Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Call us immature...

...But today we are being amused by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons – otherwise known as BAAPS.

Friday, 18 September 2009

"I know it's dangerous - but it sure beats Rikers..."

This year we've already said goodbye to Lux Interior - wild-eyed frontman with The Cramps - at the age of 62.

Today I've been saddened to learn that Jim Carroll has died. He was just 60.

I must confess I haven't yet read The Basketball Diaries (famously filmed with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Carroll). But Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, detailing JC’s early ‘70s adventures with the Warhol scene, is a brilliantly evocative memoir of that place and time. A pre-fame Patti Smith used to bring Carroll donuts and chocolate milkshakes every morning for breakfast. And there’s an hilarious anecdote about Allen Ginsberg and a vibrator.

Although primarily a poet and author, Jim Carroll was also a musician. Fittingly his song ‘People Who Died’ is the most life-affirming song about death ever – and one of my favourite New York punk rock anthems. There’s a great version here:

"I salute you, my brother..."

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Geek Of The Week

Hard on the heels of cinema's current alpha nerd Michael Cera is the distinctly sensitive and unthreatening Jesse Eisenberg, who stars in two major films this month.

The first is Adventureland:

The second is, er, Zombieland.

Now that's what we call timing.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mister River Lover

Described by its distributors as ‘Herzogian’ (Herzog-esque?), Amazon-swimming documentary Big River Man is on limited release in UK cinemas now.

Hmm. Judging by these pics, maybe it should be called ‘Weird Nipple Man’

Or perhaps ‘Small Speedos Man’

More from:

Silly-Named Actress of the Month™

Step aside Tallulah Sheffield (our previous SNAOTM™), and let’s hear it for PORTIA DOUBLEDAY! She stars alongside Michael “same in every single film” Cera in the forthcoming comedy Youth in Revolt. The trailer makes it look quite funny...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Trick Baby

Possibly the most heart-warming film of the year, Andrzej Jakimowski’s ‘Sztuczki’ (‘Tricks’) gets a UK release today, but only in London’s Apollo Piccadilly Circus and Curzon Soho. We earnestly implore you to go see this Polish feel-good gem, and not just because the poster image reminds us of ‘80s Prefab Sprout album cover art...

More info from here:

Masters Of The Geekiverse

Our favourite cult comic writer Rob Williams (of Cla$$war fame) has a new series starting in 2000AD.

It’s apparently called The Grevious Journey of Ichabod Azrael (And the Dead Left in His Wake), and Williams describes it as “a supernatural western with alt-country leanings”.

The artwork we’ve seen makes it look like a mixture of Deadwood, Cold Mountain and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (with maybe a smattering of High Plains Drifter). Consider us intrigued.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Tonight I’m Going To Party Like It’s 1939

The world changed forever seventy years ago today.

Without tragedies and disasters we learn nothing, and 1939-1945 is arguably the greatest man-made disaster to ever afflict civilization. Not that there weren’t plenty of horrors leading up to ’39, in theatres such as Abyssinia, Spain and Nanking.

In his pithy new book ‘1939 – Countdown To War’ Richard Overy examines the factors that led to Britain declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939 (he views France’s subsequent declaration as something of an anticlimax).

What is surprising is how well Neville Chamberlain comes out of it. History hasn’t often been so kind to the ‘arch-appeaser’ Conservative Prime Minister, who was 70 at the time, and due to die of cancer the following year.

What seems to emerge from Overy’s account, however, is that Chamberlain had no illusions about what he was facing, and merely did his best to avert war for as long as possible. If he had an Achilles heel, it was simply the fact that he wasn’t a warmongering psychopath like Hitler and Stalin.

The real villain of the piece is Ribbentrop, the Nazi Foreign Minister - a hateful bully whose despicable machinations were calculated to curry favour with his beloved Fuhrer. It’s some small consolation to know that this brute was hanged six years later, after ending up on the losing side of the war he did more than anyone else to start.

The other surprise is just how weak were the ties between Britain and Poland. Created in 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles, the modern Polish state had a reputation for belligerence. It had scored a major victory in seeing off a Red Army invasion in 1920, and had participated in the 1938 carve-up of Czechoslovakia. To some, Poland’s natural place was as part of a pro-Nazi, anti-Soviet bloc in Europe.

And yet it was Chamberlain’s decision to honour Britain’s treaty with Poland that led to his declaring war on Germany - although Britain and France gave virtually no aid to Poland, and never intended to join the fray immediately. Poland’s determination to fight lent some backbone to the Allied powers, but at an almost unimaginably devastating cost to Poland itself.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Top Of The Goths

What is going on with our favourite gothic New Orleans-based erotic vampire-fiction writers with Louise Brooks hairdos?

Anne Rice has turned her back on the undead chronicles and now only writes stuff that praises Jesus.

Her most notorious disciple, Poppy Z Brite, now only writes fiction set in the New Orleans restaurant industry.

Incidentally, Anne’s real name is Howard. Poppy’s real name is Melissa.

Poppy considers herself a ‘non-operative transsexual’.

The Poster Of Dorian Gray

Sorry - couldn't resist that oh-so-clever pun.

But don't worry, I'm not going to go into a laborious spiel about actor Ben Barnes keeping the poster in his attic and remaining forever young while the poster image ages and withers... Oh shoot, I just did.

Seriously, though, has there ever been a decent film adaptation of an Oscar Wilde story? (Apart from the heart-breaking animated version of The Happy Prince)

To be fair, this crack at Dorian Gray feels like it might actually be pretty good. Ben Barnes is a solid choice (although we'd have preferred Dan Stevens from The Line Of Beauty), there's a strong supporting cast, and the film seems to be playing up the tale's vampiric undertones to attract the Twilight fans.

Our dream Wilde adaptation: Asia Argento as Salome.

"There IS no owl!"

Oh dear. I think they were trying to sell The Fourth Kind as the new Blair Witch Project.

Looks like they got the new Wicker Man instead. The Nicolas Cage version, that is.

No wonder Milla Jovovich is looking panic-stricken...