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Friday, 23 January 2015

Hints of Schnitzler at Slapstick Festival

This is a review of The Marriage Circle (1924) with harp score from Elizabeth-Jane Baldry at Slapstick Festival

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

23 January (1 February, updated with commentary on the film / more of the introduction)

This is a review of The Marriage Circle (1924), as introduced at Slapstick Festival by Lucy Porter and screened with a new score from,
and performed by, Elizabeth-Jane Baldry on Thursday 22 January 2015

The introduction
Lucy Porter’s rather scatty introduction – but we forgave her that for her enthusiasm for the film to come (with even an assurance of A raunchy sex-scene involving a boiled egg*) – conjured with names such as Warner Bros, Ernst Lubitsch and Marie Provost (who, as Lucy said, stole every scene)…

We learnt, also, that it was Ernst Lubitsch’s second feature, after having come to Hollywood at the behest of Mary Pickford. [The screenplay was ‘drafted’ – so the word has it in the credits – by Paul Bern, after the stage-play by Lothar Schmidt.] Adolphe Mejou (Professor Stock) was to become best known for Howard Hughes’ The Front Page (1931), and, for The Birth of a Nation (1915) [directed by one of Pickford’s fellow United Artists], actor Monte Blue (who gives us the smooth, if guileless, Dr Braun) had been a stuntman.

More curiously still, Lucy dispelled the story that Marie Prevost had committed suicide and been eaten by her dog : it appears that (a little as in >The Artist (2011) ? - please also see below), she had actually ‘piled on the pounds’, but then dieted to excess, and succumbed to malnutrition. As Lucy commented, an unusual piece of information to precede a comedy, but all was well, because, when Elizabeth-Jane Baldry had been enthusiastically welcomed, they quipped again about that moment with the boiled egg !

The score
Even more so than exponents of the guitar, those of the harp love the form that their instruments take. Yes, sax-players, too, will exhale breathily through their instruments, and also use the sound of their opening and closing keys, and the rods and key touches that operate them, but a concert harp is large (so is, in its way, a theorbo – with its long, free strings), and hence, for example, tapping, knocking or running one’s fingers along the soundboard or body all have much resonance to them.

Composer and harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry is acutely aware, in her film-scores for solo harp, that cinema is not only a visual, but also a tactile medium, and so she has given great thought to being ingenious with the production not of every sound-effect (for this is not [attempting to be] live foley, and the best accompaniment to silent film is more like poetry than absolute mimesis), but the ones that psychologically speak volumes** (in a highly Freudian film), amongst which are :

* The springs of Professor Josef Stock’s exercise-machine (in which, to the exclusion of his younger wife Mizzi (Marie Prevost), he seems overly interested)

* A shutting series of doors (there are many opening and closing doors in The Marriage Circle) as Dr Franz Braun leaves the Stocks’ apartment

* Mizzi’s shock, as she depresses a cluster of notes on the piano keyboard, when she realizes that she has already met Charlotte’s husband

* Chimes that reinforce the sense of urgency as Dr Braun realizes that he cannot afford to wait for another taxi

* Tense moments when the telephone jaggedly rings and is answered to significant effect

The film is a delight, but bring an intelligent piece of cinema alongside a score that has viewed the film with great intelligence and which is played with conviction and verve, and everything is enhanced, the knowingness of the screenplay and direction, the sharpness of the editing, and the depth of the acting :

The synergy has been demonstrated again and again, from (to name but two) Neil Brand’s (@NeilKBrand’s) playing Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday) (1930) at Cambridge Film Festival / #CamFF 2014 (@camfilmfest) to Elizabeth-Jane with The Phantom of The Opera (1925, but revised 1929) at the curious St Bart’s Hospital Pathology Museum… !

To give just a flavour of Elizabeth-Jane’s skilled approach, because one really does need to hear it live, one can characterize the accompaniment to the opening titles as being suitably strophic, and then, in the opening scene (as Professor Stock (the hangdog Adolphe Menjou) considers the state of his socks), a hint of lullaby – odd, we think, because we soon realize that it is morning, not night, except that, yet the scene develops in such a way that Stock and his wife both take a turn to dive back under the covers !

And that is where Elizabeth-Jane weaves in what we probably realized, if at some subliminal level, was a calypso, contrasting with this scene in Vienna in 1923, but for a purpose. Later, comes tango, too, and what she usefully identified afterwards (since a name to put to it in the in-screen notes had been lacking) as the cha-cha-cha.

To those elements, often in varied form and more disguised than this description can suggest, she adds, then, a theme suggestive of displacement (as we switch from the perspective of the street to what turns out to be that of Stock), one of transformation (when Mizzi powders herself) and then re-engagement with the calypso (she drapes herself carefully on the chaise longue), and, just before it, captures the world-weariness of Dr Braun at his practice.

So, in using the exoticism of the calypso in particular, this lovely score gently let us in on the secret of a world that we can pretend to be exterior to, but with the frisson of interiority. If, as the film goes on to show us, Mizzi is careful about arranging many aspects of what she is about, even more so is Elizabeth-Jane, with her skilled performance evoking the shifting, sometimes playful, and always ironic world of the Vienna that we are shown :

Conveniently, of course, making palatable the infidelities and lascivious desires seem those of a libertine folk in another land (as, in its more patent way, does Menschen am Sonntag), and so enjoyable by licence, almost by proxy, as we might that suggestive moment, at breakfast, with a thick, dark coffee – and a boiled egg !

Now added : more commentary on the film itself

Nicely restored, and with only occasional use of segments from an inferior-quality print (or a few jumps within scenes in the latter part), what we were shown seemed a very complete survival*** of a film from ninety years ago : it was only those tiny technical imperfections that served to remind that it had such a provenance, because the film is so fresh.

By contrast, however much some may have talked of The Artist (2011) with the hope that its audience would be inspired to seek out films from the so-called silent era, this film and it have nothing in common : one can barely believe that anyone credited the latter as a modern silent film, or even as in genuine homage to the period. Indeed, the comparison is almost as little cogent as suggesting that Titanic (1997) was going to cultivate a real interest in marine engineering and / or biology.

So, for example, the contrasted, sparing use of inter-titles in The Marriage Circle, with some of them as ironic as There is more danger in dancing than in dining (and so serving another cause than reporting speech, or facts), has several implications : the film-makers expect an element of lip-reading (or of construing gestural language used for our benefit), and they throw us back both on our wits, and on taking as many cues as possible from the composition of shots, scenes and story, e.g. how light (literally and otherwise) is being used, and what it highlights or throws into relief.

When Charlotte is at Mozart Gasse 12, not so much plucking as wrenching roses on her balcony, the dropped bloom (brought out, in the score, by a downward glissando) is more weighty than the apparent lightness suggested by what is visible, as the inter-title has advised us… Likewise, in the case of Franz Braun’s earlier arrival (with the parcel that we saw him carrying earlier – and which turns out to be flowers for his wife Charlotte), the scene has been set up by her singing Grieg’s setting of Ich liebe dich**** (‘I love you’) when Mizzi comes to call on her.

It develops with Mizzi accompanying Charlotte (though she does not know to whom Charlotte is singing), and is then punctuated by our knowing response to the inter-title Did you ever see a man like him ?, which sets out her words to Mizzi. The moment when Mizzi powders herself has already been mentioned, and there is a wonderful freedom and delicacy to how this scene is lit, before, with the collusion of her maid, we then see her, in a very staged way, work out how to comport herself on the chaise-longue, ready to ring the doctor.

His ultimately purporting, caught in guiltiness, to reach for Mizzi’s pulse is done with such knowingness, but we do not even know the best of it yet – that, as this is Wien (Vienna, the home of psychoanalysis), his partner and he specialize in Nervöse Leiden, ‘nervous disorders’. For this is 1923, and, in 1926, Arthur Schnitzler was to write his Traumnovelle, on which Stanley Kubrick was to found the screenplay of his Eyes Wide Shut (1999) (also for Warner Brothers).

As Brief Encounter (1945) also suggests (or, since then, Vendredi soir (Friday Night) (2002) and Ficció (Fiction) (2006), for example), we may be willing an outcome, but the films have other ideas, and we can be caught short by finding what they are :

In the case of Ficció, the considerable tension that has been built up for much of the film, and how it resolves, is a work of sublime restraint. In The Marriage Circle, by contrast, the closing gesture, although daring, releases us more casually, and in a carefree spirit, later caught also by that of Some Like It Hot (1959) : although the daringness to question norms is there, we are swept away from contemplating it overly much beyond as caprice, as a light ending to a film that has challenged our morality (in the six weeks or so from 25 May to 5 July), and found us wanting what ?


* Meret Oppenheim, eat your heart out !

** In Elizabeth-Jane’s score for The Phantom, we had the sound of the unusual alarm, which warned of intruders in the cavernous parts outside The Phantom’s dwelling.

*** However, information suggests that, when The Museum of Modern Art did so, with funds from The Film Foundation, it ran to 103 mins…

**** To a text by Hans Christian Andersen, though commonly sung in German translation.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

No cat got any cream

This is a slighting, bullet-point review of The Cat’s Meow (2001)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

23 January

This is a slighting, bullet-point review of The Cat’s Meow (2001)

Dared The Cat’s Meow (2001) on DVD, picked up some time in Fopp’s (@FoppCambridge’s) £2 section for traded-in items. Surprisingly, its attempt at 1924 pleased Den Eltern (the principal aim in buying it some while back and now showing it), but (not in any order) :

* The production-budget was so low that players of sax and banjo were clearly miming, not just the singer whom first we saw

* One never felt that one was aboard a vessel of remotely the size of the one shown in harbour or at sea – momentarily, from time to time, as an unconvincing impression of both movement and the insularity of the action

* In fact, one was all too aware that the interiors were stage-sets, and that action had to be kept indoors (perhaps not implausibly for November, were we not cruising from San Pedro, Los Angeles ?)

* That said, cinematically, director Peter Bogdanovich had avoided, with all the suitable help (of Steven Perros, with a credit for adapting his own stage-play), making it look like a filmed drama

* Yet its dialogue increasingly sounded like one, and it always owed much of its attempt to be a closed world to Murder on The Orient Express (1974) (though not musically, of course, which Sir Richard Rodney Bennett scored so expertly)

* It never claimed to be (based on) a true story, and had the usual disclaimer, but it still liked to give a different impression (with its prologue and postlude)

* It says much that Joanna Lumley was the best thing about it, but, with the ponderous attempt at significance in giving the closing voice-over (as we faded to black), also nearly the worst

William Randolph Hearst

* Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) was no Chaplin of interest, and Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) would have risen to the challenge better, as would even Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) in substitution for the dismal Edward Herrmann as WR (even if he looked alike) – and not just because of the obvious period link with Jeeves and Wooster

* It told its story well enough, but only with the sort of subtlety that takes in those who feel able to congratulate themselves on their insight into what is coming next on The Archers, so lights on faces in implausible or impossible places, and everything angled to oblige the eye to look in only the desired direction

* It is indicative why Bogdanovich was, prior to it, credited with TV movies (via IMDb (@IMDb)), and returned to them – this is just what The Cat's Meow most resembled...

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Claire Martin and trio at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Claire Martin at The Arts Theatre, Cambridge,
with Dave Newton, Jeremy Brown, Steve Brown

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

17 January

This is a largely complete review of Claire Martin's gig at The Arts Theatre, Cambridge - with trio Dave Newton, Jeremy Brown, and Steve Brown

Linn (@linnproducts) recording artist and OBE-holder Claire Martin (@CMartinjazz) gave Cambridge, with its wintry feel outside The Arts Theatre (@camartstheatre), a breath of her infectiously enthusiastic and sympathetic approach to singing, which thawed out - even if partly with, and through, the blues - some affected by it (them ?) :

Listen to Claire* on Radio 3's (@BBCRadio3blog's) Jazz Line-Up, or see her on stage, and there is no doubting that she is The Real Thing, with a passion for jazz and what she does, whether presenting what speaks to her, or, at a gig, doing the same through the medium of her voice. Amongst, in other places, the mark of her quality is the instrumentalists that she brings with her :

Gareth Williams is a usual pianist for Claire, but his piano, though lovely, is somewhat introspective and even moodful, whereas Dave Newton, as he is at his best, was inspired, being both fantastically inventive and creatively exploratory. An excellent mix of trio, bass, drums and piano, and a real tribute to Claire that she knows the strength of these players and that the trio worked to a tee with her first time, a rich mix of four musicians who can swing it, cool it, give it soul or rhythm, and leave you joyful and carefree.

Speaking as one who loves Claire’s presentational work on Radio 3 (@BBCradio3blog), one cannot but wish that there had been the tiniest bit more of her warm personality to share with those knew to her and to her art : nothing much, as one can over-elaborate introductions and setting out the connections (it has been heard done in this very venue, but the second set was different), but maybe just a little phrase here or there, because, when Claire talks about music during broadcasts, there is no doubting that it is her own reactions and evaluations that one is hearing (even if, inevitably, filtered through the ears and views of her producer) :

Detailed observations to come (via the set-list)…

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Nods and gestures : At Lunch 2 2015 with Britten Sinfonia

This is a review in progress of Britten Sinfonia's At Lunch 2 on 13 January 2015

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

13 January

This work in progress is a review of Britten Sinfonia’s trio recital At Lunch 2, given at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, on Tuesday 13 January 2015

Two members of Britten Sinfonia (@BrittenSinfonia), with a guest pianist in Huw Watkins (also a well-known composer), performed the second in the Sinfonia’s series of At Lunch concerts this season at Cambridge’s West Road Concert Hall (@WestRoadCH) : leader (Jacqueline Shave), and principal cello (Caroline Dearnley).

Kaija Saariaho (1952)

The gestural language in which Nocturne (1994) begins mediated so directly and tellingly, as a clean channel for this unfamiliar piece, by violinist Jacqueline Shave resembles that of keening. However, it is only a point of departure for a highly expressive section, more open than the sparseness of a cry and its attendant hints of punctuation, and one where we first sense the way in which the piece is grounded in the instrument and in its technique.

On an over-analytical level, one just momentarily steps back from engagement with the work, and could be put in mind of the compendious nature of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Solo Violin*, Op. 1, but then, with the force of Shave’s playing and the power of the writing for violin, dismissing such references :

For, paradoxically, just as Kaija Saariaho overtly invokes convention, in and through a trill, she pulls us straight back into the body of the score, and then leads us to the first of several serenities, which suspend in the air, and give the soloist and us rest in musical and commonplace senses. Whether giving us, next, a sequence as of a written-out jazz improvisation, or some rather obsessive figurations, Saariaho also sings.

Yet the singing is of a painful nature, and, when there are chimes in it, maybe they do not feelingly break through, but instead we are taken to strong echoes of Janacek in his quartet-writing (and all those taut, tangled emotions) ? On with the work, though, and a passage with adept left-hand pizzicato brings back in the sense of keening, with basic harmonies, before a cry that is like a deeply felt howling.

We end on one note, and after it has faded and we have been left silent to keen applause.

Claude Debussy (18621918)

1. Prologue

2. Sérénade

3. Finale

Commemorating (as well as coming near to doing so) the centenary of the start of, and events in, The Great War has helped bring attention to Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano (1915), which means that it has recently been much played (less so the other two works completed from the six that Debussy had planned ?). Caroline Dearnley and Huw Watkins gave us the Sonata in the context of the Nocturne that we had just heard
and that was equally true, later, of hearing the piano trio by Gabriel Fauré (which came after the second of Kaija Saariaho’s works) :

Solo piano opened the Prologue in stately wise, and then, when the cello entered, there was a sense of Debussy invoking faltering, before the pair played together as one, with a fleeting theme that, before it was whisked away, had a clear sense of yearning to it.

A faster passage followed, with every note in explicit articulation, giving the impression, as the recital itself did, of composers in the early twentieth century (and onwards) feeling how non-discrete life, art and music were (to name but a few relations), and daring more to relying on the contiguous, rather than the formality of development or exposition. Not that, after a burst of energy that became a crescendo, it felt unexpected to bring back thematic material and revisit it, but it was unfortunate that the duo had to pause, because one of cellist Caroline Dearnley's tuning-pegs, for a lower string, had slipped…

None the worse for it, and having clearly needed the instrument to be just right for it, Dearnley produced a soul-felt passage where, as if we were not already moved, she took us down to the cello’s resonant lower register, and there was a reassurance that we did not end the movement before, Dante like (?), being brought back up.

The opening of the central Sérénade gesturally employed pizzicatti, some of them, once we had heard another section of careful articulation, even resembling the twanging of a guitar : a complete novice to the intricacies of musical notation would hesitate to imagine how the score, even with markings, would precisely stipulate that effect !

Here, one soon felt, the heart of the work lay, with the feeling that Dearnley brought to it being just breath-taking. By contrast, Watkins’ accompaniment felt written as an aloof voice, almost an ironic commentator – yet this very quality in his part had the strange result of foregrounding the depth of the scoring for cello, but without us overlooking that this other perspective was there. In essence, it was akin to being given fragments from which we not so much inferred as intuited a whole – perhaps, even, in the way that, when full-length prints from the early days of cinema have been compiled, trying to re-create the known original running-time of the feature film, something has been lost ?

The last movement, marked Finale, has the effect of putting the familiar in context, for its opening is well known (in our sampled, chopped-about world ?), with the writing for piano inhabiting the world of the Etudes. A quiet and moody section followed, with slurring, and with Watkins bringing out a sound as of rain on glass, but which, in turn, gave way to march-like tones, and a theme that was conveyed with verve, drive and vigour. In a few brush-strokes, Debussy brought the Sonata to an end, with a smile from Caroline Dearnley.

Rest of review to follow…


* Or of John Adams’ ambitions in Harmonielehre ?

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The audience on Blogger® for the past month

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

9 January

In mental-health roles, as well as those in nursing or social care, it will be quite common to encounter reflective practice, which has even become the stuff of [the obligation to undertake] CPD (or Continuing Professional Development, as, say, a practising lawyer or doctor) :

This posting is nothing much to do with reflective practice, yet - the phrase has it (which Eliot made unavoidable - ineluctable, if you are a Joycean character and / or adherent) - Everything connects.

For (1) Google® owns (2) Blogger®, (3) Amazon® owns (4) IMDb®, and Tweeting a link from (2) on (1) soon leads to potential purchases on (3) being promoted in adverts on (4)... - just try it and see !

Meanwhile, for the statistical month just gone, this indicates where visitors to this blog have come from, in a Top Five by Page-View :

1. United States ~ 29,621

2. France ~ 5,988

3. Germany ~ 958

4. United Kingdom ~ 685

5. Czech Republic ~ 664

And, for the lifetime of the blog, we have a changed perspective - as to players and priority :

1. United States ~ 200675

2. France ~ 46652

3. Russia ~ 37539

4. United Kingdom ~ 13915

5. Germany ~ 13668

Maybe more Tweets / blogging about Svetlana might bump Russia back into prominence for the month (placed only sixth, on 350)...

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Shakespeare in Love : Sonnet 155 [Apocryphal]

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

6 January*

To Stella

Than Stella, with her limpid pools,
(Whereon the poet fondly looks)
No better cure for bitter fools

And if these lines, so careless wrought,
Wring pity from her fulsome dart –
No better place than what we sought –

Then Heav’n above, for all its heart,
Demand this tribute : That the mules
(Which evermore the Christ shall cart,

As long as Gospels be our books)
May bless thee as they ever ought,
And bray this message to the cooks :

Rejoice ! Come in ! And let the feast ensue –
Dear nuptials blessed by God, and fit for you.

© Belston Night Works 2015


* Allegedly Twelfth Night, but that seems to reshash the argument that (as it is) 1 January 2001 was the first day of the millennium...

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 2 January 2015

A rag-bag of bits (not yet a review) about Tim Burton's Big Eyes (2014)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

2 January (Tweets added, 6 and 10 January)

* * *

There's a point where the latter, maybe, over-reach themselves in their enthusiasm for their story : is it worth telling just because true ?

* * *

Actually, it's gonna stay like this - mimetic of the dead weight to which probably ~250 souls were yoked... :

Introductory : Tim Burton and MDH Keane :

guilt / eyes on stalks / supermarket / confession
-> Dalí / Spellbound / David Lynch

Yes, she is in shadow – in the dark, till she leans forward with her portfolio to force out a pitch for this unsuitably demeaning job, a feeling hammered home by drawing back to show countless others painting that image on the head of a cot : oh, but no explaining how the cots all got in and out of that big room, once each one had been finished…

And, hey, people seemed to have staple-guns in the late 1950s, and to use them to display posters on tree-trunks, so where were the (high-quality) transfers that, in this age - endlessly stressed to be of mass production à la Warhol (it’s a wonder that his ‘fifteen minutes’ utterance was not shoe-horned in !) - would have superseded most hand decoration ? The point being that there were impossibly too many workers (i.e. painters) to sustain whatever market for hand-decorated furniture there would likely have been…

So what is it, then, to draw back to show Margaret Keane amid so many fellow workers ? A momentary Hello to Welles’ The Trial (1962), or Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), which plays unnecessarily heavily, just for a moment, the ‘one amongst many’ card, the pathos / the destitution of Margaret’s position – and to hell with (as above) it makes any sense, because it is a sort of irresistible sight-gag, best resisted ? After all (in this joke of an interview), the boss of the furniture business could just as easily have said The job’s yours, but you’re just painting motifs on bedheads like everyone else :

Why not ? Well, the film’s writers / makers are too busy thinking that everyone will have fun with their half-hearted telling of what is based on a true story, complete with opening endorsement (no doubt, if real, written for him by someone at The Factory ?) of Walter Keane from Warhol. In the scene in the gallery with Ruben (Jason Schwartzman, trying very hard with some very slim script pickings), where Keane loses him a sale and then fatuously implausibly proceeds to try to get Margaret’s and his work taken, it is just so that the two men can have a conversation about fashions in art.

When Walter opens his own gallery, which proves to be directly opposite where Ruben is, we have another limp sight-gag – and we were supposed to keep in mind, Tim Burton, the throw-away remark that (very occasional) narrator, journalist Dick Nolan (Danny Huston), makes about the nature of his writing in relation to this ragbag of a film (to signify a doubtful reliability) ?


Gives us a break but even Clive James, calling one volume of his Unreliable Memoirs (and known to entertain), flags up the possibility of invented content more adeptly* - or Martin Scorsese (in an overlooked speech by Jordan Belfort at the opening of The Wolf of Wall Street), drawing attention to how, as he speaks, he can change the colour of the car that we see…

At root, the argument is : should we praise Holy Motors (2012) for (the fun of) its inter-textuality and reference, or say that it is an uninspiring sequence of essentially similar impersonations, tenuously linked, with casual, picaresque-style looseness, by who cares what ? Even if the mask at the near end, as all the white limousines are parked (and wink at each other), is, as is said, that from Eyes Without a Face (19??), so what… ?

In this film (as, in many ways, with Wolf), Leos Carax is so gratuitously flashy that one mistakes it for no sort of naturalistic presentation (of whatever it is, Kylie or no Kylie with a comatose cameo...)

* * * * *

But, if it (instead) is homage, all is forgiven… ! :


* Let alone the quips as to textuality, historicity and authorship throughout the trilogy Molloy / Malone dies (Malone meurt) / The Unnamable (L’Innomable) by the great Samuel Beckettt…

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

A hasty little response to the latest cancer stories [incomplete]

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

2 January

On this day, there are Two ‘cancer stories’ for the price of one on Yahoo !

But how do such news items even get to us ? :

And, when people comment (who might stand to lose... ?), where is the bias (sc. ‘the truth’) ? :

Other than Woody Allen famously saying (through characters in his films, i.e. in the script) Hey, don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with the person I love most ! [Annie Hall (1977), we also have this (from Sleeper (1973)*) :

Female doctor : What we have done, Miles, is highly illegal and, if we get caught, we’ll be destroyed – along with you.

Miles Monroe: Destroyed ? What do you mean… ‘destroyed’ ?

Male doctor : Your brain will be electronically simplified.

Miles : My brain… ? – (wistfully) it’s my second favourite organ…

To be continued…


* Both films were co-written with Marshall Brickman, as Allen has sometimes done (even recently) with Brickman and others…

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

All in one place : Reviews and previews at The Corn Exchange, Cambridge (@CambridgeCornEx)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

6 January (under construction)

In, as they say, reverse chronological order (= most recent first) :

* Artist Gilly Marklew's impressions of Ockham’s Razor’s show Not Until We Are Lost at The Corn Exchange, Cambridge * :

Watercolourist Gilly Marklew at the dress rehearsal for Ockham’s Razor’s (@AlexOckhams’s) show at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange, Not Until We Are Lost

* Ockham's Razor at Cambridge's Corn Exchange : Not Until We Are Lost * :

A new show at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange by aerial theatre group Ockham's Razor

* I am to Mozart (and Haydn) as Schubert and Brahms are to me * :

This reviews Noriko Ogawa’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3

More to come...

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)