Wednesday, December 31, 2003

All entries for 2004 can be found here

The last film to be seen by me this year is Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West on DVD around about 4 am to 6.30 am or so and just before it I watched the documentary about it on the 2nd DVD. Watched the film with the commentary track on so I got to hear the likes of directors such as John Milius, Alex Cox and John Carpenter comment on the film and Bertolucci talk about his input to the script and Claudia Cardinale say how embarrassing and awkward it was to shoot her first scene with Henry Fonda at the Cinecitta studios with not only the production people but also journalists looking on as she did a pretty risque (for its time) love scene with the screen legend. No sound bytes or interviews with Charles Bronson but there were a few old video interviews with Leone and Fonda.
As for the film itself that was actually the first time I ever saw it . The Morricone score isn't as famous as say The Good the Bad and the Ugly but it was still quite good with each of the 4 main characters having their own theme including Jason Robards.
I don't even remember seeing it on TV ever although I do remember seeing the other 3 Clint Eastwood westerns on TV at various times.
Quite good with an epic quality to it but I don't think there's ever been an epic western to compare with say Quo Vadis or Ben Hur (as to the number of background characters with some story and crowd scenes, complications of plot, etc.) Most western can be reduced to a handful of people interacting in some way. In this case just 4 and even though Cardinale had a major part she was quite passive in it, about as passive as Charles Bronson who seemed to watch things from the side for most of the film.
Picked up a copy of the Sydney Festival program and it seems that Tom Stoppard is doing a talk on the 11th and it's only 35 bucks and a Sunday so as long as I'm not working I definitely plan to go to that as long as I can get a ticket.

In my local comics shop found copies of Gary Spencer Millidge's two Strangehaven books Arcadia and Brotherhood. Also lots of Cerebus to choose from (except for the first four) so I went for Melmoth (the Oscar Wilde issue)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Xmas presents I forgot to mention included two book vouchers from sisters-in-law which came in quite handy. With one I bought Tragically I was an Only Twin: The Complete Peter Cook and with the other a DVD of Once Upon a Time in the West

Added some new entries to Wikipedia for John Coulthart, The Mindscape of Alan Moore and Shadowsnake Films

Monday, December 29, 2003

"Sure all men are created equal
Here's a church, here's a steeple"

Alan Bates yet another sixties British cinema icon died on the 27th of December aged 69. Probably best known for film roles in Zorba the Greek, he also appeared in Hamlet, Royal Flash, The Go-Between, Women in Love, Georgy Girl,A Kind of Loving and Whistle Down the Wind as well as doing some memorable TV and theatre work and had recently received a knighthood in March this year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

And so this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
A new one just begun

- John Lennon

"That's in all the contracts. That's what they call a sanity clause"
- Groucho
"You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause"
- Chico
A Night at the Opera

Volunteered to index the Alan Moore Interview on pgs. 207-239 for the Heroes and Monsters Index Project but probably won't get a chance to do it till early next year.
Hope Lange who played Mrs. Muir in the TV series of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir died a few days ago. She certainly was a beautiful woman. I remember Harry Nilsson once had an acting role in the series after which he said he fired his agent.
Bought my first issue of Dave Sim's Cerebus (Latter Days 32 or #297). Only 3 to go.
Xmas presents for the parents.
For my father Citizen Kane on DVD and for my mother Lillian Jackson Braun's The Private Life of the Cat Who...

Seen on a t-shirt worn by a teenage girl:

So many boys
So little time

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I don't care what they have to say
It makes no difference anyway
Whatever it is I'm against it

- Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers

I meant to post before this and I actually did do a post a week or more ago but for some reason it didn't register.

Let's see what's happened in the last few weeks.

Films seen recently. LXG the movie seen on a pirated DVD copied form a South East Asian master complete with hilarious subtitles obviously done by someone who could speak English phonetically even if they didn't always know the meaning of the words.

Even worse than From Hell as an adaptation of an Alan Moore comic. I would say that less than 1% of the original comic made it into the finished film. OK on its' own terms but it could have been so much better. Also saw Master and Commander. Haven't seen a film that good in ages and because a friend wanted to go Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Joe Dante threw in a few reference to 50's SF films but for me the best part was Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck being pursued by Elmer Fudd through several painting in the Louvre including
Dali's Persistence of Memory
Munch's The Scream
Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon.... and
a Tolouse Lautrec poster.

Yesterday I finally made it half way through freezing the first 25 Promethea annotations pages. Up to #13 now. Behind schedule but I hope to have done all 25 by mid-January at the latest.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

"God is dead, Fred
Fred is dead, God

- Graffiti seen many years ago

It didn't garner as much news coverage as the similar death of Oliver Reed but David Hemmings another icon of the 60's movie scene in Britain died recently. Best known for Blow Up he also had memorable roles in Barbarella, Camelot and The Charge of the Light Brigade plus a role so small that I missed it in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Finally caught up with this on the weekend on a pirated DVD copy made from South East Asia with subtitles obviously done by someone who could speak English phonetically but didn't know what the words meant.
To my eyes less than 1% of Alan and Kevin's original comic book made it into the film. Basically just the title, some character names, the fact that Jekyll becomes much bigger when he is Hyde and one minor character quoting the first line from Moby Dick. Disappointing to say the least. The bit I liked best was the 20th Century Fox logo at the start still appearing in the background after it fades and even that was a ripoff of the first Indiana Jones film.
Also on the weekend saw Master and Commander: The End of the World. Can't remember the last time I saw a film this good.
There was even a joke in it worse than Alan's Matter tau mind in Promethea about

The lesser of two weevils

Friday, December 05, 2003

Managed to pick up a copy of The Thackery T Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases along with Promethea #28 on Wednesday. To learn more about the Guide check the Official Website
First rough annotations of #28 already done and visible here if the regular page is having too many hits.

The Lambshead Guide should be compulsory reading for all first year medical students

Pills. The Root of all medical evil
- Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead

Also bought the special edition of In Time: The Best of REM
I meant to buy it before but couldn't resist after reading Promethea #28
That Smee in the corner
Losing my religion

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

If you have nothing to say, say it - Robert Benchley

Have frozen up to issue #6 of my first Promethea Notes & Annotations page, except that I still need to add some more quotes to Issue #5. So that's Book One almost completed. Only 3 more to go.

Also I managed to index another 10 pages (pgs. 91-100) of Jess Nevins Heroes and Monsters for Damian Gordon's Indexing Project. His League of Leagues page is a good complement to Jess' online annotations. All in all things are going well.

... and Promethea #28 finally comes out today so lots more annotating over the next few days for me.

Have also asked people for help in finding out more about Promethea outside the works of Alan Moore as well as asking if they have any questions they would like to ask of the people who help produce Promethea for my Guide Book.

Also thanks to smoky man managed to get in touch with the Spanish translator of Promethea whose name is Gonzalo Quesada. He actually lives in
Memphis, Tennesse
[wouldn't that be a good placename to use in a song lyric? :-)]
although he's going holidaying in Spain soon but hopefully after that he'll answer a whole lot of interview questions I've sent him. Still waiting to hear back from the German translator whom I sent a similar group of questions about a month ago now.

I notice that John Coulthart has some information about a new 2004 calendar available from his website. Check it out. Wouldn't you like to be looking at those 12 images over the next year. Put one up at your office at work and scare off your co-workers when they come to hassle you.
Also found out that you can buy his As Above, So Below (Tree of Life like the London Underground Railway system map) as a greeting card, postcard or a poster.
and you can also buy a poster of The Highbury Working CD cover with some extra imagery from Top Shelf.

Monday, December 01, 2003

You don't want to make a Spoonerism from Huckleberry Finn - Anonymous

Just back from holidays today. I did actually get to a PC a couple of times just to read emails but that was all.
Spent 3 days at Narooma and amongst other things drover past but didn't stay at the Zane Grey Caravan Park in Bermagui.
A quote from a website I've forgotten

Renowned American writer Zane Grey captured, in Hemingwayesque fashion, the thrill of big-game fishing in Bermagui in two books, An American Angler in Australia and Wilderness Fresh.

Also went to see Matrix Revolutions by myself at the Narooma Theatre (9.30 pm till 11.00 screening) and I turned out to be the only one in the audience. First time I've been to a film theatre and been the only one watching the film. Closest I came was many years ago when a friend and I went to see Brian De Palma's Blow Out and there were about 12 people at most in the audience and again a couple of years ago at a local cinema where the same thing happened with The Fellowship of the Ring at a theatre that has since closed down. I told the cinema owner if he wanted to go home early he could just skip the screening but he still went ahead with it. I wonder if the cost of one ticket would have paid enough for the electricity.

Disappointing to say the least especially if like me you haven't actually seen the second film so you don't know why Neo wakes up in a completely white train station lying on the floor. The outdoor scenes weren't all that impressive to me as I know just about all the locations from having walked in them myself. (The film was shot in Sydney). and Bruce Spence seemed wasted in a role that basically reprises the type of character he played way back in Mad Max 2. Didn't particularly like all the gung-ho supermacho attitude to machine guns and robot bodies. Bits of the film seemed to be taken from Star Wars and others from the Alien films. I was so disinterested in who won the war that I wouldn't have cared if the robots won and all the human race were wiped out and the heroines death scene seemed to go on too long for me.

A couple of days later my wife went to see Intolerable Cruelty by herself at the same cinema. Lucikly there were about 6 people in the audience that time. The owner told me that their biggest success recently was Travelling Birds which had about 100 people in the audience for one screening.

Bought a copy of Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures #2 and also the Necro-Comicon preview mag. I wonder if that's how it happened to Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby?

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