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Extra bits and links

“freakish hypervictorian ornamentation”

By Architecture, Asides

Thanks to @gtiso’s Best Blog Posts of 2010 I have been intro­duced to Owen Hatherley on Architecture:

Jonathan Meades has an inter­est­ing archi­tec­tur­al the­ory of dic­tat­ori­al longev­ity – that the more a régime embraces kitsch, the more it will be entrenched in power. The Nazis, with their middlebrow neo­clas­si­cism, their Kingsnorthian moun­tain retreats, did­n’t get long – Stalin, mean­while, died of old age, his régime gil­ded by gold leaf and freak­ish hyper­victori­an ornamentation.

[From sit down man, you’re a bloody tragedy: Red Gates]

I think you should check it out, too.

“I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live.”

By Asides, Humour

I know this has been going around a bit this week, but this para­graph stood out for me:

Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept com­ing. And so did the gifts of my new found athe­ism. The gifts of truth, sci­ence, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evol­u­tion -– a the­ory so simple that only England’s greatest geni­us could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, anim­als and us –- with ima­gin­a­tion, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reas­on for my exist­ence, just a reas­on to live. And ima­gin­a­tion, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reas­ons for living.

[From A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist – Speakeasy – WSJ]


By Asides, Cinema

Overheard at the Embassy dur­ing Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

Grumpy Film Reviewer: Do you mind turn­ing off your phone?

Annoying Patron: It isn’t on.

GFR: Yes, it is. You’re using it!

AP: The sound is off.

GFR: But I can see you using it!

AP: No, you can’t. Get a life. [Puts phone away, does­n’t come out again]

I’m sorry to say this, but some people really don’t deserve cinemas.

“... a fine British tradition of plucky, have-a-go heroes.”

By Asides, Cinema

It’s award sea­son every­where but I have to con­fess some admir­a­tion for the Irina Palm d’Or:

For crit­ics, such films have now become a fact of life, the lumpen low-budget yang to the sprightly, ingeni­ous yin of, say, Nick Whitfield’s Skeletons and Gareth Edwards’s forth­com­ing Monsters. Barber con­fesses to a cer­tain admir­a­tion for the prizewin­ners thus far: “We’ve all heard how dif­fi­cult it is to get a film made in Britain, so when you see one that seems like a ter­rible idea on every level, you do have a weird kind of respect for who­ever got it up there on the screen. Irina-makers belong to a fine British tra­di­tion of plucky, have-a-go heroes.”

[From The Irina Palm d’Or: And the loser is … | Film |]

For what it’s worth I did­n’t seem to mind Irina Palm.

“Hey now!”

By Asides, TV

The great Garry Shandling describ­ing Rip Torn’s audi­tion for “The Larry Sanders Show”:

Rip came in for the first time, and his agent said he wouldn’t read. Weeks later it was just him and me in a room with no one else, and I said to Rip, “Could we read half of this togeth­er?” And he said, “I don’t want to read.” I said, “That’s totally fine,” and I pushed it to the side of the table. We talked for less than anoth­er minute, and he reached over and took the page, and he starts the scene. It’s like try­ing to describe a good date to a friend the next day. I had to say to HBO and every­body else, “Honestly, this is the best sex I have had.”

[From Garry Shandling Recalls ‘Larry Sanders,’ –]

The Larry Sanders Show” is finally get­ting the full DVD treat­ment (I am a happy own­er of Season One). And, oh man, I’ve just dis­covered that the com­plete “It’s Gary Shandling’s Show” is on Region 1 DVD. Must. Have.

And on the sub­ject of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show”, here’s the fam­ous theme tune:


And while we’re on the sub­ject of Garry, please read this exten­ded inter­view with the man at GQ. That is all.

The dir­ec­tion I’m going in is even­tu­ally you won’t know if it’s a joke or not,” he explains, describ­ing his new act, which he has been quietly test­ing in clubs where his name nev­er appears on the mar­quee. “What I want to hap­pen is that I talk for an hour and the audi­ence does­n’t real­ize it is funny until they’re driv­ing home.”