Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Olympics Day 4: Go ahead, jump

London turned grey and cool this morning, with threatening skies and weather forecasts that have begun to sound far too familiar this summer: temperatures well below the seasonal average and more rain than normal. So apparently last week's gloriously hot summer days were an anomaly. Sigh.

I stayed out of the Olympics' way today, only catching up on a few things on TV and reading results online since I've been reporting all day on the events. I also made one trip across town to a film screening - an uneventful journey with fewer tourists than normal for a London summer. Clearly all the visitors are in the venues!

The big Games news today was Michael Phelps' unprecedented 19th Olympic medal - his first gold here in London - making him the most decorated Olympian in history. And he still has a few swimming events left here. Also, Britain won equestrian silver, but has yet to earn gold in these Games. Thankfully, several more hometown favourites are coming up in competition.

CRITICAL WEEK: Film-wise this week, I've caught screenings in between Olympic responsibilities. Two notable Cannes films were finally shown to UK critics, and I loved both of them: Ben Wheatley's Sightseers is yet another genius blending of genres (this is a road movie romance with a serial killer twist), and Leos Carax's Holy Motors is an indescribably strange and wonderfully wacky odyssey about fate and humanity. I also saw Step Up: Miami Heat (aka Step Up Revolution), the fourth entry in the throwaway dance mash-up series with cut-and-paste scripts and sexy cast members; Brit Marling in the moody but unsatisfying semi-sci-fi drama Sound of My Voice; and Ron Fricke's super high-def non-narrative globe-hopping exploration of humanity Samsara.

Coming up, there's every action hero you can name in The Expendables 2, Ben Stiller in the alien-invasion comedy The Watch, Tahar Rahim in the French romantic drama Our Children, and the restored and re-scored version of Alfred Hitchcock's silent classic The Lodger.

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