Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Basically it's a good old-fashioned film at heart and might actually do pretty well in time - so if you want to rent a love story and you have a passion for the Irish coast or the Dark Ages then this will be your movie. At the cinema in the UK
IMDB facts here Lots of reviews here
Historical background to the saga and its various versions through the ages here.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Great War for obvious reasons was the centre of a revival in spiritualism and it is fertile ground for some great stories - mostly from the British side. Was there a similar interest in these matters in France and Germany?
If you want a flavour of this, a very influential book 'Raymond; or life after death' is available to read online. It deals with the existence of a lost relative, Raymond and automatic writing to contact him.
I've spent quite a bit of time on battlefields at odd times and I've never seen or experienced anything - though I heard some impressive first-hand stories surrounding Basing House - the site of a Civil war siege and one of that war's worst atrocities.
Some battlefield ghost stories are here
The photo was taken outside Milk street school by Derek Gill, Frome historian and schoolteacher at the time.
I was pretty taken by the Richard Harris/Alec Guinness movie Cromwell at the time - recently I rewatched it and thought it still was a good film. Review here . One Civil war movie you never see these days is the Carboard Cavalier a comedy with Sid Fields. All of them surpass the luckless To Kill A King with Tim Roth that is the most recent addition to the genre of British civil war pics.
So the part of me that is still like this photo is pleased to see Call to Arms' Cromwell's Ironsides (see below) and will be nagging the current me to buy some.
A good few years ago plastic soldier manufacturer Call To Arms produced 1/32 ECW musketeers, pikemen and command figures. Then artillery. Very nice but would they ever make the necessary cavalry? Well they finally have made the cavalry in the form of Cromwell's Ironsides and they look very good indeed. The picture of the painted cavalry is from the Steve Weston toy soldier site - they're too new for the Call to Arms website. Coincidentally Airfix have issued an English Civil War collection - kits of two mounted figures - cavalier, roundhead and a pikeman and musketeer. So there's now now excuse - you can create an 1640s force in this satisfyingly large scale. Replicants have produced dismounted harquebusiers and musketeers for some while - buy them from www.plasticsoldiers.co.uk
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
www.johnmalkovich.org which features his own range of clothing including things like t-shirts and berets. There is a Libertine shirt! He also has his own design company http://www.mrsmudd.info/ - so quite the renaissance man. He co-produced the Libertine so I should think he needs to shift a few t-shirts to counter that venture.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Review on Agony Shorthand Buscate un novio
Part-time Punk Review
Thanks to all the radio shows that have been playing it - check them out for more obscure gems; WBAR WFMU
We thought some of the songs were lost forever but luckily Mick Mercer - writer/photographer of the punk and Goth genres had kept a copy of a tape we sent him in about 79. His journal and free downloadable mag the Mick are always worth a look - updated regularly.
Watch the Terraplanes do 'Evil Going On'
Monday, April 24, 2006
The Sealed Knot - the 'other' Civil war group are in the South-West at Berkeley Castle.
In the south-east the Hop Farm hosts a Wild West event that promises to be fun - with all manner of Cowboys and Indians and American Civil war action.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Dog Eat Dog - this was probably my favourite of the chart hits - Prince Charming possibly the worst - there was some controversy at the time that the tune originated from Rolf Harris' War canoe - apparently Ant/Marco settled out of court. Hear a remix of the two songs here. The look here is based on the Incroyables, name-checked in Ant Rap - reactionary dandies of the French Revolution.
Goody Two Shoes was the first solo hit - Friend or Foe was the follow-up. The jacket and cravat worn on these videos looks inspired by Naval costume of the late 18th and 19th century - a touch of Billy Budd perhaps (see pic left).
The dolman - or Hussar jacket that Adam wears in the early videos was rented from Berman's and Nathans (now Angel's) the costumiers - it was the same coat hired by Jimi Hendrix back in the 60s. The coat was made for the film Charge of the Light Brigade and was worn by the late David Hemmings as Captain Nolan.
Hardback copies of the book have been announced as £18.99
Publication Date - 15/09/2006
More details on the autobiography here
The book's page on this site here.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Babelfish translation? 'Provided that they are soft'. Umm. This is an interesting video by the 'French-Canadian Madonna' - well when I say video it's more like a short movie - set in the Seven Years War would you believe - it's a bit risque - there is some nudity - but not crude - it's a rare incident where 18thc warfare and popular music combine so watch it for research purposes. . . it ends in a battle that's pretty atmospheric so soldier on through the plot which seems partly based on a scene in the film Revolution where the British officer has a strange relationship with his drummer boys and the finale is quite worth seeing. Of course drummer boys were a Victorian concept and have nothing to do with the 18th century. This video could be said to offer and insight into what French people think of the British, though.
I would think on the whole the video was inspired by Barry Lyndon - it has the 'look' but the costumes let it down (Barry Lyndon was much more of a hit in Continental Europe than the UK or US I was told by none other than David Chandler who worked on the project).
This video I heard about from someone involved in the 18thc military side; after a reenactment I organised there was a full house chez nous of American and French reenactors. The French produced this video which they'd done - it seemed a far cry from the sort of culture the Americans were used to. There is a prequel to it - Libertine - if that takes your fancy. Stills and write-up of the videos of Mylene Farmer here
This is a great video from an interesting band. They have managed to combine a love of raw garage with some unusual themes that have included a First world war concept album '1914'.
Considered a worthy artist by the media Childish has starred in his own Arts documentary for the South Bank Show.
Interview with Tim Smith
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Buy books on the Seven years war.
The dialogue is funny - ranging from mock Shakespearian to modern outbursts, and the look is superb - one of the best recreations of 1660s London I've seen - but there's something unengaging about the whole thing as if it was created by a committee who had no idea what the general theme was to be - so the whole is a bit of a mess. It covers the key points of his life fine and well but it just wasn't quite interesting enough and if it didn't interest me and I love this kind of movie it isn't going to sit well with many. The female characters (in particular Samantha Morton) were better and more believable than the male - Malkovich for example has a funny stick-on nose with a funny stick-on accent too. The lighting is superb in this movie - apparently entirely shot with natural light - almost as good as Barry Lyndon for its soft candlelit interiors.
The soundtrack is by Michael Nyman - his style of composing and his background fits the period perfectly though there is a sense of deja vu over a couple of songs. Sue noticed the one that appears at the end is already on his Movie songs compilation as 'If' and if the Amazon message board is to be believed isn't on the soundtrack (presumably for copyright reasons).
Watch this film - it's definitely a film that is a worthy project and will no doubt impress you - but don't be surprised to find yourself falling asleep.
John Malkovich on the Libertine IMDB facts Review Lots of reviews!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Barry Lyndon reconsidered. Kubrick talks about the film
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
April 17th was the date in 1960 when a fatal collision on the A4 between Bath and Chippenham took the life of Eddie Cochran. A pioneer in multitracking and songwriting he recorded some of the best white rock and roll records. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Cochran
Sue is a big fan of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers - an actor from Cork who first came to our notice in Velvet Goldmine and the tv Gormenghast but has suffered a patchy career up to now mostly playing low-lifes, drug-dealers and so on. We think he would make a great Richard Hell if they ever do a biopic of the inventor of the punk style - his real name is Meyers too... My favourite J R-M character up til now was the evil Rebel bushwacker Pitt Mackeson in Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil. But I digress - the film Matchpoint is the film in question.
Without giving the game away the film is about Chris Wilton - an ambitious Tennis player who manages to ingratitate himself with a wealthy family befriending Tom before bedding his sister, Emily Mortimer. However Tom's fiancee, Johansson playing an American actress, draws Wilton into a chaotic triangle that threatens his carefully managed existence.
This is a brilliant movie with some great understated performances from Brian Cox and a host of comedy types playing it 'straight' in what could be described as a romantic thriller. J R-M is on top form as the caddish climber and the world of upper-crust Britain seems well rendered - from what I've seen of it anyway. Rent this DVD and give yourself a treat - a mature well crafted film. Fansite
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Fronting the whole show is Grant who baited the crowd and roared himself hoarse, leaping with a tamborine into the throng like a whirling dervish. A perfect frontman. In fact, Grant is one of those rare instances where someone who always seemed to be a natural showman but a musician as such actually managing to really do it; I remember many times in the 70s saying to Grant that he ought to front a band as he occasionally leapt up on stage to sing when I was singing with the Bad Detectives - somewhere like 30 years later he took up my advice! It's a different kettle of fish doing a whole set of songs with cohesion but this was achieved with deadly efficiency. Although long in the tooth this band were as energetic as puppies belting out 'River Deep Mountain High' a la the Saints for example in frantic mode that reminded me of the Hives. Paul Tozer, the guitarist, also in the Bad Detectives played tight to his bass player brother playing sparcely in the no solos tradition.
So if you want a shot of 70s punk delivered in an old school style, why not seek out the Stiffs.
Catch them at the Frome festival at the Griffin Inn on July 15th
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Hear it on the link above - video here... article here
It's a pleasant song - sounding like they went back again to listening to the Stones Let it Bleed LP for this country stomp. The album apparently ditches all the electronic sounds of the past so we should prepare for more of this sort of stuff. They previously mined this territory before Mani joined and instituted a more bass-driven sound - whether this will be the case - we shall see. The video is a kind of countryfied 'Smack my bitch up' so be warned...adult content...I can see the video might cause speculation that it's about Kate Moss...was that intentional?
Anyway it seems the band are touring at the moment - maybe I picked upon that somehow hence my revival - there's a review and set list of their recent show on at http://www.nme.com/news/primal-scream/22099 and here
Apparently they are playing the Isle of Wight this June.
Their forthcoming album Riot City Blues has this tracklisting - 01 Country Girl 02 Nitty Gritty 03 Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar 04 When The Bomb Drops 05 Little Death 06 The 99th Floor 07 Boogie Disease 08 Dolls 09 Hell's Comin' Down 10 Sometimes I Feel So Lonely
I don't suppose the track Boogie Disease will be the Doctor Ross track from Sun records back in the 50s but you never know - the band has got good taste when it comes to oldies, covering 'Slip Inside this House' by Rocky Erickson. Nitty Gritty? Is this anything to do with the Shirley Ellis track? I was reliably informed the Nitty-gritty was the name given to the foul matter that was at the bottom of slave ships.
So text away to your video station (The pop TV request channels have added the video: The Box (Channel 349: 09056 52 52 52) Selection #123, The Hits (Channel 358/Freeview 18: 09056 525 777) Selection #106 Those calls cost money and we would prefer if you chose the Hits since this is one channel we watch all the time... Apart from E4 music.) and then I can watch the whole thing with the sound up.
While searching the web I came across this movie that from the write-up looks interesting -Les Uns et les autres - a Claude Lelouche movie based on the lives of a series of musicians Josephine Baker, Glenn Miller and so on caught up in World War Two. More here. I'll have to track it down. They ought to have had Wilson Keppel and Betty for an English sequence. Seems like it was retitled Bolero - that is why I havent seen it I expect.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Interview with Tim Truman.
Conquest miniatures have just released a 28mm figure of Girty
Link to essay "A Monster So Brutal:"Simon Girty and the Degenerative Myth of the American Frontier'',
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Gun magazine review(!)
It has the Information of the legacy of the Baron here. Website on Munchausology here Wikipedia entry Text here
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I have been contacted by a school in Poland wanting some help with their project of celebrating this battle so here's a few things that might be of interest, as I start to find things of use. The battle begins at daybreak with the King joining the Garde du Corps, one cavalryman remarking on the freezing weather - 'things will be getting hotter soon' or something to that effect the King replied. The battle ends with the singing of the hymn »Nun danket alle Gott« by the victorious Prussians. A complete victory had been achieved by the Prussians over the multinational force led by Charles of Lorraine.
Wikipedia entry German language version
Frederick the Great's address to his troops. 'Der Dreispitz' SYW reenactors
The battle has been the subject of a number of dioramas - the most famous of zinnfiguren at Ingolstadt Bavaria.
1/72 Seven Years War figures
an excellent Leuthen diorama
Modelling the Seven Years War Fastplay rules diorama showing Bavarian troops Boardgame Leuthen model
Prince August hobby moulds make a range of 40mm and 54mm Syw Prussians.
The Duchy of Alzheim is worth a look - it's a blog dedicated to recreating the SYW in miniature
The Nazis made a series of movies on Frederick II for propaganda purposes - the Hymn of Leuthen is the most famous. Barry Lyndon shows aspects of the Seven Years War in a more useful way
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Here's an article on director growing up on film sets - smokey ones perhaps?
Monday, April 10, 2006
It was a strange performance by the Scream later as Gillespie baited the crowd for being Hippies, spat on a camera and derided their inability to dance and taunted them with 'we came here in a helicopter'. Beautiful. 'The war on terror is a pretext for the setting up of an international police state' BG chanted. Gillespie was escorted off the stage by security after overrunning.
The set they played was a blinder including of course 'Kill All Hippies'. I must admit when it was going out live I was loving it - I felt Bobby was telling it like it is - Glastonbury is an awful, hypocritical event and the punters are naive and obnoxious.
Miss Lucifer Video Swastika Eyes Accelerator live
Wikipedia on Primal Scream with lyrics and official band links
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Our band Animals and men got a great review here - in Part Time Punk.
Watch Terraplanes on youtube
Wikipedia on the D-I-Y ethic
Hyped to Death
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Anyway hear for yourself as there are 4 tracks to listen to - Bad Girl is a cover of Memphis trio the Oblivians Bad Boy with a sex change that makes it an even better song. Breakaway is the Irma Thomas hit murdered in the UK by Tracey Ullman.
Friday, April 07, 2006
"It is absolutely massive. The first time I saw it I thought to myself 'What the hell is that?'
"I have seen its prints and they are huge - bigger than a deer. It is a brute of a thing." More here
I was expecting this to be rubbish. It was quite the opposite. Sure, it's a chick flick but it is one that tries to do something decent and I think it comes off. The music is good - mostly period - and the costumes are not bad at all with little of the modernisation of dress that usually goes with popular history films. It's not erotic or funny but the director does a decent job entertaining us in not too taxing way. I recommend it as light viewing - suitable for a family audience - not too demanding and a bit dull but pleasing on the eyes and ears. Of course its nothing to do with the real Casanove but its heaps better than the dumbed-down lamentable BBC version that basically ripped off Plunkett and Maclaine - another useless attempt at the 18th century. There is an hilarious moment when the Jeremy Irons appears for the first time to be met by a servant with an astounded face - it looked like she was going to say 'blimey! It's Jeremy Irons'.
A more in-depth review here. A better review here. 'Casanova sucks' review here. Sienna Miller on the film here
IMDB facts here
Research the real-life Casanova and read his works.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
World war two is pretty popular where it is usually referred to as 1:32 scale. Obviously Airfix multipose figures are useful as are the Forces of Valor painted diecast armour(see pic). Forces of Valor have some rules to download.
Forum Skirmish Wargames looks useful.
Get your big figures at Steve Weston or Harfields
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
It is an overwhelmingly rich collection of nearly everything published in Britain throughout whole 18th Century.
To us there are numerous military instructions, manuals, essays, memoirs etc.
The free access is open only in April.
Go to Web site:
Hit: “Access Now”
Hit: ‘History Biography and Literature”
Hit: “Eighteenth Century Collections Online”
Input your search type, etc.
Hear for yourself with the downloads at the official site - includes Eno cover.
Articles and artwork like this grace the band's site and a teasing 'Another collaboration, this time between The Wolfmen and "THE New York legend" appears next month... [04/04/2006]
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The Indian raid on Deerfield in 1704 is not well known in the UK - in the U.S. I think it is regarded as a key event of the period and subject of much interest. Have a look at this website - the graphics and the presentation are superb - really bringing the events to life. The site contains the work of Francis Back - one of the best Canadian illustrators (left)
Monday, April 03, 2006
The Monochrome set were one of the cleverest and most witty of all the post punk bands but it didn't win them many admirers in the press who seemed to take exception to the fact that they weren't cockneys or something. But thankfully we still have their records to listen to and they seem to have slowly acquired a cult following - certainly my son loves them to bits. Official site here
I always thought of the singer Bid as a bit of a 21st century Noel Cowerd - certainly his lyrics hinted at a very debauched lifestyle that made them seem a little scary. I remember when we met them we were very timid. I must say that they were extremely pleasant and of course very civilized. Lester Square got a little narked with me wanting to talk about Adam and the Ants with Andy Warren who had just left, but they were a joy to meet. Musically they were very sophisticated - even the instrumentals are exciting things usually, hinting at the 60s but always in a modern way.
Anyway I think the video is directed by Jim Jarmusch. The song sounds familiar, like a cover of a Nuggets-type band wanting to sound like a UK beat band like the Zombies... did they write it? Presumably.
Anyway the song is also on Youtube. Official site here
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I was reading an account of the Americans in WW2 trying to blow open a gate of one of these fortress gates and nothing, including howitzers, tanks firing point blank range made a dent - in the end they satchel charged the surrounding masonry.
HMS Handy (1883)
This exceptionally historic Victorian era Royal Navy gunboat was built by Armstrong Whitworth & Co., Newcastle upon Tyne in 1883 and commissioned into the Royal Navy as a gunboat the following year as HMS Handy. In 1891 she was renamed HMS Excellent and won a battle honour (Belgium Coast 1914-1916) during the First World War. Later she served in the Royal Navy as HMS Calcutta and then HMS Snapper. Eventually she was retired and sold to the Dover Harbour Board and converted into the crane vessel Demon. Today she is laid up at the Harry Pounds shipyard in Portsmouth awaiting her fate. The yard is offering her free to any organisation who wishes to save her for preservation and will include her steam engine. But time is running out for this historic survivor, and she needs your help now.
News item here
And here is a link to a photo of her todayhttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/fatdeeman/random/IMG_2101.jpg
Wikipedia entry for Gunboat diplomacy