with me, and i got some stuff to write down as well, but as this lovely computer station was absolutely abandoned i thought i updated this blog a bit.

this morning, i heard about this thing called "bookcrossing", you take one of your books that you would like otherpeople to read, register it, put a short note about the bookcrossing-thing inside, and hide it somewhere in town. then, you put the place where you hid the book online, and somebody else can go there and take the book. pretty smart, it's something like the worlds largest bookclub..

anyway. i'll check out the tax-free now (don't have any money left, so there is at least no risk of me buying chocolate..).

Monday, 25 February 2008

a beautiful piece of music

eskobar (feat. heather nova) - someone new

pure, beautiful pop music.

sadly enough though, eskobar took part in the swedish melodifestivalen, probably europe's largest event with seven shows in seven different swedish towns to find the artist to represent sweden at the grand prix d'eurovision. it's a huge part of swedish (pop-) culture, and in general they feature more or less the same (schlager-) artists every year, and no artist with real musical ambition and any dignity would ever take part. i feel a little bit ashamed of myself, but a. and me are really sitting and watching this thing on saturday evenings.
anyway, it's a sad thing that eskobar actually felt they had to take part. and even more sad that they didn't win. in fact they landed last place on last saturday's show. which is a shame for the swedish people, as it shows that they don't have any taste in music. at least not the majority of them..

Sunday, 24 February 2008

beautiful day

today was probably oslo's first real spring day for the year, the sun was shining brightly most of the time, the air smelled of fresh grass (well, at places with lawns nearby) and the temperature was pretty high for this time of the year - i guess around 10 degrees, plus, of course.

i decided to use the lovely weather for a nice walk, and ended up in the famous Vigelandparken, which is where i usually go for my jogging-tours as well. instead of taking the usual round from one end of the park to the other, i decided to explore some corners at the far end of the park, places that i hadn't seen before. the park is a lot bigger than i had assumed until now, and i like it more every time i go there. there is a small hill with a lot of trees on it which i had only seen from far away until today. it looks like a place for fairytales...
actually, those rather remote areas of the park remind me a lot of places where we played as children, so i guess i'll change my running-tours a bit to see how spring is going to change them.. things start finally turning green again =)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

who is michael clayton?

a poker game. after some rounds, a player gets a phone call, gets up and out of the room, leaves the house. obviously, somebody is in trouble and it's his job to fix it. he does his best, but still, he is distracted, unconcentrated, fixes another lawyer to the situation and leaves. back in his car, he starts driving around, without any actual goal. at some point, he stops, the landscape is beautiful, there are horses nearby and he leaves the car to enjoy the peace surrounding him. a minute later, his car explodes.

who is this man? what is it he is doing? these are the two central questions in "michael clayton". of course, there is a whole plot woven around him and the lawfirm he works for, and the macguffin being used (big bad company is up to something real evil and will destroy hundreds of small farms) is not the newest one, but unlike these john grisham-thrillers from the 90s (you know, "the firm", "the client", "the pelican brief"), the focus lays entirely on this one character. this means, not only in his role as a working man, but as well in his role as a father, a brother, a friend, a human being with problems. and then, there are these questions again. who is michael clayton? what does he do?

the movie tries to outline some answers to these questions, but somehow comes back to them again and again. we get to know why somebody would want him dead, but he himself still doesn't really know who he is, or what his position in his lawfirm is. but then again, him being officially dead seems to free him from these questions in some way. as if they suddently aren't as important any more. or maybe he found an answer and just doesn't want to share it with us.
which is just as good.

now, when it comes to the oscars - i'm not quite sure if the film really would deserve it. it's great, but there are a lot of great movies out there right now, and i'm not sure that this one is the best of the best. let's see.. just one weekend away...

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

sundaycinema for two

on sunday evening it was time for cinema again. a and i still had two free tickets for the colosseum (we had found bubblegum over one of our seats there once and complained, so we got two free tickets - in norway, nobody ever goes to complain over anything, so the guy who worked there more or less fell out of his shoes when we came and asked for compensation..), but we couldn't decide on a movie to see together.
a really really wanted to see "cloverfield", but, since i am not at all so much into monster-horror-flic-things.. well, you know. i would have missed half of the movie being scared like hell, hiding my face on a's chest and holding my ears not to hear too much of the creepy sounds (i got some more stuff to tell you about creepy and sound, but that's another story).
anyway, i had read a lot of positive reviews about "juno" and when we checked the cinema program, we saw that both movies were shown at the colosseum at more or less the same time, so i decided we could go to the cinema together but see different movies and meet at home afterwards. perfect!!!

the thing is, when you go to the movies, as soon as the lights are out and the movie starts you sit there basically on your own in your own little world between all those other people and you don't really have anything of the company (apart from above described situation or if you want the rest of the visitors get angry and throw popcorn at you so you stop talking). i like going to see films on my own, and i do that extensively.

so, juno. for me, i guess, the feelgood-movie of the year. no doubt about it.

the story is pretty simple, juno, 16 years old, bored and curious about life, gets pregnant. she decides to have the baby and eventually give it away for a perfect couple to adopt it. of course things don't go as smooth as that, but still, nothing really out of the normal happens, and that's what makes the movie so nice and perfect. it's not too sweet, but also there are no over-the-top obstacles on juno's way through pregnancy.

apart from the pregnancy, juno is the kind of teenager i had wanted to be but never was cool enough to become. she is sharp in her replies, clever, and full of crazy ideas (like moving a whole livingroom-furniture from one lawn to the front of her not-boyfriend bleeker to tell him about the pregnancy, or like putting about 100 boxes of tic-tacs into his mailbox). she has the most understanding parents ever, and the best and most comforting best-friend to have in her situation.

when i think about it, i feel a bit ashamed, because when my friend v got pregnant (at 18, but still some time before graduation from school) i really wasn't the best friend to have. i just hope i could make it up to her by now..

Monday, 11 February 2008

bertine in concert

concert last saturday. it's been ages since i last went to see any artist live, and i have missed it. no wonder i enjoyed bertine zetlitz at oslo's sentrum scene tremendously. great music, exactly the right amount of people there (i could stand in the first row and see her really well without being munched to death and i even had some space for dancing!! as well, i didn't get anybody's beer over my dress, which is a huge plus) and you could see how much fun bertine had on stage.

one personal highlight was definitely "adore me", here is the video (i love the song, the video itself is a bit lame i think):

a second highlight was her dedicating "twisted little star" to britney s. i finally understand what the song was all about...

Friday, 8 February 2008

Atonement - Abbitte

what if you have too much phantasy for real life. what if you write a drama, a play, which nobody you know wants to play. what if you got a crush on the man your sister loves. what if you are too angry and too disappointed to realize what you are doing. what if you just didn't understand everything that happened that one evening, even though you thought you understood?

what if you destroy two people's lives forever?

Monday, 4 February 2008

Out Stealing Horses

i finally took the time to read a book that i got as a christmas present, norwegian author per petterson's "ut og stjæle hester" (pferde stehlen) and i read it through in one day.

an old man has recently bought an old house close to a lake, more or less in the middle of nowhere (apart from the small community the house belongs to) where he wants to spend the last years of his life in quiet and peace. the thing is, things turn out differently. the forest, the nearby lake, and a somewhat familiar neighbour set his memories going, and one part of his past which he had thought he had forgotten, breaks up and into his life again.

dreams recall the summer when he was 15, just after the end of the war, which he spent with his father close to the border of sweden, as well in the middle of nowhere (or at least, the end of norway), and this is the summer that changed his life, made him grow up and deeply disturbed him. or maybe not? the novel feels disturbing, with smaller and larger desasters breaking into life every now and then. and maybe it's not so much the things that happen or the people, but rather the surrounding nature, dry and hot in the summer, cold and harsh in the beginning winter. and the trees. always the trees.

it's a novel about time. family. sons. guilt. physical pain and how to deal with it. it is a genuinely male world that is described here. the beginning of a lone wolf's world, though he had had company most of his life. and it is about norway. and a little bit about sweden, värmland in particular. my second homeland. kind of.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Ur marionetternas liv - Aus dem Leben der Marionetten

theatre again, after all. today i went to see "From the Life of the Marionettes" at the Thalia-Theater in hamburg. hard stuff, i have to admit, but with an ingmar-bergman-film as background, one shouldn't think anything else. hard stuff, but fascinating.

a man, leading a totally normal life on the outside, suddenly kills a prostitute and calls his psychiatrist (who is a friend of his all the same) afterwards. thus the investigation starts, and we find ourselves catched in a web of angst, suppressed desires, strange nightmares and failed relationships. ingmar bergman was psychologic drama, and the stage-adaptation of his film equals his intense pictures on screen.

the stage is a cage, but it's not golden. its blood-red, and the red bars made out of wooden planks remind a lot of the ones they use in sweden for those nice little red houses. it's the middle class this is all about, successful people who can afford all the luxury they like and still cannot find peace, luck, happiness, whatever it is you want to call it. things go wrong. everything looks nice and happy, easy and calm from the outside, but things are brooding under people's skin, and most of the time it's the emptiness that is brooding. until something triggers the angst, the desires, the nightmares...