The Virtual Stoa Goes To The Cinema So You Don’t Have To

The Queen: Alright, but not as good as everyone told me it would be.
Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait: Pretty good. Jolly interesting.
Heading South: Good. Quite a bit better than anticipated, anyway.
The History Boys: Not very good at all.

The best thing about going to The History Boys, in fact, was the 1949 Public Information short that preceded it, Handkerchief Drill. Lots more about that kind of thing (though not about Handkerchief Drill, unfortunately) over here.

I think that deals with contemporary cinema.

0 thoughts on “The Virtual Stoa Goes To The Cinema So You Don’t Have To”

  1. A certain ex-girlfriend of mine (initials SW) had her own rating system, which could be applied to some of this year’s releases as follows:

    Volver – Mental
    The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes – Fucking mental
    Jan Svankmajer’s Lunacy – Totally fucking mental

    I’m not sure how it works with stuff that demonstrably isn’t mental, but I think she doesn’t bother with such films in the first place.

  2. When you describe Volver as “mental”, Michael, do you perhaps mean “pants on a stick”?

    I was gossiping about you two with your Auriol on the phone yesterday evening. She’s gonna pop soon.

  3. I once waved pants on a stick at a tourist bus.
    The History Boys did boast a very pretty Magdalen shot, and I liked the random feminist outburst. But that’s about it.

  4. I think I’d like to register an opinion that Volver was somewhere in between “mental” and “pants on a stick”. It was alright. Not great. Not awful. Somewhere in the middle, and perfectly watchable.

  5. I have to confess I picked Volver pretty much at random – I was looking for something appreciably less mental than The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes or the off-the-scale Lunacy (trailer here – unsubtitled, but you’ll still probably get the idea that it’s not exactly Merchant-Ivory), but which nonetheless was slightly more eccentric than the norm.

    My own opinion of Volver is broadly similar to Chris’s, with the caveat that I fell asleep about three-quarters of the way through. Which I probably would have done regardless of what was playing on screen, as I was absolutely shattered.

  6. It’s probably been ommitted here deliberately, but The Departed, which we saw last night at midnight (very good idea of Odeon’s), was very very good. One or two shots didn’t quite work for me, so I can see someone else getting the Best Director nod yet again, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t a couple of Oscars in there for actors, and maybe Best Picture.

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