Last night I watched a DVD of the Golden Globe winner, Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street’. The film is visually stunning, musically dramatic, and lyrically witty. Based on Stephen Sondheim’s acclaimed stage production, it is a grisly tragi-comedy, definitely not for the faint-hearted. Johnny Depp as the eponymous lead character was well worthy of his prize and other nominations. He is a suitably vengefully deranged killer who has a singing voice marginally better than Rex Harrison in ‘My Fair Lady’. Helena Bonham-Carter as his complex accomplice Mrs. Lovett is equally superb, has a rather good voice, and an accent that would have suited Eliza Doolittle. Brilliant casting includes the ever-menacing Alan Rickman, and the splendidly slimy Timothy Spall, both of whom bravely tackled their songs, as did Sacha Baron Cohen in his flamboyant cameo role.
Whilst watching, I was stung by what felt and looked like a bee until I took my revenge on it. I felt its presence, felt for it, fingered it, then felt the sting. I squashed it. Perhaps it was just as well this was not a Dracula film, or I may have been less sanguine.
Having first read H.T.Mason’s English introduction this morning, I made a good start on Voltaire’s ‘Zadig’ in French. Dana then drove me to Bergerac airport and we talked curry. Jackie was at Southampton to drive me home, and later to The Curry Garden in Ringwood where we enjoyed the usual excellent meal and Kingfisher beer. A meal which has become my favourite here is hatkora. The hatkora is a citrus fruit native to Bangladesh. It is the rind that is used in this dish which The Curry Garden will make to your required heat strength including a choice of meat or fish. I have not seen it in any other restaurant.
I understand it is very cold high above the clouds, even in bright sunshine. Cold enough for frost patterns to become etched on the glass of the airborne portholes. Unlike those of the winter bedroom windows of my childhood, they stayed outside the plane.