Why does Mission Impossible never get old?

For anyone who hasn’t noticed yet, I am a huge lover of movies! If I could get one of my scripts produced into a film I would be the happiest person alive. Regardless, here are my views on why Mission Impossible films never get old.

Mission-Impossible-Rogue-Nation-imageI am a great believer in escapism, as someone that works extremely hard, studies part time, works full time and has various other occupations, when I sit and dedicate 2 hours of my life… 3 if you count the previews as these days they can be extensive… I want to wander. I want my mind to switch off from my day to day life and take me somewhere where anything is possible.

Now, here is where Mission Impossible comes in. I think the MI films are the perfect combination of reality and awesomeness that serve this exact purpose. I am aware that there are spies everywhere, which in itself is a slightly intimidated but incredible concept to bear in mind, but how can I ever know that they perform such high risk stunts and have all those gadgets? They must have some things of course, but all of them? Spy films always cause the same reaction and evoke the same sensation. I want to be a spy! I think what differs the MI franchise, from the Bond films for example is the great focus it also gives to friendships and the value it places on camaraderie and trust. These are values that sometimes, in other spy franchises, get lost under the hell blazing glory of special affects, explosions and incredible gadget and stunt work.

Rogue Nation has to be the best film in the MI series I have come across. I mean nothing can truly beat the fact that Tom Cruise actually held on to a plane to do the impressive stunt at the start of the film. Nothing can compete with the fact that the in years of following these films we have seen Ethan Hunt fall in love, grow old, become dedicated to his true old and new friends, and develop a very dangerous sense of humour. As always, the silent character, that is not brooding like Bond, but truly likeable like a father figure or brother you would want to embrace, carries the plot of the film. In his dismissal of the secret services, he continues to protect his nation and the world by unveiling a plan to, as always, murder some prime minister or president.

Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames and Alec Baldwin, round up as Cruise’s unbeatable team. They truly are a remarkable cast, Ferguson introduced as a double agent that Cruise vouches for, plays her part terrifically. Until she appears in London you truly have very little idea what she is trying to accomplish. A truly wonderful addition to the team, who shook up the dynamics and also tested and showcased the deep bond between Benji and Ethan.

I have to say, a highlight for me to continuously see the relationship between these two characters, and Rogue Nation does it yet again. I recall reading in an interview or hearing it, that Tom Cruise was playing pranks on Simon Pegg, who returned the favour quite fervently by reversing the prank onto Cruise. This has to be one of the best friendships on screen, chemistry wise, in any action movie. Pegg and Cruise continue to flow from each other with humorous remarks and very strong performances.

I for one can never quite get enough of a good MI film, they are on my go to pile, of strangely, feel good films! As good always triumphs, right beats wrong etc, it is always a must see for me. I can guarantee that when any of these films are on TV I will 9 out of 10 times watch it again.

What did you think of Rogue Nation?

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Paris holds the key to my heart

It is true what they say… Paris is the city of love!

Paris holds the key to your hear. And all of Paris plays a part. 
Just stroll two by two down what we call “la rue”
And soon all Paris will be singing to you!
Paris holds the key to l’amour! And not even Freud knows the cure.
There’s love in the air! At the Follies Begere!
The French have it down to an art! Paris hold the key to your heart!

I don’t know about you, but when I think about Paris I think about Disney’s Anastasia and the infamous Paris song. It screams romance and love, and everything us hopeless romantic girls wish for. A guy having an inner sing song about loving you and not knowing how to tell you, and I have totally convinced myself that my man was having an inner sing song for 4 days, even though we are far past the point of not knowing how we feel. We know. It’s been nearly 2 years. But dreaming has never hurt a soul!

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Paris was truly an experience, firstly it sang to me because some parts of it reminded me so much of Lisbon, one of my homes. Its buildings were very similar, everything seems to be on a hill, much like Lisbon, and to revolve around the embankment of the river, as a lot of capital cities are. Aside from the fact that it is bigger and spread across a larger perimeter, the little hidden alleyways where people can barely fit let alone cars, really made me feel at home in the Bairro Alto of Lisbon.

I have to say, however, what struck me most about Paris is that for me it truly was the city of love. I had the pleasure of being in this wonderful city with James, who is a seasoned Paris visitor. He organised the entire trip to make sure he catered to my tastes and his, and things we had in common. He had it down to a T! All the main sites plus a few added extras and time for us to wander and get lost as well.

From climbing the Eiffel Tower, to the incredible view from the Sacre Couer, everything about it felt like a dreamland. I have to say, my favourite view was from the top of the Notre Dame, 378 steps to the very top of the right hand tower, counted by James. I only felt it was a better view than that of the tower, because it included the tower in the view. Not seeing it feature in all your photos seems a bit odd.

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I adored the Luxembourg Gardens. We sat and ate sorbets and watched time go by, before walking past the Pantheon and earlier that day having discovered the Palais Garnier, used by the National Opera. James also took me to the Shakespeare Book Shop, a true testament of my arts and theatre background, as well as my literature fanaticism. I was there for almost an hour, jaw dropped looking at limited editions of books I had only dreamt of reading side by side with new books on all possible subject matters.

One of my favourite areas, was walking behind the Sacre Couer and discovering Montmartre. Watching street painters cover canvases in Parisian colours and quirky art galleries with some fantastic innovative modern art. We then walked down the hill to find the Moulin Rouge. We also had the pleasure of seeing artists along the Seine embankment, and enjoy a river cruise which only demonstrated how beautiful and clean this city is kept.

I have to say though, as a lover of all things art and literature, I am so pleased that my man took me to Pere Lachaise cemetery, where we found Oscar Wilde – my FAVOURITE playwright – Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Chopin and many others. Although some sections of the cemetery are really creepy, it felt very romantic to get lost between the tombs of some of the most romanticised names in art history.

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To add to the romance of it all, we were in the ideal little hotel in between the Louvre and the Pompidou, the shortest walk from everything and with 3 tube stations surrounding. Hotel du Cygne was stunning! Our room was at the very top, with a few exposed wooden beams, two windows one of them on the diagonal ceiling roof. Every evening they asked us if we wanted breakfast for the next day, and asked us where we had been. They were all so lovely and we felt like we were in our own little haven.

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In Paris I had the opportunity to fall in love with many things again, with art, theatre music and literature which take up a huge portion of my interest anyway. To revel in all the culture that inhabits the city and coats it in an air of wonderment, where every corner hold something new to discover. To fall deeply in love with getting lost and finding new things. But mostly, I had the opportunity to remind myself why I am in love with James in the first place.

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Having fallen in love with parts of me that are sometimes stifled by the mundane activities of life, James truly ignited something else back in me. I never smiled so much and swear that the week after we came back my face muscles were stuck in the same stupid smiley position for days. I fell in love again with a man who can take me to places he knows I will marvel at, and help me discover things I never knew I would like so much. To a man who knows his partner so well he planned a whole trip without any fear. The city of love! Loving Paris allows you to love yourself and mostly to love your true love too.

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I wish I could show you photos of all the amazing things we saw, and all the places I fell in love with but it is simply impossible! Here is a flavour of my Paris love affair, and my ever growing love for the planner and conductor of this whole city break.

Onto the next adventure!

Memphis! – theatre review

Memphis! is one of the musicals that has taken the West End by storm in the last year, and I am so glad I had the pleasure of watching it on Saturday the 5th of September.

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Going into London is always an adventure these days, remembering the old paths I used to walk regularly and trying to recall where every west end theatre is positioned. Heading to the Shaftesbury Theatre was definitely an experience, stepping into the USA and feeling like I belonged in a true musical revolution.

Memphis takes place in a time we all know as the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. In the 1950s when one radio DJ dared to feature black music in his show and changed the face of music in America and the world beyond.

Beverly Knight embodies the character of Felicia Farrell and does she do her justice. Knight, known as the British queen of soul hits every note without hesitation and provokes vibrations and goose bumps in all audience members. Delivering that southern american twang simply beautifully, she delved into her inner soul sister and rendered a flawless performance of the character she is given, not to mention the songs. However, I do have a slight problem with Felicia Farrell.

I waited a whole 2 hours to watch this woman do something about her life! As a complete sucker for strong female characters, when we are first introduced to Felicia Farrell I was convinced she would be the driving force of the entire show, the one that would dictate the action and in a certain way she is, but only by the men that veered her career. Felicia is the gift of the whole story, she has the incredible voice and the true talent to become a star, but under the constant mis-management from both her lover Huey and brother Delray, it takes her until the end of the show to achieve the recording dream. Furthermore, she only gets there because the one time she was given a choice by her brother to stay and fight for her relationship and love life or leave and get a recording contract and escape the difficulties, she fled. It is a difficult character to reason with for me, because although all these things seem shallow – yes we all have big dreams of love and romance, I do too! – when presented with the opportunity to possibly escape the scrutiny of a race haters, Felicia chose well and in her REAL LIFE position, we would have all done the same. But she is suppose to be a theatre heroine, a strong example of power and correctness, and she even fails in protecting her own friends. I feel the writers here didn’t do Felicia justice, and could have really given her a strong role to play a revolutionary role even. Still, as I said, Knight does the absolute best with the character she is given within the limiting dimensions of a damsel in distress, much more, a damsel in distress and under racist attacks.

Moving on! Matt Cardle, an X Factor winner, and born to be a musical actor not a recording artist. Where did all that sass, american-ness and performance skills come from? From a boy who at auditions only sang in his eyes closed and looked like he was going to cry every five seconds? Hell, he made the nation shed a tear every high note! A truly talented singer proves to be much more than just a kid with a voice, he is a man with a true skill.

Aside from a truly remarkable performance, what have we got in terms of the character Huey Callhoun? After some time getting over his truly irritating habits, everyone is able to see that he is a very loveable, caring and open minded man, and in all his ignorance he is the beauty of the play. Yes, through the trudges of trying to expose the world to true rock ‘n’ roll he makes some mistakes, but he is the driving force of the entire play. Making a small change in Memphis which leads to a national outbreak of music, Huey Callhoun lost his status and love to protect his friends and make sure their voices were heard.

And this is why Felicia really gets on my nerves, is that the writers had the AUDACITY of making her say such a thing as ‘You think you’re more black than me?!’ no Felicia, this is not the case at all. The problem is, as much as the white man instigated the movement, writer should have been able to demonstrate that the community didn’t just sit and wait for it to happen either. I understand that at the time, yes it is very correct that the movement had to be supported and pushed forward with white people supporting it. However, this is theatre, give your truly important and potentially great characters a chance to live with history would not have permitted them to. So take a page from Hairspray! As much as Tracey did what she did, Mamma Morton was the true driving force and leading lady of the whole thing. Give Felicia a chance to prove she is the next Mamma Morton! She has the pipes for goodness sake!

I have to say though, the writing in general, regardless of ill creation of characters, cannot be flawed. The lyrics and book are beautifully written, with puns WRNB being my absolute favourite one – watch the show and you will know! – you could not have asked for a better written script in terms of the words itself. It is elegant and down right dirty when it needs to, it is filled with delicacies and colloquialisms, it is simply inspirational for us aspiring writers especially.

A true feel good musical at its core, it is not about the love succeeding but the music and movement itself! And it does, so mightily succeed. As much as I flaw a few aspects of it, do bear in mind I am only one voice in THOUSANDS if not millions who have watched Memphis. I would watch it again, because I left the Shaftesbury Theatre, on a Saturday afternoon, feeling that whatever ill is thrown in our direction in this World, no matter how long it takes it will be overcome by what is correct.

A quick announcement!

Hello Everyone! This is just a quick announcement.

As some of you might have noticed, I was in the process of moving content from a very outdated blog, a blog that did not inspire me anymore to write, to Discovering Diana, which has been a true adventure. I chose to shut down my previous blog due to a variety of reasons, but mostly because it lacked something that to me is intrinsic when I am writing, and that is interest. Being a catered blog just for art, I found it difficult at times to keep up with the content as it is sometimes not possible to experience new forms of art very frequently.

A few years on, I started to feel inspired by other things, really taking my travels into account, developing my cooking skills and palette, finding art in other place other than just the obvious ones. This change in perspective and growing as a person, a process that continues every day, inspired me to return to writing but with a broader spectrum, encompassing all the things that influence me daily and slowly shape, mold and chisel my personality and my ideals. I feel Discovering Diana is a process for me to discover myself, but also a way of me sharing a bit about me with you guys as well as – hopefully – helping you discover a bit about yourselves in the process.

So I have finally done it! My previous blog lavathoughts was shut down today, I exported any relevant content, and now all things inspiring to me can be found under this title. This has been a great run so far in the last four months, and I continue to want to write and explore some things with you dear readers.

I am truly grateful for all the readers I have so far, it means a lot to me to see that even just a few people are reading my content.

I have got some new things ready to go live very soon and just wanted to share with you that I am now fully committed to writing and growing Discovering Diana into a successful blog.

Happy reading everyone!

Discovering Diana

Discovering Diana is a my space to share with you some of the highlights of life that I find are sometimes truly unappreciated.

From art, theatre, music, literature and film, to travel adventures, unexpected activities, local discoveries, food and thoughts on various daily quibbles I have! I will be taking you through my journey, in the hopes of also helping you shape yours into what you would like it to be.

To get in touch with me for freelance writing, or to suggest any topics that you would like to read about and constructive criticism, please e-mail me on dilava92@gmail.com 

I hope you enjoy Discovering Diana as much as I am enjoying discovering the world.