Sunday, 29 June 2008

What fun these Brits be...

Apparently Brian Sewell has been described as 'posher then the queen' and in his televisual art criticism is want to engage in more hand-wavery then Sister Wendy. A highly conservative art critic for the UK's Evening Standard, he detests the modern and conceptual in art, preferring to pomp around Europe and expound on the classics. His decadent accent, clearly reflective of his taste, is the real joy, as he pours his voice over gluttonous foods and 'dirty, naughty boys'. Enjoy the clip!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Schapelle and Aussie Criminals

I don't know why I keep watching true Aussie crime stories when I'm at home by myself late at night. It might be ok if I was snuggled up with someone, who could take my mind of it after, but as it is I keep freaking myself out. I'm a fool. Last week it was the bodies in the barrels, which I never paid much attention to when it happened as I'm not particularly interested in the morbid details. For example, when I'd heard it was people on pensions that had been killed, I always assumed it had been old people. Of course, they were young victims on disability pensions, and others, and getting to see the tortures re-enacted, well wasn't that just fun and dandy. Particularly when its interspersed with footage of the rental homes around Salisbury & Elizabeth, an area I'm quite familiar with. Deeply unsettling.
Then tonight I stupidly got sucked into watching "Schapelle Corby: The Hidden Truth", and like the foolish pawn I am, I now have to watch the second part. Why am I so susceptible to the blatant dramatisation when I sit at home alone, switching my opinion on guilt and innocence, flicking from fascination to outrage, with a slight swell of the sound track? I feel more informed of the whole situation, but have less idea of the truth then before. Ironic given the title. Now, while I type this, I'm watching re-enactments of the 'Kimberly Killer'. At least that was in the bush, but still. :|
I remember once while in Japan, talking with a Japanese guy I was dating about the relative merits of different horror movies. I was enthused by J-horror, still am, because of its general focus on tension and unsettling atmosphere and the familiarity yet strangeness of the Japanese locales. He told me that while he enjoyed American horror, he simply couldn't bring himself to watch J-horror. It was too familiar and too real. I could appreciate what he was saying, my new intimacy with the environment of Japan certainly gave those films extra resonance. It's the same with these true crime stories. There is nothing particularly skilled or artful in their retelling, its the sort of thing you see all the time from the US. Rather, its the incredible averageness of the settings, from an Aussie point of view, that makes them so effective. It reminds you how much the culture we live in consumes us completely. Even if on one objective level we can try to consider it from the outside, those primal parts of our brain are always tuned into the subtle indicators of familiarity and strangeness. Always aware of precisely where we are. Its fascinating how fear can be magnified by familiarity.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

My Saturday Night with Facebook...

It won't fit here, so I have to link to it.
Star Wars Fun.

Cyndi Lauper Rocks

In contrast to my somewhat long-winded Hard Candy rant, let me keep this short. Cyndi Lauper kicks Madonna's hard candy ass. 'High and Mighty' is an awesome track, produced by Amsterdam's Scumfrog, who has remixed Kelis, Bowie and Kylie among others. Below (audio only) are two of my favourite tracks, 'Echo' and the Basement Jaxx produced 'Rocking Chair'. Cyndi has apparently done vocals on one of the track's on their new album too, which excites me no end. (Still wish they would work with Annie Lennox, but Cyndi is almost as good!) 'Same Ol' Story' is brilliant too, unlike the big M, who droppd the f-word into 'I Love New York', Cyndi sings it with every chorus of 'It's the same old fucking story'. Also below is the first video from the album, 'Into the night life', by the same producer as 'Echo'. Have to go get my groove on now.