Monday, 30 June 2008

A BOWIE FREEBIE


Yesterday's Mail On Sunday newspaper contained a free David Bowie CD. iSELECTBOWIE is a collection of Bowie's own choices of the 12 greatest tracks from his career, which are as follows:

LIFE ON MARS

SWEET THING/CANDIDATE/SWEET THING (reprise)

THE BEWLAY BROTHERS

LADY GRINNING SOUL

WIN

SOME ARE

TEENAGE WILDLIFE

REPETITION

FANTASTIC VOYAGE

LOVING THE ALIEN

TIME WILL CRAWL (MM remix)

HANG ON TO YOURSELF (live, LA 20th October 1972)

A few surprises to be sure, but what are your fave dozen Bowie tracks?

Friday, 27 June 2008

LONDON FILM FESTIVAL: OPENING NIGHT ANNOUNCED

It may seem a long way off, but the 52nd London Film Festival - to be held between 15th-30th October - already has its opening film confirmed. Wednesday October 15th will see the world premiere of FROST/NIXON from Oscar winning director/producer Ron Howard. Adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan from his own stage play, Howard's film casts Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprising their West End and Broadway roles as David Frost and President Richard Nixon. The televised Frost/Nixon post-Watergate interviews drew the largest audience for a news programme in the history of American TV in the summer of 1977, and promises to make for an absorbing viewing experience.

The LFF have pulled off a real coupe with this opening night film, and Leicester Square will be really buzzing that particular evening. Those unable to get tickets will be able to see the film at UK cinemas from 9th January 2009.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

IT'S TIME FOR GLASTONBURY!






The weekend of June 27th-29th will see the world famous Glastonbury music festival taking place. The festival is held in south west England at Worthy Farm, which is some 6 miles from the town of Glastonbury.The immediate area is reputed to have a number of ley lines, and has long been considered to have spiritual and mythological sources of interest for 'new age' followers. Since 1981, the festival has been organised by local farmer Michael Eavis, though the first festival at the farm was held in 1970 with T. Rex as headline act.



Over the years, the likes of David Bowie, Oasis, R.E.M, The Cure, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Al Green, Dame Shirley Bassey, The Who and Iggy And The Stooges have all performed there in front of ever-growing audience figures: this year's attendance seems likely to peak at just under 180,000. Unfortunately, the decidedly inclement English weather has often put a lot more than a dampener on proceedings with the nearby Whitelake River causing flooding problems when the obligatory rain comes tumbling down.



This year's line-up offers the usual wide choice for music lovers. On the famous Pyramid stage, you can look forward to Kings Of Leon, The Fratellis, KT Tunstall, Kate Nash, James Blunt, Crowded House, Leonard Cohen, Goldfrapp, Neil Diamond, The Verve, The Raconteurs and many more. Vampire Weekend, The Hoosiers, Massive Attack, The Zutons, Jimmy Cliff, Joan Armatrading, Sinead O'Connor, Joan Baez, Suzanne Vega, John Cale, Pete Doherty, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Proclaimers,Kate Melua, The Levellers and Billy Bragg are just a mere handful of the other acts who will be performing on the various stages during the weekend.



For those of us unable to attend, BBC television will be undertaking live coverage of the festival, and those lucky enough to have access to digital television will find the best coverage on there. There's also a Glastonbury web cam at the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/glastonbury/2008/webcam/



So, once again thousands of people will make the annual pilgrimage to this glorious festival of music and, for a few days at least, thoughts of the 'credit crunch' and the prospect of an extremely rocky year ahead will doubtless be banished. Let us hope that the weather God smiles benevolently upon this area and that the miserable English 'summer' gives way to a warm, sunny weekend.



To all the bands, their road crews, the organisers, the festival staff, and of course, the fans, I hope you all have a truly wonderful and safe festival.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAP OF LUXURY


1957. Soviet agents infiltrate a military base in the Nevada desert in search of a crate that holds the body of a Roswell alien. After being forced to lead them to their goal, Indiana Jones escapes, survives a nuclear blast and embarks on a quest to find and return a crystal skull (which is believed to contain considerable psychic power) to the legendary city of Akator/El Dorado.

With a cast boasting the talents of Ray Winstone, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt and Karen Allen, the 4th instalment of the Jones' Chronicles seemed set fair to be a high octane entry in the series. Unfortunately, the script and a series of largely lack lustre set-pieces fail to deliver and the end result is one of sheer boredom. While I'm not really an Indy fan, the previous trio of films did at least entertain me for portions of the running times, but there's precious little here to enthuse over. For me, David Koepp's script is the weakest of the series and one can't help but wonder how things would have turned out if Frank Darabont's labours had been green lighted. Still, the day was not a total waste of time as my wife and I took the opportunity to pay our first visit to the new cinema in Derby's Westfield complex.

Wow!!! This 12 screen theatre is simply the last word in luxury. A beautifully designed, spacious lounge area with the box office next door to a restaurant and a particularly smart licenced bar. Adorning the walls are posters for forthcoming attractions with LCD screens underneath playing a trailer for each film. The auditoriums follow the same high standards, with comfortable reclining seats, top quality projection and the latest surround system. This is by far the finest cinema I've frequented, and my wife was delighted to discover it's an American National Amusements theatre, which has provided Derby with the quality and excellent customer service she experienced in the States. We both look forward to many cinema trips now we have a theatre within easier reach, and feel lucky that Derby was chosen to deliver such an amazing experience.