Faust and the Grease test

March 19, 2012

So, this is a bit of a late one. Here’s a photo from Wednesday the 7th March.

I’m at the BFI film quiz. In the bar at BFI Imax. Look! There’s two of my team mates, Jeremy and Nik. Hiding behind the BFI guide. On the left hand page of the guide, details of the upcoming Peter Cook season (useful, since there was a round on Peter Cook- it’s not cheating; everyone’s given a guide and so, well, I guess, we all cheat).

Look at the next page. Faust at the Royal Festival Hall. It’s been and gone now. Did you see it?

Hugh Grant introduces London audiences to Murnau’s legendary 1926 silent film Faust.

And then, a paragraph that possibly makes no sense at all (I’ve never been good at grammar; bad for a writer, I know. But it seems to me that the most important thing is that we all get the general idea; certainly when it comes to a guide). Here goes:

At a time when brand new silent film The Artist is being applauded by critics and heading for 2012 Oscars success.

End of sentence. End of paragraph! I can only exclaim, what gives?!

So, the next paragraph, I presume, is meant to carry on the thought. Here’s what it says:

I don’t really mind the lack of punctuation. Like I say, I’m no grammar expert. Getting the gist is the main part. But the gist is lost for good once words like ‘greastest’ creep in.

I’ve struggled to understand this, and, after much deliberation… I took this pic almost two weeks ago! After much deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that the writer meant ‘Grease test'; the acknowledged system whereby a film’s worth is determined by how well it compares to the 1978 Randal Kleiser classic, Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Faust doesn’t do too bad, since it stars Emil Jannings, whose name almost rhymes with Stockard Channing, who played Rizzo in Grease (Jannings played Mephisto – a pararhyme for Rizzo). Coincidentally, Jennings went on to play Enrico ‘Ratso’ Rizzo in the 1927 black and white silent film Midnight Cowboy (remade to Oscar-winning success in 1969 with Dustin Hoffman playing the colour, talking version of Ratso).

So there you have it. I’m stopping now.

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