Film in Elsewhere

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FLY MY PRETTIES; A STORY (Loop CD/DVD)

24 Aug 2009  |  <1 min read

The short explanation of this concept album and handsome package (a CD, a DVD with variations on the live concert and bonus features such as an animated version of A Story, plus a booklet) is that it is an expansion of the previous two FMP albums with new songs taken from their live shows (which has a kid's story narrative woven throughout on the DVD). So you can just play the CD and enjoy... > Read more

Fly My Pretties: Garden

Ted Nugent: Motor City Mayhem (Shock DVD)

17 Aug 2009  |  1 min read

While I would never defend the man and his music in any serious way, I think every home should have a Ted Nugent album. (Cat Scratch Fever from '77 would be my guess but I will let fans correct me, my vinyl does sound very thin these days). I would recoil at the thought of TWO Nugent albums however, but I am going to make an exception: one album and one DVD. This is the one DVD. It is... > Read more

DAVID BOWIE; VH1 STORYTELLERS (EMI CD/DVD)

2 Aug 2009  |  1 min read

At the very end of the Nineties, David Bowie released one of his best album in years, Hours. Unfortunately by that time fewer and fewer people were listening to him. He'd started the decade with the two Tin Machine albums in which he tried to bury himself within a band format (about as successfully as McCartney did with Wings) and although he returned under his own name for the excellent... > Read more

David Bowie: Rebel Rebel

KISSOLOGY; THE ULTIMATE KISS COLLECTION Vol 1, 1974-77 (Shock DVD)

2 Aug 2009  |  1 min read

It goes without saying that if Kiss hadn't existed then a 14-year old Japanese boy with a manga fixation would have invented them. He might have writen better songs for them as this rather too wide DVD live collection (three discs, over seven hours in total, seven versions of Black Diamond!) reminds you. Take away the make-up, platform boots and fire-breathing, and Kiss were a rather... > Read more

MAN OF ARAN by ROBERT J FLAHERTY/BRITISH SEA POWER (DVD/CD): The lonely sea and the sky

2 Aug 2009  |  2 min read  |  1

American film-maker Robert J Flaherty (1884-1951) from Michigan was a man who liked to explore lives on the edges of his known world: he went to Inuit territory to film his pseudo-doco Nanook of the North of 1922 (which, along with actor Anthony Quinn, allegedly inspired Bob Dylan’s Quinn the Eskimo); Samoa for Moana four years later (Flaherty also co-wrote Tabu with F.W. Murnau in... > Read more

British Sea Power: No Man is an Archipelago (from The Man of Aran)

FILM DIRECTOR KHYENTSE NORBU INTERVIEWED: The cup half full/half empty?

26 Jun 2009  |  3 min read

There is a wry scene halfway through The Cup, the debut feature by Bhutanese film maker Khyentse Norbu. In a remote Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas, novice monks are obsessed with the World Cup soccer competition. An older monk, Geko, attempts to explain it to his abbot, who's bemused by the idea of two nations fighting over a ball. But the abbot wants to know what they get by... > Read more

Yungchen Lhamo: Om Mani Padme Hung

TONGAN NINJA a film by JASON STUTTER (DVD, 2004): And his name shall live forever, or at least for quite a while

23 Jun 2009  |  3 min read

The legend of the Tongan ninja is so legendary that most people know it. But for those who missed it -- possibly in the shower when it came knocking -- it goes like this: young Tongan boy Sione is flying between the small Pacific Islands with his dad on Finau Airlines when mischievous, spiteful Marvin (a "friend" but later his nemesis) cuts some wires and the plane crashes on to a... > Read more

DEADWOOD; TIMOTHY OLYPHANT INTERVIEWED (2006): It's always the quiet ones . . .

10 Jun 2009  |  3 min read  |  1

There are few more quiet characters on television than Sheriff Seth Bullock who broods with repressed menace throughout the gritty Western series Deadwood. His dialogue usually comes down to a few lines like, “I appreciate your kind concern” or “Don’t!” Yet get 38-year old actor Timothy Olyphant -- who plays the moustachioed and troubled hunk -- on the phone... > Read more

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR SERIES ON DVD: You can't keep a bad man down

8 Jun 2009  |  3 min read

Let's get these killers and their thrillers matched up right: the murderous baddy in Nightmare on Elm Street was Freddy; in Friday 13th it was Jason; the guy with the buzzing blades in Texas Chainsaw Massacre was Leatherface, and in Halloween it was ... Yes, when it comes to evil-doers the name "Michael Myers" hardly creates a flutter, really. Wasn't he Austin Powers too? Yet... > Read more

GONE WITH THE WIND: Seven decades on and still worth giving a damn about?

7 Jun 2009  |  4 min read  |  1

Flick through reviews of the famous 1939 film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's classic Civil War novel of romance and southern ways, Gone With the Wind, and it's hard to believe the critics were writing about the same thing. Dilys Powell wrote that Vivien's Leigh's performance as the spoilt, petulant Scarlett O'Hara was "compact of vivacity, coquettishness and rigid egoism, extremely... > Read more

THE UNIVERSE OF KEITH HARING by CHRISTINA CLAUSEN (Madman DVD)

19 May 2009  |  3 min read

By the time I got to see the work of New York-based artist Keith Haring in the early Nineties there was little to "see": he was everywhere. The originality of Haring's work -- as with that of Australian Ken Done whose briefly interesting landscapes and Australian icons had their currency debased by reproduction, commercialisation, parody and an increasing self-reflective... > Read more

Talking Heads: Artists Only (1977)

THE SEX PISTOLS; THE FILTH AND THE FURY. JULIEN TEMPLE INTERVIEWED (2000): A Rotten and Vicious business

18 May 2009  |  4 min read

The Sex Pistols changed many lives, aspiring filmmaker Julien Temple’s more than most. After accidentally meeting them in their dockland rehearsal room one afternoon in 1975, he followed them as they became the most reviled band in Britain.  He filmed their shambolic, thrilling live shows, sat junkie-punk Sid Vicious down for a rare coherent interview, was assaulted in... > Read more

Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the UK

JACKIE CHAN'S POLICE STORY (1985) AND ARMOUR OF GOD (1987): On a collision course with disaster and fame

17 May 2009  |  2 min read

Disappointed when his first film in the US market (The Protector) flopped, the great martial arts-comedian Chan returned to Hong Kong where he'd got his start and made Police Story, a violent but hilarious action caper where he is a hapless cop on a drug bust. It is a film Chan is still proud of and it is punctuated by terrific set pieces which seem to be referenced in classic American... > Read more

MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN, 30 YEARS ON (2009): Still a bit of a naughty boy

28 Apr 2009  |  2 min read  |  1

It seems only yesterday that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ was being debated for its uncompromising brutality. I wonder if those who bought it on DVD watch it often? And will they watch it 30 years time? Gibson has a sense of humour -- he made Braveheart after all -- so maybe he would get a laugh out of the irreverently hilarious religious spoof, Monty Python’s Life... > Read more

HUMAN BODY: PUSHING THE LIMITS (DVD Madman)

25 Apr 2009  |  1 min read

Without wishing to create a "medical Elsewhere" section, here's a DVD series that should appeal to those with an interest in human physiology, the limits the body can pushed to and how our nuerons, muscle, tissue and tendons respond. Using 3D imaging and remarkable computer graphics (which show the body as a mass of muscles and nerves, much like Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man), we are... > Read more

KENNETH WILLIAMS: An Audience with Kenneth Williams (DVD, Madman)

12 Apr 2009  |  2 min read

Even if you'd only ever seen one film in Carry On series and hated it, you'd still remember Kenneth Williams and his nasal delivery, high camp mannerisms, effeminate manner and innuendo-laden quips delivered with a knowing look. It was in Carrry On Cleo that Williams had the funniest and most memorable line of his career when, as Caesar in fear of his life, he cries, "Infamy! Infamy!... > Read more

STEVE COOGAN INTERVIEWED (2004): Ah-haa!

6 Apr 2009  |  5 min read

We cringed when British actor Steve Coogan was appalling television, then radio, host Alan Partridge in the British television series Knowing Me, Knowing You and I'm Alan Partridge. There were few more uncomfortable television characters than this gauche, insecure and obnoxious British television talk show host whose Abba-themed show offered appalling puns, maltreatment of guests,... > Read more

THE BAND'S VISIT by ERIN KOLIRIN (Madman DVD)

2 Apr 2009  |  1 min read  |  3

This beautifully composed, delightfully understated Israeli film is at Elsewhere not because it is about music -- an Egyptian police band adrift in an unattractive town in Israel -- but because it is about silence. There is an ineffable sadness behind the thin veneer of wry humour and the astute observation of characters and gestures, and that is conveyed not through words but passages of... > Read more

Amr Diab: Aktar Wahed Beyhebak

THE SMALL FACES; UNDER REVIEW (DVD, Chrome Dreams/Triton)

30 Mar 2009  |  1 min read  |  2

While it may be fair to consider the Small Faces out of London's East End to be one of the most interesting and even musically inventive groups of the Sixties, it is pushing it -- as one commentator does here -- to claim that they were right there behind the Beatles and the Stones. That not only ignores the Kinks, for example, but fails to account for the Small Faces' patchy track record of... > Read more

The Small Faces: Whatcha Gonna Do About It

A TECHNICOLOR DREAM (featuring Pink Floyd) DVD

1 Mar 2009  |  2 min read

At the end of this fascinating doco about the April '67 happening that was the 14-hour Technicolor Dream event in north London which featured the Syd Barrett-lead Pink Floyd at their early psychedelic peak, Barry Miles says that by the end of the following year everyone was just tired so went off to have sleep for a few years. The cause of their collective exhaustion had begun two years... > Read more

Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive