Archive for May, 2009

Hilarious Victoria Wood interview sketch

May 28, 2009

In these uncertain economic times it might be wise to brush up on your skills for possible interviews. Some fantastic interview tips to be had in here and am sure it will make you laugh as well.

Piss Take of Cadburys Adverting

May 27, 2009

Great take-off of the Cadburys ad’s – with Lily Allen on the Sunday Night Project on UK TV. Click on this link to view on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWEOHd9JNmk&eurl

Tom Fishburne Cartoon

May 27, 2009

Brand cartoon

Well worth checking out his blog: http://www.tomfishburne.com/

Movie Review: Quiet Chaos

May 22, 2009

chaos

If you don’t express suffering, does this mean that you aren’t feeling any pain? This is one of the questions faced by the viewer by low-key but occasionally startling film, Quiet Chaos, by Antonello Grimaldi.

A big critical and commercial success in its native Italy and based on a bestselling novel by Sandro Veronesi, on paper it sounds like hard work. Pietro Paladini (Nanni Moretti) is a successful business executive, happily married with a 10-year old daughter, Claudia. In the opening scene, he and his brother rescue two women who are drowning in the sea. This dramatic saving of lives is juxtaposed almost immediately with death – the two men arrive home only to find Pietro’s wife lying dead in the garden. Her sudden death is never explained and barely discussed, but the ramifications of this event shape the rest of this unusual study of the mourning process.

Pietro takes his daughter back to school after the funeral and spontaneously promises her that instead of going to work, he will wait outside until her classes are over.
He continues to do this day after day, gradually building a number of small, mostly wordless connections with other regular visitors to the grassy spot – a dog-walker; a young boy with Down’s syndrome; a café owner.

His behaviour leads to a sort of notoriety and he is joined by his bosses, fellow workers and family members – his brother Carlo and his eccentric actress sister-in-law (Valeria Golino, playing slightly mad very prettily). In their attempts to console him, they instead reveal their own pain and insecurities in the face of his seeming calmness.

With very little incident across close to two hours, this film would only ever succeed on the strength of its performances and fortunately the cast is uniformly strong. Moretti appears in almost every scene but never outstays his welcome. We feel such sympathy for his character, despite the fact that he doesn’t go out of his way to cultivate this. There is something in this man’s story that invites compassion without the film-makers ever resulting to histrionics or emotional manipulation.

It becomes almost uncomfortable at times as the viewer anticipates, and is even eager for, a sense of catharsis. But we only see Pietro let down his emotional guard once, very suddenly, and the impact of this is much greater for being so isolated and brief. An uncharacteristically raw and explicit sexual encounter is similarly powerful for being at odds with the composure that is so prevalent throughout the rest of the film.

The music occasionally threatens to intrude on the naturalistic feeling of the film, with some overly saccharine piano motifs and typically glum Radiohead tunes. But this is only a minor mis-step in what is otherwise an odd little gem of a picture which manages to remain light as a feather in spite of its potentially downbeat subject matter.

But is this a fair representation of how grief really is? I’m not sure, but it is certainly very different to the Sally Field-style hand-wringing we’ve become programmed to expect from entertainment. It feels slightly oddball but genuine, with a sense of stillness and normality I suspect the audience can relate to more than any amount of dramatic wailing.

Reviewed by: The All Knowing I

Will the reall Miss California please step forward

May 19, 2009

This is hilarious – a parody of Miss California giving a press conference, not far off what the genuine article said…

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Review of Angels & Demons

May 17, 2009

A&D

It’s been three years since the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code stormed the multiplexes of the world and earned its stripes as what publicists like to call a ‘global phenomenon’. Sure, some found it lumbering and laughable, but it took more than $750 million worldwide (it’s the 26th most successful film of all time!) and the novels of author Dan Brown have hovered near the top of bestseller lists for much of the last three years.

So it makes financial sense at least for the original production team, led by Ron Howard, to return to Brown’s material. Clearly hoping that the world’s cinema audiences will be back for more as they endeavour to unravel the main conundrum raised by the first film – does it all make sense if you haven’t read the book?

This time we’re in Rome. The pope has died suddenly and the ancient ritual of Conclave is under way, the process by which a new Holy Father is elected. The favoured candidates, the Preferiti, are kidnapped by a secret society called the Illuminati who threaten to kill one Cardinal each hour before igniting a bomb in the Vatican.

Who could possibly avert such a crisis? Step forward Robert Langdon, Harvard symbologist extraordinaire, who is whisked directly to Rome and into a whirlwind of intrigue that catapults him between famous landmarks across the city. He is joined by Vittoria Vetra, played by gorgeous Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer, a Eurobabe-cum-nuclear scientist whose work may hold the answer to one of science and religion’s greatest puzzles (drumroll here) – “the moment of Creation itself!”.

Langdon is again played by Tom Hanks, looking surprisingly fresh and buff in an early swimming scene, but who then proceeds to stumble about on autopilot, pointing at statues and delivering a stream of sanctimonious exposition. This is the type of movie where people don’t have real conversations; they shout plot detail at each other and decipher clues as they run up stairs and down passageways.

As in The Da Vinci Code, we are in the realm where theology is notionally pitted against science. But everything that is potentially interesting about this conflict is quickly sidelined as the audience is plunged into the only story Dan Brown seems able to tell – a race against time peppered with Famous Five-style clues, all wrapped up in a Scooby Doo quality whodunit.

Many important questions are left unanswered. How does Vetra’s hair stay so clean? Would a scientist really be so squeamish when faced with a human eyeball? And when will Ewan McGregor learn that he should only be in musicals? The production design is admittedly impressive, especially the replicas of well-known Roman landmarks, built nearly to scale in Los Angeles. And Hans Zimmer provides a fittingly tense and pounding score, maxing out on choral effects for the big scenes.

Ron Howard works really hard to keep us engaged in his increasingly improbable story. Cars screech and race through busy streets; cameras swoop over the wings of carved angels to reveal enormous crowd scenes. But there’s only so much of this we can take and one soon hungers for the insight and economy of Howard’s last film, the much smaller but infinitely more gripping Frost/Nixon.

Ultimately, this is a loud, long, confused muddle of a movie which swaps sense for a sense of excitement, but that probably won’t stop it from finding a large audience desperate for a Dan Brown fix until his new novel release in September 2009.

Maybe Angels and Demons will be more thrilling and just make more sense to someone who has read the original novel. I suspect it’s definitely a case of preaching to the converted.

Reviewed By: The All Knowing I

To beard or not to beard…

May 13, 2009

beard

 I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about the fact that I was thinking of growing a beard, well trying to grow a beard and he almost hung up on me out of disgust…

Why is it some people hate facial hair so much? I for one am a big fan, always have been. Maybe it comes from having spent some of my formative years in South Africa where the big bushy Afrikaner beard was something for a man to be proud of.

Over the years I have attempted a beard and in the past few years I have fully participated in Movember, (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health. For more info check it out here:

http://www.movember.com

 Now Movember has been a great excuse for me to be able to grow a moustache, but it has also been a reminder that, although I can grow an amazing 70’s porno style mo, alas I can’t grow a full beard. I have a few patches of skin that stubbornly refuse to allow any hair growth.

Since prehistoric and then neanderthal time for a man a beard was the norm, it is only in recent years really (in the grand scheme of things) that beards have fallen out of fashion. The rise of Christianity is in part to blame (everyone seems to blame everything on the Christians so I thought I would jump on the band wagon). Early Christian teaching was that facial hair was demonic and could lead to debauched behaviour. Funny how modern imagery of Jesus is of a bearded man… and of course in modern history warfare has had an impact. By the time of World War two came around military forces had mandated the prohibition of beards for reasons of uniformity, hygiene, discipline, or tactical demands (such as the proper fitting and seal of a gas mask) which contributed greatly to the decline of the beard.

However, the beard is making a bit of a resurgence, YAY I hear you all cry. Some have said it is because “men want to be men”. The whole metrosexual thing went just that little too far and we want to re-claim our masculinity. Another theory is it is about rebelling against the conformity that is so prevalent in our society and in particular in the corporate world.

Either way I don’t care – I just want to be able to grow one…..