Posts from 2nd January 2005

2
Jan 05

There are a number of sequences in Enduring Love

Do You SeePost a comment • 200 views

There are a number of sequences in Enduring Love which were filmed right outside my office. They are some of the better parts of the film (my office gives it that extra gravitas I think). Its not a bad film on the whole, but does suffer from the entire audience urging the lead to call the police at the screen for the last hour.

The film would be better entitled “Why doesn’t he call the police – really, that over bloke is an absolute nutter”. Or alternatively it could be called “It Never Gets Better Than The First Five Minutes”. Bloody good first five minutes though.

The Marlborough Arms

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 170 views

The Marlborough Arms

The third pub on the Star Of David Pub Crawl was a rather depressing pub when we arrived, home of plenty of punters drinking on their own. A pub I have frequented quite a lot; it has never been cheap, and is often often over-full. One of our party was almost instantly attacked by a man in a hat who then dominated the quizzer, where some of us were keen on getting money back (I have had good luck there before). Behind the bar, at one pound a pop, were bottles of Red Square Lager Vodka: a concoction we were keen to test. A bottle was bought and still sits in someone’s bag. We still wonder if it is lager that tastes of vodka (?) an alcopop flavoured with or of lager (the point?) or something even more bizarre.

But to the special architectural merit of the pub. The Gents toilets. (The ladies may be special too, I await confirmation). The toilets have always been my favourite part of this pub. Both sets are downstairs, the gents down a narrow straight set. Before its most recent refurb, these stairs had two banisters on each wall. Thus an enterprising and pissed young Pete would cuff his jumper, and slide down the banisters. I suppose this may have caused accidents due to its removal. But it was the most fun toilet in Central London.

Now this has been removed, the pub has made an olfactory appeal to retain its uniqueness. Put bluntly, the gents smell of Chocolate Orange. How this unique disinfectant was discovered I do not know. Perhaps it is the next step up from those Orange Power cleaning sprays advertised on Five in the daytime. Though I fear for any disinfectant which could be hijack by Dawn French spraying this Mister Muscle into her mouth. “Its not for urinals, its mine”: squirt squirt.

PRESENTERATOR CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Jimmy Carr

Do You SeePost a comment • 440 views

PRESENTERATOR CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Jimmy Carr

List TV died about two years ago, having been saturated to the level of absurdity. Nevertheless it does have a place in the schedules as an undemanding extra person in the room prompting you to remember, argue and disagree with the foolish placements. The role of presenter of a list show therefore is minimal, a few gags in and out of the ads, a bit of voice-over. For some reason, Channel Four’s three big list extravaganzas over Christmas were all linked by Jimmy Carr, deadpan, funny headed comedian. So here is a list of his attributes, to fit the theme.

5: Insincerity: Carr manages to convince you that not only does he not care about the lists he is presenting, but that frankly the audience is wasting its time watching. He may well be right, but this might not actually be his role.

4: Cheeky:
The idea that he is a comedian who can offend and get away with it is schtick which can wear thin quickly. That said, his gags are nearly always throwaway so you can ignore them as a hint the ads are coming.

3: Offensive: The flipside to cheeky, Carr is in the vanguard of reclaiming certain areas of comedy from political correctness. Perhaps if his jokes were good, this would be more justifiable, but they tend to err on the side of people with Cerebal Palsy not being able to beat him up in a fight.

2: Funny looking: It is not his face so much as his head, and his bearing. In person, he tries to look almost saintly, as the barbs come from his tongue. In the relatively empty TV studios the Top 100 Christmas Moments and Top 100 TV Treats Of 2004he had nothing to bounce off of. He seemed more comfortable presenting The Comedian’s Comedian, the conceit being he was a comedian dying on stage.

1: Ubiquity: Perhaps these clip shows were the television equivalent of contractual obligation albums, and Channel Four can think of nothing else to do with Carr. Certainly his uncomfortable, barely funny style did nothing to resurrect a dying genre of television. Having him host The Comedian’s Comedian seemed almost a joke too far.

Presenterating score: 2 (3 if you could believe he actually worked on Christmas Day).

Tom Wesselman

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 245 views

Tom Wesselman
1931-2004

His work lacks the cool arrogance of a Warhol or the theoretical complexities of johns at his best; but he has something else–he has a formalism, and a sense of space that amazes–his layers and levels are the first new way of doing perspective in a very long time, his actual use of collaged commercial products make his still lives the best reflection of how people lived in America at the end of the twentieth century and his great American nudes were the playboy olympias that real men wanted to fuck (complete with merkins made of real live hair)

He wasn’t respected really, he was considered a minor painter, a painter of inconsequential literalism dealing with forms that were basically moribund–when we have Robert resembled talk about Warhol as Sargent and Dave Hickey about how licensed redeemed comics into something more serious, having Wesselman refuse the politics of redemption and of the court, and to work in the basements–reducing desire of all appetites to there most basic aesthetic, reminds one of the Dutch masters of memento mori, but with a wry and sly wink.

The market had become more respectful of him, but with his recent death, will the museums and critics?