Filler by Proxy XXXVI: Harry Pollock and the Halftone Prints*

Tuesday 4 July 2006

*Yes, it’s terrible. Just terrible. But I can’t be arsed finishing the longer post I was writing about art or something, and I’ve been ragging on Pollock lately. Also, this synopsis conjured up pleasing images of the series ending with a thick-set, balding Harry Potter getting liquored up and wrapping his car around a stobie pole. Thanks to the Flickr Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers Pool.

Previously: More fun with shithouse Chinese bootleg DVDs.

Another bad movie heads-up

Friday 16 December 2005

More film crew vans spotted in the street, last night around where I work in Euston. This time for The Children of Men, which a quick check of the IMDb shows is indeed a film adaptation of P.D. James’ misbegotten attempt at sci-fi.
My first thought was that every other James novel must have now been filmed, having remembered that fans and critics alike responded to this book with a chorus of “don’t give up your day job.” Having just discussed Iain Sinclair’s Lights Out for the Territory, I also recalled that book’s passing reference to “that turkey The Children of Men (stacks of which were appearing in remainder shops everywhere)”, but it appears that someone has decided to risk their money on it.
Serious money. My next thought was that this was going to be a TV mini-series, like almost all other film/video adaptations of her books, but no, this is a big-budget job directed by that Brazilian bloke who did the last Harry Potter movie.
The crew had closed off the entire park – god knows how they evicted the clumps of speed freaks who congregate around the basketball court drinking 2-litre PET bottles of white cider. If you go see this film and notice in some scenes skeevy people pacing to and fro in the background clutching green plastic bottles, remember they’re not actors.
I looked, but couldn’t spot Michael Caine or Julianne Moore anywhere. With or without plastic cider bottles. Sorry.
It’s been about 25 years since anyone attempted a movie-movie of a P.D. James novel, Chris Petit’s “dark, stylised” version of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Sinclair, an associate of Petit’s, describes the unfortunate history of that film in Lights Out: “a vanity script that brought with it a couple of wealthy amateurs who wanted to buy into the business.” On the positive side, it is a rare James book that omits the “creepy and prophylactic” Inspector Dalgleish or one of his surrogates, who in The Children of Men will be played by Clive Owen.

Cock and Bull, or how to talk youself out of leaving the house and paying for a movie ticket.

Monday 24 October 2005

Still juggling several long posts that I can’t be bothered finishing just now, and besides I’ve just found out that someone (Michael Winterbottom) has made a movie based on the greatest novel ever written, Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. (Not to be confused with the blog of the same name.)
That said, I probably won’t go and see it. The last time I went to a cinema of my own volition was to watch Tank Girl and I don’t think I’ve sufficiently recovered to show my face again around a ticket booth just yet. Besides, it’s one of those novels-they-said-could-never-be-filmed; worse, it’s one of those films-about-making-a-film.
A lot of this smart-arsed japery can be sheeted home to Sterne* himself, who all but created the book-within-a-book genre and more stylistic tricks than the combined forces of the postmodernists have deconstructed. But what almost every would-be imitator neglects is that through all of its futile textual acrobatics, Sterne’s book paints the most compassionate, kind-hearted and life-affirming portrait of human imperfection.
It’s hard to imagine how the movie could add up to more than a sequence of unconnected skits, although framing it in a story of the vanity of attempting a film adaptation could help this problem. Alternatively, it could end up like Sally Potter’s film of Orlando, which was only any good in the bits which weren’t based on the book.
Either way, it may be worth watching just for the prospect of Dylan Moran reading the Curse of Ernulphus.
* Not, to my knowledge, on the cover of Sergeant Pepper. He did, however, get namedropped by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Who misspelled his name on the lyric sheet.

Coming Soon to a Weekly Video Rental Shelf Near You

Sunday 12 June 2005

I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned The Specialist. It is a cursed abomination of a fillum, and just mentioning its name is enough to have appalling repercussions. I didn’t have a camera on me at the time, so you’ll have to take my word for it: a small convoy of film crew vans idling in Brewer Street, Soho. On the dashboard visible through the windscreen, along with the usual permits and empty Mars wrappers, was the large identifying sign “BASIC INSTINCT 2“.
And yes, Sharon Stone is in it; although she turned it down at first. However, as the production has stumbled on from one director to another, year after year, without anything getting done, she has had time to star in Catwoman, Beautiful Joe, Gloria, and The Muse, and subsequently reconsider her dwindling options.
No-one else from the original appears to be in the sequel, not even Jeanne Tripplehorn. It’s supposed to be set in London, in case you were wondering: everyone works cheaper here and they won’t have to spend money disguising the locations.

Don’t forget Paradise Alley: he starred in, wrote, directed, and sang the theme song for that one

Wednesday 25 May 2005

Movie fans, literature fans, it’s time to get Big Kev excited: shooting starts in September for a film biography of Edgar Allan Poe, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone.
The Guardian gives a fair and impartial report:
Unfortunately for posterity, Stallone will not play Poe.

The Interpreter: care factor?

Wednesday 13 April 2005

This movie plot sounds like something you’d find over at Query Letters I Love, except it’s actually been made. For 80 million dollars.

The Interpreter

Nicole Kidman stars as African-born U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome, who inadvertently overhears a death threat against an African head of state scheduled to address the United Nation’s General Assembly. Realizing she’s become a target of the assassins as well, Silvia’s desperate to thwart the plot… if only she can survive long enough to get someone to believe her.
Oh no! An African head of state’s life is threatened! The world has truly gone mad! No wonder no-one will believe her.
Our Nicole: Ossifer! Someone wants to kill an African head of state!
Guy in uniform: Pffft! Who’d want to do something like that? Africa is so politically stable.
Our Nicole: Exactly! Don’t you see? The killing of an African leader will have serious repercussions around the world, too horrible to contemplate!
Guy in uniform: My god, you’re right. We came so close to the brink of armageddon back when Ibrahim Bare Mainassara bought it.
Another guy: Not to mention Muhammad Boudiaf.
Guy in uniform: Or Cyprien Ntaryamira. Wall Street’s still got the jitters over that one.
Another guy: And Juvenal Habriarimana.
Guy in uniform: Then there was Melchior Ndadaye.
Another guy: Laurent Kabila.
Guy in uniform: Well, duh! How far back have we gone now?
Another guy: About ten years. Wait a minute, where’s Africa exactly?
Our Nicole: You don’t understand. This has special relevance for me, because I am also African.
Guy in uniform: You’re African?
Our Nicole: Well, African-born. I won’t confuse you by specifying a country.
Guy in uniform: So that’s why you’re talking with a weird accent that comes and goes at random.
Another guy: Now you got a cushy job in New York. Counsellor Troi is sensing White Guilt, here.
Guy in uniform: Enough with the frickin’ Counsellor Troi jokes, already.
Our Nicole: Anyway, he is African like me, and all countries on our continent are the bestest of friends. Besides, the people of his country will be devestated if their benevolent, competent, democratically-elected leader cannot serve out his full, corruption-free term in office before promptly calling a free and fairly-contested general election.
Guy in uniform: What country are we talking about?
Our Nicole: Monkeysflyoutmybuttania. Now are you gonna help me or do I have to call in Bob Geldof?
Guy in uniform: Alright, alright! We’ll help you stop this assassination plot you overheard.
Our Nicole: Well, it wasn’t so much of a plot, as such. It was more like a threat.
Gut in uniform: A threat?
Our Nicole: Yeah, this guy was all like, “I’ll kill that bastard, he’s eaten the last Tim-Tam!”
Guy in uniform: Never mind, we won’t let him get killed. Not until he’s safely on his home soil.
Another guy: Unless they just blow his plane out of the sky on his way back.
Our Nicole: Or he’s shot by his own bodyguards.
Guy in uniform: Welps, this calls for action. Who’s for donuts?
All: Mmmmmmmm, donuts…..
(Enter Monkeysflyoutmybuttanian ambassador)

!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!
Ambassador: I am authorised to say that my President has never heard of Johnny Farnham.

A fishtank full of blood

Tuesday 15 March 2005

He’s back!
Krankiboy is gifted another cinematic masterpiece from maverick auteur Erik Blevins: Cancer Pond! The powerful concluding sentence:

They symbolically eat the fish, and mom makes an ornament out of the dead bird (a new artistic endeavor = hope and possible fucking in the near future) and that’s what the credits are rolling over – the dead bird ornament and it makes the audience think.

Remind us again why we’re supposed to care about Australian movies

Saturday 5 March 2005

David and Margaret dish out some soft prejudice on the new Australian movie, “The Illustrated Family Doctor“. It is advertised as a comedy.
An ambitious Australian film… you don’t really care very much about… any of the characters in the film. As a comedy, it’s a very academic exercise… sterile… keeps you at arm’s length from it… humour which you sort of register but you don’t laugh out loud about. But, you know, you sort of feel that all the ingredients go towards some sort of interesting mix.

Filler by Proxy XIII: a deadly portion of whup-ass

Saturday 5 March 2005

Krankiboy goes shopping for manilla folders and meets a shop assistant who takes the Real Ultimate Power website way too seriously and is writing a screenplay. Insanity ensues.

If you think most movies are crap, at least you can thank kooks like this for reminding you there are plenty of worse movies that could be made. Dozens of them:
Imagine Julia Roberts, Pres. George W. Bush, Mick Jagger and Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones all in the same room. Suddenly the doors to that room are locked behind them, and the famous four are forced to play ingenious and twisted games of survival until only one is left alive.
This is the first screenplay in a planned trilogy. It is told in a non-linear narrative style. A group of kids form a math club which turns into a nightmare of bureaucracy and ends up consuming their lives. It eventually leads to someone’s murder.
“Eyna!” (South African for “Ouch!”) is the comedic tale of a man, a manly-man, a sports-legend, national hero, nay a cricket god, who finds himself… pregnant? Ah, the fickle finger of fate and misguided storks.
Actually, I can imagine that last one as a comeback vehicle for Yahoo Serious.

Filler by Proxy XII: Top 10 Reasons Why I Hate Fake Lesbian Porno

Thursday 17 February 2005

Well, it’s why Rollertrain hates it, actually. But I’m sure we all agree with her, don’t we? Especially you, auntie.
Answer me this, bitches: If a dick devotee like myself can figure out that all clitori pretty much require the same kind of stimulation that mine does, then why – you eighteen-year-old Californian cretins, with your sexual boundary issues and your ass tattoos and your daddy deficits and your navel rings and those cheap plastic stripper shoes – shouldn’t you?

Oh yeah, and for christ’s sake cut those stupid fingernails.

Uncharitable thoughts

Wednesday 18 August 2004

Due to some zany mix-up or a drug deal gone wrong at the studio headquarters, Danny Deckchair has been released in cinemas in the U.S. The Onion‘s review begins:

Danny Deckchair‘s title, premise, and Australian origin all serve as a giant warning sign reading “Danger! Wackiness Ahead!” An example of why the phrase “Australian comedy” strikes fear in the hearts of so many discriminating moviegoers…

Just reading this has swung me 100% in support of the Free Trade Agreement, especially if it really will annihilate the Australian film industry as the doomsayers predict. If years of subsidies have reduced Australian culture to such a state of international humiliation that even outward-looking Americans know that Australia = Crap it’s time the film industry was euthanatized. And while we’re at it we may as well take out John Cornell too.
If Australian movies are supposed to be “telling ourselves who we are” and we’re at risk of being swamped by American culture, then I’d rather be a wisecracking cop who doesn’t play by the rules than an Abba-loving transvestite wog who exchanges stilted, unfunny dialogue with my insufferable friends, who each have one irritating quirk instead of a personality and wilfully misunderstand everything I say to get us into hi-la-rious situations before a bunch of slow-witted sheep-shagging cockies teach me to believe in myself. To add insult to injury I’d probably also fall down a lot, accompanied by a wacky sound-effect.
At least it’s better than the days of not so long ago when by law every movie made in Australia had to have horses in it, but there’s still too many people working on Australian film sets whose job is shovelling shit.