melbourne: burton, fry and the mutant

centre place breakfast time burton at federation square
This trip to Melbourne is very different in a lot of ways to trips we've made before... we're much more focussed this time... we have actual plans rather than just wandering around wherever the wind and whim takes us.

Today was a case in point... even though we've had another full day, I've only take 43 photos compared with yesterday's 261... but then today was much more about things we couldn't take photos of.

I didn't sleep too badly last night, although my pillow is a little on the face-eating side, and due to my stupid body clock I was up and about by around 6am, at which time I worked out how to make the broadband in my room work, so I faffled about on the laptop for a while before getting ready (I chose to wear a lot of stripes in honour of Mr Burton, and looking around the exhibition, I noticed that I wasn't the only one) and heading down to Ma's room a little bit later than was possibly useful, but then we dithered about once I got down there, so it's not like she was champing at the bit ready to go.

During our late afternoon wanderings yesterday we spotted one of the cafes in Centre Place that looked like it would be good for breakfast, except for the fact that neither of us could remember which of the five or six laneways that we wandered through yesterday it was in. Our bad!

But eventually we found it (that's it at the top of post, taken from my seat while we were waiting for our food), in amongst a large number of similarly bustling cafes... there very much seems to be more people in Melbourne than I remember from any of our previous trips... or maybe we're doing things at different times of the day in different places... or maybe we're just in a more interesting part of town, but whatever it is, Melbourne definitely seems to be a-bustle.

It wasn't a bad breakfast actually... the mushrooms especially were very tasty. And the coffee was good and strong. The service was a little shitty... but mostly from Ma's side of the fence.

I was a little worried that we weren't going to get done with breakfast in time to make our scheduled time for the Tim Burton exhibition, but that wasn't the case at all, we had enough time to spare to take a bunch of photos of the Burton items outside Federation Square (like our striped friend at the top of the post), but didn't have to wait for our scheduled entry time or anything.

Plus the nice lady who greeted us when we walked in ushered us downstairs past the large line to pick up our pre-booked tickets... woohoo! I love being able to skip a line!

The exhibition itself was AMAZING... so many original pieces of Tim Burton's artwork, from detailed, coloured drawings to quick little sketches, in one case actually done on a napkin. Add to that selected props and costumes from various movies (honestly, Michelle Pfeiffer must be such a tiny little thing given the size of the Catwoman costume from Batman Returns... I mean I know it was PVC/rubber, but seriously!)... which was interesting given that the things made from foam rubber or that kind of material was already starting to degrade to various degrees. These are not things that were built to last and last... they were designed to do their job and then essentially fade away. At the same time it was fantastic to see detail in things like the Edward Scissorhands costume that you never actually see in the finished movie... the number of textures and pieces and details that are just lost to the camera were amazing.

Some of his earlier stuff wasn't as interesting as the stuff from when he started making movies, particularly some of the "abandoned" projects looked fantastic... and you wish that it was stuff he would return to and make a reality.

The one downside to the whole experience were the other people. In some ways it would have been nicer if we'd done it in the middle of a week or something, because the place was fairly packed, and people didn't seem to want to move... they would just stand there, and it didn't even look like they were even paying attention to the art, they were just taking up space. So there were more than a few people who I just bunnyhopped past, or took a different path to let them get out of the way before going back to re-examine things in more detail.

All in all we spent maybe 2 hours in there, and I'm sure there was still stuff that we either didn't get to see properly, or in fact didn't get to see at all.

Next up was the seemingly pointless quest to buy lunch... which was, well, pointless and a bit of a quest. Food courts the world over (or at least in the small corner of the world that I've visited) never seem to have anything interesting, or are all stocked with exactly the same crap. So in the end we picked up tram tickets for tomorrow then went to this Asian "bread" place, bought some stuff and came back to the hotel to eat.

By the time we'd finished that it was time to get ready for Stephen Fry... and once again we made it down the road and around the corner just as they were opening the doors to the very lovely Regent Theatre and letting everyone in.

And as a community service announcement I will say this:

When buying tickets to any event, please observe the section in which your tickets have been allocated. Because if you don't and just assume that you are in Row A, you will be disappointed to discover that Row A in the Dress Circle isn't anywhere near Row A in the stalls.

But at least Row A in the Dress Circle was the very first row of said circle... but in all other regards, I'm a bit of an idiot. It's also a little worrying that while I type this my internal monologue that usually goes along with what I'm typing seems to be coming through as Stephen Fry's voice, which is very peculiar, and also makes me wonder if this will sound at all Fryeske when other people read it (probably not, I'm reading it back now and it doesn't sound a bit like Mr Fry). Very strange indeed... I do know though that I don't know anywhere near as many big, long impressive words as Stephen Fry.

I think a fellow Twitterite who was also in the audience summed up the whole experience when he said:
I don't think I'll see anything quite as magnificently fantastic and profoundly elastic and linguistic as @stephenfry
It was, in fact, one of the most amazing afternoons... Mr Fry ran a full 40 minutes over the allocated 90 minutes, giving us over two hours of essentially his life story. But hearing him speak makes me want to do so many things... I want to read the Oscar Wilde biography I have at home as well as the P.G. Wodehouse book, and I want to track down Wilde, the movie Stephen Fry starred in.

But it also made me think more about language... and the fact that Mr Fry (it just doesn't seem right to call him by his first name for some reason!) is such a student of language and the way it sounds and why it sounds that way that it also makes him a natural mimic... or maybe it's the other way around, I'm not completely sure.

As I said, an amazing afternoon, and I was very happy to give him a standing ovation when he finished!

Ma and I pretty much floated out of there on Cloud 9 and I think we'll be telling anyone who stands still long enough exactly how awesome he was.

We then wandered down to Minotaur again to pick up some Tim Burton stuff that they either didn't have at the ACMI or else was more expensive there. I tell you... that store is just dangerous, although this time Ma spent much more money than me.

Our original intention for the remainder of the day was to head to Max Brenner for something chocolately, then find somewhere to have dinner. This didn't quite work out as planned because Max Brenner's was filled to capacity... so we ended up having dinner just around the corner in this nice little place that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of (which was a burger for me and essentially a steak sandwich for Ma)... then when we were done, went back around the corner and had chocolate.

And for the record, the Suckao chocolate at Mr Brenner's... way too much work for too little a reward unfortunately. I should have gone back to the "Hug Cup" like last time. But it was chocolate, so I'm not complaining too much.

We then wandered back to the hotel at a leisurely pace, I deposited Ma in her room and came up here to chill out and start typing up some bloggage for a little while...

But I had to stop at a certain point to go downstairs and meet Melbournian MMIA (mostly missing in action) blogger, The Mutton-Chopped Mutant. We missed out on meeting up last year when I was here, so I didn't want to let another trip pass without meeting him in the twisted yet adorable, corset wearing (*bites lip*) flesh.

Although, honestly, with all the claims about how short he is, I was expecting somebody just taller than Tattoo from Fantasy Island... turns out he's a lot of things, but he's not that short...

The original plan was to go and get coffee, but a) I've had a number of coffee products today, b) my hotel is in a little bit of a "coffee deadzone"... there's nothing on the block itself and c) I've done nothing but walk essentially for two days, so I didn't really want to go on some big adventure, so I suggested we head down to the 7-11, grab beverage products and come back to the room to chat.

Which we did... and boy oh boy did we chat! I did realise it was starting to get late (since this whole adventure started off at 8pm) from the increasingly glazed look in The Mutant's eyes, but when I finally looked at the clock (which was, conveniently, behind me the whole time) it was 12:15... so a good solid four hour chat... and although it may not be the longest chat session I've ever done was certainly an impressive effort, especially since it all seemed to go remarkably quickly and smoothly... but then he is incredibly easy to talk to and/or listen to (plus looking at him for four hours isn't really a chore either, although he'll deny it, probably in the comment section of this post).

Although foolishly, I just realised that I never snapped a photo of him while he was here looking all winsome in the corset by my giant fuckoff windows with the cityscape in the background... bugger and bollocks...

Speaking of bollocks... sadly he never modelled the underwear I sent him (even though he promised and everything in this remarkably NSFW post)... and further to the question of bollocks, I'm just glad he didn't decide to wear the kilt...

But this means that it's very, very, very late... and we probably have a reasonably early start in the morning so I should really wrap this up and take my tired little arse to bed.

Burton, Fry and The Mutant... sounds like the beginnings of a very pleasing story really...

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Victor said...

Mutant must have forgotten his camera when he met you.

When I met him in Sydney for our equivalent chat he insisted on taking our photo to add to his collection.

I agree with you about Stephen Fry.

yani said...

The Mutant has already seen a number of photos of me though :P

The Mutant said...

Right, well... For one thing most of what you said about me was crap - nice, and certainly ego inflating - but man, you're so full of it!

Thanks for the chin-wag though, well worth it I reckon! Glad you approved of the corsetry and I'm so pleased to hear that I didn't bore you to within an inch of your life!

yani said...

See... I said you'd deny it... and every word I said was completely true :)

Very much approving of the corsetry, as I think I said more than once!

I do agree that it was a great chin wag (I wasn't bored in the least), hopefully we can do it again before too long.


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