All entries for Saturday 30 October 2004

October 30, 2004

Tate Gallery research

I spent two days this week at the Tate Britain archive researching Vincent Massey, who was Canadian High Commissioner in London from 1935–45. I was tracing his relationship with Sir Kenneth Clark, the English art historian, who left his papers to the state and they're housed in the archive at Tate Britain. I finally got a photocopy of the Massey Report, named for V. Massey because he chaired the committee that examined the relationship between the Tate, the National Gallery, the V&A, and the British Museum. I also read correspondence between Clark and Massey, and what I found agrees with Finlay's assertion in "The Force of Culture" that Massey and Clark were friends. Their correspondence was infrequent after Massey left London, but continued until his death in 1967. In fact, he sent Clark a note late in 1967 stating that he would be in London for Cmas and hoped to see Clark. The sad fact was that Massey died in London only a few weeks later on that trip.

Food in UK: Potato chips

Food in the UK is more interesting than you probably think. The different flavors in potato chips, or "crisps" as they're called here, are seemingly endless and not remotely like anything we have in the US. In addition to the typical varieties like sour cream and chive or cheese and onion (like we have), there are exotic flavors like chicken-flavored, beef-flavored, even lamb and mint-flavored. Thai sweet chili-flavored was really popular in the dorm. Today I bought goat's cheese and olive-flavored (made with olive oil, so they're healthy), and they're pretty good. A "seasonal" item now in the market is cranberry, thyme and sage-flavored potato chips (all three in one chip), and I HAD to try those. Very sagey. Easy to resist at home, I find these exotic varieties hard to resist, only because I'm so curious about them.

Film review: Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland is the story of J.M. Barrie, the playwright who wrote "Peter Pan." Who knew that Peter Pan came from the Brits, too???? An article by A.S. Byatt in the Guardian attracted me to this movie, which is the story of Barrie and the family who inspired him to write "Peter Pan." Set in 1903 in London, this film hit all my hot buttons, ie, Johnny Depp, the clash of Victorian morality and Edwardian opulence and informality, the misunderstood artist, and the tragedies of life. Only "inspired by true events," reviewers have pointed out that it's not entirely accurate, but it's not documentary, right? Johnny Depp manages a pretty good Scottish accent. Kate Winslet, Julie Christie and Dustin Hoffman fill out the adult leads. Even the children are pretty good. It appears to be really shot in London and England, so there is period architecture and furnishings, etc. Images from Barrie's fantasy life are cut through the scenes, a technique that I really liked. This is one you can take your mother to see-no sex, violence, or bad words-but make sure that you're both well-equipped with tissues before you enter the cinema.

October 2004

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