Posts from May 2007

31
May 07

Spider-Man: The Red Menace?

Do You See + FT + The Brown Wedge/4 comments • 1,587 views

Who are the bad guys in the Spider-man movies? And what does this tell us about the politics of the character?

usspirderman.jpgSpider-Man 1:
Uncle Ben’s Killer (see Spider-Man 3): A petty street crook. BUT He is allowed to kill Uncle Ben because Peter Parker does not stop him from robbing the even more evil wrestling promoter who REFUSES TO PAY PETER PARKER. Therefore a lack of power in the worker, pushes him to abrogate his responsibilities to a civil society.

The Green Goblin: OK, so Willem Dafoe’s rubbish masked baddie could be said to just fit the mad scientist model of villain. But he is more than juist a scientist. He is an industrialist working in the MUNITIONS FIELD. Thus at the heart of it, weapons technology and excessive defence funding is to blame.

Spider-Man 2:

30
May 07

Jindabrandin’

Blog 7 + Do You See + FT1 comment • 803 views

Jindabyne is second or third hand goods. No problem in basing your film on a Raymond Carver story, they are a pretty good little basis for films. But the story in question “So Much Water So Close to Home” was already one of the nine or so stories interleaved in Short Cuts. Now Short Cuts itself is patchy, but this tale (some blokes go fishing, find a body and only decide to report after their holiday is over) is one of the stronger ones in Cuts. And the big blow up of this small story to fit it into an Australian race story seems a blow up too far. We get Laura Linney’s excess of empathy contrasted by her husbands lack – but as it stumbles towards a touchingly hopeful resolution it feels like its being overstretched. It also leaves the issue of the actual bad guy of the piece, the murderer, flapping in the air. Which is unfortunate for a UK viewer, because said murderer is the dead spit of Michael Eavis. You are never sure whether to be creeped out by his upside-down facial hair, or applauding his festival.

The other cultural aside I got from Jindabyne was Streets Ice Cream. Logo below.
streets.jpg

Tanya’s Army Of Awfulness: CAPTAIN BEEFHEART

FT + I Hate Music10 comments • 2,025 views

trout_mask_replica.jpgReally.

Do I have to write any words at all?

Surely John Peel’s love for Don Van Vliet says it all. Surely the sunken hearts of every teenager who bought Trout Mask Replica in the belief it was the best album ever, only to realise it was a collection of sixth form poetry and farm noises says it all. Surely the fact that John Harris recently decided it was alright said it was alright for the rest of the universe to pull back and reveal it was all just ONE BIG JOKE ON PUDDING BOWL HAIRCUTTED WORZEL GUMMIDGE.

There really isn’t anything I need to say to persuade anyone, surely, that Beefy is a pile of old toss.

29
May 07

Never mind low GI, here’s cor GI.

FT + Pumpkin Publog2 comments • 515 views

Man to eat Corgi live on air: “It’s going to be served in a pitta bread with a salad, almost like a kebab on a skewer.” The live eating will be in the Resonance FM studios, which, though slightly cramped, have a long history of food science. I just hope they don’t get reggae reggae sauce on the carpet. “We didn’t want to make it very distressing visually, says the not-so-starving artist behind this – good thing it’s on the radio then! Apparently they’re going to mince the dog rather than roast it: not a distressing image for a dog-lover at all, I think you’ll agree.

DAVID CASSIDY – “How Can I Be Sure?”

FT + Popular24 comments • 8,827 views

#320, 30th September 1972

davidcassidy63.jpg“How can I be sure, in a world that’s constantly changing?” – this is one of the great pop questions. Who’s for real? Who’s leading me on? Who isn’t going to take me down? Will I still love you tomorrow? Here’s a teenpop idol singing it, and singing it well – Dusty Springfield sang it better, in the version I knew first, but Cassidy does a creditable job.

SLADE – “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”

FT + Popular17 comments • 2,619 views

#319, 9th September 1972

“Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-YEAH!” – that’s the point of this single, really: the coda where Noddy stops saying weer crazee and simply goes (goez?) crazee-er, his voice finally catching up with the runaway train drumming that’s been goading him every chorus to just let it go. The rest of the single – verses in particular – are simply a necessary warm up.

My Worst Friend

Do You See + FT3 comments • 620 views

Patrice Leconte! Daniel Auteil! Words that have shone out in the wasteland of French film for the last ten years suggesting that I may just tolerate any film they are involved in. Well they have made a misstep. An interesting misstep but a bi-left-footed dancer in hobnail boots of a misstep no less.

Mon meilleur ami (My Best Friend) is a romantic comedy. BUT the film is actually about fraternal bonding, about how we make and perpetuate friendships. Friendships are not romances though, and therefore the inherent problem with the film flags itself up at the moment you realise that this is going to be the most formulaic romantic comedy EVAH!

STEP 1: Daniel Auteil is accused of having no friends. Makes a bet that he can produce his best friend by the end of the month.
STEP 2: Realises he has no friends.
STEP 3: Employs overtly sociable cab driver to show him how to make friends.
STEP 4: Fails to make friends.

25
May 07

Poptimism – Lesson Forty

Poptimism Podcast5 comments • 791 views

Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna

Breakin’ Dishes – Rihanna

Uptown – Pleasure

Burning Up – Madonna

Fiddy Fiddy Fiddy Fiddy – dunproofin.com (Kaisers v 50 Cent)

Knights – Crystal Castles

Tomoko – Hafdís Huld

Pull Up Your Hands – Bass Medium Trinity

The Clapping Song – The Belle Stars

24
May 07

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No.59: C+C MUSIC FACTORY – “Things That Make You Go Hmmm”

FT/3 comments • 3,157 views

cuckold.jpgaka Things to make you go hmmmmm about “Things The Make You Go Hmmm”.

This is a more than adequate early nineties pop dance track, perhaps a little more suited to the radio than the dance-floor, with a cheap but memorable video and a killer hook in the chorus which justifies its longevity in any case. However my reason for loving this record is wholly due to the anachronistic circumstances under which it was used as part of my schooling. I was in the Upper Sixth (Year 13 EMO BOY!) doing Chaucer, and we were having a lesson regarding some of the archaic spellings and words (and swears) which rock up. The classic being “cuckold”, which is a terrific word which has drifted out of usage without actually dying. Its not a word I use often in speech, and this Chaucer class was the first time I had encountered it – though the theme of being cuckolded was quite familiar to me. When Steven Lees and Caroline Hogan split up apparently it had been due to her dalliance with Martin Brown, and thus an instant analogy was identified by the the class. Though she did not then go and prance around with horns on.

His Dark Materials: Where’s The Controversy?

FT12 comments • 1,674 views

Most discussion I’ve seen about the upcoming His Dark Materials films has focused on the film-makers’ decision to tone down the anti-religious element. This leads to the question of how they’re going to tackle the scenes in the third book where (spoilers ahead)