Monday 30 June 2008

A Galway Film Fleadh Trailer Compendium

The Galway Film Fleadh is almost upon us once again - running from the 8th to the 13th July, to be exact - and audiences appear to be in for a delectable cross section of the cinema this year. Allow me to present you with a few choice trailers.

First up, the quixotic
Surveillance, directed by David Lynch's daughter Jennifer Lynch. Need more be said? It shall be visible Thursday 10th, 21:00, at the Town Hall:

Taxi To The Dark Side, a concise and harrowing exploration of the suspicious death of an Afghan taxi driver at Bagram air base in 2002. The Oscar winning doc screens at 13:30, Friday 11th, in the Town Hall. Also, in association with Reprieve, immediately following the screening there will be a discussion with director Alex Gibney, Reprieve Staff Attorney, Cori Crider, and released Guantanamo prisoner, Moazzam Begg (tbc). Not to be missed:

The English Surgeon. Henry Marsh, one of London's foremost brain surgeons, has been going to Kiev for over 15 years in an attempt to improve upon the archaic brain surgery he first witnessed there in 1992. And yet he refuses to be cast as the faultless savior of the West. Instead, he openly confronts the problems of the doctor-patient relationship in such circumstances, his own selfish instincts, their dire need:

A slight change in tone next with
J.C.V.D. A Jean Claude Van Damme movie. Yup, at a film festival. The plot? Jean Claude Van Damme, an aging star of bargain basement actioners returns to Belgium after a lengthy court battle that has cost him the custody of his daughter. He is broke. He 'dabbles' in coke. He is Van Damme doing nuance and introspection. Essential viewing really. Friday 11th at 21:15 in the Omniplex:

That's all for now folks. A minuscule snippet of the gems in store over the festival. The acquisition of a programme would be most advisable.

Sunday 29 June 2008

A Fitting Epitaph To A Particularly Wasted Weekend Via The Tube Of You.

A monkey artfully riding a sheepdog at a rodeo:

The rather Woodian trailer for Roger Corman's interpretation of The Fantastic Four:

That's all from me folks. Blissful oblivion beckons from beneath the duvet.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Gonzo. The Trailer.

Gonzo: The Life & Work Of Dr. Hunter S Thompson... Directed by Alex Gibney - the man behind the superb Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room - this documentary looks like it shall be quite the trip. The twisted dynamic between the writer and his Hell's Angels, Muskie and his 'alleged' Ibogaine addiction, the truths behind the Fear & Loathing phenomenon, his brief flirtation with real power in Aspen... The Good Doctor, as narrated by Johnny Depp. Click here for a high-def version of the trailer or below for some grainy Youtube goodness:

Thompson once declared that he who makes a beast of himself takes away the pain of being a man. Hardly an empty proclamation from a man of his particular experience. A lot of his mania was undoubtedly narcissistic and egotistical, but this matters not. The 'beast' was so very right about so many things

"I'm sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
A George McGovern quote about Vietnam, yet it could so easily be the hopeful vision speak of Obama. I do wish HST was alive today so we may have known what he made of the current stew brewing across the pond.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

"I'm so post-modern..."

The Bedroom Philosopher. A Melbourne based folk comedian who is so post-modern that he writes reviews for funerals and heckles at weddings from inside a suitcase. The ironic cad:

My thanks to Tess for the heads up.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Adam, Joe, Pirates & Bicycle Helmets

Mr Graham Linehan mentioned this the other day. It is an ode to the 'dangers' of video piracy. An ode born of the mind of Adam Buxton, one half of comedy quirksters Adam & Joe. It is rather humorous:

I was quite the fan of The Adam & Joe Show in the late 1990s. Never being a teenager for tortuous self-loathing and interminable angst, their marriage of cheeky irreverence, cuddly toys and novelty hats appealed to me greatly. That piss up in a brewery and Furends... Smashing stuff.

Adam's blog is also worth a perusal. For example, it turns out that he got a bit of copyright grief from YouTube for uploading the video that he and Garth Jennings directed for Radiohead's "Jigsaw Falling Into Place". Which is a legal grievance of startlingly retarded proportions really, seeing as he, like, you know, made the video. A great video too. Bicycle helmet cams are definitely the way forward:

Oh yeah, Adam's new show MeeBOX starts tonight on BBC3. It should well be a larf... I'm not on commission. Honest.

Friday 20 June 2008

Sporto Kantès. A Summer Vibe.

Sporto Kantès are a French group with an inclination toward funky retro electro. A French group whose most recent album is entitled 3 At Last. Be it the quixotically cheerful pastiche of "Whistle" or the more laid back rhythms of "Concrete", there is something here to grab the ear of most listeners. That said, it would be advisable that whilst listening, said listeners should be basking in glorious evening sunshine, on their fourth Corona and lime, carefully avoiding the gaze of their sensitive host as they slyly discard their soggy burger in the dirt... Yes indeed, this is unashamed summertime fun.

Here is "Whistle". Cute video too:

Scientology & Superheroes

Apparently, in his new movie Hancock a drunken, superhuman Will Smith knocks a girl clear across a room with the superhuman strength of his ejaculation.

My word. Such is the asinine Hollywood brainlessness of the whole enterprise that no sarcastic tirade I could muster would be sufficiently damning. So without further ado, take it away comically incomplete movie poster:

Thursday 19 June 2008

2084 - A Vision Of A Post "Yes" Europe

It was a fierce mild day in September and the hover-clocks were indicating thirteen. The New(ish) Journalist, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile drizzle, slipped quickly through the portal of Consensus Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent the laser scanners piercing his aged retinas.

The hallway smelt of damp croissant and cheap Bulgarovian wine. At one end of it a plasma fusion screen hovered two metres above the floor. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a newborn baby of about twenty five minutes, with the virgin inclinations of a smile. As always the face slowly began to fade away, the inclination vanquished, to be replaced by the mantra - NOT IF WE CAN HELP IT. The Journalist made for the lift. It was no use trying the instant teleportation matrix. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the wireless electric flux was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was fifty flights down, and The Journalist, who was one hundred and one years old and in constant agony, cursed the fifteen seconds he had to wait. All those seconds he waited, from each panel of the fusion wall reverberated the reminder, BRUSSELS IS WATCHING YOU.

Inside the flat he turned on his fusion screen. The communal leisure pursuit (or hurling as he once knew it) was on. The Northern Quadrant were leading the Eastern Quadrant by 3-16 to 2-10 in the All-Eurotopia Communal Leisure Pursuit Championship Final. The Easterners seemed completely indifferent even though there was nineteen minutes plus stoppages remaining. The Journalist sighed. The game was never the same once the players started getting paid. He moved over to the window: a decrepit, pathetic figure, the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the constant tears smearing his gaunt cheek flesh. Damn leaky retinas. Damn lasers.

The Journalist reached for his eye ointment. He stopped. He gazed at the fusion screen once more. There was no change in the score. Northerners coasting to another triumph in the communal leisure pursuit. How surprising. "Ah fuck 'em! Just like those ould bastards from Kilkenny!" he muttered, as he turned once more for his ointment. He froze instantly, paralyzed by a long ingrained terror. How could he have been so stupid? Mentioning the forbidden ways out loud. Stupid, stupid old man. After all, his flat, like all others, was saturated with Ministry of Remembrance surveillance equipment. It was now only a matter of minutes.

New tears were forming. However these were not born of gappy retinas, but of regret. All of this suffering could so easily have been avoided. The stale hell that was Eurotopia would never have been if he and others like him had stood tall and done their diplomatic duty all those years ago... There would have been no mandatory decade of service in the Eurotopia Corps... There would have been no thirty year war with the Hated Chinese... There would have been no obligatory abortions in the aid of the communal fuel consumption... There would still be
some ice at the North Pole... There would still be a Christmas... Damn it, there would still be hurling... If only he and others like him - the Irish, yes, that's what they were called, the Irish - had voted no in The Glorious Treaty. The callous benefit of hindsight, the ferocity of the lessons learned.

He heard the sirens outside Consensus Mansions. This was it. It was off to The Correctional Booths for him, to suffer for as long his rotten body would permit... Unless... He dived under his bed. He searched frantically for a few moments until he pulled out what he was looking for. A rudimentary homemade bodhrán, fashioned from a commemorative Consensus dish cloth won in a raffle many Hate Weeks ago and an antique smart car wheel. He began to bang on the bodhrán, weak yet insistent. It seemed time for one last wild one. He summoned every ounce of strength... "Yeeeeeeeeeooowwww!" The Banner Roar, alive and well in the Western Quadrant. He smiled broadly. He continued to beat the bodhrán, the rhythm emboldening him further. It was time for a song.

"Sinne Fianna Fáil,
A tá fé gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn
Fé mhóid bheith saor,
Sean tír ár sinsir feasta..."

The hallowed couplets were being bellowed out for all to hear, at a volume which surprised even The Journalist himself. He stopped. He had caught his reflection in the window. A collection of small red dots were slowly making its way up his chest. There would be no booth for him. Not now. Not with such a large threat of remembrance amongst his neighbours. He needed taking down, and fast. He was glad his life was not flashing before his eyes. Why? Most of it was a twisted maelstrom of shite caused by his own indecision. Who needs to be reminded of that at their moment of passing? His smile grew broader still.

The dots were between his eyes now. There was a flash. The body of The New(ish) Journalist slumped to the floor, the bodhrán falling in unison. The instrument hit the ground and rolled clumsily away from the corpse, not stopping until it was once more concealed beneath the bed.

The drizzle continued unabated. The Remembrance Police cursed their luck. A soggy body was harder to burn.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Bob Dylan + Neil Young = €80 Admission

Where is such wondrous value possible you might ask?

Why, at Optimus Alive, of course. It is that most current of indie necessities - a 3 day festival in Europe - and many other bands shall be plying their musical wares. They include:

Rage Against the Machine, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Hives, Nouvelle Vague, Within Temptation, Peaches, The National, The Gossip, Tiga, CSS, Gogol Bordello, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, MSTRKRFT, Uffie, Spiritualized, Róisín Murphy, The John Butler Trio, Donavon Frankenreiter, SebastiAn, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Boys Noize, DJ Mehdi, Midnight Juggernauts, Xavier Rudd, Busy P, The Juan Maclean, Vicarious Bliss, Hercules and Love Affair, Feadz, Krazy Baldhead, Galactic, Mr Flash, Buraka Som Sistema, Brodinski, Sizo, Kumpania Algazarra, Banda Soundtribes.

As stated above, all for a paltry €80. It is on the same weekend as Oxegen so if interested the putting on of one's skates would be advisable.

The only catch? It's on in Lisbon. Yes, that Lisbon. Grrr. Etc.

"What's the capital of Dallas?"

With The Internet you can now find out in a matter of minutes:

Very Kip Smithers.

Monday 16 June 2008

The Sublime Idiocy Of The Valued Customer # 2

INT - Any Ubiquitous High Street Entertainment Outlet. Again.

A valued staff member carrying a clipboard is quite clearly performing some sort of inventory check, again. He is wearing a company t-shirt and wearing a glaringly obvious name badge, again. A valued customer approaches him, again. This one is holding a copy of Now 69.

Valued Customer:
Sorry now, but this might seem like a silly question.

Valued Staff Member:

Valued Customer:
(pointing to her copy of Now 69)
Was there one of these before this one?

Valued Staff Member:
(with a Herculean lack of sarcasm)
Well miss, there were actually 68.

This Sublime Idiocy Of The Valued Customer... It may very well become a series folks.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Glenn Wool. In Galway & Dublin.

Glenn Wool... A Canadian comedian who currently resides in London... A Canadian comedian who plays ice hockey for the London Devils in his spare time... A Canadian comedian who mines humour nuggets from topics as varied as Islam in China, sexually transmitted diseases and his moustache... A Canadian comedian who is coming to Ireland this week... Here he is on the redundancy of modern swearing:

Oh yeah, NSFW... Catch him at The Laughter Lounge of Galway in the Róisín Dubh this Wednesday, 18th June. Or do likewise in The Laughter Lounge of Dublin in, well, The Laughter Lounge this Saturday, 21st June.

Monday 9 June 2008

The Peculiarities Of The Irish Sporting Summer. On Television.

Yesterday afternoon, as I sat nursing an angry stout hangover whilst watching Tipperary beat Cork in the Munster Hurling Championship, a profound sense of national identity threatened to overwhelm me. The cause of this impulse? The following nuggets of punditry by Michael Duignan and Cyril Farrell.

Duignan praising Eoin Kelly's first half goal:

"That's brilliance at its best Marty."

Farrell discussing the proximity of an Eoin Kelly free to the Cork posts:

"Sure that's like throwing nuts to a monkey."

Of course it is, Cyril. Of course it is... Now, I realise that sport is ordinarily not the remit of The New(ish) Journalism, but I felt that I must use this forum of mine to give props to RTE's televisual GAA commentary and analysis. There is a unique and vibrant poetry to it all. Is there another land in which thirty men attempting to decapitate each other with sticks would glibly be referred to as a "schmozzle"? Is such a colloquialism the result of a wild and pagan Celtic idiom at odds with the colonial structure of the Queen's language? Or is it merely a load of rural ráiméis? I suppose the answer to that question depends on you and your connection to The Parish. Or lack thereof.

A connection. Something that is once again missing at a major international soccer tournament. Euro 2008 is upon us, no Irish presence, and yet RTE still insists on getting Pavlovian on our asses. Advertisement and analysis seep forth at every opportunity, a constant bell ensuring our constant salivation. Yet there will be no food, no substance. Instead, a maelstrom of the inconsequential. Germany will win a match on penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo will cry. The Beeb will vacuously fawn and/or bemoan the lack of an English presence. Giles and Dunphy will self-contradict lyrical about the death of the game, the lack of "great players" and work ethic. You already know these things, and you don't really care.

Face it. The Irish people need a parochial interest in their summertime sport. Celebration of artistry is all well and good, but an emotional edge is our necessity. It comes with the involvement of your county team in the autumn. It comes with the well intentioned stutterings of our soccer team in the group stages and subsequent moral victory married with demented binge drinking. It comes with the glorious and hypocritical schadenfreude enjoyed when observing the pantomime that is Team Eng-Ger-Lund in such competition. Alas, it just ain't coming from Austria or Switzerland.

Still, at least Aprés Match is back on our screens. In celebration, the very first glimpse of the group's parody stylings on Irish television... A sketch on Barry Murphy's Friday night version of The End in 1994... Memories:

Yes indeed, glorious memories.

Friday 6 June 2008

Donkey Kong. A Hard Ass Game.

Team Genius. A motley crew of lighting experts and velociraptors, apparently. Very funny though. The following ode to the difficulty of that level in Donkey Kong Country 2 with the "thorns and shit" is a geeky delight:

Via The Fabulistas.

Whilst on the subject of everybody's favourite barrel chucking simian, a quick glance at the following trailer would be quite fitting:

Donkey Kong, "sort of like the abortion issue". Well, according to Billy Mitchell. Who? You know, Billy Mitchell; the undisputed Donkey Kong world record holder and questionable star of The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters... It's Rocky with nerds, and I cannot wait to see it.

The Random Observations Of A Jaded Cynic. Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Accept The Truth As I See It And As Everybody Else Should Too. #2

Dallas - Oil + Shoes = Sex & The City

The Sublime Idiocy Of The Valued Customer

INT - Any Ubiquitous High Street Entertainment Outlet.

A valued staff member carrying a clipboard is quite clearly performing some sort of inventory check. He is wearing a company t-shirt and wearing a glaringly obvious name badge. A valued customer approaches him.

Valued Customer:
Sorry, do you work here?

The valued staff member slowly turns around. A weary exhalation of breath punctuates this cautious pirouette. There is a glazed look in his eyes, a curiously simultaneous marriage of indifference and vitriol.

Valued Staff Member:
Yes... Can I help you?

Valued Customer:
Yeah. I'm looking for a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. You know, the one where he hurt his finger.

Valued Staff Member:

Monday 2 June 2008

A Russian Boy Band. A Music Video.

Ye Gods! It may be something of an oldie, yet until yesterday I had remained joyfully oblivious. Observe to the end:

A gracious hat tip to Ronan, the ultimate purveyor of all things Parmesan. With added critique of
post Soviet malaise. Possibly.

Watch this one too. A slightly more subtle exercise in this particular brand of awfulness, although one of them is wearing a Wrangler t-shirt. Really. In retrospect, I bet he wishes he went for some X-Worx.