Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Welcome to Film 2006B


Thank you, thank you. Hello everyone, and welcome to Film 2006B. I'm your host for tonight, Desmond Fagina, and today's presentation has been brought to you by the lovely Miss Patroclus from Quinquireme, in Surrey. Before we review the gay cowboys, big monkeys and barely-disguised-leonine-messiahs, let's get down to business with our first feature - "TAGGED". Here's our special pubic correspondent, The Merkin.

ONE (1) earliest film-related memory: Going to the now-departed Regal Cinema in Henley-on-Thames with my mum and brother, and listening to the amazing organ playing before the film, as this vision of Art Deco neon musically rose up from a hidden pit in front of the screen.

TWO (2) favorite lines from movies: As Patroclus says, anything from Withnail & I has the status of instant classic dialogue, so I'm going to nominate almost any line from there as the best in the universe, especially if Uncle Monty is involved. I shall then nominate 2 lines from other movies, as it's my blog. My favourite non-Monty Withnail line (of many) has to be the following dialogue:

Withnail: Scrubbers.
Schoolgirl: Up yours, grandad.
Withnail: Scrubbers. Scrubbers.
Peter Marwood: Shut up.
Withnail: Little tarts, they love it.

I've always liked Dr Evil's monologue in the therapy scene from the first Austin Powers film, because it's a film as puerile and silly as I have always wanted to be myself. I have always tried to memorise this, but frequently failed:

Dr. Evil: The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

But the only line from a movie that I've used in a professional capacity is this, from the otherwise dire "The Rock", between Sean Connery (as John Mason) and the fucking awful Nicholas Cage (as Stanley Goodspeed):

John Mason: Are you sure you're ready for this?
Stanley Goodspeed: I'll do my best.
John Mason: Your "best"! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.
Stanley Goodspeed: Carla was the prom queen.
John Mason: Really?
Stanley Goodspeed: [cocks his gun] Yeah.

THREE (3) jobs you'd do if you could not work in the industry: Rather obviously, I don't work in "the industry", but my list of aspirations include:
  • Prime Minister.
  • Captain of Sir Donald Gosling's motoryacht, the MV LEANDER.
  • MD of a multi-national adult film import business.
FOUR (4) jobs you actually have held outside the industry:
  • Mushroom picker in a dark, wet, stinking railway arch, plucking the fungi from pure horse manure slurry, lit only by UV light. And it was cold.
  • When Danone changed the name of one of their yoghurt product lines from "Baby Danone" to "My First Danone", someone had to go around their refrigerated UK distribution centre and stick a label on every single yoghurt pot in the warehouse (over 100,000 of them) saying "Soon to be known as 'My First Danone'". That someone was me. I very nearly became frostbitten.
  • Pot washer and occasional checkout monkey at the staff canteen for the lorry drivers who worked at, and delivered to, the Marks & Spencer distribution centre in Thatcham, Berkshire.
  • A very junior civil servant in the MoD, booking in torn/ripped/damaged fabric stores items from Army depots around the UK to be repaired by the army of lovely, but slightly daunting, seamstresses. This was when I first realised that the military spoke a different language from everyone else. For example, a sleeping bag is known as a "Bag, Sleeping".
THREE (3) book authors I like: Julian Barnes, Patrick O'Brian and Annie Proulx.

TWO (2) movies you'd like to remake or properties you'd like to adapt: I'd like to remake any film with Nicholas Cage in it, replacing him by either a narcoleptic monkey, or a dressmaker's mannequin. Either way, it would be a fantastic improvement.

ONE (1) screenwriter you think is underrated: Whoever wrote the amazing 1997 movie, The Game. One of the best films ever, but it completely failed to register on the public's conscience at the time of it's release. One of the cleverest plots and tightly-wound storylines I've ever seen. According to IMDB, the writers were called John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who always seem to work together. However, looking at their other credits, they haven't exactly troubled the Oscars nomination committee recently.

I'm not going to tag anyone else, as the questionnaire is obviously designed for movie-industry types, but that was fun. Thanks, P!

3 Rants & Replies:

Blogger patroclus said...

My pleasure, M. And may I say how much I enjoyed reading it. And also, that your W&I quote comes directly after mine. Or is it directly before?

uvica: Oh god, that's really not a good word. That's the sort of thing they'd call a cream designed to soothe genital warts, isn't it?

6:16 pm, January 16, 2006

Blogger Fun Joel said...

Thanks for participating! And that is a hilarious monologue from Austin Powers. I forgot about it. Good stuff.

That being said, I really have to disagree about The Game. If you want to see a film with just as many brilliant twists and mindfucks, but where it actually has a point to it all, I'd highly recommend The Spanish Prisoner instead.

4:06 am, January 20, 2006

Blogger Merkin said...

Aha! It was YOUR meme?! Cool - it's not often that you can trace back a post to the beginning. I'll even look at the Spanish Prisoner, as well...

5:31 pm, January 20, 2006


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