Archive for the ‘Movies’ Tag

High Definition: what’s the point of Cinema?

One of the best definitions of Cinema:

A machine that generates Empathy

Roger Ebert, film critic

dziga Vertov man with a movie camera

Machine with great significance (Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera)

Woody guthrie this machine kills fascists guitar

Machine with great power (Woody Guthrie)

Here’s the full context of the quote: “We are all born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We are kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people, find out what makes them tick, what they care about. For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. And that, to me, is the most noble thing that good movies can do and it’s a reason to encourage them and to support them and to go to them.”

The Casting Game

vita virginia gemma arterton

Gemma Arterton (Vita & Virginia – Vita Sackville-West)

AS

Audrey Tautou (Amélie)

Audrey Tautou (Amélie)

Best of 2019

 

joker joaquin phoenix actor movie stairs

The scene of the year

Film:

Joker

Mid90s

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rolling Thunder Review

Booksmart

Last year: Vice, Cold War

 

Foreign-Language Film:

Parasite

Last year: The Square 

 

Documentary:

Rolling Thunder Review

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love; Knock Down the House; Apollo 11

 

Male Lead:

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Sunny Suljic (Mid 90s)

Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell)

Taron Egerton as Reggie Dwight/Elton John in Rocketman; Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy)

Last year: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Female Lead:

Elizabeth Debicki (Virginia, Vita & Virginia)

Beanie Feldstein (Molly, Booksmart)

Gemma Arterton (Vita, Vita & Virginia)

Last year: Joanna Kulig – Cold War

 

Male Support:

Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin in Joker

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Olan Prenatt as Fuckshit in Mid90s; Lucas Hedges as Ian in Mid90s; Stephen Merchant as Deertz in Jojo Rabbit; Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Na-Kel Smith as Ray in Mid90s

Last year: Terry Notary (The Square)

 

Female Support:

Kaitlyn Dever as Amy in Booksmart

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Laura Rose in Motherless Brooklyn; Scarlett Johansson as Rosie in Jojo Rabbit

Last year: Amy Adams(Vice)

 

Director:

Todd Phillips (Joker)

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)

 

Writer:

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Taika Waititi – Jo Jo Rabbit

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)

 

Editing:

tbc

Last year: Vice

 

Cinematography:

Roger Deakins – 1917

Last year: Lukasz Zal (Cold War)

 

Film Music:

Rolling Thunder Review

Last year: Bohemian Rhapsody / Cold War

 

Single/Song:

Lately – Celeste

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

 

Album:

Ghosteen – Nick Cave

Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka; Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen

Last year: The Girl from the North Country (London cast)

 

Gig:

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (Roundhouse)

Kamasi Washington (Brixton Academy)

Patti Smith (Westminster Central Hall)

The Midnight Special – Abbey Road anniversary (Jazz Cafe)

Abdullah Ibrahim (Cadogan Hall)

Proms: Jonny Greenwood (Albert Hall)

Last year: David Byrne – Hammersmith Odeon

 

Play:

A Taste of Honey (Trafalgar Studios)

Last year: Girl from the North Country [2nd viewing]

 

Art Exhibition:

Van Gogh in Britain (Tate B)

Preraphaelite Sisters (NPG)

Tate St Ives

Last year: Picasso: 1932 (Tate Modern)

 

Book:

A Woman of No Importance – Sonia Purnell

The Order of the Day – Eric Vuillard

The Cut-out Girl – Bart Van Es

The Quiet American, To Have & Have Not, The Catcher in the Rye, The Drowning Pool

Last year: The Leithen Stories – John Buchan

 

TV:

After Life (Netflix)

The Boys (Amazon), The Crown – S3 (Amazon)

Last year: Mrs Wilson

 

Podcast:

13 Minutes to the Moon

The Tip-Off

Sport:

England beating the All-Blacks at the Rugby World Cup, Japan

 

Dance:

The Red Shoes (Sadlers Wells)

 

Event:

150th anniversary of Girton College (including event at Trinity, Dublin)

50th anniversary of Moon Landing/Apollo 11

Mythos: The Gods – Stephen Fry

 

Dearly departed:

  • Emily Hartridge (who I made Oh Shit I’m 30! with)
  • Judith Kerr (with whom I was on Woman’s Hour)
  • Leon Kossoff
  • D.A. Pennebaker
  • Clive James
  • Jonathan Miller (who I walk with in Aldeburgh while he was having a cheeky fag)
  • Albert Finney
  • Gordon Banks (his Esso medal hangs on my wall along with his 1970 World Cup team mates)
  • Peter Fonda
  • Ginger Baker
  • Doris Day
  • Dr John
  • Mark Hollis (who I have a vague memory of meeting briefly at Solus, my first job)
  • Agnès Varda
  • Mary Warnock (Mistress of Girton in my era)
  • Jeremy Hardy (he contributed to my Omagh project at Channel 4)
  • Terry O’Neill
dylan-doc-rolling thunder review scorsese

Performance of the year

 

Best of 2018 and links to earlier Bests Of

The Casting Game: Reservoir Dogs

To celebrate the arrival of Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (which has grown on me since watching it last week) I’ve recast where it all began for Quentin, Reservoir Dogs

jonah hill actor wolf of wall street

Jonah Hill

as

chris penn reservoir dogs actor

Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn)

Arjen_Rudd_joss ackland actor lethal weapon

Joss Ackland

as

Lawrence_Tierney_joe cabot actor reservoir dogs

Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney)

dominic west actor

Dominic West

as

kirk-baltz-marvin reservoir dogs police officer

Marvin (Kirk Baltz)

chris isaak singer

Chris Isaak

as

Michael-Madsen-Reservoir-Dogs actor

Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen)

malcolm allison manager football soccer

Malcolm Allison

as

mr white harvey keitel actor reservoir dogs

Mr White (Harvey Keitel)

paul weller singer the jam

Paul Weller

as

tim roth actor reservoir dogs

Mr Orange (Tim Roth)

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

 

I

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

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