Staying on the subject of film, I certainly think this might be worth a watch. I’m as worried as anyone about the rise of Christian fundamentalism in the states. It seems to be getting more extreme and reactionary. Hail Satan is apparently about one form of reaction to that trend: people have started calling their selves Satan worshipers, insisting they have as much right to their freedom to worship as the christians. They have my full support, although it does remind me a bit of Pastafarianism, and some have accused them of trolling. Either way, it’s certainly true that fundamentalist Christianity holds far too much power in America, both socially and politically, and it’s good to see that some Americans are as concerned about it as the rest of us.
I was in the cafe in the park earlier, where I saw a poster for this years Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t take part this year: I felt so low a few months ago, so distracted by what was happening in my personal life, that the idea of attending meetings and contributing ideas was allowed to slide. More to the point, I didn’t feel I had any good, solid ideas to contribute.
The poster in the cafe advertised the screenings of about eighteen films, mostly contemporary mainstream fare. While other members of the festival’s organisation team each propose a film to screen at a certain venue, in the past I have preferred to contribute my own thing to these events, such as giving a talk on cinephilia or screening one or two of my own short films. To be honest, though, this year I was out of ideas and would probably have gone with the flow and advocated a mainstream film to screen.
The thing is, as important as screenings are, I feel that film festivals shouldn’t just be about watching films. Surely they can also be used to say something about films and our relationship with them. That’s why I haven’t just done a simple screening as my contribution in the past. It’s just sad that, this year, I didn’t have it in me to put in the usual effort. I must admit I feel quite guilty about it, but then, there’s always next year.
I keep thinking I should use more pictures on here, just to add a bit off colour and variety to my old page. Today I decided it was time for a picture. That’s all well and good, but the problem is finding a picture I fancy posting here. Oh well….expect more imagery soon.
I just got back from a nice long walk to find this rather squeal worthy news. The long-awaited title of the next Bond film has finally been revealed. Due out in April next year, it will be called No Time To Die. That sounds like a good, Bondish title if you ask me, although it remains to be seen whether the film is any good. As this will be Daniel Craig’s final film as 007 before the series is once again rebooted with another actor, there simply won’t be the same impetus to do a good job. That aside, though, it’s off to a good start judging by this little sequence.
If you ever begin to think that filmic analysis and proper intellectual engagement with film has died in the Youtube era, have a gander at this. I know it’s a bit lazy of me just to flag these videos up without commenting much, but this analysis of the political, historical and racial dimensions of Gone With The Wind really is impressive. It’s a long two part film, but it’s worth sticking with, not least for the light it sheds on American culture, both historical and contemporary. Here, an extremely knowledgeable, articulate young american skilfully employs modern web video techniques to create a very detailed exploration of one of cinema’s classic texts. The depth he goes into wouldn’t be out of place in a book by, say, Murray Pomerance or David Bordwell, yet in his video he uses clips from all kinds of places, as you find fans doing. I know I’ve flagged videos like this up two or three times recently, but I’m becoming more and more impressed with the stuff I’m seeing on Youtube about film. Of course, by no means is it all up to this standard, yet there seems to be an effort in the online cinephile community to make deeper, more intellectually engaging output, and that this output is becoming just as detailed and cerebrally rich as it’s offline equivalent.
I wish the beeb would publicise some of it’s BBC Three content a bit more sometimes. I just came across a reference to a program called Living Differently on facebook. The reference concerned a young woman with a rare physical disability, so I decided to follow it up. I found an entire series of programs about people with a wide range of disabilities which I never knew was there. Of course, having only just come across it, I have no idea whether they’re any good; there’s a risk that this could just be some kind of modern freak show. Yet if, as I suspect (or hope), this program is an attempt to inform people about the many types of less well known disability which exist, and how the people with those conditions live their lives, then it is doing a considerable public service. I just wish television like this was a bit better publicised.
As sometimes happens, I found myself wistfully thinking about going for a walk up to Swettenham this afternoon. It’s a grey, miserable day here in south London, and it has to be over decade now since I rode my chair up those lanes. I could either simply do it on Streetview, or I could watch this lovely little video. It was made by a guy two years ago, walking along paths and roads I once knew quite well with his wife and baby. The scenery jogged so many memories that I just had to flag it up on here. It takes me back to my early rebellious days riding around in my F55 – he even goes through a gate I remember having trouble opening. (Mind you, I think he mistakes the River Dane for a stream). The countryside is quite beautiful up there, and the film captures the architecture of the village’s medieval buildings so well that I thought it definitely deserves a blog entry. Or perhaps I’m just a Cheshire lad who has been away from the fields too long.