faustus: (Default)
( Apr. 28th, 2011 03:09 pm)
For those interested in Arctic/Antarctic Exploration:

Into the White: 100 Years of Polar Exploration on Screen

Into the White: 100 Years of Polar Exploration on Screen

Available from May

Archive's restoration of The Great White Silence (1924; see p14), and the centenary of Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole, the Mediatheque presents Into the White, a new collection featuring over a century of polar exploration films.

Our earliest addition shows an American expedition to the North Pole, but it was the discoveries to be found at the South Pole that most fascinated explorers. Antarctica was the last great continent to be left unexplored by mankind - the effort to uncover the mysteries of this territory began in the 19th century but extremely hostile conditions meant that explorers could do little more than map the edges.

The early part of the 20th century saw the ‘heroic age' of popular imagination, during which the continent was explored, measured and mapped, and the South Pole was finally reached. The valiant efforts of men like Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton have continued to inspire filmmakers over the years, and many of the best movie and TV retellings appear in Into the White, alongside fascinating documentaries showing the subsequent work of scientists, naturalists and explorers in the polar regions.


A Dash to the North Pole (1909)
Dogs for the Antarctic (1914)
Lieutenant Pimple's Dash for the Pole (1914)
South - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antarctic (1919)
Aerial Antarctic Discoveries (1930)
90º South (1933)
Scott of the Antarctic (1948)
Foothold on Antarctica (1956)
Life in the Freezer (1993)
Shackleton (2002)

Mediatheques at London BFI Southbank,
Central Library, Cambridge,
QUAD, Derby,
Wrexham Library,
Discovery Museum, Newcastle

(I note this is the British Film Institute... At least it isn't just England.)
faustus: (cinema)
( Apr. 10th, 2011 11:46 am)
So Pete's Dragon or A Clockwork Orange first?
faustus: (cinema)
( Dec. 1st, 2010 06:03 pm)
I haven't done this since October... I fear I've missed some out, but on the whole I've been watching tv - various Doctor Who serials "The Time Warrior", "The Sontaran Experiment", "The Deadly Assassin", "Masque Of Mandragora", "Frontier In Space", "Planet of the Daleks", "Destiny Of The Daleks", "The Hand Of Fear", "The Robots Of Death", "The Three Doctors" and "Planet of Evil".

Lots of gothic horror one there, and surely "The Deadly Assassin" is one of the poorest titles ever... as opposed to "The Friendly Assassin"? And how come the assassinated time lord doesn't regenerate?

I suspect I've seen more than this on tv, but have no notes on it.

CV: The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979) )

CVI: Teeth (Mitchell Lichtenstein, 2008) )

CVII: Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987) )

CVI: La Planète Sauvage ((The Savage Planet) Fantastic Planet, René Laloux, 1973) )

CVIII: Otolith III (Otilith Group, 2009) )

CIX: Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975) )

CX: Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel, 1975) )

CXI: The Quatermass Conclusion (Piers Haggard, 1979) )

CXII: Mad Max (George Miller, 1979) )

CXIII: Time After Time (Nicholas Meyer, 1979) )

CXIV: God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976) )

CXV: Capricorn One (Peter Hyam, 1978) )

CXVI: The Omega Man (Boris Sagar, 1971) )
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 13th, 2010 08:58 am)
Claude Chabrol - of the French New Wave of film, and still active making films until the end.

Chabrol was 80 - Jean Luc Godard is a whippersnapper at 78, but I note Jacques Rivette, Agnes Varda (and Nicolas Roeg) as still working at 82. I can't think of anyone older.

(Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira (b. 1908) - of whom I had never heard, is one answer.
Kaneto Shindo (b. 1912) has a film in postproduction

Kurt Maetzig (b. 1911) hasn't directed since 1976
Mario Monicelli (b. 1915) directed in 2008, 2010 film is "credit only"
Carlo Lizzani (b. 1917) directed in 2008
Ted Post (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 1999
Gabriel Axel (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 2001
Lester James Peries (b. 1918) hasn't directed since 2006
Paul Bogart (b. 1918) has directed for tv since 1988, and seems retired from that)
faustus: (cinema)
( Jul. 27th, 2010 12:47 am)
These are similar titles to what I've just ordered:

Love On A Branch Line

Poirot - Agatha Christie's Poirot... The Hollow

The Wrong Box

The Camomile Lawn

I am boggling.I am also trying to see the connection to what I've ordered.
faustus: (cinema)
( Jul. 18th, 2010 09:53 pm)
Catch up, no doubt missing stuff:

LX: Slutty Summer (Casper Andrea, 2005) - dull gay indie
LXI: Shock to the System (Ron Oliver, 2006) - enjoyable crime TVM
LXII: 3-Day Weekend (Rob Williams, 2008) - away for the weekend in ski lodge comedy
LXIII: Mr Brooks (Bruce A. Evans, 2007) - Kevin Costner is highly recommended movie shock - as is Demi Moore. Go rent. Now.
LXIV: It's Alive (Larry Cohen, 1974) - baby horror
LXV: It Lives Again (Larry Cohen, 1978) - son of baby horror
LXVI: It's A Wonderful Afterlife (Gurinda Chada, 2010) - Ealing style comedy with Asian twist, the funniest bit being a pointless Carrie homage
LXVII: Four Lions (Chris Morris, 2010) - Ealing style comedy with Jihad twist, go see - although London looks rather like Sheffield
LXVIII: Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2004) - the sort of film Tarantino tries but fails to make - barking but brilliant
LXIX: The Kid Stays in the Picture (Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen, 2002) - talking book, with pictures; Robert Evans's autobiography
LXX: Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo (Vincent McEveety, 1977) - VW falls in love and evades evil diamond thieves
LXXI: Herbie Rides Again (Robert Stevenson, 1974) - VW evades evil property development corporation
LXXII: Herbie Goes Bananas (Vincent McEveety, 1980) - VW evades evil archeologists

Totals: 72 (Cinema: 18; DVD: 43; TV: 11)
faustus: (Comedy)
( May. 21st, 2010 11:59 pm)
A day off, although I did have a couple of hours reading Shikasta. Odd, and a little round the houses. I wonder who coined "space fiction" and when. Shall look up. The post brought Aurora: Beyond Equality, and Star-Anchored, Star-Angered arrived on Tuesday. US and Canadian posting is slow, although Aurora was last thing ordered.

I nearly talked myself out of going to see Kick-Ass; good job I didn't, too, as whatever you think about Jonathan Ross (and I think a move out of the mainstream would be to the good), his missus is a sharp talent. I am wearing a broad grin, and caught the bus with a couple of mins to spare, after a long wait to get up there.

Meanwhile, I spoke three little words to someone, and got the response: )

More to come.

And thus home, and the realisation that I can't go to Chichester for a day because I'm seeing a stand up Saturday night. Will have to think about staying over night (and thus it doesn't have to be a Saturday). Shall discuss this with Tilda.
Have finished Wednesday's lecture in note form - need to add photos and pictures.

Might have got this done sooner, but I missed a bus by about 45 seconds and there's a 40 minute gap. Should have walked but was lazy and had laptop.

I'll try and write up Julie and Julia tomorrow, but it's worth seeing for the cat alone - and Los Cronocrimenes, an old-fashioned and eventually efficient time travel movie. Plus the weekend's viewing.

I got a remarkable two hours in the library this afternoon, having hoped for about four and dreamed about six, but starting the lecture took more of this morning than planned.

Last night I dreamt they'd redecorated the Farmer's Market. The colour scheme was that of the Carbuncle, which I'd discussed Saturday night.

Sunday's Mail on Sunday had an article on Steven Gately attacking homophobic innuendo about his death. Suzanne Moore did not mention Jan Moir by name.

Dave and I did the Mail on Sunday cryptic crossword.

The RIBA Stirling Prize holds a prominent place in my annual calendar for personal sentimental reasons I shall not go into, but I taped digitised it as I'd gone out on Saturday night. Annoyingly Broadcasting House went straight into an interview with the winner the next day without giving me a chance to turn off the radio. Bum.

Saturday night I'd gone to see Reginald D. Hunter live, supported by Steve Hughes. It was notable for a walk out by a middle aged couple some twenty minutes into the support act. They shouted they'd come to see Hunter not him. Curiously, they did not return after the interval. Okay, the ticket does not say PLUS SUPPORT - and maybe should - but it's fairly standard practice as most comedians do the psychoanalytic Edinburghian hour, and need a support for the first half/third.

Saturday afternoon I bought the more expensive copy of The Taming of the Shrew. Barnardo's had a copy at £2.75, but I thought I'd check Oxfam first - and they had the same edition, different cover, at £2.99. I figgered I prefer the cause and couldn't be bothered to go back and compare conditions. I must do a list of my Arden wants list so I can fill in the gaps. A rough count says 24 - the gaps include The Tempest (leant to a friend, now dead) and comedies and problem plays. A dozen or so left to go - Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure (odd as I've seen and studied this), Merry Wives of Windsor, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, The Tempest, The Two Noble Kinsmen. A baker's dozen. I must check that the Sonnets are distinct from The Poems.

And so to bed. Dreaming of time travelling.
In retrospect, not a recommended double bill, although both good films in their own way.

I note in passing that I've met Mark Herman, and didn't hold Blame it on the Bell Boy against him - and he reminded me of Brian Stableford.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Mark Herman, 2008) )

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Guillermo del Toro, 2008) )
Totals: 134 (Cinema: 61; DVD: 68; TV: 5
faustus: (culture)
( Jan. 22nd, 2008 11:42 am)
Desk Set )
The Kite Runner )
Eastern Promises )

Totals: 6 [Cinema: 3; DVD: 3; TV: 0]
faustus: (gorilla)
( Jan. 21st, 2008 02:43 am)
I have a very vivid memory of someone saying that she felt sorry for people who go to the cinema on their own. There is something nice about the apres vu, with the right crowd, which makes even seeing some schlock like Atonement not seem like a waste of a couple of hours.

On the other hand, you don't feel it's your responsibility for the film to be good, you can sit where you like, including the front row, and you don't have to explain that, on the whole, you want to read the credits.

And you get to see the bloody film.

I) N wanted to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and we figured there were about three showings across last weekend he could make. But his sister was going into labour and he wanted to be on hand ... to give out hot towels or whatever one does. Strike one.

II) K was also interested in seeing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but the 8.50 Sunday screening was too late and then it turns out he was working on the Thursday which was the fall back position. Strike two.

III) B mentioned wanting to see The Kite Runner on Saturday night and I thought it might be fun to see it with someone else although Plan A was to go Sunday pm, as I needed to be that end of town at 6pm. Whilst I hadn't started the journey back before I found out he couldn't make it, I did time the return from London to make it in good time for the screening. Strike three.

The moral is people can go to the cinema with me, but I won't go to the cinema with them.

And because I needed to prevaricate more over some marking, I didn't see it on Sunday pm. I will now risk a double bill with Eastern Promises Monday night and try not to fall asleep.
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2008 10:45 pm)
III: Andrew Dominik, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

I read the book this is based on a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't massively impressed. This didn't fill me with great optimism for the film - which I was determined to see despite being let down by two people who'd wanted to see it with me. The film is, indeed, long. Stately. Dominik loves his establishing shots of rugged and snowy terrain - his thoughtful men against wheat fields. I was reminded of Tarkovsky, and his Nostalgia, although I wondered whether it had been channelled through Gladiator. Given that Didley Ridley is a producer, that may be likely. Terence Malick is also there - the longeurs of The Thin Red Line.

It is the last days of Jesse James (a Brad Pitt going to seed) and hero-worshipper Robert Ford (Casey Affleck, Ben's brother, and never better) wants to join his gang as he identifies so closely with the bandit. Frank James (Sam Shepherd) is less keen to have him on board, but the Ford brothers take part in the final train robbery. Post-robbery the gang splits, and some members start showing up dead. (As I recall from the book, the rest of the gang are cut out of the profits of the raid, which wasan't clear here.) Ford seems to realsie his hero has clay feet, and decides to ask for an award for the killing of James - and kill him he must, lest Jesse kill him first.

What suddenly struck me is that Jesse is looking for Robert to betray him, and this was before the film links the week preceeding Easter to the death of James on April 3. Jesse/Jesus and Robert/Judas? Well, maybe don't push the parallels too far; here Judas wanders the land almost disconsolatedly, repeforming his murder rather than hanging himself, but I think we're in the same branch of storyland. The film (and book) is about myth-making - there were already dime novels about James in his life time, already folk songs, and Ford was a man for whom fandom was more than a goddamn hobby. The book is even more clinical than the film in its dissections of fame - there was some business about gravestones which was left out which was a shame - but we see the increasing polished image of James as technology (bicycles, trains, photography) develops.

But for me the book failed for lacked of action - there is just the one raid - and yet curious its internality, its waiting, worked better on film. There was a sense of a menace about to explode (like the World War Two action in The Thin Red Line. Dominik hasn't directed since Chopper - another study of an unlikely and criminal celebrity - but he's coaxed some great low key performances out of his cast, few of who I could put names to despite knowing them from the cast list - and a number of whom, inclduign Affleck, have worked with Gus Van Sant in contemporary versions of the social class depicted here.

I still figure the film could have shaved half an hour off - or needed to built up the dime novel reputation at the start to balance it out - but definitely, after much struggle to see, the new film of the year.

Trailers include Sweeney Todd (ooh Alan Rickman's in it - and they appear to be pretending it isn't a musical) and Into the Wild, as well as Eastern Promises and The Kite Runner. I hope to catch all these.

Totals: 3 [Cinema: 1; DVD: 2; TV: 0]
faustus: (culture)
( Jan. 8th, 2008 11:06 pm)
Both courtesy of the Sofa Cinema:

I Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Intacto (2001)

Ah, this is what he did before 28 Weeks Later. I wasn't really in the mood for subtitles - at risk of dozing off - so this was probably more enigmatic than intended: a thriller about luck as a quality that can be abosrbed and stolen or given. A thief and air crash survivor is sought for his undoubted good fortune in a act of revenge aimed at a concentration camp survivor who runs a casino (Max Von Sydow). Best film I've seen all year...

II Susannah Grant, Catch and Release (2007)

Yes, this made the list because I like Kevin Smith. I wonder how many people sniggered when they saw him in hockey shirts bearing the number 37? Not my parents, and I thought it politic to explain.

This is a touching romantic comedy: Jennifer Garner's fiance has died, and Kevin Smith, Sam Kaeger and boyfriend's best friend Timothy Olyphant help her come to terms with her loss. In particular she is devastated to discover that her fiance has been paying maintenance money to Juliette Lewis, who has a small child in tow. It's clearly a chick flcik, and Smith rather steals his scenes - I wonder if he was allowed to improvise? - although he remains a tad hit and miss as an actor.

Intacto remains film of the year...


I intend to keep count, and maybe to separate out DVDs, Tv movies and cinema visits. However, alongside the Hitchcock boxsets I have 100 Laurel and Hardy films, most of which are shorts. I plan to watch these in chronological order - and ignore the colorized version. Since this means watching the DVDs in the order 12, 21, 7, 8, 8, 10, 12, 12, 12, 15, 16, 16 [etc] this will involve creating counting (and giving up). Next film will likely be either Champagne or Desk Set.

I have a catch up post of films watched in 2007 and not written about yet.

Totals: 2 [Cinema: 0; DVD: 2; TV: 0]
faustus: (auton)
( Dec. 27th, 2007 12:30 pm)
"I never get enough sleep. I stay up late at night, cause I'm Night Guy. Night Guy wants to stay up late. 'What about getting up after five hours sleep?', oh that's Morning Guy's problem. That's not my problem, I'm Night Guy. I stay up as late as I want. So you get up in the morning, your alarm, you're exhausted, groggy, oooh you hate that Night Guy! See, Night Guy always screws Morning Guy. There's nothing Morning Guy can do. The only thing Morning Guy can do is try and oversleep often enough so that Day Guy looes his job and Night Guy has no money to go out anymore."

So the solution to fear of oversleeping? Fail to sleep. Or at least sleep very little. I think there was some sleep before 4.30am, but little. At 7.30 it becomes easier. Once the alarms start.

I like the alarms on my new phone. If you don't turn it off properly, it gives you a 9 minute snooze, which works well with five alarms set.

The nurse had fun - at least three attempts to snag a vein. Remind me never to start mainlining heroin. Ow ow ow. Perhaps I don't have enough veins - with the proper amount of blood. Stands to reason that it looks like I've got high blood pressure - it has to go somewhere. Apparently I should have had some water before I left home. Don't eat but drink. Okay, brief me guys.

Meanwhile, yes, let's have that Laurel & Hardy boxset - and place your bets that I spend as much on tracking down the omitted films (Fra Viavolo, Bonnie Scotland, Flying Deuces, Babes in Toyland and I assume Atoll K, The Bullfighters, Nothing But Trouble, The Big Noise, The Dancing Masters, Jitterbugs, Air Raid Wardens, A-Haunting We Will Go and Great Guns - the post Hal Roach Fox and MGM features).

Whilst musing on classic comedies it strikes me that I should price the Harold Lloyd complete set again, and see what other Keaton is out there (not that I've watched the five DVD set I have). I don't want to start on Chaplin. Yet

Came home with a box of Belgian chocolate biscuits which will be transformed into a Useful Tin For Keeping Things In and watched the finale of Seinfeld. I think I need to watch something different before I do season four of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Maybe some of the inexplicably purchased Hitchcock films.



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