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New and Improved

By Cinema and meta

I’ve just got the gig as Film Reviewer for Wellington’s Capital Times and will post full versions of of all the published reviews here, starting tomorrow. My word limit there is slender so I’ll also post on films watched in service of Capital Times readers but not published. I’ll also be adding colour to the printed versions by commenting on screening conditions, coffee and other items only semi-related to the film itself.

The first review appears in the paper itself tomorrow and will be posted here first thing in the morning.

Hopefully, this will result in this little endeavour getting more attention (from me and an audience) than it has managed so far!

Tuesday Allsorts #3

By Asides, Cinema, Magazines and Music

Trying to get back to a regular posting schedule. Here goes:

Holy Hell, possibly the funniest thing in the world: Some deranged genius adds James Earl Jones dialogue from other movies to Star Wars. I shit you not!

The Be Good Tanyas live at The Barbican in London (reviewed in The Grauniad);

A.O. Scott in the NY Times (reg. req.) ponders why critics and public respond so differently, so often (I just watched POTC:DMC and can see both sides “complete shit” v “a $9 diversion with a few laughs”;

Amazon are in big trub for selling cock-fighting magazines – but that’s not all they sell… (thanks Gawker);

Bob Geldof gets a hard time for cancelling in Italy when 45 people turn up to the 12,000 seat stadium (“Harden up, Sir Bob!”) but let us not forget that he helped organise a benefit concert in Auckland when the Neon Picnic was cancelled in 1988 so he’s alright by me – the $1,500 a plate shindig in Auckland the other week is much harder to excuse.

Tuesday Allsorts #2

By Asides, Cats, Cinema, Cricket and Music

Alright then, while I am fiddling with css here are some links to amuse and alarm you:

  • Cat Piano – I love cats and and yet I still find this idea highly amusing;
  • Wim Wenders talks to MovieMaker magazine about what he’s learnt about making films;
  • Screenwriter John August on the influence of enthusiast, fan, media on the film-promoting and film-going process;
  • The wonderful Nellie McKay chats with the legendary Eartha Kitt for something called Harp (by the way Nellie just reviewed “Great Pretenders: My Strange Love Affair With ’50s Pop Music” by Karen Schoemer for the New York Times but that may already be behind their pay-wall);
  • George Bush learns to play cricket in Pakistan with Inzamam Ul Haq (who seems to have borrowed my beard). This is about the most engaged I have ever seen the man, perhaps he should try and run America while dodging bouncers.

There, all of these are weeks late but none the worse for that I shouldn’t wonder.

Tuesday Allsorts #1

By Asides, Cinema, Football, Music, The Net and Theatre

David Beckham 27 Feb 2006Why is this man smiling? “Er, Victoria, a pigeon’s just crapped on my shoulder.”
Presenting the first of my weekly (weakly?) lists of stuff I’ve stumbled across via the web over the last seven days.

Firstly, it is unlikely that I will be purchasing the new red England away top despite my being a prime candidate (I bought the 2002 reversable version and still wear the blue side). Even though it is un homage to the classic 1966 World Cup winning shirt it’s still too busy for me. What is it with the little white “thing” on the right shoulder and the Umbro logo is as wide and prominent as the three lions? And they have persevered with the tiny gold star which made the last shirt seem like it belonged to the People’s Republic of China. Anyway, on to the interesting stuff:

  • The Guardian talks to Underworld, Ray Davies, Pete Shelley, Richard X, Johnny Marr, Nick Hodgson, Rhymefest, Peter Hook, Tony Hicks, Gary Numan, Ron Mael and KT Tunstall about how some of their signature tunes came to be:

The drum pattern was ripped off from a Donna Summer B‑side. We’d finished the drum pattern and we were really happy, then Steve accidentally kicked out the drum machine lead so we had to start from scratch and it was never as good.” (Peter Hook from New Order talking about “Blue Monday”)

Not only is there a premature gear change after the second chorus, but towards the end of the song there are a further two in a row. They’re so ill-advised that you can hear the nervousness in his wavering voice as he tries to resist each time. All it achieves, though, is the effect of everything going horribly out of tune. I’m not absolutely certain that the word “cacophonic” exists, but that’s the most apt way to sum up this atrocity.”

255. Casting a black Desdemona alongside a black Othello is kind of missing the point a bit.
256. The Montague clan are not aliens. No, really, they’re not.
257. No matter how much homoerotic subtext has been built up over the course of the play, I will not end Richard II by having Henry pull Richard’s dead body out of a pool of water, having him proceed to lie on top of it, and then roll, the one over the other, all over the stage in complete silence until the curtain comes to hide them from the audience’s bleeding eyes.

  • Finally, not only has someone in a feature film got my name, he’s the title character – and this is a film with Bruce Willis and Ben Kingsley! Some people are used to sharing the same name as characters on screen (I know an Anderson and a Harper who must be sick of it) but will be a new experience for me.