All posts by Laura Morgan

About Laura Morgan

Laura Morgan lives on the internet. She mostly likes Agatha Christie and trains.

Women on the Verge of a Mirthful Breakthrough

Laura Morgan went to Edinburgh and all she got was a load of female comedians.

The Proclaimers! Dressed as women! For reasons that are tangentially related to the following article!
The Proclaimers! Dressed as women! For reasons that are tangentially related to the following article!

Just as there’s no point seeing the headline acts at Glastonbury when you could be learning to breathe fire or dancing to The Proclaimers instead, there’s no point going to the Edinburgh Fringe and seeing comics you can watch performing on tour or mugging on TV panel shows all year round. The beauty of a festival is the ability to discover acts performing to crowds of half a dozen and giving it their heartfelt all: a voyage of glorious discovery made better, not worse, by the knowledge that you might end up the only audience member at a terrible show. (This happened to me once, at the Camden Fringe: I hoped for both our sakes that the comic in question would cancel the show, but he nobly went on and shouted the whole thing into my face. These are the sacrifices I make for art.)

There are thousands of performers at the Fringe, and since my time in Edinburgh was limited to three days I decided I needed a focus, so I made it my business to go and see some solo shows by women, partly because women are ace and partly in an attempt to discover why the top ten one-liners of the Fringe are almost always all by men. Are men better at one-liners? Is it that the judges only go to see shows by men? Are there simply fewer women doing stand-up (yes) and is that because Women Aren’t Funny? (no). (It also isn’t, incidentally, down to Women Aren’t Funny’s uglier sibling: Men Don’t Like Funny Women.) Continue reading Women on the Verge of a Mirthful Breakthrough

It takes two to make an accident

Laura Morgan is in two minds about Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Party scene from The Great Gatsby
Ridiculous.

I have always liked Baz Luhrmann and his big, shiny, stupid films. I like the gauche, comic-book way he puts shots together, and I like how frenetic and noisy his movies are, and how awkwardly beautiful he makes people look. But he seemed an odd choice for a new adaptation of Gatsby, as did making it in 3D: why would you choose the most superficial of directors and the most superficial of mediums – I use the word descriptively, not pejoratively – to tell a story which is all about what’s hidden beneath the surface?

The trailer heightened my anxiety: it just didn’t look like a film I wanted to watch. But in the service of MostlyFilm I nobly overcame my misgivings and ventured out to a first-night screening, and I am pleased to be able to tell you that it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Continue reading It takes two to make an accident

“Count to five and tell the truth”

Laura Morgan watches the 50th-anniversary reissue of John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar

billy1
‘Genius – Or Madman?’ Billy Fisher as Hero of Ambrosia

There are lots of good things about going to the cinema alone. You can go and see anything you like without justifying your choice to someone else, and you don’t have to tell anyone what you thought of the film afterwards. You don’t have to share your snacks, or miss parts of a trailer – or, worse, the movie itself – because someone wants to have a conversation with you. Going to the cinema alone is a selfish and glorious way to spend a couple of hours. The only downside to it is that when a film makes you laugh until you weep – not the silent shoulder-shaking kind of laughter that you could just about get away with, but the hooting, spluttering kind that marks you out as a genuine lunatic – when that happens, being by yourself only makes matters worse. Fortunately for me I have only done this once: the first time I saw Billy Liar. Continue reading “Count to five and tell the truth”

Mostly Film goes back to the Oscars

After the ROARING SUCCESS that was last year’s Mostly Film Oscars liveblog, we’re back in a revised and updated incarnation, consisting of last year’s bloggers Concetta Sidoti and Laura Morgan, with bonus Y chromosomes provided by Victor Field and MF regular Niall Anderson. We’ll be providing incisive and penetrating commentary on the red carpet, the candidates, the ceremony and everything in between, always assuming we manage to stay awake. We have popcorn, beer, jelly beans and chocolate-covered raisins and right now we’re raring to go, so join us back here from 11pm for all the Oscars coverage you could possibly need, as long as all the Oscars coverage you could possibly need consists of commentary from four people watching on a slight delay.

Your hosts for tonight:

Concetta Sidoti is a journalist who tweets as @concettasidoti. Victor Field is 43 years old, not looking forward to seeing Adele’s mug all over the tabloids if she wins, and tangling with a bizarre attraction to Jessica Chastain. Laura Morgan tweets as @elsie_em and blogs at gladallover.net, where she has recently made her own Oscars predictions. She rather likes Adele’s mug and is looking forward to seeing it later. Niall Anderson is a drinker, a good fellow, a story-teller, somebody’s secretary, something in a distillery, a tax-gatherer, a bankrupt and at present a praiser of his own past.

Once again we’ll be playing Oscars Bingo, and this year we want one of each of the following:

  • A woman in trousers
  • A man in anything other than a black tux
  • A crazily awkward red carpet moment
  • A cutesy shot of Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis together
  • A winner crying on stage
  • A losing nominee smiling unconvincingly
  • The Samuel L Jackson award for the first clearly pissed off losing nominee
  • The most clearly unwelcome long acceptance speech from a winner in a technical category

We’ll see you back here later. Now go and stock up on snacks.

Continue reading Mostly Film goes back to the Oscars