While I am delighted that personal fave Ivor the Engine is doing so well, I have to admit to being surprised. When you hear obituaries about Oliver Postgate, they typically focus on Bagpuss and The Clangers. I love all three enormously, but Ivor has a sublime, nostalgic and – dare I say it? – adult quality that the others lack.
Thanks to Jonathan Calder for the recommendation.
Well, actually, they’re extremely tenuous at best, but I did enjoy watching When Julie Met Toby last night on BBC 2.
My “links” such as they are were that I went to Manchester University just after Charlotte Raven had left. Raven was the sabbatical Women’s Officer when Derek Draper was a sabb as well (in fact, they went out with each other for a time). Back then, these two obsessed the UMU hacks no end – they all hated them, they all wanted to be them. Both of course fell from grace shortly afterwards, Icarus like, but at least Derek Draper is still tabloid-fodder due to his marriage to Kate Garraway. Raven has disappeared; at the end of the programme Julie Birchill mentioned that she’s now married to a truck driver and has grown so fat she has to use one of those mobility scooters. I hasten to add I have no idea if that is true. One other theory is that she got a peroxide job and transmogrified into Marina Hyde, but I think the fattie story is kinder.
My other link to the Modern Review is that at work, we still get their post (the ancient Egyptians believed that you only truly died when no-one could remember your name – I have a theory that no-one will ever truly die again now due to us remaining on junk mail lists until the end of time). No mention of 6 Cynthia Street was made on the programme however and it would appear that the first incarnation of the Modern Review was edited entirely in Toby Young’s flat. What of Charlotte Raven’s short lived second incarnation? The rumour is they used to do their ad sales out of the place, but no-one seems sure. Anyone out there know?
I’m feeling oddly nostalgic about my uni days at the moment – see the mention of Nick Angel in my previous post. 1996 was a fucking great year for me and one of the few times in my life when it actually felt good at the time.
Got the latest Empire this evening. A few film related things:
- In July we are to be treated to both Pirates of the Carribean 2 and Superman Returns (which is either Superman 5 – after the Quest for Peace – 2.5 – sort of set after 2 – or 2 – the spiritual sequel to Richard Donner’s original disregarding the slight hash Richard Lester made of 2 – depending on your point of view). I can’t wait for either of them.
- The Spider-Man 3 teaser is now online. Got a year to wait for this one. Looking forward to it as I am, I’m not sure about the wisdom of having 3 major villains. Joel Schumacher’s Batman films show what happens when you don’t exercise enough restraint (on the other hand, both Batman Returns and Batman Begins both have three villains in them and cope okay).
- Richard Kelly’s first film since Donnie Darko – Southland Tales – was apparently panned at Cannes. Kelly himself is robust, arguing that Donnie Darko got the same response at first. I wouldn’t be so complacent. Love Donnie Darko as I do – I saw it on its first release – Kelly made a complete Horlicks of the Director’s Cut. The good news is he’s cutting 45 mins out of this new film, so hopefully he can turn it around.
- Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost are back soon in Hot Fuzz. Yay! Intrigued to see Jessica Stevenson claiming they are still planning to make Spaced 3 given how long ago 2 was now. It had entered the part of my brain that is reserved for all those other uncompleted masterpieces such as Halo Jones Book 4 and Sleaze Castle (side fact: Simon Pegg’s character is called Nicholas Angel. I wonder if this is a homage to Shaun of the Dead’s Music Supervisor? I used to know a Nick Angel – I was in a student version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream with him 10 years ago. He went on to edit Matthew Parris’ The Great Unfrocked and I think went on to become some kind of photo-journalist).
- They’ve cast Lyra for the His Dark Materials films. Looks like they’re actually going to make them. Good news: she’s English. Bad news: she’s called Dakota Blue Richards. Will this series be the next Lord of the Rings or the next Chronicles of Narnia? Only time will tell.
- Oh, and Empire thinks the Da Vinci Code is shit. Big surprise there then.
Empire also has an interesting looking article about DVD piracy but I haven’t read it yet so can’t comment.