Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Each Day Is Valentine's Day

I've had some time to kill this week, what with the abortive holiday attempts. Downtime such as this would usually be filled with longer dog walks and day trips, but the rain here has been relentless.

Visits to the cinema are also a favourite as the weekday matinees are the only trips I can bear these days, as the chattering popcorn scoffers (that's you lot) aren't there to distract me. However the only film I really wanted to see, David Fincher's Zodiac, has already moved on.

The constant rain has kept me close to home then. Digging around the house for movies I've picked up over the years but never watched. The first of these was The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp a rather lovely Powell and Pressburger offering from a box set I bought in sale a year or so back and then ignored. I'm really not bright enough to give insightful film critique, but I especially enjoyed the performance of Anton Walbrook as Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff, and his moving speech on why he fled Nazi Germany. I'm looking forward to ploughing through the rest of DVD's.

Next up has been Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous which I thoroughly enjoyed. Good performance by Billy Crudup as the shallow lead singer Russell Hammond, though he didn't look convincing on stage. (oooh such insight VS). Highly recommended though.

Wes Craven's Cursed was generic and dull. He's had a patchy old career. I liked Scream and the People Under the Stairs. Not so Keen on Vampire in Brooklyn and Cursed.

Lastly I watched Jim Jarmush's Night on Earth, which went right over my head, and the 1984 production of Nineteen Eighty Four which was grim. Not a patch on Brazil. I dunno, these dystopian comedies..

I'm always on the lookout form obscure or old film recommendations. So feel free to throw any favourites of your own in.

~ o ~

The pleasure of reading has to large extent eluded me over recent years. I used to be a voracious reader, often staying up until the early hours, fag in gob or hand, lost in some volume or other. I gave up smoking six or seven years back and compulsive reading seemed to go with it. I haven't stopped completely enjoying books, it just takes me forever to finish them. Finding, as I do, other more meaningless ways to fill my time. The last few nights I have switched off the computers and DVD players and tried to make some headway into The Secret Life of Houdini by Kalush and Sloman. I've really got into it..so mid-year resolution- 'Off with the screens and out with the books.'

~ o ~

I've managed to get hold of a copy of The New Yorker which was part of an earlier post about the struggle to find decent magazines. If you recall, this comes highly recommended by Andrew Collins, due to the quality of writing and intelligence of the arts section. I rather feel it will be wasted on me, but let's give it a go. The first article I read was about new US TV show John From Cincinnati (which The New Yorker didn't much care for and I rather liked), and the quality of the last episode of the Soprano's and the mischievous (I thought) and brilliant last five minutes (TNY agreed. Hurrah!).

I've also discovered Wired, a magazine about technology and it's effects. I'm seriously thinking about subscribing.


Gwen said...

For some very serious film weirdness I remember watching a late night black and white Japanese film where everyone turned into metal zombies. Perhaps all Japanese films have a level of weirdness.

An older film that I love is Kind Hearts and Coronets which has a lovely dark humour and 8 Alec Guinesses so you can't go far wrong.

Re books - I'm reading Absolute Friends - John Le Carre at the moment. It's quite enjoyable but I am half way through already and I would have preferred there to be a bit more action and adventure, but maybe that's just me.

I started reading The Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon but still haven't finished it. From what I have read it is quite good. There is a dry witty humour throughout that I enjoyed. You can tell, can't you, that I'm not much of a book reviewer myself but you could give it a try. If I think of anything else I will come back.

Five-Centres said...

I saw Zodiac on one of my rare trips to the multiplex recently. Great, but very long, over-long really. Good period detail really, like that was all that mattered to the filmmaker.

Alas I too used to devour books, possibly a book a week at one stage. Then I started driving into work and got an ipod for the days I didn't and my reading days are confined to high days and holidays.

As far as mags go, The Word is still a bit patchy at the moment, and Entertainment Weekly remains my fave, just for the reviews of films and TV shows I've yet to see. It gives me much to anticipate.

Valentine Suicide said...

I like some of those Japanese films. But the lurching girl with long black hair thing's been done to death and robbed and recycled by Hollywood. I like the idea of Zombie Robots. In fact I might be one !

Kind Hearts is the bees knees, and you'll find it listed in my profile already..

Audio books have been a revelation to me since the iPod revolution, and I usually have one on the go. Really great for long car journeys and sleepless nights..

No sign yet of Entertainment Weekly, but the appearance of The New Yorker is a good omen. I'll start looking again...

Gwen said...

If you are a zombie robot, just remember not to go out in the torrential rain we've been having. There's nothing worse than a bit of rust for fouling up your plans for zombie robot world domination.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Also great for long car journeys where one's Driver has sellotaped one's mouth shut after a surfeit of amusing impressions, are the podcasts of Radio Four's 'In Our Time'. You have to be able to do Lord Bragg, but if you can handle him you get the most wildly eclectic subjects, eloquently discussed (usually) by a panel of amiable boffins. My favourites recently have been 'Joan of Arc', 'The History of Optics' (not the sort with Jameson's in), and 'Victorian Pessimism'.

And, for disturbling oriental films, have you seen 'Old Boy'?

Valentine Suicide said...

Rust won't stop me Gwen. I will be the Zombie Robert world leader, and you will all be my slaves. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAA.

Now Melfi's got me curious about her impressions. Perhaps a small Youtube revue is in order? Or we can put her forward for 'Britain's Got Talent'

And I haven't seen 'Old Boy'(except the one who lives in my mirror), but I will seek it out.

Valentine Suicide said...

PS, isbw - Thanks for the word 'disturbling'. Is your new novel a horror?

"The Disturbling"

Gwen said...

VS - Zombie Robert World Leader. That wasn't a Freudian slip by any chance. Should we call you Zombie Robert from now on?

I have no problem being one of your slaves Zombie Robert but you will have to supply me with unlimited amounts of Chinese Takeaway and Cake for my services.

Melfi for Britains Got Talent? - Yes Most definitely a good idea. I like the idea of a You Tube revue as well.

Ishouldbeworking said...

VS, nobody loves a smartlarse.

As for my skills as an impressionist, I'm saying nothing (but if someone in a pub should ever offer you a bootleg of 'New Faces' from 1979, featuring Ilford's Own Little Voice, you'd do well to snap it up).

Valentine Suicide said...

Rob Zombie. Isn't he a 'film maker' of some description?

Gwen, you've had quite enough Chinese for one week. I need you to be fit and strong if you're to be my slave. I'm not as light as I used to be. I can provide cake as a treat though. If there's a Sainsbury's near you I recommend their Fruit Loaf. Send me the bill.

isbw, I've been a smartarse all my life. I fear it's too late for change.
As for your impressions, do you do a Thereze Bazaar? I may be able to get you some work in the south.

Gwen said...

I believe that Rob Zombie does indeed make "films" and "music" with somewhat of a horror theme. If his next offering is called The Disturbling we will know that you VS are actually Rob Zombie.

Now I need to run to Sainsbos to fetch myself some fruit loaf and to improve my fitness levels. I might have to ask for a cut of the proceeds of this world domination however. Perhaps I could take Scotland and any nice hot and sunny countries. I would of course make sure that all their stocks of fruit loaf were sent on to your good self.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Sorry, but there's only one 80's Pop Chanteuse that i do, and it's not Therese ( clue: rhymes with 'Curly Wurly)

Gwen said...

Not Steve "Silk" Hurley ISBW (Oh no that's man sorry)!