Friday, 22 August 2014

Out On Blue Six : Kate Bush

I've been in my element tonight, thanks to BBC4 and their night devoted to the blessed Kate Bush, my music heroine. 

The night consisted of a great documentary followed by the usual '...At The BBC' compilation clip show of her various performances for BBC programmes down the years. It's certainly one to check out on iPlayer or the repeat later. 

End Transmission

Space Age Shrimpton

Jean Shrimpton, Harper's Bazaar, April 1965

Out On Blue Six : Cilla Black

This one has been going round my head for some time now on account of the tantalising trailer (shown below) for ITV's upcoming biopic Cilla, written by Jeff Pope starring Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black herself and Aneurin Barnard (who had previously played David Bailey in BBC4's We'll Take Manhattan opposite Karen Gillan as Jean Shrimpton as her husband Bobby. Also in the cast are John Henshaw and Melanie Hill as Cilla's parents and Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein. I can't wait!

End Transmission


Just some great shots from the photoshoot for 1941's High Sierra 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Honourable Woman (2014)

"Who do you trust?"

The Honourable Woman, Hugo Blick's much awaited follow up to 2011's wonderfully dark and evocative, convoluted thriller The Shadow Line has been a real oasis in a summer schedule clogged up with sporting events. Perhaps inevitably, it didn't quite set the nation talking - the sporting events, its place on BBC2  and it's deliberately labyrinthine somewhat woozy but always classy and intelligent snail's pace put paid to that - but it truly stood out as a drama of quality and distinction.

(Of course, there was the elephant in the room regarding the schedule too, its spooky and prescient appearance just in time for the latest upheaval and conflict between Israel and Palestine)

Closing tonight after eight leisurely paced but vice-like gripping instalments I'm not entirely sure I understood every one of its multiple twists and turns nor why it truly required a very dense eight hours to tell them, but I am glad that it had the chance and opportunity to breathe. The ripples sent out from each strand of the story crept under the viewers skin making what felt at times like a remote drama (albeit one exquisitely and beautifully made) connect on an almost surreptitious level. Like good literature, much of The Honourable Woman lingered in the mind from Thursday to Thursday and, I suspect will continue to do so even now it has ended.

Yes the feints and baffling details served up so matter of factly by the brilliantly talented auteur Hugo Blick, who wrote, directed and produced, may have infuriated but overall one could not help but be in awe at his abilities as a storyteller and his utter trust in the intelligence and patience of the viewer. It's a rare thing indeed in modern television and it should be praised highly and greatly. After all, it is such talent that managed to attract the likes of Stephen Rea, Janet McTeer, Eve Best, Lindsay Duncan, Katherine Parkinson and Andre Buchan  but above all, special praise must go to Hollywood A lister Maggie Gyllenhaal sporting a cut glass British accent and delivering a faultless absorbing performance as the honourable woman in question; Dame Nessa Stein, a businesswoman who wanted to bridge the gulf between her native Israel and Palestine.  Her name on the list of BAFTA nominations for Best Actress next year is simply a must, but she'll be facing stiff competition from the likes of Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty) and, if Broadchurch series 2 is aired before the closing date, Olivia Colman.

The Stamp Collection

Terence Stamp, pimping it up!

The Cath In The Hat


Catherine Deneuve

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Enough Said (2013)

Whoa, hold on to your tits, because what we have here is a romantic comedy that is not only both romantic and funny but is mawkish sentimentalism free, so it doesn't make you cringe in that way that even some of the glossy better quality yet still stereotypical romcoms do. And more than that, it is relatable in a way that most romcoms aren't (yes, even those glossy better quality yet still stereotypical ones) and still more, it focuses on the unrepresented middle ground of cinema; the 40 and 50 something divorcees hoping to find The (Next) One.

Is that Enough Said

It's a sweet, heartfelt comedy of love's rocky road and the social errors and etiquettes singletons find themselves traversing. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a past master on this terrain thanks to her award winning performances as Elaine Benes in Seinfeld and, more recently, Selina Meyer in Veep, but its James Gandolfini who surprises and impresses with a more tender and amiable performance that the material requires. That such an actor who had so many sides to offer, many of them barely touched upon, has been taken so soon is a real tragedy. Together they have a natural chemistry that makes their relationship such a believable and great watch at both its highs and its lows. Who'd have thought Elaine Benes and Tony Soprano would get it on?!

Enough Said may be a smidgen contrived but its central performances help us to overlook that, leaving the viewer feeling rather charmed as a result.

Cars & Girls

Dita Von Teese