Posts from 30th January 2004

Jan 04


Do You SeePost a comment • 400 views

MINE MINE ALL MINE – that’s OK Pete, you can buy me a beer tonight. Do You See readers, please take notes on Sex and the City for me in case I end up drinking the old b33r and missing it eh? Happy weekend all.

I’m off for a week

Do You SeePost a comment • 389 views

I’m off for a week so I am leaving Do You See? in the ever reliable hands of Starry Sarah C (someone should probably tell her this, er…), who has being doing the lion share of this weeks seeing anyhoo. When I return we will see the grand debut of the Freaky Trigger 100 Greatest Films Ever 2003.

Betjeman Beat

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 486 views

Betjeman Beat: this is a piece I wrote in 2000 and had completely forgotten about until today. Rather neatly, it’s also the first archive piece we’re republishing – look for one old bit of FT each week (and new stuff too, of course).

Go Ape Crazy!

Do You SeePost a comment • 484 views

Go Ape Crazy! – a Freaky Trigger article by Anthony Easton exploring the idea ape in myth, film and pop culture. Hopefully FT will be putting up one or two new articles a week from now on, ideally on a Friday so I can go to the pub feeling vaguely satisfied.

I Love Comics

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 411 views

I Love Comics: look! see! A tiny seedling board! Will it thrive and grow or be crushed under time’s callous heel? I am mostly posting the link because I want Vic Fluro to post there.


Do You SeePost a comment • 221 views

Rewatching The Return of the King with Dr Vick, we both found ourselves wincing and hiding our eyes plenty of times during the Battle of the Pellenor Fields. OK, so self-appointed hardnut intellectuals = mimpy underneath the pose shock horror newsflash, but still, I can generally watch battlescenes and film violence without flinching (it’s boo-monster suspense I find hard). What’s so different here? I mean, given that:
i. I know the story already, and how it turns out,
ii. These are CGI rocks landing on CGI orcs, CGI oliphaunts stomping CGI Rohirrim,
iii. This whole section – like the entire trilogy as filmed by P.Jackson – is chock-a-block with references to other films and/or classic paintings, most massively obviously The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke and the other little flying crafts lassoo and bring down the giant marching elephant-like war vehicles.

But actually i. and iii are the reason ii. doesn’t counteract our emotional connection: knowing the story in fact locks you more deeply into it, it can intensify rather than blas’-ifying (mileage will vary). And I think the very jokiness of the references can intensify, also: on one hand, Star Wars as something to be bearing in mind seems ridiculous bathos – except on the other, this version puts back in all the stuff you realise you allowed to be airbrushed over, that it’s a fairly horrible battle, a story of violent and horrible mass death. So your knowing chuckle turns itself inside out.

(Speaking of sense of ridiculousness as a device for making something stronger, well, I love Simon R, and think he is a good thing and a great man etc, but isn’t what he’s arguing here one of the goofier rock-critical positions you’ve encountered? If the argument is “It’s funny => It’s not serious => It’s not meant”, it breaks down at BOTH of the “=>”s. Also I think a clue to Queen’s sense of themselves from the off can be discovered by, um, reading the name they gave themselves, maybe?)

Two new Mark Wallinger films

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 392 views

Two new Mark Wallinger films, currently showing at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery on Gt Marlborough St, should be the cause of much celebration. If they had anything like the effect on me that ‘The One With The Slowed Down Airport Departure Lounge’ or ‘The One Which Goes Around The Circle Line’*, which intrigued and fascinated, then I’d have been all over them.

These new two are nice, interesting. The first is a film of a film of some films, these being a set of family movies, as shown in Berlin’s Jewish Museum, Berlin. Dealing with meaning at a distance, I ended up looking at the unmoving screens and walls around the moving pictures, part of a world outside. There’s nothing wrong with the piece, but it’s forty minutes long and two or three minutes of it is enough to get the idea.

Similarly, upstairs is showing a section of from Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, but obscuring virtually the whole screen is a large, black rectangle. The action you see makes a moving border to nothingness, and it only takes a few seconds to have an idea ‘perhaps a wrong idea – of what’s going on on-screen. So, yes, marginalisation, and how we deal with incomplete information.

One of the things I like about a lot of conceptual art is that it hits, you get the idea and then you’re done. One of the things I liked about Mark Wallinger’s work is that much of it would make me want to linger with the work, that it had more to give. By comparison these feel cute, but slight. Ten enjoyable minutes before diving back into Berwick Street.

Raisin Hell

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 451 views

Raisin Hell: only last weekend I found myself talking with an American friend about the differences in quality and style between curries bought in the UK and those from the US. One of the dishes she liked about her favourite Stateside curry emporium was a mild curry with raisins.

It occurred to me that raisins have become a symbol of curry inauthenticity in the UK (look at Pete’s piece below’), but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I seem to think that quite the opposite was the case in the innocent days of the sixties and seventies. Now the poor dear curried raisin is somewhere above flock wallpaper* and chicken tikka masala on the serious curryophile’s list of things to be disdained.

But I haven’t the faintest whether any of the Subcontinent’s many and various cuisines feature raisins: there’s no culinary reason why they shouldn’t. And even if the raisin was introduced to the curry in the UK, I wonder why it, in particular, has been singled out as a shameful curry faux-pas?

*Has flock wallpaper become the focus of retro-fetishisation yet? If not, it’s surely due some love soon’

The same dish – elsewhere.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 356 views

The same dish – elsewhere. I was at the cinema (quelle surprise) on Saturday and fancied a bite before I drifted off to the pub. A walk past Miso, on Haymarket, garnered the fact that they did a dish called Malaysian Chicken Curry and Rice. For a fiver (a whole fifty pence more than my usual, but Hey Big Spender as Dermot Murnaghan would say).

Miso is a vaguely Japanese noodle bar taking much of its lead from Wagamama with its stripped pine benches and shared seating area. Smaller, and the staff were skittish at best. I don’t blame them, because when my MCC&R was delivered I got a shock. There is no reason why one restaurant would serve the same dish in exactly the same way as another, but still I was shocked when it came on just one plate. At the Hare & Tortoise the very wet curry is in a seperate bowl to the rice. Here it was all lumped together. But then that is because the curry was not very wet. At a push if I had to describe Miso’s version of my favourite comfort food, the harsh answer would be Homepride Cook In Sauce Curry.

I have no idea which of the two dishes is more authentic. I don’t really care, I was not planning on a trip to Malaysia. I have my suspicions though that the simplicity shown in the Hare & Tortoise may lead to a more representative dish. Miso served very plain boiled rice with a thick curry sauce consisting of small chunks of rice, peas, peppers, odd tasting potato and onion. Same dish at Hare & Tortoise is chicken on the bone in a runny soup with tomato and the tastiest chunks of potato in the world.

I ate the Miso version. It took me back to childhood curries my Mum made; I was half expercting to find a raisin or two. But i won’t be going back to Miso again. I assume it stands for (warning potentially offensive language based joke coming up, Mi So Disappointed.

Polemic from yesterday’s Guardian

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 303 views

Polemic from yesterday’s Guardian by a certain Steve Grand. Is this the same guy that worked on Creatures ‘ the A-Life game that I still haven’t seen.

Bonus A-life link: Stanislaw Lem’s Non Serviam ‘ a great story in a fantastic collection of short stories that every science geek should read.