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...
Back to school this week and excited about the year ahead - it truly will be a good one. So good, I chose not to post last week and we have a double-whammy this week instead.
Highlight of the Week
Sarah has been obsessed with the Paralympics. Suffice to say it has completely stalled my watching of The Simpsons. But it has started me watching The Last Leg, a truly ground-breaking paralympic comedy-coverage programme shown after the Paralympics has finished. The presenters: Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and another-guy-who-isn't-even-credited-on-the-Channel-Four-website (???) simply break down every non-diasabled persons fear. You watch and initially think, ouch - a Paralympic show called 'The Last Leg', that's a bit much. Think about it further and you realise that this is the point of the show. Truly brilliant coverage with presenters I hope we see more of following this epic few months of sport. And I downloaded the Public Enemy song - have that BBC.
Battle Royale - I haven't seen this in years and it surpasses The Hunger Games in so many ways. The biggest difference is how Battle Royale plays with the teenage-cliches and uses this to justify murderous or suicidal acts. Brilliant film.
Slacker - Richard Linklater's feature debut. A film which, as it was made 3-years prior to Pulp Fiction, has chopped Tarantino a little down to size. Tarantino must've seen Slacker as it toured the country at the same time as Reservoir Dogs... I'll bet he thought "How about my story trails off with different characters...". Linklater, you have gone up in my estimations.
Rebel Without A Cause - For the Classic Columb. Brilliant film.
Sex, Lies and Videotape - Soderbergh's breakout film. I'd love to write more about it as it is clear that this is very much about directly engaging the audience. The discussions force you to consider the same thoughts and ideas about honesty and truth.
Say Anything... - Cameron Crowe's directorial debut. Hey, it's good. But it's not that good. Out of Soderbergh, Linkater and Crowe's first films, I think Crowe's is the weakest. That's not to say it's bad, it's just to say that the otehr two are better.
The Outsiders - A brilliant Coppola film with an outstanding cast (Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez...). Terrific.
The Imposter - I thought this could've been one of the best film of the year. It still could be pretty high on the list, because it stays in your mind. But I wasn't blown away and I think the ending just doesn't have much of a pay-off.
The Lost Weekend - The Classic Columb from the week prior. Billy Wilder, again, manages to show a very immoral guy in a very sympathetic light.
The 40-Year Old Virgin - Brilliant Judd Apatow. I'm trying to watch more of this current-comedian filmmaker, and this film is much better than the title suggests. No relentless mockery of the lead character, simply a touching portrayal of a guy who has never opened up to anyone - and suddenly opening up to guys who have their own issues, but can crucially help him.
Das Schlob/The Castle - A Haneke film which I failed to truly grasp. Made for TV and starring Ulrich Mühe (of The Lives of Others), it plodded along and ended abruptly. Obviously, all of this was purposeful, but it doesn't make for good entertainment.
Hot Chip - Bought the latest album and it is incredible. Ensures that I run at a decent speed on the treadmill too.
Now Playing... - Now covering the James Bond series, it truly is a great listen. Some very minor issues often become major problems (E.g. Unneccessary scenes in Goldfinger) but this is balanced by brilliant contextual discussion (E.g. The role Connery plays in Marnie and Goldfinger, and his 'conversion' of women).
Community: Desperate to watch more than one a week. Why can't itunes just release everything. Now.
'Call It A Classic?' at BFI: Covered for Flickering Myth. I may release it on this site in the coming months. But it was a great night which nay-sayers of the Top 10 poll should've attended.
Tate Britain: Another London: Black-and-white photography of London from the early 20th century and through to the 70's. I love the depiction of different ethnicities joining London - and the horrendous racism that they had to endure at the time. One piece named 'Keep Britain White' by Neil Kenlock was particularly striking.
Groundhog Day by Ryan Gilbey: A BFI Modern Classic on Harold Ramis' film. A minute-by-minute analysis of the film which truly argues how important the film is. Everything from the almost-art-house ambiguity of the chronology (how long is Phil in Punxsutawney for?) to the playfulness and accessibility of the film (starting the film off like any other) is all addressed.