Thursday, 21 July 2011

This week's movie. Cell 211

We went to FACT again yesterday to see Cell 211. OK it's another foreign film with subtitles that is not on general release but honestly we really aren't going all art house. This is a genuinely tense and exciting prison drama that, but for the subtitles, would be at home at any multiplex. The film opens and closes with an inquest into a prison riot and the riot unfolds in between. Young Juan Oliver (Alberto Ammann) wants to create a good impression in his new job as a prison officer so turns up a day early to have a look around. Unfortunately for him Malamadre (Louis Tossar) a Charles Bronson (the prisoner not the film star) like character has seized an opportunity to slip his handcuffs and all hell breaks out. Not yet in uniform, Juan's only chance of saving himself from the mob of cons is to pretend that he is the new inmate in Cell 211. Does he carry it off? I would spoil it by telling you but it's a film that really puts the viewer into the character's head. Young Juan has an unforgettable taste of unpaid work experience as the film examines the limits that both sides might go to to save their skins. It's fast paced, bloody, tense and has great performances from Tossar and Ammann. It may be a touch unbelievable but you will certainly leave the cinema questioning whose side you would be on.

It sounds very boring to go to the same restaurant every week for four or five weeks but, as it was a Spanish film and Salt House Tapas is close to where we park, it was the obvious choice. We moved away from the set menu which is good value at £8.99 for three tapas plus sourdough bread and dipping oil as we've tried most of it and wanted a change. The individual tapas at around £5 each are larger servings than those on the set menu so, while you would spend more for three, you would also get a lot more. We opted for two each plus some toasted almonds and marinated anchovies as nibbles. I was again impressed by the service which is always friendly and efficient and my choices of battered squid and marinated octopus were delicious. Marion had a goat's cheese tostada and an apple salad which were tasty light bites that didn't over face her small appetite. We shared a sorbet and a bottle of house wine and the bill came to just over £40. I think it is good value for freshly cooked food, nicely served in pleasant surroundings and we will certainly go again next time we are at FACT.

Which may be some time as St Andrews and the caravan beckon. There is a small cinema in the town but a quick glance at the listings suggests that it's not going to have FACT's variety. But we aren't too far from Edinburgh and I see that Filmhouse there is showing Bobby Fisher Against The World, A Separation, Potiche and Taxi Driver today amongst others so weekly trips there are on the cards. We can also visit the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe. I'll miss our weekly trips to Liverpool but we we'll be back quite soon. We did get our Orange Wednesday ticket yesterday but although I sent my text on Tuesday it didn't arrive until we were home from the film. Hmm.

I hope to finish my novel while I am at the caravan. I've been working on it when I can but I should have more time up there. It's funny how the advice I have received has been so varied. The last advice from someone high up in the publishing world and who I really respect is the opposite to that received from a professional editor. It reminds me a bit of Abe who went to Lionel his tailor for the final fitting of his new suit.

"Don't you think the arms are a bit long Lionel?" asked Abe.

"It's the way you're holding yourself Abe. Stand with your arm like this" said Lionel leaning awkwardly to the right, arm cocked in the air.

"And the trousers. That left leg looks longer than the right"

"It's the way that you're standing" says Lionel "bend your left knee and you'll see what I mean'

"But what about the shoulders"

"It's your posture. Raise your right shoulder more"

The fitting continued in the vein until finally, happy with the look of the suit, Abe said "OK. I'll keep it on"

As he shuffled out of the shop remembering to carry out each of Lionel's instructions as he walked, two old women standing at the bus stop opposite spotted him.

"Look at that poor, poor soul" said one.

"Yes." said the other............................. "But what a beautiful suit!" .

I'll finish today with some funky kittens.