October 2007

Quote of the Day: Art by committee

When bureaucrats get involved with art, there are sad consequences.

- Harry Kümel

Michelle joins Moodyssons Mammoth

Lukas Moodysson is an interesting character. With Fucking Åmål and Lilja 4-ever, he attracted a huge amount of attention and was even hailed as being a genius film narrator by Ingmar Bergman.

And then he decided to abandon narrative cinema in favour of more experimental fare such as A Hole in My Heart and the rather strange Container.

Moodyssons next film, Mammoth - in which a successful New Yorker tries to radically change his life during a vacation in Thailand with his wife and daughter - is a return to the narrative form which he does do very well indeed.

Gael García Bernal will be playing the New Yorker and Variety (via) reports that Michelle Williams has signed up for the female lead.

Shooting for the film starts in Thailand on November 5th.

Inoffensive debate

Playing the ‘offence’ card empowers a whole swathe of quangos to moderate public discussion. This means that public debate no longer occurs spontaneously in the figurative coffee shop of civil society, but always requires a judge and mediator. Discussion is not just between the debaters themselves, but becomes a matter for media monitors and lawyers, who pick apart the statements of the other side.

On this basis, Internet Watch Foundation is ordained to pronounce on acceptable language on the internet, and the Press Complaints Commission for the media. These groups are not elected, nor is their authority founded in the law of the land. Their authority is merely based on the fact that they accept complaints forms.

- Josie Appleton

Addicted to liberty

On the blog for Taking Liberties (which was released on DVD on October 15th), Chris Atkins highlights a few of the authoritarian stores that have annoyed him recently.

These range from the frightening – a GPS enabled jacket that will allow anyone to keep tabs on your kids; through the disgusting – Britain’s very own torture facility; to the downright bonkers – Sir Ian Blair.

Click here to read the full story.

Kermode of interest

On the subject of Jonathan Ross - in his role as presenter of Film 2007 - Jonathan Calder asks:

And does he have to mention the fact that his wife is a screenwriter every week?

I have to admit that I havent watched any of Film 2007, or Film 2006 for that matter, so Im not in a position to remark on how good a job Ross is doing as a presenter, or how often he mentions his wifes role. That said, given that Rosss wife is Jane Goldman, the screenwriter for Stardust - which is currently in cinemas - I would say that it is more than reasonable for Ross to mention the fact before talking about the film.

But he starts by describing Film 2007 and the BBCs Jonathan Ross as dull, dull, dull, and goes on to suggest a film broadcaster who would make it a more interesting programme overnight: Mark Kermode.

Which I think would be a great idea and one that may even convince me to start watching TV again.

Happy Banniversary to David Cronenberg

Ten years after the furore over David Cronenbergs Crash, the Daily Mail is up in arms again - this time over the directors much anticipated Eastern Promises.

Typically enough, they have pulled the increasingly irrelevant John Beyer to supply a few meaningless and dishonest quotes and to remind us all that adults shouldnt be allowed to decide what films they want to watch.

The BBFC has become increasingly lax and ineffective and is completely out of touch with public opinion, he told the Mail.

Which is not true.

It needs to be replaced with another body which will show more responsibility on the issue of violence.

In other words, Beyer wants his rabble to be able to tell you what you can and cant watch.

Despite the latest statistics in gun and knife crime showing that the problems of violence are at an all-time high, the BBFC refuses to take action.

Which us irrelevant, unless the Mini-Mary seriously believes that there was no gun or knife crime before the Lumière brothers came along.

This culture of violence that the BBFC has engendered

That the BBFC engendered? Now he has left the planet. Whats he trying to say here? That BBFC staffers loiter outside schools and on street corners trying to recruit teenagers into their biker gangs? Or is he just talking rubbish again?

Id love to know what Beyer thought about Mel Gibsons attempt at torture porn.

How To Deal With Telemarketers

Ive yet to meet anyone who doesnt get irritated by unsolicited phone calls, especially the ones that are trying to sell you something that you have absolutely no interest in even considering the possibility of purchasing.

So heres an advice video demonstrating several strategies for dealing with these people.

Sapphire and Steel

Huge thanks are owed to Lisa Rullsenberg for letting me know that a DVD boxed set of the whole of Sapphire And Steel is on the way.

As for AnnaWaits question regarding the series watchability - Ive pre-ordered it already.

If you want to hear more about this really rather original science fiction series, you could do a lot worse than give the relevant British Invaders episode a listen.

Doris Lessing on political correctness

Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.

- Read the rest

Trailer Peaks

Following on from my last post, it appears that Paramount are also getting in on the idea of releasing trailers for TV series.

The series, in this case, is Twin Peaks which is being released as a Definitive Gold Box Edition in the US on October 30th. Hopefully a Region 2 release will follow shortly, but I have to say that the trailers really dont do the series justice.

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