Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ – worse than the worst lesbian film!

Having one of the worst colds known to mankind makes one act in a totally unreasonable and out-of-character manner, I have found. Take last night as an example, when I was reduced to a sniffling ball of snot on the secondary sofa in the lounge (my Homie is also sick and had secured his spot on the primary sofa, before I returned home from work, early. Naturally I need to maintain distance between myself and his Norovirus, so was forced to retreat to the inferior seating unit).

After sitting still for long enough to eat a bowl of soup and a couple of warm wholemeal pitta breads, I decided that we needed an activity to ensure that my mind didn’t start hallucinating from inactivity. TV was a non-starter – I refuse to acknowledge the Dingles, physical exertion was out and my Homie was threatening to do some more of his mathematics homework (he’s just started an Open University course – cute).

This is why I suggested we watch a DVD – and knowing Homie’s distaste for watching repeats (unless they are of the West Wing, Battlestar Galactica or supreme fag-fest that is Shortbus format, none of which were to my taste last night) it had to be un nouveau film. So, after scouting the outer recesses of the DVD shelf, I chanced upon a shrink wrapped copy of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. I wondered, briefly, why this film had not been opened eagerly, by whichever Homie had put it there…

“Winner of four academy awards, including Best Picture,” no less. In 1977, this film was the badger, apparently. So, not having a vast knowledge of Mr Allen’s films – asides from that crap one he did a couple of years ago with Scarlett Johanssen and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers about a tennis coach who shoots someone – I decided to give it a go.

‘Even if it’s not brilliant, how bad could it be?’ I thought to myself as I sat back ready to passively absorb this little cinematic novelty. Remember, the case said it was good – even if that was more than 30 years ago…

Nothing could have prepared me for how bad this film was. After just ten minutes of viewing it had surpassed both Bound and Better Than Chocolate – the two worst lezzer movies I have ever seen. Stand aside Violet and Corky – I have found a character more annoying than the two of you combined! Actually, irritating is probably a better way to describe it. Homie and I lasted approximately 22 minutes until we both snapped and forced the DVD player to spit the damn thing out. The only reason we put up with it for that long was because we were both under the influence of our respective ailments, meaning that actioning movement was harder than usual.

That’s why we came to endure two and twenty minutes of Allen’s nasally New Yorwark drawl, which is largely self-psychoanalysis and third person references to his (lead) character. He talks a lot, about himself. Unsurprisingly, said character is not unlike the real Woody Allen, if not a near-perfect reflection. How else could he be so enthusiastic about the boringly insignificant details of this blokes life?

This film was so bad that it was actually starting to make me a bit ‘ragey’. Usually if a film is crap it’s possible to ignore it and continue watching in a non-attentive sort of way. This was something quite different. That whiney nasal drone could be used to torture uncooperative hostages, which makes the ’15’ certificate on this film seem somewhat irresponsible. I’d rather eat my own head than be locked in a room with this film showing.

That aside, what I really don’t get is how this self-indulgent hour and twenty nine minutes managed to win such ‘critical’ acclaim. Maybe the judging panel on that year’s Oscars was full of people doing floppy-handed shoulder-shrugging movements while down-turning the corners of their mouths, like Allen does every time he finishes one of his irritating little self-absorbed sentences in Annie Hall…ugh! 

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My Daily Meat

I’m starting to think that maybe I’m only able to write blogs when I’ve been to see films. I say that because I’m about to tell you about the film I went to see last night – Our Daily Bread. This German made pause-for-thought details the 21st century foodweb in all it’s bloody gutty glory. Think sharp knives, empty-bellied pigs hanging on hooks and a lot of blood and you should get a fairly accurate image of the finer moments from this film.

There is no soundtrack or narrative, just animals being moved around in various states of mortality. This included cow sex with human help, salmon gutting and the story of milk. Basically it was a sneaky peek into what happens out the back of those big Tesco stores and has no doubt been spawning vegetarians at an alarming rate since 2005 when it was released in Germany.

Here comes the lipstick

Here comes the lipstick…

Despite being a firm believer in the ‘vegetarians aren’t quite right’ school of thought, I thought a particularly gruesome scene when pig bellies were sliced open, allowing entrails to spill forth, would be enough to put even the most committed carnivore off its meat. If not that then surely the bit where a cow was cesareaned while fully conscious and upright (subtly yet tightly tied to a metal barrier). And then that bit where the dead and freshly ‘opened’ hanging cow carcass spurts blood and bodily fluid like a projectile vomiting Norovirus victim. For at least five minutes. Alas no. I was ravenous by the end of it, dreaming about the Hamburger Union cheese and bacon burger I’d had the day before. I was clearly born to eat the meat.

Bacon

Asides from the meaty bloody bits, oh, and the cute little fluffy yellow chicks that get conveyer-belted around at break-feather pace before being tagged, fattened and electrocuted (before being plucked, de-limbed and packaged), the film was actually rather arty. The long, fixed focused shots were simple yet incredibly well-planned, allowing just the right amount of context. A pleasure to watch.

The audience clearly thought so too, as no one walked out. Indeed, one bloke sitting just in front of me, made a few involuntary noises and shoulder movements that I strongly suspected to be laughter-related. Heartless bastard clearly didn’t have a soft spot for those poor little fluffy-wuffy chicks.

Lesbian Builders (and ‘Handy Women’)

I feel compelled to post the following link on the basis that anyone who reads this blog should be aware that lesbian ‘handy women’ are now available for hire over the internet.

Gone are the days of scanning the personals at the back of Diva magazine; no more lurking in a downstairs corner of the Candy Bar; WhoDarGirls.com?

Could it be the days of unreliable women are a thing of the past?

C’est possible. To quote www.lesbianbuilder.com, “You want lesbian handy women who actually do what they say they are going to do? Look no further.”

Now that’s a novel idea…

Hire yourself a handjob here

Kino sans musique (and lesbians)

This time I’m going to tell you about a film that doesn’t involve lezzers. Shocking, eh? But believe it or not I don’t just visit the kino to watch lesbian-interest movies. This time I took myself out to the Curzon in Soho (second only to the Curzon in Mayfair, in all it’s glorious opulence with marble walled bathrooms and satisfyingly thick pile carpets. Red, naturally) to see the grizzly 122 minute snapshot of communist life that is Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days.

The film is set in post Ceauşescu (miserable boring commie git) Romania circa. 1989 with scenery that is a typically washed out, barren affair with grotty towerblocks and rabid dogs barking in darkened damp alleyways aplenty. The characters all look like they didn’t get enough milk when they were growing up and baggy stonewashed denim shirts = fashionable. And, in keeping with all of the above, the storyline is suitably grim. Needless to say, I enjoyed it.

I shan’t spoil the plot but suffice to say that neither beginning, middle or ending is happy, and there is a particularly gruesome scene with a dead fetus lying on the bathroom floor. Abortion in Romania is not acceptable now and was even less so in 1989 – it was punishable with a prison sentence at that time, not to mention social exclusion. Thus the need for the desperate measures in this film…which made for pretty uncomfortable viewing. The Tarkovsky-esque cinematography only added to this.

The best thing about films like this, and Eastern European cinema generally, is the total lack of soundtrack. There is no doleful Elliot Smith track accompanying the forlorn yet pensive character’s walk down the deserted street, nor are there any stringed instruments with a cue to play when crucial plot-defining decision needs to be made. This makes for a refreshing take on angst and pain, because it makes everything seem more convincingly real (for me, anyway).

And it’s subtle. It was only when the silent credits rolled that I realised the film had been music free. I’m torn about whether ‘Elliot Smith-ridden soundtracks’ are a good thing or not. A couple of other films I’ve seen recently used them to good effect, and had they been silent, just wouldn’t have worked.Gus van Sant’s Paranoid Park and my new favourite teen-flick Juno (got tickets for the special preview at the BFI, suckers!) both used this sort of music to good effect. And had Little Miss Sunshine not had a lovely DevotchKa soundtrack I probably would have fallen asleep somewhere along that long dusty road to the children’s beauty pageant.

Likewise, when I went to see Hallam Foe last year, I was getting excited about purchasing the OST after about 20 minutes of viewing.

So, I think I conclude that when I’m Prime Minister there won’t be a need to outlaw film soundtracks, especially considering that the last time I went for a pensive walk, I did have a Bright Eyes soundtrack playing loudly in my ears, courtesy of my iPod, so maybe those Blockbuster films with Elliot Smith-ridden soundtracks aren’t so fake after all.

And just FYI, Bright Eyes has nothing to do with Bonnie Tyler and her bloody eclipse.

K-Town and cameras (not lesbians!)

A few months ago I made an exciting discovery while enjoying one of my regular lunch time strolls around the ‘Office. I chanced upon a little charity shop, tucked away under a large awning, on the corner of the road behind where I spend my weekly working hours. Forcing myself to ignore the strong scent of urine, and – on that first visit – the old man at the till, I spent a good ten minutes checking out the interior.

Naturally I was scouting for cameras and any other photographic paraphenalia that might have found its way into this little treasure trove of discarded treats. And, on that occasion I was not rewarded for my valiant efforts at piss-ignorance.

However, subsequent trips have been far more fruitful.A few weeks ago, the familar glint of what could only be the 45mm f/1.9 fixed lens of a 1961 Canon Canonet caught my hungry eyes and it wasn’t long after having it in my sights, that I found myself strolling up the road with yet another vintage camera to add to my collection. Did it take me by surprise? Yes, I have to admit that it did slightly, although since then I have vowed to stalk past the shop on a weekly basis.

Canonet

Not bad for £2, eh? These puppies regularly seem to trade for upwards of £15 on eBay, when in good condition, so I don’t feel even remotely hard-done-by. In fact, the old man in the Wee Shop even offered to give me a refund if it didn’t work! 

Last week’s trip to the Shop was equally exciting, as I chanced upon another two-pound-treat. This time it was the plastic casing of a Kodak 66X instamatic camera that caught my eyes (not so hungry this time, as I’d had a ham and cheese sandwich pre-walk). This was, once again, secured for the princely sum of two pounds. And excitingly contained a roll of exposed film. 

Kodak 66X instamatic

This camera uses 127 instamatic film, which is unfortunately no longer available. This makes me doubt the safety of my plan to take the aforementioned roll of (colour) film to my local Jessops for destruc…, oops I mean processing. Last time I tried their colour processing service my roll of 1970s Kodacolor came back blank. Hmmm.

Anyway, that moral dilemma is still ongoing so shall leave it there for now, asides from teasing you with a hint at what might constitute my next post on here. It may well be along the lines of ‘Who needs eBay?’ because if the little old man in the Wee Shop keeps delivering, PayPal may well fall into receivership.

That said, I just bought a beautiful Coronet Stereogram camera off the ‘Bay and am eagerly awaiting it’s safe arrival in K-Town…

Lost lesbian words

It’s been so long since I last wrote something on here that I almost forgot my login details. That’s embarassingly uncreative of me. The reason for this lack of attention is not – contrary to some cynical opinions – the precence of a girlfriend, but rather an unexplainable lack of lesbian imagination on my part. Yes, I’m struggling to think about lesbians, which is weird…

Hell, I’m getting more lesbian per minute than I’ve had in months so I’m definitely not lacking suitably inspiring company. And last night, I upheld the stereotype by eagerly gathering a bunch of my likeminded pals (lesbian friends) and excitedly heading off to the BFI the minute I heard a lezzer movie was being screened.

‘Even Cowgirls Get The Blues’ is a lesser known 1993 Gus Van Sant effort. Lesser known for good reason, it is shit. Actually not as bad as Better Than Chocolate, but definitely lacking in the plot department, not to mention boasting some serious weirdness and a cast of some of the most revolting lezzers I’ve seen in a long while. Rain (who briefly changed her name to Rainbow, because she deemed Rain ‘too dreary’) Phoenix and her hairy cowgirl armpits can stay in the Wild West, because if they came any nearer to me I fear I might have to sick up the lasagne I just ate for supper into her hirsute abysses. Perhaps next time she changes her name it should be to Rainforest.

Needless to say, the rubbishness of this leztek film has done little to encourage my creative lesbian mind, which is still blankety blank on the blog front. That’s not to say that I’ve turned into a boring no-life though. Far from it. I’ve been spending some quality time with my new friend Sam (affectionately named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he of dirty minded Kubla Khan fame):
Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar with Zeiss 75mm lens. Fit

This is a Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar with Zeiss 75mm lens. Fit. And as those in the know will no doubt know, it’s the exact same model used by Diane Arbus, my hero. It is possible that the abnormally large quantity of excitement afforded me by this recent acquisition is the cause of my inability to construct the witty and intelligent sentences that used to form my regular blogs…

Meet Diane Arbus:

Diane Arbus