It is Roald Dahl dress up day at my daughter's school on Friday and so it is time to look out the Golden ticket that I cajoled her Papa into making the last time.
Despite a youth filled with Drama classes and Theatre Studies (all of which I did fantastically well in the actual practical acting elements of) I somehow never watched Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands or any of his early movies that I can recall. Which is pretty incredible when you look up how many movies he has been in. I may have seen him in Platoon.
I wasn't overly impressed with Sleepy Hollow, which was just the right side of a scary movie for me to feel able to watch. It may seem unusual for someone who spent much of her twenties and thirties actively chasing war and other scary situations but I don't like to watch scary movies much. In fact to say that tolerance can be embarrassingly low, would be an understatement. Tim Burton's Coraline which we watched with a friend's six or seven year old daughter scared me so much I couldn't watch the end and made my excuses not to, it has quite put me off replacing the missing eyes of toys with buttons. Even possibly the cute little mother-of-pearl ones.
I think I saw him in Chocolat which interested me for the connection with good chocolate which again I came to late and probably viewed through the somewhat jaded glasses of one who is passionate about really good chocolate, and had read stories of Depp's love affair with Kate Moss and the disputed story of the champagne bath. Being an occasional reader of Vogue I was definitely aware of his marriage to the stunning gap-toothed Chanel ambassador and chanteuse Vanessa Paradis. Which, like the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt union one couldn't help hoping would last forever. Perhaps it is always that way when children are involved, or perhaps we all want the fairy tales to come true. But I haven't watched many of his movies.
No I first fell in love with Depp's acting as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of The Caribbean and even that I came to late (having been otherwise occupied with life living in a beach house in Kenya without a television when it was released.) When I did I blamed it squarely on humour and Keith Richards influence.
On becoming a parent I revisited my childhood favourite books, and since becoming a lone parent have watched almost exclusively child friendly movies. This seems to have coincided with Depp being cast in a few of these. I have been vocal in the past about my dislike of many Roald Dahl books (especially the illustrations by Quentin Blake which are not my style at all, I prefer classical illustrations of wonderful artists like Rackham, Pogány, Dulac, Kipling and Robinson). The exception was Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, which I recall devouring in one go whilst lounging lion-like atop my sister's bunk bed in our shared bedroom, along with a load of small Lindt chocolate Easter eggs.
Incidentally the pairing of food and books involving food I quite recommend and I incentivised my daughter to read The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe with a beautiful, small, but frequently re-filled tin of Turkish Delight. (Luckily we have an excellent dentist who I must get round to emailing). It is a gift idea I have repeated on occasion for gifts for nieces. And I first appreciated Tim Burton with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, which I will admit I liked far better than the original Gene Wilder version (which I also liked). But I enjoyed the foray into Willy Wonka's childhood, liked the Buckets and the musical numbers as well as the depth of character and slight vulnerability that Depp brought to the part. I now admit that I imagine I am Depp as Wonka with his perfect teeth every time I am in the dentist's chair. (I don't mean to but it seems to have usurped my previous long-held but no longer entirely successful calming visualisation of snorkelling with fishes on a tropical coral reef in Malindi). Perhaps I have, like Alice in Wonderland, stayed away too long.
N.B. Mad Monkeyz is the company I started with my former husband Wanje Luckie in 2006/7. We worked together part-time on many of the creative briefs until January 2010. After which we separated and Wanje took over the business.
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Typo noticed and amended 8th June 2017.
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