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‘Pop Goes the Easel’: Ken Russell’s film on 4 British Pop Artists from 1962

Pop Goes the Easel was Ken Russell’s first full-length documentary for the BBC’s arts series Monitor. It focused on 4 British Pop Artists - Peter Blake, Peter Philips, Pauline Boty and Derek Boshier.

Russell was revolutionary in his approach to making this film, he developed a whole range of new techniques to capture and reflect the excitement and energy of these young artists, which was cutting edge back in 1962, but are now part of the very heart of documentary-making (you’ll may also note clues to some of Russell’s later works). It’s a beautiful wee film that captures these artists, their work and the start of the swinging sixties perfectly - though I only wish it was in color.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Kenneth Williams on Acting: A revealing interview from 1980

“All acting is a covering up of inferiority,” says Kenneth Williams in this interview from February 1980. Williams never believed in himself enough to be a great actor, his insecurities made him seek the easy route of comedy to win over the audience’s affection. Even in interviews he would rather undo any show of intellect with coarse innuendo than reveal his intimate, more serious side. People thought him flippant, but he wasn’t - he was like all of us, scared of rejection, scared of being emotionally hurt. Emotions were messy, uncontrollable, and not to be trusted. “That’s why I enjoyed acting,” continues Williams, for performing plays offered him a shield to hide behind. It’s a startling moment of truth, as he sits on the sofa, arms folded, and it almost upends the interview, which then tails off onto eccentricity, homeopathy and disease.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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This Boot is Made for Fonk-N: Bootsy Collins 1988 TV interview

Legendary deejay Donnie Simpson interviews Bootsy Collins on TV show Video Soul in 1988.

“I come equipped with stereophonic funk producin´ disco inducin´ twin magnetic rock receptors.” - Bootsy Collins, Bootzilla .

Many thanks to Jim Laspesa.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Dusty Springfield: Excellent documentary on the White Queen of Soul

It was summer, I was a young child sitting in the living room drawing pictures when I first heard her voice on the radio. It made me stop and listen to try and understand what it was I was hearing. Her voice was full of a power and emotion that I could feel but didn’t yet fully understand. It gave a hint to some secret, adult world I was still to discover. It was sensual and seductive. The voice was Dusty Springfield. The song, “The Look of Love.”

Dusty was described by Elton John “as the greatest white singer there has ever been.” Never one for understatement, Sir Elton is almost right - though he is a tad forgetful of quite a few others from Maria Callas to Elvis and beyond. Dusty was one of the greats, and certainly the greatest white soul singer there has ever been. No one comes close.

Shown as part of Melvyn Bragg’s always fascinating arts series The South Bank Show, this excellent documentary on Dusty Springfield was first aired in 2006, and contains interviews with Burt Bacharach, Billie Jean King, Lee Everett, Charles Shaar Murray, Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe, Camille Paglia, and Carole Pope.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Stunning Boba Fett handbag

I hate saying the overused “Wow, just wow!” but this wicked handmade Boba Fett handbag by catpenfold deserves it.  Sadly, it’s sold. However, I spotted an equally amazing Doctor Who Ood clutch still available for purchase at her Etsy shop.

Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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David Mitchell is a Koala: He is, you know

Within seconds of the otters who look like Benedict (Sherlock) Cumberbatch post, the DM inbox bulged with a massive array of assorted images of animals / body parts that look like celebrities / actors. First up was this delightful selection of comedy actor David (Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look) Mitchell looking like a koala, from DM pal Camilla Wright at Popbitch. Looking at these pictures I am at a loss to say which-is-which.
Via David Mitchell is a Koala, with thanks to Popbitch
More Mitchell and Koala from the web, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Otters who look like Benedict Cumberbatch

Otters who look like Benedict Cumberbatch: a visual examination by Red Scharlach.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Ninety minutes of the Divine David

Can you handle it?!

This 90-minute film is edited together extracts of the Divine David’s late 90s Channel 4 show The Divine David Presents, produced by World Of Wonder

At the time this show originally aired was one of the most out-there things on TV, and you know what, it’s still pretty damn bizarre and hilarious. Thanks, of course, to the wonderful stylings of the Divine David himself, who now goes by his real name of David Hoyle and regularly performs in London and Manchester. 

If any one person was responsible for kicking drag square on the backside and, erm, dragging it into the 21st Century, it was David Hoyle. You could even say his look goes beyond drag, as it’s an over-the-top parody of a form that is already a parody, and which coupled with his pissed-and-paranoid English gent persona can lead to belly laughs simply from a knowing glance or a flick of the wrist. It can be grotesque, yes, but I dare you not to laugh the laugh of wrongness.

‘Til this day David Hoyle remains criminally neglected outside of the UK, and under-rated even in his homeland (except to comedy nerds that is - Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker personally selected Hoyle for the older rock star character in Nathan Barley.) His strange comic genius is as relevant as ever, and needs more exposure - so please, PLEASE World Of Wonder, don’t yank this off YouTube!
The Divine David Presents - the Collection:


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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Charlie Brooker on Invisible Children and ‘Kony 2012’

Just when you thought shit couldn’t get any more cynical, here comes Charlie Brooker to cast some withering scorn over the recent ‘Kony 2012’ meme propagated by the group Invisible Children (as broadcast on last night on Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live.) I could not think of anyone better than Brooker for this job:

“So, in summary, Invisible Children are expert propagandists with what seems to be a covert religious agenda, advocating military action in Africa while simultaneously recruiting an “army” of young people to join their cause (and their weird Fourth Estate youth camps) and to stand around posing like this [quasi-fascist looking picture], a bit like an army of child soldiers might.”

Take it away Charlie…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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‘The Neglected’: David Gillanders’ heart-breaking film on the street children of Ukraine

There are plenty of reasons why so many children are homeless in Ukraine. Some have been abandoned by their families. Others are victims of abuse. Whatever the reasons, each child is different, and has a unique story to tell.

There are no official statistics for the total number of children and young people living or working on the streets of Ukraine, yet various children’s charities and homeless organizations suggest the number is somewhere between 50,000 and 300,000.

Over the past 8 years, Scottish photographer David Gillanders has photographed the lives of these street children - documenting their stories of grim day-to-day existence on the streets of Odessa.

David found the children living underground, seeking warmth from central heating pipes. They were ravaged by malnutrition and addicted to drugs - nasal decongestants, which they crushed down and then injected.

“When I first started to take pictures of children living like that, I knew that I wasn’t going to change the world. But I did think something would happen - that it would improve. It didn’t.”

A photograph of one street child, Yana, won UNICEF Photograph of the Year. It captured the 13-year-old only 5 days before she froze to death on the streets.

Most of the children David has documented are now dead and his photographs are the only evidence of their tragic, short lives.

Based around his photographs,  David has made a powerful and moving short film, The Neglected for Channel 4 television. Produced by Nicola Black of Blackwatch Media, the film reveals the lives of a lost generation of children who live in desolation underneath the streets of Odessa.

UNICEF on Ukraine street children. Hope and Homes for Children in Ukraine

The Neglected will be broadcast on Channel 4, Thursday 22nd March 12 midnight.

Above photograph copyright to David Gillanders.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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