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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a few random thoughts from England


still life: mobile (new) with cup of tea (empty)

1) The M40 looks like the New Jersey Turnpike (except for the sheep).

2) Not only have I not seen a single movie since I’ve been in England, I haven’t seen a single movie theater. There is apparently a cinema in Stratford-upon-Avon, but I haven’t come across that in my wanderings around town yet. All the rest of my journeying thus far has been through countryside and small towns that haven’t sullied their high streets with movie theaters. Though in Stow-on-the-Wold, they were going to be showing Definitely, Maybe at the town hall next week.

3) Oxfordshire really is Tolkien’s Shire — driving around in the dark tonight, I kept expecting to see a couple of Black Riders jump over a hedge and give chase.

4) Paul, the adorable cabin attendant on my British Airways flight over on Wednesday, must be played in the movie by Simon Pegg.

5) Though I had to drive through Swindon today, and will do so again tomorrow, I have been and should be able to continue to be able to avoid the Magic Roundabout.

6) I think I’m gonna be a real dork and download a Doctor Who ringtone for my new U.K. mobile (pictured above).



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  • Anne-Kari

    I covet your new ringtone.

  • Susan

    Come to Wotton-under-Edge, it’s a small town in southern Gloucestershire, we’ve got a cinema!

  • Les Carr

    I wonder if it’s just me, or whether MaryAnn’s other British readers are feeling a non-specific sense of responsibility for her while she’s here. It’s like having important guests to dinner – is she enjoying the food, is our conversation interesting enough, are there enough cinemas, is the weather to her liking?

    I will breathe easier once I have read the Hamlet review and seen if it’s all worth it :-)

    PS Perhaps Samantha from Iowa will be able to confirm whether MaryAnn looks like Yvonne Hartman (“I did my duty for Queen and country”) in the flesh.

  • Martin

    You get that Doctor Who ringtone. It’s a wise investment.

    I’ve got an MP3 of the Doctor saying “Are you my Mummy?” from the Sontaran episode as my Mum’s ringtone.

  • Cinema just off Rother street op the American fountain up a side road opp the oddfellows arms (pub).

    Ted

  • *grin* That reminds me of being in Kuala Terengganu — Internet cafes every five meters, but seemingly not a single movie theatre in the entire population-295,000 city…

  • MaryAnn

    I never said there wasn’t a movie theater, just that I hadn’t come across the one in Stratford. I did come across one in Cardiff, but that was really the only city of any size that I visited.

    I *did* download that DW ringtone. Of course, the cheapie phone I bought isn’t usuable in the U.S., but it’ll be ready for my next visit to the U.K., which I hope will be very soon indeed.

  • “I wonder if it’s just me, or whether MaryAnn’s other British readers are feeling a non-specific sense of responsibility for her while she’s here. It’s like having important guests to dinner – is she enjoying the food, is our conversation interesting enough, are there enough cinemas, is the weather to her liking?”

    well, as the other traveller on this trip to Stratford and other parts British, i can tell you, you “all did very well!” weather, food, conversation, smashing men… all highly rated and thoroughly enjoyed.

    many thanks to you all.

  • blake

    “I wonder if it’s just me, or whether MaryAnn’s other British readers are feeling a non-specific sense of responsibility for her while she’s here. It’s like having important guests to dinner – is she enjoying the food, is our conversation interesting enough, are there enough cinemas, is the weather to her liking?”

    I’m with you, Les.

    It’s kinda like when you introduce your girlfriend to your buddies and hope they don’t freak her out.

    I feel like shouting :

    “Oi, MA.J.’s coming over !!! Everyone best behavior, please !

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