It’s All Swedish To Me!

In honour of our fine young Swedish exchange student,  Jesper, I could not help myself but give you one of the best (ish) movies from Sweden..

Now, I have to say, as a lover of foreign movies, I came to the conclusion that I need to watch them when I am NOT ironing. I do like to wile away the boring ironing times by watching something.. but  as good as I am at  ironing, I cannot for the life of me do that and follow subtitles at the same time. But Gimme, gimme a movie with music and I can be a dancing ironing queen!

Now,  you may be forgiven if you think the best(ish) movie  is “The Girl With The Something Tatoo”  Sorry and all.. but… no.   It’s not. I don’t like graphic movies that come with a warning..  Here is the one I am thinking of, but, my friends, it also comes with a warning.. although not quite in the same frame as “The Girl..” I must tell you, it may still  not be a pretty sight. This one is  from the renowned Swedish Director Lars Hallstrom. Yes, the Director who gave us The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and Whats Eating Gilbert Grape    gave us this. His first foray into major motion picture making… and one which he  rue’s the day he made. (He admits it!)  For all of us ABBA fans though, we say a huge Thank You For the Movie… even if we thought it was a bit naff as well, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

 One of the greatest groups of all time,  forever immortalized on the silver screen…

                                                                      ABBA: The Movie.

Now, for all you people who have seen “Mamma Mia” on the screen and/or the theater, PLEASE, if there is any justice in the world.. lay off the campy soundtracks and get to the real thing will ya? I love Meryl too… but the Name of the Game my friends, is authentic is best. There are a couple of ways you can do this: You can actually  buy “ABBA The Movie”  It has taken years to become available on DVD , but with protestations over some twenty years (pathetic, I know) it IS now available. Failing that,  there is always ABBA: Song Star, which is like karaoke but  is also a  game and you get to sing with them on the screen, because, you know, they were the group that paved the way with the original movie video. Yes, I know, Queen did the scaramoosh, vandango thing… but it was ABBA that started the video for each single they released.

So Lars, this girl with the grayish golden hair thanks you, and, whenever  I (have a) dream, I can be transported once again to my youth, even when I’m ironing. 

Go On,  Take a Chance on it…


The Beautiful Game

So what’s with the title then? Sure sounds like the title of a movie.  Are ya racking your brain trying to figure out what  this is? Of course, you savvy folks out there know the beautiful game is Football. Not soccer, people… football. Proper football.

Football. Made in England, perfected everywhere else. Thankfully, you can see the Beautiful Game every week in the form of  The Barclay’s Premiere League. Where the national team struggle to find form, the  league  is known for being the best in the world. The fans  live it and breathe it. Here, you grow up with the colour of your team in your veins.  Through good and bad times, you support your team to the end.  A breed apart.

Eons ago, I took part in a football game. It was lads v gals.  Everything was going well until the heaven’s opened and it chucked it down. The pitch began to deteriorate into something like chocolate pudding and it wasn’t long before the game started to deteriorate as well. The gals were denied a clear goal by the ball stopping in the mud just before it crossed over the goal line. It was only natural then, that my friend picked it up and threw it in. This signaled a free for all which resembled Rugby more than Football. By the time I got home, part of the winning team I might add, I was unrecognisable and looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards in a mud slide. No matter if you’re playing it or just watching it, it’s all about the passion. And we are nothing if not passionate about our game.

On Saturday, my team, Manchester City, take part in the oldest and best domestic Cup competition in the world, the FA Cup. Formed in 1871 from a proposal by the Football Association honorable Secretary Charles Alcock,  “ is desirable that a Challenge Cup be established for which all clubs belonging to the FA should be invited to compete..”  The stage was set for the David’s of the lower leagues to face the Goliath’s of world class teams… and there have been magical moments in history, when Goliath has indeed fallen.

So now my team takes part in the Cup Final that hopefully see’s them lifting the most venerated Cup in Football history,  and in honor of this, here are two flicks I think are worthy of your time. One is a British movie and the other is a documentary.

The Damned United

Starring Michael Sheen as the famed Nigel Clough, it’s a gritty telling of his short tenure as Leeds United Football Club manager.  Great drama, well told and one of the best British films of  2009.

Kicking It

A  documentary that  follows a group of homeless men to South Africa, to participate in their own international World Cup competition. Narrated  by ColinFarrell.

You can check out this great outreach organisation’s website for more information here.  The Homeless World Cup

  COME ON YOU BLUES !!!!!!!!!!!

Update! …MAJOR Update!   

Manchester City went on to win the FA Cup and they didn’t  stop there.  They smelled success and liked it and went on to win the English Premiere League. Pipping  the mighty Manchester United to the title with the last kick of the game, they go down in football history as providing the most exciting finale  the league is ever likely to see again. Are you listening Hollywood?