Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This week's O/U is animated films - this can stretch to short films if you want, but what are the most over-rated and most under-rated animated films of all time? And why?
You can reply here in the comments section, on Twitter [@spikester or @higginbothamp] or via The Usual Address.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Look, I'll listen to any opinion. I'll entertain any reasonably presented intelligent argument, even if I don't agree with it. In fact, *especially* if I don't agree with it. But this... what even IS this?
Now, before anyone starts with the "LOL U GOT PUNKD! SHES A CAMEDIAN U MORAN SHES TRYN 2 B FUNNAY!11", do a little digging. She's spent her time in the entertainment wilderness spreading pish like this around for years. (And also eating, apparently) Certainly, she has appeared a touch more clean and sober in other media appearances, but her views are - amongst other adjectives - consistent.
To my conservative friends: I know you hate it when liberal celebs step up to a microphone and talk politics. Do your side a huge favour and include this moron next time you break out the "shut up and sing"-style cracks, wontcha?
Everyone has a story of spending an evening being bored by someone else's home movies of not-very-interesting stuff. "Oh really? You filmed a static shot of the Empire State Building for fifteen whole minutes? What? No, I'm not falling asleep. Can I have some more booze, please?"
Normally, the home movies of strangers are dull (unless the stranger turns out to be Pamela Anderson - eh, lads?) but this little gem... this is something else. During five summers from 1957 to 1961, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield CT set out to visit all 48 of the then United States of America on a series of month-long camping trips. Contained within is not your average "this is Uncle Ted at the front of the house" home movies, this is the combination of National Geographic, The History Channel and a jam-packed scrapbook. Narrated half a century on by the affable patriarch who neither waffles, over-emphasises nor sugarcoats the details, the Barstows' five year plan to cross the country is a heartwarming little bubble in time, chock-a-block full of awesomely clunky cars, landmarks-a-plenty and - maybe most importantly - what seems to be a blissfully happy family. Who wouldn't want to be a Barstow in the late 1950s?
For some reason, the archive.org embed code makes Posterous choke, so here is the direct link instead: http://www.archive.org/details/barstow_americas_history
From there, you will be able to watch the movie in an embedded player, or download it for future viewing. Part two of this epic adventure will be posted soon.
Friday, March 26, 2010
JIMMY SAVILE: I was surprised to learn some time ago that there’s about 40 of those semi-porn channel things. I find them inextricably boring. I can’t watch them. I mean, who on Earth those people think they are, I don’t know. You know, I’ve been on dance floors and nightclubs all my bleedin’ life, and I’ve got a healthy regard for girls. But I can’t bear to watch that stuff for about two minutes. And I have huge sympathy for all those girls who have to stroke themselves and rub themselves and all the rest of it. And I think to myself, “Holy shite! Do they have to do that to earn a living? The poor bastards!”. Dear, oh dear, oh dear!
Stalwart British broadcaster Jimmy Saville is an odd bird. Odder than most people realise, or would probably be comfortable with. But he always gives an interesting interview and has a dead-on gut for what works and doesn't work in media. Perhaps he could fix it for the women on these channels to get a more rewarding job...?
Ah yes, when good radio goes bad.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This March, You Tube implemented a system whereby certain videos would be given auto-generated subtitles, presumably for the hard of hearing. This technology is based on a speech recognition system which automatically transcribes the audio of a video translates it to text subtitles at the bottom. It is rarely, if ever, accurate. Nice idea, though.
This afternoon, I noticed that closed captioning was available for a video of the last four levels of Ms Pacman who, herself, seems to suffer from hearing difficulties...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This is what happens in between segments of The Paul And Spike Show. Twixt the refills, trips to the can, and buggering about with technical gubbins, we sometimes just have a bit of a chat. It's like the show just keeps on trucking, even when we're not on air...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Inspired by the divisive health care debate (devisive because apparently people don't like it when pesky kids with pre-existing conditions eat into insurance company profits), we decided to see what potentially unpopular - but, ultimately, good for the population - law YOU would push through the legislative system.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Behold: THE FUTURE! Well... sort of. Whilst we take these days of $50 DVD recorders and DVRs for granted in our comfortable 21st century, home taping from TV in 1972 really was the stuff of the future. If you missed a programme... well, tough. You had to wait until it was repeated. Enter Cartrivision, America's first domestic VCR!
Note the jerkiness of the video; not because of a bad You Tube dub, Cartrivision operated on a creaky fifteen frames per second (NTSC is 30fps, PAL 25fps, by comparison) thanks to a recording/playback method of recording only the third video field and playing it back three times, a method that conserved video bandwidth, increasing the recording time of each cartridge to 114 minutes. Betamax, introduced three years later, could only handle an hour in the early years. Tapes featuring movies could be rented by mail (sounds familiar!) and played only once; the cartridges featured a rewind mechanism that could only be triggered by specialist equipment at the rental company.
What may have done for the format was the fact that its parent company, CTI, only sold the units as a VCR/TV combo with a hefty price tag of $1350. That would run you almost seven grand in today's money. The $700 standalone unit that could connect to any regular TV was scheduled for launch in 1973, but the company went bust before they could be manufactured.
Check the shamelessly extended commercial that popped up on an edition of "What's My Line?". Confident, wasn't he?
Gosh, it seems so long ago that I had a week-long bijiu crushette on ol' toothbrush head here. What a song, though. Can't fault those sequencers!
Followed by the slightly less po-faced France Gall - no relation to Charles De - with the inherantly singalongable and tonguetwistertastic "Ella Elle L'a".
Yes, kids - hard to believe, but there was a time when this looked and sounded up to date. And just thirty short years later, you could knock up something of comparable quality at your kitchen table in an afternoon, using Garage Band and Vegas.
But aaaw, it's such a comfortably simple song that's aged like a loved teddy bear. Radio One on medium wave, three TV channels, the last five minutes of Tomorrow's World before Top Of The Pops comes on.... jumpers for goalposts. Yes. Isn't it? Marvelous.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
A long, long time ago, the BBC was interested in producing drama for drama's sake and not DRAMA!!! for the almost exclusive purposes of selling to foreign broadcasters at top dollar and for lucrative DVD sales. Hard to believe, I know.
The most famous of these standalone plays, arguably, were made under the "Play For Today" umbrella which spawned some of the most influential British dramas of all time, and launched the careers of many notables, including Dennis Potter, Ken Loach, Alan Clarke and multiple Oscar nominees Mike Leigh and Stephen Frears.
Naturally, with three hundred of these independent dramas under their belt over the course of fourteen years, there was some garbage mixed up in the gold, and over the next few weeks, I'll be plodding through a job lot of PFT episodes that recently fell into my lap.
I don't have anything close to a complete collection, unfortunately. Some episodes are lost forever thanks to the BBC's ludicrous policy of junking and recycling video tapes; a practice that has lost us countless gems over the years, including several Dr Who stories, almost all of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's groundbreaking "Not Only, But Also" and the first acting performance of a young Bob Dylan. Some episodes are just plain inaccessible thanks to the fact that precious few were ever repeated, or, if they were, were re-shown at a time when domestic taping was rare. Indeed, a healthy percentage of my collection are sneaky dubs straight from the BBC's archives, complete with burned in VTR timecode, rather than off-air copies.
As I work my way through this collection, some of which I've never seen, I'll be reviewing each episode here. Lucky you, right? Going alphabetically rather than chronologically, we'll start with 1979's "Comedians", a play which made a star of a young Jonathan Pryce. Look for it in the next couple of days.
This is a road sign in Swansea (isnet boyo). Non-Welsh speakers will see nothing wrong with this sign, which appears to bilingually direct lorry drivers to, quite frankly, bugger off.
The real kicker is that the Welsh translation, or what appears to be the Welsh translation, actually reads: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".
...like this sign, for example?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Words can't express how much I'm looking forward to this.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say that God took Hicks too early because he knew too much and was too good at spreading the message. He had it all worked out, and was able to make the message compelling, interesting and entertaining... and that's dangerous.
I don't think Hicks was ever going to be big in the mainstream. Flyover America doesn't want the truth, it wants to be pacified. It doesn't want to think, it wants to be told "everything's OK. Go back to bed."
Hicks was too good, and he was taken too soon. There are artists who, somewhat controversially, I've claimed died at exactly the right time. Who could stand to see John Lennon or Jim Morrison hit that success plateau and end up doing infomercials like Tony Orlando? Who could stand to hear their self-indulgent garbage albums of not-what-you-want-to-hear because they surrounded themselves with unchallenging yes men?
Not Hicks. He went too soon. There was still too much for him to say, and too much philosophy that was left unthunk. Still too much to do.
The thinkers miss you, Goat Boy. Big ol' shaggy thang.
Monday, March 15, 2010
OK, so legally we can't say "desert island". Let's say... um... remote location of indeterminate terrain. Good enough? Here's the concept for people who don't know. You're getting shipped off to a deser... a remote location of indeterminate terrain. You're allowed to take five pieces of music with you, five songs/tunes/movements that you simply can't live the rest of your lonely life without.
Mark Morriss of the Bluetones is joining us this week (no, really, he is. he's confirmed. REALLY!) so it'll be interesting to hear your input as well as his. Here's the rules:
- Your selection can be five individual pieces of music, or...
- three pieces of music and two albums. Not five albums, that's cheating. Max two.
- There's no genre restrictions, you can have Puccini beside the theme tune to 'Murder She Wrote' beside the Macarena.
- if there's a good reason for any of your picks, feel free to expand on them.
Comment below (you can log in with Facebook or Twitter), or send your list to The Usual Address. Also, if you have any questions for Mr Morriss, the same contact details apply.
Have at it!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thanks to everyone who listened and contributed. Some great contributions, some very patient folks who stuck around through our technical difficulties (and big ups to R6i's chief engineer Leo who got us back on air despite it being stupid o'clock in Glasgow) and wow... if that wasn't a fantastic proof-of-concept for the Paul and Spike Show Google Wave!
We simply *must* do it again sometime!
For those of you who missed the live show, the whole kaboodle will be available on the regular podcast feed soon.
Thanks again. You guys rawk.
(oh, and don't forget to listen to Radio Six all day Saturday for more special programming, including the always amazing John Collins and the lovely American transplant Thea Newcomb)
* musical construction/ innovation
* lyrical genius [the brilliant banality of The Day Before You Came by Abba, for example...]
* 'game-changers' [Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood versus censorship by Radio1, I'm looking at you...]
* personal reasons [the song that captured the moment of your first kiss, for example...]
* that kind of thing...
get your answers in! Twitter.com/spikester - facebook.com/thespikester - the usual address (@gmail.com) or at wave.google.com
In 1965, Jackie 'Mr Excitement' Wilson recorded the excellent "Think Twice" with soul singer LaVern Baker. (This part is SFW):
but... for some reason, the two decided to record a filthy, expletive-riddled version. Studio time must have been plentiful in 1965! And besides, what's better than a woman with a mouth like a navvy with piles...? (This part... NSFW):
Notice how the version that wasn't meant to be heard has twice the soul and three times the energy? Love the giggles, too. The engineer sounds like he's about to piss his pants. What I'd love to know is this - were the "Version X" lyrics written down, or did they improvise them? If so, man... they should have gone on "Whose Line Is It Anyway, Version X".
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Play It Again: Promoter Has One-Track Mind About Eight Tracks
Tiny Tim's Former Manager Hopes to Open Museum for Obsolete Music Format
DALLAS—Last fall, more than 200 people crammed into one of this city's premier contemporary art galleries for a three-day show. The white walls, accustomed to paintings that sell for thousands of dollars, were home to less rarified fare.
The show? Eight Track Tapes: The Bucks Burnett Collection. "It was packed," says gallery owner Barry Whistler.
Presiding over the affair was James "Bucks" Burnett, a portly fellow with long gray hair and a white beard. He wore a tailored brown suit covered with images from the album cover of Led Zeppelin's 1973 Houses of the Holy. Strangers showed up offering boxes of eight tracks, which Mr. Burnett happily pawed through, plucking out dusty rarities and putting them on display.
The positive response "led me to think maybe I'm not insane," says Mr. Burnett. But it also helped him realize that a brief gallery show simply can't contain his vision for the hard plastic tapes, one of the clunkiest and most short-lived music formats of all time.
He wants to open an eight-track museum. "There are only two choices. A world with an eight-track museum and a world without an eight-track museum," he says. "I choose with."
Shortly after the show, the planners of a music conference in Denton, a music-loving college town about 40 miles north of Dallas, made Mr. Burnett an offer. They would find him a vacant space and pay $4,000 to build a temporary museum for a one-month run beginning Friday.
The Man Behind the (Eight-Track) Music
Brandon Thibodeaux for The Wall Street Journal
James "Bucks" Burnett has amassed a collection of about 2,000 eight-track cartridges.
Brandon Thibodeaux for The Wall Street Journal
Listen to some song clips from Mr. Burnett's collection.
* More photos and interactive graphics
Mr. Burnett accepted and is readying his collection for another display, this time in a former lingerie factory in Denton. He plans to showcase and play a few hundred tapes, including a baby-blue copy of The Who's "Tommy," a copy of the "Easy Rider" soundtrack with sun-bleached cover art signed by Peter Fonda and a rare copy of Lou Reed's 1975 avant-garde homage to noise called "Metal Machine Music."
This isn't the first time that Mr. Burnett, a long-time record-store owner, decided to venerate something the world was ready to forget. He edited the now-defunct Mr. Ed Fan Club newsletter for a decade. He managed the ukulele playing vibrato singer Tiny Tim and produced his final album.
At 51, he hopes to find a permanent home for his beloved eight-track collection. He has assembled a board of directors and is preparing to incorporate a nonprofit organization. "There are certainly lesser topics that have museums," Mr. Burnett says.
Peaking in popularity in the mid-1970s, eight-track tapes—about five by four inches—were made to be stuck in a back pocket and carelessly flung onto the vinyl seat of an AMC Pacer. They are the music version of cockroaches, hard to destroy. A 40-year-old tape can still sound rich and full.
Eight tracks were also revolutionary. They were the first truly portable music format, able to be played in a car, and therefore the forerunner of the Walkman, the boom box and even the iPod.
William Lear, better known for his eponymous jet, invented them in the early 1960s in part to provide music in the air. The format never quite took off above the clouds, but it did on the ground. In the 1960s, the eight track was a breakthrough in automobile music. It provided a much fuller sound than the sonically limited AM radio signal.
But the eight track's time atop the music-format food chain was brief. Its downfall was the cassette, which was smaller and ran longer, but was initially dogged by poor sound quality.
Companies poured research into cassettes, developing new coatings and tape material. In 1972, the famous "Is it live or is it Memorex?" advertising campaign began the process of convincing the music-buying public to give up their eight tracks.
When a cassette recording of Ella Fitzgerald, in a famous commercial, smashed a wine glass, the slow decline of the eight track had begun, says Jim Anderson, a professor at New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music.
Of course, the cassette was soon overtaken by the compact disc, which had superior sound quality. And today, the CD is giving way to digital downloading. Last year, Americans purchased 301 million compact discs and downloaded 78 million albums. They also downloaded 1.2 billion songs. Vinyl records sold 2.5 million. Only 34,000 albums were sold on cassette, according to Nielsen SoundScan, down from 105 million a decade ago. Nielson doesn't track eight-track sales.
Some brand new eight tracks are still made and sold. From her house in Arlington, Texas, Kathy Gibson, owner of KTS Productions, can crank out 10 an hour by hand, if the splicing machine isn't acting up and friends don't call on the phone to chat.
Last year, Cheap Trick, an American rock band that still performs but had its heyday in the late 1970s, placed a small order for its new album. It was popular enough that they asked for a second—and third—batch, she says. They are currently on back order, says the band's manager.
Eight tracks still show up on eBay and can command a premium. A quadraphonic eight track tribute album to the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin recently fetched $152. Mr. Burnett says finding some tapes—anything by trumpeter Miles Davis for instance—is really tough.
Mr. Burnett, who got his first job at a now-defunct Dallas record store in 1974 after winning an Alice Cooper-look-alike contest, didn't start collecting eight tracks until 1988, when he found an odd looking copy of the Beatles' White Album at a flea market. He decided to build a complete eight-track collection of the Fab Four, an endeavor that took more than two decades.
Along the way, he started selling eight tracks at his record store—by accident. He displayed a tape of the British punk band the Sex Pistols that he had bought for a dime on the wall near the cash register of his store.
"To ward off potential purchases and because I didn't want to sell it," he put a $100 price tag on it. "Then one day this girl came in and pulled a c-note out of her purse and bought it."
He recently sold off a good chunk of his CD collection to raise money to buy a few hard-to-find eight tracks for the gallery show. He hopes the permanent museum, whenever and wherever that might be, will be self supporting. He plans to charge a $5 admission fee.
Until that day, he continues working part-time jobs as a cashier at a local bakery and record store. His love of music—mostly classic rock—is keeping him going while he tries to turn his dream of a museum into a reality.
A couple nights a week, after his wife goes to sleep, he unwinds by listening to an album on headphones.
He doesn't own a working eight-track player. "Collectors buy things, they don't use things," he says. Instead, Bucks Burnett listens to his music on compact disc.
Many of you have come to me over tha years and said, "Uncle Spike," which I must admit I find rather creepy, "what, in your opinion, are the two greatest songs written about cats flushing toilets, and the art of the morning pee?" Well, wonder no more!
First would have to be Parry Gripp's infection "Cat Flushing A Toilet"
and the legitimate genius of Jim (Jeroo) Hance's "Morning Pee: The Musical"
So now you know! ...and please. Stop calling me "Uncle Spike".
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I believe there is a God – not the God we’re sold when we’re small, but clearly there is more to Heaven and earth than we shall know.
This came in;
Reet! Here we gan. 1st of all Mr B? Is this the conclusion to your studies or is this a phase you are going through. You’ve mentioned the sometimes you think there is a God and sometimes you think there aint? I’d like to think you will wrestle with the question till you shuttle off the big tamale. I’ve discussed religion before with your goodself a few times.
You may remember I was brought up by religious parents and my dad was in the salvation army. Yet still I spotted hypocrisies early on and series of events in my childhood such as the ethiopian crisis convinced me there was no God. I’ve taken an interest in religion ever since though. I was so bemused that both my parents were religious and I wasn’t that my attention turned to the rest of the world. Why do so many people share beliefs on huge scales, and why do I… well… not.
It took me a while to seperate religion from spirituality and my stance on God shifted as it did. There have been a few occasions where I flat outright believe in some devine hand tweaking the nipples of life, but on the whole my mind tries to work out a rational explanation for everything. The biggest of which follows. This may be a bit long, but seeing as its a big issue I hope you and the punters here indulge me.
My dad died while I was at work. I worked and lived in Newcastle and he lived and died in my home town of Seaham which is a mining town on the northeast coast about 20 miles south. He never had a phone. Never had a wallet. Picked his dole up from the post office and did his shopping in the markets in Sunderland. My current residence. Having none of these things we take for granted this rendered him with no discernable ID.
Two days before I found out he died, he died. With his dole in his pocket, waiting for the bus to take him shopping. He was at the bus stop with 2 kids. He said “Yalreet?” smiled and died. On the spot. One of the kids tried to do the kiss of life while the other ran to the local doctors surgery only 20 yards or so away. The theory is he pretty much went before he hit the floor. But he was still smiling. It was a Monday. On Tuesday in a local rag a headline said “Unidentified Man Dies at Bus Stop”. The piece was respectable and mentioned the only form of ID was the word TOMMY written on the knuckles of his left hand. They were inundated with phone calls. My dad was well known, because of his commitment to the “Sally Bash”. He frequented pubs for years but the last 10 years or so of his life it was to sell the War Cry and not bellowing it.
On the Wednesday, my cousin David identified him officially and came to find my mam and deciede instead of telling me over the phone they would come for me at work. It was a surreal and unbelievable moment we will all encounter at some point yet will never fully be able to explain. Once I’d regained control of my emotions I was driven by a compulsion to see him straight away. My folks tried to disuade me saying I was in shock and stuff, but my intent was oddly clear. It was something I had to do. So off we went, back home but diverting to Sunderland Royal Chapel of Rest.
My earliest and most profound memory of my dad was his obsession with birds. It’s something I have carried on since our first birdwatching walk in the nearby countryside. He taught me how to differentiate birds by sight and sound. He was in the RSPB and for a year before I was born he was a warden at a local nature reserve, but needed the money when I popped along so went back down the mines. For years people still brought injured birds to our house so Tommy could fix them. And 9 times out of ten he would have to put them out of their misery but never letting on to those who brought them to us. I learned about life and death back then. We made it to the hospital and beacuse i went there unannounced I had to wait with a cup of tea while the made him ready. It seemed like days, but gave me a chance to question why I was so compelled to go and see him. There were no answers. Then it was time. I went in alone. He was still smiling. And he had little knicks on his skin where he’d cut himself shaving, he never mastered that art. I just asked If he was alright a stupid question really you know, he’s in front of me dead, but something inside me just thought thats just his body. After a few moments, a kiss and a hug, I left.
All the way from work the weather was horrendous. Rain belting down and cold. A few moments after stepping into the hospital car park to go home I asked to be alone they masde their way to the car and I could find myself about to burst into tears when the sun burst through the clouds and it sent the until then dosile birds in the treas and on the rooves into a crazy explosion of noise and flight. The seaguls were hoofing around me and just sounded joyous. Like they’d been waiting for the sun all day. That was my major God moment. Make of it what you will.
This followed on from the original post, here: http://mrtommyboyd.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/while-im-on-a-roll/
Tommy will be joining us on the podcast soon.
Radio Six International has existed in many forms for more than forty four years, and this Friday night, Paul and Spike kick off their special day-long celebration of ten years streaming online with an unprecedented live EVENT! Yes! "Event" in upper case letters, that's how important it is!
For two hours, The Boys will be inviting your live comments and input as they broadcast from the mountain state directly to Radio Six's Glasgow studios. It's your chance to be in instant live guest, commentator or general pest via email, Skype or the TPASS Google Wave.
Drop by starting at 7pm US/e and midnight Saturday morning UK time, live via www.radiosix.com, and 1pm Saturday morning New Zealand time via 88.5 World FM in Wellington NZ.
Hop on and talk about what-the-hell ever you want to... Share your week in stuff, rebut a point, introduce a new one. It's all open. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org - Skype ID is "Taskerlands" - and the most recent TPASS Google Wave is always at wave.paulandspike.com
Join us? Just for a bit?
...reminded me of this story from "This American Life":
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Words can't express the white-hot burning hate I have for ambulance-chasing lawyers commercials, particularly ones that instill a sense of entitlement to people who are hell-bent on making a profit when, quite frankly, shit happens. These commercials from a New York lawyer firm, although from a similar racetrack, are absolutely brilliant:
Monday, March 08, 2010
I'd add "TiVo" as a verb, although it doesn't technically fit in with the article. It has become like the way we Brits used 'video' as both verb and noun, in the same way one would watch a video that one had videoed on the video, one now will TiVo a show. "Ach bollocks, I forgot about 'Meteormen'. Do me a favour and set the TiVo to TiVo it." "I can't, it's TiVoing something else on the other channel!"
I don't even HAVE a TiVo anymore, it's a generic Dish Network DVR. But I still TiVo stuff.
2355 - Director: Katherine Bigelow (Male Gigo... wait, no.) for "The Hurt Locker"
I said: James Cameron (Avatar). Dude. It didn't win.
Speech: She seemed genuinely surprised. 7 out of 10.
@ElwoodJBlues Kathryn. *stompstomp* Bigelow. *stompstomp* Kathryn. *stompstomp* Bigelow. *stompstomp* Kathryn. *stompstomp* Bigelow. *stompstomp*
@elverbo James Cameron, suck on that!
2245 - Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
I said: "Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)" Although, on reflection, it was stupid on my part not to say Gabourey Sidibe. Still... shocking.
Speech: Feh. It may have been honest, but it felt insidery. But she thanked her mum, so that gets a point. 4 out of 10.
2335 - Best Actor: Jeff Bridges.
I said: "I'll be honest... I couldn't give a toss about anything in this category."
Speech: Excited. Thanked his parents, his wife (of 33 years) and his kids. Bless. 7 out of 10.
I have to admit, it's a little disappointing that, once more, Easy Reader gets jipped on an Oscar.
2320 - Kathy Bates! Never before and never since has a best actress award been given to a more deserving artist. "Misery" is what happens when two great actors meet a great director, directing a great script.
2319 - Best Foreign Language Film: El Secreto de Sus Ojos - The Secret of Their Eyes (Argentina)
I said: Un Prophete - A Prophet (France) Merde!
2311 - @AIannucci I'm sitting in front of Rupert Murdoch. What should I do to him?
2307 - Tyler Perry in Tyler Perry's "Tyler Perry Fails To Be Funny". By Tyler Perry.
2301 - Did Matt Damon just come out to the "just one cornetto" tune?
Sunday, March 07, 2010
part two, to make it all easier to read.
2254: Best Visual Effects: Avatar.
I said: Avatar. Meh.
Speech: scattered, and little more than a list of names. 4 out of 10.
2252: Best Original Score -"Up"
I said: Avatar (James Horner). VERY glad to say I was wrong.
Speech: All the Pixar people seem to be genuinely nice, passionate people who are keen to encourage people rather than beat them down. 9 out of 10.
2247: Aha, here to flail around to the nominees for Best Original Soundtrack is a gang of people flipping their hair back and twirling each other around. Yawn. Oh, you can do three backflips in a row? Good for you, son.
2238: It's the "Christ, I thought he pegged oot years ago!" / "it's been longer than a year since he snuffed it, surely!" section. Incidentally, if that's the best James Taylor can do live, I'm glad I didn't mortgage my house for tickets last time he was in town. Shocking.
@tigerpop James Taylor : "some are dead and some are...well, they're all dead."
2236: Oh, Avatar won another one. Big surprise, even bigger whoop.
2235: Controversial comment of the day - Sandra Bullock may well be our generation's finest physical film comedian. She needs to stop acting.
2234: @Neil_Hamburger Not enough God-thanking this year. Pretty cocky; God watches this shit and the San Andreas Fault is about to blow!
2225: Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Does this category exist in the Bollywood version of the Oscars? Or is it retitled "Best Non-Worst Sound"?
2220: A salute to music in film. "Fletch" conspicuous by its absence.
2216: from an email by Michael Moore:
Some critics have hailed "The Hurt Locker" because the film "doesn't take sides" in the Iraq War -- like that's an admirable thing! I wonder if there were critics during the Civil War that hailed plays or books for being "balanced" about slavery, or if there were those who praised films during World War II for "not taking sides?" I keep reading that the reason Iraq War films haven't done well at the box office is because they've been partisan (meaning anti-war).
The truth is "The Hurt Locker" is very political. It says the war is stupid and senseless and insane. It makes us consider why we have an army where people actually volunteer to do this. That's why the right wing has attacked the movie. They're not stupid -- they know what Kathryn Bigelow is up to. No one leaves this movie thinking, "Whoopee! Let's keep these wars going another 7 years!"
James Cameron has been targeted by the crazy right, too. Because -- and Fox and Rush have this one correct, too -- "Avatar" is, in fact, an allegory for America -- a land stolen from an indigenous people who were slaughtered, a nation that not only allows corporations to call the shots but let's them privatize our wars (wars in distant places with the objective of controlling a dwindling energy resource), and a people who seem hell-bent on destroying the environment.
2215: A tweet from the man himself.
@AIannucci Ah well. It's still a hoot!
2213: Best Costume Design: The Young Victoria.
I said: "something that's not The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus". Curses. Foiled again.
Y'know, I would much rather have had Heath Leadger nominated for best actor for that than Batman.
2209: Art Direction: Avatar.
I said: Avatar. Duh. Next.
2200: Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique (Precious)
I said: Mo'Nique (Precious). Duh.
Speech: Irrationally defiant and borderline angry. Did I do something wrong? 0 out of 10.
@manostorgo If Mo'Nique thinks politics weren't involved in her nom/win she's got a long road ahead of her
@ElwoodJBlues The academy may not be about politics, but her acceptance speech sure was.
@elverbo Mo'Nique sure is dramatic for a stand-up. She attended Jamie Foxx School of Acting.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Precious.
I said: Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious) I was right. Bugger. It should have been Armando.
Speech: stop crying. 1 out of 10.
2143: Best Make-Up:"Star Trek"
I said: @spikester "best make-up" sounds more like a category in the MTV movie awards.
2134: Best Short Film: "Logorama"
Sorry, not up on these. The only time I've not snoozed through this category is when Aardman are up for something, or the time Dawn Lodge from TV's "Number 73" won an oscar. She didn't accept in rollerskates, more's the pity.
Best Documentary Short: "Music By Prudence". It's a brand new da-hey-hey-heeeyyy-ay. *ahem* Never mind.
2119: Aww, a tribute to John Hughes. "Baby's Day Out" is conspicuous by its absence.
@elverbo Molly Ringwald looks like a sad, sad stripper.
@ebertchicago John Hughes. The sight of Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick brings back so many good memories.
@JElvisWeinstein Pretty in Pink...kinda startling in purple.
@ebertchicago What a great Oscar moment! The children of John Hughes.
2117: Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker".
I said: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (A Serious Man) Pah! Wrong!
@ElwoodJBlues - Miley looks like a country-fried hooker.
@ebertchicago "Up" also wins Best Picture? Not a chance. It got all its votes in the animation category.
2100: Best Animated Film: "Up". I was right. Well deserved.
I said: Should Be: Up - Will Be: Up
Speech: Sweet, and he made his wife cry. 9 outta 10.
Because... why not?
2050: Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds). I was right.
Speech: Grateful and short. 8 outta 10.
@ebertchicago Lip-reading Stanley Tucci: "No hope."
2040: If your personal Oscar drinking game included pounding one back every time the hosts made a cheap "hey! There's [actor]! Glad to see you here! [insert pish movie-related joke here]!!" then you might want to call for an ambulance now. If you're lucky, you won't be dead by the time the paramedics get there. This is the best they've got for an international broadcast, supposedly celebrating the movie industry's best of the best? Really?
@JElvisWeinstein Kind of a "Company Christmas Party" approach Steve and Alec bring to the proceedings.
2037: My brother in law just described steve martin and alec baldwin's entrance onstage as "the most lavish civil ceremony you're ever likely to see".
2035: Aha! So "what promises to be the greatest opening to an academy awards ceremony in decades" turned out to be Dougie Howser singing a barely smile-raising song slightly off-key. Good start then, eh?
2032: Prediuctons, round 5.
Should Be: Up or District 9 - Will Be: Bloody Avatar
Will Be: James Cameron (Avatar) - Should Be: Any bloody other film than bloody Avatar.
2030: I would love to one day walk down the red carpet at the Oscars. I'd look awesome in my new suit, waving to people, taking in the atmosphere. And when one of these vacuous nobodies jams a microphone in my fizzog and says "ooh! Squeal! Spike Nesmith! eeee! Who are you wearing tonight?" I can smile, take a deep breath, and say, "I bought it at JC Penny. It cost less than fifty bucks, because I have PRINCIPLES and I don't spend a stupid amount of money on stupid things when people are starving in the world, and there are people less than a hundred miles away who can't pay for their medical care."
Them I'll flick the Vs at her, walk off muttering and be a You Tube legend.
2020: Predictions, round 4.
I'll be honest... I couldn't give a toss about anything in this category.
Probably Should Be: Helen Mirren (The Last Station) - Probably Will Be: Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)
Should Be: Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) - Will Be: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
2017: @higginbothamp OK. Gonna have to turn off my PC until the Oscars are over. I view the Oscars the same way Sarah Palin views book learnin'.
2013: You have GOT to be shitting me. They're going to refer to "Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire" as the title ALL NIGHT? Give me a friggin' break. Everyone knows what you're talking about, nobody gives a toss what it's based on.
2010: Predictions, round 3.
Will Be: Mo'Nique (Precious)
Should Be: Un Prophete - A Prophet (France)
(not seen the others, or experienced any hype)
2005: Roger Ebert dry-humps the Oscar: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=EB&Date=20100307...
Any why not? I paid $20 to see "Knowing". That's sort of what I feel Hollywood did to me.
2003: Watching the Oscars via The Pittsburgh Channel. Even though I hate Pittsburgh with a burning white-hot passion, because their airport cops are a bunch of wankers who don't get shot at enough, I'm hoping they'll be less incompetent than my local ABC affiliate, who run their TV station in the same way a gang of nuns would run a piss-up.
The broadcast has started, which means we've got at least another 45 minutes before anything happens. Coming next, on ABC's coverage of the academy awards: look how much work it takes to bore me.
1958: Predictions, round 2.
Should Be: Up - Will Be: Up
Should Be: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Will Be: Avatar
1948: Predictions, round 1.
Should Be: District 9 - Will Be: Avatar
Should be: Up (Michael Giacchino) - Will Be: Avatar (James Horner)
Should Be: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Will Be: something that's not The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
1944: From Mystery Science Theatre/RiffTrax genius Bill Corbett:
@BillCorbett I've opted to watch the OSKARS instead -- a celebration of creepy little German kids with drums.
1943: ABC are showing a trailer for this season of "Dancing With The Stars". The term "stars" may contravene the trades descriptions act.
1941: Tweets from Dr Who/Torchwood writer James Moran:
@jamesmoran Interviewer to George Clooney: Hi George! We chatted at the Golden Globes! (like he'll remember) In fairness, he may well remember her unique brand of incompetence and shrieking
1936: This is why it would be awesome to see "In The Loop" win tonight. Apart from the obvious reasons, natch:
There’s not much that can be reprinted from our dinner with the cast and writers of “In the Loop,” mainly because we were laughing too much to write stuff down. A British satire about a certain war in the Middle East, nominated for a screenplay Oscar, “In the Loop” is known for its bawdiness. The dinner, on Saturday night, was more tame – just a few jokes about Hitler as a motivational speaker and Jeff Bridges’s mustache being the best part of “Crazy Heart” – you know, the usual. And Armando Iannucci, a screenwriter and the director, did note that when Miramax executives wanted to buy “In the Loop” after its Sundance premiere last year on the condition that the filmmakers re-edit it, he told them to go expletive themselves.
“In the Loop” was eventually picked up by IFC, which changed nothing. “It’s the biggest film we’ve ever released,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Entertainment. “It’s really given me great faith in the system that the Academy would recognize it.”
The movie has almost no chance of winning. “I’d rather lose to ‘An Education,’ ‘District 9’ or ‘Precious,’’” than “Up in the Air,” one of the four screenwriters said (he begged not to be named). Another, Tony Roche, worried that he would embarrass himself on the press line. “To paraphrase a character in the movie, I worry that I will soil myself, give out my PIN number or be outwardly racist,” he said. He thought a minute and added that the PIN number was the least of his worries, “because I’ve spent all my money to come over here and buy a suit.”
1932: message on chat from my sister:
1930: Some perspective on the important things in life, via back to back tweets from competing news organisations:
1929: @ebertchicago Don't know why Clooney was walking behind the press stand, but he was friendly to fans behind the chain link. They NEVER see anything.
1924: As you might be aware, I'm not paying any attention to the red carpet nonsense. I mean, really. I'm having enough financial problems at the moment, I really don't care to watch a bunch of pampered arseholes talk about the four million dollar dress they're wearing, or what's in their opulent free gift bags. Besides, I don't think Armano Iannucci will be asked anything, and he's the only person I really care about tonight.
1919: ABC showing some sort of retrospective Barbara Walters Interviews type show. She just had Mo'nique on a few minutes ago. As you might expect, softballs a-plenty and nothing challenging, like "how de ye no' have a proper bloody name?" Oh, they jsut ran footage of Jimmy Kimmel walking down a staircase BACKWARDS! Bwhahahaha!! COM-ED-DEE! It, like the man himself, was hilarious. </sarcasm>
1913: Here's a good start, via @SquidyUK, who says "Once again, ladies and gentlemen, the Oscars' worst ever moment: the opening number of The 55th Academy Awards in 1983"
Aw yeah. Check back often this evening. It's only going to get better.