Charlie Chaplin was once asked how he could make someone slipping on a banana skin — already a worn-out cliche, even in those early cinematic days — funny. You couldn’t Chaplin opined: the way to do it was to set the slip up, then have your victim step over the skin and fall into an open manhole.
So yeah, this is that, except in Heaven. Ta-daaaaaaaaaaa! (Eh: they can’t all be winners).
Another movie introduced to Lord 16 overnight, although for once, it’s a movie I haven’t seen myself: Scarface is one that’s consistently fallen through my cracks over the years– I was too young to see it at the cinema, still too young and then too poor in the days of the VCR, and by the time DVDs came along and I was living with a sustainable income, the world had moved on and so had I. But a JB Hifi sale, and our current habit of going down to Perth once a year to hoover everything off the shelves landed me a copy, and so what the hell.
Perhaps it was less, shall we say, typical of Brian De Palma’s Alfred Hitchcock with a Head Injury oeuvre-the-top stylings when it was released…
Either way, a movie is watched, a Mixed Movie Quote must follow.
For some reason, I’ve been in a particularly pythonesque mood this last week. Specifically, Lord 16 and I have been revisiting some of the earlier movies of visual genius and anti #Metoo douchebag Terry Gilliam (One should never meet, hear from, listen to, or read interviews with your heroes). And make no mistake, the director of Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King, The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a storytelling hero of mine, as were the other Pythons…… when they were Python.
Post-Python… the others… ehhhh, maybe not so much.
So when I turned my school-holidays-attention-span to reading, and swallowed the David Morgan-penned Monty Python Speaks! The Complete Oral History in just over a day, I was particularly drawn to the dismissive comments made by the living Pythons to the solo work, or rather, lack of it, undertaken by Graham Chapman (TL:DR He didn’t do much, and what he did was rubbish). Which gave me pause, because I can’t recall enjoying a lot of what the remaining crew have produced over the years. Still, in for a penny, in for a post, so after due consideration, here are the five remaining Pythons, and the works I think are the highlight of their post-Python careers.
It will come as no surprise to those that know her, to know that Luscious has been struggling with feelings of rootlessness and being adrift since our son Blake died in September 2019.
But the feelings run deeper than that one cataclysmic event.
See, Luscious was a full-blown, card-carrying member of a doomsday cult for well over a decade before I met her. She was a Jehovah’s Witness, with all the brainwashing, persecution, repression, and stunting of personal self-image and ambition that goes along with it. Freeing herself from the psychological and emotional damage caused by her inculcation in the ways of the cult has been a long, difficult process. There have been numerous victories, and just as many hard, painful blows, along the way.
Now, finally, she’s reached a place in her personal and professional lives where she’s beginning to turn outwards — to want to apply her hard-won self-knowledge and agency to helping others. Inspired by other ex-Jehovah’s Witness filmmakers ands activists like Lloyd Evans, she’s taken to the camera herself: JW Welcome Wagon is the result, a channel where she will confront and discuss her own escape and journey to self-actualisation as well as issues raised by the way in which the cult is interacting with the world outside.
She’s been researching and shooting the first episode over the course of these school holidays. It’s up now.
The taming-dinosaurs-for-fun-and-profit game Ark, that is, not the lunatic-belief-held-by-people-who-shouldn’t-be-trusted-with-children Ark.
So, from last week’s ultimate in science, to this week’s ultimate in religious tosh. If you’re going to believe this sort of nonsense, then you have to believe all this sort of nonsense. And as it’s all a bunch of badly written fictional nonsense anyway, it makes it easy to play with.
It’s a holiday of movie-watching, these school holidays. Over the first weekend, I’ve introduced Lord 16 to the joys of a genuine masterpiece, and a movie that I love far more than its quality requires, so you know, swings and abattoirs.
So here, for your repulsion and entertainment, are The Mystery Men of Friday, and the Brazil of Sunday, mixed up and quoted, but not with each other because I watched them on separate nights, and it’s my blog, and you’re not my Mum, so there.
Honestly, given some of the glorious shit we see astronauts get up to in this age of 100% camera immersion, this comes across as unbelievably tame. But I have not a single doubt rattling around my empty skull that some ground control crew somewhere has given in to this temptation when faced with some prima donna space jockey screaming down the comm link at them because the chicken soup nozzle is clogged.
Where there are students, there must be a film unit. Where there is a film unit, there must be a film chosen by the teacher solely to give them something enjoyable to watch while they ignore the fact the little shits are doing anything except watching the damn movie.
To whit: this week, I’ve watched Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.
Given my feelings about organised religion, I have to be honest with you: this is a softball so soft I must have been bathing myself every night in New Yorker ‘wry’ cartoons. I genuinely can’t remember anything about this one, but given how long I must have spent drawing all those little details, it must have been a rip-roaring day at the old day job when I scribbled it out.
Stunning news today, with the sudden death of former undisputed middleweight champion Marvellous Marvin Hagler.
The man was an all-time great, both in and out of the ring, and was one of my absolute favourite boxers of all time: an explosive machine with thunder in both gloves and a will that seemed genuinely supernatural. Other boxers didn’t beat Hagler. At best, they held him off long enough to escape with a victory and all their faculties attached.
Was he the best middleweight of all time? He’s the best I’ve ever seen. The best of the ‘Four Kings’. Better than Hearns, better than Duran, better than Leonard, and if you’re better than them, who else is there? Sugar Ray Robinson is the only name left, and wouldn’t you have just died to have seen that match?
And to top the argument off, he was, of course, the victorious side of the greatest boxing match ever staged: the three-round blastorama with Tommy Hearns dubbed ‘The War’. And it was.
66 is no damn age at all. RIP, Champ.
The greatest boxing match ever staged. Told you so.