Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Great Wall


Foreign mercenaries are captured and enlisted to protect China's Great Wall from attacks by legendary monsters.

'The Great Wall' is a Chinese and multi-national co-production which I understand aims to be the first Chinese international blockbuster in the manner of a Star Wars or similar level hit.

The film relies on epic scenes seasoned with mythological elements. Watching the epic scenes I was reminded of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Beijing Olympic Games and so was not surprised to learn afterwards that the film's Director, Yimou Zhang, directed those ceremonies.

The Beijing ceremonies were highly choreographed and superbly synchronised displaying extraordinary skill and discipline but lacking totally in spontaneity and warmth. This film is a bit similar although to be fair there is an attempt at humour which sometimes but not always succeeds.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017


An African American family's struggles to escape their past and for equality in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.

'Fences' retains it's stage roots and feel in this film version. It is dense with dialogue and mostly static in settings, rarely relying on images to advance or illustrate the plot.

Excellent performances from the small cast.


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Ancient and modern

After visiting the Colosseum we moved on to the nearby Museum on the Capitoline Hill to see the Edward Hopper exhibition. A Barbie exhibition was also open but we didn't extend our day to visit it.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Colosseum

My first and only previous visit to Rome was 44 years earlier and one of my memories of visiting the Colosseum was of the heavy road traffic whizzing by on the roundabout that surrounded the ancient structure.

Our approach to the Colosseum this time was very different. The approaches are boarded off concealing the construction of a new subway rail line. No road traffic at all this time, only pedestrian traffic. But, my oh my, the crowds of people once we arrived.

Photos from outside, inside and looking out of, the Colosseum.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

En route to the Colosseum

The next day we targeted the Colosseum as our main tourist activity. We walked from our apartment building under dark skies and through several strong rain showers passing numerous monuments including the Altar of the Fatherland which I think is also the Victor Emanuele 11 monument.

Then on past the Imperial Forum and the Basilica Aemilia.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

What's for dinner?

Every evening we wandered the back lanes around our accommodation choosing a restaurant at random - those that weren't booked out of course - for our evening meal. We didn't experience a single dud meal.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Rome synagogue

No surprises that every back lane in Rome has a fancy church, or so it seems, but the local Synagogue looks the goods too. It wasn't open the time of night we walked past it just one day off from the Jewish Day of Atonement. I assume the place was packed the next evening but we weren't in the vicinity then.

I wonder how many other Synagogues, if any, feature a crucifixion image?