Posts from August 2009

23
Aug 09

The Time Travellers Life

Do You See + FTPost a comment • 194 views

Its tough being an accidental time traveller. Well, not that tough. Your biggest problem appears to be getting hold of some new clothes, though considering that in The Time Travellers Wife the average timeslip seems to be for about five minutes it seems unclear why all the breaking and entering is going on. Unless that is what turns our time traveller on. Which, it appears, seems to be the whole point of time travelling – just surviving. There are glib asides to the immutability of causality, though these rules are vaguely broken when necessary. There are moments when the twisting storylines leave you with various ages of Eric Bana, which should be annoying for his wife, but doesn’t seem to be. In general the film of the Time Travellers Wife manages to explain how odd it would be to marry someone who accidentally slipped in time every now and then, it just doesn’t really convince that this story is taking place in anything but its own storybook universe. Which is clearly a pity, as there are a lot of good ideas in here, which almost come to fruition at the end, with time travel as a metaphor for memory. But it should all be so much better. Where is the sense of wonder and excitement of time travelling?

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21
Aug 09

Bocconcini di Capra, Toma di Capra, Blu di Mucca (Cheesy Lovers 14, 15 & 16)

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 640 views

Bocconcini di Capra

Soft goat cheese, Italian, from Gastronomica

A very squishy soft little white round of cheese, wrapped in white paper, and small enough that it nestles in my palm. When I cut it, it oozes a creamy white viscous liquid. It tastes sweet and mellow, nutty, milky. There’s very little acidity, and the merest hint of goat. It’s a good cheese, but terribly mild-mannered and well behaved, and not hugely complicated. I like most its texture and milkiness. It’s very soothing; the cup-of-tea-and-nice-sit-down of the cheese world.

Toma di Capra

Hard goats cheese, again Italian and from Gastronomica

This is a round hard cheese, with slight moulding on the the thin orange rind and a slightly translucent cream-coloured paste. The rind of this cheese tastes bitter and slightly mouldy. Inside, there’s a cheddary tang. It’s very acidic, very fruity – cherry, pineapple and oranges – and there’s a sweet nuttyness, almost yeastiness to it. I don’t really like this, although it’s hard to say why. I think it’s just a little too disjointed for me; the sweet/acidic/bitter tastes all seem to clash slightly with each other, rather than pulling together.

Blu di Mucca

Raw blue cow cheese, still Italian and from Gastronomica

There’s a thin dark rind on this cheese, and big pockets of pretty green mould inside – so much mould in the middle that the cheese is almost grey. It’s fairly moist and creamy in texture. It’s got a really nice balance of sweetness and creamyness with salt. My mouth tingles with it; It’s fruity and spicy. Nearer the rind it’s also bright and nutty and creamy – like pistachio ice cream. There’s a hint of smoked mackerel in the aftertaste, I think – this is not unpleasant, but was quite hard to pin down because I don’t expect cheese to taste of fish. I very much like this cheese; it’s a squidgy salty fishy delight.

Interestingly, when I went hunting on the internet for a picture of this cheese, I got some shockingly RUDE results. Mucca is a childish word for cow, but it must also be slang for something else.

A Perfect Getaway – An Imperfect Threeway

FT1 comment • 227 views

A hint to all screenwriters out there. If in doubt, and unless it it necessary, try not to make any of your characters a screenwriter. Not only is it a little bit too self aggrandising, but the next thing that follows is that your screenwriter character will start talking about writing a film. Which can only come across as an ironic commentary on the film they are in. Really, really don’t ever let them talk about second act twists.

David Twohy, of Pitch Black and Riddick fame, has committed this sin in excess in his small budget thriller A Perfect Getaway. In it we have three couples wandering around an isolated part of Hawaii, who are latterly made aware of the existence of another murderous couple on the loose.

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STEVIE WONDER – “I Just Called To Say I Love You”

FT + Popular86 comments • 9,113 views

#538, 8th September 1984, video

Bad songs earn bad reputations, but the particular disdain this one attracts is tangled up with people’s love for its creator. Everyone’s entitled a clunker sometimes but it’s galling when one becomes a great artist’s most popular song. At the back of our minds we all know that if Stevie Wonder was to go under a bus tomorrow it wouldn’t be “Living For The City” that racked up the RIP downloads.

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19
Aug 09

Ben Crouch’s Tavern

FT + Pumpkin Publog7 comments • 3,685 views

The world of pubs, as we know and have heard, grows ever more homogeneous over the years, as the big chains move in, so surely it’s hardly the time to be mourning the passing of one of them. Farewell then to Ben Crouch’s Tavern, just off Oxford Street, a stalwart of the Eerie Pubs stable.*

It was for the most part a horrible place, filled with ersatz gothick decoration (think thick cobwebs, chains, rusty steel cages, big fake spiders, book cases, and lab testing equipment), a meagre range of drinks and truly awful music played far too loudly which didn’t even conform to the rest of the pub’s decor theme (generally, it was bad AOR rock music).

And yet, and yet, a bit of nostalgia creeps in for the old place.

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18
Aug 09

toward a better understanding of powder kegs and sparks

FT2 comments • 290 views

bonnietyler_flowchart There are a few subroutines missing but as I say, this is only TOWARD a better understanding. A complete knowledge may ultimately be beyond the ken of humans. Thanks to http://jeannr.tumblr.com/.

Jake Thackray

FT5 comments • 817 views

So, I saw a (repeated) bbc four documentary about Jake maybe six months ago and then kept on entirely failing to search for his stuff, but then a friend linked to the above and I found an treasure trove of stuff on spotify (sorry Americans), and he is all kinds of awesome, jazzy and silly and slightly rude, but very british (and a bit 70s to be honest, as the above example shows). I’m not sure why he’s disappeared into obscurity, given that the doco showed him on many TV shows, and he seemed to have a fanbase of slightly alt comedians (i’m pretty certain the programme was made by Associated Rediffusion, ie Victor Lewis-Smith).

Hei Hei Wickie – The Transgendered Viking

Do You See + FT7 comments • 2,133 views

Talking about Land Of The Lost below I suggest that no-one was clamouring for a film remake. Well, to take that a step further I started to think about all the time filling but not very good series and cartoons I saw as a kid, and wondered if they too would be dragged out of retirement for a new generation of bemused kids and man-children. Whilst I could certainly see the French computer animation chaps behind The Magic Roundabout buffing up Wattou Wattou, its safe to say that the cheap bought in animation blocks on ITV were the bottom of the list. But hey, our poorly dubbed Eurotoon may well be a Norwegian animation classic.

And then I came across this.

That’s right. The live action Vicky The Viking.

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Whoa-oh, we’re (almost) halfway there!

FT + Popular11 comments • 1,639 views

There are currently 15 songs to go before I reach the halfway point of my Popular project. Obviously it’s possible that I’ll slip back behind that point, but I doubt it, and in any case halfway deserves celebration.

So there will be a WEEKEND OF POPULAR held from Friday 2nd October to Sunday 4th October. Come along and mark the beginning of the triumphant second half of this enormous project, which will be much like the first except with more Westlife.*

On the Friday (2nd), the Poptimism Club Night at the Horse Bar near Waterloo will be taken over by Club Popular, where the most banging number ones from 1952 to now will be played. Many will induce you to dance.

On the Sunday (4th), the Hangover Lounge at The Lexington on Pentonville Road will ALSO play host to Club Popular, this time playing the softer side of chart-topping pop. We’re delighted to say that Bob Stanley, of Saint Etienne, will be DJing.

Something might happen on the Saturday too, who knows.

It would be marvellous to see you, especially if you’re a comments box regular we haven’t met yet. Put it in the diaries!

*there is of course a slim chance that I will go crazy and spend the 90s talking about how pop is the female void and rock the male light, before the 00s devolve into a minute annotation of Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom in a really tiny font. Caveat lector.

I Love A Flop

FTPost a comment • 278 views

Land Of The Lost deserved to be a flop. Its a remake of a not particularly loved, nonsensical kids TV show which no-one was demanding to be remade. However if they were demanding it to be remade, perhaps they wouldn’t want the general premise of the show changed to fit the whims of a big US comedian who appears to want to just be silly for an hour and a half. Thus robbed of any form of structure or point, the film flounders from one half arsed set piece to the next to add puerile jokes and waste a huge amount of money on comic CGI for a non-existent audience.

I loved it. Well, not loved. But the hour and a half I spent with Will Ferrell, Anna Friel and Danny McBride actually passed with very little boredom and a few laughs. Its Will Ferrell: you are paying for stupid.

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