Looking like an advert for Swinging London, Joe Massot’s 1965 short Reflections on Love mixes pop documentary with scenes devised by writer Derek Marlowe and (apparently) an uncredited, Larry Kramer. Though everything looks rather beautiful, it is such a terribly straight film, and considering the talent involved, and doesn’t really offer much love for the audience to reflect on. Then, this was the Sixties, when everything was new and exciting, and getting hitched in a registry office was daring and rad. O, how innocent it all seems. Massot went on to direct George Harrison’s Wonderwall and later, Led Zeppelin’s concert film The Song Remains the Same. Kramer went on to script Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967), and Ken Russell’s Women in Love (1969), before writing his novel Faggots in 1978. As for Marlowe, he wrote the classic double-agent spy thriller, A Dandy in Aspic, and followed this up with a series of idiosyncratic and stylish novels (from crime to Voodoo to Lord Byron), which are all shamefully out-of-print, and not even available as e-books - publishers please note.
The original version was twenty-one minutes long, and this is the revamped, re-scored (by Kula Shaker), re-edited (12 minutes) re-release from 1999, and still watchable pop-candy.
If you want to know what British TV was like in the 1970s, well, apart from watching the repeats on BBC4, this will give you a fair idea. Elton John and Michael Caine getting all “Knees-up Mother Brown” round the olde joanna on Michael Parkinson‘s show.
All this the same year The Sex Pistols released “Anarchy in the U.K.” on EMI, The Ramones singled “Blitzkreig Bop” and Patti Smith “Pissing in a River”. Cor blimey, guvnor.
In its 50 years of independence, Jamaica’s had an indelible influence on the global scene, mostly via its dizzyingly prolific music industry and sports stars. In terms of film, as iconic and authentic as movies like The Harder They Come, Rockers and Dancehall Queen are, they’re largely non-indigenous productions.
But recently, a new breed of grassroots digital DIY film- and video-makers have emerged who are depicting the zeitgeist on the island in ways that transcend the typical “yeah mon” stereotypes with which we’re too familiar.
One of these new breed is twenty-four-year-old Simon Thompson, who directs and edits video under the moniker Yosef Imagination. Along with videos for some of the island’s most well-known artists—including Capleton, Luciano, Fanton Mojah, Lutan Fyah—Thompson’s produced ads, short subjects and video series like the hilarious Konfu Dread, which has previously featuredhere. He’s currently at work on Zombie Flim, Jamaica’s first undead flick, which he’s uploading to his YouTube channel as he shoots and cuts.
Thompson’s work is pretty impressive considering that he’s got no formal training and has been at it for a little under two years. He’s also shot virtually all his stuff on Canon T2i and Canon 5D digital still cameras rather than conventional camcorders.
Videographers like Thompson are composing a wide-ranging vision of a young, energetic and cosmopolitan Jamaica, mindful of its cultural history and struggles, yet infatuated with what’s next in music, technology and style. And yes, it’s a vision that’s imbued with the indefatigable sense of humor that typifies life on the island.
Thompson explains how his stuff differs from that of the island’s street-side genre directors:
I looked around in Jamaica and realized the quality and the topics of our film industry is pretty much the same from filmmaker to film maker. I wanted to show Jamaica in a different light. We’re not all gangsters we don’t all smoke weed and we don’t all push violence towards others who don’t have the same viewpoint we have. I want and will continue to push for change, push for a difference in Jamaica’s thinking, showing the youths that, hey, we can make quality films that don’t have to be about gangsters and politics.
I also try to include alot of humour in the projects from Yosef Imagination showing people a lighter and more free-spirited vibration of the Jamaican people and culture.
And what does the future hold?
I see Yosef Imagination as a Paramount Pictures or a Universal Pictures eventually…the sky is no limit to our imagination ....Yosef Imagination is limitless.
Here’s one of the most hectically paced YI pieces yet: a multi-artist jam on the Bipolar riddim…
After the jump…more music vids and Jamaica’s first zombie film!
Apparently, the “small penis rule” is a sneaky defense strategy authors can use to save themselves from libel lawsuits. Here it is described in a New York Times article from 1998:
...For a fictional portrait to be actionable, it must be so accurate that a reader of the book would have no problem linking the two,” said Mr. Friedman. Thus, he continued, libel lawyers have what is known as “the small penis rule.” One way authors can protect themselves from libel suits is to say that a character has a small penis, Mr. Friedman said. “Now no male is going to come forward and say, ‘That character with a very small penis, that’s me!
The small penis rule was referenced in a 2006 dispute between Michael Crowley and Michael Crichton. Crowley alleged that after he wrote an unflattering review of Crichton’s novel State of Fear, Crichton libeled him by including a character named “Mick Crowley” in the novel Next. In the novel, Mick Crowley is a child rapist, described as being a Washington-based journalist and Yale graduate with a small penis.
I did not know about this. I guess you do learn something new everyday.
Bad Rave Flyers is “a blog dedicated to showcasing the worst and most lazy in graphic design for club and rave flyers.” Says the anonymous author:
I spend a lot of time looking at event listings on messageboards. I’ve always been fascinated by how bad most rave & club flyers are, especially ones for events with mostly local DJs. As a testament to this, I’ve decided to compile my favorites into one place.
Indeed, some of these flyers are terrible. But before we go laughing ourselves into a false sense of superiority, it has to be stated that EVERYONE who has been involved in djing or club promoting has at some point created their own bad rave flyer. I still have mine lurking at the back of a closet somewhere. It may not be as bad as these, but consider it a rite of passage every club industry professional must go through.
Scots who rushed to buy it have discovered that their new “smart” gadget can’t understand them. This is true despite the fact that their phones are set to “English (United Kingdom)” under the “language” setting for Siri, which doesn’t seem to take the distinctive Scottish burr into much account.
“What’s the weather like today?” Darren Lillie said hopefully into his iPhone recently here in the Scottish capital, in a demonstration for an American reporter.
Lillie, 25, is Edinburgh born and bred, and his thick accent shows it.
Siri thought for a moment, then decided it best to repeat what it thought it heard.
“What’s available in Labor Day?” it asked.
Lillie shook his head. “I don’t even know what Labor Day is,” he said ruefully to the American, who told him.
In other clips, “Can you dance with me?” gets misinterpreted as “Can you Dutch women?” and the question “How many miles are there in 10 kilometers?” elicits the helpful, if irrelevant, response: “I don’t see any email for yesterday.”
Lillie admits to adjusting his speech patterns to get Siri to understand him.
“I find I speak slower. It’s like when I speak to tourists,” he said to the American reporter, who felt at once both patronized and relieved.
Hardly news, and the kind of story best suited to the “Jings! Crivvens! Help ma boab!” kind of headline, allowing for the usual nationalistic rebuttal, name-checking Edinburgh-born inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell turning in his grave, and the success of such Scots accents as Schir Schean Connery, Ewan MacGregor, Kelly MacDonald, Robert Carlyle, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson, mcetc mcetc. But really, it just made me of Stanley Baxter’s excellent Parliamo Glasgow from the 1960s, and this wonderfully apt sketch from present day and the rather splendid Burnistoun.