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.

Stupid stupid stupid

January 26, 2010

It’s taken me an age to track this down. Sometimes, in films, certain bits stand out when the rest of the movie disappears. All I can remember is stupid, stupid, stupid; a phrase that often goes through my head, usually aimed at myself.

I knew it was from some legal film. I knew it was a woman in a courtroom reading out a letter. Until tracking it down down, just now, I’d have stumped for A Civil Action with John Travolta. And I’d’ve been wrong. It’s The Rainmaker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Clearly (to me) not as memorable as his other The films; The Godfather, The Godfather II, even The Godfather III and, of course, the Apocalypse Now one (ok, I cheat a little). But it had it’s moment. And here it is:

So it has stuck with me and I hear it often, in my head, with that flat somethin’ stoopid Sinatra intonation, telling me off; stoopid, stoopid, stoopid.

So what’s the stupidest thing I could do? Well, I’m still alive so I didn’t walk in front of a car or fall off a cliff or push my head up close to a bacon slicer. Instead I sat in the bar of a swanky hotel, and, needing to go to the toilet, decided it would be absolutely fine to leave my bags for less than the  minute it might take me to have a wee.

Altogether now; stupid, stupid, stupid.

That’s ok. I can take it. Leave your comments.

See, maybe I have too much faith in human nature. What’s that I hear you all shouting in unison? Having faith in human nature is one thing, leaving your bags unattended in a public place in London is stupid, stupid, stupid.

Oh, who cares.

I had three bags; one with all my stuff in it, two full of presents. The robber only took my bag. And for that I thank him (I know it was a him because there was a witness).

The presents were for my girlfriend.

Ok. Big pause. That last sentence was a fair enough thing to write; they were presents for my girlfriend. There! I’ve written it again. It must be true. It seems I have a girlfriend.

Ok, so, if you’re reading this and you don’t know me, either personally or in my professional role as a former TV idiot, then what you’ve just read is no big deal. Everyone has girlfriends, wives, husbands, partners, children, pets.

If you do know me, then you most probably think I’m lying. I’ve made it up. I’m delusional.

If you don’t know me, but know who I am from the world of childrens’ TV, then you most probably think I’m gay.

Well, it’s true. That I have a girlfriend that is. Though at the age of 47 girlfriend just sounds silly. I asked my friend Claire if it was ok at my age to say girlfriend. She answered, Of course not; she’s your bird!

Partner‘s out of the question; it makes it sound like business, and whatever business we may or may not get up to, I doubt anyone’s going to make any money out of it. (I went to see Stewart Lee the other night and as I picked up the tickets the box office* asked me for the name of my partner- I was so shocked I almost said Trev).

No. Partner no way. Other options are either unrepeatable or silly. Although my lovely lady has a nice ring to it. Anyways, this is no big deal to you, dear reader, just me and her. Ok. just me. She is real. Honestly. But back to robbing and stupidity.

My robber got away with a nice bag bought for me as a present by my friend Sarah. And inside:

  • My Richard Hawley T-shirt (Christmas present from Andrea)
  • My glasses
  • Socks, underpants, a shirt
  • an umbrella
  • Two inhalers
  • An electric toothbrush
  • A beard trimmer
  • Some toiletries
  • Oh… and my camera

My camera is (was) old, doesn’t work too well and was £99 when I bought it. Still, it was my camera, and until someone gives me a job my blog will remain pretty photoless.

Other than that, good luck robber. Try making a bit of money out of the rest of the crap in there. I hope, just to make it all worthwhile, that you have asthma and a minor sight defect that matches mine. But I don’t want you to be a Richard Hawley fan. I want you to take that T-shirt and throw it into Truelove’s Gutter (no disrespect to you there Andrea, and your lovely present. It just feels like a romantic end for the T-shirt).

I was stupid, stupid, stupid. But I don’t care. I can’t afford not to care, but there we go. I don’t. Bye bag and things.

I checked my insurance policy. Things were looking good until I got to clause 8.1 or somesuch. We do not pay out for baggage left unattended unless it is in a locked room. What do you think we are? Stupid, stupid, stupid?

Clause 8.1.1 You’re the stupid one. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Ha ha ha!

Clause 8.1.2 You’re lucky he didn’t steal your willy whilst you had a wee, you stupid, stupid, stupid… thing.

Clause 8.1.3 We love insurees like you.

Who knows why the robber took the one bag and left the two bags of presents. Here’s my two top theories:

Theory 1: He didn’t want to draw attention to himself. He was seen, by the witness, to drop his gloves alongside my bag. He stooped to pick them up, and in the same movement scooped up my bag and swooped out of the exit. To pick up the other two bags would have involved clumsy movements and drawing attention to himself.

Theory 2: He saw they were bags of presents. He thought to himself; I’m a kindly robber and these are presents for his lovely lady. They’ve been apart over Christmas and the New Year, I have a heart, and I am only going to cause this man minor anguish by taking his bag and leaving the presents alone. I wish you both a good evening, and now I’m off, to see if I can get a quid off Wheezy Dave down the pub for a half-used Beclazone inhaler.

I’m opting for Theory 2.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. I know.

I don’t care.

Me, looking like a robber, in Alcatraz

* Using Box Office and making it speak is, I think, an example of a synecdoche, like in the film. So, even though I am stupid, stupid, stupid, I can still show off and make out like I am not, sort of, even though I really wanted to write the Box Office person, cause it seems silly having a box office that can talk.