Tuesday, 27 July 2010

All moved in: Back to work...

As I said a week ago, I haven't updated very much recently due to moving house - though thankfully not as literally as in the 'Gold Rush' (which I re-watched the other day for an upcoming Chaplin podcast... and that is synergy). But now that is all behind me and I will be returning to my more frequent updates.

A lot has happened since I last wrote anything here. Firstly, I am due to get a regular guest slot on Brighton's Radio Reverb, reviewing films. I am having a meeting with the host of a breakfast show tomorrow to see what I can offer and what format my slot will take. Secondly, the UK Film Council has been dissolved by the Tory government. Jon has written a typically excellent piece on his Splendor Cinema blog, but you should also read this 2007 Guardian article by Alex Cox to get a really spot on account of the council and its failings during its decade of operation. Thirdly, Jon and I recorded a podcast all about the films of Stanley Kubrick as part of our "Pantheon" series chronicling great directors and it should be up on iTunes and the Picturehouse website very soon.

And whilst I am still yet to see 'Toy Story 3' or 'Leaving' (which is playing at the Duke's until Thursday), I have had the opportunity to watch Joon-ho Bong's 'Mother', a brilliant South Korean thriller which is released in the UK in late-August (20th?) across Picturehouse cinemas (the same week as the excellent looking French animation 'The Illusionist'). I will review that film, and record a podcast on it, closer to the time of release.

I have also just watched the first Nicaraguan film made in over 20 years: 'La Yuma' - which I believe will be playing at this year's Cinecity Brighton Film Festival (and for which I hope to write the programme copy). The story of a spirited young female boxer trying to get by in a tough Managua neighborhood, I will review 'La Yuma' closer to the festival which comes to the Duke of York's in a few months time. Last year's festival included advance screenings of 'A Prophet', 'Ponyo', 'Dogtooth', 'Micmacs', 'The Road', 'Humpday' and 'Limits of Control' (among others) so keep an eye out for the programme when it is available.

Last night I watched a 2004 Herzog documentary called 'The White Diamond', which was typically bizarre and mesmerising. In it you can see all the ingredients of Herzog's philosophy of 'Ecstatic Truth' as he follows another dangerous obsessive: this time an English scientist determined to fly his airship over the forest canopy of the Guyana rainforest - a man haunted by the senseless and violent death of a colleague during a similar expedition ten years prior for which he feels responsible. Quite moving and very absurd, 'The White Diamond' is a must see documentary for anyone who enjoyed 'Grizzly Man', 'Encounters at the End of the World' or 'My Best Fiend'.

Anyway, that is all for today. Expect reviews of 'Toy Story 3' and 'Leaving' later this week (probably Thursday and Friday respectively). Until then: listen to the most recent podcasts and check out my last episode of 'Flick's Flicks' if you haven't already done so.

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