Posts from 21st March 2004

Mar 04

Shekhar Kapur’s hyperGothic

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Shekhar Kapur’s hyperGothic Elizabeth ‘ starring Galadriel as the Virgin Queen ‘ was so kinetic, so stylish, all dry ice and dark angles, demonic Catholic priests looming against the light, the centenarian Gielgud refulgent in whore’s scarlet as the Pope, that it even got away with Eric Cantona as the French ambassador, his guarded unease oddly good for the part, not to mention wild distortions of historical detail.

Its spawn to date includes a sublime Ray Winstone – “Off wiv er ed yoo slag!” – as Henry VIII, and now Gunpowder Treason and Plot, which casts as Lord Cecil, James Stuart’s brutal chief of security and counter-espionage, no less than Blackadder’s Lord Percy Percy, even though one of Guy Fawkes’s co-conspirators is also a Percy! This is daring. Robert Carlyle (re)plays James at Hitler with a club foot. This is merely daft.

I like bold cartoons which get at the truth by bending the facts: so do Gillies Mackinnon and Jimmy McGovern want to gut anti-Catholicism by making it just pathologically goofy, half splatter, half gurning?

Lazio vs Roma on Eurosport

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Lazio vs Roma on Eurosport

The website that brings you the news as it happens: tonight’s big Serie A derby, Lazio-Roma, has been stopped for around 20 minutes now. The fans insisted by chanting, so the players stopped two minutes into the second half. Fans’ representatives (don’t ask me) came onto the pitch to explain that a fan had been injured by a police car. Ah, as I type, two contradictory things: the tannoy has announced that no one has been hurt at all; and the players are leaving the pitch as if the whole thing is over.

Anyway, two other less spectacular points around the coverage. Gary Richardson, astutely, during the interval: “Gravity affects the Inzaghi brothers differently from ordinary people.”

Less amusingly, there was an instance of another stupidity that is creeping in to commentators’ and pundits’ thinking, when Panucci was challenged and went down in the area. The ref gave nothing, and the commentator suggested that if he didn’t give a penalty, he had to book the player for diving! This is plainly nonsense – it’s obvious that players can go down during tackles or other challenges without there being a foul and without it being a dive to con the ref. This is surely not a difficult concept to grasp, is it?

Biscuit Report – McVities Lemon and Ginger digestives

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 519 views

Biscuit Report – McVities Lemon and Ginger digestives

Ever thought ginger biscuits too hard? Like the refreshing tang of lemon? Maybe think digestives too…samey? Give these a whirl. Very nice indeed. Very moreish. I like plain digestives, but wanted to try these, and am glad I did. Really, really good dunked in tea. Recommended.

Table service in pubs…

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 494 views

Table service in pubs.
Reserved tables in pubs.
Pubs whose doors blow open constantly on a windy day.
Pubs which only have tables with knives and forks on it.
Punter with blonde dyed mullets and stupid hats.

That’ll just be annother day bouzing in West London then. More on all these appalling observations later.

Grand Theft Parsons

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There are premises to films which are so damn good that it does not matter how shoddily put together the actual film is, you still come out feeling warm towards it. Grand Theft Parsons is one such film. The script is as poor as the supposed pun in the title. Apparently the story is about as loosely based on the actual theft of Gram Parsons body as the story of the Flood in the Bible was based on a wet day in downtown Jerico. And even the characters made up to pep the thing along (mainly a shrewish Christina Applegate) add nothing to the tension.

Yet despite the films many flaws, it is nice to watch a stoner comedy about someone fulfilling a promise to a dead friend. With regards to the films attitude towards Gram Parsons, it only speaks well of the dead (despite plenty of hints to a much darker reality). In particular the film rakes together six or seven of Gram’s best solo stuff to fill the soundtrack with – though many people might get the idea that it was actually Emmylou Harris who had died. Which is why it is so strange, and a bit blasphemous even, to accompany the funeral finale with Movin’ On Up by Primal Scream.

A film you want to like, which really, really tests your patience sometimes. Its supposed to be a funeral after all…