"Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world; it is a hammer with which to shape it"

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Channel Zero #7

Well, what a week… everything suddenly found itself exciting about four months ahead of projections. Much has been done, films have been seen, journeys have been made, people have been met, A Pitch In Time was finally entered, comments have been read and lovely people have spoken!

Right, a post… Though I reckon I’ll be trying to be a little shorter due to yet another really stoopid injury. I cannot understate how grateful I am to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Yahweh, Jehovah, Jove or any other Supreme Being for my not catching colds, flu, plague, whatever especially given my propensity for rendering myself all daddaky via the medium of the perilous everyday object. On Monday I managed to dislocate the top joint of my right thumb and that was just plain annoying… the reason is so embarrassingly banal that I’ll not go into it- instead we’ll assume I was wrestling wild bears, thank you very much. Anywhen, a little ice, cold water and patience and in it popped… and all I’m left with is the sort of minor sort of throb shown when cartoon characters hit their thumbs with hammers. Currently, I’m lacquered in Ibuleve. I'm thinking of selling the format to Channel 4: I'd be calling it 'Relocation, Relocation, Relocation'. The good news is that its affected neither of my typing fingers; the bad news is that the only thing that’s previously set me above the cats was my opposable thumb but now they just sit around me laughing uncontrollably! Bastards. :)

Finally, this week, at the last minute I decided I really ought to put in something for the Screenwriters Festivals ‘A Pitch In Time’ thing… a couple of Pitches went in about eleven on the Friday night. They’re not particularly brilliant due to the last minute nature but in the end if you don’t try you can’t fail! More seriously, I think there are issues: in the seriously unlikely event that I should get through to the shortlist there would be the whole getting up on stage thing and that would be a little unsettling. And I know that audience: they’ll be well armed… tomatoes, cabbages… spanners… grenades… they claim they only have them for research but what else are they meant to do with them afterwards?

Misreading of the week: “Expert shoplifters” on the back of a van outside of Oxford… that’s just blatant thought I. Er, not really when they’re actually “Expert shopfitters”!

Music Of The Week…

…well it’s just a single solitary track without a video… but what a track! The video’s just some rather obvious pictures that have been added for instructional purposes. It’s been being given away with this last weeks NME (without irritating annnouncer at the end)… and what is this wondrous track… the Manics’ cover version of Umbrella, that’s right the Rihanna song. And it works damn well. Simply because they took it seriously.

Short and sweet: the Panorama on bottled water proved what I suspected… that bottled water is inherently pointless and evil… possibly. And the vanguard brand from the 70’s has to be possibly the vilest drink since the dawn of time. The stuff in the tap’s fine by me. With a rather more tenuous connexion… while the Daily Mail may be the epitome of evil, worse even than Hitler (*joke*), their campaign against plastic bags can only be applauded and welcomed- which will save some turtles, whales, seals and birds from horrible deaths. The Mail, after all, speaks both to and for one of the only groups that this Government cares about now: the so-called Middle England… the only other group they care about more is the super-rich especially if they have non-dom status! And you’ll never stop them from eating turtles!

My suspicions about The Last Enemy have been proved correct: the pace has picked up dramatically, there’s more tension and the increased presence of Robert Carlyle has injected much needed energy. Ashes To Ashes has seemingly bedded in and I’ve managed to put Life On Mars from my mind while watching… I assume that this can only indicate it’s acquired a life and identity of its own. The Neutron bomb conspiracy episode proved a bit of a cracker. The increasingly creepy presence and activities (watching over the sleeping Alex, creeping into her room, etc.) of the Pierrot is starting to worry me about a possible future direction that they may be heading with it: I sincerely hope my fears aren’t well-founded.

…and fair play to Kenneth Branagh, Mark Kermode and Miramax for showing the ‘missing’ Danny Boyle film, Alien Love Triangle at La Charrete, Gorseinon. Genuinely touching.

TV or not TV? That is a question…*

Well, Film4 is showing two weeks, solid, of British films so that’s a good starter. They will be giving a chance to lucky digital viewers to sample some of the best British (and in some cases all-time) films including the original caper The League Of Gentlemen, Local Hero, Withnail & I and a brace of Powell & Pressburger masterpieces A Matter Of Life And Death and Black Narcissus.

BBC2: 9.30 pm: Gavin & Stacey: the entire first series of this fine comedy series back-to-back. If you’ve not seen this then, to be honest, you must live under a rock; if you watched it and hated it then clearly you hate television… maybe… or just have different taste… which just happens to be wrong! Hmm! Gavin & Stacey really is wonderful stuff relying on a set of clear human characters involved in situations which are all to familiar; beautifully written and acted and entirely lacking in that maliciousness that often afflicts comedy. (Available here and here so now you have no excuses.)

BBC4: 10.00 pm: Sweet Smell Of Success: Alexander Mackendrick’s cyanide love-letter to the New York scene.

BBC2: 9.00 pm: The Last Enemy

BBC2: 8.30 pm: A Good Woman: Filmed Oscar Wilde play…

BBC1: 9.00 pm: Life In Cold Blood: Part 5: last chance to see…

Film4: 11.05 pm: Dog Altogether: Paddy Considine’s recent Bafta-winning short film.

Film4: 1.05 am: Shane’s World: Three short films by Shane Meadows.

BBC2: 9.00 pm: Horizon: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Film4: 9.00 pm: Oliver Twist: the new 2005 Polanski-Harwood version.

BBC2: 11.20 pm: Mad Men: the big new series of the week…

BBC3: 10.40 pm: Mrs In-Betweeny: is this going to leave the audience dumbstruck for the all the right or the wrong reasons?

More4: 9.00 pm: This Is Civilisation: New arts documentary series.

Film4: 7.00 pm: A Matter Of Life And Death: Quite simply one of the finest films ever made by some of the finest film-makers ever made: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

BBC1: 9.00 pm: Ashes To Ashes: of course…

BBC2: 9.00 pm: That Mitchell And Webb Look: turns out Thursdays can be funny!

BBC2: 11.20 pm: Ideal: Exhibit B: the third series transplanted surgically from BBC3…

Film4: 7.00 pm: Black Narcissus: another masterpiece from Powell And Pressburger.

BBC2: 9.00 pm: Last Orders: the documentary starting the BBC’s ‘White Season’.

BBC4: 10.00 pm: Motor City’s Burning: Detroit From Motown To The Stooges

BBC2: 12.35 pm: Doomwatch: the film from the BBC series.

*Quite possibly said by an actress to a bishop or vice versa… we can only wait until the Fake Sheikh exposes this entanglement!


John Soanes said...

Ooh, thanks for the pointer towards the Wilde adaptation tonight - hadn't spotted that at all.
And, come to think of it, Mad Men.

MJ said...

Everyone MUST see Black Narcissus if not already, ty for reminding me about it!!!! BTW I misread your 'music of the week' as 'muscle of the week' I was disappointed to not see anything anatomical.

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