Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Across The Blogosphere...

Again, just to reiterate, the lack of posts/responses and everything is due to my lack of internet. Turns out, it is the most difficult thing in the world to actually get your broadband and telephone hooked up. So apologies for that everyone.

Anyhoo, I have managed to have a quick gander at the odd blog and therefore have a few to mention...

Sarah wanted to watch Christopher Nolan's 'Insomnia' last night, a film I haven't seen for ages and was willing to watch. She bailed and we played FIFA 2010 for hours instead. Nevertheless, Trevor Hogg on Flickering Myth has begun an overview of Christopher Nolan's films - namely 'Following' and 'Memento'. Its a three-part-er so, do go back and forth to check out the next articles on Nolan.

The Intermittent Sprocket blog finally reveals what that strange title means ... amongst many factors, this 'sprocket' is "part of a larger machine" ... but I shall give you three guesses to what that machine is, considering it is a film blog.

And, just to add to my random-readings (aka, not film blogs), I thought I'd share with you the latest offering on a blog titled 'A Survival Guide to Young Adulthood' about a pill. THE pill. Lots of text about how she wasn't going to sleep with some guy and then does ... and then talks to a friend. Revealing, in semi-detail the embarressing situation 'Matt' found himself in ... when he couldn't get it up whilst wearing a condom. Bad luck boy-o.


PS - remember, feedback for 'The Simon and Jo Film Show' podcast should be sent to

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Favourite Film Faces #3: David Koepp in 'Jurassic Park: The Lost World'

I caught the end of 'The Lost World' the other day on TV. It reminded me of one, of the many facts I know, about this film and the films of the franchise. Alongside facts such as Ariana Richards played Lex - an actress who starred in 'Switched at Birth'... Joseph Mazello, star of 'The Pacific', was in 'The River Wild' and 'Jurassic Park' also. Both made a cameo in 'The Lost World' too. Bob Peck is a shakespearian actor. The facts could continue.

This is indeed the screenplay writer David Koepp, writer of 'Spiderman', 'Jurassic Park', 'Mission Impossible' and up and coming 'Men in Black 3'

I asked a question for everyone to guess: 1. Name the film... 2. Name the Cameo...

Liam Crosbie, screen-writer extrodinaire got it correct so kudos to you sir.

For the record - the version I saw on TV cut a few seconds after this, when in fact it goes a little longer as the aforementioned actor is mauled to pieces.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Simon and Jo Film Show: 27/06/2010

[Nb. This show is particularly offensive…especially Jo’s reaction to England’s defeat in the World Cup’… brace yourselves…] A semi-sports themed podcast this week. We begin ‘The Simon and Jo Film Show’ at Wimbledon on the day Nadal, Marray and Davenport all compete – and we continue on our film discussion as Simon manages to have seen Woody Allen’s latest release ‘Whatever Works’ starring Larry David.

We then have the London box-office, the news and to finish, some finishing touches to the Coen brothers ‘odyssey’ as Simon discusses ‘The Ladykillers’ starring Tom Hanks.

To finish, we have trailers to discuss – namely the latest ‘Inception’ trailer introducing the characters, ‘Red’ starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich and additionally ‘The Green Hornet’ starring Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz.


To contact the show and give a little feedback, we do support the right to email: Complain or praise, advice or support on specific touches and, believe me, we will respond and potentially discuss it in a future episode.


All music is from the soundtrack to ‘The Ladykillers’ – except one track which we all know from ‘Footloose’ performed by Kenny Loggins.
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, 25 June 2010


We love you Liverpool, we do. We love you Liverpool, we do. Oh, Liverpool we love you.

Then on the Wednesday it was time for a trip to Covent Garden to check out Kicks, a low budget British film with football at it's heart, perfect preparation for a world cup methinks...

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Across The Blogosphere...

Due to my ongoing problem about gaining internet at my home (alas, I only have it at work!) I am still un-prolific on the grand scheme of things but obviously, the 'Favourite Film Faces' and 'Across The Blogosphere' posts must be continued ... and the podcast continues too.

So, in the style of The Fast Show: "This week I have been mostly reading ..."

Tom Clift on 'Plus Trailers' finally puts together his Top Films of 2009 - it is always good when you revisit these lists of years gone by. The travesty of having 'The Box' making the top 10 whilst 'The Hurt Locker' doesn't is beyond me. Though some may be happy (Jo, you mothf....) that 'Watchmen' is somewhere in the list ... something I particularly think is ridiculous.

Movies and Other Things report the cast announced for M. Night Shyamalans film post-Airbender. First off, Willis was in 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable' and, Shyamalan does make 'classic' films. 'The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable', 'Signs' and 'The Village' are all incredible films ... though we shall have to see if 'Lady...Water' and 'The Happening' get more popular in time. I must say, since'The Lady in the Water' was released more and more people have come round to it. Sarah tells me it is her favourite Shyamalan movie!

Fletch see's debt troubles highlighting a troubled man in debt, whilst a friend of mine who changed from her blog from originally being a Travel blog to a not-so-much-travelling-but-pregnant blog discusses the latest difficulties during pregnancy. Thought I'd throw in a random blog amongst all the film banter just in case a preggers blog-reader wants some mutual understanding.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, 21 June 2010

Favourite Film Faces #2: Tom Hanks in The Ladykillers

So, in the final stretch of my ongoing Coen Brothers viewing, I have now watched 'The Ladykillers' and, without giving my verdict away just yet, I have selected my favourite face. I heard some pretty shifty things about this film - and Tom Hanks being in a Coen's film seemed a little strange.

We are introduced to the sneaky Dr Dorrs character he plays and, I felt, a little unsure how to take the character (a cat in a tree, not really that funny...) until Hanks gives this smile when noting a 'riddle'. Creepy, unique and completely erasing the standard-hanks-persona for an incredible character who holds the film in his hands - alongside Mrs Munson.
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Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Simon and Jo Film Show: 19/06/2010

This week, we begin from Ben and Jerry's on Leicester Square to cover, for our main review, Noah Baumbach's 'Greenberg', then we move on to discuss the new releases and box office in London.

To finish we have a nice classic edge as Simon watches two classic movies: Billy Wilders 'The Apartment' and George Steven's 'Shane' - Simon's Dad's favourite Film of All Time. Quite incredible indeed.


We mentioned the positive criticism for Please Give and Greenberg on the untouchable Filmspotting podcast and, additionally, the lads at /Film informed us about MacGruber.


All music is from the soundtrack to Greenberg - which can be found on itunes and Amazon amongst other places. But alas, we finish with a nice World Cup song - 'Wavin' Flag'...

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Happiest Girl in the World (Radu Jude, 2009)

Tuesday 8th and I was off to see cea mai fericita fata din lume, hopefully she'd be smiling...

It's the story of a young Romanian girl who has entered a competition run by a juice company and won a lovely new silver car. Her parents drive her into the city where she must shoot a commercial, featuring the juice and car, to demonstrate just how happy she is.

Needless to say the title turned out to be somewhat sarcastic. Despite her good luck the young lady spends the entire film being distinctly miserable, most of the time she is moping around, smoking or arguing about her stroke of remarkable good fortune. The crux of the conflict is with her father who wants to sell the car immediately, realise a good profit, open a guest-house and then buy her a car in a couple of years with the thousands upon thousands of euros they'll make. She wants to keep the car, mainly so she can drive her buddies to the beach, and then maybe sell it in a couple of years despite the inevitable drop in value. Dear mama is stuck in the middle, reminding the girl that she didn't buy the juice that won the prize but equally trying not to alienate her daughter. Then behind this family drama is a behind the scenes look at the shooting of a rather cheesy advert that gradually descends into ridiculousness.

Fortunately it is on this makeshift film set that some comedy is bought. The director is increasingly frustrated by meddling juice executives, technical problems and a star who is pretty damn far from happy. She can't even drive the car she's just won so each time it must be pushed out of the shot as she grins inanely. The set is clearly a tense place, there's plenty of swearing and gritted teeth as the day wears on and the traffic roars around them. Most of the laughs come from saucy asides from the crew, a bored yet frank make-up lady and the general obsession with making The Happiest Girl in the World drink half a bottle of juice on every take and drinking it as fast as possible while looking as cheerful as possible.

It's a fairly slow narrative build up, the start features plenty of long shots and silences with meaningful looks full of teenage angst and anger. Needless to say it quickly becomes very clear just how ironic the title is. The whole thing meandered along reasonably enough with occasional revelations about the past that kept the drama fairly tense while the shooting of the commercial releases some of that tension as problems got stupider and tempers frayed. Ultimately I was left asking whether they could have gone further, perhaps made the disagreements more explosive or the comedy more farcical. Maybe exploiting the situation to go to one or other extreme wouldn't fit with the urban Eastern European realism but alas, the abrupt ending left this particular spectator hungrier for an even unhappier girl.

Fortunately my plan for Wednesday 9th featured a trip to Kicks which looked like it was gonna feature some pretty depressing British girls. And football. Bloody exciting.
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Across the Blogosphere...

In an attempt to become more prolific, I thought now might be a good opportunity to stick up some links to blogs primarily - but other such exciting things on the world wide web that I have stumbled across over the past week for you to enjoy. I can only pray that nothing gets repeated in the podcast but we do often find exceptionally new news for the podcast whereas this is more of a 'round-up' of the other chunk that attracted my attention.

First up, The Kid the Front Row found a fascinating video of Tom Hanks at a Sony conference - yes, he is smug but he is intelligent, witty and knows how to say 'contractual obligations'...

Second, so-o-o-o many people are doing this TV-meme thing, talking about favourite TV shows, shows that need more publicity, etc. Amongst them Rachel at Rachels Reel Reviews, Random Ramblings...Doorknob and The Movie Encyclopedia .... I wish I could do it myself but I fear I have missed the boat.

Thirdly, the LAMMY's are being announced as we speak ... for me, this is a great way to find out about Blogs I haven't heard about for whatever reason and follow them for a bit, dipping my toe in the water of their blog-ness. Award-winning blogs such as Invasion of the B-Movies, She Blogged by Night and Final Girl are some of the new blogs I am now following...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Favourite Film Faces #1: Jack Lemmon in The Apartment

Having just watched Billy Wilder's the Apartment for the first time ever, I cannot believe how great it is! Nevertheless, to kick-off the 'Favourite Faces' blog posts I have selected Jack Lemmon - and the moment he realises that, having brought a girl back to his apartment, no other than Ms Kublick (Shirley Maclaine) is sleeping in his bed ...

Large Association of Movie Blogs

The Simon and Jo Film Show (13/06/2010)

This edition of The Simon and Jo Film Show comes to you from the glamorous surroundings of Leicester Square as we reflect on a week in which Jo has been on something of a cinema binge. He offers opinions on no less than two of the weeks big releases, and She's Out of My League as well as his thoughts on two slightly older films which he's finally caught up with- Shutter Island and Dogtooth.

Simon gets in on the action by talking about Best in Show and there's the usual chat on the London Box Office, the UKs latest releases and some exciting news, including Tom Cruise dancing with Jennifer Lopez at the MTV Movie Awards.

Also keep an eye on the Screen Insight blog where Jo will be writing about his experiences of a week of cinema going which could be pretty bloody interesting if you like that kind of thing.


The music this week comes from the soundtrack to with a smattering of tracks that feature in She's Out of My League.


Hearty congratulations to Mad Hatter and his Matineecast, who won the LAMMY for best podcast and a shoutout to Frankly My Dear, a cracking new podcast from the people who bought you He Shot Cyrus and Dear Jesus.

There's a link to the Edinburgh Film Festival right here. Finally check out the teaser/pitch/trailer for Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

"We gotta get off this rock, Chuck."

This latest film from the generally reliable Martin Scorcese sees him moving into psychological thriller territory with his current favoured leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio. Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels visits Shutter Island, an asylum which has managed to lose a patient, although she can't have gotten far given that it's an island and is crawling with pissed off guards. As his investigation develops Daniels (DiCaprio) comes into conflict with Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), his own troubled mind and a hurricane force storm as he battles to uncover the truth about the spooky lighthouse and Ward C.

Regular listeners to The Simon & Jo Film Show will be very aware how much Simon enjoyed Shutter Island. Indeed it currently stands as his top film of 2010 which you might think would be reason enough to watch it. If I enjoy it then that's a fun cinema experience which is good news. If not then I can have an argument with Simon which is also good news. Given discussions we'd had I must confess to being mildly on edge as the lights went down, feeling like every moment could have some kind of vital significance or double meaning. Fortunately Scorcese added to the tension by showing off his range of technical skills, the music, the camerawork and the dialogue all pushed me further to the brink. I was excited, scared and intrigued as the complex set up was gradually revealed, there was a sinister atmosphere that made me sit further forward and take notice. Of every single thing.

Unfortunately the pressure on my wee brain occasionally became a little too much. Sometimes the conversations became a little overblown and drawn out, it was a tad draining to listen to every detail and then try to fit it into the overall puzzle, particularly when they got repetitive or bizarre. It's a rather difficult film to write about without giving away too much, suffice to say there are dreams and all is not quite what it seems. The performance of Ben Kingsley as the head doctor at the asylum perfectly typifies the sense of mystery. His marvellous face with the baldness, goatee and sheer angular Britishness make for the classic image of a villain, frustrating Daniels investigation at every turn. Yet he is clearly a practitioner of some skill with a desire to help his patients. The brutality of his stories and intelligent analysis make him a compelling character and add to the general sharp harshness.

I have to say overall I very much enjoyed the film. It mixed elements of horror with a thrilling sense of not knowing what was going to happen next. Scorcese used a dash of social commentary by exploring different aspects of fifties paranoia such as Communism and the Hydrogen bomb but was always ready to cut to violent images. DiCaprio was fine as a conduit through which the audience could experience Shutter Island, he did fear, anger and shock very well at all the appropriate moments. When all is said and done I didn't see how it was going to end but as the final revelations began playing out I was searching back over what had happened, not entirely sure what was real and who to trust until every last question was answered.

Certainly it is a film to be watched again, to check for the details that contribute or conflict with the ending. There were a couple of moments that didn't feel like they fitted into my understanding of what had happened but they were minimal and perhaps I'll get the chance to quiz Marty on those points. Overall I must offer hearty (albeit reluctant) thanks to Simon and commend Shutter Island as one of my favourite films of 2010. And so ended Monday 7th.

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She's Out of My League (Jim Field Smith, 2010)

"I love Kirkey but let's face it, the guy's a 5. Meanwhile, this Molly is a hard 10.
Stainer, that's just dirty pool. He's at least a 6...
6? Alright, you go ahead and pop rainbows into his asshole, but I'm just
being honest."

A film in which the awkward but endearing Kirk (Jay Baruchel) comes to terms with the fact that the űber hot Molly (Alice Eve) kinda digs him. Kirk has to contend with Mollys handsome ex, his buddies conflicting advice and a series of social confusions which seem to ruin any remaining chances he might have to build a relationship with lovely Molly. In the end crippling self doubt is his biggest challenge, but then the path to true love never does run smooth.

As the lights went down my expectations were hovering around the middle of the road. There can be no doubt that I wanted an entertaining experience but was also well aware that there was no spectacular element which had made She's Out of My League a must see movie. Despite having recently had a fun time in the Hot Tub Machine I remain painfully aware that these type of films can easily be a let down. I went into Superbad with Michael Cera shaped hopes and left distinctly unimpressed, my head hanging low.

In fact the film managed to stay on a pretty steady path by being neither fantastic nor awful. Rather unfortunately the central concept has a fundamental flaw in that there is never a proper explanation for why the super sexy Molly would look twice at nerdy Kirk, that of course being the point geeks like me are especially interested in. She mumbles something about him being funny and he's certainly polite to the point of ridiculousness but somehow that doesn't feel like quite enough. There are a couple of tender moments, some funny philosophising on numerically scored levels of attractiveness and finally a predictable revelation about her ex which makes the poetic license slightly acceptable. It still requires a leap of faith to remove the nagging sense that this simply wouldn't happen.

Frankly I can't stand it when films tone down the content just to get a lower certification and hence a larger potential slice of audience. But rudeness can be funny damnit! In this case it turned out that the most crude of example of humour was what let the film down the most. In what can only be described as an actual ball shaving sequence the story hit its lowest ebb, being unfunny to the point of cringeworthy. Thankfully the rest of the swearing and suchlike was creative enough so there should be some commendation for the makers as they mildly pushed the envelope by making it a 15. Of course the sight of Alice Eve in her underwear was not entirely unpleasant.

Often in these male skewed romantic comedies the supporting cast provides the best of the funnies to allow the leads to do the schmatlzy. She's Out of My League certainly offered up some feisty characters, Kirks best friend Stainer (T.J. Miller) has some of the funniest lines including tough yet necessary responses to the troubles in lovelife. Likewise Mollys confidante Patty (Krysten Ritter) had a promising opening scene on an aeroplane but alas, then largely disappeared from view. Indeed there's a juicy spark between Stainer and Patti which just wasn't capitalised on. Both dads feel pretty pointless although Kirks mum (Debra Jo Rupp) did have a certain manic charm. His whiny ex girlfriend was given too much screentime and hence got pretty annoying while Mollys ex hunk wasn't given enough rope to make him a proper villain. Ultimately the ending was too abrupt for my liking and the small subplots weren't allowed to breathe although at least some of the pop culture references were smart enough to make me grin.

All in all tis never hilarious or compelling but a decent effort from an adequate cast. Rams the message about inner beauty home a little too often but earns some stripes for Stainers righteous anger. Next up is a trip to Shutter Island.

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The Cinematic Binge: An Introduction

With a week off work and no particular desire to take a trip anywhere there appeared on my horizon a golden opportunity. An opportunity to explore London cinemas, to see some of the latest releases and to catch up with a few gems that might have slipped my attentive gaze. Thus research was undertaken with the help of the Time Out website, timings were carefully plotted and epic plans laid.

There were plenty of potential places to visit, from the luxurious surroundings of faceless chains in the West End to independent palaces in gritty South London. The brand spanking new releases offered a couple of titles that aroused my interest and there were recommendations from buddies that needed following up on. I've found 2010 to be a generally mixed year for moviegoing. There have been too many personal disappointments like Polanksi's The Ghost and Cemetery Junction, which frankly offended my eyes. Kick Ass was exhilarating and Precious moving but with the midway point approaching I needed more inspiration and less aspiration. The dream was a mixture of feisty comedies, enthralling world cinema and dramatic thrillers. It was a dream constructed with elaborate care.

The set up wasn't all plain sailing. It was necessary to take my financial means into consideration, to be declared bankrupt because of trips to the movies would be somewhat embarrassing. Plus I was keen to check out a piece of theatre each evening, a smorgasboard of culture was the name of the game. The weather was also a potential problem, rain could lead to dampness and thus spoil my viewing pleasure while blazing sun might make me hanker for days outdoors in the greenery of Hyde Park with a good book for company. Of course it was unlikely that any screenings would sell out given the time of day but the slight awkwardness that can occur when entering a screening alone could become an issue.

And so the adventure begins. Monday 7th June. The Vue West End. She's Out of My League? Let's find out.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)

"With enough courage, you can do without a reputation"


This is a big bast**d to watch. I purchased this, as I do, with the full intention of watching it quickly but alas - much like the regularly mentioned David Lean collection (2 out of 10 so far...) - it spent a long time sitting on the shelf before being viewed. One thing I do appreciate about Gone with the Wind and Ben-Hur is that, halfway through they have a break - an intermission - whereby you can break the film up. Specifically, as I did with Gone with the Wind, watch one half in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Ben-Hur was over a weekend, two hours a day. Same process with The Lord of the Rings Extended Cuts - two hours at a time please. Thing is, I cant do that with Gandhi and it waits patiently for a three-hour gap I can give it...

All the Boys Love Scarlett O'Hara

I haven't read Margaret Mitchell's novel - and don't really intend to - so I go into this film not knowing how it will end. But it starts with Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) being fawned over by identical twins - are all men the same? - and it shows, following this, that she lives a life of wealth with all men in love with her. Inevitably perhaps, the only man who doesn't is Ashley (Leslie Howard - not Trevor Howard ... don't got them mixed up now...), an obvious gentlemen who himself is married to Mel (Olivia de Havilland). It isn't long before we meet the complete oppostie to Scarlett - a social outcast and misfit in the affluent society Scralett is so dependent on - Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). He is struck by O'Hara, makes his advances - knowing she loves Ashley - and is rebuffed. Picky Scarlett waits for Ashley who, she believes, will eventually fall for her...

Iconic Shots

On this first watch, it was incredible to see the fascinating silhouettes in place - with stunning visuals as the fire burned down and the small horse and carriage trundled across the frame. Many pictures could be reproduced to look like gainsborough. This is only brief, so all the details regarding the multiple directors attached to the project and the fascinating stories behind the scenes, I shall not explain here (maybe on a 'rerelease' of the analysis), suffice to say, these factors inevitably contributed to the production of  Gone with the Wind. What is a fact, is how iconic so many shots are - and how the use of silhouette is highly influential from this cinema, alongside the epic scale of the story, equally fascinating and well handled.

A Final That Cannot Be Reproduced

The thing is with 'classic' cinema is the different types of importance they have - on the one hand you have the films that 'inluenced' others - though now, watched in retrospect, has been made 'better' ever since. Then you have other classics which simply had everything perfectly placed. It canot be remade, it cannot be recast or performed on stage - it simply is what it is with the perfect cast for the perfect story, released at the right time, etc. Gone with the Wind is in the latter - with a finale that can only be acted by Leigh and Gable delivering lines, scripted by Sidney Howard, at that time. The entire film, Rhett loves Scarlett and yet, Scarlett doesn't reciprotcate - constantly waiting for Ashley. The final scene, Scarlett - with everything she has - realises who she should love and who she should have been with all that time telling Rhett that she loves him, but alas he walks out of the door to leave - having now decided he doesn't love her anymore ...
Scarlett chases him down the stairway - "Rhett, Rhett... Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?", and he responds: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".
An incredible end to an incredible film. The epic nature of this film cannot be explained in words and I think it helps - you watch this film 'prepared' its not an easy watch, due to its length, so you build yourself up for it. To see how Scarlett falls so far from the pedastool she sat on, as twins fawned over her in the opening scene - to the rebuffed woman, crying on her majestic staircase over Rhett is fascinating. The film ends as Scarlett looks up "after all, tomorrow is another day", knowing that her home of Tara still stands.
At least we know that Gone with the Wind will always be there for the biggest, boradest epic romance of all time. And, referring to the reviews chosen quote, it will always holds its reputation for the future - and so it should.
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Newspeak: British Art Now (Part 1, The Saatchi Gallery 30th May - 17th Oct)


I have complete intentions to be more prolific with my writing here but currently I am in a truly rubbish position as the internet has yet to be connected at home - thus I complete posts after work which is a shame. But alas, one thing I want to start doing is going through exhibitions I have visited in London. I personally see that Art is the foundations for almost everything - may it be Film, Music or Drama. It is that sense of expression which creates tha wonderful art today. I could go on with how Scorsese completed incredibly well drawn and accurate sotryboards - or discuss how James Cameron is an accomplished artist (it was his drawing of 'Rose' Jack was drawing in 'Titanic'), but whether there is evidence outside of their cinematic back-catalogue or not, the films themselves show enough to prove their artistic merit. (Nb. All the Art I mention is in the pictures displayed but, be aware that some are not next to the point they are discussed...)

The Walk Around

Having walked around the gallery it truly is impressive - a wide variety of styles and approaches to Art. Accurate observations alongside obscure, abstract sculptures. The inluence of culture of many pieces of work is inevitable - whether it be an sculptures of almost-Greek origin or an update of previous styles, inevitably, everyone will find something interesting about this exhibition.

I followed The Saatchi School - a reality TV programme that followed a group of artists leading to one being chosen to appear in this exhibition and the tour it is a part of - which begun in St Petersburg. The Winner was Eugenie Scrase with her piece 'Trunkated Trunk'. I remember watching the show and, though not a big fan of the Duchamp object-is-art approach, I could appreciate the unique entity of the hevy weight of a log and what appears to be careful balance on a fence. More impressive was the gate holding, virtually, the entire tree before it was trunkated - but alas, it is what it is and, upon viewing it, it truly isn't as inspiring as I believed it could have been. I think, by seeing the 'trunk' in comparison to the range of other artists part of the exhibition showed how, in comparison it was not really that impressive. Make of it what you will.

Another 'weaker' piece was Scott King's 'Pink Cher'. Andy Warhol was fifty years ago - the Cher and Che connection is weak, at best, and - in my opinion - has been commented on enough. We understand the disease that is the celebrity culture - we have seen Marcus Harvey's Moors Murderer painted by childrens hands. It says very little that is new.

Finally, we have John Wynne - an artist who uses 300 speakers to create an environment that, though uneasy, I had previously felt before. The Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles' Tate Modern Exhibition included a piece titled Babel - a huge tower that was made up of small radios all individually tuned and, with their glistening LED lights and discomforting sound even reminded me a little of Blade Runner. John Wynne didn't seem to have many of the speakers on it seemed - walking around the space seemed to show that the majority of sound was from around the self-playing piano. If all the speakers were clearly working, I may have been more understanding - but alas, the range of speakers that didn't work merely highlighted a lack of atmosphere. Ultimately, Meireles' tops him anyday.

Personal favourites were in the form of 'littlewhitehead', Hurvin Anderson and Iain Hetherington. Both Hurvin Anderson and Iain Hetherington are both, primarily, painters. Andersons almost abstract landscapes are fascinating. 'Untitled (Black Street)' is clouded in darkness gives the feeling of coming back from a school trip, whereby the school is closed and darkness surrounds the buildings. Its eerie and dark, whilst at the same time comfortable and engaging - the single road leading you into the darkness. A beautiful work of art. Iain Hetherington, on the other hand, seems to merge objects into canvases of mixed colours. The NYC caps I have seen are often worn by the cliche 'youths' who torment communities - so, to see the same cap tunred into a work of art through an abstract setting changes your opinion.

Finally, 'littlewhitehead' (Should I call you 'head'?), in the style of Joseph Beuys, uses mannquins and places them in a position that forces you to personally get involved. The one piece I saw at this exhibition was 'It Happened in the Corner', whereby the figures are all huddled in a corner - their clothes appearing tatty and rough - and you are forced to look into the corner with them. The entire look of it and unsettling nature makes you question your reaction to this type of situation - our facination with potential-horror and the mob-dynamic and sheep mentality as every follows each other. Every person in that room walked to the corner and joined the group - peering at the ground...

Finally, the link to the actual website to explore more - and their truly is alot to explore.
Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Simon and Jo Revealed in the Summer...

Some new videos filmed right outside Buckingham Palace ... obviously, when you hear my reaction to Jo's choice of top-film-of-the-summer, this was filmed before the last podcast because my view on it has changed...

Apologies about the lighting in the second video ... the question is this: bad lighting and buckingham palace? or good lighting and park in front of buckingham palace? [Like Big Brother] You decide.

We do have a bunch more videos and - on the right hand-side bar, or here - you just need to click on the link to be hooked up to all the previous videos we have done!

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Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Simon and Jo Film Show: 06/06/2010

Again, from the huge plot of land that is Clapham Common, Simon and Jo bring you this week’s Film Show. The big film focus this week is ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’ directed by J. Blakeson – an up and coming movie that will be enjoyed by all - except very young children and the faint hearted. Jo and Simon discuss this latest release before moving on, to cover the Top 5 box-office of London, the new releases and then our final section covering a classic film which Simon has been destined to watch for some time now…


Our main shout out this week is Flickering Myth – a blog made up of a range of contributors, this week having covered Friday 13th series

Briefly mentioned, links for the ‘Mamma Mia’ audition tape for Chris Klein and Ben Kingsley auditioning for Transformers 3.

Finally, the negative views on ‘The Expendables’ by Andy and John from the Hollywood Saloon and, for those interested in why Simon was destined to watch ‘Dirty Dancing’, go and ask the Mad Hatter


The music is from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack

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