A weekly round-up of what I have been watching, listening to and discussing. Inspired by Ryan's 'Days of the Week' posts, this is a bit more all-encompassing as I think my interest in cinema and art crosses over and between a variety of sources...
This week has been busy as I have prepared and displayed an exhibition featuring all the completed Art work from my Year 11 students. It was a great success and I'm sure the pupils are proud. But, since this time last Sunday, I have managed to sneak in a few films and one cinema visit yesterday afternoon...
Highlight of the Week:
Mark Cousins' The Story of Film - Seriously, anyone who is passionate about film needs to watch this. 15 hours which covers the entire history of cinema - beginning wth the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès and through Chaplin and Hitchcock and beyond. Most importantly - and this is what I love - it shows how every mainstream film, and indeed every Hollywood film, has its roots further afield. That's not to say that America doesn't have it share of innovators - but deep-focus was in Japan with Mizoguchi before it reached Orson Welles Citizen Kane and film-noir in the late 40's and early fifties began with the neo-realism of Vittorio De Sica in The Bicycle Thieves. This is everything I love about cinema ... and I am only two thirds in - I have another 4-hours to go!
The Raid (Finchley Rd VUE Cinema) - My only cinema-screening and it is worth the hype (and would be worth watching over The Dictator). The story is pretty bland but the action is flawless. Non-stop gun-play and sword-play and, obviously, one villain who prefers hand-to-hand combat.
Spiderman - In preparation for the reboot and it is suprising how-much Willem Dafoe comes across as incredibly camp and wouldn't be out of place in a 60's Batman episode.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Still as good as it was in the cinema, but miles away from the small-scale the original 5-films established. A great film.
Snatch - Only caught a little of this, but it brought happy memories back: "It's behind you Tyrone. Whenever you reverse, things come from behind you."
Point Break - Never saw this before. It's good fun and shows why Keanu Reeves was picked to lead Speed. And I love the iconic Ex-Presidents bank-robbers. Subtext there ... ?
Jackie Brown - Hugely underrated with a standout performance from Samuel L.Jackson. Check out my Top 5 Tarantino films ...
Radiohead - Listening to all their tracks on random from across all their albums. Best AlbumI have decided is ... In Rainbows.
The Story of Film - See Above
The Apprentice - How on earth did Stephen survive? Madness. Poor Jenny - she was stamped all over by the others and she was nowhere near as weak as Stephen I-think-I'm-important-but-clearly-I'm-not.
Community - Managed to only watch the one episode this week at the gym. Coming towards the end of season 1 now and, happy days, the second season seems to be available on itunes. Kerrching. Purchase due on Wednesday.
The Simpsons - Only watched one episode from mid-season 7. Possibly a contender for Best Episode of the Season as Bart shoplifts a videogame.