Steve Martin, I loved Steve Martin when he did The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid,The Man with Two Brains and All of me. really enjoyed him in that era as well as LA Story, Roxanne and a number of less manic roles. Possibly his last good movie (in comedic terms) was Bowfinger. Problem is that Steve then decided to take on characters that were iconic. In Bilko & Clouseau he really was taking a massive gamble; that failed. He also took on the Spencer Tracey role in Father of the Bride and tried to do what Bob Hoskins did in Pennies from Heaven; again, he failed. He took Jack Lemmon's role in the Out of Towners and again came up empty. I guess the only role left for him to have a go at is Basil Fawlty in a US Movie version, Fawlty Towers:Dead men don't eat Kippers.
Petty minded local people who take an interest in their community matters of some form of self-congratulatory honour seeking agenda. Buddying up with Councillors who are themselves just civilians with time on their hands and delusions of self importance. These people, pumped up with pomposity,have nothing better to do than write letters, send e-mails and generally cause mischief as a replacement for lives lived in quiet desperation.
They hoist their flag at interest in the community yet all they seek to do is rock the boat and create unnecessary work for others. Maybe they were bullied at school, perhaps they have low self esteem that only seeing others inconvenienced will alleviate. They couldn't cut it in the political world and therefore chose a path of self righteous indignation.
Busy bodies is too cuddly an epithet; they are quite simply trouble makers and every community seems to have one.
The TV landscape is awash with so called talent shows, dating shows, reality TV that pokes fun and casts a snobbish eye on the supposed under classes and general fluff that fills in the schedules. TV dramais not so bad; there are interesting dramas tucked away on BBC 3 and Channel 4 even ITV has got its act together in its production of mainstream drama’s that are actually aimed at intelligent rather than absorbent viewers. Into this landscape comes the returning Mad Men on Sky Atlantic this evening; a show that firmly states the case for the best in US drama. Our cousins across the Atlantic are ahead of us in seeing the start of Season 5 and this has precipitated something of a Media lockdown for me.
The bar had previously been set high by The Sopranos and The Wire, Mad Men has formed a holy trinity with these two shows. While many like to draw comparisons on content I find it a redundant exercise; they are each different but high on quality.
Mad Men has taken subtlety to a new level and has been rightly lauded.
I’m one of those people who generally view overwhelming praise as the Emperor’s new clothes syndrome, but Mad Men is fully deserving of the adulation and critical reception.
Much in the way that The Wire and The Sopranos give characters space to breath and room to grow Mad Men allows us access to a world unto itself; a slow seduction.
At its best Mad Men puts its viewers inside a world where nuance is king, a world where each sip of Alcohol, each inhale and exhale of a cigarette, each line of dialogue is loaded with meaning.From it's dreamlike opening to it's final scene each episode is a journey.
The world of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is a sometimes dark, sometimes light but wonderful world and Mad Men is currently king of the airwaves.
Casablanca is being celebrated this year with a whole host of product and showings of a restored print. Casablanca is truly one of the great movies of all time. Principle actress Ingrid Bergman is perfect in the lead. Bergman was not a glamour-puss but an ethereal beauty; one of the most purely beautiful movie stars ever. Gordon Park's portraits of her capture that beauty, more so than the numerous studio shots of her.His pictures from 1949; taken when she was filming Stromboli perfectly capture her natural appeal.His pictures of her over the years also told a story of a beauty undiminished by age
French director who produced an early hat trick of category defying movies with subway, Nikkita and Leon. He has also been producer on a number of enjoyable European genre movies such as Taxi, Kiss of the Dragon,Taken and The Transporter franchise; these movies in part are related to the style of the Bourne movies produced i the US with a Euro bent. Besson also helped in the production of Gary Oldman's excellent directorial debut Nil by Mouth.Besson was one of the voices that came out of the French movie scene in the eighties and set a visual style that has many disciples in the USA.Besson remains a creative mind in a sterile mainstream cinema world