Before you all start showering me with congratulations, confetti and ball-and-chains, I would like to make it quite clear I am not getting married. I would, instead, like to enjoy my life. Anyway, you might remember a little while ago on Valentine’s Day I made a list of alternative songs that should be played to ward off the evil spirits of slush. Since then I’ve thought of a few more.
So, on this very lovely spring morning (or rather, very British spring morning) here is something that will make things less soppy should you find yourself as the DJ at a very digestion-troubling wedding:
1) Ogre Battle – Queen
2) Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper
3) Dude Looks Like a Lady – Aerosmith
4) Everybody Hurts – REM
5) Boys of Summer – Don Henley
6) Halo of Flies – Alice Cooper
7) Shaddap Your Face – Joe Dolce
8) Evil Woman – Electric Light Orchestra
9) Lyin’ Eyes – The Eagles
10) Anything by Tenacious D
11) Piggies – The Beatles
12) Firestarter – Prodigy
13) Who Ate all the Pies?
14) Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter – Iron Maiden
15) Walk Away – Cast
16) Crash – The Primitives
17) The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve
18) Dreamers’ Ball – Queen
19) Who Let the Dogs Out? – Baha Men
20) How Soon is Now – The Smiths
21) Tired of Waiting for You – The Kinks
22) You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling – The Righteous Brothers
23) My Melancholy Blues – Queen
Of course, if anyone can think of any others then please feel free to add them. Check this for others: https://jamesbicheno.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/the-alternative-valentines-songlist/
Here’s an Easter Bank Holiday treat, Scribblers: two posts in one day! Just thought I’d publicise details of two books from a couple of first-time novelists.
Tom Harris has today published his Young Adult novel, The Amber Room on Kindle and Smashwords. To find out more have a look on his website: http://tomdharris.wordpress.com/
Frances Lewis has also got a book on Kindle called The Dukkering Boy which is about Romany Gypsy’s in Wales set just after the Second World War. Although aimed at teenagers/young adults, this can be enjoyed by adults too: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005JSX6TA/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=16EWT2H2WAKDT4AF3S9M&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128473&pf_rd_i=468294
Last night I watched the film Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and very good it was, too. Being someone who loves silent films I thought it was very good indeed. I first came across Georges Melies (how do you do accents on this thing?) when I saw the Queen video for ‘Heaven for Everyone’ which uses scenes from La Voyage dans la Lune and La Voyage a Travers L’Impossible. I remember being fascinated by the well-known shot of the rocket landing in the eye of the Man in the Moon, cars driving around Saturn’s rings and trains launching into space with the explorers cheering the Earthrise while faces peek out from stars to watch in curiosity. All in all the film, Hugo, and the book it’s based on, are a fitting tribute to Georges Melies and the other founding fathers of film including the Lumiere Brothers, Thomas Edison, R. W. Paul, amongst others.
Some people mock early films claiming they are ‘dated’ but, considering the technical constraints of this new technology, Melies’ skills as a magician came to the fore. He was a pioneer of stop-motion, simply by stopping the camera and changing the set and rolling again. For lighting effects, various pyrotechnics were used. Underwater scenes were filmed with a large fish tank in front of the set with the performers behind to give an illusion of large sea monsters. Colour was achieved by painstakingly tinting each individual frame.
A few years ago Channel 4 showed The 100 Greatest Scary Moments and number 100 was the Lumiere Brothers’ film L’Arrivee d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat, a fifty-second film of a train arriving at a station. Legend has it that when it was first shown, the audience cried out in horror as they thought a real train was coming towards them. This has made people laugh in disbelief in later years. How could a simple film of a train pulling in scare people? It is worth remembering that this was the first time that film as we know it was shown. At the time it was evolving from a circus magic trick to the medium we know today. Remember the first time you saw a 3D film? How did you react when something seemed to fly out from the screen straight at you?
Anyway, I hope that’s whetted your appetite for early films. To see more there are lots of collections on DVD from the BFI, amongst others. Or you could get a taster by watching Hugo. I’ve just gone onto Google and found out it’s Eadward Muybridge’s 182nd birthday. If you click the picture you will see his early animation of horses galloping. Or you could just watch it on YouTube.
Yes, Scribblers! Today is the First of April and the beginning of Script Frenzy!
For those who don’t know, Script Frenzy is another competition of sorts run by the Office of Letters and Light, the same people who run National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write one hundred pages of scripted material during the thirty days of April (just like NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words in November). That may sound daunting but it works out at around four pages a day. The t-shirts in the store look good too. I wonder what one I should get: https://store.lettersandlight.org/merchandise/event/scriptfrenzy
In other news, I wore a large number of hats the other day to raise money for Brain Tumour Research for Wear a Hat Day. This involved a Guinness Bottle Opening Hat, a Flatcap, a Trilby, a Union Jack Bandana, an Australian Floppy Hat (without corks, sadly) and, of course, a sombrero. I’ve also just finished The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor. A very riviting read. Buy it now! Whilst you do that, I’m going to do some decorating with the new Union Jack paint I’ve just bought.