Archive for films

Search terms for 7 days ending 2011-07-18

Posted in Blog Stats, Culture, Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

shortest webern piece
devil painting barney’s version
stravinsky atomic misadventure
the demonic nuns of loudun
lizzie eats london
marco pierre white critical of jamie oliver
is opera dead
brown bread
greek pasta salad pictures
can you cook clams with sherry
eggs tuna tortilla
is having potatoes and pasta too much
the temperance seven
nigella pasta
end of an era harry potter
eton mess muffins
naked person in cheese
nigella lawson cabbage
represents roger norrington
full name of mr stravinsky
what do musicians think of the proms
one piece naked robin
wagner most intense pieces
ottolenghi aubergine
toad in the hole
is hans zimmer classical
jug of bacon how to
shutting of salford docks
brown herons
i hate eton
greggs bakery
beverley callard wearing leather
whisky in porridge

1911 No. 1: Vincent Price

Posted in 1911, Culture, Obituaries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Taking a look back at what happened 100 years ago, I find that the actor Vincent Price was born on 27 May 1911. The clip is from The Comedy of Terrors, one of the funniest films you will ever see. Featuring Vincent Price himself, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Basil Rathbone. If you don’t believe that a film could have such a great cast, check it out.

Vincent Price, a Suave but Menacing Film Presence, Is Dead at 82 (New York Times obituary)

Ken Russell: The Old Devil

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

It’s been 40 years since Southampton boy Ken Russell filmed his notorious The Devils. Stuart Jeffries asks him about saints, sinners and the most frightening film he ever saw

We’re meeting because Russell’s notorious film The Devils will be shown in a rare uncut screening on Sunday at the East End film festival. Filmgoers will be able to savour its so-called “rape of Christ” sequence in which 17th-century French Ursuline nuns defiled a statue of Jesus during an orgy – not to mention the scene in which Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave) masturbates with a charred bone from a burned priest played by Oliver Reed. Plenty of other sequences kept censors the world over in business. The Devils had the singular fate of winning a silver ribbon for best foreign film from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists in 1972, while being banned throughout Italy.

Russell’s film was adapted from Aldous Huxley’s 1952 non-fiction novel The Devils of Loudon, as well as John Whiting’s follow-up 1960 play The Devils. They were all inspired by the notorious case of supposed demonic possession in 17th-century France, in which a charismatic Catholic priest, Urbain Grandier, was accused of bewitching nuns. The accusation was trumped up by Richelieu as an excuse to destroy a Protestant stronghold.

Russell takes even more liberties with this material than Huxley. Why portray the king as a cross-dressing homosexual who shoots Protestants dressed as birds in his royal park for fun? “Because that’s exactly as I saw him,” says Russell.

(Source: Grauniad)

BBC Proms 2011: Highlights

Posted in BBC Radio 3, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Pianist Lang Lang, described by BBC Proms director Roger Wright as “arguably the best known classical artist in the world”, will become the first artist ever to perform at both the Proms in the Park and the Royal Albert Hall on the same night.

Classical music meets comedy at the Proms for the first time. Tim Minchin, the Australian performer, presents an evening of music and laughs with Sue Perkins, cabaret duo Kit and The Widow, pianist Danny Driver, soprano Susan Bullock and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra will take requests from the crowd in a highly unusual late night Prom. The audience will choose from a list of up to 300 pieces, none of which the orchestra has rehearsed.

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra will use rubber gloves and coat hangers to perform extracts from Sergio Leone film soundtracks. Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3 and the director of the Proms, called them “five cracking musicians”.

Havergal Brian’s vast Gothic Symphony which has been rarely performed since it was composed in the 1920s will be played on 17 July when the 1,000 musicians required – including two orchestras and 10 choirs – are marshalled. Wright said: “Once we have fitted in the performers there will be hardly any room for the audience.”

Rossini’s William Tell is another work hardly ever performed. The opera lasts nearly five hours. Audiences will have a rare chance to hear this gripping story of Swiss nationalism conducted by the Royal Opera House music director, Antonio Pappano.

I can’t go on …

Brown Bread: Elizabeth Taylor

Posted in Culture, Obituaries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

“It’s the end of an era. It wasn’t just her beauty or her stardom. It was her humanitarianism. She put a face on HIV/AIDS. She was funny. She was generous. She made her life count.”
(Barbra Streisand)

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, arguably the last great female star of the Hollywood studio system, has died at the age of 79.

The Oscar-winning star died in the early hours of the morning at Cedars-Sinai medical centre in Los Angeles, from congestive heart failure, according to her spokeswoman Sally Morrison. She said Taylor’s children were at her side.

A stunner, back in the day. But she wasn’t the kind of stunner that would have made her an actress today. Funny how Hollywood’s concept of beauty changes over the years. A lot of today’s starlets wouldn’t have made it in the 1950s because they’re too scrawny. Elizabeth Taylor was … voluptuous.

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011

Elizabeth Taylor: best and worst films

The five best:

1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)
2. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
3. A Place in the Sun (1951)
4. National Velvet (1944)
5. Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)

Woody Allen

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

With nearly 50 movies behind him, the veteran director says his latest film took ‘years of disillusionment’ to make. Here he talks with Carole Cadwalladr about his controversial marriage, the three children he lost in a custody battle, and his desire to work again with Diane Keaton.

The reason for the interview is the UK release this week of You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, the fourth film he’s shot in the UK.

Woody Allen: ‘My wife hasn’t seen most of my films… and she thinks my clarinet playing is torture’

(Source: Observer)

In Woody Allen’s universe there is no reason why some things happen and others not. His atheism allows no delusions of that kind, but what about age, I ask him? Do you resist hearing that you’re old?

“I do, I resist. I feel the only way you can get through life is distraction. And you can distract yourself in a million different ways, from turning on the television set and seeing who wins the meaningless soccer game, to going to the movies or listening to music. They’re tricks that I’ve done and that many people do. You create problems in your life and it seems to the outside observer that you are self-destructive and it’s foolish. But you’re creating them because they’re not mortal problems. They are problems that can be solved, or they can’t be solved, and they’re a little painful, perhaps, but they are not going to take your life away.”

Brown Bread: Jane Russell

Posted in Culture, Obituaries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

“The first time I saw Jane Russell, I wondered how she got her kneecaps up in her sweater.” (Fred Allen)

Jane Russell, who has died aged 89, was among the most desired women of the 20th century.

She died at her home in Santa Maria, California of a respiratory-related illness, according to her daughter-in-law Etta Waterfield.

Russell shot to fame in 1943 after Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire, discovered her and cast her in his controversial western, The Outlaw. The movie gained notoriety after censors kept the film from general release in a dispute over Russell’s cleavage. Adverts for the film showed the star sprawled on a bale of hay with the tag line “How’d you like to tussle with Russell?”

“Yes, Howard Hughes invented a bra for me. Or, he tried to. And one of the seamless ones like they have now. He was ahead of his time. But I never wore it in The Outlaw. And he never knew. He wasn’t going to take my clothes off to check if I had … ” Russell said.

The film set the tone for a career in films that majored on her figure and talent for light comedy. Russell appeared in dozens of films and theatrical productions and wrote an autobiography in 1985 called My Path and Detours. Her biggest box-office hits were Paleface, a comedy western with Bob Hope, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, co-starring with Marilyn Monroe.

She made only a handful of films after the 1960s but remained active in her church, with charitable organisations and with a local singing group.

Her health began to decline just a couple of weeks ago, her daughter-in-law told Associated Press. “She always said ‘I’m going to die in the saddle, I’m not going to sit at home and become an old woman’,” Waterfield said. “And that’s exactly what she did, she died in the saddle.”

Jane Russell was born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell on June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her mother was a lay preacher. Russell showed a wild side from an early age and admitted to back street abortions and struggles with alcoholism. In later life she was a committed Republican and leader of the Hollywood Christian Group.

“These days I am a teetotal, mean-spirited, right-wing, narrow-minded, conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist,” she once said. Asked about today’s liberal stars George Clooney and Sean Penn, she said: “I think they’re not well.”

R.I.P. Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell 1921-2011

Related:

Jane Russell: ‘An immense, impervious beauty’

2011 Oscar Winners & Nominees

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Best motion picture of the year
WINNER: The King’s Speech
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Performance by an actor in a leading role
WINNER: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
James Franco (127 Hours)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
WINNER: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Achievement in directing
WINNER: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O Russell (The Fighter)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Art direction
WINNER: Alice in Wonderland – Robert Stromberg (production design), Karen O’Hara (set decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Stuart Craig (production design), Stephenie McMillan (set decoration)
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas (production design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (set decoration)
The King’s Speech – Eve Stewart (production design), Judy Farr (set decoration)
True Grit – Jess Gonchor (production design), Nancy Haigh (set decoration)

Achievement in cinematography
WINNER: Wally Pfister (Inception)
Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech)
Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network)
Roger Deakins (True Grit)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
WINNER: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Best animated short film
WINNER: The Lost Thing (Nick Batzias, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann)
Day & Night (Teddy Newton)
The Gruffalo (Jakob Schuh and Max Lang)
Let’s Pollute (Geefwee Boedoe)
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) (Bastien Dubois)

Best animated feature film of the year
WINNER: Toy Story 3
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist

Adapted screenplay
WINNER: The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
127 Hours – Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt (screenplay); John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich (story)
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Original screenplay
WINNER: The King’s Speech – David Seidler
Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay); Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (story)
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg

Best foreign language film of the year
WINNER: In a Better World (Denmark)
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) (Algeria)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
WINNER: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score)
WINNER: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network)
John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)
Hans Zimmer (Inception)
Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech)
AR Rahman (127 Hours)

Achievement in sound mixing
WINNER: Inception (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo and Ed Novick)
The King’s Speech (Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley)
Salt (Jeffrey J Haboush, Greg P Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin)
The Social Network (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten)
True Grit (Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F Kurland)

Achievement in sound editing
WINNER: Inception (Richard King)
Toy Story 3 (Tom Myers and Michael Silvers)
Tron: Legacy (Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague)
True Grit (Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey)
Unstoppable (Mark P Stoeckinger)

Achievement in makeup
WINNER: Rick Baker and Dave Elsey (The Wolfman)
Adrien Morot (Barney’s Version)
Edouard F Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng (The Way Back)

Achievement in costume design
WINNER: Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland)
Antonella Cannarozzi (I Am Love)
Jenny Beavan (The King’s Speech)
Sandy Powell (The Tempest)
Mary Zophres (True Grit)

Best documentary short subject
WINNER: Strangers No More (Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon)
Killing in the Name (Nominees to be determined)
Poster Girl (Nominees to be determined)
Sun Come Up (Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger)
The Warriors of Qiugang (Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon)

Best live action short film
WINNER: God of Love (Luke Matheny)
The Confession (Tanel Toom)
The Crush (Michael Creagh)
Na Wewe (Ivan Goldschmidt)
Wish 143 (Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite)

Best documentary feature
WINNER: Inside Job (Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz)
Gasland (Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic)
Restrepo (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger)
Waste Land (Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley)

Achievement in visual effects
WINNER: Inception (Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb)
Alice in Wonderland (Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi)
Hereafter (Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell)
Iron Man 2 (Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick)

Achievement in film editing
WINNER: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter (The Social Network)
Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan)
Pamela Martin (The Fighter)
Tariq Anwar (The King’s Speech)
Jon Harris (127 Hours)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original song)
WINNER:
We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3, music and lyrics by Randy Newman)
Coming Home (from Country Strong, music and lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey)
I See the Light (from Tangled, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater)
If I Rise (from 127 Hours, music by AR Rahman, lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong)

Brown Bread: John Barry

Posted in Music, Obituaries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Film composer John Barry has died, aged 77, following a heart attack.

John Barry was one of the most successful of all film composers; he won five Oscars for scores that included Born Free, Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves, but wrote his best-known and most enduring music for the James Bond films.

Sad news. I always had a lot of time for his film and TV music, and not just the James Bond stuff. He was a really good tunesmith (and I don’t mean that at all disparagingly). A couple of the Bond songs (From Russia with Love and Diamonds are Forever … ooh and Goldfinger) are brilliantly written and unforgettable, but all his music had character, exactly the right flavour for their context and musical imagination.

R.I.P. John Barry 1933-2011

Brown Bread: Susannah York

Posted in Culture, Obituaries with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Susannah York, the celebrated film and stage actress best known for her role in the film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? , has died aged 72.

Her son, the actor Orlando Wells said that she was “very down to earth”.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: “She loved nothing more than cooking a good Sunday roast and sitting around a fire of a winter’s evening. In some sense, she was quite a home girl. Both Sasha [Orlando’s sister] and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as a mother.”

Her screen presence was natural and attractive; in no way connected with the Rank School of Charm and clipped speech which was the norm in the post-war era and she had an extensive film career in the 60s and 70s, particularly in Tom Jones (1963) and The Killing of Sister George (1968).

I thought she was great as Jane Eyre. As it is one of my favourite books, I’m very fussy about who plays Jane. She was one of the best.

Her performance in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? made a very strong impression on me when I was in my teens. Lovely and talented.

When I worked in London back in the day, I was on the Northern Line with a friend and saw her sitting opposite us. She looked so familiar. However, we were convinced she was Susan George (well, confusion on our part regarding blonde 60s actresses).

So, emboldened, I asked her “Excuse me, are you Susan George?” She replied politely “No, sorry.”

At that point, I felt an utter fool so I apologised profusely and explained “Sorry, we just thought you looked like an actress called Susan George.”

Her reply was beautiful. “Oh. Actually I think I look more like Susannah York,” which was accompanied by the most mischievous grin, telling us we were even bigger fools than we felt. She said goodbye to us as we got off at Tooting.

R.I.P. Susannah York (Susannah Yolande Fletcher) 1939-2011

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