June, 2003

Straight to Hell

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of Total DVD magazine – in the main because it had a complete copy of Alex Cox’s film Straight to Hell. I rushed out for my 3.99 copy of the magazine and disc.
Well it turns out that although Alex Cox didn’t know about this, and would have been against it, it does mean that 21,000 more people know about this film than would have!
Strangely, the magazine carries an interview with Cox. Oh well.

Katherine Hepburn

Sadly Katherine Hepburn has died at the age of 96. She’s easily one of my favourite actresses of all time. Films such as Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story and Woman of the Year from the thirties and forties are just wonderful. Then there were all the films with Spencer Tracey.
CNN has a nice obituary.
I just have to watch Bringing Up Baby again. It has astonishingly yet to be released on DVD – unless you’re in Germany. So I’ll stick to my Laserdisc.
A great loss.

Alistair Campbell v BBC

Well this story just goes on and on, and I really don’t like it.
I watched the Channel 4 News interview via the net (being otherwise engaged on Friday night).
The story runs and runs, and I really hope that the BBC stay with it. The government should not be dictating the stories that the free media wish to report. And in any case, the whole thing is just a ruse to remove the coverage that the Commons Inquiry would otherwise be showing up.

Spooks

While some might have quite enjoyed last night’s episode, it was pretty obvious where the episode was going from the outset, and even knowledge that the series is not afraid to kill off major cast members is not enough to prevent the resolution being obvious from some way off.
I’m led to believe that this storyline is revisited later in the series…

A Wild Sheep Chase

I must admit that it’s taken me a bit longer than usual to work through this particualr Murakami book. Without checking, I’m not quite sure where in the oeuvre this fits, but it truly is a wild “sheep” chase. It involves a typical Murakami protaganist, a small-time publisher, who’s dragged into a neverworld built around a mythical sheep. I know it sounds unlikely, but it works. I noted that there was a second appearance of a Dolphin Hotel as well.
Reading the reviews at Amazon, it seems that this is one of his earlier works.
And while I’m talking about Murakami, you simply can’t move for his books at the moment – he’s being promoted like he’s a Messaih or something. Even my local Virgin Megastore, which carries barely any books, has a selection near the cash desk. I am surprised, since I don’t see them as being that populist a series. Leave those people to their new Harry Potter books (I happened to be in Kings Cross station around midnight on Friday as the new book went on sale. There were several hundred people queuing outside the WH Smiths there, with celebrities Dermot Murnaghen and Linda Robson is attendance. I’m not sure I’d ever turn out for an event like that unless I was specifically after a book being signed).

Communications Bill

There was a fantastic piece by Steve Barnett in yesterday’s Observer talking about the forthcoming Communications Bill, and the various parts of it that the government simply haven’t been able to defend so far.
I really do hope that the House of Lords sort the government out over this. This coming week should really sort things out!

State of Play

So State of Play finished last night and it didn’t pull any punches.
Great performances all round, and even though it is back for another series, I can’t see all that many characters beyond the newspaper ones being able to return for it.
I’d quite happily watch the whole thing again, although I didn’t feel it was quite as menacing as maybe it could have been. I suppose it would be unrealistic for all the characters to fear for their safety all the time.
Having said that, I later saw a Panorama investigating gang warfare amongst factions of the UDA in Northern Ireland, and those guys don’t mess around killing each other off with ease.
Ideas, ideas.

Special Characters

I can see that Movable Type’s not brilliant at special characters without using proper HTML to describe them.
Will bear that in mind.
I’ve got a basic “Now Playing” section working, but I’ve kind of given up on the Amazon link, since for whatever reason, Winamp simply won’t pass more info than the song title alone, and that’s not good enough for Amazon to search.
Must try to get it working properly from work.

Observer Business Section

As I sat and read in the park this afternoon, listening to the cricket, I read a couple of very interesting stories in the Business section of The Observer.
The first was a piece about a tiny set of islands called S�o Tom� and Princ�pe – just off the coast of West Africa. I’ve got to admit that I’d never even heard of them before.
Bush met their president last year – honour indeed for such a small set of islands. Could it have been anything to do with $120bn of oil within their territorial waters?
(Incidentally Expedia Maps are missing a trick by not supplying a URL for you to paste into emails etc to point stuff out.)
The other item won’t be appearing in tomorrow’s clippings one would guess…