The last week or so’s seen me watching a few things I either haven’t watched / heard much of before, or that I’ve been waiting desperately for for a good long while. Figured I might as well share…
Music Decides… and Wins
A little while back I was at work, drunk / hungover, with little to do and my wallet in my pocket. Oh, and with access to the internet.
We were stood around, talking about films, and I was wracking my brain trying to think up the title of a film that I simply love the soundtrack of, but had actually never seen. After much deliberation, frustrated (and foolish) guesses the name came to me (via Google-searching the Artists and Tracks…) – Natural Born Killers by Oliver Stone / Quentin Tarantino, and starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis as the murderers central to the story. As mentioned, it’s the first time I’d done it, but I wanted to watch it and bought it purely on the strength of the soundtrack. And I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m not going to bother getting into the little details you can find all over the place about what this movie means / analyzes / comments on but it is fascinating to see a couple of the points the characters raise in their various little segments, especially after they’ve been arrested. To be fair, up until that point I found the film enjoyable and entertaining, but it was the stretch after they’d been arrested and were in jail that really gripped me. Mickey (Harrelson) being interviewed by Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.) was great.
Well worth a watch, especially if you enjoyed such things Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and similar.
Mr. Stephen Fry recommends…
I’ve enjoyed various things featuring Stephen Fry for a good long while now, and just before I returned from being in Egypt I read his auto-biography – Moab is My Washpot and, to borrow a popular phrase, fucking loved it. The way it was written, the humour, the story-telling, the sensible parts, the analysis of different things, all added together to make it thoroughly bloody good read, and set off a somewhat renewed passion for seeking out some of his other things (not his physical possessions and the like, you understand, more like his different articles and the like as they caught my eye). It was shortly after this when I noticed he had written a piece for The Guardian entitled ‘Deliver Us From Microsoft’, commenting on Ubuntu and some other open source things, and had posted this on his blog. The blog quickly became a new staple addition to my growing list of RSS Feeds I try to read through every so often. Not too long after, that same RSS Feed notified me that he was starting to do a podcast. Bloody brilliant. And well worth a listen.
Anyway, now that I’ve given you all that spiel, the podcast that affects this little story was Episode 2 – Bored of the Dance, in which, amongst other things covering not liking to dance and music in general, he quotes a scene from the 1988 film Running on Empty by Sidney Lumet and starring Christine Lahti, River Phoenix, and Judd Hirsch, amongst others.
The scene he quotes is one I’d actually heard of before, but never remembered the name of the film, and it’s the part fairly close to the start of the film, where Danny Pope (River Phoenix), on his first day in a new school and using another fake identity (read the IMDB description or Fry’s blog to get a rough idea of the background), chirps up from his seat at the back of the music class he’s just joined, and makes a pretty insightful comment above and beyond the answers put forward by his peers to mark out the difference between a piece of Classical music (in the scene’s case, Beethoven) and a piece of modern pop music. Watch the film (or listen to Fry) if you want to know what he says. It’s good. Or, at least, I thought it was.
Anyway, based on what was mentioned in that Podcast, I figured it was worth a go and, seeing I was already ordering Natural Born Killers from Amazon, I might as well double my drunken spending spree and go really wild. So I also bought a copy of Snatch, as I hadn’t watched that in a long time.
To be short, it was a much better film than I’d anticipated. From wha I’d heard about it I figured I’d like it, but I thought it would be one of those that I could take or leave. I was wrong. It’s not high-paced, action-packed or any of that fun stuff, but it is a simply excellent storyline and script that really draws you in and gets you associated with the characters and the complications / dilemmas they are forced to face. Good stuff. I can thoroughly recommend it.
Who’s a Cylon…?
That’s right, Battlestar Galactica Season 4 has begun. Bloody brilliant. Can’t get enough of it. That is all.