"shoving microphones down your top"

TV This is a guest post, from Shouting At Cows, by Rosa Wright, who came third in the 2010 series of the BBC Four quiz show Only Connect:
"Despite the whole sexy TV atmosphere of make-up artists and soundmen shoving microphones down your top we never really felt like we were being filmed. Once you get into the game you’ve no idea that there are cameras on and you can’t see yourself on any monitors – the first time we saw ourselves was the first time it was broadcast on the telly. You might get a glimpse of the autocue but you’re far too busy trying to work out what connects the Tardis to Mary Poppin’s handbag (both much bigger inside than they appear, if you’re wondering) to pay any attention."
Well worth the spoiler. I'm a bit behind. My PVR has eight episodes waiting.  Twisted flax please.

"There will be NO bonus tracks"

Music Portisheard have a new album coming and band member Geoff Barrow opens up a new philosophical question: does the lack of a gimmicky release process become a gimmicky release process in and of itself?
""There will be NO free downloads There will be NO bonus tracks There will be NO remixes There will be NO hidden footage"
Etc. Etc. Note there will still be digital downloads, just not locked to a particular retailer.  For this to be entirely pure we'd all have to go out and buy the cd (saving HMV in the process).

"sandwiches and pens"

TV At first I though this was a spoof. But no. This really is how BBC America are promoting Law & Order: UK. The final line is shamelessly amazing [via].

the BBC's last Expectations

TV BBC1 controller Danny Cohen is publicising some of the drama coming soon to the main channel with perhaps the most suprising inclusion a new Kudos series, Morton, by Frank Spotnitz which if it's the same bloke was an Exec producer and writer on many of Chris Carter's series including The X-Files, Millenium and the doomed Harsh Realms.  Interesting too to see Heidi Thomas of nu-Upstairs back with another six part period something or other.

The biggest disappointment is the appearance of another adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations from Sarah Phelps who admittedly worked on a good Twist a few years ago. Disappointing because the BBC's last Expectations was the sumptuous Tony Marchant effort just over ten years ago, still young enough to have the new BBC logo on the front, with Ioan Gruffudd as Pip and and amazing Charlotte Rampling as Miss Havisham and which if it was broadcast now would, other than having been shot on film rather than HD sit perfectly well in the schedules.

In other words, this feels to me like the BBC making the same thing over again all too soon, when and I think you can guess where this is going, there are dozens of bits of theatre which haven't been reproduced in decades for television, work which is equally dramatic and interesting but because of the unnatural bias towards adapting prose into television which still continues to be a weird fit for me. But honestly it's a crime that we might never see Helen McCrory as The Dutchess of Malfi. Or whatever.

one controversy

TV It's not often that I'd link to a single short user comment at The Guardian, but it's impossible not to read this and realise that of course it is. The Charlie Brooker column above it is a welcome return to form too, and useful, since this is one controversy which passed me by.

The List:
23. Article published on the Liverpool Echo website.

Elsewhere I've written a guest post about Bjork's album Debut for Jade Wright's music blog, which means ...

23. Article published on the Liverpool Echo website.

"So I go up to the next guy"

Commerce Predictably this interview with Mary Portas is essentially Absolutely Fabulous fan fiction as the precious walks within the world the rest of us inhabits. Example:
""I find myself becoming a bit Tourette's. I walk round going, 'I hate this, I hate this!' Normally I do a food shop at Waitrose, but the other day I had to go locally and the only one was a Tesco Metro. I went up to these guys, and they're stacking the shelves, and I said, 'Do you have any Yorkshire puddings?'" She affects gormless incomprehension and a foreign accent. "Pooding?"

"Now that gets me. You're not allowed to say that, cos it's politically incorrect if someone can't speak English – but he's just not going to know what Yorkshire puddings are! So I go up to the next guy, and he takes me over to the flans and the puddings. So then I'm walking round and I find myself going, 'I hate this, I hate you all, I hate the fact that I have to be here.' And I do become actually slightly quietly insane. I hate it so much. It makes me want to just cry with depression that we've got this bad. It's really, really tragic. I went into Homebase at the weekend and actually thought I was going to kill myself."
More than once lately I've been in a shop and asked for the location of something which has clearly been hidden at the back and been vaguely pointed in the direction of about three aisles none of which seem particularly hopeful and proved not to have the thing I was looking for. None of which makes me suicidal, just consider the idea that shops might as well be self service and have nodes like The Library in the Doctor Who story The Silience in the Library or explain why internet shopping is so much easier. I hope she's joking.

an actor's look

Film Each year, film lecturer Jason Mittell asks his students to remix films and apply different narrative. Not parodies exactly, these aren't The Shining remix over and over, but as he says "designed to teach through practice how the practice of editing for chronology, juxtaposition, and tone conveys story".

The results are excellent and suggests the group has impeccible taste including as they do new versions of Away From Him, Adaptation, The Prestige and the tv show Pushing Daisies.

Even though most of them don't work unless you've seen the original source material, it's a useful example of how much narrative and expositional information can be conveyed in an actor's look to just off camera.