Monday, July 30, 2007
How many of you remember this theme song from this French-dubbed-into-English TV show from 1969? I loved this series and this song in particular - I'd love to do a version of it - have to have Mark E Smith singing it though. What was the series all about? The war between France and Spain in 1630 presumably - it was a great swashbuckler though I don't remember much in the actual show that really matched up to these epic images at the beginning. If you haven't watched the series check out this sequence - when TV was actually good...
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Official site and buy it here
The blurb says
The Deserter, a 75 minute film, is about a British Revolutionary War drummer who accidently deserts from his regiment and is hunted down for execution.Years in the making, Borgman carefully tried to make the battle scenes as realistic as possible. Hundreds of extras were used to create a major engagement of the American Revolution."Although the film is ostensibly a comedy, the battle scenes were shot seriously," said Borgman. Being influenced by Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton, Borgman uses the elements of silent comedy to tell his story, using the great music of Rick Benjamin's Paragon Ragtime Orchestra to help the comedy along.The Deserter has the largest battle scenes, on American soil, in a silent comedy, since Buster Keaton's The General!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
You may recognise this clip from an 80s beer advert - it was redubbed to have them singing an amusing lyric about wearing a silly hat. Anyway...I got the dvd of this the other day to reeplace my old VHS set and I can honestly say that it is the greatest historical film ever made. It has elements that remind me of silent cinema in particular epic films like Abel Gance's Napoleon. It's so not Hollywood. In a good way. My son just remarked that it doesn't have the 60s 'look' like say Richardson's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' released the same year but instead War and Peace really looks like a historical painting brought to life. With the power of the state providing the 150,000 plus extras this is cinema that will never be done again - never more will epics be made on this scale - with digital effects you can get away with about 100 extras step and repeated to use an old print term. So if you are one of these people with a huge flat screen tv or something similar and you want something to do it justice invest in this dvd - you screen will never see its like again.War and Peace Series of films showing the production being made with the Red Army etc
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
News story about Rough Trade opening new premises in London fighting the 'downturn'
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
There's also The Trenches, a Half-Life modification if that's your bag. Looks interesting. We've now had American Civil War - what's next The Alamo? If you don't know what an FPS is then look here.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Whilst looking at Stones clips I found this one of them doing their take on Buddy Holly doing Bo Diddley. It's a strange chuggy sounding record - rather like Manfred Mann's 5-4-3-2-1 - not really Blues based but more of an electricised skiffle sound - what do you think? skiffle wiki
On the whole I don't like British psychedelic music - it is mostly twee rubbish but I like this piece of hokum by the Stones and I had a yearning for some genuine Stones after the so-so Brian Jones biopic. This song introduced to me by our old bassist Dave is the basis for most of Primal Scream's best songs and is a brilliant piece of garage rock and roll, apparently written while Jagger was in jail. Apparently wasnt meant to be released until BJ added mellotron to it. I would quite enjoy trying to cover this - it's a classic! lyrics here
Thursday, July 12, 2007
If I ever get the money I will do a rock biopic - who needs doing? Maybe there needs to be some discussion on the subject - someone, preferably dead would do - if the music is readily available even better - how about the 'Something Else' the Eddie Cochran story? They usually start at the end and work backwards so Scene 1 Bristol Hippodrome - EC gets into a taxi - 'C'mon Gene get in - I want to get to London fast''but the weather Eddie..and these English roads...' - the rest you can imagine. How about 'London Calling - the Clash story'? 'Stone the crows guv - them 101ers are far out'. Feel free to suggest suitable stories and titles. How about this one, my last word on the subject '20th century boy...the Marc Bolan story....''C'mon Grace you drive, I feel like I am going to live forever'
List of Biopics
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I was talking about this spectacular Russian epic by the great Sergei Bondarchuk the other day - apparently Kubrick was all set to make his own epic movie about Napoleon but because of this movie becoming available in the West and the poor box office that Waterloo ( almost W&P's sequel) had received, made Barry Lyndon instead, set 50 years earlier. But the Kubrick script is available to read online so you can imagine what it would have been. He talked about the precision of the troops on the battlefield and this clip kind of shows you what I think he would have had in mind. I can see the influence of this clip in the battle scene in Barry Lyndon but then there is also something of Spartacus in War and Peace so all's square in love and war pictures. Certainly I recommend you all to watch this - it shows the power of the fife and drum in the battlefields of the era well and it really captures the essence of Napoleonic warfare - in ways that the dreadful Sharpe never did - so make my day and watch it. It is supposed to be the battle of Schongraben. Interestingly Barry Lyndon influenced the Duellists which was a Napoleonic film of note but avoided the huge set piece battle scenes in favour of inn scenes and misty landscapes. Clip here War and Peace is only something like 8 hours long - none of your digital rubbish either - they are all real extras ... 120,000 of them for Borodino alone. Probably the most expensive film ever made - without the markets that Hollywood had too how much did it expect to make? Sort of the filmic equivalent of the space race - outdoing Hollywood. Maybe you can rent it from Amazon? Sad to see that Waterloo was originally planned to have Burton and O'Toole in the main roles of Napoleon and Wellington but their schedule wouldn't coincide. Clip of the finished movie here Maybe it's time for a Bondarchuk reappraisal... Bondarchuk wiki