Doctor Who in the British Pathe Archive:

Tv Amazing! Yeti! Cyberman! Schoolboys and girls Exhibition. Olympia, London (the annual holiday time event for youngsters)! Has this footage been seen before? That seems to be a Yeti from The Abominable Snowmen, which is pretty rare.  Otherwise the event looks super exciting and entirely the sort of thing which would be outlawed under health and safety rules now. Decades later, Olympia would house another Doctor Who exhibition, the one which would ultimately move to Cardiff.  More soon.

Hamlet at the British Pathe Archive.

As you might have heard, British Pathe have taken the rather epic decision to upload much of their archive to Youtube, around eighty-five thousand news reels. With that sort of breadth of coverage, most subjects and topics are featured and Hamlet is no exception.

A shot from the 1913 version of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' starring Sir Johnstone Forbes Robertson. This appears to be Act 1, Scene 1 with Horatio (S A Cookson), Marcellus (A. Roberts) and Bernado (G. Richards) greeting Hamlet Snr for the first time.  Notice how the Ghost is achieved by superimposing one exposure over another on the film. The old Hamlet page at the BBC website contains the follow up scene from the same film of Forbes-Robertson meeting the Ghost for himself., though it's true that the actor could be in the above clip.  It's confusing.  Here's a clip of the actor offering reading of the advice to players. Screen Online has a short essay about the production. Here's a painting of the actor in the part from the V&A's theatre collection and photographs at the National Portrait Gallery and Folger Shakespeare Library.

Here's the footage again in a '63 film about its discovery and restoration.  This would seem to indicate the BFI has the whole film in its archive somewhere though it doesn't appear on their collection of Silent Shakespeare.

Douglas Fairbanks Jnr (!) accepts the 1948 Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars on behalf of Sir Lawrence for his Hamlet.

"Twenty-one gun salute being fired from Hamlet's Castle at Elsinore."

Czechoslovakian craftsman produce a model of Hamlet from glass.

This travelogue offers a colour glimpse of Elsinore (3.40 onwards). Film notes that the palace was actually built in the 16th century.

Internet "to reach Wales by 2020".

History The best bit: "We haven't finalised the costings yet, but we anticipate that the price of sending across the Wales Wide Web should be no more than fifty to sixty pence." Actually no, it's the two paragraphs before that. And the the paragraphs before that. And the photo.

The Films I've Watched This Year #14

Film I've just spent the past half an hour trying to remember the film I watched last Sunday night, eventually resorting to glancing through Last.FM to see if whatever it was inspired me to seek out connected music as happened with Drinking Buddies and found I'd been listening to The Swingle Singers that night and then remembered I hadn't watched a film at all but instead had read this month's Sight and Sound Magazine's article about pre-code Hollywood cinema.  I should really have remembered because just afterwards I had one of my periodic existential viewing crises in which I realise I may be watching some films because I feel like I should rather than because I necessarily want to (see previous existential reading crisis for more information) and decided to, well we'll get to that.  The upshot was I deleted almost everything on my Amazon Instant, Netflix and Lovefilm-by-post lists and started again.  I'm tired of just watching films made in the past couple of years ...

Drinking Buddies
Easy A
Gray's Anatomy
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Premium Rush
The Last Airbender
Out of Sight

... though the best new film I saw this week was Drinking Buddies and it was released this year so, well, shrugs.  High end mainstream mumblecore from director Joe Swanberg, this stars Olivia Wilde , Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston as a what, love square? cube? set around a brewing factory and the imbibing of its contents.  I throw the term mainstream mumblecore around, but on this occasion the genre lines are especially bleary since it's not doing that much which is different to the average indie comedy drama, but yet it's also arguable that Swanberg isn't not working within his usual creative throughline except with actors people will recognise and that if Olivia Wilde et al weren't in this and it had been shot on 16mm it wouldn't simply be mumblecore.  If this had starred Greta Gerwig and Mark Duplass and been shot ten years ago, it'd be mumblecore plain and simple.  Except what was mumblecore was to begin with other than a handy marketing term, a way of characterising those films to college students and hipsters and hipster college students?

Anyway, so yes, Drinking Buddies.  Well, Drinking Buddies is first and foremost about showing the world that Olivia Wilde can act in films.  She's one of the executive producers and you can see why she'd be attracted because it allows her to simply exist in the frame and have an easy chemistry with her co-stars over longer takes as opposed to her usual film roles which have tended to be in action films where she's lucky is a close up lasts more than a few nanoseconds or House which I've never seen but because it's network genre television I imagine only gave her a very limited box to work in.  On the basis of her work in Drinking Buddies, I'm thinking of catching up (assuming House turns up on one of the streaming services).  She has an instant likeability and her scenes with Johnson (and his amazing beard) are beguiling as another man and woman try to be friends without the sex part getting in the way.

Which isn't to say all paradigms are swerved.  Like When Harry Met Sally, there are periods when the narrative agency, which is mostly with Wilde is handed over to Johnson when their character's friendship runs into difficulties.  Similarly it's a rare occasion when Anna Kendrick hides her light under a bushel, plays the slightly mousy other woman.  But unlike, pertinently, What to Expect When You're Expecting, the characters are so damn likeable, the scenario so damn interesting, with Ron Livingston about as full on as Ron Livingston tends be these days, that you are able to sort of ignore it.  Largely improvised, there are moments when you wonder if Swanberg simply let the camera keep rolling at the end of the take and a glance at the outtake reel shows that's pretty much what he did in places with Johnson and Wilde and Kendrick unable to keep a straight face and making each other giggle just as their characters do in the actual film.  Marvellous.

The other two main strands this week have been the continuation of #soderberghwatch which we'll, well ok, I'll talk about in a minute and working my way through all the films the Youtube channel Cinema Sins has covered in their Everything Wrong With... videos so I can get all of the jokes which is what led me to finally seeing Carrie and sitting through Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins and Racist Cartoon Adaptation #534.  At first glance both films have the remit of trying to be the new Harry Potter, and as with that franchise and to be fair Buffy The Vampire Slayer, we have the same character structure of "the one" helped by her two best friends, a boy who's most comic relief and strong willed girl.  Not just Buffy.  Even Sherlock's arguably adopted it in recent years and it's even come and gone in Doctor Who.  Rory and Amy especially, though Jamie and Zoe before that.  Interestingly, this doesn't quite map onto the Vladimir Prop's morphology of the folk tale.  The characters are there, but the structure isn't quite.

At first glance these films both seems to be doing much the same thing, exploring ancient mythology through the eyes of children or young adults.  The difference is one's better than expected and the other makes you feel sorry for Dev Patel who clearly thought he was signing up for the new Star Wars.  Is it worth rehearsing again the litany of problems The Last Airbender has?  The Honest Movie Trailer pretty much does the job, but there's a general sense of a creative failure even before filming began with a director, actors and massed ranks of the crew trying to make the best of it.  A lot of the problems are there in the script, with poor character introductions, inconsistent plotting and a general sense that someone at some stage should have  at least glanced at a synopsis of Vladimir Prop's morphology of the folk tale.  Most of the time it simply looks like the CG budget was drastically cut leading to whole action sequences being reduced to the minimum of shots and effects needed to tell what story there is.  Awful.  Awful.  Awful.

In contrast, Percy Jackson's not half as bad as its reputation suggests.  It is Harry Potter with Greek mythology, but there's an almost metafictional understanding of itself that somehow makes it work.  It's essentially an ITV version of Potter which makes the Ron Weasley character a sexual deviant with goats hooves, the Hermione character a warrior whose actress Alexandra Daddario will be an ideal Wonder Woman in about ten years when DC inevitably reboot and in Logan Lerman a central screen presence who's more immediately likeable than Daniel Radcliffe which is unfair of course because he's here fully formed whereas part of the charm of the Harry Potter series is in seeing these younger actors learning their trade.  The story's hogwash, a meaningless quest for marbles or some such, but it's really difficult to not like a film which has Piers Brosnan as centaur with the horses legs and everything and the brass balls to have Steve Coogan apparently playing Alan Partridge playing Hades.  The sequel is already in my Lovefilm queue.

Also better than expected is Premium Rush, the little actioner that could.  Unusually for an experimental Joseph Gordon Levitt starrer, Rotten Tomatoes thinks it's fresh, and I do to.  Set amongst bicycle couriers in New York, it has in its DNA the likes of Run Lola Run and The French Connection as JGL has to deliver a package and is chased across half of the city for it by Michael Shannon in full on Warner Bros cartoon mode.  Joe's character's called Wilee just in case we missed the point.  Despite the less than subtle flashback structure, this is an old fashioned actioner with a series of ticking clocks but importantly about a very small story that not about saving the world but offering a single character the chance at a new one.  If Shannon had been allowed this level of wacky as General Zod, that film would have been twice as amusing as he spends most of this cursing out of the corner of his mouth, his eyes boggling with rage as he's unable to make his car attempt any of the tricks Gordon Levitt's cyclist is capable of.

On then to watching all of Steven Soderbergh's films in order.  Though reputation suggests otherwise, Soderbergh's wilderness years only really amounted to two films.  The Underneath did moderate business for what it was, but the underlying point was that the director's auteur gene wasn't being flexed.  He's recently said of his early King of the Hill that it's "too beautiful" but arguably it's also anomalous.  None of his films until this point particularly feel like the work of a single director and you could suspect that Soderbergh was concerned that he'd end up as a bit of a journeyman producing a series of well respected and sometimes classic films but without a particular directorial voice.  John Boorman in other words (not that he's ever said that).  Michael Apted.  One of those figures.  He'd end up being the Sex, Lies guy for the rest of his life apparently capable of creative risks but stymied by the work he can get funded unable to get the more interesting material into production, so stuck as the genre guy.  John Dahl.

So he makes Schizopolis.  This is creatively important for two reasons.  (1)  It shows that he's willing to return to square one if necessary and make a low budget indie few people might want to see and (2)  that he's willing to keep doing that until he has full creative control.  In truth, though bits of it are very funny, especially the language games in the domestic scenes, large sections of it are unwatchable in much the same way as most sketch anthology films are, notably Python.  If Soderbergh had turned this out instead of Sex, Lies quite simply he'd have a career making art films which would only be shown in the kind of c-list festivals which have a catering budget that can stretch, just about, to pretzels.  Yet, as a creative document it's a marvel as rather like Radcliffe et al in the Potters, we see Soderbergh learning his craft from scratch, what film is capable of and stylistically it's one of the first of his films which genuinely feels like one of his films (helped obviously by the fact he's in almost every shot).

So be makes Gray's Anatomy.  This is creatively important for two reasons.  (1)  It shows that he's willing to return to square one if necessary and make a low budget indie a few people might want to see and (2)  that he's willing to keep doing that until he has full creative control.  In truth, though bits of it are very funny, especially the section about Gray visiting the psychic surgeon, large sections of it are unwatchable in much the same way as most monologue films are, notably The Telephone.  If Soderbergh had turned this out instead of Sex, Lies quite simply he'd have a career directing the kind of off broadway theatre reviewed in c-list free sheets and which have a PR catering budget that can, just about, stretch to Quavers.  Yet, as a creative document it's a marvel as rather like Olivia Wilde in Drinking Buddies, we see Soderbergh relearning his craft from scratch, what film is capable of and stylistically it's one of the first of his films which genuinely feels like one of his films (even though Spalding Gray is in every shot).

That Out of Sight is his next film is some creative step up, especially since it's arguably the best film of his career.  Except, there's nothing in here which he hasn't already done before.  The golden colour palette in the Florida scenes is pure King of the Kill contrasted with the Detroit scenes which borrow their look from The Underneath.  But it's in the use of hand held camera and editing that we seeing the fruition of experiments begun in Schizopolis, especially the use of changes in time frame.  The real miracle are the performances as we can see George Clooney's later career mapped out in front of him as a bona fide movie star as it had in no films previously and Jennifer Lopez turns in a career best performance.  It's unfair but the trajectory from this to What To Expect shows a career path heading in the opposite direction to that which it should.  The rot set in with The Cell and creatively at least her acting career never recovered.  If only she'd allowed her character to become the Elmore Leonard equivalent of Charters and Coldicot or some such.  That would have been fuuun.

"Tom was in the vehicle on a low-loader."

Film Joke all you want about the title of Locke, Steven Knight's car film with Tom Hardy ("What he lives? Was it time travel? How did he get off the island?") but the production process sounds intensely interesting. Here's a short interview with Knight about it from Little White Lies:
"LWLies: We understand you shot the film 16 times and edited it together from those takes?

Knight: Yeah. Normally when you make a film there's a good reason not to do the obvious, it can be a very frustrating process. With this, having a certain level of control, I almost wanted to do it in a very naive way. The story of a man's journey and his life unravelling is there, so in practical terms what I did was put the rest of the cast into a hotel conference room, near to the motorway, opened the phone line to the car. Tom was in the vehicle on a low-loader. I would be cueing the calls in sequence, and we shot the film from beginning to end, all the way through, 16 times. We were basically shooting whole films in sequence."
Production wise this doesn't sound as problematic as Mike Figgis's Timecode in which essentially this was done four times simultaneously and without any breaks in filming and with a massive cast. But Locke seems like it will have less artifice, is edited to look like more standard fare, and that's probably the more interesting process in terms of dealing with the material. How can you tell which take to use if the takes are half an hour long?

The Song of the Shirt

Film Just in case you have the time, at Tate Liverpool next Tuesday, Laura "The Gaze" Mulvey is leading a day long seminar about radical filmmaking.
"Join us for a day of films and discussions.

"Made at the height of the radical 1970s, The Song of the Shirt (1979) is a poetic black and white feature film about women, sexuality, politics, music, early photography and fashion. Set in 1840s Spitalfields, London, the film looks at both the romance and the fearful class hysteria that surrounded the thousands of women who arrived in the city to work in the clothing industry. The film combines past and contemporary images to portray the radical potential of these women and their age.

"The screening is followed by a seminar focusing on the question: What insights can this radical filmmaking – both style and practice – offer the new digital generation of artists and filmmakers?"
Booking details and schedule are here.

The Feeling Listless Soundtrack 1.0:

Composed by Ira Newborn.
[Soundtrack unavailable] [still]

Music  There are two Starbucks in Liverpool City Centre. The first one to open serves the business quarter. The newest is on the border between a main shopping precinct and the pub and club land. It took up shop in the empty shell of one of the newer wave of bars in Liverpool City Centre - the kind which was too good to stay open too long. It was barely open a year. But the staff were friendly, they let people wear jeans and they had big couches - the only downside being the price (so not that far from being a Starbucks anyway then). There was also a lovely balcony window from which you could watch the shenanigans at the even trendier bar across the street. What really did mark it out from most other venues was that rather than offering the musical entertainment of the pub band, it allowed artists to display work on its walls. And so this was the place - my hook or crook - but more likely stealth I went to my last private view.

I remember the first art private view I ever attended. It was during a month's work experience at an art gallery and I'd been asked along to see what they were like as part of my education. I didn't really know what to expect. Actually - I expected lots of people standing around talking about the art and wondering about the universe. What I actually found was lots of people standing around drinking wine and talking about the last private view they went to. Looking around the exhibition, I didn't exactly fall to my knees and have an epiphany. Polished stone has never been one of my favourite art materials - so being dragged around room after room of the stuff I began to have flashbacks to boring visits to MFI as a child (or was it B&Q).

Eventually the moment arrived when I would be introduced to the artist. Now I had met artists before - the inspiring type of artists who work for their soul - this guy (who will remain nameless) seemed a touch - affected (something I've since realised most artists are). We shake hands and he looks down on me and asks me what I think of his exhibition. For some reason something twigged inside me. At the time, I didn't know really know what sycophancy was, but I could tell that this was the kind of reaction which had been visited on him most of his life. And somewhere in the back of my mind I decided that I wasn't going to go with the flow (believe me I never have). So I look up at him, this self-made God-like figure and say:
'To be honest I don't really like it.'
Suddenly there is silence in the group. Some embarrassed grins. A snigger. He looks a back at me - surprise obvious. And the bastard got me. He had a response.
'Well have you looked properly?'
'I think so.' I answer, squirming slightly at my lack of an actual plan.
'Well I think you should come and have proper look - perhaps in your lunch hour.' Trigger cocked. Bang. In other words - I don't have a lunch hour - we artists work as the mood takes us.

My private view experiences since then have been mixed. But I think they all are except for all but a select few. Which brings us back to that opening at that trendy bar.

I was given an invite by a friend, and since there was a bar, decided that at least I'd have a choice of drink. It turned out, this time the work amounted to three paintings and a screensaver projected on a wall. And I walk in and look around it dawns on me that these aren't my people. I don't know completely what it was, as I can usually work in any given situation, but I'd entered a room full of people just looking at each other. Glancing at their beer. Looking back at each other. Sip of beer.

I like talk. I like chatter. Admittedly, a few arty types are talking and the token goths are looking bored because (quite rightly) they refuse to pay these prices. I buy a beer and begin the long dark stand to oblivion. I buy another beer. I look around and decide to take the bull by the horns. Two girls are sitting rictus-like on a three seater couch.
I approach with a 'I don't know anyone here who are you . . .'
They look up nervously.
'Erm . . . I'm Sally.' Pipes up the brunette.
'Julie.' Mumbles the blonde.
By now I'm sitting down - and I realise that I've lost the power of speech. Creeking moments go by.
'Do you know the artist?' I ask.
'No.' says Sally.
'No.' says Julie. They got the tickets from a friend.
'I know what that's like.' I say just that little bit to loud.
I think it was Julie who glared at me first. Oh well, I think, all is not lost yet. And the exchange continues (me first):
'What do you do?'
'We're students.'
'What do you do?'
'Hispanic Studies.' (mental rictus - what the hell was I going to do with that - 'Isn't that Jennifer Lopez doing well for herself?' - I think not.)
'Second year?'
'How can you tell?' (Oh don't you know I know all and see all. My mystical Hex powers are infinite)
'You have that world weary look.' (Yes, that's what I actually said, but come on - I was desperate. So desperate, the whole mystic powers schtick has my back up).
So then we sit there. Julie nervously comments on the how she likes the décor. I ask her if she could live with it at home. She carries on talking but suddenly I'm in the Seinfeld mumbling episode, nodding along without a clue what she's saying. Sally leaves. Julie says she'll stick around and keep me company. We sit some more. I start to blabber about a friend whose got minimalist décor in his flat. She seems vaguely interested. I continue. There is no friend of course. I stole him from an interior design programme from about six months ago. Another friend arrives wondering who the hell I am. She starts getting interested about this none conversation I'm having about this fictional friend. My hands get clammy. Finally they ask me what I do. There is a brief exchange about an exhibition I thought was dull but they thought was 'Top'. Then I use my sucker punch secret weapon:
'I'm a writer. I write.'
They both perk up, and ask 'Had anything produced?'
'Not yet.'
I don't think I've seen a droop in interest as quick before. Within moments they're at the bar desperately trying cocktails.
I get up and leave.

The moral being if you've got to one of these things, take a friend, that way, if you're going to be boring, you can be boring together [Originally written over a decade ago.]

[Commentary:  Much of the above did indeed happen at the trendy bar which was once stationed in the position Starbucks on Bold Street is now standing.  It was the late nineties, when I also wrote this piece which first appeared on the website that existed before this one (full story here).  The earlier private view anecdote is true too.  No I still won't reveal the artist.  Given that I was an employee of the place where and when this happened, however unversed I was about the whole thing, it was unprofessional, something I agonised about later.  No, neither am I proud about reducing people to their sub-cultures or hair colour.  In all ways, I don't come across at all well in the text above, do I?  But do I ever?

When I put this famous track from Ferris Bueller into the original track listing, I didn't have any idea that it was a cover of a Smiths song, which is why it's simply listed as "Museum".  Having listened to the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack somewhat I've been put right on the source.  When I say "I don't do guitar bands", I've never done guitar bands.  When Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want was out I was ten and listening to Five Star and between S/A/W and Debbie Gibson tunes (and shit) never really did catch up.  Even as I write this I'm listening to the Lorde album.  Sorry.]

Then a phone rings.

Art In association with FACT Liverpool's Science Fiction: New Death exhibition, The Zone, the post-apocalyptic wilderness featured in Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker has been recreated at Bidston Moss. There are tours, but the places are limited or on days when I'm not available. C James Fagan has been though and writes for The Double Negative about the experience:
"The first stage of the journey, one that has some claim to reality, sees a liminal landscape of industrial estates and retail parks slip by and I find myself at a meeting place. Though there’s no clear indication that it is a meeting place — no A board, no hand written sign. Maybe I imagined this, conjured it up, fell into a slipstream of make believe.

"I’m at the right place. A small group of people are greeted, regulations explained, and another stage begins. A stage that feels like the one that preceded it; normal, almost tedious, and not what I was expected. As we pause at an underground station, our ‘leader,’ or The Visitor, hands members of the group tabards which proclaim individual professions. These will identify us.

"Only it’s not me, it’s someone else: an ‘Insectary Technician’. As this group undertakes another stage of the journey, I wonder if the only way to cope with these competing narratives is to become fiction myself. To be a simulation."

Veronica Mars UK release. DVD only. Sigh.

Film Finally:

Here we have a UK release on dvd for Veronica Mars. Instead of bothering with individual season releases, Warners have produced this complete boxed set which also includes the film.  Notice the reassuring BBFC classification symbols.  It's an amazingly reasonable £27.50 at Amazon.  But before I clicked "add to basket" I thought -- I was expecting a blu-ray release.  Also, what if I just want the film?  What then.  Oh, my:

In the age of HD, Veronica Mars is only being granted a dvd release.  Amazon's not showing a UK release for a blu-ray.  There is a US import available (or at least on the database) but its not multi-region.  I've emailed their PR department to see if something's amiss.  Of course if there is indeed a blu-ray, we're still being shafted because we'll have to buy the film twice - with the television series and then as a separate entity if we want it in HD.  As ever the UK fans are getting the sticky end of the stick.

Updated 16/04/2013 I've had a reply from Warners PR:
"Thank you for your email, we do not have any plans to release any of the Veronica Mars content on Blu-ray. It is just being released on DVD.

"Hope that’s helpful."
Sigh. I've replied with the "Why?" question.

“Where God Sat . . . ”

Geography In 1961, LIFE Magazine embarked on an epic photo story which would attempt to encompass the whole of the American North West. Now they've opened up the archive to show us some of the images not originally utilised. They're spectacular and importantly don't deny the existence of humanity which can be a tendency in landscape photography. But the archive's current editor has a few problems with the original headline:
"But the phrase “Where God Sat . . . ” still feels a little weird. Would God, in anyone’s conception of an omnipotent being, really be seated while creating a landscape as vast, dramatic and humbling as the Tetons. Or Mount Rainier. Or the Oregon coast? Wouldn’t a Supreme Being feel compelled, by the very nature of the occasion, to stand while in the process of bringing forth such beauty?"
In other words:

Globe to Globe Hamlet Kickstarter Appeal.

In a bid to pull together more funding for the Globe to Globe tour, The Globe has begun a Kickstarter. Here's the widget:

They're trying to raise £200k. Click through for the pledge video which is worth watching anyway to offer some idea of the logistics of what's being attempted.  Two Hamlets, three Polonius's.

"I'm in a room..."

TV Now that Buzzfeed own the web, they can pretty much post about what they like, and here they like the early 1990s Channel 4 gameshow The Crystal Maze and its many awful contestants. If you think the frustrating horror of the contestants in Pointless's final round who thought Cate Blanchett was Tilda Swinton and offered their answers accordingly was bad, how about:
"After successfully navigating a mirrored maze on his hands and knees, this spectacularly dim contestant touched the crystal’s reflection instead of picking it up. He then patted himself on the back, decided that was all he was supposed to do and retreated, leaving the maze without it. Wow."
Apart from the many animated gifs including the DOG from FTN, the Flextech Television Network which was on Freeview for three years from launch and home to The Crystal Maze reruns on an unending loop and ex-contestants and their relatives turning up in the comments, there's a link to this history of The Crystal Maze in outtakes in which we hear what the people in the gallery thought of the efforts of the contestants:

"Right, send in the three year old child."

The Principia of Natalie Dormer.

The Principia of Natalie Dormer from Chris Floyd on Vimeo.

[via @brokenbottleboy] [Thanks Mic!]

"Basically, I rule."

Theatre The audience at last Thursday night's presentation of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway starring Denzel "Denzel" Washington and Sophie "Liz 10" Okonedo were in for a surprise:
"A white tent had been erected outside the theatre, and audience members were whisked through metal detectors and wanded. Inside, recordings of Hansberry played on a loop, and the Langston Hughes poem from which the play takes its title was illuminated on a scrim: “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?” By 8:12 P.M., there were eight conspicuously empty seats off the center-right aisle, four in Row D and four in Row E. (I was in Row F, on the other side.) A woman announced over the speaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, out of respect for the actors please take your seats so the show can begin.” The lights went down, and the door to the street swung open. A stream of people, including the President, the First Lady (in black), and Valerie Jarrett, snaked through to the back of the house and then down the aisle. Ignoring the announcer’s pleas, the audience leaped to its feet—this usually happens at the end of the show—and camera flashes twinkled in the darkened theatre. The Obamas shook some hands and took their seats."

Suffragette hits Parliament.

Film Principle photography on Suffragette continues on apace. There's been plenty of pap shots on a certain website but because I'd never link to that website, plus you know stuff, I haven't bothered to mention their many shots of Carey Mulligan in a hat holding a cup of coffee.

 The BBC have covered the film's historic appearance at the Parliament, the first commercial filming at the Palace of Westminster ever. The news piece has an old school Film programme vibe:
The Houses of Parliament are for the first time being used as a set for a commercial film, as shooting for Suffragette takes place.

Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter have been joined by hundreds of extras playing protesters in the forthcoming movie.

Scenes were shot in the central lobby and a committee room, after MPs agreed it was a good way to contribute to the cost of running Parliament.

Tim Muffett reports.
The negotiations for this were presumably fascinating. Did Parliament want to see the script? Would they had done it for a television piece?