Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Giardini di Naxos, Sicily

Giardini Di Naxos is a township at the base of the mountain on which Taormina is located. It looks quite interesting although we mainly passed through it numerous times on our way to and from Taormina.

However we did enjoy a wonderful meal in this family run restaurant on the beach front. I can recommend it.

A rather grand railway station serving both towns is nearby to the restaurant although the walk between the two is somewhat dangerous at several points where the footpaths disappear.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Taormina, Sicily

Taormina was our first base on our short visit to Sicily. Situated atop a mountain reached by steep roads with hairpin bend features and blessed with lovely views across to neighbouring areas including Mount Etna this is one tourist trap worth spending a little time in and around.

Some photos of its nightlife.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Despite my love all types of films for some reason I have never been able to bring myself to see any of the Harry Potter series. I just haven't been tempted even though the various trailers seemed attractive enough to me.

I gather that 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is in some ways a prequel to the Potter stories and as it was the only film as yet unseen by me screening at a time when a friend and I wanted to take in a movie I was finally exposed to a 'Potter like' movie.

A young Englishman arrives in New York for some reason I either missed hearing or else was never explained to my understanding. He has a small suitcase containing some fantastic beasts. What ensues is two and half hours or so - it seemed much longer to me - of mostly tedious and chaotic magical events affecting both the city and its inhabitants. Some of the beasts seemed cute to me but elicited not a murmur of reaction from the huge cinema patronage. The effects are impressive but I had little idea about and less interest in what was happening.

I gather there are possibly four more films in this new series to follow. I doubt that I'll be seeing them.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Founder

In 'The Founder'Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald's Corporation of family restaurants; yes, that is the 'golden arches' hamburger empire.

Keaton dominates the film from his days as a struggling but ambitious travelling salesman through to his evolution as a ruthless business tycoon. It is a fine performance.

A riveting depiction of super sized capitalism in action. You might need a large serve of fries with that.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Nocturnal Animals

A married woman reads the manuscript of a new book written by her former husband. This, essentially, is the setting for 'Nocturnal Animals' the new film from Tom Ford. Much of the film is occupied with a visual representation of the manuscript with the wife imagining her former husband as the book's lead character. Interspersed are moments from the woman's current and earlier life.

Unsurprisingly, visual images and colour motifs are strong points in fashion designer Ford's film. However I found much else to be perplexing in this somewhat 'Hitchcockian' styled movie.

(WARNING: Possible spoiler alerts. Is her current husband having an affair or not? Did she have an abortion and if so which of the men in her life was the father? Does the brief appearance of an adult daughter have anything to do with the plot?)

I like Amy Adams a lot but her performance here, all flicking of hair and distant, moody looks just seems a waste of talent to me. Michael Shannon makes his usual impression and provides the most striking performance in the movie.

If you are sensitive about nudity and/or images of people's toileting habits then you might want to give the film a miss.