Blog! Anil talks about that photo here and here. Having once had to endure the sight of Mahir being interviewed by Johnny Vaughn on The Big Breakfast, it's refreshing to see an internet in-joke making it into the main stream in a subtle, cool way.

On The Subway

Blog! Interesting bedside manner. I haven't seen a medical doctor in many years.

Kaze Wo Atsumete

Film Ben Burtt, the sound man who gave R2D2 his beeps has skipped Lucasfilm and joined PIXAR. Most interesting thing about this story? The quote: "The last few years have been frustrating, so I was at a point of change. But I had no official plan." A statement so loaded it'd break the back of a Battle Droid ... sadly it's not really elaborated on.

Too Young

TV Does anyone remember the Bit of Fry and Laurie sketch in which Stephen Fry introduced Countdown. Well, he's doing it for real. Yes, well, Um, and ere heyeah ...

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

Review of a new book which tells the story of the year that Hamlet may have been written: "But is this self-revising Shakespeare compatible with (author) Shapiro's claims for the pivotal importance of 1599? Even if Shakespeare began Hamlet in that year, he didn't finish - and probably had not even begun - revising it until 1600 or even 1601. When Shapiro claims that the play's famous soliloquies are "not even hinted at in Shakespeare's sources", he is momentarily forgetting that the most important source for Shakespeare's Hamlet was another popular play on the same subject, written in 1589 or earlier, probably by a different playwright. That play might have contained a Hamlet even more soliloquy-prone than Shakespeare's. "We just don't know," as Shapiro is fond of saying about Shakespeare's love life."


Referrer Logs Your premiere destination online for Norwegian Girls ...


TV Bad Wolf. Let's look at the evidence. The graffiti on the TARDIS. The TV station. The helicopter. Who lives in a universe like this? Russell, it's over to you.


Alexander Graham Bell's wife was deaf.


Film Just returned from Sin City. It's sitting quiet comfortably in my top ten for the year even though Quentin Tarantino directed a scene. It has that rare distinction in film today of feeling uncompromised, of a great idea keeping fidelity within its execution without compromise. Apparently, Robert Rodriguez is to do his usual and give us two more films set in the same world. Can't wait. Especially if we get to see more of the old town.


Blog! Meg talks about how times change, people change, weblogs change but some things endure:
At one point - and I'm being tongue in cheek here - I was jokingly called the queen of British Blogdom. This is, of course, hilarious, because frankly it could have been anyone at all - I just happened to be vaguely high-profile (though it's all extremely relative, natch) and had time and energy to organise and attend blogmeets, back when there were only ever going to be twenty geeks in an upstairs room. I also was able to talk about nothing quite comfortably with meatspace strangers, and so I did. A lot.
Probably one of the most touching pieces about the subject I've ever read. Funny how I only started reading Meg's site this time last year after everything.

City Girl

Film I wondered, after the identity of Deep Throat was revealed to the world, whether the scenes in All The President's Men, still one of my all time top ten films, continued to keep that mystery or whether knowing the identity of character Hal Holbrook is playing ruins things because crucially we're beginning to learn about what was happening on the other side. You know what? They really don't. In fact, an extra vibe is in the mix -- the tension that we know what Felt was risking being in that underground car park. When he tells Woodward not to call him at that crucial moment you assume it's because his life is in danger. It adds shades of grey to the Redford character because it now seems as though he's will to risk a man's life for the investigation. I'm sure it's a complete co-incidence that the documentary, Inside Deep Throat is being released next week. I hope people aren't going to turn up expecting an expose of the FBI during the Nixon era.

Updated: I've just read here, that sales of the dvd of the movie have increased by 1000%, which is shame because its a foggy old transfer which seems to have been created by pissed monkeys (do I not tire of that phrase). This is the same one which was released at the dawn of the dvd age, with a bit-rate lower than most Sky shopping channels. I've had better performance from my £40 Freeview digibox. Hopefully with this new release Warner Brothers will see fit to give the film, the full Special Edition treatment with a new transfer -- might I suggest they get Felt into a commentary studio pronto?


Music This sounds simple:
"When I got the call from Agent Todd about Project Vertigo, I had only one thing to say: Yes. He wanted my help running sound for a rooftop concert using a U2-like band similar to the "Where The Streets Have No Name" video. A great homage to U2 and a nice way to have some fun with the U2 fans attending the concert that night."
It may be the coolest moment in amateur rock history. [via]

Elephant Parade

Commerce As a matter of course, I've Voight-Kampff tested IKEA's Anna. See if you can spot the moment when she admits to be a replicant. I'm just off to call in a good Blade Runner ...

Anna: Welcome to IKEA. How can I help you?

Me: Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Now, answer as quickly as you can.

Anna: Thank you for being so polite.

Me: One-one-eight-seven at Hunter-Vasser.

Anna: It's not always possible for me to fully understand what it is you mean. This is one of those times.

Me: What?

Anna: I said ...

Me: Nice place?

Anna: All of IKEA's products are made to the highest standards.

Me: No, just warming you up, that's all.

Anna: You said it.

Me: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of the sudden-

Anna: You can find all products on the UDDEN product line in the page I am now opening for you.

Me: Yes. You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down-

Anna: You can find all products on the UDDEN product line in the page I am now opening for you.

Me: What?

Anna: I don't know the answer to that question yet, I am sorry. Please contact your local store for help on the issue.

Me: It doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical.

Anna: If you say so.

Me: Maybe you're fed up, maybe you want to be by yourself, who knows? You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon, it's crawling toward you-

Anna: I have detailed knowledge of IKEA products and services. How would you like to use my knowledge of IKEA?

Me: Know what a turtle is?

Anna: I know people love animals, but I'm here just to talk about IKEA.

Me: Same thing.

Anna: It's not always possible for me to fully understand what it is you mean. This is one of those times.

Me: You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back Leon.

Anna: You can find all products on the LOEN product line in the page I am now opening for you.

Me: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping.

Anna: Here you will find the Bed Legs.

Me: I mean, you're not helping. Why is that Leon? (pause) They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. (pause) Shall we continue? Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about: your mother.

Anna: As I am only an advanced computer program, I cannot answer more than one sentence at a time. Please simplify and repeat the most important question within your previous input, and I will try to reply as accurately as possible. I am opening a page now which you can use if you wish to contact Customer Services. Thank you very much!

Me: Yeah.

Anna: Very well.

[Further attempts at glory]

Spotless Mind

Film Matthew Vaughn's walked from X-Men 3. With the loss of Bryan Singer, now Matt this is really looking like one of those cursed film projects. How quickly do you think Renny Harlin was on the phone to his agent? But really, with principal photography so close, you can bet the studio will be fishing about for a 'safe pair of hands' so that the money isn't sunk. But frankly it's just not possible to hire a Kubrick at the eleventh hour any more. Here are five directors who would probably make a decent job under these circumstances....

Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Spy Kids, Sin City)
Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy)
Alex Proyas (I, Robot)
Wolfgang Peterson (Outbreak, Das Boot)
Joss Whedon (If they'd let him delay Wonder Woman for a while...)

Who's probably on their list? The afformentioned ...

Renny Harlin (Cutthroat Island, Excorcist: The Beginning, Die Hard II)
Rob Bowman (The One, The X-Files)
Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin, some good films, but made Batman & Robin so...)
Paul Anderson (Aliens V Predator, Event Horizon, Tomb Raider)
Jan De Bont (Tomb Raider 2, Speed 2, Twister)

God I hope Avi Arid, Marvel Comics film producer at large has his thinking head on for this one, otherwise we'll have another Blade : Trinity on our hands.

I'll explain later...

TV Doctor Who is namechecked in this excellent article about internal continuity within franchise universes. The general message seems to be -- we have it very easy indeed:
"The British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who, judging by the official series chronology book, 'A History of the Universe', has taken a more relaxed approach to continuity matters, making no effort to reconcile contradictions (such as three unrelated explanations for the sinking of Atlantis) even when the errors could be rationalized with ease (as, for instance, when one of the Doctor’s time-traveling companions says she is from 1980 but is later depicted as a native of the 1970s, implying that an organization she works with may have been disbanded even before it was founded—if we stubbornly refuse to posit that she was rounding off when she said “1980,” that is)."
Not wanting to get into UNIT dating, the way I've always rationalised the Whoniverse (is that a word?) is that the web of time is in a constant state of flux, that The Doctor might turn up somewhere at roughly the same time on a number of different occasions and it might appear changed because of something he or another time traveller has done earlier. So there can be multiple reasons the Marie Celeste has sunk. Of course all kinds of other unmentionables (like does Rose remember seeing Mondas in the sky in '86?) can be explained away by the introduction of selective memory that we saw in World War Three. Now about him being half human ... [via]

Main Title

RSS People who read the blog through the RSS/Atom feed might have been noticing some odd titles on posts lately. That's because rather than trying to think up something witty or quippy myself I've been using the titles of tracks on some of my favourite albums, posting through in order. This one has two tracks left and the next post title is a dead give away. Can you tell what it is yet? (Don't phone, it's just for fun... but you could leave a comment) And to everyone else -- RSS is the future people, dip your toe in and see what happens.

Drive In

Elsewhere Internal continuity within franchise universes and the greatest Hamlet of our lifetime.

David Warner on playing Hamlet (and other things).

David Warner tells Michael Coveney of his journey from great Dane to tragic King.
"When David Warner was making a film some years ago with Ian Holm, he asked him what he was doing next. 'Kafka with Jeremy Irons,' said Holm. 'And you, David?' 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze.' Warner tells this sort of story against himself all the time. Tall and gangly, diffident and slightly injured, the 63-year-old actor who was the greatest Hamlet of my lifetime has had a busy but decidedly chequered career since he moved to Hollywood in 1987."
Currently also starring in Big Finish audio's new spin-off version of 'Sapphire and Steel'.



start living.
Originally uploaded by misscaro.

Well alright then.

Down The Drain


The Beatles ... with Pete Best
Originally uploaded by Christopher Proudlove.

This something I haven't seen before. A promotional picture of the group pre-Ringo. I don't think we can really guess how much of a difference the change in drummer meant in the grand scheme of things. According to the poster at flickr, this picture is worth £2,500 to £3,500 which seems quite low to me ...


Furniture I'm not sure what anyone would do with a mobile balcony, but look at the design. [via]

Nola's Bounce

TV Good (time) lord, Suw's posted about this week's Doctor Who:
"This episode, more than any other, exemplifies survivor guilt. "Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives," says the Doctor as the victims of the poorly adapted nanogenes are finally cured of their ills. The joy in his face is unparalleled by anything else we have seen in this series - he is for the first time truly delighted that he has been able to act as saviour, in however an indirect way."
Oh yes, absolutely. Although actually the Time War plotline throws open a whole raft of unanswerable questions about what's happened to all of the recognisable Timelords like Romana, and their part in the war. Did it happen during the Eighth Doctor era and did it lead to the regeneration? How was the web of time effected and continuity? Frankly newer and returning viewers have it easier than fans who've been following the books, audios and comic strip all these years. Apparently there is going to be a BIG returning character in the episode which appears the week after next. Personally I'm hoping its The Eighth Doctor (ie, Paul McGann). Wasn't it weird how much screen time he got during that documentary which aired on the opening night of the new series?