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Messages - Jim Penn

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Cinema / Re: Now screening
« on: November 27, 2016, 10:05:08 am »
Anyone with access to iPlayer and in need of something to do rather than go out on a cold November Sunday afternoon could do themselves a real favour and spend 90 minutes in front of Max Ophuls' "Letter from an Unknown Woman", which is available on iPlayer for another 22 days. Wonderful... (though have your tissues ready!).

Television / Re: Television - General Recommendations
« on: November 26, 2016, 10:19:15 am »
Just watched the Kevin Brownlow documentary on Gance. What a fascinating film it is - the interviews with Gance and Dieudonne are lovely, and the scenes from La Roue and J'Accuse make me really want to see those films. But the revelation is the behind the scenes footage of the making of Napoleon. I'd no idea that any footage of that had ever existed, but seeing some of the technology and techniques used in making the film was remarkable.

And Lindsay Anderson makes for the perfect narrator, especially where he's narrating some of the film material from Gance's earlier works.

Television / Re: Television - General Recommendations
« on: November 25, 2016, 02:38:38 pm »
A couple of boxsets to treasure, Jim, real jewels both of 'em!  In turn, I'm still drooling over the Gance, Napoleon, box set and the lower adjusted price than quoted on Amazon.   Must now arrange a viewing free from interruption, together with the bonus Kevin Brownlow documentary.   :)

I might have a spin of that Brownlow documentary tomorrow, but as for a spin of the whole film, that's going to wait a couple of weeks. I recently treated myself to a HD projector (as you do!), and a friend and her other half who couldn't make the recent RFH screening are coming over in a couple of Sundays, to watch the film! Should be fun!

Television / Re: Television - General Recommendations
« on: November 25, 2016, 12:42:26 pm »
They're having a DVD sale at work today (clearing out cupboard space in of the department that's responsible for releasing BBC programmes on disc), proceeds to Children in Need. So I picked up a complete boxed set of The Two Ronnies, and the complete "The Ascent of Man" (which somehow I've never seen), both still shrink-wrapped. For FIFTEEN QUID!


Broadcast and Recorded Music / Re: Now spinning (in your head)
« on: November 22, 2016, 09:18:30 pm »
Spinning in my head currently... and "The Green Green Grass of Home"...

You can take the boy out of Wales... ;)

The Concert Hall / Re: Feldman SQ 2 at Tate Modern 3rd to 4th December
« on: November 22, 2016, 10:13:52 am »
No ticket for Jim Penn.... :(

The Concert Hall / Re: Feldman SQ 2 at Tate Modern 3rd to 4th December
« on: November 20, 2016, 05:34:53 pm »
Thanks for the info Bryn, duly applied.

News and Current Affairs / Robert Vaughn RIP
« on: November 11, 2016, 09:01:02 pm »
...and now we can sadly add Robert Vaughn to the list.

Lordy, just how many more good'uns is 2016 going to manage to squeeze in?!

Cinema / Re: "Napoleon" (1927)
« on: November 11, 2016, 03:19:55 pm »
Nice review of the film from Peter Bradshaw....

The Coffee Bar / Re: Six Letter Word Game
« on: November 11, 2016, 03:13:37 pm »
Fed up Hillary regrets electoral run.


The Coffee Bar / Re: Six Letter Word Game
« on: November 10, 2016, 04:08:37 pm »
Brave Oregon regarded Donald's electability risible.


The Coffee Bar / Re: Six Letter Word Game
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:46:38 am »
Democracy's obviously not always looking desirable.


The Coffee Bar / Re: Six Letter Word Game
« on: November 09, 2016, 12:55:33 pm »
Usual nonsense in Trump's everlasting diatribes.


The Coffee Bar / Re: Six Letter Word Game
« on: November 09, 2016, 11:25:29 am »
Trump's rise upsets Mr President's spouse.


Cinema / Re: "Napoleon" (1927)
« on: November 07, 2016, 10:19:16 am »
Got back too late last night to write anything remotely sensible about "Napoleon", but now that I've slept, I can happily report back that it was, as expected, a remarkable day. It's the third time I've seen the film live with Carl Davis conducting his score, and if I'm being ultra picky, perhaps he wasn't quite on the button last night - his tempi must have been microscopically out, as there were quite a lot of scenes where the music finished several seconds before the scene did. But I know how difficult it is to be accurate to the second over spans lasting quarter- or half-hours, so as I say, I'm being ultra picky. But he got some fine work out of the Philharmonia, and the film remains as remarkable as ever. The fact that it's about to be commercially released in the definitive Brownlow version will, I hope, lead to the film finally getting the acclaim it deserves as an actual film beyond its legendary reputation.

One really amazing moment last night, though - about ten minutes into the fourth act there's a scene where Napoleon visits the deserted Convention on the eve of his journey to Italy, and in front of the ghosts of Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just and Marat, he spells out his vision for taking the revolution beyond France, and describes his vision of Europe, thus:

"Europe will become a single people, and anyone, wherever he travels, will always find himself in a common fatherland."

(and the title card bears the legend "Historical" at the foot, to indicate that it's based on contemporary sources)

A ripple of applause broke out in three or four pockets of the audience, and spread across the whole auditorium (clearly a pro-Remain crowd in last night, then! :)). Carl Davis noticeably looked up at the screen to try to ascertain what had provoked the reaction...

And speaking of the imminent dvd/Blu-ray release, they were indeed selling some pre-release copies, so I snapped up a Blu-ray! Just having a spin of the fourth act now, and thankfully, they've put the whole triptych on in the 4:1 ratio, rather than zooming in and out or cutting between the panels (there is also the option to have a single-screen ending rather than the triptych - additionally, each of the three discs features one of the triptych panels in isolation, to allow for a closer reading of the imagery in each one, after all there is a LOT to take in during the triptych!). The one annoyance is about the package - the outer box is nice, but the inner part is a fold out card panel with the discs in slots, rather than on spindles like you'd have in a keep-case. I'm really not a fan of having to slide the playing surface of discs over the packaging like that!

But anyway, looking forward to getting to know the whole package in more detail soon. Stanley, you're in for a treat, and to anyone else who's wanted to see the film in the past but hasn't had the opportunity to do so, I heartily recommend the release when it hits the shelves in three weeks. :)

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