Archive for January, 2012

Messing with the middle-ear

I don’t normally pay enough attention to film soundtracks. Bernard Herrmann’s score for Vertigo, however, grabs me right by the, well, the hairs on the back of my neck. It’s edgy, it’s creepy, it’s noisy, it’s quiet, it’s perfectly atmospheric, and it can quite easily unsettle the hell out of me.


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Great Scottie

More laziness, but frankly the content is so good you won’t begrudge me it. Or you will, but it won’t make any difference: an exercise in futility (something I’m familiar with).

Despite wittering on about Vertigo (or getting someone else to do it for me) a while back, I more recently watched it for the first time in a long time, and I realised I’d actually forgotten much of the plot detail. This was a good thing as I was able to rediscover it, watching it through new eyes to an extent, and making an extra effort to absorb as much of the detail and nuances as possible. Suffice to say I found it quite a profound experience and I’ve been mildly obsessed with it ever since (appropriately enough, seeing as obsession is at the very core of the film).

A sequence I find sofa-grippingly fantastic is where James Stewart’s character, ‘Scottie’, has a nightmare. I’ll not give any context, not for fear of revealing too much about the film but because I can’t be bothered.

Look, I’m barely posting at all, for lord’s sake don’t expect effort.

That said, if you do know the film, the bits of the nightmare where Carlotta Valdes appears scare me more than is explicable.

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Vue de l’intérieur (encore)

From front to back, the ground floor of the admin block, the turbine hall (the one with the pyramiddy bits on the roof), the boiler house, and the chimneys

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Vue de l’intérieur

Three of the eight cooling towers at West Burton Power Station. At times I forget just how surreally huge they are. The one on the far left had concrete rings added to reinforce it after it showed early signs of cracking.

Better safe than sorry, eh?


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“Méga succès de 1971”

Yes, that is a direct quote, and it’s from Jackretro* who uploaded this video to YouTube so it’s solid gold reliable. This song always reminds me of the wonderful radio station that is Nostalgie. The video is equally wonderful, and leaves me pondering many imponderables: who is the mysterious blonde at the beginning? Why is Michel Delpech’s left hand so hypnotic? And why does he imitate Bez from the Happy Mondays at the very end?

*I can’t guarantee this is his real name. Or hers. What a minefield

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I’ve lost my will, but still I see some hope

Every now and then I indulge myself with a trip back into the music of the mid-1990s. Revealingly, I rarely listen to the stuff I listened to contemporaneously. Gene are one such example: heralded as The New Smiths they never really cut the mustard. At the time I was aware of Olympian and Fighting Fit (this video is a treat for that niche market of fans of both Gene and Star Trek), but have since fallen in love with their first single, For The Dead.

Frankly, they needn’t have made another song after this, they squeezed it all into this one – a healthy dose of misanthropy, Mozzerian growls in the chorus, allusions to suicide shot through with a lack of conviction disguised as gallows humour (“give me a rope, I’ll take it gladly / find me a tree and make it snappy”), and a wonderful sense of kitchen sink melodrama (“goodbye ma! It’s my time to go”).

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Lazy, lazy, lazy

This really is very lazy of me, inserting my very own ‘Bob-Holness-has-died-let’s-look-back-at-Blockbusters-in-some-kind-of-post-ironic-way-as-if-I’m-still-a-fucking-student’ post. But still, I’d forgotten how bloody brilliantly futuristic these early-90s titles were. I’m still angry that, now we’re officially living in the future (or do we need to wait til 2020 for that?), we’re not yet being transported around by hexagonal flying hovercraft things.

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