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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 03:43pm on 01/01/2017 under
Films watched: 26 (total 200). 12 cinema, 9 BluRay/DVD, 2 tv, 3 stream, 2 LoveFilm.
My Feral Heart (Underwire fest)
In Every Home a Heartache (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Women In Motion (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Mommie Dearest (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Mean Girls (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Lonely Two-Legged Creatures (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Austentatious: Innocence and Indolence
Debuts (Underwire fest) (shorts)
Red Road (Underwire fest)
American Pie
The Room
The Apartment
The Shop Around the Corner
Adult Life Skills
Miracle on 48th Street
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Rogue One
Office Killer
The Gift
Ethel and Ernest
Green Room
Your Name
Die Hard

Gigs etc: 3 (total 45)
Underwire film festival (also counted above - 8 films/selections of shorts)
John Kearns (comedy, London)
Slow Club (gig, London)

Totally mixed bunch of films. American Pie was on tv, I'd never watched it, now I understand a load of cultural references from several years ago. Tried to feel the love for Die Hard - I'd watched it on tv once, and seen scattered bits, this time was in 70mm at Prince Charles cinema with an afficionado but I just don't get it. I feel sorry for his poor vest.

Your Name is lovely, animation, would probably appeal to sf fans. In cinemas at the moment but limited release.

Nice to be given a bunch of Christmas classics for the radio review show - introduced me to The Shop on the Corner and Miracle on 48th Street (original version).

200 films is a nice total (111 at the cinema) - 215 last year, 179 the year before.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 11:49am on 06/12/2016 under
Films watched: 109 (total 174). 2 cinema, 4 BluRay/DVD, 0 tv, 4 stream, 2 LoveFilm.
The Innocents
Notes on Blindness
Look Back in Anger
Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
8 1/2
Boogie Nights

Gigs etc: 2 (total 42)
Austentatious (improv, London)
Rumpelstiltskin (panto, Cambridge)

I'm having a good year for getting out to live theatre/music/comedy! Two more booked in for December.

Films: I've been trying to use my Mubi and LoveFilm subscriptions a bit more, as monthly subs they're only good value if you watch things! LoveFilm has a few DVDs that are hard to find now, and Mubi has a great curated programme, so I'm not looking for reasons to drop them.

Election was a hoot, nice counterpoint to recent events, though the teacher's visceral hatred of the ambitious competent girl campaigning to be student president was hard to stomach in places.

8 1/2 (first Fellini I've watched) and Boogie Nights turned out to be an interesting double bill - both to some extent featuring director characters who wanted to make an honest film. I liked a lot about 8 1/2, the shifts from dream to reality, the director's conversations about the meaning of his film which we clutch at to try to find the meaning here, beautiful images (early on, a train arrives at a white painted station, spotlight, with floral urns, churchlike), the immediate and crushing reaction of adults to early childhood sexual awakenings which the children probably don't fully comprehend. How many allusions - he wants to find the key, is it held by the cardinal? Or by Claudia Cardinale? Wonderful costumes.

Notes on Blindness is a new documentary, based on tape recordings theologian John Hull and his family made when he went blind in the early 80s, as he tries to understand the meaning of blindness. Scenes are recreated using actors, but all the sound is original from the tapes, or from interviews with John and his wife remembering events, the actors doing lip sync. There is an interesting layered effect, as in some scenes we're listening to John record and play back, the sound slightly distorted each time. It was distributed in several formats - with traditional Audio Description, a version narrated by Stephen Mangan whose voice added a lot of richness and nuance, and an enriched description using the family's narrative.
Loooook, you can watch the different versions here for comparison on the Accessibility page. http://www.notesonblindness.co.uk/

There was a stunning scene, coming from the experience of being outside in the rain and being able to hear where the trees and benches were as the the rain falling on them made a surrounding soundscape - and wishing it could rain indoors. Quite beautiful.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 09:01am on 11/11/2016 under
Films watched: 29 (total 164). 27 cinema, 1 BluRay/DVD, 0 tv, 1 stream, 0 LoveFilm.
The Driver
Young Frankenstein

One of Us (Cambridge Film Fest)
I, Daniel Blake (Cambridge Film Fest)
Making It (Cambridge Film Fest)
Train to Busan (Cambridge Film Fest)
El Sur (Cambridge Film Fest)
ShortFusion: Glass Ceiling (Cambridge Film Fest)
Destiny (Cambridge Film Fest) (silent)
The Fabulous Nicholas Brothers (Cambridge Film Fest)
ShortFusion: Film Hub Central East (Cambridge Film Fest)
Things of the Ancient Wanderer (Cambridge Film Fest)
Paterson (Cambridge Film Fest)
Microcinema: Programme 1 (Cambridge Film Fest)
Two Timid Souls (Cambridge Film Fest) (silent)
Cambridge Shorts (Cambridge Film Fest)
Microcinema: Kingdom of Shadows (Cambridge Film Fest)
Francesca (Cambridge Film Fest)
Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (Cambridge Film Fest)
The Bacchus Lady (Cambridge Film Fest)
The Virus of Fear (Cambridge Film Fest)
The Breaking Point (Cambridge Film Fest)
Wonderland (Cambridge Film Fest)
Crash, and (Always Crashing) (Cambridge Film Fest)
The Love Witch (Cambridge Film Fest)
It's Only the End of the World (Cambridge Film Fest)
Gog 3D (Cambridge Film Fest)
A Quiet Passion (Cambridge Film Fest)
Snowden (Cambridge Film Fest)

Gigs etc: 3 (total 40)
Holy Fuck (gig, London)
margate/dreamland (poetry/gig, London)
Slow Club (gig, London)

Had a great time at Cambridge Film Fest, also did some interviews and three radio slots and a song. Mostly new films, not a lot of retrospectives/archive this time. Hope to write more later but it's Nov 11 already and these were October films...
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 12:20pm on 15/10/2016 under
You know I love Cambridge Film Fest! A good opportunity to see loads of things you might not otherwise, from all over the world and from so many different people. Another chance to see old movies, and a first chance for some new films which will be released later in the year. An only chance to see some films in Cambridge! It is 20-27 Oct this year, shorter and later than before (to be in half term week and when students are around), and coinciding with Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Scroll down this main page to see this year's list of strands - Silents, Ingrid Bergman, Michael Curtiz, Korean cinema, Cambridge African Film Festival, Family Film Festival
And here for a filterable What's On list and a pdf of the brochure

I expect to be busy on three fronts -
i) watching lots of films
ii) roving for Cambridge 105 radio with Bums on Seats film review show, for reviews, previews and interviews
iii) transcribing interviews and a few other things for Take One, the festival newspaper

I've got my shortlist down from 55 to 35 films, which is still too many for 8 days especially if trying to get interviews - and it does involve some running and luck! And not enough sleeping. And I'm working on Thursday and not sure when I finish. Here's the draft which won't survive...

Asterisk means I've bought a ticket.

Plan A )
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 06:33pm on 01/10/2016 under
Films watched: 11 (total 135). 6 cinema, 5 BluRay/DVD, 0 tv, 0 stream, 0 LoveFilm.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (rewatch)
The Goob
Grosse Pointe Blank
Kubo and the Two Strings
Hell or High Water
Nine Lives
The Blue Room
The Blues Brothers
The Girl with All the Gifts

Gigs etc: 1 (total 37)
Made in Dagenham (theatre, Cambridge)

Blues Brothers is great, Edgar Wright presented, with special surprise guest John Landis for Q&A afterwards.
Hell or High Water was the best film.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 08:24am on 01/09/2016 under
Films watched: 14 (total 124). 8 cinema, 6 BluRay/DVD, 0 tv, 0 stream, 1 LoveFilm.
(not David Duchovny one, weird arthouse one)
Days of Heaven
Suicide Squad
The Apartment
Nina Forever
From a House on Willow Street
The Chamber (FrightFest)
Mercy (FrightFest)
They Call Me Jeeg Robot (FrightFest)
Pet (FrightFest)

Gigs etc: 5 (total 36)
Henry V (theatre, Cambridge)
Nine Worlds (convention, London)
Stuart Bowden: Wilting in Reverse (comedy, London)
Splatoon Fan Fest (gaming, London)
Little Shop of Horrors (theatre, London)
also FrightFest (film festival) but that's covered above

Quickly because in a rush today -
Good horror: Jeeg Robot, Nina Forever, Pet, The Chamber (why is this film about a submarine in a horror film festival? Oh, the claustrophobia. Oooohhhhh.)
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 08:58pm on 02/08/2016 under
Films watched: 20 (total 110). 8 cinema, 8 BluRay/DVD, 3 tv, 1 stream, 1 LoveFilm.
22 Jump Street
The Descendants
The Legend of Tarzan
Rear Window
The Neon Demon
Maggie's Plan
Appropriate Behaviour
The Woodsman and The Rain
The Way Way Back
Star Trek Beyond
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeousie
Caesar Must Die
Jason Bourne
Finding Dory
The Commune
Napoleon Dynamite
Tower Heist

Gigs etc: 4 (total 31)
Shit Faced Shakespeare (comedy, London)
The Horne Section (gig/comedy, London)
Twelfth Night (theatre, Cambridge)
Millennium Mills, Aino Tytti (sound, Cambridge)

Millennium Mills was very interesting - a chap spent a year recording various sounds in a derelict mill in Docklands - wind, internal noises, mechanical, birds, water, traffic, singers echoing through the spaces. All layered to powerful and sometimes eerie effect, presented with stills of the area fading into each other to play with scale and texture.
EDIT: Now with pictures (on Facebook) here

I saw a lot of films at the cinema in July, I did the radio review show twice. Maggie's Plan was good (I've not been a Gerwig fan before, but the scene with the toe is one of the funniest I've seen this year), and I enjoyed Star Trek and Ghostbusters. BFG is sweet and dark and creepy, lovely details and design. I am having no end of fun comparing Jason Bourne and Finding Dory, as my twitter followers will know - an amnesiac tracking down secrets about their family! He's from the C.I.A., she's from the S.E.A.! When in a tight spot they look around, assess the situation, and use whatever is to hand - a biro, a chair leg, a fountain. Chase scenes!

Lots of good DVDs too. The Woodsman and The Rain is a good one to show friends who are becoming obsessive about filmmaking (I wonder why London Gigging Buddy showed me it?), wrapped up in the excitement and urgency of the shoot, also a subtle tale of father/son relationships and growth of confidence, all in a natural environment rather than Hollywood.
Caesar Must Die is filmed in a prison, with the inmates taking the roles in a production. It's the most affecting version of Julius Caesar I've seen.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 12:32pm on 01/07/2016 under
Films watched: 7 (total 90). 3 cinema, 3 BluRay/DVD, 1 stream, 0 LoveFilm.
Blow Out
The Nice Guys
Theatre of Blood
Tale of Tales
What We Do In The Shadows
Where You're Meant To Be

Gigs etc: 7 (total 27)
Stewart Lee (comedy, London)
Half Man Half Biscuit (gig, Cambridge)
Fear of Men (gig, London)
Autolux (gig, London)
The Play That Goes Wrong (theatre, London)
David Cross (comedy, London)
Yeti Lane (gig, London)

So few films! I thought last month was slight. Blow Out was recommended for sound recording purposes (John Travolta, conspiracy, and lots of magnetic tape); The Nice Guys was a hoot; Where You're Meant To Be was Aidan Moffat on a Scottish folk music tour, rewriting the songs for a modern audience - with Q and A and a live performance afterwards, very convivial evening.

Great gigs! Was having a glum and grim evening on 28th, then Yeti Lane started playing and all was good. Autolux are like the Sirens. You listen to their CD and it is haunting, intriguing and exciting, so you decide to go closer, to a live gig. Where they dash you to death on the rocks until you are just pulp and bone fragments. But in a good way.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 11:18am on 02/06/2016 under
Films watched: 12 (total 83). 8 cinema, 3 BluRay/DVD, 1 tv, 0 LoveFilm.
Point Break (rewatch)
Son of Saul
Captain America: Civil War

Tindersticks pre-event screening, four local filmmakers
The Look of Silence (rewatch)
Ryd Cook - local short film screenings
A Hologram For the King
All Is Lost
Sister Act
Zero for Conduct
Love and Friendship

Gigs etc: 5 (total 20)
Linton Zoo
Fred's House (gig, Cambridge)
Sara Pascoe (comedy, London)
Eddie Izzard (comedy, Cambridge)
Shit-Faced Shakespeare (comedy theatre, London)

Not my filmiest month! Love and Friendship was very funny, Jane Austen adaptation, in cinemas now and recommended. Also liked A Hologram For the King, and Son of Saul. Zero for Conduct is one of these terribly influential films, 1933 French about anarchic schoolkids, with some amazing scenes. I'm now getting copies of things (like If....) that it influenced.

Ryd's screening included (links here) Single to London, which I did 1AD for (various screenings, is at Toronto Smartphone Film Festival this weekend).

A much better month for gigs, but I missed two due to bad health (Dandy Warhols and Suuns), and we only caught the last 20 mins of the Shakespeare due to an incident on the train line. I'm still ambivalent as to whether it's cringey or funny, to watch a show where one actor is thoroughly drunk. Bit of both. Lots of opportunities for improv.
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posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 01:23pm on 03/05/2016 under ,
Films watched: 16 (total 71). 11 cinema, 1 stream, 3 BluRay/DVD, 1 tv, 1 LoveFilm.
Histoire(s) du Cinéma
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Barton Fink
Eddie the Eagle
Run Lola Run
Eye in the Sky
Runaway Jury
The Sacrifice
Midnight Special
The Jungle Book
In the Heat of the Night
Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures
Louder Than Bombs
Sci-Fi London Shorts 5
Fireworks Wednesday

Gigs etc: 4 (total 15)
Rob Beckett (comedy, London)
AKDK (gig, London)
Bridget Christie (comedy, Cambridge)
Bank of England museum

And watched the last 16 episodes of Breaking Bad over a week.

The Godard Histoire(s) was pretty hard going, 3 DVDs (from Lovefilm), juxtaposition of images, also of multiple voices and printed text. It felt like it ought to be profound in an expressionistic or Jungian way while watching, but I remember little of it. The last two Tarkovskys were easier, but it will take a second watching (in my Copious Spare Time) to say anything much intelligent about them.


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