Friday, 15 February 2008

Just so we're agreed what's good...

(originally posted on myspace here)
My readership, apologies. 

Instead of knuckling down to a post mortem on Jonah as promised, or gloating in print (or whatever medium this is) over Jonathan Ross directing a little of his boundless enthusiasm my way last Saturday (in an interview with Mitchell and Webb about the new TV series - listen to the last fifteen minutes if you must - he lightheatedly bemoaned the non-transfer of a radio sketch I wrote called "Asbo Zapruder". By me. And then he went on about "Padlockigami". Which I wrote. Which was nice. Bracket brackets: for the record I don't see the logistical problem being Rob dressing up like a baby seal so much as James Bachman having to pass himself off as a French heron. Also, once you've got over the initial visual gag the sketch is basically just five minutes of watching a man text...) yeah so instead of gloating over that, which you'll see I haven't, I have it appears posted the following comment on David Cairns' fine movie blog "Shadowplay" - - still sat here in my coat (I meant to get some eggs). When not bigging up Fritz Lang's tedious, horribly acted Die Nibelungen Mr. Cairn has been asking for people's personal moments of cinematic "euphoria" and then charmingly and intelligently broadcasting them. Mine's not a particularly remarkable choice but I've made it now and it's all I have to show. So here. Enjoy. (If you have broadband obviously. If you don't, here's an old flyer:)


"1. the opening credits of Do The Right Thing:

2. The escape by boat in "Night of the Hunter".

To my mind another pretty-much-perfect movie. Suddenly, finally, here with the image of Mitchum stuck in the water and the kids heading off into the top right hand corner we're out of the spiky German shadows and into a children's story. Everything is made to look as simultaneously fake and as life-like as possible. I can't explain. I first saw this late at night when I was about seventeen, and it was as the boat set off that I went from loving this picture to being in love. I can think of many examples on film of a violent mood-jolt from peace to horror, but no other example of this, it's opposite, a scream that lingers as a lullaby. It's unspoofable, which is pretty much the same thing as sacred.

Both these clips are completely unconcerned with any tradition that I'm aware of. They just go: Hey we can do whatever we like! And then they do it... To which should be added, now I think of it: 3. The pan over to Christina Ricci's tap-dance in Buffalo 66."

Of which I could find no clip. So here instead is Danny Kaye declaiming "Giacomo hides not behind drapes!" Happy Valentine's, you all.

Bissous x

Friday, 8 February 2008


(originally posted on myspace here)

No time as yet just now to post the Post Mortem on the run of Jonah. No time either to document my very confused emotional reaction to the airing of the Primo Levi sketch in "Laurence and Gus: Hearts and Minds"

I don't know if I still find it funny. The performances are brilliant. The sound effects are brilliant. But they've cut bits. Quite a few. And does the absence of a frictionless vibrating stepladder, gravity-defying nylon scarf and gas-powered aromatherapy helmet make the sketch more merciful, or simply more glib? I don't know. Always forget a sketch is going to be edited. Am I evil?) No time either just now to comment on the sad passing of Jeremy Beadle (owner of the largest private library in Europe according to Ken Campbell - according to Ned - "Next time you meet 'im, get 'im to take you into his cellar and show you his shelves on hen-faced women!"... now bedad and alas I never shall) nor the death of mitten-spurning Maila Nurmi, aka "Vampira"... "Plan 9" cameo, obviously, James Dean's S & M stub-buddy, and seemingly sole keeper of the flame of geek-lust lighting the end of the fifties' tunnel. Howammamma!


No, the death of strangers is an easy topic. My own life more fiddly. Suffice it to say that a huge, uncomplicated, marvelous fact is currently taking precedence, and I'm going to let it - I asked for it - and return to you with the more traditional arty humhahs once everything's settled down. So, Jonah thoughts next for everyone reading this. And thanks to all who came to the show. Particularly those who hated it. You know who you are. And I love you...


and I shall do better...