Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Silence of the lens

Posted: March 26, 2012 in movies
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The Oscar success of The Artist; Martin Scorcese’s homage to the silent era, Hugo; and a recent Bernews story about rare footage found of The Relief of Lucknow, a film made in Bermuda 100 years ago, reminded me of one of my most memorable cinematic experiences, more than 30 years ago.

I was privileged to see Abel Gance’s 1927 silent masterpiece, Napoleon, performed with a full orchestra in London. Or at least I saw part of it. For Gance’s original film, which used numerous innovative and ground-breaking filming and editing techniques, ran to more than nine hours and was only seen in its full glory a handful of times. Over time parts were lost or damaged but in the 1970s, British film historian Kevin Brownlow, doggedly began to piece together fragments of Gance’s masterwork. The version I saw in 1980, and marked the premiere of Carl Davis’s score, ran to a mere 4 hours and 50 minutes!

Incredibly, Brownlow is still at it and this week is showing the film in its most complete version since 1927. The 330 minute-long film will be shown just four times by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Oakland Paramount Theatre and will feature the film’s famous 20-minute, three-screen “Polyvision” finale.

If you ever have a chance to see this film performed, grab it. There are DVD versions around but this really is one film where anything other than a theatre experience is essential.


five alive

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Google, internet, media, movies, music

I am not techie enough to understand all the ins and outs of the new HTML 5 web technology that Apple, amongst others, believe will herald the demise of Flash. But this amazing site, developed by Google with the band Arcade Fire, for its Chrome browser, is an astonishing example of what it can do.

Go to and enter the address of where you grew up and The Wilderness Machine, using Google Maps and Street View will magically transport you there via several screens that pop up and move around the screen, all set to Arcade Fire’s song “We Used To Wait” from their new Suburbs album.

Astonishing stuff.

the bigger picture

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Apple TV, Google, internet, media, movies

Google’s YouTube plans Apple ITV spoiler | Broadband TV News.

The more competition the merrier! I can smell the decay of overpriced, poor service cable TV in the air already.  Hopefully Google You Tube will offer up more than just Hollywood fare, though. iTunes has a growing selection of documentaries and channels but will hopefully be adding more independent content in the future.

My brief encounter with Malcolm

Posted: April 8, 2010 in movies, music

Bizarrely, the only time I met former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, who died today, was outside the train station in the provincial Buckinghamshire town where I lived. I was a young reporter on ye olde Bucks Examiner when one Monday in September, my dad, who had an architectural practice on the corner of Station Road, Chesham across from the station, called me and, knowing I was punk music fan, said: “You might be interested in this – there’s a bunch of very strange people and film cameras outside the station.”

I raced across town to discover McLaren and entourage finishing a day’s shoot on what would become The Great Rock and Roll Swindle. By the time I got there, band members Steve Jones and Paul Cook had left but I did get to talk to McLaren, resplendent in red wig, woolly stockings and red boots. “It’s my new drag suit, darling. Do you like it?” he told me as he climbed into a battered old Hillman ready for a car chase scene through the local villages.

The film, he said, would be “the truth” about the band. Er, so why, I asked him, are you filming it in Chesham where even weekend punks were a rare sight? “It’s just a nice location near an airport,” he explained. At this stage in the Pistols’ saga, lead singer Johnny Rotten had fallen out with McLaren and he stared at me and walked off when I asked if and Rotten were talking. “There will always be a Sex Pistols,” he said, dismissing rumours that the band was about to implode.

Being a small local paper, of course, there wasn’t a photographer around when I needed one and in those days before ubiquitous camera phones, I have no visual record of the historic encounter, just this  faded cutting.

Not everyone was impressed by the brush with movie stardom. “The Sex Pistols?”, the station manager told me. “Never heard of them.”

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Posted: December 16, 2009 in movies, music

Oh this looks good … trailer of the forthcoming Ian Dury bio pic starring Andy (Gollum) Serkis as the Blockhead himself. Saw the old cove on stage many times – most memorably during the Stiff Records tours in the late 70s. Should be worth seeing.

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more about "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll ", posted with vodpod

counting down to BIFF

Posted: March 9, 2009 in Bermuda, movies

One of my favourite weeks of the year – the Bermuda International Film Festival – is coming up March 20-28. Looks like another great lineup of features, documentaries, etc. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, but you can preview the full line up here.

Mac at the movies

Posted: December 10, 2008 in Mac, media, movies

It’s probably about time someone made a movie about the Mac – now two are set for release. Welcome To Macintosh seems to be more a historical documentary about the Apple story from Apple I to iPhone 3G (Trailer quote: “It’s like a sausage factory. You really don’t want to know how this stuff is made.”)

MacHEADS looks more at the zealots, geeks and others who make up the Mac community and asks whether Apple is now just another brand. Trailer quote from Mac user: “I’ve never knowingly slept  with a Windows user. Ever.”