Saturday, 1 September 2007

Things I learnt today (Sept 1st, 2007)

1. Brian De Palma, having hammered what I thought was the final nail into the coffin of his career with the downright peculiar Black Dahlia, seems to have been working undercover on what can only be described as Casualties of the Blair Witch War Project. Redacted is a based-on-truth story of a group of US soldiers committing terrible atrocities in Iraq, while one of their group films it. And no, Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox aren't in it. I've heard very little about it until now, and I wonder how under-the-radar De Palma had to be to get it done. It sounds harrowing, and is getting rave notices, so I can't wait to see it, but mainly I'm interested for two reasons. 1) Nostalgic regard for De Palma, and then hope that he would surprise the film world once more, and 2) the word "redacted". I don't know why, but I love it. Redacted. Re. Dack. Ted. Hmmmm.

2. Sam Leith, Telegraph columnist, has always come across as a bit of a Tory Boy, and I'll admit that I came to that conclusion mostly because of the paper he writes for, as well as the byline photo and the occasional not-as-left-leaning-as-me comment piece. I've nothing against him, of course, and have even enjoyed many of his columns. I'd even go so far as to say he's my favourite writer on the paper, but that never changed my mental image of him as someone who spent his time at university punting down a canal, drinking lots of Pimms, getting jolly excited about the rugby, and being vaguely fearful of the modern world with all of its gidgets and Frankenwater and rocket-scooters, what what. Well, it shows what an ass I am. Turns out he's a huge World of Warcraft fan, something that even I'm not (though I'd like to be one). So I'm somehow more technophobic than a Telegraph columnist. This worries me greatly.

3. At last! Andrew Mueller has not written a bizarrely histrionic puff piece for the risible Studio 60. Huzzah! Perhaps he has seen sense. Or maybe he's just waiting to surprise everyone next week, as the very slender plot of the John Goodman two-parter gets stretched to breaking point after a first part that has every line of dialogue repeated twice to pad the damn thing out to 45 minutes. Or perhaps the TV preview writer in the Telegraph (Simon Horsford) has taken up the cause.

The more I watch Aaron Sorkin's series, the more I scratch my head and wonder why it was dropped by American network NBC after just one season. It's getting seriously good - and funny, too. When Tom is arrested on an assault charge and winds up in Nevada, he faces a judge (played by the brilliant John Goodman) who hates the show and everything it stands for.

I know I should let this drop, but dear God, only when the damn thing is over. Only about 18 weeks to go...

4. Following on from Canyon's recap of Walk The Line, the Daily Mail featured a piece on Johnny and June Carter Cash. It was one of their obnoxious revelatory articles dredged from the pages of a sleazy biography, though this one was by their son, John. However, in the opening paragraph, Glenys Roberts says that Johnny Cash had a "deep brown voice". Whuh? Is voice coloured? Can noise have a hue? Or does the Mail employ a lot of really shitty writers? I'll let you figure that one out yourself.

5. The Mercury Music Prize is this week, which has caught me out. Go Amy! Or should I be hoping she loses, for her sake? Oh, the moral quandary I am in. At least I don't have to worry about my feelings about the Arctic Monkeys. Lose, you little hoodie freaks. LOSE! LOSE A LOT!

6. The first season of Rome is being repeated on UKTV History this week. I believe the word is, "Score!"

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