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Bryan Forbes: An interview with the quiet man of British Cinema, 1971
01.30.2013
07:36 pm

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Movies

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It seems that if you are talented and you live long enough, then you will eventually win some recognition for your art. Last year, actor, writer and director Bryan Forbes won a British Film Institute Fellowship. It was a hell of a time of a time coming for a man whose greatest work was made during the 1950s, 1960s and1970s, and who hasn’t made a movie in over 20-years. Yet, the award was more than deserved, and only a small token of praise directors as diverse as Forbes merits. I hope this award (which undoubtedly should also have been given to Ken Russell during his lifetime) will bring a reassessment to one of British cinema’s quite mavericks.

Bryan Forbes is responsible for such classic movies as Whistle Down the Wind, The L-Shaped Room, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, The Whisperers, and The Stepford Wives. If that wasn’t enough, Forbes has also directed Of Human Bondage, George Segal in King Rat, Michael Caine in Deadfall, Malcolm McDowell and Nanette Newman in Raging Moon and the fairy tale romance, The Slipper and the Rose.

Forbes started off as an actor, and was hailed as one of best Shakespearean actors of his generation. On film he is a recognizable face in many of those British “Bulldog Breed” flicks of the 1950s. From here, he progressed as a writer, with over 30 film screenwriting credits to his name—from The Cockleshell Heroes, to the brilliance of The League of Gentlemen, to Robert Downey’s Chaplin.

In the late 1960s, Forbes took up a position as Head of Associated British (EMI) Films, where he was involved in financing such films as The Railway Children and The Tales of Beatrix Potter. However, he resigned his position in 1971, frustrated by his inability to develop and produce films that he believed in. Forbes view on film is summed-up by an answer from this interview, made after his resignation in April 1971.

‘Life is pretty grotty, and anything that brings back a little Romanticism to life is not to be despised.’

There is a truth here, and while we hanker after films that push boundaries and shock our imaginations into overdrive, there is much to be said for those who can deliver strong, emotionally rewarding entertainments—like Bryan Forbes.
 

 
With thanks to NellyM
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan’s Super Bowl half time show, details leaked
01.30.2013
06:59 pm

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I don’t want to spoil any of the fun here, so I’ll just say “Tim Heidecker writes”:

Here it is. My 4th Annual Super Bowl Half Time Show song leak. This one is from none other than Bob Dylan, who is replacing Beyonce who dropped out after her inauguration lip synching scandal.

“Running Out The Clock” is a previously unreleased song from Dylan’s 1983 “Infidels” album. I guess it makes sense… the football metaphors and references.

I hope you enjoy and know I’ll be back next year with another leak.

 

 
If you’re going to fake a Dylan song, to model yours after an Infidels outtake is so ridiculous and obtuse that I just can’t stop laughing about it.

And speaking of Tim Heidecker, have you seen the Tim and Eric film, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie? I watched it recently and it’s fucking hilarious. I’d even go so far to say it’s the Penn & Teller Get Killed of our time (and I mean that in a good way, I LOVED Penn & Teller Get Killed, honest I did!). It’s on Netflix, so get stoned and watch it pronto. Forget about those snooty Sundance audiences and the haters on Rotten Tomatoes, what do they know?

Heidecker also has a movie review podcast called “On Cinema, At The Cinema” where he muses about new films with friends. In a recent episode, with guest host Gregg Turkington (you may know him as Neil Hamburger), the two discussed Zero Dark Thirty, a “documentary” about the death of “one of the original bad guys in cinema and in… the world,” Osama bin Laden. Genius funny stuff.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Alien Or Satan’: A short film by artist Prins Preben
01.30.2013
06:29 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Belief
Hysteria
Occult
Unorthodox

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Alien Or Satan is a short film by Norwegian artist Prins Preben. Part joke, part examination of what is interpreted to be Occult / Extra-terrestrial. As Prins tells Dangerous Minds:

The film examines a lost human facing what may be described as the hidden or the unknown. It has a kind of perspective of what emotions we see as “occult/hidden”. It’s like two directions…Hell the core of flames in the middle of the Earth. And Space a more cold and endless place….both a “kind of hidden.” And of course, Lucifer is both celestial and alien.

Prins Preben on Facebook.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk LIVE (no, really, live, not just remixed) in the 70s and 80s
01.30.2013
05:01 pm

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Music

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Next week Kraftwerk will be staging a series of appearances at the Tate Modern in London, a repeat of their MOMA residency in New York last year that saw the band do many of their albums all the way through. Kraftwerk will play eight of their classics over the course of nine days.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these performances will be cool events, but let’s face it, Kraftwerk don’t really play much of anything live anymore and there’s only one of the two main guys left. The visuals are incredible and sure, die roboter, are fun, but without all the flash it would just be four boring German blokes—three of them who could literally be anybody, can you name ‘em?—onstage with Sony laptops.

Do they really play anything live other than “Pocket Calculator”? It didn’t seem that way to me when I saw them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan in 1998. It was just a “remix” show.

Nevertheless, if you listen to tapes of older Kraftwerk shows, from, say, 1975 when they started trekking around promoting Autobahn to the Computer World tour of 1981, way back when they were more or less an analog band, it’s very interesting indeed. Back then, they had to get it right onstage and the drumming was done on those electronic pad thingees. What makes the live Kraftwerk bootlegs of that period so interesting is hearing them make mistakes.

It’s only because of the mistakes that you can tell what great musicians they really were!

Kraftwerk in Budapest, August 14,1981 (an audience recording, but a really good one):
 

 
Kraftwerk in Amsterdam at The Paradiso, 1976:
 

 
Kraftwerk live at the Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, on July 9, 1981 (this one is great!)
 

 
Kraftwerk live on French TV, October 1978:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Car washes of the future past
01.30.2013
04:45 pm

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Design
History

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George Tate’s photographs of 1960s car washes capture a point in American history that was so bright you had to wear shades. Gleaming spires reach for the sky and its infinite possibilities. Motorcars bask in the sun like retired spaceships and dream of accelerating into the stratosphere.

This is the happy place where once families watched The Jetsons in small suburban ranch homes warmed by the glow of the cathode ray and steaming TV dinners. Everything seemed lit from within…like an A-bomb.
 
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Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
For the loner rebel: Pee-wee Herman-inspired cycling skinsuit
01.30.2013
04:22 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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I’ve been under-the-weather for the past week (not checking out the Internet much), so this Pee-wee Herman-inspired cycling skinsuit by Podium is new to me. I know it’s been posted on several websites, blogs and Twitter, but I wanted to share it here anyways for its sheer brilliance and for those of you, like me, who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re a comedic lover, this Skinsuit is the right fit for you! Here at Podium we not only aim to meet the need of professional cyclists, but to give them a special edge, like distracting the guy behind you, and making the spectators love you. This skinsuit is made of the best quality polyester fabric mix, allowing for durability, flexibility and style…

 
You can order it at Podium for $149.99.
 
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Via Laughing Squid

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
David Bowie: Extracts from his first TV drama ‘The Looking Glass Murders’
01.30.2013
03:11 pm

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Dance
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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When his debut album flopped in 1967, David Bowie thought his pop career was over. The years of practice and ambition had sadly delivered nothing but the indifference of the public (who preferred The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s) and the bewilderment of critics, who could not quite understand this young singer (who sounded like Anthony Newley) and delivered such diverse and original songs. Bowie had discovered the width of his talent, but not its depth. Understandably, disheartened, Bowie considered packing it all in and becoming a Buddhist monk at the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, but fate played a hand and he soon found himself under the influence of a charismatic fan - the brilliant dancer, performer and choreographer Lindsay Kemp.

Kemp loved Bowie’s first album, and used one its tracks “When I Live My Dream” for one of his shows. Kemp offered Bowie a new career - as dancer, actor and member of Kemp’s dance troupe

On 28 December 1967, David Bowie made his theatrical debut in Kemp’s mime Pierrot in Turquoise or, The Looking Glass Murders at the New Theater in Oxford. Bowie wrote and performed the music, and co-starred as Cloud, alongside Kemp’s Pierrot, Jack Birkett’s Harlequin, and Annie Stainer’s Columbine.

The production was still in rehearsal when it played for its one night at the New Theater, which perhaps explains why the Oxford Mail described the show as “something of a pot-pourri,” though it highlighted Bowie’s contribution for praise:

David Bowie has composed some haunting songs, which he sings in a superb, dreamlike voice. But beguilingly as he plays Cloud, and vigorously as Jack Birkett mimes Harlequin, the pantomime isn’t a completely satisfactory framework for some of the items from his repertoire that Mr Kemp, who plays Pierrot, chooses to present….

...No doubt these are shortcomings Mr. Kemp will attend to before he presents Pierrot in Turquoise at the Prague Festival at the invitation of Marceau and Fialka next summer. No mean honour for an English mime troupe.

The mime told the story of Pierrot and his attempts to win the love of his life, Columbine. Of course things are never simple, and Columbine falls for Harlequin, and is then killed by Pierrot.

After a few tweaks, Pierrot in Turquoise or The Looking Glass Murders opened at the Rosehill Theater, Whitehaven, before its proper run at the Mercury Theater, and Intimate Theater, both London, in March 1968….
 

 
More on Bowie & Kemp in ‘The Looking Glass Murders’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Life And Times Of Steve Marriott’: Documentary on Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman
01.30.2013
03:06 pm

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Music

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It’s Steve Marriott’s birthday so what better time to share this documentary on the frontman of two legendary rock bands, Small Faces and Humble Pie.

The Life And Times Of Steve Marriot contains interviews with Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley, and Greg Ridley, the Black Crowes’s Chris Robinson, Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, John Waite, Bad Company/Free drummer Simon Kirke, Quiet Riot’s Kevin Dubrow, Ricky Byrd and Marriott historian John Heller among others.

Songs included: “Tin Soldier,” “Itchycoo Park,” “Lazy Sunday,” “Paradise Lost,” “Take Me Back,” “Natural Born Woman,” “Alabama 69,” “Sad Bag of Shaky Jake,” “Stone Cold Fever,” “For Your Love,” “4-Day Creep,” “30-Days In The Hole,” “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Hot n’ Nasty,” “Black Coffee,” “Bigger They Come,” and “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Not a bad doc. A little too much Frampton and I wish there was some in-depth interviews with Marriott. But well-worth watching. This was released on DVD years ago and has long been out-of-print.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Pizza-flavored beer: Are you not at least intrigued?
01.30.2013
02:18 pm

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Food

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It’s exactly what it sounds like!

My fascination with this-flavored-thats is well-documented, but what makes pizza-flavored beer so awesome is the nature of its novelty. It’s not the result of cultural difference, like cola chicken potato chips in China. And its not self-aware irony, like kitschy, retro bacon-flavored toothepaste.

I don’t even get the impression its reveling in absurdism, à la bacon-flavored sexual lubricant. No, these are just two people who simply thought pizza-flavored beer sounded delicious.

The goal was to create a beer that would pair with a wide variety of foods, especially our favorite, Pizza! In the end, we were pleasantly surprised that this “mess” turned out to be the best thing since the guy with chocolate that bumped into Ralph Mouth & mixed up the chocolate with the peanut butter! Indeed, the world will love “Pizza Beer”.

Facing a difficult task, we immediately did an internet search to gather information on using the “oddball” ingredients in creating a beer. Certainly someone had published such a recipe! We found beer made with garlic, hemp seed, coriander, hot peppers, maple syrup, honey, citrus peels & more. But what about tomatoes & the possibility of combining all of our favorite flavors into this beer? We then grabbed our favorite book written by a fellow Chicago Beer Society member, Randy Mosher. He wrote a book called “Radical Brewing” which has been read cover to cover a few times. Randy mentions a lot weirder stuff than pizza spices. He talks about mushrooms, hot rocks & stuff that is really radical! In a quandary, we called one of our best friends & creative brewmasters in the world, Kris Kalav. We told him of our quest to make this really cool brew & wanted to know if he had any experience brewing with tomatoes. After he stopped laughing, we bounced a few ideas around and Voila! “Pizza Beer” was on it’s way to fame. To our knowledge, our home brewed concoction is the “World’s First Culinary Beer.”

Now, being homebrewers, we enjoy the freedom to create whatever we want. We usually refer to a book by Ray Daniels called “Designing Great Beers” when creating a style of beer that we intend on submitting to a contest. We usually concoct the recipe by memory & measure ingredients the way your grandmother did, pinch of this, smidgen of that. Something happened that day. We figured if this really turned out like we want it to, we better be able to duplicate it! Lo and behold, the amazing “Pizza Beer” was born.

Look at that website! Look at the comic sans! And the animation! And the graphics! You wouldn’t troll me with false earnestness, would you, Tom and Athena Seefurth, of Campton Township, Illinois?

Would I still want to drink this if it was sold in some bar in Williamsburg? Of course! I can easily disregard atmospheric pretension in favor of carnal pleasures. But is my heart warmed at the eccentricity of this couple’s innovation? I’m not made of stone!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Johnny Cash postage stamp to be released this year
01.30.2013
02:14 pm

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Art
Current Events
Design

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The United States Postal Service will be issuing a Johnny Cash stamp later this year as part of its new “Music Icons” series. The stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez which appeared on the cover of the album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.

Makes me want to start writing letters again.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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