Monday, January 30, 2006

This afternoon I have been immersed up to mon tete dans le cinema Francais classique.
I kicked off with Claude Chabrol's 1991 adaptation of Flaubert's MADAME BOVARY starring Isabelle Huppert. The story certainly seems to have a hold on the imagination of filmmakers with six films and almost as many tv versions.

Isabelle Huppert gives another remarkably unsentimental performance as the infuriating Madame B. Escaping a dwindling existance on her father's village farm through marriage to dull Doctor Charles Bovary, Emma finds life no better as a doctor's wife in a small market town. An unexpected invitation to a local Count's ball gives her a tantalising glimpse of the world of the upper classes and she starts to seek a way out of her marriage, first through a passionate relationship with a local landowner not realising for him it's a mere dalliance then with a young student, all the while running up a large debts with an obsequious dressmaker. Chabrol seems less interested in Emma's reckless plunge into amour fou than in another of his dispassionate views of infidelity among le petite bourgeoisie. What makes the film watchable is Huppert, Sadly the actors in the film seem cowed by her fiercely intellectual performance and overall the film fails to leave one moved by her ultimate foolish act.

Next up Francois Truffaut's 1980 film THE LAST METRO (Le Derniere Metro) starring the great pairing of Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. A success at the time of release, the film went on to win a remarkable 10 Cesar Awards including Best Film, Director, Actor and Actress. It's not hard to see why it was so honoured. It's made with great care and affection with fine, humane performances by all involved.

Set in Occupied Paris during WWII, the film tells the story of Marian Steiner who struggles to run the theatre formally run by her Jewish director husband who is believed to have escaped to South America but is in fact hiding in the theatre's cellars. Casting a new play, Marian and the director (played delightfully by Jean Poiret) give a chance to a young actor (Depardieu) to play opposite her. He too has a secret, helping a friend's resistance activities. Among the extras on the disc, there is an interesting interview with Truffaut where he admits to having doubts about the finished script. He's right too... despite the excellence in the playing and the mise en scene, the script doesn't quite add up and the film left me feeling vaguely disappointed.
This from former Evening Standard fashion correspondant and former Celebrity Fat Club contestant Lowri Turner as printed on the the National Website of Wales (?) in justifying why she would not want gay men as leaders of parties or even, perish the thought, Prime Minister.

"Their lifestyles are too divorced from the norm. They are not better or worse, but they are different.

Gay men face challenges of their own, but they do not face those associated with having children which is the way most of us live. I have gay friends whose biggest headache is whether to have a black sofa or a cream one. If they have a child it is a dog.

My gay friends have not sat in accident and emergency with a small child. They have not had to make the decision over whether to give them MMR. They have not struggled to get their child statemented or gone through the schools' appeals process.

Without these experiences at the sharp end of our public services, they do not know how they function. This makes them completely out of their depth in administering them. In the same way that career politicians, those who have never had a real job but climbed the greasy pole by way of think-tanks and speech writing, are not equipped to make laws for the rest of us, so I think gay men are ill-suited to representing the interests of the population in general. However much I love my gay friends, I don't want them running the country"

It's frightening to think that the ignorant cow was paid for this.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


What with LOST finishing it's first season too
I might as well go back to watching dvds on the damn tv...

Friday, January 27, 2006

So happy family man Mark Oaten indulged in a gay trade threesome with two renters dressed in footie kit doing, the News Of The World said, "a bizarre sex act too revolting to describe" then Simon Hughes finally admits to having helped the gayers out in the past when they were busy!! I dunno... it wouldn't have happened under Jeremy Thorpe.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Forgot to report that Owen and I saw Peter Jackson's remake of KING KONG on Sunday.

There is much to admire... which is kinda all I did. I admired but I didn't get involved.

Don't Take My Coconuts!!

Still getting over the fabulata KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS at Jazz Cafe on Monday with Owen and Dawn.  I had always wanted to go to the venue so this was a good opportunity to kill two tropical birds with one stone. 
I was delighted at how close the audience can get to the low stage so when the musicians were going full heft it was really powerful! The crowd wasn't too bad actually - compared with the trogs one might have got somewhere like Shepherds Bush Empire. 

Dawn and I had seen the Kid a few years back at Kew Gardens - and missed our chance of dancing onstage when we both went for a wee break at the wrong time! - and I remember saying how good it would be to see them in a small club. I'm glad to say they lived up to expectations!

August Darnell really knows how to work the audience and with his band of international musicians rattled through some KC&C classics: ANNIE I'M NOT YOUR DADDY - I'M A WONDERFUL THING, BABY - STOOL PIDGEON (ha cha-cha-chaaaa) - ENDICOTT - DON'T TAKE MY COCONUTS and a whole raft of other fab tunes.

Of course also on hand were the most frightening women in pop The Coconuts - never smiling, dancing up a storm and on hand to shoot Kid withering looks whenever he boasted of his sexual prowess!

Allegedly he came up with the idea after seeing Bob Marley's I-Threes... thank Gawd he never got them wearing floor-lengths and turbans!  I wonder where the classic Coconuts are now, Taryn, Adriana and Cheryl?  Hopefully still making grown men grovel...

Friday, January 20, 2006


By the way I didn't tell you Constant Reader of my new toy... namely an Epson 3490 scanner. 

I had some money given me for Christmas and kinda wanted to get something useful with it. After discovering that practically all the electrical shops in Tottenham Court Road don't stay open past 6:30 - maybe it's an Asian thing - me and Owen schlepped up to Warren Street to find the big PC World opposite Warren Strreet stn. open.  And there it was... right against the back wall saying "buy me"! 

Not a difficult decision as there was a tenner off. Sometimes I shock myself at my practicality.



So, Constant Reader, there I was at 8.59 this morning, happily pressing the refresh button - which will also be my new euphymism for wanking - on the SeeTickets site to book tickets for Stephen Patrick Morrissey at the London Palladium in May. Of course there was tsouris... never let it be said that See always works ok when there is a big on-sale.

I had me a nice pair of stalls seats, T for Tommy 28-29, booked them, pressed the confirm button.... then because the site took so long to go on to the next window the booking timed out. I said the cnut word I can tell ye.

I stayed my hand from fashioning a noose out of the Thai sarong which was draped over my sobbing shoulders and again pressed 2 for the stalls. Hey poncho... J for John 40 - 41! Centre of the OP block 10 rows back. Cor. I might be in with a shout of catching his sweat-soaked shirt when he hurls it into the audience at the end.

I am as usual all of a moistness at the thought of seeing my SPM - and at the home of family entertainment too! I'm sure the ghosts of Judy Garland, Dorothy Squires and Johnnie Ray will watch over him...

Who Got Her Ready?

     Well, I guess it's a 'look'.

Diana Ross at Richard Pryor's funeral.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

May I just say that I am loving Celebrity Big Brother?

Slowly but surely the fun has been ratcheted up and tonight was pure BB evil. George Galloway and Preston were punished for talking about who they nominated by being made to nominate three housemates to go up for eviction. What they didn't know was it was being shown to the housemates on the plasma screen tv. Traci, Maggot and Rula were nominated. The looks on their faces! It was the best drama evah...

Monday, January 16, 2006


Went with O to see BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN at the weekend. Ang Lee's film has been much discussed, both while in-production and during it's release, and I was really looking forward to it. Sadly I was not as blown away by it as I was expecting to. It would have been good to have had some emphasis in some scenes but they all had the same slow pace with an inevitable slow fade to black at the end. HOWEVER.... I have found the film hovering over me like one of the large black clouds hovering over Brokeback Mountain itself and it's bleak vision of a Love That Dare Not Speak It's Name in Wyoming is difficult to forget.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the two men caught up in a love that they hardly understand themselves give career-best performances. Ledger inhabits the role as if born to it, unable to express the emotion that churns within he speaks as if every word has to be double-checked in case it gives him away. There are also telling performances by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as the men's wives, both growing more disillusioned as the year's go by. Randy Quaid as the rancher who brings the two men together initially and Linda Cadellini as a bar waitress who is also left hurt by falling in love with the Ledger character also shine in their few scenes.

Oh and Anna Farris, so toe-curlingly vapid as the Hollywood actress in LOST IN TRANSLATION, makes an impression here as a chattering airhead wife at a function attended by Gyllenhaal and Hathaway. The photography by Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto is jaw-droppingly sweeping.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I am currently giggling like a crazy person...

...over a Newsnight report about a South Korean stem-cell doctor being investigated for falsefying results.

British Professor Dr. Stephen Minger is talking about Dr. Wang-Woo-Suk who has lost his German funding thanks to Professor Schatten.

Thumbzup to science reporter Susan Watts for doing all this with a straight face.


Went to see *intake of breath* THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE over the weekend with 'imself. He has a shite week at work coming up so 'twas by way of a cheer-up treat.  

When I was a wee 'un TLTWATW was a favourite book until I found out that it was a veiled parable on Christianity. Ever since then I have had an inate distrust of any sort of fantasy film or book... just waiting for the God Factor to kick in and ruin the whole damn thing.  

However I enjoyed the film more than I expected. The film moved along at a good pace which is a surprise in itself with this sort of film. The performances by the young actors playing Lucy and Edmund far outshine the two older ones, the animation of the animals is very good especially the White Witch's feared wolves and Aslan is well strokable.  In case you don't know Aslan is a lion.

And then there is Tilda Swinton as The White Witch.  As an actress there has always been something glacial and cold about her so, as the creator of the never-ending winter that swams Narnia, she is outstanding!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

All day it's been bugging me...

...who Pete Burns reminded me of when he went into the Big Brother house... then it hit me - I give you RuPaul and Janice from The Muppets!

I hasten to add.. the pictures of RuPaul and Janice are of their doll figures. Pete is 100% real.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

H A P P Y * N E W * Y E A R

Well start as you mean to go on... so, Constant Reader, the first posting of 2006 is to tell you I have FINALLY been to the theatre this year: it took me long enuff!
Tonight Owen and I went to see AND THEN THERE WERE NONE at the Gielgud Theatre - and what a fun night it is! I was worried it would be a standard Agatha Christie stage transfer with the attendant whiff of the warhorse but luckily the book had been given a bit of a buff-up by the excellent Kevin Elyot - whose own plays tend to be about the past haunting the present - and it now cracks along at a brisk pace tinged with a mordant wit.

You know the deal... eight guests are tricked into attending a gathering on an island off the south coast by an unknown person claiming to be a friend of a friend only to find no host just two servants hired for the night. After dinner a record is played and a voice informs them they have been gathered together as the ten all share one thing in common.. they were all implicated in the death of someone in the past but have never been actually accused of the crime. Then one by one they start being murdered...

Christie's rattling good yarn is delivered intact with no happy ending as has been the case in film adaptations, surprisingly what it doesn't have is any real sense of suspense... one sits and waits to see which one will be killed, usually offstageBut it makes for a fun night out helped by Elyot's script and some fine performances from Gemma Jones as the rigidly moralistic Miss Brent, David Ross' bluff ex-CID policeman, Graham Crowden's world-weary General and the always dependable John Ramm as Rogers, the butler who after the death of his wife still feels the need to almost apologise for the need to move to one of the guest rooms, the smallest of course. Surprisingly the show has not found an audience and is closing next week after a run of nearly three months.