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.