Sunday, October 19, 2008

God Bless America 2

Two American things have just made me very happy.
1)Randy Newman on Desert Island Discs. A man with soul and artistry to spare.
2) The Coen brothers' Burn After Reading. I seldom read film reviews; I assume they are being sniffy about this wonderful film simply because it comes after No Country for Old Men. Never mind, Burn made me light-headed with happiness. It's about both the opacity and the triviality of human motives and it just gets funnier and funnier. I am currently fighting the impulse to go and see it again today.


  1. Agreed on both counts. Newman was a joy, and so was Burn After Reading, which I saw in the States last month.

    They gave the movie a kicking on Newsnight Review the other night, which I found incomprehensible. It is a genius film - the comic flipside to No Country for Old Men where people just do stuff as people do, and there is no moral and no ending and no meaning.

    The last scene with the senior spooks ("what a clusterf**k") was the most I've laughed since 'Bigus Dickus' in Life of Brian.

  2. The critics did exactly the same with The Big Lebowski.

  3. Ill be seeing it this week.
    I notice the Cohen Bros are doing

    The Yiddish Policemen's Union

    Jews in Alaska!

  4. Newsnight review makes me want to stab myself in the face.

  5. With you there, Anon, after going crazy with an AK47, of course.

  6. I'm a patient person, so I only reach for the semi-automatic weapons when Germaine Greer insists on pronouncing foreign words 'correctly'.

    Have you never been on it, Bryan?

    If Michael Kelly's description of you is accurate then you're ideally qualified for the panel.

  7. i knew a funny subhuman chap once, known as Bongo, he had spent 10 years on the dole in Sunderland before being branded on the forehead and driven south to Leeds. Although he was some kind of cave troll, about 5' tall with paws and sharp teeth, incapable of reading books or wearing anything but a hessian sack, he used to watch Newsnight Review with great attention. He would derive endless troll-like glee from watching Tom Paulin and Germaine Greer waffle and pontificate about 'that arty crap'; although none of it made any sense to him, he found it immensely amusing and would prepare for each 'episode' with a stack of burgers and a crate of Stella Artois, drinking himself into giggling oblivion and then dreaming of Germaine Greer.

    When i suggested this was an odd pastime he said everyone does it in Sunderland.

  8. The dream team was Parsons, Greer and Paulin, with poor old Mark Lawson valiantly trying to maintain some sanity in a discussion between three of the most preposterous people on television.

  9. Burn After Reading is about the inter-subjectivity of stupidity.

    Three years on, you can watch it again. On ITV2.