Walk Away. Again. Again.

Music As well as the Joy Division video, my archival brain also recalls the Rannvá Káradóttir & Marianna Mørkøre art piece Magma images of which can be seen here and a short trailer that appeared in Liverpool at the Biennial in 2010. The artists later used some of the elements themselves in a pop video.

"The Turn of the Earth..."

TV Here we are then. Ten years since both of the Doctor's hearts were revived for television. Radio Times has fifteen pages of messages from the production team and actors from across the years and many of us will no doubt watch Rose again later in celebration (me from an off-air) (it's not right if there's no Norton).

Back then, in the pre-YouTube days when most of us in the UK were still on dial-up, we weren't always sure when such things as trailers would appear and where we'd have to be so that we wouldn't miss them so for a few days early in March an entirely unrelated promo caught us out.

Supervolcano was a two part documentary about a supervolcano and the trailer (which I haven't been able to track down) began with big CGI special effects and the Earth and led to about three seconds of excitement before, oh, no it's not Who. Not yet.

BBC Worldwide have uploaded both episodes of the actual documentary to their YouTube channel.

They must have thought there was some mileage in it because a year later the BBC produced the not terrible Krakatoa: The Last Days starring Olivia Williams and Rupert Penry-Jones though since it was during the season 2 broadcast, no one was mistaken that it might be more Who.

The actual trailer turned out to be a specially shot, fourth wall breaking introductions to the series which underscored that this was going to be like nothing on British television at that point.

Who wouldn't want to travel in this TARDIS?

Now I'm going back to listening to McGann's second audio season.

Soup Safari #18: Lentil at Uncle Sam's Bistro & Restaurant.

Dinner. £3.50. Uncle Sam's Bistro & Restaurant, 94 Bold Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4HY. Phone:0151 709 2111. Website.

Best Animated Character Within a Live Action Context.

Film I'll make this brief because there really isn't much to the idea. In recent years there's been much annoyance that the likes of Andy Serkis and Andy Serkis haven't been nominated for acting awards despite their motion captured performance being an important part of the process in creating a computer generated character like Gollum or Kong. Extraordinary pieces of magic like Paddington (which I saw last night and led to this brainwave) lumped into the general special effects categories when the work on them is clearly of a different order to throwing a car at a motorway or what have you.

Last night it occurred to me that what could happen is that the characters themselves are nominated. In other words, the Oscar would go to Gollum or Paddington or Groot as the result of a collaboration and the collaborators who worked on the character as a group would win the award, the voice/actors, designers and animators with the name of the character as the representative element of the achievement (the members of that group decided upon by the production as part of the nomination process perhaps with the director/producers deciding which element they're most proud of).

To separate it from straight animated characters, it would be called something like "Best Animated Character Within a Live Action Context" or something snappier. So that different achievements can be represented, you'd also perhaps only allow one character per film, which would make things tricky for Guardians of the Galaxy.  Also you'd have to limit it to characters who're predominantly CG.  Stuff like cartoon Legolas wouldn't count.

All of this would reduce the discussions about how much of an actor's performance is enhanced by animators, how much of it is truly just about creating a fully computer generated make-up or simply copying a performance.  As to who would actually get the award?  A raffle?  Or would it go to the animation studio?  Dunno.  Actually this still means Andy Serkis wouldn't end up with an award doesn't it?  Oh hum.

Art of the Title inevitably covers 22 Jump Street.

Film Clearly the funniest part of 22 Jump Street are closing titles in which we're given a preview of upcoming previews heading off into infinity along with all the logical diminishing returns. Here, in an absolutely massive post, creative directors, producers and the directors discuss the concepts and production:
"When did you begin to think about the end title sequence for the film?

Phil Lord: We had always planned to do something. Originally we ended the movie with Jonah and Channing walking away from Cube saying, “We are never ever going to do this again,” and then we were going to cut to future Jump Street movies with other actors."
The film is now available on Netflix UK and I really do recommend it. There's a clever sense of irony about the whole thing, a you know that we know that you know that we know that ...

My Favourite Film of 2003.

Film As I think we've well established by now, I cry. A lot. I especially cry at films, with films, about films, entirely aware that I'm being emotionally manipulated, but what's the point of seeing most films if it isn't to be emotional manipulated? When reviewers complain about a film being emotionally manipulative it's usually, I think, because they're embarrassed to admit that they've been touched by something they'd otherwise treat a detachment or which they think is beneath them somehow.  What they fail to notice or forget is that if a film has made them care about the characters or the situations enough for them to have that reaction, however cynically, it's done its job.

When I cried at The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King though it was for a range of complex reasons.  Much of this admittedly was because of the reasons suggested in the opening paragraph, because of character beats, because of the story, because after three years spent with these characters and this story across theatrical and extended cuts all it needed was for Howard Shore's Hobbiton theme to well up and I was gone.  As the final credits rolled, I'd been crying for a solid hour on and off, and as the final character cards appeared to an extent it was not a little amount of grief that I'd not be seeing the characters again.  Little did I know that some of them would turn up again years later ...

But some of the tears were generated by something else.  Awe.  The incident during the final battle when the olyphant stride onto screen.  By that point my suspension of disbelief was total and I was entirely convinced momentarily that I was watching some new species, quickly followed by the cineaste appreciating the sheer beauty of what these computer generated effects have accomplished.  At this point I like to imagine my face resembled Jodie Foster during that moment in Contact.  How that must have looked three rows back from the front at FACT in Liverpool.  Even having seen Jurassic Park and everything else, it was in this scene I realised CGI effect would make anything visual possible.

Few films have made me cry this much since.  Gravity perhaps.  I wretched during Doctor Who's Last Christmas during that line which Steven Moffat says in an interview in Doctor Who Magazine loads of people don't even understand.  Quite often now, perhaps because I'm getting older, such outpourings are because of fear, of what's been lost and would will be.  I know that when I cried again last time I saw Return of the King it because of the memory of seeing it that first time, remember who I was at 29, of a time when I was just still looking to the future, when I still had a plan, on the cusp of something brilliant, before the cynicism descended and that kind of awe was something new.  What has happened to me?

Dana Chivvis on Serial.

Audio Chivvis is one of the producers of the podcast and was interviewed by Miranda Sawyer in The Observer:
"You were obsessive about trying to find the truth. And yet during the series a former detective told Sarah that, in some cases, detectives just want to build a case, not find the truth. Did you find that shocking?
We were completely shocked, this concept of “bad evidence” shocked the pants off us. That detectives might not go and learn some truth in case it didn’t support their theory of the case. I get why, but as a journalist you’re like – No it’s not that I want to find facts to support my theory, I just need to find the facts that tell me what happened."
Related: Adnan Syed's lawyers file first document to challenge murder conviction.

Talks Collection:
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson.

Film  David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson are two of the most important film theorists of the past few decades and there are few people who've studied movies in an academic context who either haven't read their work and also can't say that work wasn't the reason why they managed to pass their course.  If it hadn't been for either of them I certainly wouldn't have been able to write my MA dissertation due to their lucid, clear and thoughtful explanations of narrative and genre and of all the books which I read during that year, it's their Film Art: An Introduction which I've kept referring back to.  They continue to write about film at their blog, which just yesterday posted about the origins of the very thing my dissertation was about.