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Extra bits and links


By Asides

Still about a month behind posting reviews, sorry. At least the Now Showing column actually reflects what is playing in Wellington at the moment. I’ll get some review excerpts in there as soon as I can but that’s it for me tonight. If you’re still looking for online reading try Robyn Gallagher’s site:

The national anthem of Eastbourne is polar fleece. The national bird is a mosaic letterbox number, created at an evening craft course. Eastbourne is where you grew up, where you visited your grandparents, where your boyfriend lived, where you’re bringing up your family, and where your parents have retired, all rolled into one.

She’s used her sick leave well, giving the place a good spruce up, but the writing is why we visit.

Online reading and listening tips

By Asides

Time to draw your attention to a couple of bits of media that I’ve enjoyed recently, namely an excellent article by William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair about Captain “Sully” Sullenberger and the ‘miraculous’ landing on the Hudson River back in January. Langewiesche tells the story of the specific flight adroitly but also manages to tie it to modern aircraft manufacture, pilot politics and even has a hint of a Right Stuff “what makes a pilot” going on too. Superb and engrossing.

In a different arena entirely, I can recommend you download and listen to Elvis Mitchell’s interview with Rusell Brand, a famous West Ham fan and sometimes annoying presence as an actor who I had thought was inexplicably popular. Well, now, thanks to Elvis, it is explic’d. I get it. In the interview Brand is promoting the US edition of “My Booky Wook” and he is funny, supremely intelligent, spirited and self-aware. And he talks at 100mph. Download the interview from the KCRW site here, or download to the regular podcast via iTunes here. Mitchell is a former critic for The New York Times and his programme The Treatment is the most consistently intelligent half hour on cinema on the web.

The Wisdom of Buddy

By Asides

Buddy Hackett talking about working in Vegas, quoted by Ebert:

I was offered twice the dough to move to a certain hotel,” he told me, “but nothing doing. Comics who work that room always flop. There’s a physical reason for that. The stage is above the eye lines of too much of the audience. At the Sahara, the seats are banked and most of the audience is looking down at the stage. Everybody in the business knows: Up for singers, down for comics. The people want to idealize a singer. They want to feel superior to a comic. You’re trying to make them laugh. They can’t laugh at someone they’re looking up to.”


By Asides and meta

Don’t you just hate it when you have a conversation with someone that (without them meaning to) forces you to examine the way you live your life, the assumptions that you make about yourself and whether you are, in fact, totally kidding yourself? I had one of those today so I’m feeling introspective.

Anyway, I’ve had some technical issues but I’m back now, and the backlog of reviews will make their way to the site shortly.