Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Welcome to my world

1 Watching English speaking actors, playing Germans only works if they learn to speak German. Doing the old Allo Allo trick just doesn't wash anymore. The Reader is currently showing on Sky. It looks all well and good but the speaking English with a German accent is frankly ridiculous. This is something that critic Mark Kermode has been harping on about for a while and having watched parts of The Reader and remember Kristen Scott Thomas' pitch perfect French in, amongst others, Tell No One, I agree.

Of course, it's made worse by the use of a young German actor in one of the lead roles, speaking in English. At least his accent is genuine.

2 The aforementioned Mark Kermode has written a book that is due out in February. He is, by some considerable distance, the most interesting of the current crop of film critics. I only ever get a sense of his pandering to someone else's cause when he has to review a film involving someone he is interviewing.

There is an obvious social awkwardness involved. Just before the Paris peace conference in 1960, the Soviet's shot down an American U-2 spy plane. Obviously angry, Kruschev is reputed to have said to the Americans "you don't shit where you're about to eat". And I guess that's a long winded way of saying that I understand why Kermode only accentuates the positive when reviews films in front of their makers.

Anyway, The Observer carried a preview of his book. It looks like regular followers of Kermode will have a problem. The excerpt was of the day Werner Herzog was shot whilst being interviewed by Kermode, a story very familiar to his listeners. But if you listen to him a lot, you tend to hear his stories repeated. It's the peril of doing a live radio show. The record of what you said is aural rather than written and you're less likely to refer back to a recording.

3 Pat Robertson is an idiot. Obviously. At least he clarified his remarks. In the end it turns out that they are only moderately offensive. He repeated a myth about Haiti's revolt against France rather than making a claim about the earthquake. Well done him.

So, instead of saying that the earthquake was the fault of a godless nation, he said emphasised that a nation of slaves could only throw off the might of the white man through a pact with the devil.

That's not offensive at all, is it Pat? You want to think about that one for a moment?

But never let fairness get in the way of a good argument.

4 It's only been a year folks. Just slow down in your haste to judge.

5 Kate Winslett has the scariest blue contact lenses in this film. Really. It looks like she has no pupils at all.

6 I mean, what can you actually do in a year when you're working in a system with so many checks and balances that if you have to fulfill a promise you have to make fifty more?

7 Football has many cliches. My favourite at the moment is the old "football is a cruel mistress" one.

The potential saviours of Crystal Palace have bought West Ham instead.

No one has any money at all. Sol Campbell, knowing how badly in debt his old club Portsmouth are, has decided to sue them for £1.7 million in lost bonuses and image rights. Image rights? This truly is a crazy world. Does he not realise that ever pound he adds to their debt ensures that small businesses will not get paid? When is enough, enough? He's just resigned for Arsenal. I would imagine he's probably going to be getting more than £10,000 a weak (a very conservative estimate)

Man Utd are £716 million in debt and this is no reason to panic because it is broadly in line with expectation. Man City reported an annual loss of £92.6 million last year.

8 I have this theory that I'm working on. It's related to the momentum that is gathering, in technology, politics and the media for example. We are hurtling towards a world of instant gratification and judgment where considered thought and logical reactions are not required, where fear and brash opinion is the main driver.

Anyway, some of what's gone before relates to that. I'm still working on it. I'll let you know later.