Listen Up (still amazing): Bloc Party’s “Silent Alarm”

Glad to hear that Bloc Party has regrouped. Their first album “Silent Alarm” is one of the best albums of the 2000s. Gorgeously energetic melodies and striking lyrics about love, youth, and struggle.

Come and show me how it was

I made a vow/To carry you home

I really tried/To be what you wanted/It all went wrong/again

This modern love breaks me

Throw your arms around me

Listen Up: “What You Know,” Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club is an Irish band that is currently touring the U.S. Their song “What You Know” is lyrically devastating but musically infectious. The singer does a wonderful Ben Gibbard impression with backing from some sparkling guitars.

Life has become unsettled and unfamiliar in the past month. I’m back in school and am preparing for class and teaching. Here are some notes I took while watching this video.

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A woman on white roller skates enters the frame and the camera follows her movement. The woman beats the yellow drums in time with the drum beat, splashing the red dust. The last drum she hits is a white drum with mustard-colored dust. She has dark magenta socks with a matching smock over a white top, white shorts, and her hair is half up, half down. The authoritative way she beats the pails along with her less-revealing outfit demonstrates her agency. She does not have to look at anyone offstage for approval or entertain anyone as a dancer. She has a unique visual identity and does not have to use her body to express the music; she becomes one of the music-makers and creates a visual representation of the sound. Her smock hides the shape of her body, and her roller skates allow her to move without bouncing or flexing. The camera briefly pans down to show the pails and her lower body as she beats the pails.

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There are two pairs of parallel lines in the background. Parallel lines will never meet. The song describes a romance that has failed and gone on too long. These two people will never be able to come to a happy union and become “one”; there will be no convergence.

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The dancers move towards the camera with expressionless eyes and twitchy dance moves. This is not about sexy, sinuous moves, but about acting automatically with emotionless motion. Like how the relationship is just going through the motions without any passion.

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The camera cuts back to a frontal view of the band (with no bright colors in the frame) for the most heartbreaking part of the chorus—the stark truth.

And I can tell just what you want
You don’t want to be alone
You don’t want to be alone

Since the previous shot, the Buddy Holly guitarist and the sweater guitarist have switched sides. They are all moving with more energy; even the sweater guitarist is looking up and bending his knees a little. The singer is looking at the camera full in the face while singing the chorus, calling out the fears of the beloved.

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Then the band members jump forward off of the boxes that they were originally on and the dancers in shorts come forward and dance in formation. Then everyone turns, and in the new shot, it’s the dancers in skirts. Finally the dancers and the band are integrated together in a formation and are moving together. Just as the dancers and the band start to move together with passion and energy, the singer is reinforcing the crumbling state of the relationship in the chorus, about failing to unite.

The band members move forward back onto the boxes. All band members are moving with confidence. Buddy Holly guitarist is rocking out with his feet wide apart and bobbing his head. The sweater guitarist does some nodding head moves and deeper knee bends. The singer is moving his whole body with bouncy energy, swinging his guitar neck up and flicking his guitar strings with a flourish as the scene fades to black.

And I can tell just what you want
You don’t want to be alone
You don’t want to be alone
And I can’t say it’s what you know
But you’ve known it the whole time
Yeah, you’ve known it the whole time

King Richard Armitage Week: (Wrap-Up) Hooray!

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in an extended series of RA blog events for the Richard III for Richard Armitage!/King Richard Armitage project (sign the petitionjoin the Facebook group). Enjoy the fun!

Although there are still more King Richard Armitage posts to come on other blogs, I wanted to do a wrap-up post for the past week. Cheers to all of the blog contributors and readers that participated in the event! You can find links for all of the talented and clever King Richard Armitage Week blog contributors here.

MyrL created an excellent YT video/audio compilation of Armitage’s mentions of the RIII project. It’s lovely to hear (and see!) his enthusiasm for the project and how the project has been progressively moving towards development.

darlingdarling blog KRA Week Notes

Richard III Project Slogan Poll

The winning slogan: “The Last Warrior King.”

Wonderful submissions:

– My kingdom’s worth a lot more than a horse. (Servetus)

– I fought for my people, not for my reputation. (CDoart)

My new idea:

– Better Than The Tudors.

Six Degrees of Richard III Actors + Armitage

Phylly3 and Carolyn impressed me by bringing more Richard III actors to the game: Ciaran Hinds, Kenneth Branagh, John Barrymore, Frederick Warde, and Sir Alec Guinness.

It is so satisfying to see that all of the RIII actors can be linked to Armitage, and often very quickly. He has worked with quite accomplished co-stars. Also, it is intriguing that two other RIII actors have also played Sir Guy in Robin Hood; Armitage has said that RIII is the Shakespearean character that reminds him most of Guy (although one imagines he has the real RIII in mind).

Creative Letters of Support

Inspired by Carolyn’s comment, I added a letter from Padmé Amidala to my planned post. Carolyn submitted a delightful letter from the Vicar of Dibley and I added a letter from Galadriel. This post was the most fun and I loved seeing how RA’s past characters related to the RIII project in their shared interests, struggles, and love for a reluctant (at first!) woman.

Leading Ladies for RIII

This was an added post. If there’s an RA project, I’m most interested in the love story because he does “in love” so beautifully.

An additional thought: Natalie Dormer starred as Anne Boleyn in the The Tudors TV series, so it is unlikely that she would be cast as Lady Anne in a Richard III project. But who knows? The two look stunning onscreen in these passionate Guy + Anne crossover fandom videos created by summersparkle2 that I posted earlier this summer.

Looking Ahead

The King Richard Armitage website will be updated with new content as blog contributions come in and new ideas arise. CDoart has great plans, so do keep checking the site for her updates. BIG cheers and thanks to CDoart for her terrific interviews, tremendous web management, correspondence, organization, and infectious enthusiasm for delivering King Richard Armitage Week. An amazing job!

One day, I hope that RA is able to create (and star in) the RIII project and make it everything he wants it to be. It would be very special indeed.

King Richard Armitage Week: Leading Ladies and That Proposal Scene

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in an extended series of RA blog events for the Richard III for Richard Armitage!/King Richard Armitage project (sign the petitionjoin the Facebook group). Enjoy the fun!

We have extended KRA Week since we still have more posts coming from blog contributors. It’s a super-sized week! 

Servetus has another terrific post, this one focuses on the Richard III + Lady Anne relationship. I was also curious about the romantic possibilities for their courtship and proposal scenes in the RIII project, which would be a welcome shift from the sinister seduction of the Shakespearean version and would certainly not involve spitting.

Here is a quick summary of the historical romance: Anne Neville was the daughter of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, who used Anne as a pawn to secure his own political power. At a young age, she was betrothed to RIII, but her father switched alliances and arranged for her to marry Edward of Westminster when she was 14. Then both her father and husband abruptly died and she had no allies since her brother-in-law (Richard’s brother) wanted to claim her part of the inheritance. RIII is said to have rescued her from this drama and the pair quickly married.

In Shakespeare’s play, Act 1 Scene 2 is the proposal scene. RIII woos Anne at the king’s funeral, telling her how he killed her husband and the king (her father-in-law) so that he could marry her. She becomes enthralled by his passion for her and implicit offer of protection and submits to becoming his wife.

Laurence Olivier + Claire Bloom

Laurence Olivier works his seductive charm in the worst haircut in the history of cinema, sending Bloom into a swoon. It almost seems romantic.

Kenneth Branagh + Stella Gonet, audio recording

Branagh goes for the crying and tender murmuring tactics. Gonet does the best job of showing Lady Anne’s rage.

Ian McKellen + Kristin Scott Thomas

McKellen does a commanding job of convincing Lady Anne and his energetic asides to the camera work well. Scott Thomas’ Lady Anne is beaten down and withdrawn in her consent. The least romantic proposal. The ring in the his mouth does not help.

Al Pacino + Winona Ryder (starts at 7:44), goes to Pt 4

Ryder seems a little lost here. Pacino hams it up. Yikes at the age difference. Very predatory. DON’T DO IT GIRL.

I mulled over possible actresses to play Anne (Servetus’ post also has an Anne actress poll), but was not coming up with many age-appropriate choices. One actress I did think about was the lovely and talented Claire Foy (b. 1984) from Little Dorrit since she was able to portray strength and vulnerability so movingly in that production. I also would like to see her do some quality work so that she doesn’t have to settle for being a witch in a Nicholas Cage movie.

Or perhaps Australian actress Abbie Cornish (b. 1982) who played one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and starred as Fanny Brawne in Bright Star (the video below contains the ending scenes of BS).

King Richard Armitage Week: Creative Letter of Support from Geraldine Granger (submitted by Carolyn!)

To celebrate Richard Armitage’s 40th birthday and to commemorate the anniversary of Richard III’s death, this blog is participating in a weeklong series of RA blog events for the Richard III for Richard Armitage!/King Richard Armitage project (sign the petitionjoin the Facebook group). Enjoy the fun!

Geraldine Granger and Harry Kennedy from The Vicar of Dibley (courtesy of: richardarmitagenet.com)

From Geraldine Granger, Dibley, England

On behalf of the entire village of Dibley, I would like to submit our endorsement and support from my very bosom for Richard Armitage and the Richard III project. From the very moment we met this handsome stranger to our village, he literally swept us off our feet. We can vouch that he is a very educated man and reads lots of books. And while he is not particularly one for the Bible, I find he is a man of good conscience. While aroused by the appearance of my white collar, he says that “God is watching and he’s bigger than me.” Yes, he believes in a higher power! And he also is a man of loyalty, which is also Richard III’s motto. He promised me that “I will love you whatever your name is” and I believe he always will.

I know that before I met him, I thought he was just another townie bastard and I so wanted to loathe him and everything that he stands for, but I firmly believe that if you have the opportunity to meet him that you will find him more tempting and lovely than a box of the finest chocolates.

For me, it is Richard and just Richard for Richard III.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Geraldine Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalafragelisticexpealidocious Chim Chiminey Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Cherree Granger, The Vicar of Dibley

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Bravo to Carolyn!