Breaking the fourth wall: School of Rock


Breaking the fourth wall: School of Rock
Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

Zack, one of the children in Jack Black's class looks at the camera as he sits down. It's an odd moment because unlike everyone else in the scene he looks exceedingly selfconcious.

Links for 2005-01-14 []

Links for 2005-01-14 []

  • Rob Lowe, star fan
    "I love the show, and did not realise they were remaking it. I'd even play a Dalek."
  • RSC finds new home - in a tin can
    "The Royal Shakespeare Company is building a temporary 1,000-seat theatre in a car park in Stratford-upon-Avon, using a technology more commonly associated with oil rigs."
  • Shakespeare Illustrated
    Perhaps one of these people could illustrate the tin [via]
  • "The answer to your holiday PSPrayers"
    The gift that stops giving as soon as you've spent your monthly salary on something which doesn't really exist in the real world.
  • Stopped Clocks
    Oh dear. Another pop culture moment bites the dust.
  • Darwin Awards (2005)
    The movie based on the book based on the website coming soon. "A forensic detective (Fiennes) and an insurance claims investigator (Ryder) trek to investigate a potential Darwin Award winner (an Internet honor given to people who die or maim themselves i
  • 'As far I'm concerned it was a mistake....'

    Big Brother Bloody hell, she's only been out the house for five minutes and Germaine Greer is already on Late Review tonight. She decided that she had more to lose by staying. For some reason I don't think Nuts or Zoo (or Heat for that matter) would have been name checked in the Tom Paulin years. Wierd.

    Not just in The League of Gentlemen

    People Fabulously thorough interview with Mark Gatiss. Nowhere else have I seen important questions asked about the dvd release of P.R.O.B.E. (mid-Nineties Doctor Who fan spin-off). But there in the middle is something completely unexpected -- a few hints at what's going on in the horrifyingly secretive British Woody Allen project. Apart from the odd photo I haven't heard anything about this (other than Kate Winslet dropping out). Then suddenly:
    "It was one of the most bizarre days of my life, I have to say. Waiting in this country house, practicing ping-pong all morning, and then suddenly he arrived and there we were. Obviously I was like, "Oh my god, here we are ..." but then I became completely fearless, nerveless, because I was like, "This is never going to happen again. What are they going to do, fire me?" I became almost euphoric. I spent the entire day playing ping-pong with Scarlet Johansson and made up my entire part."
    There are nuggets aplenty throughout the piece. I think Gatiss might be the most connected man in show business. [via OG]

    Briefly Heardsaid etc

    Newsround Just a few things while I'm here. HeardSaid continues to flourish. We had our busiest week last week (in terms of visitors) and people are posting some really exciting things. If you feel like you could offer something, email ... speaking of Gmail, I've ten invites available so pass your details through the usual channels ... finally I've been posting often at Art In Liverpool weblog lately. It's the perfect place if you're coming up to the 'pool and wondering where to go and what to do.

    Belle De Jour answers my question

    Blog! The Guardian News Blog is carrying a brief interview with Belle De Jour:
    "JP: Now that you've stopped being a call girl and (largely) stopped blogging, why not reveal your true identity?

    Belle: Because I still have a family who speak to me, and would like to keep it that way. Also, if my identity became known, the publisher would probably make me do a book tour. Eek."
    So the enigma continues.

    Links for 2005-01-12 []

    Links for 2005-01-12 []

  • Exorcist effects man Gavira dies
    Gone to the great foley booth in the sky.
    Listening so we don't have to. Reviewing dvd commentaries, highlighting the best bits and saying whether its worth watching the film again with a yack track.
  • Excellent Hitchhiker's Guide film interview. Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith questions about the anticipated release.
    Funny moment? "Bill Nighy, driving a golf cart down the corridor of Elstree Studios and being chased by the Big Brother security team..."
  • White Noise heads UK film chart
    Or as it reads in my head: "Geoffrey Sax, director of the Doctor Who tv movie with Paul McGann beats Oliver Stone to number one."
  • Waiting For Star Wars
    Jeff Tweiten blogs his five month wait in line for the new Star Wars film. It feels to me like everyone in the world has calling and this is his. Some might disagree.
  • Daffodils and primroses bring early spring to city
    I can confirm this as an eyewitness on the scene. Some things just don't look right.
  • Life Props: Hall Photo (1993)

    Life Props: Hall Photo (1993)

    This photo was taken towards the end of my first year at university. I don't remember whose idea it was but I think it was felt to be the thing to do, to somehow draw a line under the year in readiness for the independence of smaller shared accomodation. I think the first time I heard of it was when someone knocked on the door of my room at tea time. In case you don't know I'm standing on the very far bottom right with the long hair, the navy blue jacket, greeny-orange coloured shirt and blue jeans with dirt on the knee. Amazingly I'm not the unconventional one, although at no point do I remember this being the style of the early nineties. The creases in the photo are because this is a colour photocopy of the one original copy which we all clubbed together to buy.

    I'm startled not only by the number of those faces which I recognise and can name, but also by the proportion who I never spoke to for whatever reason. When we all moved into the hall everyone seemed like they were friends with everyone else. We'd sit in each others rooms until all hours or have adhoc corridor parties. But naturally that was the first week. People interact that way so that they can get a feel for who they have the most in common with.

    I didn't really understand that. It seemed as though that was how it was going to be for the rest of the year. So in the second week when people I thought I was getting along with suddenly seemed colder or in those times when I was in rooms and felt generally ignored felt less welcome. That cocktailed with my rampant homesickness and possible low esteem to turn me into a nervous wreck. I remember coming home from seeing Sleepless in Seattle alone and looking around the darkened hall and seeing lots of closed doors with light peaking through the doorframes and feeling left out. Until now this memory was blocked out, but I sat on the cold, concrete stairwell and cried, as everything decended, feeling even worse because no one heard me or came out to ask what was the matter. I seemed alone and unwelcome. That was the older version of me. Now, I would have picked one of the doors, given it a knock and engratiated myself. But I was overwhelmed by the experience and the fact that what support network I had at home then was gone.

    In the following days and weeks I made friends. In fact, I replayed a pattern from school and which would continue right up until today. A collection of friends who were all different and would never connect together if they ever met but who I got along with. I could have gone further. I was actually fairly square at university. I didn't really drink then either and too many times I think everyone would be out clubbing and I'd be in the library studying or curling up in front of a video. But I was the first person in my family to go to university, and at school I'd had a certain work ethic drilled into me, so I didn't want to let my grades drop even in the first year when I would have passed to the second year automatically anyway.

    Most students probably look back at their time at university with some regrets either because they wish they'd been less of a hellraiser or like me that they'd made the most of the time they'd had. There were people I could have got on better with because the channels of understanding weren't in place or we just weren't fated to be 'chums'. But I'm not much of a conformists (although to a degree less so then). Perhaps the Debbie Gibson poster on the wall of my room in the first semester might have been a mistake.

    Dave Foster, middle top row, tall, curly hair. He'd be the person I would end up spending the most time with over the three years at college (we'd always keep finding each other no matter the different shared houses we'd end up in), my particular memories of him at Macauley Hall were the late nights. There would usually be four of us, him and I, Paul the hall president (directly underneath him with the beard) and Paul's friend Andy. We'd regularly still be awake at 3am -- I lost a lot of sleep over those eight months. It would either be marathons of Star Trek, or X-Wing (which was the pc game of the time) or just watching satellite tv (Paul was the only halls resident in history to have a Sky system in his room). Usually, eventually, there would come a time in the evening when they'd want to go to the kebab house, Raj Putts, which was open until 4am. I only ever went once (it was a long walk). I had planned to get the pitta full of meat and hot sauce. In the event, after I'd seen the spinning lump it was coming from I plummed for a salad pitta. A sign of weakness perhaps, but I still think I would have been getting over the event until this day if I'd followed everyone else into the meat and heat.

    One row back from the front is Karen Lopez. One night I was in the laundry room reading and washing and Karen came in with a basket of clothes. We'd never been great friends, but we'd chatted in hallways and I think I'd been up to her room a couple of times (which describes my relationship to most of the people in the hall). Karen who was always happy and hyper, looked shaken and depressed. I asked her what was wrong and she told me. It was one of the best nights I spent that year. Before Uni, at school and out I had always ended up being a listener and problem solver. My mouth can run away with me sometimes, but when I need to shut up I will. In those first few months no one seemed to need me. I like being needed. So when Karen started talking I suddenly felt at home again. She'd had an arguement with her boyfriend (Andy, top row) and it seemed permanent. I just sat and listened, until long after we'd forgotten about the laundry. It's one of times when you don't remember exactly what was said, just the impression. I think I might have said some things about it not being the end of the world, about how two people love each other then can work it through. Whatever it was they got back together that night. I maintain that they would have done that anyway, but it just nice to have helped again. Just once.

    But of everyone the one face which stands out is on the front row. Rosie Holt. She's the one in purple. Of all the people it would be nice to see her again. She's the one who on reflection was so unlike me and yet so close to who I think I am. She tried my patience sometimes, but equally I probably didn't give enough of a chance. I think we were friends, but too often she'd shock me enough that I'd run away and hide; at times I'd want to be quiet and Rosie would be there -- I'd think she was interupting but actually she was keeping me sane. Last time I saw her was ten years ago. I met her in the Merrion Shopping Centre in Leeds after I'd heard she left University. We didn't talk for long -- whoever she was with was hurrying her along (so mid-nineties) but there was something about her which made me worry. And I've worried about her for a whole decade. I've put her name in the 100 things I post in my user profiles online. Spookily, this exact day last year I posted on the weblog that someone had found the site by googling for the name Rosie Holt. Then tonight, as I was writing this, trying to remember someone's name, I inevitably looked on Friends Reunited. And there she was. Rosemary Holt now. Her entry says: "I am working in Glasgow, bringing up my 4 year old daughter and 'net surfing most of time!" Doesn't closure come from the strangest of places? Perhaps Rosemary might stumble on this sometime and we will see each other again.

    This photo for me is about people, and memories of people. There's Phil Wynne who I'd chat to every night before I went to bed, and Andrew De Swarte who'd go the local supermarket a hairsbreath before closing so that he could gather up the reductions. Unlike a holiday snap which might remind the owner of a single moment, this is the record of an entire year of my life. Even if not everyone made it to the steps on time (Jess, Benoit, Anne-Marie) they're also there by association. I'd probably never known so many people at once before and at the same time not known them at all. But it also lets me see how far I've gone in ten years. Although my hair looks almost exactly as it did then, so something things aren't supposed to change.

    Where did they get a name like Lynyrd Skynyrd?

    Far from being a fantasy reference, Lynyrd Skynyrd was named after their physical education teacher Leonard Skinner, said to be a great influence on the band.

    'Nice shot of whiskey and sit down...'


    'Nice shot of whiskey and sit down...'
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    Deep breath. This is the last of the mystery photos drawn from the miscellaneous box of slides. From now on, it'll be my own messy past and present appearing here. This is a perfect photo. The decor it evokes a time, but so does the act of sitting reading a broadsheet newspaper in the evening.

    I never knew either of my grandfathers but this is always how I imagined them to be. I like that he has just a brief smile on his face as though he's spotted that his team won on Saturday or the small nestegg of shares has popped up a bob or two. But equally it's the kind of shot you might take when you've first unboxed a camera and you want to take a shot of something so that you can hear the click of the shutter for the first time. Captured in frame, those flowers will never die, and that's magic enough.

    As the one person at flickr to comment tom de plume says: "makes me want to know the story, and then the story behind that story..." Which has been the point of publishing these photos all along. I hope you've enjoyed them.

    'I can hardly wait...'

    Music In the end I decided I couldn't miss what's going to be the most incongruous sights in history so I bought a ticket for Juliette Lewis at The Barfly. Did you know ticket agents charge a pound? Crushingly this demonstrates how often I go to these concert things.

    Links for 2005-01-11 []

    Links for 2005-01-11 []

  • Naughty Waterstones
    Seriously. What were you thinking? That it would go away?
  • Cinecultist:EW's 25 To Watch
  • Louis Lumiere's film career at the IMDb
    With an entry for everyone ...
  • Juliette Lewis and band playing The Barfly in Liverpool
    Probably worth going on the strength of her performance in 'Strange Days' alone.
  • Juliette and the Licks at New Olreans HOB (10/15)
    Mixed then. But yet still tempting.
  • Bright knights, big city
    The Guardian previews Monty Python's Spamalot.
  • Call girl messageboard
    Interesting from the point of view of seeing the internal running of a business obviously.
  • beancounter parodies: ClerkClerk
    "Hey. Want me to deck him for ya with my genuine Tibetan goatskin-covered bong?"

  • Love Film

    Life I went to the first night of a new evening class at the university, The Philosophy of Film. So far it's just excellent. Long term readers might remember I've had a pretty mixed experience with these courses, ending up at something called An Introduction to Pop Music and not having any examples to hear and that film course were we spent the first two weeks working our way through chunks Milos Forman's Ragtime without actually seeing the end.

    This is different. The tutor has his own definite ideas about movies and those which we are going to discover over what is now nine weeks. Already tonight we saw the earliest of films, La Sortie des usines Lumiere (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory) a great example of how just a moving image without sound capturing a subject can fascinate. There were also clips from Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood, Cassavette's Love Streams and Gun Crazy (one of those B movie which transcends its form -- the kind of thing Scorsese eulogises about in documentaries). One of the core ideas seems to be that a film doesn't have to be stupidly expensive or even perfectly made to have value, something forgotten time and again now.

    Of course I'd never heard of these films, let alone seen them and really that's what the magic of this course is going to be -- having a guide into yet more filmic forms being educated about all things I really should be. John the tutor had a looked stunned that we hadn't heard of this stuff, which makes him my kind of film fan. But there is a genuine love for film in the room -- for a change I can mention I've seen something like House of Flying Daggers and other people also been there or know what it's about or know the director. It's good to know there are still corners of the universe were this can happen.

    Standing on the mezzanine (Blackpool)


    Standing on the mezzanine (Blackpool)
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    This is Blackpool then. The sign gives that game away. I think this one of those special cameras which can't take a photo straight on. At least they're standing up this time and there are some smiles. Even if one of the women, let's call her Diedre, is looking at something else happening, presumably on the beach. The woman standing next to her seems to be showing us the towel.

    On the mezzanine


    On the mezzanine
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    Emphasis here on the rubbish bin.

    Sorry to do this Jess but ...

    TV So what is Jessica Stevenson doing in According to Bex, other than getting paid? I tuned in fearing the worst but with a little hope in the back of my mind that if Jess was anywhere near the project it would have someone else going on, a spark which would disprove the idea that all Friday night sitcoms on the BBC are bad. In the fifteen minutes before I turned it off, my mouth gaped open so far my lips began to hurt.

    The premise seems to be that Bex is a Bridget Jones-type with an on/off boyfriend, looking for a perfect man. But the twist is that as the plot progresses she addresses the viewer and asks people in the street what they think she should do. I'll cautiously say that this isn't such a poor idea if done well. But for a start the members of the public aren't -- they're actors, all of whom you seemed to remember seeing before in an advert or pop video, and to a degree all hopelessly trying to be seen. Bex addressing the viewer are about the only times Jess seems comfortable but set looks like its been brought out of mothballs from an 'I Love...' series. The execution is so rotten that I was happy that my new dvd recorder had an erase button so I could literally dump the programme from the disc and my life.

    I have a nagging feeling that the script isn't awful. There was evidence of some perfectly funny lines in there. But its buried under the kind of cruddy acting style which wasn't allowed on US tv in the Eighties as every line is emphasised lest we miss a single joke or jape. Imagine a show in which everyone is talking as though they're doing a parody of Ross from Friends. In the case of Greg Wise (a fine actor I thought) this leads to some frightening eyerolling to the extent at one stage during a particularly unfunny exchange with Stevenson its easy to imagine he's gone into a fit. Jess just looks lost unfortunately, which is a shame because I really like her -- and every now and then you can see glimmers of the actress we know -- but much of the time it's like she's been afflicted with the bad delivery disease infesting the rest of the cast.

    Their verbal emphasis is further hightened by a maddeningly loud laughter track. Not an eye roll, a gesture or a stroll passed by without the audience, canned or not, treating it as though it as though it's the funniest thing they've ever seen. At one point it sounded as though the 'howl' button was stuck and it was rotating around and around and around.

    It's been a while since I've wanted to criticise a show so vehermently but this really has few redeeming features. To be fair I did only see the first fifteen minutes so its entirely possible I was seeing a sitcom parody wrapped in a dream sequence and those last five inspired minutes could have been really good. I'll hold onto that hope because with this running double bill with a fifth (why?) series of Ardel O'Hanlon in My Hero it feels like quality control in the BBC comedy department is at an all time low. I mean even the sets are horrible with a bar set which looks like it was borrowed from Coupling and the fakest looking office in tv history. If Dom Joly wasn't producing the genius of World Shut Your Mouth (or 'Triggy Happy TV flies the World') later in the evening it would be easy to characterise this to be the place were ex-Channel 4 talent goes to work off all the dark matter which is left over when they're tapping out their genius over so many years. Tragic.

    Links for 2005-01-08 []

    Links for 2005-01-08 []

  • Google's Best Of The Web
    Just to be meta, my first scoop at 'Inside Google'. True to form, Nathan's gone to the core of something I thought was just a bit of fun. I've noticed also that naturally there aren't any British sites listed. Even the BBC isn't big enough. Yet.
  • Wonder Woman and the Star Riders
    (holds face in hands) No ... no ... no ....
  • Hi 5
    'The Modesto Bee' reflects on the number five and how it touches our daily lives. Did you know George Foreman had been married five times?
  • Dooogle
    So about Wanda ....
  • Tori Amos Sleeps With Butterflies
    Part of that is the title. See if you can work out what it is.
  • Guess the Character! - See if the computer can guess which film/TV character you are!
    Although can you explain how it's never heard of Harry who met Sally but 18 people have been Angela from 'My So-Called Life?'`
  • True Confessions of Ken and Barbie (a weblog)
    Not safe for work. Or anywhere else really. Some things are just wrong. In fact I'm not sure why I'm linking to it.
  • Rainbow Warrior brings aid to tsunami survivors
  • The Seattle Times offers a positive review of 'Spooks'
    Called MI:5 over there. Decides that it's better than 24 ...
  • Hey buddie

    Photography A new feature at the increasingly addictive flickr lets you view the icons of the people in your buddy list as a mosaic. Here are mine. Here are yours.

    Baby steps.

    Life This turned into a weekend in. Yesterday, was, well, yesterday and today we took the Christmas decorations down and dropped the tree off for recycling. The festive season is over for another year and we can all look forward to Easter (I've seen eggs on sale already). As for yesterday (and thanks everyone for the support) all I can really say is, baby steps. I just know that whatever ends up happening will be great. But, yes, baby steps.

    'Oh Belgium'

    When Douglas Adams' book Life, The Universe and Everything came to be published in the US first time around, the publishers weren't happy with the swearing. In that case the fuck word was replaced with 'Belgium' with some extra dialogue and a new guide entry included by way of explanation. The new material (which can be seen here) is arguably funnier than what went before.