Archive for the 'films' Category

Monday Marseillaise Blogging

July 16th, 2007

From the end of what may be the greatest scene in the greatest film ever made: Rouget de Lisle teaches the Marseillaise to the people of Paris, in Abel Gance’s Napoleon:

Jan Svankmajer Discs Now Available!

June 17th, 2007

The British Film Institute has just released its triple-DVD set of Jan Svankmajer: The Complete Short Films, and this is what Marina Warner has to say about it in tehgraun:

“26 extraordinary works so far, they unfold his artistry and his preoccupations with rare richness, and have been annotated by an admiring group of critics and film historians.  So this set of short films is a marvellous and invaluable collection.”

Yes, indeed, yes indeed – Svankmajer’s Dimensions of Dialogue may be the best short animated film that there is, and many of the others are not bad at all – and there are special reasons at the Stoa for celebrating the release of the set:  it’s been assembled, put together, produced, hand-tooled (I’m not really sure what the appropriate verb is) by my brother Michael. So well done him.

My Film Career

May 24th, 2007

My goodness. They’ve been talking about me and boxing in last week’s Observer:

The film [Blue Blood] is effortlessly stolen by a cameo appearance from [Chris] Kavanagh’s philosophy tutor. ‘He asked if I could go and watch him get his face smashed in, but it was short notice and I was busy. Usually am,’ says Chris Brooke, who is also the author of the highly recommended blog Virtual Stoa.

‘Everyone who watches the film thinks he’s absolutely hilarious,’ says Kavanagh, ‘and the sort of person you only really find at Oxford. He’s from this incredibly aristocratic family yet is a socialist. He just wanders around being Chris Brooke. He’s a legend.’

And one who has now been immortalised in, of all things, a boxing movie which, thanks to Riley’s direction and the charm and passion of the contestants, is that rarity – a film set among a privileged elite that does not grate but inspires.

I’m glad I’m keeping people entertained.

There’s a fine moment in the film when I say something incomprehensible, and the camera cuts away to a shot of Chris K rolling his eyes. He can’t have been rolling his eyes at that particular comment, as there was only one camera in the room, but it’s nicely done.

[Thanks to dsquared in comments below for the tip-off.]

La marche de l’empereur

April 18th, 2007

Over here [thanks , NB]

Shirley Bassey on the Muppet Show

November 26th, 2006

Oh, I’m very pleased to see this again:

Robert Altman, RIP

November 21st, 2006

He’s got a tapedeck in his tractor
And he listens to the local news
He finds out where the bass are bitin’
While he’s plowin’ to the country blues.
He was a cowboy and he knew I loved him well,
A cowboy’s secrets you never tell -
No, there’s nothin’ like the loving
Of a hard-drivin’ cowboy man.

He’s got a tapedeck in his tractor
While he’s plowing up his daddy’s land;
He’s got more horse sense
Than I ever seen in any man.
He was a cowboy and he knew I loved him well,
A cowboy’s secrets you never tell,
No, there’s nothin’ like the lovin’
Of a hard-drivin’ cowboy man

On Saturday nights we go dancin’ in town,
And all the boys’ll order up another round;
In the summertime,
We look forward to the rodeo.
On Saturday nights we go to town,
And all the boys’ll order up another round;
When he rides saddle bronc
I wait to hear that whistle blow.

He’s got a tapedeck in his tractor,
I can hear him when he’s comin’ home.
Then he holds me in the rocking chair
And sings me the love song.
He was a cowboy and he knew I loved him well
A cowboy’s secrets you never tell
No, there’s nothin’ like the lovin’
Of a hard-drivin’ cowboy man

No, there’s nothin’ like the muscles
Of a hard-drivin’ cowboy man.

Uzbekistan for all your Potassium & Patriotic Song Needs!

November 16th, 2006

Spotted at the IMDb Reviews of Borat section:

Cheap Kazakhstan propaganda! Borats claim that Kazakhstan produces the best potassium in the world is totally unsubstantiated. It is well known in the countries of the former Soviet Union that it is Uzbekistan that produces the highest quality potassium not Kazakhstan! His claim that all other countries in the world are ran by little girls is also easily dismissed. Many former Soviet Union countries are run by grown men! Although the U.K was once run by fire breathing dragon woman Margaret Thatcher you could never call her a girl! Borat is the possessor of a terrible singing voice. How can he sing great patriotic songs with a voice like that?

LONG LIVE UZBECKISTAN! Uzbekistan for all your potassium & patriotic song needs.

[via Michael]

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