Posts from 27th October 2004

Oct 04

A magazine editor once gave me a very severe look…

Do You SeePost a comment • 419 views

A magazine editor once gave me a very severe look when I told him ‘Century of the Self’ was better than any movie in 2002. I don’t think he owned a TV. I like what I’ve seen of Adam Curtis’ newie ‘Century of PH34R’ or something, which isn’t much ‘cos Tescos home delivery have been messing me about. But do I score for recognizing his nice use of, um, score? Morricone’s ‘Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion’. Subliminal, man.


Proven By Science1 comment • 624 views


ok they are not live, they lived there “at the same time our own ancestors were colonising the world”, as the BBC rather weirdly puts it (ahem if the world is our colony where are we supposed to have come from?)

In fact b4 it achieves the realms of sensible wild speculation, the BBC’s report ploughs through a whole other slightly insane graf : viz “The fact that little people feature in the legends of modern Flores islanders suggests we might have to take tales of Bigfoot and the Yeti more seriously.” Or do they mean Littlefoot? Anyway National Geographic has a painting of a hobbit w.shillalegh and fetching off-the-shoulder water rat!!

(cover ‘ nature; hobbit portrait ‘ national geographic)


Blog 71 comment • 616 views


7: Living With A Murderer

Odd one this. Can be looked at in a number of ways. If you live with a murderer you are statistically more likely to be murdered. That is idiot point number one. But this fear is goes far beyond that, becaue there is an assumption that if you live with someone that they may well also be your nearest and dearest. They may even be your partner. In which case this is not just the fear of being murdered (now statistically really high) but rather the fear of being a lousy judge of character too.

What would you do if you suspected you partner of being a murderer. If they go shifty when it comes up on crimewatch? Have you ever sat in the room with someone when a photofit popped up on television and looked exactly like them? If so did you suggest they get plastic surgery? More importantly how much evidence would you need to convince you that they were guilty, and would you give them an alibi, would you hide it for them?

These are are scary questions because we genuinely do not know what we would do. The Maxine Carr case seemed to me to be grossly unfair, she was being blamed for providing her boyfriend with an alibi: this is exactly what soap operas tell us to do every day. We need to show loyalty, not trust the police. But can we trust someone who lies to us. We did not get involved with a murderer, and when we find out is it such a strong character trait that it washes away all their other good ones. Do we become complicit?

If you become complicit of course the ball is back in the murderers court. Not caught, they only person who is a liability is you, who gave them an alibi. And if you have killed once…

Certainly a worse fear than accusing someone of being a murderer and it turning out they aren’t. Look at Inspector Morse after all, he had not fear of that. But living with a murderer can get you killed, and can seriously frazzle your morality

Notcied at the National (ITV – ahem) Television Awards last night

Do You SeePost a comment • 552 views

Notcied at the National (ITV – ahem) Television Awards last night was how one particular channel seemed to do better than all the others. Indeed I would be hard pushed to think of anyone who worked on a BBC show who won an award. That is fine however, ITV may well have been the better channel over the last year, certainly in terms of soaps, or serial drama as it likes to be known so it does not get picked on by reality TV*.

However when one looks at the “Special Recognition Award” winners in its history, a trend is very clear:

1995: Julie Goodyear
1996: David Jason
1997: Robson Green
1998: John Thaw
1999: Michael Barrymore
2000: Chris Tarrant
2001: Des O’Connor
2002: Ant & Dec (!!!!)
2003: Sir Trevor McDonald
2004: Caroline Quentin

An odd list, notable for containing people who seem to have big ITV hits at the time, or people who have just been wooed on big contracts who need a sweetner (Robson Green and this years winner Caroline Quentin fit that bill). As this award is not nominated by the public, it is at the behest of the ITV boardroom to see who they need buttering up this year.

*Which is a seperate section by itself, won again by Big Brother. Question was put though why Wife Swap was not in the Reality Show catagory and instead was allowed to win the best Factual Show award.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 421 views



Top of my Christmas list this year:

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 314 views

Top of my Christmas list this year: Cat Poo Coffee. It’s a snip at ’31 for 250g from Santa, are you reading this?

Its Just like Watching…Garforth Town

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Its Just like Watching…Garforth Town

A lovely little story about Socrates, of that their Brazil (in the 80’s admittedly) playing for a non-league side. However just because it is on a “Funny Old Game” part of the BBC website, does that mean they have to subtitle the photo of Socrates with: “Socrates was one cool dude”? Maybe it does.


Blog 7Post a comment • 168 views


I was reminded of this story the other night when talk came to helicopters. Working with students you often hear exaggerated drug stories. And with drug stories comes mention of THE FEAR. The definite article often suggests that the item in question may be the ultimate version of said noun (or a Stephen King novel), but relationship between THE FEAR’s and actual fear is more tangential. It is weed induced paranoia which can grip you like a vice, though there is often part of your mind which is vaguely registering the paranoia and laughing at you. Paranoia where even you seem to be out to get yourself is probably a bad thing.

So to the story. Some friends of mine lived in what they liked to call a loft apartment in Hackney, and what I liked to call a scratty top floor flat. They did have access to the loft however, where the enterprising young chaps got all manner of hydroponic equipment to “grow their own”. This lead to often “smoking their own” and as their were careful horticulturalists, this meant they spent well over fifty percent of their time mashed off their nut. One darky, probably not stormy, Hackney night their smoking sessionw as interrupted by the loud thwack-thwack of a helicopter. It seemed to be hovering above their house.

THE FEAR set in. Why were they hovering over THEIR house. What had they done wrong. Oh, well there was the garden in the loft. Which is when THE FEAR induced dodgy leap of logic number one:
1: Police Helicopters have infrared cameras fine tuned to find hydroponic gear (and gear).
This caused panic amongst the chaps. None of them wanted to go down for cultivating, especially as their excessive use had meant they had barely made any money out of it. Quick as a flash they were up in the loft, turning off all the equipment and harvesting like mad. It could only be a matter of minutes before the rozzers kicked the door down. But they needed to get rid of the evidence. How? A toilet experiment proved that fresh weed floated. Which is where THE FEAR induced logic leap two comes in.
2: The best way of destroying marijuana is by burning it.

Oddly the smell of about fifty fresh marijuana bushes burning in a Hackney back garden drew all sorts of unwanted attention. Not, it has to be said, from the police who flew off with their drugs detecting helicopter to chase a flasher with their “Naked under his clothes” detector.

Can you make a successful film with a couple of good actors

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Can you make a successful film with a couple of good actors in the back garden of a stately home? Only if your source material is really top notch, and unfortunately The Triumph Of Love’s source materially is a ropey old 18th Century French farce. Cross dressing, mistaken identity, the full whack. And without anything like a successful denoument: the fun appears to be in winding its characters up into a fever pitch of tension, and then dropping all but the supposed romantic lead in some unpleasant shit. Not what I expect from quality farce, but perhaps I have seen too much Frasier.

Mira Sorvino does not help matters by being really attractive but completely unconvincing as a boy. It is at least a credit to the piece that the very wise philosopher (Ben Kingsley) who she tries to fool does not fall for this appalling disguise. That he falls for her sexual wiles is equally convincing, an old bloke being told of undying love by a fit bit of stuff is something philosophers rarely get. But when the moment of discovery (basically Sorvino has asked every other character to marry her) there seems to be a grand climb down. Not even a vicar in the cupboard or two inappropriate people clinching in the dark.

It was a play, and on film remains a play (by Marviaux). It acknowledges this by occasionally turning the camera on to a modern day audience sitting in the garden, a nice bit of self commentary which is about the only stylistic quirk the film has. But as a document of a play it stumbles on the key point that the play is not very good. If your players are great, but are made to perform poor material the end result will still err on the side of lousy, and sit on the shelf like this has for three years. Not a triumph at all.