Thursday, 26 December 2013

Top Ten Festive Films

1.  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Another film which has grown in popularity after being shown on television.  The film was listed by the FBI for 10 years as suspected communist propaganda.  Maybe the FBI failed to notice its hero, George Bailey, is a banker and that director Frank Capra was a supporter of Mussolini. It was certainly controversial at the time to deal with suicide (the word is actually spoken during the film) and films about money don’t often tug at the heartstrings the way It’s a Wonderful Life does.


2. White Christmas (1954) I know those pedants amongst you are probably screaming ‘No! Holiday Inn!  Holiday Inn!’ but seriously, this film is better. Get over yourselves. It’s Christmas. Bing Crosby’s version of  Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ was initially poorly received but  went on to become the biggest selling single of all time


3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Of course we mean the 1947 original not the 1994 remake. The film was declared ‘morally objectionable’ by the Catholic Legion of Decency as it portrayed a divorced, single parent.  Despite its obvious Christmas setting, it was originally released in May because Darryl F. Zanuck believed more people went to the cinema in warmer weather.

4.   The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) This was released back in the days when Tim Burton still had an edge. Its mix of old fashioned, Harryhausen inspired stop motion animation and German Expressionist look manage to create something fresh, modern and different.  Danny Elfman’s score is spot on.

5. A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Not as well known as Powell and Pressburger’s mighty ‘The Red Shoes’ this film is still essential Christmas viewing.  The film reverses the effect of The Wizard of Oz by showing the real world in Technicolor and the fantasy world in black and white.  Jack Clayton’s beautiful cinematography makes this a true gem.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) This is what we want!  Action, adventure, humour, and a hard drinking, wise cracking, feisty heroine.  Lucas and Spielberg really do bring out the best in each other in this delirious nod to Saturday morning cinema.  Spielberg reigns in the schmaltz, Lucas let’s loose a bit and Harrison Ford is just perfect.

7.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) I’m personally not a fan of this watered-down and rather flat version of Lewis’ wonderful, classic children’s’ book.  I include it because it’s got snow, but it really is a case of ‘the book is better’. It was only a matter of time before the story was committed to celluloid but I found it a disappointing affair all round.  Things improved a lot with Prince Caspian.

8. The Wizard of Oz (1939) Not massively popular on its initial release The Wizard of Oz was first shown on television in 1956 and as part of the Christmas schedule in 1959.  Such was the response that CBS made screening the movie an annual Christmas event; it was only televised once a year, on the second Sunday in December, for 30 years and is now the most viewed motion picture on television in history.

9.  Meet me in St Louis (1944)  Vincent Minelli’s musical was both critically and commercially successful and features Judy Garland (again) singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The song was written by Ralph Blame and Hugh Martin for the film and Garland found the original lyrics too depressing requesting that they be rewritten.  The song was later recorded by Frank Sinatra who also requested changes to the lyrics.


10.  Elf   (2003) When this movie’s shown on TV it’s generally considered a sign that “Christmas has truly started”. Sky caused controversy here in the UK by swiping Elf from Channel 4 meaning only Sky Movies subscribers could watch it.  This caused a general outpouring of grief on Facebook and prompted The Telegraph to ask “Did Sky steal Christmas?”

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Disability History Month

We were invited to Disability Equality North West on Monday as part of their celebrations for UK Disability History Month. 

Disability Equality (NW) LTD is a disabled people's organisation which works to further the human rights of disabled people in the North West of England and to remove the disabling barriers put in place by society that stop disabled people taking a full and active role in society.

We facilitated the event 'A Picture of Disability' and discussed a number of issues surrounding disabled people in film and television.  We talked about  the way disabled people are represented and the obstacles and prejudices facing disabled actors.

We showed some clips from film and TV including Tod Browning's 'Freaks', Xavier Leret's  'Kung Fu Flid', 'E.R.' and 'Frasier'   

There was an open discussion and those who attended shared some interesting and informative views.  I certainly learnt something. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Here are some of those who came along. 






Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Picture of Disability

Check out this fabulous event we're facilitating for Disability Equality North West!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Christopher Lee

Last month Cinema Revisited enjoyed a right old Christopher Lee fest.  We saw ‘The Wicker Man – The Final Cut’ at Filmhouse in Edinburgh and then Hammer’s 1958 ’Dracula’ (released in the USHorror of Dracula’) at The Cornerhouse in Manchester.  

‘The Wicker Man’ was originally released in 1973 as a supporting picture for ‘Don’t Look Now’. Although it is now respected by critics it did not fare well in 1973.  Studio executives had no idea how to market the film and wanted to change the ending (Noooooooo!).  EMI (who had bought British Lion during production) advised director Robert Hardy to remove twenty minutes from the film and Roger Corman suggested a further thirteen minutes were cut to make the film marketable in the US.  Christopher Lee fervently supported the film (although he was unhappy with the cuts) and even offered to buy critics seats to see the film in order to get it reviewed.

Over the years various efforts have been made to locate and restore footage and many who have seen the film on TV or on video are often confused as to which version they have seen.  ‘The Final Cut'  celebrates the film’s 40th anniversary and restores the story to the version Robert Hardy originally intended with reinstated scenes including the ‘Gently Johnny’ segment.

To be honest ‘The Final Cut’ is an odd experience.  The film opens with a scene of Howie on the mainland which is so brief it’s pointless.  There are other scenes from the mainland which I have seen on the TV that were missing from ‘The Final Cut’, whilst a brief, irrelevant scene showing Willow cleaning down a table outside the Green Man is included.  The restored scenes are obvious, of poor quality and lacking colour.   Willow’s Song and her attempt to seduce Howie occur later in ‘The Final Cut’, on his second night on Summerisle and, whatever Robert Hardy’s original vision may have been, I’ve seen this film too many times to find this switch anything but clunky and odd. Although most critics are in agreement that the film is improved by introducing Lord Summerisle earlier I’ve always enjoyed the way he pops up out of his chair like a pantomime demon when Howie visits him at home.

For viewers today the power of the film lies in the ending. Maybe back in 1973 it asked some questions about religion which were ahead of it’s time.  The people of Summerisle have abandoned Christianity in favour of a reconstituted neo-paganism introduced by Summerisle’s grandfather.  Lee’s Lord Summerisle makes it perfectly clear he doesn’t believe in this religion but it suits his purpose, controls the population and made his family rich – ideas which are still pertinent today.  In an era where horror film  vampires could be destroyed by the very sight of a makeshift crucifix made from two splinters of wood, the idea that Howie’s ‘true’ God does not save him is an unsettling one.

Howie’s outrage at the islanders’ sexual liberation, particularly the sexual assertiveness of the women, also loses impact in the age of Madonna and internet porn, although scenes in the school showing the sexualisation of children are still uncomfortable.



This is Jane at 'Castle Dracula' in Bran when she visited Transylvania in 2008.

God gets a slightly better deal in ‘Dracula’. Vampire films haven’t been the same since Louis du Pont Du Lac told ‘the boy’ in ‘Interview with the Vampire’ that he couldn’t be killed with holy water or crucifixes.  Terence Fisher’s ‘Dracula’, though, can be.  Harker vows ‘It only remains for me now to await the daylight hours where I will, with God's help, forever end this man's reign of terror.’ and Van Helsing destroys the fiend using a crucifix made from two candlesticks a sign he claims represents the triumph of good over evil.  Things aren’t quite so simple now and our relationship with ‘belief’ is less self-assuredly ‘right’.  Eagle eyed viewers may have also spotted the bizarre horoscope mosaic on which Dracula meets his (un)death. 

In common with many film versions of Stoker's original text Fisher plays around with the plot and the characters switch around but the names stay the same.  In this version Harker is engaged to Lucy and Mina (it's Rose from 'Brighton Rock'!) is married to Holmwood. 


Although the vampire has come a long way through folklore and literature it was Tod Browning's version (played by Bela Lugosi) who made the mould until Anne Rice came along with her pesky logic.  It was cinema that started to make vampires sexy (this hasn't changed) and let's face it, nothing says 'sex' more that Christopher Lee.  Women love him; he only loves blood. Vampires are no longer just  animated corpses, the work of a Christian devil; with The Twilight Saga's Rnenesmee we now have children who are born vampires, it's no longer even necessary to die first. 

This was Lee's first outing as The Count (although not his first pairing with Peter Cushing) and he went on to play the character seven times for Hammer, with a decreasing number of lines and less and less to do.  One of the reasons Lee was so keen to play the role of Lord Summerisle was to show his skill and versatility as an actor.  The year after 'The Wicker Man' was released Lee played Scaramanga in 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. For those who like trivia, Lee is related to Bond author Ian Flemming.

We're covering Hammer on our next show on November 23rd so tune in between 4-5 for more Christopher Lee!

 


Monday, 14 October 2013

One in Four Film Festival

This week we were at UCLAN’s One in Four Film Festival.  The festival takes place annually in the week of World Mental Health Day (10th October) and is designed to reduce the stigma surrounding the one in four adults who will be affected by mental health issues in any given year.

Cinema Revisited have been honoured to cover the event for the past two years and this year Chat City covered the whole week’s events.  The films are shown at the Mitchell and Kenyon Theatre in UCLAN’s Foster Building and tickets are free. Each film shown explores a particular mental health condition. Before the screening a mental health service user or carer gives an introduction and the film is followed by an open discussion.

It’s a brilliant way to look at how real lives are affected by mental health issues.



This year’s films were;

Monday                       The Hours
Tuesday                       The Mars Project
Wednesday                  Silver Linings Playbook
Thursday                      For the Love of Nancy
Friday                          One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest



Here we are with Keith Byers, one of the many people who work so hard to make this festival a success.


If you missed this year’s event you can get involved in time for next year by visiting www.facebook.com/1in4film and even suggest films that could be shown at future events.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Wizard of Oz

We showed The Wizard of Oz at The Museum of Lancashire* last night. Here are a few bits and bobs that didn’t make it into our introduction.

L Frank Baum’s Oz books anticipated television, laptop computers, mobile telephones, women’s suffrage and advertising on clothing.

The leitmotif for Miss Gulch/ The Wicked Witch of the West is significant and has subsequently been used to indicate a threatening character; it was used in Ally McBeal for Lucy Liu’s character when she first arrived.

At the time of filming Margaret Hamilton was 36. Billie Burke was 54.

Bert Lahr (the film is HIS) played Estragon in the first production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.


Is it a dream?  We meet the 'farmhands' and Marvel in Kansas first.  Does Dorothy's imagination turn Miss Gulch into The Wicked Witch of the West?


Marvel comics produced a graphic version of the story in which Dorothy enters Oz via an earthquake in San Francisco. Ultimate  'Lad's Mag' gone gay?

When Dr Frasier Crane accidentally ‘outs’ himself on air, Gill Chesterton compliments him on taking his “first brave steps on that yellow brick road to pride and self acceptance.”

Favourite bits from Salman Rushdie’s (wonderful) essay on Oz (BFI Film Classics ISBN 978-1-84457-516-9); Rushdie, as an immigrant, identifies with Dorothy as a stranger in as strange land. Oz, from Kansas himself, is the ultimate immigrant done well for himself.  Marie loved his observations about shapes; Kansas is ‘regular’- triangles and squares; Oz is all spirals and spires, Evil is deformed and twisted “Throughout The Wizard of Oz, home and safety are represented by such geographical simplicity, whereas danger and evil are invariably twisted, irregular and misshapen’.  Jane loved the idea that Auntie Em and Uncle Henry  kow tow to Miss Gulch because she has money and power whilst Dorothy demands equal justice for all, even Toto. The idea of the inadequate adult does seem to run through the film- Miss Gulch is scary because she is an adult who behaves like a child.

Invisible Homosexuals?  The Stonewall Inn was managed by Ed Murphy; known locally as ‘The Skull”. Prior to his tenure at Stonewall he had been convicted for blackmailing gay men to the tune of $2, 100, 00.00. The news reports referred to the victims as ‘playboys’- the term ‘homosexual’ was not used.  Similarly, Judy Garland’s audience was referred to (in Time magazine) as ‘the men in tight trousers prancing down the aisles” . Gay men were persecuted whilst not being acknowledged!  

Frank Marvel played no less than five characters in The Wizard of Oz; previously, he was most famous for his partnership with Fanny Brice – MGM’s first choice to play Glinda.

Also loved Alexander Sergeant’s musings about space. In Kansas no one listens to Dorothy because they are too busy working. She has no space.  In Oz she is the centre of everything that happens,

Favourite story has to be THE COAT!  The wardrobe department searched second-hand shops to find a suitably shabby costume for Oz.  They purchased a coat which bore the label ‘Property of L Frank Baum’. Baum’s widow confirmed the coat had previously belonged to the author himself. The creator became the created.

After the film we served Lancashire Cheese on a Chorley Cake. Everyone with any taste agreed we were right to do so.


* Go there – it’s BRILLIANT!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Preston Pride Launch

Cinema Revisited's Jane was hob-nobbing with the higher-ups at yesterdays' super posh Pride launch.


Cinema Revisited is delighted to be contributing to the festivities this year.  We're going to be showing 'The Wizard of Oz' in full  glorious colour on the big screen at the Museum of Lancashire on October 3rd. We'll be introducing the film and  giving away cheese and cakes.  The event is free so come along!

This years' Pride is looking amazing.  The acts appearing were confirmed at the launch and include Musical Ruth - The Singing Nun, Dave the Bear, local legends Eva Fox and Coco Malone and Stock Aiken and Waterman diva Hazel Dean!  You can find more information on the events here www.prestonpride.com

It was great to see some Preston FM people at the launch too, including Neil who was there with 'Older and Out' and Robin who used to present At the Movies (we miss you Robin).

The event was held at The Hidden Gem on Church Street and it turns out their regular menu contains a cheeseboard. They call it "The Ultimate Cheeseboard"; we'll see about that. Watch this space.  




Thursday, 15 August 2013

Brighton Rock 1947

In order to celebrate the lovely weather we’ve been having we decided to give our last show a summer theme and talked about the Boulting Brothers 1947 movie ‘Brighton Rock’. This is based on Graham Greene’s 1938 novel of the same name.  We’ve covered Greene before when we did Carol Reed back in 2010.

On the surface this is a crime story – it’s often referred to as British Noir and was re-titled ‘The British Scarface’ for the U.S. market.  Like much of Greene’s work, though, there is a strong anti-Catholic vein running through it.  Polite reviewers of Greene tend to refer to this as a “challenge to Catholic Doctrine”.  I feel something much nastier and poisoness going on, maybe a manifestation of (Catholic) Greene’s own self hatred.

The plot centers on an underworld criminal gang based in Brighton. Their leader has recently been executed and 17 year old Pinkie Brown has stepped into his shoes. Pinkie is played by Richard Attenborough who had also played the role on stage. Most reviews of this film refer to Pinkie as either a ‘psychopath’ or a ‘sociopath’. Greene refers to the character as “Peter Pan”. Greene claimed ,horrifying, ‘the child who doesn’t grow up remains the great champion of justice’. Pinkie is certainly presented as petulant, expecting high standards of behavior from others but “his crimes have an excuse”. This is evident on the two occasions in the film when Pinkie finds himself cornered and faced with the consequences of his actions. The look of utter incredulity on his face sums his character up more than any of his dialogue.  In order to be allowed to film in Brighton the film makers had to open the film with an on screen blurb about how Brighton’s problems with crime were in the past, as the council did not want to discourage tourists from visiting the resort.  Pinkie is an unpredictable and irrational character, unable to effectively lead the gang. He has secured his position, it seems, because the other gang members fear his violent mood swings and the gang begins to fall apart as the film progresses. 

Pinkie (a Roman Catholic) murders a journalist named Fred Hale. Realising local waitress Rose (also a Roman Catholic) has discovered a clue which could negate Pinkie’s alibi; Pinkie romances Rose and then marries her.  The spanner in the works is pier performer Ida Arnold (the standout performance of the film by Hermione Baddley) who, having met Fred on the day of his death, decides to track down his killers.  This dynamic is where I start to feel a little uncomfortable; Greene (who co-wrote the screenplay with Terence Rattigan) raises some very interesting and valid questions about ‘morality’ but undermines himself by singling out Catholics.

Ida is the wrong sort of woman. She’s overweight, overdressed, coarse and likes a drink and the company of men. She is the sort of woman the British would describe as ‘common’, a woman who is not respectable.  Yet, she has a strong sense of right and wrong and the willingness to actually do the right thing.  Pinkie and Rose, do not talk about right and wrong but ‘good’ and ‘evil’.   As Catholics they do not answer to men but to God and have little respect for earthly justice.  The idea of deferring judgment and responsibility to ‘God’ and the afterlife rather than acting in a morally responsible way on earth is an interesting one.  If this idea was explored without making it a specifically Catholic issue it would be superb. Greene believed that Catholics looked down on people who are not Catholics.   This seems to be a very interesting and stunningly unself aware piece of projection on Greene’s part; Oxford contempory Evelyn Waugh (who later converted to Catholicism himself) noted “Graham Greene looked down on us…”


 Much of the guilt Pinkie feels in the novel is missing from the script although there are references to the fact Pinkie believes he is living in Hell.  There are some nice touches highlighting the subjective point of view we have on life.  We see Brighton ‘front’ a fresh faced family resort contrasted with the crime ridden backstreets. Pinkie and Rose, despite living in a grotty boarding house always give a respectable ‘front’, wearing their Sunday best, whilst Ida, good hearted on the inside, dresses in a cheap and showy fashion.  There is also the recording of Pinkie’s voice which, because the record is scratched, seems to be a loving message to Rose but is in fact a vitriolic statement of hatred for her. Greene’s original story ended with Rose hearing the message in full but the film makers wanted an upbeat ending.  Greene was initially unhappy with this but then realized that viewers would know it was only a matter of time before Rose moved the needle over the scratch and that her agony was merely delayed.



We played summer themed hits on the show including ‘Here Comes Summer’ The Dave Clark Five, ‘Long Hot Summer’ The Style Council and Laura Veirs’ ‘Summer is the Champion’.  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ray Harryhausen. 1920-2013

Ray Harryhausen.  1920-2013

In May this year we lost one of cinema’s true legends; Ray Harryhausen.  We covered Harryhausen’s work when we did our 2010 Summer Holiday show.  We talked about the big summer ‘event movies’ which began in 1975 with the release of Steven Spielberg’s 'Jaws' and decided, in the end, to cover the original and best kids movies; Harryhausen’s “Dynamation!” movies.  The films we covered were 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad' (1958), 'Jason and the Argonauts' (1963), 'One Million Years BC' (1966), 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' (1974) 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' (1977) and 'Clash of the Titans' (1981).


We also got a very special guest in to the studio with us “Nick the Teenager”.  Nick watched the 1981 version of ‘Clash of the Titans’ as well as the 2010 3D remake and gave us his verdict. Nick said he actually preferred the 2010 version which wasn’t the answer we had hoped for! Nick’s beef was interesting; his dislike of the 1981 version was down to Harryhausen’s Kraken.  Teenagers, as you are aware, like to have their facts right.  Being an aficionado of Greek Mythology Nick was correct in stating that the Kraken, a sea monster from Norse mythology, is usually represented as similar to a giant squid or octopus.  Harryhausen, however, chose to present his Kraken as a bipedail, vertebrate primate, wrong we were told “on so many levels”. Harryhausen made the decision to design his own Kraken as he had already used a giant octopus in ‘It Came from Beneath the Sea’ in 1955 and didn’t want to do so again.



Ray Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles. His interest in stop motion animation began in childhood when he was taken to see ‘King Kong’.  He joined the local Science Fiction club where he became friends with Science Fiction Writer Ray Bradbury. The two vowed “always to remain friends and always to love dinosaurs” and both kept their promise. The two remained friends until Bradbury’s death in 2012.  Harryhausen set up his first animation workshop in his parents’ garage. His father made the metal skeletons around which he built the figures and his mother made miniature costumes.

In his early career many of Harryhausen’s films involved animating the destruction of several US landmarks by various creatures.  In 1952 he moved his attention to the Eiffel Tower for the unfinished movie 'The Elementals' because he fancied making a picture in Europe. He eventually relocated to Europe (London) in 1960 and lived there until his death. 

Harryhausen’s major innovations were his split screen method allowing him to combine stop motion models and live actors and the use of rear and front projection to enable the use of glorious colour.  It is his colour productions that are his most iconic, particularly the Sinbad films and ‘Jason and the Argonauts’.  The Sinbad films always include a climactic battle between two creatures.  More terrifying than Medusa and Kali put together must be, though, the most hideous menace ever committed to celluloid; THE SKELETON ARMY from ‘Jason and the Argonauts’. Utterly iconic and the stuff of nightmares the three minute scene took four months to produce. It is now impossible to tell the story without the skeleton army; A 2009  production of “Jason and the Argonauts” by The Dukes Playhouse in Williamson Park, Lancaster, although based on the original myth (Nick was pleased to note), went to great pains to include a version of this scene. It has become part of the Golden Fleece mythology.  

By the time ‘Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger’ came out in 1977 it was up against the mighty ‘Star Wars’ and the special effects now seemed old fashioned and unconvincing.  Although the special effects in ‘Star Wars’ were groundbreaking they were still an updated version of stop motion animation. Speaking after Harryhausen’s death George Lucas said “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”


This show went out as part of Preston FM’s “12 Weeks of Summer” tour where we broadcast from various local locations including the new Media Centre at Preston College and Brite Futures in Ribbleton.  The Harryhausen show went out live from Roccocco Coffee Lounge and Bakery in Leyland. Roccocco is run by Brothers of Charity, an organisation which provides services to people with learning disabilities.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Here's an artists' impression of Cinema Revisited's Jane and Marie; we had this done at The Cornerhouse in Manchester (independent cinema, bar and restaurant).  The artist calls himself  "The Human Camera".


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany’s? 1961

  • OK, here’s the plot. A young writer of compromised sexuality moves into an apartment building in a changing and cosmopolitan city. Here he meets a bohemian, off the wall female who has left her past behind and reinvented herself.  The audience can see they’re perfect for each other but she’s looking for someone richer and he’s looking for someone, er,  butcher.

    I’m talking about Blake Edwards 1961 film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ but you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m referring to Bob Fosse’s 1972 ‘Cabaret’ as they have more than a little in common.


    Although ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ was the earlier film, the roots of ‘Cabaret’ are oldest.  ‘Cabaret’ is based on the stage musical of the same name which was an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1945 novels ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ and ‘Mr Norris Changes Trains’. Reader, I’ll be honest with you,  I’m a huge Isherwood fan so if you’re hoping ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is going to come out of this stand off the better you’re going to be  disappointed. 

    Isherwood’s novels are a fictionalised account of his time in Berlin in 1931 during Hitler’s rise to power. Openly homosexual, Isherwood had been initially attracted to the sexual liberation of life in Berlin prior to the rise of the Nazis.  Following a period of imprisonment for 'Reciprocal onanism'” (Google it) he traveled to China with the poet W H Auden before relocating to America on the eve of the war.

    It was here he met the young Truman Capote, a young writer greatly influenced by Isherwood’s Berlin stories and in particular by the character Sally Bowles.

    Capote published the novella ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in 1958 and it is clear reworking of Isherwood.  New York replaces Berlin, Post WWII social change replaces the rise of the Third Reich and Holly Golightly steps in for Sally Bowles.  

    The 1962 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a film many hold in great affection. It’s light, stylish and fresh but it is what makes it so enduring that is precisely what’s wrong with it. Edwards plays down Holly’s occupation (the oldest profession) and Fred’s sexual orientation. Understandably this is due to the conservatism of the time, eleven years later with the sixties behind it ‘Cabaret’ could be a lot more daring.  Both novels involve the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman; what endears us to these characters is that, given the social mores around homosexuality at the time, both Fred and Chris are both writing about women they think, hope that maybe, just maybe,  they could make it “work” with, and live a socially acceptable  life.

    Holly Golightly is undoubtedly Hepburn’s most famous role but, iconic as she is, I can’t help feeling she’s, deep breath,  miscast (Capote, incidentally wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role and, as with most of the roles Monroe didn’t get you can’t help but think she’d have been better).  Fred and Holly are a pair of hustlers living on their wits; the problem is Hepburn doesn’t look like it. She’s far too chic. The scene when she and Fred decide to shop at Tiffany’s doesn’t work because she doesn’t look out of place. The financial position of the main characters in both films is precarious to say the least and you should leave the cinema wondering what will become of them, and don’t think this is the case with Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Minnelli's equally iconic Sally Bowles looks fabulous in a different way, she looks down on her luck, trashy and down at heel. Isherwood’s Sally Bowles has, in the novel, come to Berlin from Lancashire, the home county of Cinema Revisited.

    ‘Cabaret’ features a supporting cast of characters who, though quirky are also wholly human and vulnerable (particularly given the rise of fascism).  Breakfast at Tiffany’s is populated with grotesques like Rusty Trawler and Mag Wildwood who frankly, you don’t give a fig about.    Another of Edward’s (typically) heavy handed inclusions is the obligatory party scene; a lazy and over used shorthand way of signalling how crazy the times are.

    Edwards also takes the easy step of giving Fred and Holly a happy ending, playing it as a conventional romance.  This was not how Capote intended it, the bittersweet power of both stories is that they are the story of someone the narrator has loved and lost.  Isherwood ends his tale of Sally Bowles by imploring her, if she’s reading this, to get in touch.  Maybe it is this that is the key to understanding why Isherwood’s tale trumps Capote’s; Sally Bowles was based on a real friend of Isherwood’s Jean Ross, who died before ‘Cabaret’ was filmed and never saw herself immortalised by Minnelli.  Isherwood was describing very real feelings of loss, not only of a friend but of his youth, a time and place that was never the same again and his chance of that ‘normal’ heterosexual life. Capote’s Holly Golighlty is based only on a fictional character, Sally Bowles, the shadow of a ghost, as flimsy and  insubstantial as Edward’s film.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Great Gatsby 2013

  • Baz Luhrmann - t'other half of Cinema Revisited likes you again.

    Fitzgerald's novel is difficult to transpose onto the screen, so the director has instead translated it. There are both obvious and subtle references
    to the hypocrisy of hierarchy and failure of the "American Dream" (the bronze eagles on the stone plinths a gentle nod and the dialogue at times a slap to the face) of the text but he's chosen to focus on the love story. Perhaps it's more accurate to label it a dream, the fantastical nature of the visuals and the frenetic editing creating a film reminiscent of a Freudian subconscious night scape. Shots are held for no longer than a few seconds and images almost stutter at times; the editing is careful, providing a fluidity of movement and highlighting the ephemeral nature of the tale, the hero and the "love" between him and Daisy.

    The limited use of wide angle shots increases the pace and intensity of the film and contrasts the enclosed, encapsulating environment of the interiors with the calming yet ever-present threat of the exterior - the ocean, the working class territory, the roads running as veins though the industry that feeds the luxury of Long Island and capitalism of central New York.

    The soundtrack going from jazz to Jay-Z by way of Bach reinforces the fantasy element of the tale and the differing versions used of the same songs reflects the way different characters view both themselves, their history and others. Only the anachronistic use of Gershwin jars, it's a clunky moment in an otherwise impressive array of song arrangements.

    The referencing of serpents in relation to women (the chandelier, the decoration of the handrail by the pool for example) hints at both mythical and biblical tales of the destructive or fatalistic influence of women; in particular the florally named Daisy and Myrtle (let's not linger on the potential meaning of Carroway/caraway). There's the usual subtlety of sturdy trees and pale flowers using nature to illustrate the masculine/feminine; again highlighting the impermanence of Daisy's love against the enduring love of Gatsby. The Ad Finem Fidelis emblazoned on his gate is a very literal sign to the audience of his loyalty to both her and the notion of love he has for her.

    The occultist symbolism of the novel is over-played and perhaps only has relevance to those of us who have read the source material; the green light, whilst providing a wonderful visual, is also an unnecessary link to the book. Luhrmann should have played to the strengths of his alternative adaptation. The Hitch-style cameo may be a hint to the viewer that he's adopted the auteur's style of extracting the elements of a novel that play best in a film rather than laying the text verbatim on the screen. The early French farce scenes work to clear the mind of Firzgerald's more gentle, carefully laid out scenarios; the film then softens its focus, not just with the images but also the interplay between characters. In spite of, or perhaps as a result of, the pervasive party scenes the viewer becomes the Carroway character; the third person both watching and participating. There are haunting hints of Carné's Les Enfant du Paradis; the failure or success of relationships, the power and harm of attraction and dependence.

    DiCaprio's heavy acting style managed not to crush the nuances of Gatsby but actually to sustain them through a close, crowded, intense film. Mulligan portrays the evasive, elusive traits of Daisy well and Fisher is bold yet brittle as the overly made-up, passionate Myrtle. Jordan Baker is under-used; perhaps because Luhrmann was less confident with the more androgynous female, to ensure the audience isn't distracted by another potential romance or just for reasons of economy with regard to the script. Edgerton is strength disguised in the form an unfaithful fool. Maguire's Carroway is a less well-formed creation, this is either a strength of the film in that the audience can more easily place itself in his role or a weakness in that he fails to elicit sympathy for Gatsby and the others. Bachchan's Bollywood star shines in his minimal appearances.

    I love the novel and I also admire this film but they are two separate, yet linked creatures, and should be treated as such; if you seek to compare you'll be disappointed, take the occultist hint and open your eyes and mind to something different.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Top Ten Hottest Women in Cinema

It's taken some time but t'other half of Cinema Revisited (Marie) has finally settled on her ten hottest women in cinema.  In no particular order....

Kathleen Turner: I challenge you to suggest another actress who could have burned her way into an audience's psyche with the sort of performance she produced in Body Heat.

Anna Karina: but only in black and white, unfortunately her teeth are a bit grim in colour!  She's captivatingly cool.

Hedy Lamarr: incredibly beautiful and intelligent (look up her contribution to technology, really), but with vulnerability.

Monica Belluci: girl crush! The woman has incredible allure  and the ability to take on challenging roles

Faye Dunaway: sexy, sharp and stylishly sixties. The chess scene in The Thomas Crown Affair is legendary for a reason.

Catherine Deneuve: think Belle de Jour and Repulsion: she draws you in but holds you at a distance. Chic and cutting.

Berenice Marhole: I confess to only having seen her i the latest Bond but she practically crackles on screen; confident, striking and different from the standard Hollywood fare.

Marisa Berenson: she glides with a certain serenity and has a calm beauty that would surely quell any audience in uproar.  Not likely with Death in Venice or Barry Lyndon but never mind.

Charlotte Rampling: surely no other actress has a verb for a form of attraction in her name but take a look at Helmut Newton's photos of her and you'll understand why.

Julie Christie; her Lara is so embedded in my mind I still haven't recovered from discovering that Pasternak's version was not the complex, conflicted blonde shown in Lean's film.  Charlize Theron's recreation for Dior of her Darling "strip" is a good but superficial version of the spiky original. 


Sunday, 21 April 2013

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN



THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN   1960

We did this film when we did our “Lucky Seven” show. We started with Kurasawa’s 1954 masterpiece, ‘Seven Samurai’, and followed the theme through ‘A Bugs Life’, ‘The Three Amigos’ and Bollywood’s ‘Sholay’. Interestingly we went to see ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ over the Easter break and found this film also shares much in common with the movies covered on this show. Elmer Bernstein wrote the iconic theme, as well as the music for ‘The Three Amigos’.

I’d forgotten what a man-fest ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is!  Girls, if you thought this was a ‘lads’ movie’; think again.  Seven drool worthy specimens each more gorgeous than the last. I challenge you to remember all seven of them (without ‘Googling’). The show is stolen by Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. In their scenes together the tension as they compete for screen time is tangible. Brynner lights a cigar.  McQueen lifts his hat. Wonderful stuff.
  
The ‘Seven Samurai’ is credited in the opening sequence.  In Kurasawa’s film the leader of the bandits isn’t really explored as a character, in fact his threat to steal from the village is overheard by accident, driving the villagers to protect themselves.  In ‘The Magnificent Seven’ the role of the bandit leader, Caivera, played by Eli Wallach, is expanded; he’s more psychopathic and takes pleasure in taunting the villagers.  He’s given a back story, having been involved in a bank robbery which has led to his being an outlaw.  He says to the Seven “Your government came after me with a whole army” which, curiously, places the seven hired gunslingers in the position of being the establishment.   Whilst Kurasawa’s story is absolutely grounded in social position and pedigree ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is politically more ambiguous.   The villagers are farmers, described as being “like the land itself”. They are content, happy and we see a community made up of men, women and children working with nature.  The villagers hide ‘their’ women from the gunslingers, women are their treasure, their future, and the gunslingers cannot be trusted with them.  The Seven themselves are guns for hire, drifters, outsiders, described as “like the wind” and there is no sign of friendship or loyalty between those remaining at the end of the film, once they have done the job they are paid to do. Coburn’s character displays his death-wish throughout the film (his erect knife in his final shot) and when Caivera asked Chris “Why?” Chris doesn’t answer. When we first meet Chris he is the uncivilized, outsider involved in a dispute over the burial of a Native American who cannot be buried in a white mans' graveyard "Since the town got civilized".  The villagers hire men because men are cheaper then guns.

There is no doubt the film is exploring the idea of what it is to be a “man” but when and where. Are all Westerns ultimately American narratives? 


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Autism Awareness Day

Today we're marking Autism Awareness Day  (2nd April).

We'll be discussing "Rainman" and "Mercury Rising".

We're also really luck to have Mel from Disability Equality North West on the show. She'll be talking about autism and the services which are available locally for people affected by this issue.



Sunday, 7 April 2013

In the Mood for Love 2000

"You notice things if you pay attention."  The framing of the action through doors and windows, the truthful reflection of a tarnished mirror, the use of clocks and lights (in particular the tree lampshade- beautiful link with the floral of Mrs Chan's dresses as her focus changes), the slo-mo of Maggie Cheung descending/ascending the stairs, noodles in tow ( a bit Freudian but it works), the way Wong catches the reflection of the light on her eyes in the subtle revelation of the affair scene, the shadows and bars as Mrs Chan and Mr Chow recognise the infidelity of their spouses, the sliding of the camera back and forth as they talk, the literal and allegorical feeding of the soul, the layering of different angles/perspectives of the same scene, the use of smoke and rain, the surreptitious blocked angles. In the Mood for Love is just lovely.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Top Five Movies Filmed in North West England



2012 was Preston Guild Year. This is a celebration of Preston’s right to hold a Guild Merchant and has taken place once every 20 years since 1179. Celebrations traditionally begin on the first Monday following the Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist.  It is the origin of the local expression “Once every Preston Guild” meaning “infrequently”. Cinema Revisited celebrated the Guild by covering movies which have been filmed in the North West of England.

My niece, Lydia, did the music for us on this show, choosing a fine selection of artists from the North West and covering everything from The Smiths to The Nolans.

Here is our list of the Top Five Movies Filmed in the North West.


1.  A Kind of Loving. (1962)
Schlesinger’s film of the novel of the same name by Stan Barstow practically defined the “Kitchen Sink Drama”.  As well as superb performances by Alan Bates and (Lancashire actress) Thora Hird it features locations in Blackburn, St Annes on Sea, Bolton, Salford and Manchester.  Scenes filmed in Preston feature some of Preston’s most iconic buildings, including the Harris Museum and flag market and the Miller Arcade, complete with cigarette kiosk. The cinema Vic and Ingrid visit on their date is now the Lava/Ignite night club on Church Street.

2. Whistle Down the Wind. (1961)
Alan Bates appears again, along with a young Hayley Mills, in this timeless tale of Lancashire schoolchildren who believe Jesus is hiding in their barn. It is filmed around Burnley, Bacup and Downham and children from Chatburn Primary School were cast in minor roles.  Rumour has it that the local schoolgirl cast as the youngest Bostock sibling was, for a time, landlady at Blackpool’s favorite Indie hangout The Blue Room.

3. East is East. (1999)
This film about a Pakistani Muslim, his Irish Catholic wife and their mixed ethnicity children is a firm favourite with British audiences. Set in the 1970s it follows the children’s attempts to grow up as ‘British’ despite their father’s desperate attempts to ensure they respect his religion and Pakistani customs. Set in Salford it was filmed in Ealing Studios and Openshaw in Manchester with (bizarrely) Middlesex doubling as the Yorkshire town of Bradford.

4. Yanks. (1979)
This film about American Troops stationed in Northern England during World War II opens with the point of view of the soldiers surveying the bleak and windswept Northern countryside.  The film features Oldham, Stalybridge and Glossop, St Mary’s Church in Stockport and the railway station at Keighley.  I personally dislike violence in films and the lynching scene, filmed in Hyde Town Hall, is particularly upsetting yet the power of the scene is a credit to Schlesinger in terms of the way it is set up and filmed.

5. Hindle Wakes.  (1927, 1931 and 1952)
We only briefly talked about Hindle Wakes as we were unable to get hold of copies of the film in time for the show but it has to be mentioned in view of the fact three versions were filmed. Set in local holiday resort Blackpoolthe “Wakes” of the tile refer to the “Wakes Weeks” holidays, when mill workers were given a week off to visit the seaside.  All three versions were filmed in Blackpool and Manchester. The films were based on the Stanley Houghton play of the same name, considered extremely shocking and controversial at the time as it deals with a woman choosing to have a no strings attached sexual adventure with a man from a different social class.




A little oddity for you - I took this photo in The Stanley Arms pub of a lithograph of the 1882 Guild Celebrations.  Notice the strange, demonic figures in the foreground. I have no idea who or what they represent so if anybody does know please, feel free to enlighten us!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?



Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1966

I came across a brilliant article by Buddhist writer David Loy entitled “Bubbles of Delusion with some Sex” on the OBC Connect forum about how human beings can create microcosms of denial within families and other groups which facilitate abuse.

It encouraged me to revisit a show we did back in April 2009.  We covered the career of George Segal and his performance in the superb “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”. The 1966 film is the film version of Edward Albee’s 1962 play of the same name.

Middle aged academic George Washington (Richard Burton) and his wife Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) invite a younger academic (Nick/George Segal) and his wife (Honey/Sandy Denny) to their home for a drink.   It’s George and Martha’s home, it’s their “bubble”,  and the dysfunctional, co-dependent, heavy drinking couple spend the evening belittling, abusing and terrorising each other before turning on their guests. Their behaviour is typical of emotional abusers; insults and humiliation disguised as “jokes” where, should the victim speak up, he will be accused of having “no sense of humour”.  Martha’s father is the President of the University and the surface gloss the couple present is one of social respectability and kindly networking with junior members of the establishment.  Blindsided, Nick and Honey know something is “wrong” but are powerless to escape, bound by the ‘rules’ of the fantasy world created by the Washingtons,  rules which the Washingtons do not adhere to themselves. They are deceived by the Washingtons show of magnanimity and narcissistic largesse and by the time they reveal their true colours it is too late.  The Washingtons have created a cult of mutual abuse which they are determined to play out in front of an audience, as if the involvement of other people validates their disordered behaviour. George and Martha  are frozen in a relational folie a deux, simultaneously needing others yet  needing to destroy others at the same time. There are several moments when the glass almost shatters, Martha talks about things “snapping” and says “Truth or illusion, George, doesn’t it matter to you at all?”.  Just as it seems that reality is going to intervene (the film has recurrent images of illumination; lights being switched on and shots of the full moon) the bubble re-inflates. The Washingtons clearly consider Nick and Honey to be rank and file subordinates, there to serve their projective needs, yet they are also envious and jealous of them, raging at those they consider inferior and unworthy as Nick and Honey’s “normal” marriage shatters their fragile, inflated and grandiose self image. Nick is not once addressed by his name throughout the film.

Given the Washingtons are named after America’s first couple it seems undoubted that Albee is trying to make a wider point about the collective bubbles in which we live.  Their “power” and respectable façade is borrowed in the first place, it is the university which employs George and Martha’s father which has the gravitas and George and Martha assume it by proxy. Arguably, universities themselves have only the ‘power’ society is encouraged, even deluded, into according them. So the ‘bubbles’ expand, ever out, or inward.   The failure of the Washingtons to support one another renders their marriage, a supposed cornerstone of “society”, nihilistic.

Loy’s article discusses the need for us to free ourselves from society’s collective delusions “Such group bubbles of denial” he writes “become much more difficult to dispel, or even become aware of, because people consciously or subconsciously believe they benefit by not seeing them.”. I recently read an article on Fred Phleps (leader of the Westboro Baptist Church) who, I understand,  is banned from entering the UK. He intimidated, bullied and abused his own children ensuring, unbelievably, their compliance and devotion.  Those reading in the UK cannot be unaware of the recent scandal surrounding the BBC after allegations that a very well known media celebrity had been abusing children on BBC premises, unchallenged by those around him despite suggestions his peccadilloes were well known.  Whilst the façade may be comforting it is, ultimately, damaging to the individual and to society.



The film is 131 minutes long (I’m with Hitchcock on this) but the original stage play ran for 3 hours! At 32, Taylor was too young to play Martha and gained weight for the role (this was the reason for filming in black and white). She won an Oscar for the role, and rightly deserved as she rocks!  Burton on the other had is awful; hammy, laboured and seemingly unable to understand the material he is delivering.  Given what we now know about the Burton/Taylor marriage this is, tragically, ironic.  




I found the David Loy article here: http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t678-bubbles-of-denial-bubbles-of-delusion-from-writer-david-loy
There’s also another version in The Huffington Post about global warming – I’m not sure which is the earlier.
Don’t forget, we’re on air today 16th March between 4-5 GMT.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Barcelona!

Cinema Revisited were in Barcelona over the weekend.  

We found this fantastic little DVD and record shop on Tallers which could almost have been made for us!  It has some really quirky films but we had to limit ourselves to one each as we had cabin luggage.  Hey! We're film geeks!


Here we are enjoying delicious puddings on Placa Reial, a 19th century square next to La Rambla with lanterns designed by Gaudi.


It was disappointing, after sitting outside in the sunshine, to return to the UK and find it snowing! 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lincoln

The opening 15 minutes filled me with fear/disappointment that it would be classic Spielberg (infused with schmaltz and trite symbolism) but it was very good. It's long but you don't notice it and it requires your focus. It's dialogue heavy but wonderfully articulate and the "characters" are carefully drawn.  There are flashes of humour, carefully placed to lift it when it drifts towards melancholy and it has a feel of authenticity that's good enough not to make you question the legitimacy of the version of history it provides.  His shots are varied and slight but it still has scenes(particularly the close interplay of two people) that show his skill at creating an intimacy beyond the fourth wall. In short, it's worth a watch.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Gay History Month 2013

Due to changes in the schedule we didn't have a show in February so we're going to be celebrating Gay History Month a month later on the 16th March.

We've got Debs Bradshaw, who recently won a Homo Hero award for her community work, joining us in the studio as our guest.  

We caught up with Debs in The Continental last night at the O'Hooley and Tidow gig.  O'Hooley and Tidow were  nominated for 'Best Duo' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards  2013 and we'll be playing a track from their last album on our show. 


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Academy Awards - Best Song


Academy Awards – Best Song

In last years' February show we celebrated all things ‘OSCAR’ and the music we played on the show was made up of songs which had won the Academy Award for best song.

The category was not introduced until the 7th Annual Academy Awards in 1934 and the first winner was ‘The Continental’ from The Gay Divorcee. At this time the nominees could include any song which had been included in a film. In 1941 the eligibility rules changed meaning only songs written especially for the movie qualified.  It has become common for films adapted from successful musicals to include a song written principally for the film in order for them to qualify. Songs containing samples (e.g. ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’) are not eligible.

We tried to cover as many decades as we could and started with 1949’s winner ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ from the film Neptune’s Daughter.  The song was written by Frank Loesser, originally for him to perform with his wife at the end of parties, before selling it to MGM.  The song is performed twice in the film by two different couples and with the gender roles revered.  The version we played was by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews but the song has also been covered by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, Ray Charles and Betty Carter and Barry Manilow and K. T. Olsen.  It also appeared again on film in the 1991 movie For the Boys this time performed by Bette Midler and James Caan.

Next up was 1950’s ‘Mona Lisa’ from the film Captain Carey USA (Ray Evans and Jay Livingston).  Most movie buffs will recognise the song more from 1954’s Rear Window and 1986’s Mona Lisa. We played Nat King Cole’s Version.

In 1954 Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn won with ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’ from the film of the same name. The song was written in an hour with the writers not having seen the script.  Although the song was recorded by Frank Sinatra for the film, Fox neglected to put the writers under contract so they were able to cash in on their success by recording and releasing a version covered by The 4 Aces.  We played two Sinatra tracks on this show (any excuse) as Sammy Cahn won again in 1957, this time with Jimmy Van Heuseon for ‘All the Way’ from The Joker is Wild.

Ray Evans and Jay Livingston won again in 1956 (their third win in a row) with ‘Que Sera Sera’ from Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.  On the show we played the version by Oregon ‘little orchestra’ Pink Martini. The (grammatically incorrect) phrase appears in Marlow’s Dr Faustus and will be well known to British readers as a football chant with “be will be” rhymed with “Wem-ber-ley”.

Probably the most loved Oscar winning song is Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’ from 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The song was written specifically for Audrey Hepburn’s voice and was almost edited out of the final cut.  Andy Williams recorded a version of it which he performed at the following years’ ceremony.  ‘Moon River’ must qualify as the most covered song EVER, having been recorded by Art Blakey, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Nico Fidenco (in Italian), Bobby Solo (in Italian), Louis Armstrong, Vic Damone, Sarah Brightman, Perry Como, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis, Morrissey, R.E.M., Katie Meluia, The Killers, Rod Stewart and The Divine Comedy.  A Spanish version appears in the film Bad Education and they song has featured twice in the TV Show Frasier (seasons 1 and 11).

Mercer and Mancini won again the next year for ‘The Days of Wine and Roses’ from the film of the same name starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remmick.  In 1963 the song was covered by (OK, watch out for this guy) Andy Williams.

Another song which almost didn’t make the final cut was 1966 winner ‘Born Free’ written by John Barry and Don Black. The song also features in Madagascar and was covered the following year by…, you guessed it, Andy Williams.

A guilty pleasure; we got to play The (glorious) Carpenters version of 1970’s winning song ‘For all we Know’ from the film Lovers and Strangers.  Readers may be surprised to learn this was not the version used in the film; it was originally recorded by Larry Meredith. Although The Carpenters version as the most successful, reaching No 3 on the Billboard chart, The Carpenters were not allowed to perform at the Oscars ceremony so the song was sung by Petula Clarke instead.

The 80s saw some blockbuster winners, we played ‘Up Where we Belong’ from An Officer and a Gentleman, ‘’Flashdance’ from the 1983 film of the same name and Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ from The Woman in Red which stayed at the top of the Billboard chart for three weeks and the UK charts for six.

Film lovers may scoff at Madonna’s contribution to cinema but during the 1990s she was responsible for performing two Academy Award winning songs.  ‘Sooner or Later’ from Dick Tracy won in 1990, written by the wonderful Stephen Sondheim. Madonna took songs from the film on tour and no doubt contributed to the film’s commercial success.  Her performance of the song at the 1991 Academy Awards ceremony has been voted “the 7th Most Awesome Oscar Performance “by Billboard.   The top spot, in case you were wondering was  taken by Three 6 Mafia for their 2006 performance of ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” In 1996  Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice won with ‘You Must Love Me’ written for the musical Evita and also performed by Madonna.

Usually the music takes a back seat on the show and we don’t usually get so many great songs to choose from, so this was a particularly memorable broadcast.  We’re back on air this Saturday 26th covering Leone’s Dollars Trilogy (I’m sooo excited) and will be returning to our usual “tenuous link” formula music wise.  We’ll be playing some of Ennio Morricone’s incredible scores for the movies, of course, as well as a snippet from Sato’s Yojimbo score, but we’re currently sorting through songs with “Guns” or “Gold” in the title, so any suggestions will be gratefully received!