30 October 2009

The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain

Performing a medley of five songs sung in the round, possibly set to the music of Handel. (Yeah, like I'd know either way!) I love the oh-so-English vocals.

[Via SuperTom]

28 October 2009

The greatest vampire film ever

'Yes I saw Twilight - my granddaughter made me watch it, she said it was the greatest vampire film ever.  After the 'film' was over I wanted to ... smack her across the head with my shoe, but I do not want a book called Grannie Dearest written on me when I die, so instead I gave her a ... DVD of Murnau's 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu instead and told her, now that's a vampire film'
- Screen legend Lauren Bacall on Twitter (Quoted in Guardian, 28 October 2009)

25 October 2009

The importance of clear guidelines

From a list of trivia relating to the film The Right Stuff:

Original composer John Barry left the film because he found it impossible to understand what Philip Kaufman wanted from the score, citing a meeting where the director described his ideal score as "sounding like you're walking in the desert and you see a cactus, and you put your foot on it, but it just starts growing up through your foot."

- IMDB.com

23 October 2009

Roughing it in the South Island

'...[T]he experiences of the surveyor and explorer Thomas Brunner, scrawled in a damp journal while traversing the south-west coast of the South Island [of New Zealand] in 1847, exposed just how little British civilisation (or any other for that matter) had penetrated these vast tracts of the country's territory [...]

26th. I am getting so sick of this exploring, the walking and the diet being both so bad, that were it not for the shame of the thing, I would return to the more comfortable quarters of the Riwaka river.

27th. Worse and worse walking, the rocks being steep and rugged, and covered with underbrush and quantities of brier, the bush almost impassable for the quantity of dead timber and moss. The evening showering for rain.

26th. Heavy rain all day. Broke our fast on a species of fungus found on the rotten trees.

24th. Last night we were again visited with a deluge of rain, which completely covered the surface of the earth, so that we had to sit all night ankle deep in water.

27th. [...] our dog nearly consumed (I was compelled, though very reluctantly, to give my consent to killing my dog Rover), and we could find no other eatable: the weather too cold for eels, and birds are not seen in the black birch woods'

- Quoted in Paul Moon, The Newest Country in the World: A History of New Zealand in the Decade of the Treaty, Auckland, 2007, p176.

13 October 2009

Bedroom antics

'Turning a blind eye to [French] politicians' love lives has been traditional in a nation of strict privacy laws.  For years, the press politely left unreported the mistress and child of the socialist president, Francois Mitterand.  Jacques Chirac's sacked chauffeur wrote a book about his boss's weakness for women, inspiring the joke: "Chirac?  Three minutes.  Shower included"'
- Guardian, 12 October 2009