tue 12/12/2017

theASHtray: Beyoncé, 'Bond', and Eddie Redmayne's lips | reviews, news & interviews

theASHtray: Beyoncé, 'Bond', and Eddie Redmayne's lips

theASHtray: Beyoncé, 'Bond', and Eddie Redmayne's lips

Yeah butt, no butt: our new columnist sifts through the fag-ends of the cultural week

Non! I cannot! It is too - how you say... - weird! (What she said.)BBC/Working Title

So, Birdsong is over, and for all the arts-crit ink spilled upon it I am still none the wiser vis-à-vis my three main points of concern. First: it is a truth universally acknowledged (I asked around) that the most memorable episode in the Faulks novel was the one about the blowjob. This scene was not so much absent from the TV version as, er... cunningly re-gendered. Why?! Second: there was, in the first few minutes of the "drama", a superfluous and sarky line (by a Frenchman, obviously) about modernist composers who can only work around four notes. Which was not  particularly funny – personal opinions of modernism notwithstanding – until it was followed by three hours of piano soundtrack performed entirely on four notes. Third (but presumably unrelated to First): Eddie Redmayne's lips. Are the same colour as the rest of his face. What is that about? 

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Not that the minimalist Birdsong music ("now featuring actual birds") wasn't rather affecting. Likewise the eloquently unobtrusive soundtrack to Grant Gee's feature-length music-video-for-a-lost-genius Patience (After Sebald), by The Caretaker. This will soon be available on Amazon, in its own right; but if you're not instinctively inimical to the idea of a 90-minute doco about a dead German prose-poet, I'd strongly recommend swallowing the Patience project whole

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Down at the local moviedrome this week, two pearlers from the vox pop:

1) Man in queue [name that movie!]: 

'In the featre it was all puppets and that, but the way Spielberg's done it, right, you can see the horse all wrapped up in barb wire and cryin!'

2) Conversation between me and Miss January during trailers for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

HER: Is this a James Bond?

ME: Eh?

HER: Is this a James Bond?

ME: [with certain toneThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...?

HER: [by way of explanation] It's got that dude in it.

ME: Daniel Craig.

HER: Yes.

ME: ...?

HER: ...??

ME: Right. [deep breath] See... the thing about acting

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@AlaindeBotton has tw@ so many perky one-liners from his new Religion for Atheists that I was beginning to feel I needn't bother buying a copy. Penguin, though, have very kindly sent me a free one, and a quick browse reveals that the work in question calls, amongst other things, for a restructuring of the Tate Modern along emotional-thematic lines, and politely suggests that abstract artists and their curators be encouraged to "tell us more explicitly what important notions they are trying sensually to remind us of". Or, as the lessthetic amongst us might put it: to justify some of their BS. #welikethisideabravo

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Question. Is there a limit to the number of times you can experience a piece of music as your 7am wake-up call without discovering that you want to slay the composer? In this totally hypothetical instance we’re talking about Beyoncé's "Love On Top" (the oh-so-un-consummate irony), a song which, even when not processed through an iPhone, is to "music" what Dairy Lea is to "cheese". Except that it is also cheese. Science-types, please advise.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the most memorable episode in Birdsong was the one about the blowjob

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