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Discovering Peter Circuitt

12/20/2006

If anybody saw last years BBC short film of The Snow Queen you should have delighted in the unuusal backgrounds and flying sequences created by Peter Circuitt – his work is a joy and a talent to keep an eye for much bigger things…

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Watching 50 Films to see before you die

07/22/2006

To launch Film 4s launch on Freeview tomorrow (at last they’ll always be something to watch on telly!) Channel 4 (following in the footsteps of it’s other Top 100 programes) showed ‘50 films to see before you die’, a list complied by a panel of film experts including Lord David Puttnam (producer), Jason Solomons (film critic), Jonathan Rutter (film publicist), Tessa Ross (Channel 4 Head of Film and Drama), Karen Krizanovich (film critic) and Menhaj Huda (film director).

I’ve marked the ones I’ve seen with *, as you can see I’ve seen 26 of them, so providing I don’t get hit by a bus I’ve only 24 to see and Lost in Translation is showing on Film 4 tomorrow!

2001: A Space Odyssey *
A Bout de Souffle 
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Alien *
All About Eve *
Apartment, The *
Apocalypse Now *
Badlands 
Black Narcissus *
Boyz N the Hood
Brazil *
Breakfast Club, The *
Cabaret 
Chinatown *
City of God
Come and See
Dawn of the Dead
Donnie Darko
Erin Brockovich *
Fanny and Alexander
Fight Club *
Heavenly Creatures *
Hero 
Ipcress File, The *
King of Comedy, The
Ladykillers, The *
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Lost in Translation
Manhattan *
Manhunter *
Mulholland Drive
Night at the Opera
North by Northwest *
Pink Flamingos
Player, The
Princess Mononoke
Pulp Fiction *
Raising Arizona *
Royal Tenenbaums, The
Scarface
Searchers, The
Secrets and Lies
Sexy Beast *
Shawshank Redemption, The *
Terminator 2: Judgement Day *
This Sporting Life
Three Colours Blue
Touch of Evil
Trainspotting *
Walkabout *

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Watching A Cock and Bull Story

01/22/2006

We had a great Christmas present from our daughters child minder – free babysitting once a month for the year (great idea!), so as time was running out for January we hastily organised a trip to the cinema. Not alot on, so as todays Guardian recommended ‘A Cock and Bull story’ I thought we’d try that.

I didn’t know what to expect having never heard of the book it’s based on, ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ by Laurence Sterne, an 18th century novel in which Tristma Shandy tries to tell his life story but never even gets around to describing his own birth, apparently quite unfilmable.

The director Michael Winterbottom has chosen to make a film about the making of a ‘Tristram Shandy’ movie. This gets a little confusing as there are actors playing themselves as well as characters in the story, but as the actors playing the behind the scenes parts are well known, like James Fleet playing the producer it didn’t really work for me – as Coogan was playing himself, so should everyone else be.

The best scenes are the off scene rivary between Coogan and Brydon, which starts off the film, and continues through out – Brydons great impression of Coogan actually being like Alan Partridge, a competitive argument about Al Pacino impressions or the sulky demands over the height of Coogan’s shoes. Coogan sends himself up very well, but I think it’s Brydon who’s the funniest.

The film is littered with some the UK’s great comedians – Stephen Fry, Mark Williams, Dylan Moran and David Walliams make brief appearances.

To sum it up it’s funny and clever, but not really a film, it’s more like a programme you’d see on TV.

t_shandy.jpg

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Being reminded of Logan’s Run

01/6/2006

Writing for BBC News website Professor Chris Rapley, from Director of the British Antarctic Survey has put forward the idea that the current global population of six billion is unsustainably high and that “population is the ‘Cinderella’ issue of the environmental movement”. Professor Rapley acknowledges it is a controversal question and might suggest the idea of forced population control.

The idea of population control made me think of the 1976 film ‘Logans Run’ which is set in the year 2274 – after the world has been decimated by a holocaust, a new society is built, and where it is forbidden for humans to live beyond 30 and and so go through a ritual called Carousel with the promise of being “renewed” (in fact the 30 year olds are killed). Its a great film starring Michael York (and a very sexy Jenny Agutter) and presents an interesting view of the future where high-technology and self-indulgent living help disguise a world struggling to survive.

Ok it’s a film, but I can’t help thinking that unless we change our own self-indulgent lifestyles (importing food from 1,000s of miles away, destroying rainforests, devouring our limited fossil fuels etc etc) then in a couple of hundred years, say around 2274, then we too will be looking at a world controlled by computers who keep us locked up in a dome and knock us off at age 30!

Interestingly (or timely) a remake of the film version, which is said to have a story more similar to the book,(by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, published in 1967) is scheduled to be released in 2007.

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Deciding on this year’s top 5 films

12/30/2005

Following on from yesterday and the day before here are my top 5 films (I would have liked to see more, but my viewing is heavily influenced my my daughter!)
1.The Curse of the Were Rabbit
2.Nanny McPhee
3.Robots
4.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
5.Madagascar

and top TV show of the year

Funland – BBC Three at its best

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Watching Alice in Wonderland

12/18/2005

Channel 5 today was showing a film version of Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland – quite an all star cast from 1972, featuring a young Fiona Fullerton as Alice, Michael Crwaford as the White Rabbit (sounding just like Frank Spencer), Peter Sellers as the March Hare, Dudley Moore as the Dormouse and Spike Milligan as the Gryphon – inspired casting, sets were a bit like the original Charlie and the Chocolate factory film. Ok watching for a wet Sunday afternoon – a younf Dennis Waterman and Ray Brooks was also spotted playing the Spades!

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Watching Indiana Jones

07/30/2005

Received the Indiana Jones Trilogy Box Set on DVD for my birthday. Not sure if it was a joke, but the films are classics – despite being made in the early 80s they hardly date and to me are still the bench mark action adventure, ok they don’t have todays cgi effects, but the stories are strong and Spielbergs directing is great, and the THX enhanced John Williams sound track is good stuff. Never realised until now that each film covers a different religion – Hindu (the Shankara stones in The Temple of Doom), Jewish (Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark), and Christian (Holy Grail in The Last Crusade). There’s an extra DVD which includes a ‘Making of’ – we haven’t watched it yet, but it probably includes lots of explainations from George Lucas, so the religion thing will no dobt be explained.All the enhancements only improve them – go buy!

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