What is it about the week following a bank holiday that makes it so much harder? I guess its partly trying to fit 5 days of work into 4 days. However, this has been a super weird week. Some moron decided it would be funny to smash a load of windows at 1am on Thursday morning and 3 of ours got broken. It was an early hours wake up call that resulted in very little sleep. Meaning I’ve been spending the rest of the week trying to catch up on sleep. Meaning I’ve not done as much reading as I normally would have. It’s very disappointing but I can’t do anything about it now. Thankfully, May is a pretty easy one for my reading challenge.
This week was the first time in ages that I watched one of the original Star Wars films. It’s not something that I’ve done purposefully but because I have so many other options now. Between all of the streaming services that I’m subscribed to and my own film collection, I just have too much choice. So much choice that I rarely go back to beloved classics. I’ve probably seen the prequels more often than any of the other films in the franchise. Not because I prefer them (although, I do think they have their positive points) but because they don’t demand my attention. Watching one of the original trilogy should be an event. You should be watching it and not doing anything else. These days, I’m rarely able to just sit and watch a film. I’m either writing, taking photos or just distracted by something. Not this time. When I turned on A New Hope on Star Wars day, I was determined to watch this as it deserved.
In light of all of the Covid nonsense, I’ve really not been keeping track of awards season this year. I’ve barely watched any of the nominees. Or at least I’m pretty sure that I haven’t because I don’t even know who all of the nominees are. I’ve just lost my way with films and decided that there were other things to focus on this year. Plus, it isn’t really the same when you can’t head out to the cinema. Despite my Oscars blackout, I was still overjoyed to wake up to the news that this year’s ceremony had made history. Anthony Hopkins became the oldest person to ever win for acting. Daniel Kaluuya picked up the best supporting actor and became the first Black British actor to win an Oscar. Then there’s Chloé Zhao who became not only the second woman to win Best Director but also the first woman of colour. It’s quite the positive step for the Academy. Emerald Fennel was given recognition for her screenplay and became the first person since 2007 to win. This was only one that I was really invested in. I was desperate for Fennel to win. Why? Not only was the film important and original but I’m becoming obsessed with Fennel. She seems like a fantastic human being with a unique creativity. This was one film that I knew I had to see as soon as possible.
So, after just over a year of being in lockdown and shielding as much as I can, I’m heading back into the office on Monday. It’s not that I didn’t know this day was coming, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so soon. Especially as there’s nothing that I can do in the office that I can’t do at home. On the other hand, I’ve had my first vaccine and have my second one of Tuesday. That means in a few weeks, I’ll be as protected as I’m going to be. It’s probably time to get back to as normal an existence as possible. I mean, I won’t be rushing out to shops or pubs yet but it might be nice to be around other people for a bit. Although, I started my current job in April 2019 and I realise that I’ve spent more time at home than I have in the workplace. Just something to think about.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of this film non-stop. I don’t know why I started listening to it. Especially considering that I’d never seen the film until this week. It was recommended to me on YouTube, which potentially shows you how much Disney I’ve been listening to lately. I guess it makes me feel better about how awful the world it right now. After months of ignoring it, I couldn’t resist the lure of the Rock singing a Lin-Manuel Miranda song anymore. Turns out, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. It was only fair that I actually watch the whole film. At least I knew that if the story was bad that I’d have the songs to fall back on.
For the first time in a while, we’re starting off on a positive note. Work seems to have been less stressful this week. I’ve also spent some proper time reading. Not as much as I’d have liked but some. I spent some of yesterday finishing my last read and it feels like a huge relief. Hopefully, I can make a good start on my new read today. Although, in terms of my Spell the Month Challenge, I officially only have 2 letter left to go. I don’t either of my picks for those will take too long, so I shouldn’t need to worry too much. Of course, this is exactly the point when dramatic irony would normally kick in and they turn out to be quite intense and long reads. But we’ll see.
When I review the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, I mentioned that wanted to read it before watching the film. It’s always tricky when it comes to book adaptations that you care about. Especially when you care about it for nostalgic reasons. You obviously want to it be as good as possible, but you also know that there will have to be changes. You can’t get everything into a film version without the runtime being uncomfortably long. Which is why I don’t normally reread books just before I watch a film. Otherwise, you’re too close to it to be objective. But with Artemis Fowl, it had been too long since I’d read the series for me to be happy to watch it. I needed to refamiliarise myself a little more first. But would it be my undoing? I was already going in with low expectations thanks to the criticism the film garnered. Would my recent reread cause even more problems? I had to find out.
I love the idea of a 4-day working week. Starting working on Tuesday was a lot less stressful than it will be tomorrow. Although, I can’t say that it’s been a good week but that’s mostly because the other guy in my role was on holiday. That means I was doing the work of 2 people over a shorter period. Friday was a particularly rough day and I was glad to see the weekend. I really need some time off. I can see things only getting busier over the next few weeks. So, I’m also getting ready for my reading to drop off dramatically too. I’m already struggling to read and am having to resort to audiobooks to get me through. I’ve got nothing against them but I’m not exactly concentrating on them as much as I should. I’m about to tackle our super short book club read, which I hope will get me out of this funk. But we’ll see.
It’s not very often that I watch a film adaptation after just reading the book, so I normally don’t get as good a sense of just how much is changed. I mean, yes, I have an idea but it’s never quite as vivid as it was this week. I watched The Remains of the Day the evening after I’d finished reading the book. That’s pretty damn fresh in my mind. As such, I was probably a little more annoyed by the changes made to the original story. Well, after you’ve read something as perfect as Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, how can a film adaptation ever be as good? Still, I knew that I couldn’t let this get in the way too much. I don’t want to be one of those book fans who always pretend the book is massively better than the film.