Archive for the ‘Movies’ Tag

Coincidences No.s 288, 289 & 290

These three are mild coincidences but have their own charm.

No. 288 – Michael Franti (11/12:1:19)

Yesterday evening I put in a CD in the car (yes we still have a CD player) – it is an old mixtape, burned for a party. The first track is Everyone Deserves Music by Michael Franti. I haven’t listened to him for ages and it makes me think of the last time I saw him live at Islington Assembly Rooms (May 2014) with Enfant Terrible No. 2 who got to dance with the main man during the show, he picked him out of the crowd. I also recall a great gig at Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush at the height of summer one year which was totally sweaty and wild.

michael franti singer rapper

This evening I open Facebook on my phone and the first item in my feed is an ad for a film premiere and an acoustic gig with Michael Franti at Bush Hall in 3 days time. I buy tickets.

No. 289 Blakeney (11/12:1:19)

I see an Instagram post by my pal Tim Wright about the latest episode in his (and former Channel 4 colleague, author Lloyd Shepherd‘s) new podcast, Curiously Specific. The post mentions various towns/villages in Norfolk because the book being explored in this episode is Jack Higgins’ The Eagle Has Landed which is largely set in that area. One of the places written at the foot of the post is Blakeney. It is not a name I know although I must have read it years ago when I read the novel. I download the new episode as I like the book.

Curiously Specific podcast episode 7

Radio 4’s Today programme has a weekly Nature slot on Saturday morning. I catch this morning’s – they have a naturalist from the North-East coast talking about the recent resurgence of the seal population around the islands near Lindisfarne and a couple of other places – including Blakeney.

No. 290 Ipanema (11:1:19)

I am listening to Last Word, the obituary programme on BBC Radio 4. One of the people highlighted is the composer of The Girl from Ipanema, Norman Gimbel. He also wrote the words for Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack). It makes me think of the time I listened to a lot of Astrud Gilberto and Bossa Nova when I was at uni – and how I must listen to her again soon.

astrud gilberto singer

Astrud Gilberto

I get back home shortly after and settle in front of the box, flicking channels until I get to The Blues Brothers which I haven’t seen in yonks. In the climactic scene, when chaos is going on around the municipal building where Jake & Elwood have barricaded themselves in, the noise of the soldiers and cops outside is contrasted with the muzak in the lift the brothers are taking to the tax office – it is The Girl from Ipanema playing.

blues brothers in elevator lift

 

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Best of 2018

 

Cold War pawel pawlikowski film movie

Cold War

Film:

Vice

Cold War

Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody

Last year: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Florida Project

Foreign-Language Film:

The Square

Cold War

Last year: The Square (Sweden)

Documentary:

Faces Places

Three Identical Strangers, RBG, Bombshell, The Ballymurphy Precedent

Male Lead:

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Christian Bale – Vice

Viggo Mortensen – Green Book, Robert Redford – The Old Man & The Gun, Steve Coogan – Stan & Ollie

Last year: Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread, Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes

Female Lead:

Olivia Coleman – The Favourite

Joanna Kulig – Cold War

Last year: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards

Male Support:

Terry Notary – The Square

Steve Carell – Vice, Sam Rockwell – Vice

Last year: Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards, Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards

Female Support:

Amy Adams – Vice

Sissy Spacek – The Old Man & The Gun, Rachel Weisz – The Favourite, Emma Stone – The Favourite, Nina Arianda – Stan & Ollie

Last year: Brooklyn Prince – Florida Project, Mary J Blige – Mudbound

Director:

Adam McKay – Vice

Last year: Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards

Writer:

Adam McKay – Vice

Last year: Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards

Editing:

Vice

Last year: Dunkirk

Cinematography:

Lukasz Zal – Cold War

Last year: Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049 (went on to pick up his 1st Oscar for this, after numerous nominations)

Film Music:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Cold War

Last year: Three Billboards

Single/Song:

I Want You (Sam Reid & Claudia Jolly – The Girl from the North Country)

Last year: Willie Nelson – God’s Problem Child

Album:

The Girl from the North Country (London cast)

The Prophet Speaks (Van)

Last year: undecided

Gig:

David Byrne – Hammersmith Odeon

The Midnight Special – White Album anniversary; Tom Robinson – Shepherds Bush Empire; Hothouse Flowers/Hot Press anniversary – Nells; Donal Lunny & Andy Irvine – Barbican

Last year: Hothouse Flowers – Electric Ballroom, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Millennium Dome, Avishai Cohen – Barbican

Play:

Girl from the North Country [2nd viewing]

Last year: Girl from the North Country, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Art Exhibition:

Picasso: 1932 (Tate Modern)

Collections Privees (Musee Marmottan)

Last year: Basquiat (Barbican)

Book:

The Leithen Stories – John Buchan

Last year: Everybody Lies – Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

TV:

Mrs Wilson (BBC)

13 Reasons Why (Netflix), Maltese (More 4)

Last year: Stranger Things S1

Sport:

Ireland beating the All-Blacks

The demeanour of the England team at the World Cup in Russia

Event:

50th anniversary of The Beatles’ White Album

Dearly departed:

  • Amos Oz
  • Philip Roth
  • Aretha Franklin
  • William Goldman
  • Chas (Hodges)
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Eric Bristow
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Ken Dodd
  • Roger Bannister
  • Dennis Edwards
  • Peter Wyngarde
  • Dolores O’Riordan

[Nov] Ireland beat world champions New Zealand for the first time ever on home soil - Jacob Stockdale scores the only try

[Nov] Ireland beat world champions New Zealand for the first time ever on home soil – Jacob Stockdale scores the only try of the match

Best of 2017 – with links to all previous years

Quote of the Day: The 60s

 

Get carter michael caine actor movie

Get Carter (1971)

 

… the whole point of the Sixties was that you had to take people as they were. If you came in with us, you left your class and colour and religion behind, that was what the Sixties was all about.

Michael Caine, actor

My-Generation Michael Caine actor

The Casting Game No. 367

Joe Pesci

joe-pesci-actor

AS

Eli Wallach

eli wallach actor book cover the good the bad and me

joe pesci actor

Pesci

eli wallach actor tuco the good the bad and the ugly

Wallach

All the Money in the World

Micro Movie Review:  would be improved by replacing all the performances – as well as the script – to make something less cold & simplistic

All the money in the world movie film kevin spacey replaced by christopher plummer as getty actors comparison

Kevin Spacey (L) replaced by Christopher Plummer (R) as J. Paul Getty

Best of 2017

The Florida Project halley moonee

The Florida Project

Film:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Florida Project

Lady Bird

Last Flag Flying

Last year: Manchester by the Sea, American Honey

Male Lead:

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes

Last year: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Female Lead:

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards

Bria Vinaite – The Florida Project
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Last year: Sasha Lane – American Honey

Male Support:

Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards

Last year: Jack Reynor – Sing Street

Female Support:

Brooklyn Prince – Florida Project
Mary J Blige – Mudbound

Last year: Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Director:

Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards

Last year: Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Writer:

Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards

Last year: Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Editing:

Dunkirk

Cinematography:

Roger Deakins (my old boss, in my first job) – Blade Runner 2049

Last year: Vittorio Storaro – Cafe Society

Film Music:

Three Billboards

Last year: Sing Street

International Film:

The Square (Sweden)

Single/Song:

Willie Nelson – God’s Problem Child

Last year: In Tiburon – Van Morrison

Album:

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
Bjork – Utopia
Avishai Cohen – 1970

Last year: Blackstar – David Bowie, Keep Me Singing – Van Morrison

Gig:

Hothouse Flowers – Electric Ballroom
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Millennium Dome
Avishai Cohen – Barbican

U2 – Joshua Tree – Twickenham
Hollie Cook – Borderline

Last year: Imagining Ireland – Friday 29 April 2016 at Festival Hall

Play:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Girl from the North Country
St Joan (Donmar)
The Ferryman

Last year: Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park)

Art Exhibition:

Basquiat – Barbican

Last year: You Say You Want a Revolution? (V&A)

Book:

Everybody Lies – Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

M Train – Patti Smith
My Promised Land – Ari Shavit

Last year: The Sellout – Paul Beatty, Judas – Amos Oz

TV:

Stranger Things S1

Last year: Ambulance

Sport:

Lions beating & drawing with All-Blacks

Harry Kane scores his 8th hattrick of the year becoming top European goal-scorer and taking record for most Premiership goals in a year

Event:

?

Dearly departed:

  • Roger Moore
  • John Hurt
  • Martin Landau
  • Sean Hughes
  • Brian Kant
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Christine Keeler
  • Walter Becker

Best of 2016 – with links to all previous years

Media Technology & Stories

I’m a bit wary of the fetishisation of ‘Story-telling’ in recent years, but nonetheless I really like this quotation recounted by Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman in his entertaining volume  ‘Which Lie Did I Tell? (More adventures in the screen trade)’.

William Goldman book  'Which Lie Did I Tell? ( More adventures in the screen trade)'.

The words come from legendary literary agent Evarts Ziegler (who acted for many top screenwriters) – he was told (back in the 70s) that technology was going to change everything about Hollywood. His response was… 

I don’t care what you say. I don’t care if your fucking technology figures out a way how to beam movies from the moon directly into our brains. People are still going to have to tell good stories.

 

 

Best of 2015

 

big-short

The Big Short: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling

Film:
The Big Short

Grandma
Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
The Hateful Eight
Chappie
Ex-machina
Amy

Male Lead:
Steve Carell – The Big Short

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
Samuel Jackson – The Hateful Eight
Oscar Isaac – Ex-machina

Female Lead:
Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Anne Dorval – Mommy
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Greta Gerwig – Mistress America

Male Support:
Christian Bale – The Big Short

Ryan Gosling – The Big Short
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Female Support:
Jennifer Jason Lee – The Hateful Eight

Cara Delevingne – Paper Towns
Rooney Mara – Carol
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Julie Walters – Brooklyn

Director:
Adam McKay –The Big Short

Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Paul Weitz – Grandma
Xavier Dolan – Mommy
Asif Kapadia – Amy

Writer:
Adam McKay –The Big Short

Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Paul Weitz – Grandma
Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach – Mistress America

Editing:
Hank Corwin – The Big Short

Film Music:
Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight

Single/Song:
Long Strange Golden Road – The Waterboys

Listened to this year:
Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana

Album:
Modern Blues – The Waterboys

Van Morrison – Duets
Covered – Robert Glasper Trio
The Epic – Kamasi Washington

Gig:
The Waterboys – Roundhouse

The Waterboys – Colosseum, Watford
Van Morrison (No. 3) – Nell’s Jazz & Blues Club
Van & Tom Jones – Blues Fest – Millennium Dome
Marc Almond – Empire Shepherds Bush

Play:
Beautiful – Aldwych

Death of a Salesman – Noel Coward Theatre (Anthony Sher)
Guys & Dolls – The Savoy

Art Exhibition:
Peter Lanyon: Soaring Flight – Courtauld

Barbara Hepworth – Tate Britain
Frank Auerbach – Tate Britain

Book:
Purity – Jonathan Franzen

Read This Year:
The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler

A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Then Again – Diane Keaton

TV:
Humans

Walking the Nile
House of Cards S3
The Murder Detectives
And Then There Were None

Sport:
All Blacks in Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham

Event:
Paris climate change agreement

Dearly departed:

  • BB King
  • Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett)
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
  • Ron Moody (Fagin)
  • George Cole (Arthur Daley)
  • Anita Ekberg (Sylvia, La Dolce Vita)
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Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett

Best of 2014

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

My Favourite Movies

It’s that end of the year time when lists beckon. I’ll be doing my annual list of the best of the year in the next 36 hours or so but before I embark on that I was out with my youngest nephew the night before last and he showed me his Top 10 Films list on his Christmas-new iPod Touch (he’s got very refined taste for an 11 year old and I liked most of his choice which included great American indies like The Way Way Back) so I took the opportunity to jot down my Top 10 on my phone. Not an easy task once you get thinking (so I’m including my bubbling under list with a view to expanding it to my Top 20).

1 Modern Times

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Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard

2 Apocalypse Now

Martin-Sheen-in-Apocalypse-Now-sheenism-religion-for-sheen-addicts-31913441-1222-611

Martin Sheen as Capt. Willard

3 Blazing Saddles

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Mel Brooks: “Dey even darker den us!”

4 City Lights

chaplin-charlie-city-lights

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill

5 The Godfather

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Al Pacino as the unspoiled Michael Corleone

The Big Chill

140728_DVD_BigChill.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge

Watching J. T. Lancer

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

ferris-bueller-parade

Twisting & Shouting

8 My Life as a Dog

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Mitt Liv som Hund

9 The Big Short

movies-the-big-short-cast

Of these 4 great performances Steve Carell’s is the biggie

10 The Wolf of Wall Street

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio horsing around in wolf’s clothing

BUBBLING UNDER…
  • The 39 Steps
  • The Unbelievable Truth
  • Blow Up
  • La Haine
  • Diner
  • The Breakfast Club
  • I Know Where I’m Going
  • Black Narcissus
  • The Godfather 2
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Serpico
  • Chinatown
  • 20,000 Days on Earth
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Casablanca
  • West Side Story
  • Silver Linings Playbook

 

Learned from the Movies

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Anne Hathaway with her movie baguette

  • All grocery bags contain at least one French bread stick {Most lessons we can learn from movies are already all around us in real life. I learned of the baguette rouse when I was 17, from one of my first girlfriends. She always carried one under her arm when out and about. I eventually asked her about it and mentioned that I’d never seen her eating the bread. She looked at me aghast and informed me that they weren’t for eating but were there to make her look worldly and sophisticated. She was 16. [Thomas Johnston]}
  • A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty
  • You can run faster than the supersonic shockwave and flamefront in an explosion [Patrick Uden]
  • You can survive the battle as long as you don’t show anyone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  • No-one will ever think of looking for you in the ventilation system of a building
  • Beds have special L-shaped top sheets covering women to their armpits but the men beside them only to the waist
  • Never be at the back in the jungle… [George Falconer]
  • No married or romantic couple can redecorate a flat without playfully starting to flick paint at each other. [Peter Bradshaw]
  • The Eiffel Tower is visible from every window in Paris.
  • More often than not colliding cars burst into flame.
  • A single match can light up a room the size of a football pitch.
  • All bombs are fitted with timers with large red numbers – just in case you need to know when it’s going to go off
  • That bomb with the red numbers counting down, it also has a red and a blue wire. Don’t worry which you cut with 2 secs to go – you’ll always snip the right one.
  • All police investigations involve visiting a strip joint at least once
  • Police departments have special personality tests so they can assign officers a partner who is the exact opposite
  • Women have shaved their armpits throughout all history [Catherine Bray]
  • You don’t need to say goodbye on the telephone, just hang up when the relevant information has been conveyed[Catherine Bray]
  • There will always be a free parking space right where you need it [Catherine Bray]
  • No one ever goes to the loo [or cleans the home] – it just happens by itself… [Sarah Haque]
  • When you close a mirrored bathroom cabinet, there’s always a monster / bad guy behind you in the reflection… [George Falconer]
  • The protagonist can never go for posh dinner at any restaurant anywhere without seeing his nemesis on another table [Jason Loader]
  • If you’re being chased in an underground car park you’ll probably be alright but it will be a close shave [Jason Loader]
  • When you drop your books, papers or groceries in public, there’ll always be a good-looking, kind-hearted, awkwardly romantic person ready to help you pick them up [Juliet Landau-Pope]
  • And when they drive to a restaurant, they always find a parking space right outside [Juliet Landau-Pope]
  • No-one ever needs a wee no matter how long they are chasing or being chased. Unless the script calls for toilet humour. [Deborah Mules]
  • Women never carry handbags [Caroline Ratner]
  • We gain profound philosophical insight in the moment before death [Irshad Ashraf]
  • evil has a foreign accent [Irshad Ashraf] or British/English English
  • In the absence of the L-shaped sheet, it doesn’t matter as both lovers have usually – in the heat of passion – totally forgotten to take the lady’s bra off [Moray Coulter]
  • Nobody uses parking meters [Geoff Langan]
  • high heels are suitable footwear for running from dinosaurs [Zoe Collins]
  • You can always reload your gun even if you haven’t been carrying any ammo. That’s if you need to reload it at all. Ever.
  • To pass yourself off as a German officer, don’t waste your time learning the language – a German accent will do. (Altogether now: I luff chess musik.)
  • Although mothers cook eggs, bacon and waffles every morning, husbands/children never have time to eat it.
  • The Chief of Police will give you 48 hours to finish the job before you get suspended/reassigned/in big trouble.
  • Any job in a romcom based in London or NY can afford you a lovely flat in a swanky area of the city. [Helen Newton] Or a broom cupboard. Which by the end is replaced with a swanky apartment.
  • iPhones in the movies don’t need to be plugged in every three hours. Unlike the real world. [Helen Newton] ditto Apple laptops
  • Your average laptop is powerful enough to hack into most alien systems.
  • Everyone’s computer is an Apple Mac
  • Mediaeval peasants had perfect teeth.
  • When you wake from a nightmare you sit bolt upright and pant
  • You can always park straight outside the building you’re visiting
  • If you can’t pick the lock with a paper clip, then a credit card will do
  • TV news bulletins always contain a story that affects you personally at that exact moment
  • When you switch on the TV, the news will be talking about your story at that very moment, but you will still switch it off again half-way through the report (although you show no symptoms of acute ADD in any other part of the film) [Moray Coulter]
  • All albinos are evil
  • At least one of every pair of identical twins is born evil
  • You won’t show any pain when taking a ferocious beating but when a woman tries to clean the wounds you’ll wince like hell
  • If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you come across will know all the steps
  • Don’t worry if you are outnumbered in a martial arts fight – your enemies will patiently wait to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you’ve disposed of their colleagues
  • When you turn out the bedroom light, everything will still be visible, just bluish
  • Honest cops get shot within a week of retirement
  • Beer is always drunk with the brand label clearly on display. Ditto all bottles of champagne, spirits etc. [Catherine Considine] and Coke
  • Why waste a bullet when a complex contraption with laser beams or a rotating saw will do?
  • just bribe the bell boy / receptionist / valet and they’ll break data protection laws [Irshad Ashraf]
  • A sharp knock on the skull will always render the victim unconscious for a short period, after which they will wake up otherwise unaffected [Moray Coulter]
  • The etiquette is to answer the telephone with a stacatto announcement of ones surname [Irshad Ashraf]
  • If your life is in danger you should always walk into a dark room and wait a bit before you turn the light on and/or have a shower [Helen Milner]
  • The single biggest TV drama cliche of all is perhaps one that no- one really notices. The drinking of whisky, miraculously produced from beneath a desk, or handily sitting on a kitchen top, in anticipation of a difficult conversation. Not wine, not gin, not beer (that’s the American version) but the golden spirit, whisky. [MT Rainey]
  • There are no black people in Notting Hill [Irshad Ashraf]

This post began as an idle conversation on my Facebook page. I’ve preserved here some of the ones that most resonated with a view to adding to the list, especially in the wake of Christmas movie viewing. And of course I’d love further suggestions below if any occur to you.

What else have you learnt from the movies…?

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