Posts from October 2010

Oct 10

London Film Festival: Meek’s Limbo

Do You See3 comments • 200 views

Kelly Reichardt’s previous two movies have been lo-key gems. The lost in the woods burn of Old Joy and the one girl and her dog dilemmas at the heart of Wendy And Lucy. Both have taken small scale stories and got deep enough into their protagonists heads to make their problems as important as any world saving plot, if not more so. Wendy being distraught over the fate of her dog Lucy is played against almost complete poverty, it was the first film I thought caught the depressing zeitgeist of a post-credit crunch world. So perhaps its an odd choice for her to then move to a pioneer western next with Meek’s Cutoff. Unsurprisingly though, she brings her own style and sensibility to embue a more traditionally suspenseful story with empathy for the individuals in what is still a small story.

Three wagons on the Oregon Trail have gone their own way, being guided by a grizzled old frontiersman Meek. As the film starts the pioneers start to think that perhaps Meek is lost, and trust is dipping. There is a family, a younger couple and a pair of May to December newlyweds along with Meek. Meek holds all the cards here, at least until the capture a Native American out on the plains who has been following them.

Oct 10

SINEAD O’CONNOR – “Nothing Compares 2 U”

FT + Popular167 comments • 10,180 views

#641, 3rd February 1990

Sinead O’Connor is one of the finest song interpreters not just because she thinks hard about the material and the feelings locked in it, but because she’s so good at placing songs into a situation. A great example of this is her version of “Chiquitita”, warm and homely where ABBA’s is melodramatic, replacing its theatrical flourishes with a cosy tick-tock rhythm like a parlour clock. In the video she makes you, the viewer-as-Chiquitita, a cup of tea and settles down for a chat, and it’s perfect: that’s exactly what her version feels like.

Forced Entertainment – The Thrill of it All

FT + The Brown Wedge//Post a comment • 637 views

So the point is I can’t really objectively review a performance by a company who I’ve seen nearly twenty times when, in a way, they’re almost all a continuation of the same performance, it’s just sometimes they’re all sat down talking quietly and sometimes they’re all running about and shouting. I was talking to Tim Etchells, their director/writer/dramaturg/top lad afterwards and he said it’s like a very slow soap opera, and he’s right, the relationships between the performers evolve like those in a soap. It was fascinating watching Jerry being in charge and pushing the newbies about when it doesn’t seem so long since he was the debutante being abused. But still, Richard is the first to break from the initial structure, Cathy and Claire hold everything together and Terri is the chaos provider in the slightly shorter skirt, “what if heroin wasn’t addictive?”

Oct 10

London Film Festival: Two Gates of Sleep

Do You See + FT//Post a comment • 179 views

There’s precious little dialogue in this film; a couple of mumbled lines, and some yelling of names about sums it up. But the two main actors have a wide range of non-verbal noises at their disposal; they grunt, yelp, pant and sniff, splutter, shout, smoke and cough their way through making their mother’s coffin, and carrying it downriver. Mostly, they grunt.

Oct 10

Freaky Trigger And The Lollards Of Pop (Series 4, week 6)

Lollards Podcast3 comments • 276 views

Hazel Robinson hosts a discussion of children’s literature and morality tales from Struwwelpeter to Lemony Snicket. Mark Sinker lifts the lid on Victorian nonsense, Julia Heller suggests suitable reading for the “very advanced”, and Tom Ewing goes on a Beast Quest. Will our presenters make it through with thumbs intact? Tune in and find out.

Oct 10

KYLIE MINOGUE – “Tears On My Pillow”

Popular46 comments • 3,347 views

#640, 27th January 1990

A last encore for Stock Aitken and Waterman – their commercial headlock on the charts is broken, and we find their enthusiasm and imagination running out on a cloying version of the Little Anthony And The Imperials classic. Of course, this is a false impression – we’re a couple of months away from “Better The Devil You Know”, and Kylie’s second wind as a PWL act. In fact this – her only number one of the 90s – is probably the least interesting thing she’ll release all decade.

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Songs Of All Time No.14: SHIRLEY BASSEY “Goldfinger”

FT2 comments • 577 views

Goldfinger by Ash is a bit of a dirge, and amlost certainly one of those songs named because somewhere along the line it sounded to someone somewhere a bit like Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey. Its unclear from their performance, and the song where in the gestation period of the song it was, but they were still in school at the time they wrote it. Safe to say the song contains no luscious horns, no pussycat Bassey growl and no references to King Midas, or the oddly low temperature of anybody’s fingers.

Ash have never been asked to write or perform a Bond theme.

Oct 10

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK – “Hangin’ Tough”

Popular63 comments • 3,904 views

#639, 13th January 1990

The video for “Hangin’ Tough” flicks between scenes of the New Kids in concert – watched by air-punching and weeping fans – and images of them street-dancing in sync on a graffiti-heavy background. One of them hefts a baseball bat – cut to the concert and it’s a jacket, which he hurls moodily to the floor. Underneath he’s wearing a T-Shirt, black-on-white lettering, Katharine Hammett style: “HOME BOY”.

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #11 BLACK ORCHID aka NYSSA’S DREAM

FT2 comments • 413 views

or “i dremt it in the hidden pantry with the freudo-oneirical screwdriver

… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community, and crossposted at FT.

Two-part 5IVE’n’chums diversion from 1982, set in an isolated country house complete with 20s JAZZ PARTY/HORROR MURDER MYSTERY: the Doctor is a key suspect; Nyssa encounters her earthling lookeylikey; Tegan gets it on with a top local cop. A quasi-historical — the last I believe for a very long time — featuring only TARDIS-related sf content. In fact, I have a THEORY about this ep, which may or may not be original to me! NOW READ ON

Oct 10

London Film Festival: Carlos Whisper

Do You See1 comment • 194 views

It seems an odd thing to say but the some of the most interesting things about Olivier Assayas’s 330 minute biopic of the world famous terrorist is what is left out. Which bearing in mind how much is left in (all 330 minutes of them) is not an inconsiderable amount. Starting in 1973 we are presented with a pre-trained and ready Ilich (pre-name change) ready to strike for the Palestinians in the name of International Marxism and a well timed sense of murderous mischief. And the foot doesn’t really come off of the gas for the next five hours, at least not until we discover Carlos’s varicose vein in his testicle and the wheels fall off of his wagon, delivering him in prison. But Carlos tells, in an assiduously linear way, a story of what we know happened, and a fair few educated guesses. What is left out quite often is the why.