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Everything posted by gigi

  1. Well, one has hope that they may inspire people towards reading in that case. As badly written as the books are (I have only read the first one but assume the rest follow suit), at least it is a start for some people. Personally, I quite enjoy the films. I think they are more tongue in cheek than people give them credit for. Also, they look amazing.
  2. gigi

    Scenes from the Suburbs

    Have to say, I thought it was a bit poo. That's my critically astute commentary. Some good moments, particularly the bantering between the two boys, it looked pretty, but overall it just didn't do anything for me and I thought the military state thing to be misjudged. Perhaps if it had been allowed to develop a little more but as was it felt stunted. Maybe it would help if I didn't find the arcade fire's last two albums to be self-important twaddle. Funny that people thought the wild things to be light hearted. I thought it his darkest film to date, though equally flawed.
  3. This doc is finally available to watch in the US. Sorry for the late notice, but you can watch it online anytime on HBO on demand. HBO site
  4. New track on the 'From the Basement' session: From the basement
  5. I second that. I saw this yesterday and was really moved by it. The 3D works fantastically to communicate the exertion of the dancers' movements. I think, even, more so than watching live dance. You really pick up on the detail of each movement, and space is somehow emphasised, exagerated by the 3D. Surfaces seem to be harder, more fluid, muscles more sinewy and stronger. And yes, the composition is quite something. Wonderful to see such a love of the image & the moving camera. The one thing I would have liked to have seen is a little more talk that wasn't as generous about Pina. Not mean, but honest about what must have been a very difficult and exhausting relationship with her dancers at times. I sometimes found her comments that the dancers found to be helpful to be overly enigmatic. And there was only one suggestion about her compulsion to work. I think hearing about the difficulty of achieving some of these spectacular works would have made viewing them all the more impressive. Nonetheless, they all respected her massively and this comes across in their dances which is ultimately the most interesting statement of their relationship to her. Finally, I wish that one of the end anecdotes had opened rather than closed the film - one of her sayings, 'what is it we long for?' It really helped to frame everything and I would have found it a useful introductory device and probably read some of the dances a little differently with that insight. Otherwise, I hate to conform to A&F hyperbole, but I really will not be surprised if this ends up being my Film Of The Year.
  6. gigi


    Mmmmm, yup, me too. My brother works in a high security Young Offender's Institute (read: prison for under 18s) on a programme that tries to rehabilitate young offenders. He says that he can spot ex-offenders on the street instantly through codes of clothing & gestures. I recently was discussing this with someone who had worked in an adult prison and they said that as much as they were afraid in that job, they would never work in a YOI. Their reasoning being that adults seemed to have a sense of time and loss when put ina prison, they looked forwards to their release back into society. Young Offenders, however, she said, increasingly look inwards to the prison - that is where they have their social status and those inside are largely hopeless & therefore more dangerous. Of course it is a generalisation but I can see how in Britain there is an increased tendency towards the American trend of lifetimes of repeat offences, and the cultural cachet that comes with that. Plot-wise, I think it is an interesting device that allows for more in depth investigation of character over plot. The Sopranos, at least, certainly did. That final scene - oh momma, that final scene! -
  7. gigi

    Point Blank

    It's the only Soderbergh film that I rate at all. Though 'Out of Sight' was fun, too. Not his biggest fan. He's a bit 'meh', mostly.
  8. gigi


    Oh I should have been clearer in constructing that sentence. The police brutality does not feel at all dated, rather the device of narrating to camera feels a bit dated. So far, I think he's a really interesting character and I thought the flashback scene that showed his crime, arrest & cause of paralysis has been one of the better examples of the series' use of the technique. There's something about the show's inability to progress that I find interesting. The characters are completely and utterly stuck in Oz; many of them for life. I'm intrigued to see how this spins out in terms of plot development. A friend is doing his thesis on stasis and time in tv series, with a focus on the Sopranos which goes nowhere. This is even more acutely the case with Oz. It has the weight of hopelessness to it, which I think is partly why I am struggling with it. I'll keep on watching series 1, gradually, I think and see how I feel.
  9. gigi


    Has anyone watched this? On the recommendation of a friend whose opinion I trust, I'm 4 episodes into the first series. Man, is it dark! I normally back-to-back watch tv series, but this just takes too much out of me to do that. I'm struggling a little bit to keep watching, partly because I feel over-priviliged and guilty watching a representation of a cruel and vicious system for entertainment. Nonetheless, there is a lot to recommend it and I am a bit torn about this. To summarise, Oz (abbreviation of 'Oswald penitentiary'; there are references to the Wizard of Oz throughout) is set in the wing of a high security prison called 'Emerald City'. 'Emerald City' has been set up as an experiment in a different kind of encarceration and is run by a psychiatrist who hand-picks its members. So far, series one is narrated by an inmate who is in a wheelchair as a result of police brutality. This feels a bit dated, but once you get past that it actually works quite well. He works as a guide to the various factions that emerge in Oz, and also to individuals' lives prior to encarceration. Oz has moments of extreme violence (a lot of which is suggested and not shown), but has so far also covered some really interesting issues - the death of an AIDS patient; the patriarchal lineage of violence; and the role of religion in prison, to name a few. THe latter, in particular, is what is making me not-quite give up on it. I found the episode that deals with the conversion of one inmate to Islam, and the role of the Catholic priest in providing a sense of meaning in this space to be really interesting. (COmpare this to the way that religious imagery has become so cliched in films & tv programmes that deal with institutionalised violence - eg. gangster films - but that don't really investigate the individual's relationship to their faith in any depth beyond a passing visual mention.) Anyway, it would be good to get a sense of whether I should perservere with this. I feel like it's going somewhere, but as I say, it weighs heavy.
  10. gigi

    Point Blank

    This film was a revelation when I first saw it. A little less so, now, but it still has a freshness to it even though many of its stylistic techniques are now dated. I attribute a lot of that to the editing and Lee Marvin's performance. The most obvious comparisons for me would be Vanishing Point and also Soderbergh's The Limey. Both also had quite an impact on me at the time of watching. The Limey in particular steals from Point Blank but I personally didn't like it's use of editing to illustrate character motivation and memory. I preferred the coldness of Marvin's Point Blank's character, whereas Terence Stamp is made into a warm loving (if mostly absent) father through flashback. Nonetheless, I thought it was visually interesting. ANother Soderbergh film that lifts heavily is Out of Sight - the sex scene in particular - which makes better use of a similar editing style but here it is used more playfully, and it somehow makes the whole evening's flirtation meaningful without over-emphasising the moment of coitus which is really quite an achievement. Nonetheless, Point Blank stands miles above any of these, IMHO.
  11. gigi

    The Royal Wedding

    Show off Think there's a lot to be said for watching it on the tele like most plebs, meself. Would like to be in London that day. I was in town the day before Diana's funeral and it was an odd experience, so much of the city had converted into a space of mourning. It would be interesting to contrast that with the space of celebration that it will undoubtedly be for the Royal Wedding. I also like the feeling of tourism on my own country at these moments; at times of heightened nationalism and pageantry, the culture doesn't feel quite like it is mine, though I am guessing that is true for many white British folk too.
  12. Didn't see this thread when originally posted but I am amazed that so far no one has replied 'there's only one place for genitals in Christian art' surely? And there I go, lowering the tone again.
  13. Anyone else excited about this? I will, of course, be watching it with academic glasses on, commenting on the nature of national rituals and not her wedding dress. Of course.
  14. This is interesting; I'm rather fascinated by Kodachrome and in particular how it has become an object of nostalgia. Arguably, it always was, even Simon & Garfunkel's song is suffused with a sad longing for what Kodachrome evokes, even though it was written in 1973 when Kodachrome was still readily available. Thanks for the link, Peter.
  15. UK board-ers, it's on tele tonight: More 4 at midnight after the Monroe documentary. Awful slot, but More 4 in all their wisdom seemed to have judged that this double bill will bring more attention to it. (note title change to "Bobby Kennedy: The Last Journey") Also available to watch on 4On Demand.
  16. My favourite moment was Anne Hathaway's hairdo for her 7th outfit change (I think). I think there was something like 10mins for her to change, completely redo hair and makeup. Though the blue dress was definitely my favourite. I also quite enjoyed it when Gwyneth Paltrow turned out to be even blander than usual, especially after wearing a fantastic dress that might suggest otherwise (along with Ms Blanchett's, my favourite of the evening). Very comforting to have her return to over-earnest dullness. I think an all-black tux, shirt, tie look is definitely the way forwards. Well done Christian Bale, although the beard was bleedin ridiculous even for a man-fur-lover like myself. As for the show - I thought the use of the lit up archway over the stage worked quite well at times. I also liked the design for listing the nominees. Did I imagine it or were the categories rearranged towards the end? I think they were, and I didn't like it. The orchestra did well, I liked the subtle quiet-playing of music to alert the speaker they'd gone over rather than just blaring it and cutting people off. Hated the introduction of a famous person whose sole job it was to introduce another famous person to introduce the categories. Also didn't like the random enlistment of presenters that haven't won in an age/are just celebrities. Steven Spielberg??? Though I thought his was one of the better introductions. These little niggles probably point to the fact that it was dull as hell; though it did the job it said on the tin.
  17. gigi

    Stan Brakhage

    Thom - FYI: BFI screening of 3 Brakhage films. Also, I'm aware I haven't written up my thoughts. That's partly because I was somewhat perplexed by the film, but also because I haven't found the motivation to do so. I will try and stir some up this week.
  18. It may be the case for others, but I don't feel disappointed by this at all. I never do, really, as almost two decades of pretty devoted 'head fandom have led me to the position of not to expect anything. In this instance, I quite literally did not expect anything. I was as surprised as everyone else by the 4-day announcement. Whatever comes, I am happy with because it demonstrates continued creativity and that is something to be grateful for, even if I don't rate the music massively. I suppose I view my relationship with Radiohead as a lifetime project. No, what I was more interested in, rather than my immediate response to this album is whether it is being misinterpreted. Is this the first step in what may prove to be a radical approach to music production and promotion that is less reliant on the corporate machinery of labels/press/shops? And if so, then that means we ought to get VERY excited about this album as it indicates it is a precursor to a new stage of creativity on a wholey different scale, and maybe, also, in a new way. (Especially for a band that are reknowned for the difficulties they have in churning out albums). They seem to be doing something different even from the In Rainbows release strategy, here. Or at least that's the sense I get. They've seen the potential of internet releasing, and now seem to be playing with it a little more. I suppose what has made me wonder about this is a conversation with a friend who does research on the impact of the internet on television production and distribution. Again, speculation, but the fact that we are speculating and don't have the usual interviews and PR to go along with an album release, is an indicator in itself. Following on from the above, I suppose that's what Sufjan was trying to do with the release of 'The Age of Adz', too.
  19. I was curious to see how many people feel, like me, that this is within the remit of the EP's that the band said they would be releasing in future. Does 37mins of quite coherent but not entirely fully realised music an album make? I can't imagine that this is all they have come up with in the last 3 and a half years.
  20. Would be nice, but I doubt it. Radiohead fans are some of the foremost conspiracy theorists, next to the dudes that find references to the Illuminati in Jay-Z videos. Well, to be fair to the 'conspiracy theorists' amongst the radiohead brigade, they have a history of planting hidden messages. I am guessing that nobody here was aware of the Byzantine Ziggurat they created on their website around the time of Kid A. It was a bizarre game/puzzle that required a relatively high knowledge of math & computer programming to decode. Led to a nice little prize for the person that broke it. They never really followed through on it after that, but for the very active online community on the messageboard, it provided foder for some time. Clearly, they enjoy and play with the secrecy and speculation that goes on around them. I see it as an interesting way of interacting with fans whilst also messing with the music business PR machinery which they are all adverse too, but Thom especially. (Remember the Cobain/Yorke comparison carried by the Melody Maker, post-suicide?) Link to info on Byzantine Ziggurat.
  21. Funny. Both struck me as VERY Radiohead-like. I present my case: FONT. FONT & colour scheme and here apocalyptic imagery/unreal figuresand here and here and here. Title: my iron lung, Lozenge of Love, Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was, Fake Plastic Trees, Subterranean Homesick Alien, In Limbo (gerrit, In limbo), Amnesiac, Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box, Life in a Glasshouse... need I continue?
  22. oooh! oooh! read my summary on the top 100 page. It's taken me several years and many many rewatchings to begin to feel confident enough to say what I think about this, and it still holds me in ways I can't begin to pin down. Anyway, would be happy if people commented on my summary. It took some time to write, and I cut it down substantially so it is somewhat schizophrenic, but please, more discussion in this thread would make my day, week, month, even! Edit: Very handy link to a&f blurb, written by yours truly
  23. They're finally getting around to releasing a proper studio version of True Love Waits, huh? That song has been knocking around since before OK Computer came out. That strikes me as being self-mocking 'head humour. Note track 8 and 9 are references to previous songs; they get hounded by fans about 'True Love Waits' all the time; as blatant as Thom has been with his leftist politiking, even he wouldn't stoop to naming a song after our loathed 'daily mail'. My personal favourite here is 'I froze up'. This makes me suspect that this album will mark a departure from the musical direction of the previous four, but now I'm reading between the lines of what I am guessing is a tongue in cheek post by Ed. Having said all this, 'King of Limbs' is a hideous album title. That, at least, I can comment on without relying on speculation.
  24. gigi

    Stan Brakhage

    The local art gallery is showing 23rd Psalm next week. Have added to my diary and will do my darndest to sit through it all, and will of course report back. My link Quite excited - it's now been over ten years since I've seen Brakhage on a bigger screen than my lovely but tiny tele.
  25. gigi

    Shutter Island

    Must watch this again. Still contend that this is Scorsese's Vertigo. Narratively, thematically, visually, and also in its critical reception. In twenty or thirty years time it will be hailed as a masterpiece. Let's see if a second viewing makes me change my mind on this.
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