Criterion Collection – Week 16, 17 & 18

May 12, 2009

Criterion Collection - Week 16
Criterion Collection - Week 17
Criterion Collection - Week 18

Yet another momentary lapse on the blogging front. All it means is more Criterion DVDs to list and further films to add to my ever growing “to watch” pile. *shudder*. So here we have: serial killers and arty-porn, cocrophilia and cosmonauts & talky-indies and backwards aging. Hell of a mixed bag.

Week 16:
Man Bites Dog (1992 Dir. Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel and Benoit Poelvoorde)
In The Realm Of The Senses (1976 Dir. Nagisa Oshima)

Week 17:
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975 Dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini
Solaris (1972 Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky)

Week 18:
Kicking an Screaming (1995 Dir. Noah Baumbach)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008 Dir. David Fincher)

Previously on The Criterion Collection: Click here


Devious Theatre’s Trainspotting – Road to Nowhere

April 28, 2009

The next in our series of clips from Trainspotting is a big of a sing-song, of sorts. I say of sorts because to be honest, most people were probably too terrified of Niall Sheehy to actually join in. In this scene Begbie briefly speaks about the injustices of “real life”, appearing to Renton (Ross Costigan) as a sort of abstract, heroin-withdrawal apparition. Renton drags himself to his feet and does his best David Byrne impersonation.

Of note: In the original stage adaptation (which is set in the 90’s and not the 80’s) the song of choice was Chumbawamba – Tubthumping…. Yeah, I think you’ll find that setting the show in it’s original era was an infinitely better choice…

Read more about The Devious Theatre Company’s Trainspotting at our homepage
Visit our YouTube account for further clips from this and other shows.


Criterion Collection – Week 15

April 22, 2009

Criterion Collection - Week 15

Week number fifteen of the Criterion Challenge brings La Jetée/Sans Soleil (La Jetée being the basis upon which Terry Gilliam made 12 Monkeys) and Schizopolis, one of Soderbergh’s experimental movies he used to do before he decided to get lazy

Below is an embedded video of La Jetée in it’s entirety. Do give it a watch…

La Jetée/Sans Soleil (1962 Dir. Chris Marker):

Schizopolis (1996 Dir. Steven Soderbergh):

Previously on The Criterion Collection: Click here


Vultures – Bonus Footage: Date Preparations

April 16, 2009

Episode 4 of Vultures dealt with dates: Poisoned ones. But not the ones you eat. The ones you go on. With a ladyfriend.

“The Case of the Poisoned Dates” hit the internet last January and in case you didn’t get enough of that story, here’s some bonus footage featuring two missing scenes and one extended take. In it, Vultour ineptly prepares for his faux-date with TY Work Experience girl, Janine Drew, whilst Dan McGrain nervously practices his introduction to Jane. Tennyson’s plans are less romantic as he plans a trip to the picturehouse. Hopefully this snippet will make up for the serious lack of Fred Bass and Spade in Episode 4. Enjoy!

For more on Vultures please visit www.vulturespi.com


ON REPEAT: Fever Ray – Fever Ray

April 15, 2009


Karin Dreijer Andersson
(she being one half of the Swedish electronic pair, The Knife) released her debut solo album under the banner of Fever Ray last month to a fanfare of critical applause. This was seen as quite a strange move for someone who has gone to such lengths to stay out of the limelight and generally remain as anonymous as possible. Afterall, a solo sidestep from a band usually offers a more personal take on all things.

So, gone are the signature beats of her electronic roots, instead replaced by drones and synthetic ambient sounds. An undercurrent of menace pervades from start to finish that’s genuinely unsettling at times. The opening track, “If I Had A Heart” sets the scene beautifully as it hums and warbles along to lyrics disguised by deep, hollow voice-manipulations. Words slosh in and out of the mix of ambience, accent and vocal gymnastics. Pieces of images appearing out of the dense fog of the eerie, atmospheric soundscapes. There’s also something so very claustrophobic about this album. This claustrophobia never lets up throughout it’s 48 minute lifespan, wherein the pacing remains even and pretty steadfast: without the ‘fast’. What we have here is slow, opaque and strangely calming at times. Less dancey than The Knife and lot more synthy 80’s, like The Cure or Echo and The Bunnymen.

On a side note: The coverart (seen above) looks to be created by Charles Burns. If you havent read Black Hole, I suggest you do. David Fincher is adapting it into a moving picture.

Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart:

Fever Ray – When I Grow Up:

Fever Ray Linkety Links: Wikipedia / MySpace


galactus card will destroy you

April 14, 2009



Criterion Collection – Week 14

April 13, 2009

Criterion Collection - Week 14

Week 14 is an all-out French new-wave extravaganza! Having watched Pierrot Le Fou over the Easter weekend, my love for the nouvelle vague has been rekindled.

Masculin Féminin (1966 Dir. Jean-Luc Godard):

Jules and Jim (1962 Dir. François Truffaut):

Previously on The Criterion Collection: Click here

On a Criterion related note: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was recently announced as being numner 476 in the collection. There was, of course, a backlash to this from some Criterion elitists who feel that it’s place isn’t warranted in such a prestigious collection alongside the “continuing series of important classic and contemporary films”. I think this argument is completely undone by this, and this.

Regardless, I quite enjoyed Benjamin Button, even if it was just a repackaged Forrest Gump. The special effects (just like as in Zodiac) where astounding in their subtly, performances were solid all round and as with any Fincher film, it looked incredible.

My only quibble with the CC version of Button is the cover. I understand that for the more commercially viable releases, Criterion need to feature artwork that is more in line with what’s featured on a cinema marquee than what would hang in an art gallery. The slipcases for both The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic are perfect examples of this. Frankly, the poster campaign for Benjamin Button was lazy. Very lazy. Brad Pitt is an extremely bankable actor, but it’s incredibly poor and blatantly obvious if your poster is just his FACE on a black background. The filmmakers may as well be saying: “Look, we don’t have a fucking notion how to market this…but Brad Pitt is in it! You love him, don’t you?”. I would have thought that Criterion might have rectified this by featuring the one decent piece of artwork that was released for the movie. Alas, they chose the floating, giant faces. Anyways, below is the actual Criterion artwork and below that, is the mockup I madeup in Photoshop.

DVD Artwork:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Criterion Cover Art

What could have been the artwork:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - My own mockup