Tuesday, June 30, 2009


From film diary



Glastonbury was filmed by Julien Temple and aims to tell the story of the festival and show some of the highlights from down the years in a way that is very much in homage to / blatantly ripping off the Woodstock film.

Temple had access to a much greater range of footage than Michael Wadleigh did when making Woodstock though and so he attempts to get a hand around roughly 35 years of the Glastonbury festival, from its creation as the Glastonbury fayre, through the Pyramid festival, right up to the Glastonbury festival of Contemporary Performing Arts that it is today. In this manner it sort of meanders through the decades in a haphazard fashion. We get grainy footage of hippies from the 70s, apparently dancing to the Scissor Sisters, cut amongst festival-goers of the 21st century.

Mr Eavis thinking of all that cash...

It does attempt to tell the story of the festival. A bit. Michael Eavis funded the film but, having given Temple a free hand to make it as he saw fit, it doesn't go over the top in painting him as the hero of the piece. In fact, he's shown being a pretty miserable bastard to a bunch of travellers who wanted £10 each for their contribution to the entertainment. He also does admit to a news reporter that it's primarily about the money....

Some of the performances are fantastic, though are - for obvious reasons - weighted towards the more recent years. There's Bjork, Bowie, Pulp, Massive Attack and loads more. Sadly, other's are less great: The Bravery surely only got into the film thanks to the bassist playing naked....

As such, the film really has no idea whether it's concert footage or a documentary. We get a vaguely chronological story, broken up by decidedly non-chronological songs. It all feels a little muddled at times.

Nick Cave

... and his crowd

The redeeming feature is definitely the footage of interviews with the locals of Glastonbury during the early years. We get the grumpy man who responds the the question "will you be going to the festival?" with the fantastic "Yeah.... with a tommy gun", but the clincher is surely the friendly local who struggles with the hippies' anti-social smell:

"It's not just a matter of body odour, for some of these people it's really evil smelling. Someone has to make a stand against there very dirty, very unwashed people."

Overall then, watch it if you've been to Glastonbury, watch it if you're going to go to Glastonbury, watch it if you'd like to go to Glastonbury and watch it whilst crying into a pint of cider if you try and fail to get tickets to go to Glastonbury.

But if you're not particularly interested in Glastonbury, don't watch it expecting a riveting story...

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Tonight I watched this. Predictably, it was mostly rubbish.

(Though we did rather like the line: "I'll say this once: Don't shit on my lawn")

Mini Moni the Movie: the Great Cake Adventure

This is, without doubt, one of the strangest things I have ever seen. Too weird for IMDb to even list it, Mini Moni the Movie: the Great Cake Adventure is just too damn odd to be true.

From film diary

It clocks in at a little less than an hour and is mostly animation with some live scenes. So far, so good. It's entirely set in a café that serves the most fantastic cakes and, er... as you might (or might not) expect, this involves a rogue, body-image obsessed queen who hates cakes, fairie minions who turn the cakes into stone, a talking fridge, legions of asexually reproducing gingerbread men....

I knew Japanese films had a tendency towards the weird but this is something entirely unexpected!

Please watch this if ever you get the chance!

The trailer I found is sadly unsubtitled but is stil worth a watch, if only to get a sense of how truly mad this really is:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tokyo Gore Police

'Ruka always shows no mercy'


From director Yoshihiro Nishimura comes a completely bonkers but very fun tale of genetic mutation, police brutality and (of course) heaps of bloodshed. The story is entirely silly and the characters aren't exactly deep and well-crafted but... does that really matter?

This is a film which very much does what it sets out to do. We get dismembered torsos, severed limbs, crazy animal-claw mutations and a heap of body parts just begging for someone to ram at high speed with a police car. So what does Ruka do? Why, she rams them of course, sending arms, legs and other body bits scattering across the roads of Japan.

For a film that starts out with chainsaw wielding hand-to-hand combat, it makes its intentions clear from the off and doesn't get a lot more sensible. It's decidedly too long however, and at a fraction under 2 hours you can be forgiven for having got a little tired of the ultra-violence. There's only so many people you can see being beheaded before it begins to get a little repetitive.

Still, that's hardly a major complaint. What you get here is probably pretty unlike most things you might have seen and definitely won't be forgotten in a hurry. Definitely worth a watch...

(...and I haven't even mentioned the girl with the crocodile-jaw legs...)


And it pretty much goes without saying, but watch the subtitled version, not the dub, yeh?

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

"I'm just out for a good time. The rest is propaganda"


This one's a classic. Re-watched it yesterday and can strongly recommend it to anyone. A film of life in 1960s industrial Nottingham, lead character Arthur is a hard-working factory labourer, tied to his lathe all week and heading to the pubs for boozing and womanising at the weekends. The story's fun, but this is mostly a fab picture of how life was 'back in the day'.

From Arthur's pints of stout and 14 pound wage to the stiff policeman who "don't want no trouble here" and everyone going to the pub on a saturday night with their aunties and mothers, this shows a very different world.

As if to demonstrate, the censors were apparently unhappy about the film's suggestion of extra-marital sex. Did we see the naughty adulterers (adulterists?) at it? A sweaty-scene? A flash of leg? Oh no, they merely wake up in the same bed. This film was somewhat naughty in its day, though nowadays we wouldn't bat an eyelid.

And look out for the title of Arctic Monkeys' first album, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", they lifted it from this film.

No Man's Land: Rise of the Reeker

IMDb here

Stumbled across this fairly lame action/horror attempt on zone horror. Starts as a fairly tame sherriff vs. robbers film, turns into a fairly tame sherriff and robbers vs. monster film and then descends into a confusing 'what-the-hell-just-happened?' film. So not great then.

The only part that is truly wonderful is the sequence where the characters discover the invisible wall (yes, seriously...) that's trapping them in this haunted little bit of desert. One guy plays out the full Parisian Street-mime repetoir, feeling the invisible wall, leaning on it, pressing his face against it and finally running headlong into it.

His performance is only bettered by the guy who drives his car head on into the invisible wall. Not only is it one of the better moments of the film but he also loses half his head doing it. Which has got to be good, no?

Last half-hour's quite fun. The rest is pants.

Trailer here: