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Good evening starshine!

How’s this for a cool idea: The organizers of the Reykjavík Film Festival [the second film festival to open in the capital this month] have convinced Reykjavík authorities to turn off all city lights for half an hour on September 28 – the opening day of the festival. The reason? So that city residents can behold “the biggest movie screen of them all – the sky”. Personally I’m superexcited about the idea. Hopefully we’ll get the sort of celestial view you normally get only out in the boondocks. And also – if someone could make arrangements with the Powers That Be for us to have Northern Lights that night, that would be awesome.

SPEAKING OF FILMS
I saw not one but two films starring Penelope Cruz this weekend. Now, I happen to think old Penelope did herself a massive disservice by allowing herself to be seduced by a) Hollywood b) Tom Cruise, because for a while there she just brought on the gag reflex on account of overexposure. At the time I almost forgot that when she’s not doing sappy Hollywood fare in broken English she’s a really good actress – especially if she’s in something by Pedro Almodovar.

Film one: Don’t Move. There our Pen played a displaced and sad girl who is raped by a successful doctor, who comes back to apologize and gradually falls in love with her. Heavy drama I know, but it completely had me in its grip after the first few minutes. By no means was it perfect, but I was totally drawn in and by the end was a blubbering mess, I kid you not. Totally devastated.

Film two: Volver. I made good on my vow to see some more of the Iceland Film Festival and Almodovar was at the top of my list because he’s one of my favourite filmmakers in the Whole Wide World. Not only are his films a wonder to behold stylistically, he always has these intricate plots that meander all over the place until the end when he manages to somehow magically draw all the threads together. And I am consistently amazed by his ability to get inside the female psyche. No other male artist I have ever known – except maybe DH Lawrence – can portray women with such exquisite finesse. Not quite as good as All About My Mother, and falls just short of Hable con Ella, but nonetheless wonderful.

AND WHAT DO THE SKIES OFFER TODAY?
Um. Rain. Drizzle. Overcast, all day long. Breezy, too, but mild. EPI and I went for a bracing stroll around the golf course on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula and guess what we saw? A seal, who stuck its head out of the water and observed us for ages. They’re so funny – when you look at them straight on they look just like a dog’s head, which is probably why they’re called Seehunde in German – sea dogs. Temps right now 13°C and sunrise was at 06.55, sunset at 19.47.

PS. So our Magni came home today and sure nuff it was the godawful Minister for Foreign Affairs [who used to be Minister of Commerce and Industry and was instrumental in selling out our beautiful unspoiled nature to evil corporate entity Alcoa, boo hiss]… who came out to greet him and sure nuff they gave him a book. Er, can we have a wee bit of imagination, please, when it comes to the gifts? Please? First Miss World and then Magni – and both of them get a book and what’s more, the same damn book. Gah!

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