Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Weekly Review: 26/08/2012

A weekly round-up of what I have been watching, listening to and discussing. Rather than just posts about film, this is a bit more all-encompassing as I think my interest in cinema and art crosses over and between a variety of sources...

Highlight of the Week
I write this post in the middle of the Peak District, in a rented house, with friends. No sirens from the high street. No shouting and talking from the restaurant next-door. Absolute peace and quiet. Visited some caves and a bird sanctuary. There is something suprisingly harsh when a huge bird flies ... only to hit netting and land again. Poor herons. Today I visited Chatsworth House - a building used as a location for Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess and The Wolfman. I hoped it was the setting for Wayne Manor in Batman Begins, but alas, it is not. That accolade goes to Mentore Towers in Buckinghamshire.
The Skin I Live In: Still remains my favourite film of 2011. I can see why it is a strange choice mind you - it is not as epic or grand as many films. It doesn't have the scale of War Horse or the gritty-but-comedic uniqueness of Attack the Block. It is a very fun Hitchcock-like tale, with hints of torture-porn, which festers in your mind after the film. So many things to talk about...
The Expendables 2: Joint-editor of Man, I Love Films Dylan was shocked that I loved this film. Apparently this is not the type of film I like. Despite analysis of every Terminator film, every Rocky film and an appreciation (not a whole-hearted support) of the first film. I think the film manages to balance the action and comedy perfectly. I now want another one - with a team of 'new' action stars (Taylor Lautner, Sam Worthington, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner - led by Matt Damon or Colin Farrell) or a team of female action stars (Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Lawrence, Noomi Rapace - led by Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver) and they fight against Liam Neeson and Channing Tatum (as a henchman).
Bamboozled: This is an incredible film and has surely started a Spike Lee season for me. The final montage had me in pieces. Themes about money - and the need for money in society. The importance of history - and respecting the history. A brilliant film.
The Darkness: Vastly underrated band. I loved the second album - and indeed, it achieved a 4/5 rating within Q magazine at the time. But it bombed royally and the band fell apart. They have just released a third album, Hot Cakes, and its great. If only the second album achieved more listeners - it really is fantastic.
Oasis: I relistened to Heathen Chemisty. Again, a vastly underrated album. I think 'She is Love' is potentially one of my Top 5 Oasis songs ever.
The Matineecast: Caught up with an episode whereby Ryan spoke to Corey Atad. Some great discussion about the Sight and Sound Top 10 poll. Should Vertigo be in the top spot? Is Citizen Kane 'that' good? Make sure you tune in!
TV/Theatre/Art Galleries/Books/Misc:
'Film and Philosophy: Taking Movies Seriously' by Daniel Shaw: I had to give up on reading the biography of Chaplin. I hate that. But now I'm reading a book that fully supports my type of viewing and analysis of cinema. The idea that films, unlike theatre, imitate the mind more accurately (You can flashback when you think about something, or you can focus on something important in your mind - both of which are techniques cinema uses) whilst other filmmakers believe that cinema is about accurately representing reality. So, tension can be depicting by - as a viewer - waiting for something to happen on-screen, rather than using filmmaking techniques to 'create' tension. An example Shaw refers to is Nanook of the North whereby we sit and wait for an eskimo to catch a fish - and feel equally satisfied when, after waiting a long period with him, he catches a fish. I'm paraphrasing - suffice to say, I'm enjoying the book.


  1. Thanks for the link good sir - we spoke even more about the S&S list in the episode prior (In Between Days 7) and the episode to follow (Matineecast 66)

  2. I listened to IN BETWEEN DAYS recently and its really good. I've got a post coming up of my Top 10 too - but you and Andrew James seem to be very Spielberg-ian and very english-language. I agree with you on MODERN TIMES but I think STAR WARS is ridiculous. Maybe Top 10 Pop Culture film... but there are hundreds of films more 'important' than it.


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