I saw Theatre Of Blood for the first time tonight, at a BFI Screen Epiphanies showing (you will be unsurprised to discover it was a favourite of one of the League Of Gentlemen, Reese Sheersmith). I know this is far too late in life to watch such a delightfully well made black comedy, but I enjoyed it thoroughly with the additional frisson of having the directors family sitting behind me. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, Theatre Of Blood is a wickedly dark horror comedy where Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, a classical actor/manager who specialises exclusively in Shakespeare who runs foul of the 1970 London Critic Circle. Thought dead from suicide, he returns to bump each of the critics off in a suitably Shakespearian fashion. Hammy, gory and with a wonderful 70′s Who’s Who cast, it is a treat – with a delightful central premise. In particular it overcomes the biggest problem in black comedies, how to balance sympathy for the central murderer without being voyeuristically complicit. Here all we meed to know is in the opening line with Michael Hordern’s critic, a pompous ass bemoaning that his best crack against an actress had been cut from his review. These are critics, and self-satisfied ones at that, who the audience have no difficulty in agreeing deserve their fates. Price is so delicious as the lead, given an extra dimension by Diana Rigg’s devoted daughter, and the critics are so grotesque, that you worry some may escape. So you get gore, imaginative deaths, and Vincent Price delivering ten of Shakespeare’s finest roles (also a bout of fencing on trampolines!*). By the end of which you appreciate the bitter irony that you still root for Lionheart even though through these performances you know the critics were actually right. He is pretty terrible.
Being of my unoriginal, gadfly, generation, and enjoying the film thoroughly, my first thought on exiting the cinema was of a remake. If you were to do a remake, who would star?
So the great clear out happened. WHat went from an Aladdin’s Cave of the lost and misplaced briefly had bare shelves. We even got rid of the duvet. So the Lost Property Office took a short hiatus for a few weeks whilst we patiently waited for the students in the area to start losing things again. And what a bunch of losers they turned out to be, from law pupillage guides, to bodice ripping fantasy yarns. Oh and a pair of pants, there is always a pair of pants. How do people lose pants? Seriously.
But as ever I digress, like we always do on the show. So in this weeks show, we discuss anti-abortionists, cats, cat castration, basically a whole fistful of sexual reproductive issues. And you don’t want that in your fist. This weeks guest is Marna Gilligan, FreakyTrigger’s queen of cheese. Watch her delve with gusto into the all new lost property office.
Welcome back to the Lost Property Office which is reaching a critical phase in a standard University term. The duvet is still there, but the influx of lost jackets, jumpers and notes, oh so many notes, is threatening THE BIG CLEAR-OUT. Well before that happens, we had a fine discussion on Ewan McGregor, Polish music, and rummaging through bins to find lost wedding rings. Oh and this is bay far the sweariest Lost Property office we have ever had (don’t worry, all swears bleeped out unless you consider PISH to be a swear).
This weeks Lost Properteer is Meg Hewitt, and has proper found MP3 music on it. No idea what it is, as ever please let us know what you think it might be. We also see a welcome return to “Though The Pencil-case” to wonder who lives in a pencil case like this? And see how fast I can find a piece of music if I need too – we truly are living in the future. As ever you can download here, or iTunes and enjoy!
Hello Losers! Hmm, not sure if I should call regular listeners to The Lost Property Office Losers, you are all of course winners of a brand spanking new podcast. And this week I have one of the original Lollards for you, a man who by his own confession rarely loses, but rarely finds stuff either. And is always getting lost, and the approbation it might summon up. This intrepid Lost Properteer is of course Tim Hopkins.
In our little chat we broach upon parental disapproval, the Police Benevolent Fund, why anyone would need a calculator, the theory of mix CD’s, and we learn via book and flexi-disc how to play guitar. Unfortunately we do not have guitar in the studio to prove that we have completely learned how to play it. There is also some music which may or may not be by Michael Jackson, and as is often the way we seem to talk about the GOOD OLD DAYS. Oh and I sign not once but twice (Gordon Lightfoot and Miguel…) Download here, or on iTunes and enjoy.
How can we follow last weeks wonderful tales of hands across the water and the stirring, beating heart of communist Cuba? Well mainly by being rude to an out of date new age owl based diary, and City AM. We really give City AM a kicking. We hate City AM. All this and Chilean pesos, pennys found on the floor and a huge giant laminated poster which is remarkably scary. All of this and a terrible joke in the intro that might put you off for life.
Today’s guest plucky enough to brave the duvet of doom in the Lost Property Office is the old Lollard’s stalwart and raconteur in chief Alix Campbell. She brings us tales of South America, London, Dorset and bins. We talk about flightless birds, collecting coins and other things lost and found. Music comes from the Balkans we think, Baille Balkan Funk perhaps, which maybe is just all Sam & The Womp all the time…
One of my favourite things about the most modern incarnations of Sherlock Holmes* is how they deal with Sherlock’s apparent mastery of disguise. Visual Media is wary of masters of disguise** because the medium in itself is playing exactly the same trick on the audience. Robert Downey Jr is NOT really Sherlock Holmes, but we have to believe he is. But if he is Sherlock Holmes in disguise, the audience should be able to spot the disguise, else we aren’t in on the game. Hence RDJ dragging up appallingly in a Game Of Shadows amongst others. So obviously then I saw this picture I thought it was Benidct Cumberbatch in some sort of lousy Sherlock disguise.
(Note, Gollum is not in the original picture – that is my theory.)
Do you find it difficult putting together a political rally? Do you find that your poorly performing football club is losing fans by the thousands and it is hard for you to maintain a general sense of hub-bub in the stands? Do you really like the Spanish word “Olé” poorly enunciated but loudly projected over and over again to what, everyone in my office agreed, was the Olé Olé Olé tune? Well salvation is at hand for you:
I must admit I have always wondered who was singing the Olé Olé Olé tune at many football grounds.
Welcome to the second series of The Lost Property Office, in which a guest comes into my office, full of lost items and uses it as a Proustian springboard for the losses and discoveries of their own life. We have waited eight months for the office to restock itself, and there is no end of tat waiting to be discovered.
In today’s episode we start with a bang, a losing story of an international, some may diplomatic scale, and perhaps one which may equally affect you from a political and philosophical point of view. We also briefly talk about hats, and we snub Mel Gibson. My guest is Mark Morris, journalist, film critic and writer of the Disappointing…Yet Brilliant blog which rightly picks Damsels In Distress as one of the films of last year. As ever you can listen to the podcast here or download it from iTunes when it is up, so turn your podcatcher back on.
So the first picture of Michael Fassbender as Frank Sidebottom have appeared on the internet, and the internet is all a kerfuffle. It doesn’t look – right – they say. The eyes aren’t round, the eyebrows have been shifted from Sievey’s perma-surprise to a more reflective, even pair of brows. And real-Frank was more dapper than this movie-Frank. The body language is all off too (but this may not be a film take). Just wait til we hear his voice, possible drifting from the Irish-German lilts that are the Scylla and Charybdis of all of Fassbender’s vocal performances.
But hold on a minute. Do we want this Frank to look just like the real Frank? This is not a case of impersonation, Fassbender is playing a role.
(Apologies to Alan from whom some of the ideas here were appropriated.)
Everyone hates Mrs Brown’s Boys – right? Everyone finds it bizarre that this sitcom with a dragged up old Irish Mammy is such a big hit, and such a big hit in a post-watershed BBC1 fashion, with a spin-off celebrity gameshow in the works.
But why does “everyone”, for which read quite clearly not everyone, hate it? When discussing it people often bring up Miranda as well, another seemingly old fashioned sitcom – down to its “You Have Been Watching” tag. Other instant reasons to hate both are their laugh track (or actually live studio audience) and a breaking of the fourth wall where in both sitcoms the lead often telegraphs the laughs straight to the (present) audience.
I have seen some pretty strong invective against both, which reminds me of much of the lower level of critical discussion around pop and rock music, where the opening gambit is to use the word HATE. When people drill down on their kneejerk hate, the reason is not always easy to pinpoint. We may fall back on phrases like something being derivative, lazy or unexciting. If we are really lucky we can try to construct a straw man of offensiveness: potentially it is implicitly racist, anti-working class and there must be something that covers our overall discomfort with drag. Of course we are allowed to say “it isn’t funny” but clearly plenty of people think it is. What should say is “I didn’t find it very funny”, but that isn’t very useful critically.