Logan: 11 Revelations From Director James Mangold:
“I gave them many escape valves. We take place in 2029, and X-Men Apocalypse ends in 2024. There’s five blank years there that are wide open to seeing how things got from here to there. Or else you could do what I would advocate, which is imagine a different world and create a new movie, and you don’t need the permission of the other movies.”
What bookstore employees do behind your back:
"With noise at a premium in libraries and bookshops, much of any fun to be had there needs to be visual."
Bothy-bagging: Scotland's best-kept secrets revealed:
"Bothies - remote shelters in the wilderness where walkers can spend the night free of charge - have long been one of Scotland's best-kept secrets. A new book has revealed the location of 80 of the mountain huts. For more than 50 years the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) has maintained an eclectic network of shelters across the wilderness areas of Scotland."
Steven Moffat speaks with TV Drama about his work on the hit drama series Doctor Who and Sherlock:
"A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Steven Moffat began writing for the series when it was reintroduced in 2005 after 16 years off the air. Five years later he was elevated to head writer and executive producer of the iconic British sci-fi hit. At the same time, Moffat was working with fellow Who writer Mark Gatiss on making a contemporary drama based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s quintessentially British detective Sherlock Holmes. Over the course of just 13 episodes in four seasons, Sherlock became a worldwide viewing phenomenon and racked up a Peabody and multiple BAFTA and Emmy wins."
Phoebe Fox: 'I'm always playing bloody aristocrats!'
"In Simon Godwin’s riotous, rowdy new Twelfth Night at the National Theatre, Phoebe Fox wanted to give her Olivia a bit more to do. “There’s a whole scene in a drag club and a massive fight breaks out,” she explains cheerfully. “On the sly, I said to the guy who choreographed the fight, ‘Look, I know I’m nobility, so I wouldn’t, but do you think I could get a punch in there?’” He happily obliged. “So I walk in, deck a girl, and then start speaking. I loved that.”"
Life Here's a cautionary tale about planning ahead and checking destination details. Yesterday was my monthly visit to London. The day in summary: Abbey Road (see below), 221b Baker Street, Notting Hill for Portobello Road and the book shop from the film Notting Hill, what remains of BBC Television Centre, Westfield shopping centre and Brick Lane. Find above my evening meal, the most expensive burger they have on the menu at Ed's Easy Diner back at Euston Station. The NUS extra alumni card allows you to get 50% off food. I shall not be eating properly again for a week.
To Abbey Road and the chance to visit a Beatles landmark that isn't in Liverpool and experience what it must be like for tourists to take the bus out to Penny Lane and discover with some disappointment that it's just a suburban street (and that the lyrics of the song are really describing the bottom end of Church Road and the junction with Smithdown Road). As expected Abbey Road is just a suburban street. Nevertheless it's still exciting to see an iconic cultural landmark. I'll get to the Tower of London eventually.
After a glance at the tube map, it seemed logical that Abbey Road, home of the zebra crossing on The Beatles album cover and the recording studio would be next to the DLR station called Abbey Road. I was even quite proud that I managed to work out a route from Euston which meant I didn't need to repeat my DLR journey from last month and mostly utilise the Northern Line instead. On the way there I began listen to album itself and was full of excitement as I skipped up the steps from the platform the station only to be confronted with this:
Stop giggling Londoners. No actually don't. It was my own fault. On the upside TfL are kind enough to provide this punning sign knowing full well that there are enough stupid people in the world who (a) have looked at the actual album cover thought this suburban area would be anywhere near dockland and indeed that all of the musicians would actually travel out to the Dockland to work and so (b) made this journey.
After adding an extra hour's travel time there and back again, I did eventually make it to Abbey Road turning the corner just as the final track of the album, The End reached its conclusion a coincidence you could just plan. This was my first listen right the way through and although it's enjoyable for the most part, it mirrors most pop records in that its obvious to see why those songs were chosen for singles.
The Studios own website have a CCTV camera set up so its possible to see yourself cross the road and so here's the back of me dodging traffic:
There's a lot of traffic dodging, a constant stream of tourists to the spot and most of them, at some point, walk into the middle of the zebra crossing to create the pose made famous in the publicity campaign for the last series of Doctor Who. After watching the mess of honking horns and near death photography for a while, a tourist couple asked me to take their photograph, which I obliged, standing in the middle of the road just long enough for them to get into the position. Then they offered to do the same:
No, I have no idea either. Or who she is. But that's rather the problem. Everyone wants to have their picture taken alone but there are too many people so you end up with shots like these. But enjoy my normcore and scruffy hair nonetheless.
The crossing works in reverse to how its supposed to. The traffic doesn't stop until someone is actually walking across it. Presumably if the cards actually stopped and waited for people to cross or get their picture taken as per every other zebra crossing, they'd be there a very long time.
Film Here’s a comment from underneath this YouTube bootleg of Segundo de Chomón’s La maison ensorcelée (potential English titles, The Witch House or The House of Ghosts or The Haunted House). Scrainbow1234 says, “4:50 inception lol” which is shorthand for noticing the similarity between the way in which the entire house shifts backwards and forwards taking the people and contents with it and the famous corridor action sequences from Inception.
Having watched the scene through a couple of times, I’m fairly sure they were shot in a similar way, the entire set on a “gimbal” with people on either side shifting back and forth causing the floor to up tip backwards and forwards. But I’m still not quite certain. There’s something about the way the bed moves and the actors which means that I’d also theorise that it’s the camera which is moving and the bed is being shifted back and forth by wire or the acrobatic talents of the people. Or both.
But I like not knowing. It makes the scene much more compelling. As discussed a couple of weeks ago, digital verisimilitude has led some films and filmmakers to become far less compelling that they might have been or once were. We assume everything is digital so we’re less wowed by the ingenuity of film makers despite the fact that often just as much ingenuity is required in order to create the rendering and textures.
That’s certainly impacted on my enjoyment of horror films. More often than not, I find myself unfrightened for much of the time because I know full well that the monster or action on screen has been designed and created, I’m unable to embrace my suspension of disbelief. Jump cuts are idiotic. Sometimes I’m even annoyed when the horror intrudes when I’m enjoying the company of the characters or the setting so much. It Follows. The Conjuring. The Visit.
Only now and then is there a film which creeps me out precisely because I can’t account for what I’m seeing. The artifice is still there and probably intellectually I know that it’s all fake, all of it, but there are incidents which don’t seem to fit, weren’t anticipated and my brain does what it should do and freaks out. The emergence of the antagonist in Sinister, the middle section of Silent House, The Awakening, Unfriended, As Above So Below. The VVitch
La maison ensorcelée isn’t scary at all, but despite its often humorous intent it is creepy because of the element of surprise, the unexpected and the sense of it being an artefact of an earlier era. Director Jennifer Kent thought as much too and included a section of this silent in The Babadook, another film which did manage to scare me because of its weirdness. If only more filmmakers realised that it’s never about the CGI monster. It’s about us.