Wednesday 24 February 2021

Sex Education

My daughter asked me to watch Sex Education and the Grandad-Napper™ in me was immediately dismissive (defensive?), also more entrenched when I found it was a Netflix production.

I'm looking squarely at you Tavistock & Portman

Anyway, you too might be familiar with negotiating with your progeny, so I accepted the challenge and watched the first series...

Most unexpectedly on the first episode, I had my first belly-laugh since the Luckdown™. 

I laughed my ass off, when a courgette was used as an educational prop, in so much as the ubiquitous meme asks us, 'tell me where on this courgette, the internet hurt you?'.

When my daughter asked me how it was going with Sex Education, I explained the belly laugh reaction, and she responded, I was making her cringe.

Even though we both knew it wasn't my suggestion....

I noticed a film technique, that I'd never previously seen in Sex Education.

The series is set primarily in a faux (?) US late-eighties, early 90s; high school location.

All the actors (most of whom are quite brilliant) have an English accent.

There are time and location-shifts. 

For example, when two friends occupy different decades in terms of their bicycle head-protection or another cheeky contrast was to have both actors SMS texting when the year is self evidently wrong.

Let's leave that there.

In filmic terms Sex Education is quite tastefully done, though not always agreeable.

I love the Time Lord aspect of it. It has been done before, but never on this granular level to my understanding.

There are some very special actors and I'm going to try and download the second series.

What do you think of Sex Education?

Monday 22 February 2021

Hearts of Darkness - Francis Ford Coppola's Documentary of Apocalypse Now

For a long time one of my all-time favourite movies was Apocalypse Now. It still is but, y'know, things move on and change.

It was no surprise to discover that at some point I'd randomly downloaded a documentary of the making of the film.

What I didn't anticipate was the documentary coming to life without my assistance while working on a computer, and discovering it was so compelling that I had to stop my tasks, watch it properly and then watch it again.

There's a few books that are just overrated flim-flam and have a suspicious smell of agenda more than talent. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is one, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is another, and so is Moby Dick by Herman Melville, although that particular book didn't take off till after his death.

Don't mistake me. All three books have magnificent flourishes of writing but just don't stand up all the way through, and dozy academics can't even call it out, as I noticed on an 'In Our Time's recent episode'.

In a way Coppola is grappling with this weak story ending, and tries to fill the gap with a very bloated, uncooperative and superficial Marlon Brando.

What is exceptional is watching the making of the movie unfold and learning for the first time that Francis Ford Coppola (It's always a triple whammy when it comes to triplet names if we're paying attention) funded the movie himself before Vietnam movies became a thing in the eighties and early nineties, and it was acceptable to portray a soon to be 'defeated' Pentagon.

We now know much of that was scripted by Bell Helicopter and Daniel Ellesberg who is portrayed as a hero, but actually worked as a throat slitter for the CIA in much the same manner that Snowden isn't NSA, but a CIA contractor.

It's all about optics you see. That's why Snowjob gets a movie made about him, and Julian Assange languishes in the worst prison in the UK, Belmarsh.

Coppola starts off this documentary with a fine set of man boobs and a pasta-gut that wouldn't look out of place on a man 20 years older. However, when the shit hits the fan he starts losing kilos at a time, and by the end is a slender motherfucker at the screening. 

He did go through hell, but also had the balls for it.

I really fell in love with Francis in this documentary, as I have with his daughter's work in recent years. He has that Italian American body language that my political mentor had back in the day, and I wish I could have observed this before he passed on, his wife too only weeks ago.

Oh well, Joe and Kathy are reunited again and they're still in my thoughts. You were both great with me and it was a privilege to know you both.

One thing I never talked about with Joe was that his wife's first lover died in Vietnam. I never shared it with her husband but it was a vista of life I'd only ever known previously, on film.... such as Apocalypse Now.

Monday 15 February 2021

Rik Mayall's Final Warning Before His Murder

I'm unable to write as much as I wish, as I now have to invest time in scraping videos off Youtube and uploading here as the censorship is relentless.

Both Stephen Fry and Rik Mayall knew what the score is, but Rik died for telling us. 

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Friday 5 February 2021

Southampton Lockdown Jabby?

Rejected the jabby, and got sent a ticket for Gib.

Hope all researchers get a chance to listen to this track by Ian Brown. It's very good considering the times we're living in.