Thursday, 31 January 2013
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Friday, 18 January 2013
this is from here - http://500letters.org/ - a rather nifty art biography simulator... sorry for silence this week - first full week back at work, unduly tired etc etc etc. hopefully back to normal soon.... anyway...
Chris Browning (°1976, Northampton, United Kingdom) makes drawings, paintings, photos and media art. By investigating language on a meta-level, Browning tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.
His drawings are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.
His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
His works focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. Chris Browning currently lives and works in Todmorden.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
i'm currently going through hordes of old british boys' magazines, either online or in my own small collection, to prepare myself for the first number of "the bombardier's eyes". anyway, while doing this, i stumble across this wonderfully bullish editor's letter from "the boys' friend". note you have to buy "the magnet" to find out why he wasn't at the front in 1915, which i think is a lovely extra touch...
Friday, 11 January 2013
Thursday, 10 January 2013
hello all - sorry this blog has been thin on the ground over the yuletide period, save for me boring you with my film taste (or lack thereof). am back at work now so once i've adjusted to the customary hours of the working week, something akin to normal service will be resumed. hope you've all missed me!
Thursday, 3 January 2013
Rebecca (1940) 3.5/5
Rebecca (1997) 2.5/5
Red Shift 2.5/5 - a slightly clunky but immensely worthwhile attempt to make a film of alan garner's masterpiece
River's Edge 3/5
Road House 1/5
Satanic Rites of Dracula 3/5
Seance on a Wet Afternoon 4/5
Short Night of Glass Dolls 3.5/5
Silence of the Lambs 4/5
Silent Running 3.5/5
Silver Bullet 2.5/5
Soft For Digging 4/5 - not my actual film of the year, but close to being the one which had the greatest effect on me. something about the simplicity and the ideas rattling round in it shows you can still make a film using low budget equipment that can be startling and brave and new. it was made in a similar place at a similar time to "the blair witch project", a film i very much like, but it's far better than that film because at every turn it goes into far weirder, wilder corners...
Solaris (US) 3/5
Something Wild 4/5
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! 2/5 - am i mad? no! i actually didn't hate this! sarah wanted to watch this for nostalgic purposes and i almost really enjoyed it. why? because estelle getty is a good comedienne AND because sylvester stallone probably has his first and only age appropriate girlfriend in film history. nowhere near as bad as the reputation will tell you. sure as hell better than most of arnie's attempts to do comedy
Stormy Weather 4/5
Strange Behaviour 3.5/5 - not a perfect film in any way, but a really interesting take on the slasher film - also because although set in america it was filmed in new zealand so has the same weird disconnect with regards to locations as "ghost story" has (the stephen weeks version). the people behind this also made the much beloved (by me) "strange invaders" which is a similar attempt to make a sort of science fiction film that again pushes all the genre buttons but never comfortably fits into any particular genre. it also has this amazing dance sequence in it:
Straw Dogs 3.5/5
Teenage Strangler (MST3K) 3/5
Teenagers From Outer Space (MST3K) 3/5
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension 3.5/5
The Adventures of Jane 2/5
The Amazing Mr Blunden 3/5
The Artist 3.5/5
The Awakening (2011) 2.5/5
The Beast in the Cellar 2/5
The Beast Must Die 3.5/5
The Black Cat (1934) 5/5
The Body Stealers 2.5/5
The Bridge 2.5/5
The Comeback 2.5/5
The Crazies (1973) 4/5 - not a great film as such, but somehow after you watch the remake first it becomes something close to a masterpiece. romero is obviously a huge talent and whoever cooked up the remake below are beyond bog standard journeymen...
The Crazies (2010) 1/5 - a terrible, terrible remake of a good film. everything good about the original is SORELY lacking from this version. still, timothy olyphant does his best...
The Darjeeling Ltd. 3/5
The Devil Rides Out 3.5/5
The Eclipse (2009) 3.5/5 - an oddly low key, quiet ghost story which i found profoundly moving. not much happens but i completely bought into it due to the performances, the acting and the writing. a lovely film
The Empire Strikes Back 3/5
The End of the Affair 3.5/5
The Fan (1949) 3/5 - a really dull version of "lady windemere's fan" by otto preminger which really, really should be better than it is. still, it gets three points because george sanders is great in it
The Fantastic Mr Fox 3/5
The First Days 3/5
The First Men on the Moon 3/5
The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake 2.5/5
The French Connection 4/5
The French Connection II 3.5/5
The Getaway 3/5
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 4/5
The Goonies 3/5
The Great McGinty 3/5
The Great Moment 3.5/5
The Guard 4/5 - everything you heard about how good this film was? completely true. an utter joy
The Haunting of Julia 3/5 - at every turn you know exactly where this film is going. recently bereaved mother can't cope after sudden death of daughter, leaves husband (who was an asshat anyway) and moves to london where she falls under the spell of someone - or *something* - in the house that she's renting. yes, it's basically a riff on "don't look now", but even though you know where it's all going (and if you have any doubt, then the seance scene with lou beale from "eastenders" as the medium will entirely confirm your suspicions) it's still a lovely route because it's so well made and acted
The Hearse 2/5
The House of Clocks 2/5
The House of Mirth 3.5/5
The Hunger Games 2.5/5
The Innkeepers 3.5/5 - not a great film as such, and not really even a great horror film... but... no other horror film has quite made me feel so engaged with the protagonists as this has done. the first half of the film is so wonderful, that even if the actual horror elements aren't quite so engaging as the rest of it you really, deeply care about what happens to these people. and that's a special gift. ti west is a real talent to watch
The Keep 3/5
The Killing 3.5/5
The Lady Eve 3.5/5
The Ladykillers 5/5
The Last Detail 4.5/5
The Living Dead Girl 2.5/5
The Magnificent Seven 3/5
The Muppets 3.5/5 - enjoy this mark, henson people, because i sure as hell won't be watching the sequel if gervais is in it
The Ninth Gate 3/5 - a completely silly, risible bit of polanski schlock with johnny depp in it which, for reasons i'm not entirely sure about, i loved far too much
The Oblong Box 3/5
The Offence 4.5/5
The Parallax View 4/5
The Pyx 4/5 - a really haunting film this, and one of the few successful attempts to make a non european giallo. karen black's songs are almost worth the entry alone, but the film has a really bleak, devastated and sad air to it which is unlike anything else i've seen this year. beautiful
The Quiller Memorandum 3/5
The Saint in London 3/5
The Saint in Palm Springs 2.5/5
The Saint's Double Trouble 3/5
The Shout 3/5 - if you don't already know the wonders of this then you need to track it down: john hurt is an experimental musician, alan bates can kill people with his shouts, jim broadbent rolls around in the mud in his pants... marvellous
The Silence 3.5/5
The Silent Scream 2.5/5
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold 3/5
The Sweet Smell of Success 5/5 - how have i missed this wonderful, wonderful film for so many years? go knows. i'm a complete idiot because it really *IS* as great as reputation tells you it is
The Thin Blue Line 4/5
The Thing 4.5/5
The Thing (2011) 3/5 - this should have been awful. and it's not great but neither is it entirely woeful either... so, er, well done on that!!
The Visitor 2/5 - completely bonkers lunatic attempt to fuse sci fi with "the omen"... god knows exactly what anyone who made this was thinking of, but it's not quite like any other film you'll bloody see... ridiculous. but also fun
The Way to the Stars 3/5
The Wild Bunch 3.5/5
The Woman in Black (1989) 5/5 - if you've not seen this before and enjoyed the remake, then just do yourself a favour and watch it now. nigel kneale shows you how to make pretty much the perfect adaptation of anything ever. he takes a distinctly average book and weaves complete magic around it. as close to perfection as you can get...
They Live! 3.5/5
This is England 4.5/5
This Night I'll Possess Your Soul 3.5/5
Time Chasers (MST3K) 3.5/5
To Die For 3.5/5
Tourist Trap 3.5/5
Troll Hunter 3.5/5
Twins of Evil 3/5
Two Lane Blacktop 2.5/5 - a cult film, yes, but also kind of boring too...
Valley of Eagles 2.5/5
Vampire Circus 3/5
Vanishing Point 3/5
Vicious Lips 3/5 - a ludicrous, crazy, illogical, bonkers sci fi musical... but also hugely enjoyable, like how i hoped "buckaroo banzai" would be and very nearly was...
Virgin Witch 2/5
Voodoo Island 2/5
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie 2.5/5
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story 3.5/5
Werewolf Shadow 2.5/5
Whispering Corridors 3.5/5
White Dog 4/5
Who Done It? 4/5
Who Killed Teddy Bear? 3/5
Wonderwall 2/5 - somewhere between this and the short film "les bicylettes de belsize" you can basically isolate all the rubbish bits of the sixties in one fell swoop. and yet... and yet... it's somehow too ridiculously entertaining for words to be fully annoyed by it. but only just...
Z Channel - A Magnificent Obsession 4/5
Zombie Flesh Eaters 2/5
Zombie Nightmare (MST3K) 3/5
Apologies for prolonged radio silence - I've been in a lovely job with a horrible four hours of travelling every day so haven't...
So I wanted to write a few words about Thought Bubble. The weekend has just finished, the stock has returned home and needs putti...
A few days ago, my good friend Nick of the blog A Pile of Leaves mentioned picking up a book of ghost stories because of the cover. Befo...
New Issues of the Common Swings: available now, in the side bar etc