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the guardian G2 - Friday, 22 June 2012
Friday 22.06.12
The rise and rise of Dizzee Rascal. By Alexis Petridis
Lost in Showbiz
How to apologise Emo Spider-Man
Reinventing a superhero
The boat that rocked
All aboard MS Stubnitz
Desi riders, raging bulls
India’s new wave directors Peter Bradshaw
A four-star romcom
2 The Guardian 22.06.12
Lost in Showbiz
Jimmy Carr has said sorry. So has William Shatner. But only one of them mastered the art of the ‘non-apology apology’
t’s been a week of ups and downs for 80s comebacks. A mooted Wham! reunion turned out to be nonsense, but the reappearance of O-levels has more substance, and led me to consider the real value of my soon-to-
be-outdated GCSE qualifi cations.
Thoughts then turned to some non-
curricular advice I once received from my English teacher, Mrs Hig-
gins. She had just experienced one of her intermittent run-ins with perennially angry head of PE Mr Turk, and for one reason or another had been required to apologise. But she hadn’t really apologised, she told her unusually attentive pupils.
The key to apologising to people like Mr Turk was that one should apologise if any off ence has been taken. Mrs Higgins was describing the trick of the non-apology apology: “if” being a useful qualifi er, with the idea of “off ence taken” pushing the blame back on to the off ended party. The head of PE, she confi ded, was perhaps unlikely to grasp the nuance.
In 2012, complaint culture is such that apologies saturate the media. Some are unnecessary; most are grudg-
ing. Few are as straightforward as Jimmy Carr’s . Although presumably a tad disgruntled that he had been the prime target of the Times’s recent tax-
avoidance investigation, his statement (“I now realise that I’ve made a terrible error of judgment ... Apologies to everyone”) was unusually direct.
For a more ambiguous apology, let’s turn to Diane Abbott . After her “white people love playing ‘divide & rule’” comment at the start of the year, Abbott’s apology was brilliantly done, and could not have said “I AM NOT ACTUALLY APOLOGISING” more resoundingly. “I understand people have interpreted my comments as mak-
ing generalisations about white people,” she began. “I do not believe in doing that. I apologise for any off ence caused.”
The masterstroke in that statement Sadly, Shatner opted not to spend this summer searching out Ilfracombe prostitutes
By Peter Robinson
back to doing what we do best,” the clarifi cation concluded. It was a deli-
cious fi nal sentence: while sales may be down, the quality of NME’s print output is arguably at its best in recent memory. Morrissey’s career, mean-
while, has completely fallen off a quiff .
But for the best apology of recent times look – where else – to William Shatner . This story started with a throwaway remark after a mention of Ilfracombe during Shatner’s Have I Got News For You guest spot, prompting Shatner to report that “the the place is laced with prostitution”.
The town’s former mayor is Paul Crabb, a man whose name was probably the source of breezy amusement when discussing the crustacean-friendly seaside destination he calls home, but takes on a less savoury fl a-
vour when discussing the sex trade. Anyway, Crabb was not happy with Shatner. “There is no prostitution in Ilfracombe,” he noted, which sounded like a cross between an admission that Ilfracombe does not operate like most other developed communities – he might as well be say-
ing “There’s no Snappy Snaps” – and the throwing down of a gauntlet.
Sadly for BBC3’s factual team, who could have struck gold here, Shat-
ner opted not to spend this summer searching out Ilfracombe prostitutes. Instead, he wrote a letter. The way the BBC news site reported it – “William Shatner sorry for Ilfracombe prostitu-
tion joke” – Shatner seems very sorry.
But as we know, just as there is a diff erence between really being sorry and simply being sorry that one has been caught, there is also a diff erence between being sorry and issuing an apology. “My apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution,” he begins, bril-
liantly refusing to accept that there are no prostitutes in Ilfracombe. The best bit of his letter comes when he hurls himself into a beautifully deranged lexicographic debate. Prostitution, he notes, “commonly means sex for o
eived M
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was the word “any”. It’s as if she was unconvinced that many people actu-
ally had taken off ence, and given the bandwagon-esque nature of Twitter mobs in 2012, she may have a point.
On a similar theme, the NME’s recent statement – a “clarifi cation” regarding a dispute with Morrissey – was just as brilliant. “His complaint is that we ac-
cused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine,” the publication said. “He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary.”
“His complaint!” “He believes!”
“We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn’t think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way.”
“If!” “Misunderstood!” But there was one more brilliant twist.
“We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get Did someone say sorry? Shatner and Carr
22.06.12 The Guardian 3
Last year, Gary Barlow ’s new role on The X Factor ’s UK judging panel resulted in his joining Twitter, and when the show launched in the US Simon Cowell also registered an offi cial account. It makes sense: if you’re going to be on one of TV’s biggest shows, you might as well be able to shout at people when they criti-
cise your shoes on a social network.
Cowell’s arrival seemed to be partic-
ularly reluctant, especially considering that for many years he refused to have a computer in his offi ce, but like the rest of us, celebrities eventually adapt Twitter to their own needs: Barlow mainly opted to tweet photographs of mugs, while Cowell happily started winding up Piers Morgan .
Geri Halliwell brings her own special magic to Twitter
If you or I stripped to the music of Sigur Rós, we’d be arrested Tweet, tweet … Geri Halliwell; (below right) Shia LaBeouf and co-star in Sigur Rós’s video
On the web
Watch our live stream of all the action at the Glastonbury festival site
With the opening stages of this year’s X Factor already recorded, so comes the Twitter debut of one of its guest judges: singer, former UN ambassador and cultural enigma Geri Halliwell .
Within 48 hours of her fi rst tweet this week, the Heaven And Hell (Being Geri Halliwell) chanteuse had challenged George Michael to a game of tennis, but the important thing is that, like Barlow and Cowell before her, she has quickly established her own Twitter MO, which seems to involve a succession of pictures containing handwritten messages.
Her fi rst such message – the fantasti-
cally presumptuous “YES IT’S ME”, with its echoes of her own haunting 1999 No 1 Loooooooook At Me – was written in makeup on her back. “Never give up,” read the second, not written on any identifi able body part. A third read simply: “Believe.”
Her bons mots resemble those of Notebook of Love , the phenom-
enally successful Twitter account whose 3.1 million followers include Alexandra Burke and Kym Marsh. Notebook followers are treated to such inspirational messages as: “Fake friends are easy to fi nd and easy to lose but real friends are the hardest to fi nd and hardest to lose”, and “When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing new to say.” As the account’s moving and down-to-earth Twitter bio so emotionally explains: “Advertising: thenotebook”.
If Notebook of Love can get three million followers, perhaps Halliwell’s own novel musings can lead her to even greater success. Regardless of how The X Factor goes – and the recent parachuting-in of Nicole Scherzinger for boot camp stages doesn’t bode well – Geri could have struck gold.
Some say the best way to be taken seriously as an actor is not to appear in terrible fi lms. Shia LaBeouf has decided on the shortcut: getting naked in the name of Serious Art.
To this end, the band Sigur Rós this week unveiled a video for Fjögur Píanó . The video features a clear shot of the “LaBeouf medallion”, a woman (not Geri) with stuff written on her back, and an octopus.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Sigur Rós canon but Fjögur Píanó is just as jaunty and fun-packed as the rest of the band’s hits and the video is one of the year’s more pretentious eff orts. Even so, my main grumble is that if you or I stripped at a Sigur Rós show we would not be taken more seri-
ously. We would be arrested. A classic example of one rule for celebrities, and another for the rest of us. something of value”. “I would be hard pressed to believe that sex was not being had in Ilfracombe for something of value. Perhaps a lengthy marriage, children or a valuable career.”
It’s certainly a novel and spirited line of defence, and it seems pleasant enough: Ilfracombe is full of people with careers, full of happy families, full of love. But I think Mrs Higgins would still approve, because working backwards through Shatner’s logic he also seems to be saying that anyone who’s married, has children, or enjoys working is a big old prostitute. As apologies stand, that one goes pretty boldly.
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Participate in these important debates at Read Marina Hyde on the Olympics, main section
4 The Guardian 22.06.12
22.06.12 The Guardian 5
Red Hot Chili Peppers and other big, surprise live performances.
Some of his new tunes were pro-
duced by Dr Dre cohort Fredwreck : they sound like 90s g-funk, his voice scratching against the smoothness of the production. Others cleave more to the four-to-the-fl oor thud of Bonkers, albeit with a noticeably tougher lyri-
cal twist that makes you wonder what Radio 1 might make of them: the cho-
rus of one track features Dizzee Rascal bellowing “pussy, weed, orange juice and ecstasy” over and over again.
He says wouldn’t mind having a stab at success in America, where he thinks the dance scene might be catching up with the records he made years ago: “We took Bonkers around and they weren’t ready for it, and now that’s what everyone’s doing, and every big producer I meet, like Will.i.Am, talks about how they were infl uenced by Bonkers . ” But he’d never leave Britain permanently: he likes the way Ameri-
cans rejoice in success, but also what he calls “the putting-shit-into-perspective and holding back of England”. Never-
theless, he is clearly having a high old time in Miami, perhaps evidenced by the metaphor he choses to illustrate the diff erence between Americans celebrating success and British reserve. “I’m not going to lie, it can be fun throwing money over a naked midget in one of the most famous gangster strip clubs in America,” he off ers, sagely. “But after a while, throwing money around is not sensible, even if the midget is willing.”
e laughs. He seems happy and content, which wasn’t always the case. First there was the dif-
fi culty of squaring his success with his tough upbringing on a council estate in Bow, east Lon-
don, then a relentless workload as he plugged away at his career. “Just the pressures of growing up and the pres-
sures of being in the limelight and then all the niggling other bullshit that comes with it, that you can avoid but it’s just a lot of brain power and it’s de-
pressing. That’s why you see so many artists fucking strung out on drugs and fucked up and that.”
He attributes his ongoing good mood to taking the last year off , which he says was the fi rst real break he’s had since he was 16. “I liked going to the Caribbean, just having nice holidays, do you know what I mean? And,” he smiles, “I was fucking a lot, obviously.”
Certainly, this all makes for a nice contrast with the last time I met Dizzee Rascal. That was nine years ago, not long after the release of his debut single, I Luv U, and already a certain reputation preceded him. For one thing, there was the terrifying racket that leapt out of the speakers when you played his forthcoming debut album Boy In Da Corner. It was A
t the start of last year, Dizzee Rascal moved to Miami. He’d gone there for Christmas, and decided to stay. “I went there and thought, what the fuck am I like? I want to live here!” he says, sitting in his south London studio. “It’s mad because I’d been there twice or three times before and it had meant nothing to me. It must have been the point that I was at.”
His burgeoning fame was, he says, a factor. After years of critical acclaim and respectable rather than spectacular sales, he had suddenly become one of the biggest pop stars in Britain. He’d had three No 1 singles and a platinum album and won a Brit for best British male in the space of 18 months: two more No 1 singles would follow. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy the celebrity that came with it, he says, but he’d already had to move house once because he was plagued by people singing his songs outside. “It got to the point where I’m walk ing down the street and I don’t know why people are staring at me. Is it because they know me or because they know who I am or is it because they think I’m a cunt? It’s confusing . Because then to walk around thinking everyone does know you, that’s another thing. It’s another piece of shit.” He shakes his head. So Miami, he thought, might off er him a degree of anonymity. He could explore the city’s club scene without the baggage of being recognised. “I started from scratch, I wanted to go there incognito and just be normal. He pauses. I’m expecting him to follow through with news of enlightenment and revelation, a Damascene moment when, freed from the shackles of celebrity, Dizzee Rascal realised that music sounds better in the communal embrace of the dancefl oor, rather than the rarefi ed surroundings of the VIP area. But apparently not. “I realised how shit it can be as a punter,” he frowns, outraged. “They treat you like a cunt on the door because of your clothes or because they just don’t like the look of you, or it’s: ‘You ain’t got no girls with you, you can’t come in.’ I’m like: ‘What – do I have to bring girls to the club? I don’t understand! I come here for girls!’ It’s just all bullshit.”
Having hastily revised his idea of turning up at clubs incognito, he seems to have rather taken to life amid the palm trees and art deco architecture. He talks excitedly about the people he has met there: Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones, who advised him, a little dispiritingly, that the music industry was fi nished and that he should instead concentrate his energies on selling mobile phones in China. He plays me some tracks he re-
corded in the US, intended for his next album, due later this year : there are also plans for an online lifestyle chan-
nel, Dirtee TV, plus tour dates with the →
Who’d have predicted that Dizzee Rascal would go from grime pioneer to global pop star? Alexis Petridis talks to him about the pros and cons of fame and his new life in Miami 6 The Guardian 22.06.12
win, so this is the way I am now and I’m enjoying it.”
He ended up putting it out him-
self, reviving the Dirtee Stank label on which he had released his debut single. It was the fi rst of fi ve No 1s, and heralded a remarkable shift in British urban music. Rather than his lurch into pop attracting opprobrium, a succes-
sion of artists followed his lead: Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Professor Green, Example. By the end of last year, pop rap was the dominant force in the British charts. “ It just felt like the thing to do at the time. It con-
fi rmed to us that it’s us that know what we’re doing with this music, it always was. And it’s just got bigger and better.”
When he’s not in Miami, he lives in suburban Kent. He’s friendly with his neighbours , and does kickbox-
ing at a local gym. “The gym’s full of wrong ’uns,” he chuckles. “But lov able wrong ’uns.”
He has, a little troublingly, devel-
oped a liking Zecharia Sitchin, one of those God-was-an-astronaut theorists popular in the 70s. “It’s far-fetched, but like only as far-fetched as every religion out there that everyone kills each other for and enslaves the world for. He just includes aliens. Basically we were genetically modifi ed by aliens. I’m not saying I believe any of his stuff , I’m saying it’s refreshing to hear some-
thing else. ” He frowns. “But, as I’ve learned, it’s not good to talk about on a fi rst date.”
He doesn’t seem to miss the “voice of the streets” tag that attached itself to him in the wake of Boy In Da Corner . You could argue that last summer’s riots were the dire presentiments that he off ered me a decade ago coming true – something under your nose that you tried to ignore punching you in the face – but he was nonplussed PHOTOGRAPH LINDA NYLIND FOR THE GUARDIAN
incredibly exciting and unim-
aginably alien. He said himself it sounded “like the end of the world”, a sensation heightened by the panicked voice over the top of it, yelping about stabbings and shootings, drug deals and suicidal depression. He was already embroiled in various feuds on the ga-
rage scene and had recently been pho-
tographed wielding a knife. “Was I that bad?” he laughs, when I remind him. Well, no, but he was, to put it charita-
bly, erring on the surly side . He wasn’t big on eye contact, except when you asked him a question he didn’t like and he glared at you. He only really perked up when discussing his lyrics: “It’s what’s going on under people’s noses whether they like it or not. You can try and ignore it, but if you ignore some-
thing that’s under your nose, sooner or later, it’ll punch you in the face.” A few weeks later, he was stabbed six times in Aiya Napa.
You might just have imagined him, a decade on, as one of Britain’s most infl uential pop stars, but you would have got long odds indeed on him ever attaining something like national treasure status, which he also appears to have done: performing the anthem of the England World Cup team, palling around with Prince Harry, appearing on Newsnight to discuss Barack Obama’s election.
The change began in inauspicious circumstances. His then-label XL w as uninterested in Dance Wiv Me, the wildly commercial track he recorded with producer Calvin Harris in 2008. “The fact they didn’t want the track was just like: ‘Oh now I don’t under-
stand you.’ When people hear this they’re going to think you forced me to do this, and I’m giving it to you on a plate because I’m done with all that, I can’t be any more experimental and by media suggestions that he should make some kind of statement . “What was I supposed to say?” he frowns. He goes back to his old estate a lot, he says, and it’s still the same. The nearby Olympic stadium is: “impressive look-
ing, it reminds you of how shit it was, innit. But through knowing people that still live there, there ain’t much changed really, they’re still not having a great time for the most part.” He oc-
casionally visits the local youth clubs . “But I don’t want to be standing there reminding them that you need to do something with your life, because it don’t work like that. They’ve got their own issues and when they see me their issues are gone, so it’s like: ‘Just jam and chill and just tell us about all that wicked stuff that’s going on.’ All that preaching bullshit … God knows, I’ve tried, and nothing ends up happening. Some people don’t want to be helped, they want to do what they’re doing, it’s all they know. ”
For the fi rst time today, he looks a bit surly. The thing is, he says, he doesn’t even know who his fans are any more. It used to be kids like the ones in the Bow youth clubs, but now he hasn’t got a clue. Yesterday, he stopped at a service station near Man-
chester to buy a magazine, but when he tried to pay, the woman behind the counter wouldn’t hand it over. “She’s about 50, a little fat woman, just star-
ing at me going: ‘It’s you in’t it?’ I said: ‘Yeah’ and she started going crazy: ‘Oh my god! Oh my god!’ She’s come out to the car to get a picture and she’s literally skipping around me.” Again, I say, you would have got long odds on anything like that happening to him a decade ago. He nods. So much has changed, he says. “I’m rich, bitch! Nah, I’ve done stuff , I’ve just grown. I take shit a little less serious now, innit.” ←
Born Dylan Mills, 18 September 1984.
From Bow, east London.
Debut album Boy In Da Corner, 2003
Acclaim Mercury music prize, 2003; Brit award for best British male, 2010. In 2003, the Guardian said: ‘he not only has something to say, he has the intellectual equipment to say it in a remarkably original way … The most original and exciting artist to emerge from dance music in a decade.’
‘I can’t experiment any more and win, so this is the way I am now and I’m
enjoying it’ 22.06.12 The Guardian 7
he numbers, on their own, are terrifying. The three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies grossed $2.4bn (£1.5bn) worldwide. The six most recent Avengers fi lms have taken $3.7bn (£2.4bn). Since 1989, the Batman fi lms have made $2.6bn (£1.7bn). This is the world of high fi nance, translated into fi lm-
making. The newest of these corporate-funded entities, The Amazing Spider-Man , is shortly to be unleashed on the marketplace. And the responsibility for ensuring it keeps its end up, creatively speaking, is the unassuming – and, it has to be said, slightly bemused-
looking – fi gure of Marc Webb. If he is weighed down by the responsibility, he doesn’t show it. In truth, Webb must be one of the most extraordinary directorial hires in recent memory: chosen to preside over a $200m budget superhero fi lm, with only one feature under his belt, the manbag-toting, indie romcom 500 Days of Summer. Boasting yards of tortured twentysomething angst, ruminations on urban architecture and British 80s post-punk, and absolutely no explosions , 500 Days of Summer couldn’t be a less obvious audition for the Spider-Man job. How on earth did he swing it?
“You know,” says Webb, “it was kind of absurd. There was no process of shilling myself.” He says Spider-Man was only mentioned casually in a meeting with the studio: “I was interested , of course, but I didn’t think they were actually looking for someone. Sam Raimi was still doing Spider-Man 4 at the time.” Just as casually, Webb was asked if he wanted to direct it. “With 500 Days I spent six months developing a presentation just to get Fox to back the movie. This was very diff erent.”
Webb professes to be unaware of the thought processes that handed him the job (“you’d have to ask the studio”), but his appointment is the latest and arguably most radical in the superhero movies’ attempt to get away from mere surface fl ash; he is the anti-Zack Snyder . Kenneth Branagh ( Thor ), Jon Favreau ( Iron Man ), Ang Lee ( Hulk ) and, most notably, Christopher Nolan are previous bene fi ciaries of the policy. 500 Days of Summer , with its eye for emotional nuance and delicate structural layering, presumably off ered the producers an easily digestible form of realism that they could see being grafted on to comic-book heroics.
Webb uses the word “grounded” a lot when he talks about how he went about moving Spider-Man away from the candy-coloured, two-dimensional style perfected by Raimi . As in: “I wanted the script to be more grounded” and “The action has to be grounded and true.” It’s easy to see what he’s getting at. The golden age of the comic-book movie, from Tim Burton’s Batman to Raimi’s Spider-Man , has essentially tried to replicate on fi lm the heightened experience of reading a comic book: heroically conceived, fetishistically designed and furiously melo-
dramatic. The advent of CGI, however, has changed the game . “We’re coming out of the baroque era,” says Webb, and “vision” and “spectacle” are no longer enough: we need some heart, otherwise it’s just a bunch of exploding cars and talking lizards.
So how do you go about injecting realism into a superhero movie? Webb says, fi rst of all, he gave the central char-
acter a thorough psychological over-
haul, including adding a scene with Pe-
ter Parker’s absent parents – something of a narrative coup. “I think about the protagonist, and what his life is like. Here’s this kid, six or seven years old, who is left behind by his parents. That has huge emotional consequences, that had never come up in the previous movies. That was where the emotional colour came from, and where the narrative started.”
Webb has reinvented Parker as a shambling, mumbling skateboarder; a loner, sure, but a long way from Tobey Maguire’s grinning mute. The girl- nextdoor fi gure of Mary Jane Watson was ditched as Parker’s love interest for similar reasons (“she’s a symbol, basically”) and he says he thought hard about the central dynamic of Parker’s relationship with the sassier fi gure of Gwen Stacy (“What would actually happen in this situation? If I’m a kid, 17 years old, and I get superpowers. I can’t tell anyone, but there’s a girl I like …”). For all that, Webb says, “the most important part of it is cast-
ing”. He was impressed with the 28-year-old British actor Andrew Garfi eld after seeing him in Boy A and Red Riding . “He’s always about fi nding the reality in a scene; he’s not just going to sit there and recite lines.”
Marc Webb as the Mike Leigh of superhero fi lms? Perhaps that’s overstating it: Webb, after all, is a veteran of the music promo circuit, and has spent more he
numbers, on their own, are terrifying. The three
Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies grossed $2.4bn (£1.5bn) worldwide. The ec
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Marc Webb had only one fi lm to his name – an angst-ridden romcom. So how on earth did he land the job of directing the new Spider-Man movie, asks Andrew Pulver relatio
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8 The Guardian 22.06.12
Roman Polanski
Yasmina Reza
Based on the play ‘God Of Carnage’ by
Jodie Foster
Kate Winslet
Christoph Waltz
John C. Reilly
than a decade making commercials. Nor did Leigh ever have to deal with web-slinging action sequences in 3D. Webb says his commitment to real-
ism was important here too. “I sat on a corner in New York and thought, if I had webs, how would I fl y through the city?” He is also refreshingly enthusi-
astic and articulate about 3D: “For Spider-Man, it’s an organic part of the fi lm language; it is a storytell-
ing device, mirroring the charac-
ter. It’s mild and modest at the be-
ginning of the fi lm, and then we increase the depth and the scope as the fi lm universe expands.” He even confesses to looting unlikely sources for inspiration: one shot, for example, was pinched from Wim Wenders’ 3D dance fi lm Pina .
If Webb can walk the walk, he can also talk the talk; spending years in meetings with Marvel studio executives has undoubtedly had its eff ect. He refers to “the comic-book canon”, and has spoken rather grandly of the “iconic elements of the Spider-Man mythology I wanted to honour and protect”. This is the kind of chat that goes down well at Comic Con and other hardcore-nerd gathering places. But he doesn’t waver in his defence of the comic-book world : “You know, there’s been a lot of sophistication to comics for many years, and now people in the mainstream are beginning to recognise a complexity and dimension they haven’t before.
“Spider-Man has an x-factor I can’t fully explain ,” he says. “It has so much that appeals: romance, gravity, action, humour and wish fulfi lment. That’s why studios invest. As movies, they’re reliable commercially, so now they can be a little more daring; you can try a few new things. They’re suddenly critically credible too. I didn’t have to think of it as a four-quadrant movie where you have to tick all the boxes.”
On a personal level, though, you have to wonder: isn’t this something of a diversion for a fi lm-maker who has put such value on elaborately intellectualised fi lms, The Graduate foremost among them? Webb once wrote an article for the Guardian saying The Graduate was “permanently fused to my brainstem”. If 500 Days of Summer was a genuine stab at a latter-day Mike Nichols, will doing a Spider-Man fi lm mean – dare we say it these days – selling out? “You know, you can do both. It’s just about fi nding good drama. There’s something really exciting, as a fi lm-
maker, about doing something on a Spider-Man scale. It hopefully enables you to make more of those Graduate-
type movies down the road – but that’s not why I did it. It wasn’t a strategic decision: you can’t spend two years of your life making a movie thinking about how it’s going to aff ect your career.
“It’s unbelievably rare to fi nd a fi lm of that quality, anyhow. Mike Nichols has made a lot of movies. The Graduate was, what, his second – how many of them are as good? Nowadays there’s a shitty culture of preciousness: people should be allowed to make more fi lms, in a climate that allows risk-taking, and be allowed to fail.”
Just not this one, maybe. ←
Andrew Garfi eld: “He’s always about fi nding the reality in a scene,” says Webb The Amazing Spider-Man opens on 3 July.
10 The Guardian 22.06.12
still marked “Kapitän”, but he’s not really the captain, he demurs .
Blo and his motley crew welcome us warmly with beer and biscuits – it’s hot, and there’s barely a breeze through the open windows. The small offi ce is covered in 1970s beige lino-
leum and layered with posters from concerts past. The Stubnitz has played host to more than 4,000 acts in the last two decades, performing in 20 diff erent European ports: it’s a bewil-
deringly varied list including Yat-Kha , Richie Hawtin , Merzbow , Lydia Lunch , Rammstein , Grandmaster Flash , Acid Mothers Temple , Battles and Atari Teenage Riot . “ Progressive sounds” is as narrow as Blo is willing to go in defi ning his taste.
Wearing black jeans, a black shirt with epaulettes, and holding a ciga-
rette , Blo carries the amused demean-
our of someone who can’t quite fathom what he’s got himself into – and has been half-wondering for two decades. Before the Stubnitz, he was making industrial music, working as part of multi disciplinary art collectives in “various European metropoles. But we got tired of always moving, always tearing down and building up.” The solution came during unifi cation, when the DDR fi shing fl eet was dis-
mantled. “ East Germany had 250 seaworthy ships, and 40 of them were this size; but Stubnitz was the oldest – and the ugliest,” he says fondly. It was to be sent to the scrapyard, while its newer and better looking companions would be sold off cheaply in the south-
ern hemisphere.
“I was very naive, but I thought the next time this many seaworthy ships R
arely has British culture been so desperately in need of an 80-metre herring-storage boat. Following the Jubilee fl otilla and with the prospect of HMS Ocean being moored at Greenwich dur-
ing the Olympics to ward off terrorists , the battle over what fi lls our public space is being fought on the Thames . Given the bunting, rooftop missiles and the sight of Gary Barlow everywhere, something is needed to cheer this country up – so thank heavens for the 2,500-tonne Motorschiff Stubnitz, built in the former East Germany. The MS Stubnitz will dock in London in time for July’s Bloc festival, featuring Ricardo Villalobos, Snoop Dogg, Orbital, Steve Reich and more . Previously held at the Butlins in Mine-
head, Somerset, this is the fi rst time that Bloc has come to the capital, and it’s being staged at the new London Pleasure Gardens , a 40,000 capacity site in the Royal Docks designed by Glastonbury’s famous Shangri-La team. It seems like a good fi t – not least because the Docklands’ bustling industrial history is being obscured by gleaming luxury fl ats and Proctor & Gamble adverts ; the Stubnitz, on the other hand, is a reminder of a world that gentrifi cation forgot.
Visiting the Stubnitz in Hamburg, the backdrop is diff erent, in that Hamburg still has a shipping indus-
try: as punters sip beers on the deck , giant steel frames are tended to by cranes, and huge multi coloured ship-
ping containers are stacked along the riverside. Boarding it is like walking into the industrial zone in the Crystal Maze, metals discoloured with green, huge imposing pipes and rust-chipped paintwork, a warren of vertical ladders and mysterious shafts, indecipherable valves, dials and levers, bolts the size of your fi st, ropes as thick as your arm, and words such as “Rundfunkzentrale” unselfconsciously engraved on time-
worn metal plates.
As part of its wide-ranging cultural adventures, the Stubnitz has moored in the second busiest port in Europe for the Elbjazz festival . It has been running as a nomadic music venue ever since the demise of the DDR, and without Urs “Blo” Blaser , the charismatic Swiss sound artist who saved it from the scrap-heap, it wouldn’t be here at all . When we fi nally fi nd Blo’s quarters (the Stubnitz has more than 100 rooms, and about as many corridors), the door is ROCK THE BOAT Buying an East German fi shing boat may sound crazy. But not half as crazy as what sound artist Urs Blaser did with it … Dan Hancox reports from Hamburg
22.06.12 The Guardian 11
‘Stubnitz was the oldest – and the ugliest – ship,’ says Blo Blaser (below) being extremely precise with all the frequencies.”
It certainly works in practice. At the Elbjazz festival on Saturday night, green lights glow ominously around the dancefl oor, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea after the power goes, and the Moog noises emanating from Ger-
man electronic trio the Von Duesz swirl around the bows like unsettling under-
sea noises, accompanied by the clicks and static of radar. Punters hold on to rope barriers and feel the insistent kick drums through their feet and their sea legs . The whole hull feels like it’s hum-
ming. All the while Blo is at the back of the room, headphones on, steering the sound desk with meticulous attention , more conductor than captain. The next afternoon, while I’m gawp-
ing at the dials and maps and contrap-
tions in the Stubnitz wheelhouse, Blo explains how unique the ship’s massive 1960s engine and navigational equipment is: there is no other plant of its size functioning. If something breaks, they repair it – there are no replacement parts. “In the past guests have wandered off from the dancefl oor and started pressing buttons – they think it’s a museum,” he laughs. “It’s a working ship! For 20 years we had nomoney to invest in it – normally with a ship this size you’d spend half a mil-
lion euros every other year just to have it re-done. But they built these boats to last.” THE ENTIRE SHIP’S HULL FEELS AS IF IT’S HUMMING
will be released for sale, it will be 500 years – and I decided that was reason enough. I knew nothing about boats . It was completely crazy really: I just knew I wanted to keep exploring new regions with cultural projects, and making new partnerships across the world, but with less work.” He smiles – it wasn’t really less work in the end. At the beginning, in 1991, he lived alone onboard for six months, scoping out the acoustics and trying to raise the scrap price of 250,000 marks with help from friends. Eventually he moved his family on-
board – it beats living on a house boat.
Then the Stubnitz’s fi rst ever cul-
tural expedition, to St Petersburg, bankrupted the project: “ We just didn’t realise the running costs , that hiring a full crew would be so expensive.” But you’re still here now? “Yes, I was too stupid to leave,” he laughs. What followed was several years of legal wrangling, with neither the money nor the papers to set sail again, until 1998. Since that turnaround, the boat has thrived, docking where it can, scraping together enough gigs, money and favours to keep the labyrinthine engines running, crewed by a mixture of trained, paid seamen, and volun-
teers inspired by Blo’s cultural project. The two groups seem to be happily sharing beers at the end of the night. “It is extremely contradictory,” Blo ad-
mits, “the systematics of sailing a ship and the cultural work, but they learn a lot from each other.”
The ship itself is a similarly happy compromise. The internal architecture of the Stubnitz has been contorted into the shape of a venue with minimal changes : metal pipes are cladded with cushions to make bar benches; speaker stacks are propped up under portholes. To their surprise, Blo’s team keep fi nd-
ing new ways to annex more bits of the ship: nooks and crannies reclaimed to become another little space for visual projections.
In the Stubnitz’s former life, far out in the Baltic or the south Pacifi c, the ship’s huge hull – now the dancefl oor – was full of fi sh and ice, the coiled pipes that cover the walls and ceiling keeping the herring cool . These refrigeration pipes have been vital to the sound engineering, Blo explains: “They break and diff use the sound amazingly, and it’s only metal. Metal acoustics are great, if you can avoid the refl ections, which is exactly what happens here because of the pipes – it’s a sound you can’t repro-
duce digitally. It’s about THE DETAILS
Bloc 2012 is at the London Pleasure Gardens, 6, 7 July.
12 The Guardian 22.06.12
he London Indian fi lm festival opened on Wednesday with Gangs of Wasseypur , a two-part epic about criminal dynas-
ties who control a mining town in the lawless state of Jharkand. With its raw potrayal of a reality that never appears in the glossy utopia of Bollywood, it heralds a movement towards exposing the hypocrisies of Indian society about sex, drugs, development and injustice. And it’s a movement that is not going unnoticed: Gangs was the fi rst main-
stream Indian fi lm to compete in the director’s fortnight at Cannes last month. The critics adored it. Also showing at the London festival is Gandu (“Arsehole”) , a thrash-metal rap musical about a young dopehead and his lust for fame and sex that, despite being banned in India, has become one of the country’s most talked about fi lms, with its explicit opium smoking, foul language and mas-
turbation . It’s fringe cinema, but fol-
lows mainstream hits such as last year’s The Dirty Picture – the fruity tale of a south Indian movie siren – the success of which indicates a greater honesty and confi dence in discussing sexual-
ity. Cannes also gave a warm reception to Miss Lovely , a story set in the pulpy soft-porn industry of 80s Bombay.
Indian cinema is changing. Violent, sexually explicit fi lms that expose hypocrisy and social problems are wowing the critics. By Nirpal Dhaliwal This new cinema is both a product of and a reaction to India’s development since it opened its economy to the rest of the world. With dark-skinned heroes swearing liberally in Bhojpuri, a regional vernacular, and no main-
stream stars, Gangs of Wasseypur is an exceptional fi lm for a mainstream pro-
duction company, enabled by the new fl uidity of Indian society. Produced by Viacom, headed by Vikram Malhotra, a former airline executive, it is directed by Anurag Kashyap , the son of an engineeer from Varanasi. Both are out-
siders in Bollywood, a world in which nepotistic family ties and formulaic fi lm-making hold sway . Their fi lm has the audacity to refl ect the folk bawdi-
ness of Indian life, with song lyrics that have been translated as: “You’ll know my name when I fuck you dry … Ain’t I nice, I just fucked you twice.” You can almost taste the salt as the sweaty lovers frolic to the score.
Pot-smoking, bigamist Muslim hoodlums stab and shoot one another in the mutt-infested gullies of Wassey-
pur, a world reminiscent of arid Sergio Leone westerns and nothing like the Gucci- clad fantasy normally peddled by Hindi cinema.
“I just wanted to be honest,” says Kashyap of his fi lm, the most expensive to be made in India with a Above: thrash-rap musical Gandu. Right: grimy crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur
22.06.12 The Guardian 13
non-star cast. “I came across a story that captivated me and I wanted to be true to it.” He has a history of making provocative fi lms, the most famous of which is 2004’s Black Friday , telling the story of the 1993 Mumbai bombings and the sectarian rivalry behind them. The enthusiastic international reaction to the new fi lm helped pull the rug from under domestic objections. “It has a lot to do with the reception at Cannes, and also social media. Opinion formers got excited about it and the moralists didn’t get a chance to say anything,” says Kashyap. “Social media has brought a lot of things out into the open in India. ”
The confusion of a society in thrall to its own ancient morals while increasingly experiencing the wider world is acutely captured in Gandu, whose eponymous hero is an angst-
ridden skinhead who yearns to rap with Asian Dub Foundation while loafi ng and getting high on the streets of Calcutta. Shot in black and white, it features a kung-fu-kicking rickshaw-wallah sidekick and an explicit blowjob scene performed by the director’s girlfriend, followed by her squatting brazenly on the young man’s face. The movie is a surreal Bengali mix of Jim Jarmusch kookiness and the raw sexuality of Nagisa Oshima , and is absolutely noth-
ing like any Indian fi lm I’ve ever seen.
Growing up in Calcutta, the former capital of British India, but exposed to global culture, the director, known simply as Q, wants to challenge a soci-
ety he describes as “highly moralistic and post-Victorian ”. He’s inspired by Japanese and Korean auteurs such as Takeshi Miike, making fi lms “coming from an oriental context that are criti-
cal of their own societies. Like Japan, India is a country where there is a strict division between social behaviour and private identity.” His fi lm is a middle fi nger to the Bollywood myth-machine that portrays contemporary India as “a version of the 1970s American dream – very conservative, rich, beautiful and extremely polished”.
In India, he says: “ We have a bril-
liant way of shielding ourselves from moral reality and pretending that noth-
ing is going on. If you don’t pretend you don’t get anywhere in India. Eve-
ryone’s pretending to be a good son, a good husband, a good father. ”
Leaked on the internet, Gandu has been downloaded more than a million times and hawkers openly sell the DVDs. It is now getting govern-
ment exemptions to be shown on the Indian festival circuit and has opened a serious debate on censorship.
But Tannishtha Chatterjee, the star of the 2007 adaptation of Monica Ali’s book Brick Lane , strikes a note of caution about the new sexual freedom . She stars in Dhek Indian Circus , a satire on the iniquities of economic development, also showing at the London festival, and she laments the “male gaze” that controls the industry, that makes fi lms with “women in bikinis, focusing the camera on their breasts”. A split now exists, she says, between Indian TV, which caters almost entirely for female audiences, and cinemas: “Women stay at home and watch TV now, while the men go out and watch porn.” THE DETAILS
The London Indian fi lm festival continues until 3 July at venues across London londonindian
14 The Guardian 22.06.12
Hi Joshua, let’s talk about the character of Jeremy in your new fi lm, Lay the Favourite . He’s like the lone innocent in a gang of rogues.
Yeah, he’s the babe in the woods , he’s outside the gambling arena and allows the Rebecca Hall character to connect to a diff erent kind of life.
Are you a big gambler yourself?
I’ve gone to Vegas, played a bit of poker. The Ocean’s 11 lifestyle is a lot of fun. But I know when to quit. What I like about Lay the Favourite is that it shows gambling as a profession, as this real grind-it-out job, with no glamour .
You got your big break as Pacey Witter on Dawson’s Creek . Do you look back on those days with a wince?
I look back on the haircut, the bad skin be challenged. I mean, OK, Lay the Favourite is a pretty light movie . But it’s still a fi lm by Stephen Frears, with a great cast. You can’t walk on set and start fucking around.
You worked on the London stage in 2005 .
Wow, was that seven years ago? I’ve now reached the age when seven years goes by like that. I’ve gone from being the youngest guy on set to being the old timer who people come to for stories.
In the meantime, you live between homes in Los Angeles and Paris.
In theory! In practice, I spend nine months a year in LA. But Paris is a magical place. And living with a woman who speaks French is wonderful and really opens up the city. Ideally, I’d spend a lot more of my time in Europe.
Maybe come back to London ?
Well, it’s up to you to put the word out. I’d love to do some more theatre. So start the groundswell. I’ve got an off -season coming up. I can be there in November. and the breaking voice with a wince! I guess I look back the way other people look back at their college years. Dawson’s Creek was my college experience.
You’ve also been keeping the character alive through your rueful one-man retrospective Pacey-Con .
Yeah, I’m keeping him alive in a way that I didn’t quite think through. I don’t know what I’m doing; you tell me. It’s just that, in my life, I’ve found that show is so damn impor-
tant to so many people. I hope people appreciate my stance with Pacey-Con. I’m not out to kick the guy when he’s down.
Hmm. You’ve described Pacey Witter as “the greatest televi-
sion character of all time” and discussed launching a range of spin-off merchandise, such as The Tao of Pacey .
OK, yeah. But if I’m satirising anything, it’s the trap of my own mind. It’s so diffi cult to process success when you’re young. I’m not surprised that some people never re adjust and move on. But if you don’t, you’re dead. So I want to move on and I want to Joshua Jackson stars in the new Stephen Frears fi lm, Lay the Favourite
30 minutes with …
Joshua Jackson
On life after Pacey
By Xan Brooks
Read a longer version of this article at lm
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22.06.12 The Guardian 15
Film Pop Jazz Classical GamesTelevision
Under-Estimate the Girl
Kate Nash
Love it? (One person here does.) Hate it? Either way, Nash’s “challenging” new record has been getting played here.
We Trippy Mane
DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn
Didn’t make it to Stonehenge for the summer solstice? Stick with this video of the Chicago footwork duo there.
Need It
Splashh Zonked-out rawk from a group of east Londoners who really sound like they belong on the soundtrack to a Richard Linklater movie.
Nookie Wood
John Cale
A delicious early taste of Cale’s upcoming album for Domino, the splendidly titled Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood.
The F&M Playlist
A woman’s perspective on the Middle East: Nadine Labaki in Where Do We Go Now?, page 19
on t
e i
t? s
ew n
Researching the Blues
Redd Kross
Song title of the year from the bubblegum-
glamsters, who would never be so dull as to actually research the blues.
Metric page 21
16 The Guardian 22.06.12
Reviews Film
By Peter Bradshaw
The Five-Year Engagement
Director: Nicholas Stoller. With: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans. 124min. Cert: 15
So many feelgood romantic comedies turn out to be feelbad, feelbored or feelinsulted, written by people with an actuarial sense of which buttons to push to maximise commercial success. Finding one that’s halfway decent is the fi lm-going equivalent of seeing Halley’s comet, so it’s a pleasure to watch The Five-Year Engagement, co-written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, screenwriters of the recent Muppets movie; Stoller directs, and it is co- produced by Judd Apatow. The Five-
Year Engagement isn’t perfect, but it’s a commercial date movie with warmth, sweetness, charm and laughs, and some witty wedding scenes surely inspired by our own Richard Curtis. It brings a light touch to modern romance, and the fact that a phobia of commit-
ment, so long a male prerogative, is now being claimed by women.
The movie deploys an odd-couple pairing: beefy, goofy, well-meaning Segel with elegant, wand-thin Emily Blunt (right) . As in Seth Rogen’s Knocked Up , there’s some authorial wish-fulfi lment in the heavy-set funny guy getting the beautiful girl. But it’s artlessly persuasive, and the fi lm certainly succeeds in swathing the au-
dience with the romcomfort blanket, yet at the same time giving us gags, and also a sense that the story should hap-
pen in a place vaguely resembling the real world, populated by people with something like real problems. Kind of.
Segel is Tom, an up-and-coming chef in San Francisco; for a year he has been dating Violet, played by Emily Blunt, a British research student in experimen-
tal psychology, who is angling for a postdoctoral position at UCLA. When Tom proposes, the movie treats the couple to an uproariously Curtisian “engagement party”, an invention with which Stoller and Segel can cleverly frontload their fi lm with quasi-wedding-
scene gags about embarrassing in-laws, while leaving the marriage question unresolved. The happy couple are highly disconcerted by a scenario their own nuptials have brought into being: at the party, Tom’s laddish best man Alex (Chris Pratt) puts the moves on Violet’s equally posh sister Suzie, played with what seemed to me a very good English accent by Alison Brie (Pete Campbell’s wife Trudy in TV’s Mad Men).
This situation plants the fi rst tiny seed of self-doubt and self-consciousness in their minds. When Violet is off ered a two-year appointment in far-off Michigan, Tom gallantly agrees to put his own career on hold and delay their wedding plans while they’re out there. But there’s no call for fancy chefs in this snowy, parochial place, and Violet’s career blossoms under the unsettling care of her charismatic professor, played by Rhys Ifans.
A couple of years ago, Nanette Burstein’s comedy Going the Distance – about a long-distance relationship – made a reasonable stab at representing the actual experience of romance in a modern world in which women have careers as well as men. The Five-Year Engagement does its best to accommo-
date this reality as well. Tom bullishly declares that he can “cook anywhere”, but of course part of him realises that abandoning a job in the big city could be a fatal blow to his career momentum. And Segel and Stoller entertainingly show that, once in the back of beyond, Tom’s embrace of local house-husband pursuits like hunting, knitwear and beard-growing is a form of mental breakdown. The movie, perhaps by accident, makes the feminist point that this is precisely the kind of frustration and depression that women have been expected to endure for centuries.
As for Violet, Emily Blunt brings to the role genuine sympathy, and she continues to thaw out the ice-queen hauteur of her earlier movies: The Devil Wears Prada , and perhaps more scarily still, Paweł Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love . Violet is of course a nice person who is seduced, not romantically as much as conceptually, attempting to build her career around a specious theory of self-worth and self-esteem that she is developing from leaving test subjects in an observation room with a box of day-old doughnuts, and seeing which of them will hold out for the promised fresh batch. This is her romcom equivalent of the “Stanford Experiment”, a dangerous concept which will harm her own happiness.
And so their engagement drags on to the unthinkable fi ve-year mark, and with it Tom and Violet’s growing suspicion that their lives together, and their lives in general, are a failure. They’re not sure whether they’ve made a terrible mistake. And all the time their youth is running out.
Blunt and Segel work together very nicely, but the downside is that when they are apart, the fi lm loses a bit of fi zz: their separate lives are quite as contrived and absurd, but quite not so funny and interesting. Yet the course of romcom, like that of true love, can’t be expected to run smooth – and we can’t aff ord to be snobby about very good mainstream entertainment. Defi nitely maybe Jason Segel and Emily Blunt’s procrastinating couple have to deal with actual real-world problems in that rarest of things: a decent romcom
22.06.12 The Guardian 17
Kriss Akabusi
Brian Blessed
Stephen Daldry
Alan Davies
Rick Edwards
Stephen Fry
Haile Gebrselassie
Stephen K Amos
Edwin Moses
Mark Watson
Paper Cinema
World premiere of two new comic plays
Exclusive Talks, Plays & Comedy 26 July –
12 August
Criterion Theatre
Media partner
Booking: 0844 847 1778
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Director: Timur Bekmambetov. With: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper. 105min. Cert: 15
We are all still hanging on for Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as America’s greatest president in Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming Lincoln , waiting to see how he’s going to do the walk, how he’s going to play the transition from smooth-cheeked youth to granite-faced adult, and perhaps most of all what incredible voice he’s going to come up with. Yet I’ve a strong feeling that in all these things Day-Lewis and Spielberg might have been upstaged by this cheerfully subversive post-steampunk fantasy starring Benjamin Walker (pictured) , directed by Timur Bekmam-
betov and adapted by Seth Grahame-
Smith from his own graphic novel. It’s a joke which some will fi nd in sacrilegious bad taste. For me, the self-
aware craziness is the whole point.
This is about that side of Abraham Lincoln’s life neglected by the historians: his passionate vocation as a vampire hunter. Lincoln’s haggard look is now explained. His whole life, he was pulling a double shift. By day, a political idealist. By night, a slayer of the undead. And why? Revenge. One of these murky red-eyed creatures, a hateful fellow called Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) killed his mother, and now with the help of a mysterious fi gure called Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), Abe has been trained in the samurai discipline of vampire hunting. And it turns out the entirety of the American South, the confederacy itself, is a colossal parasitic conspiracy of vampires who have come to the land of America from a sinister place called “Europe”; they now feed off the blood of slaves, and indeed the material resources of the United States. Lincoln’s personal anti-vampire mission will become a civil war for America’s soul.
The whole thing is so bizarre, it’s tempting to imagine a franchise: Warren G Harding: Vampire Hunter, Jimmy Carter: Vampire Hunter, perhaps even a revisionist Richard M Nixon: Vampire Hunter. Lincoln’s own Repub-
lican identity is not mentioned here.
When young Lincoln, serving behind the counter in a Capra-esque neighbourhood store, encounters an anti-abolitionist politician, he is contemptuous of the man’s super-
cilious and evasive remark that the slavery issue is “complicated”. Tellingly, it is the chief vampire Adam (Rufus Sewell) who tries to reinforce this line of thinking with a sneering declaration that we are all slaves in one way or another, and that he has himself seen Africans sell other Africans into slavery. It is extraordinary how often that fatuous and insidious line of argument is advanced in real life, incidentally – and interesting to see it attributed to a vampire here. Finally, with the cares of state upon him, and his small son playing underneath his desk (a cheeky allusion to the famous Kennedy photograph), Lincoln must confront his destiny.
Bekmambetov directs with gusto, and the forthright absurdity of the story, combined with its weirdly heartfelt self-belief, is winning. Unfortunately, it loses ground when it comes to the war itself. But only the very solemn could object to this bizarre adventure dreamed up for the 16th president. Guardian Film Show from the Sheffi eld Doc/Fest
This week’s non-fi ction programme features reviews and interviews with the makers of Searching for Sugar Man, Planet of Snail and Marina Abramovich: The Artist is Present n
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Lincoln, scourge of the undead? Bring it on, says Peter Bradshaw
18 The Guardian 22.06.12
Reviews FilmReviews Film
Lay the Favourite
Director: Stephen Frears. With: Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn. 94min. Cert: 15 Stephen Frears is a supremely accom-
plished director, but perhaps there was little he could do with this garbled story about gambling. It’s an activity that may well be enjoyable to do, but not to watch, or to hear about from excitable people with no aptitude for making their addict ion comprehensible to outsiders. Its based on the avowedly true-life memoir by Beth Raymer, a wide-eyed young woman who came to Las Vegas looking for nothing more than to be a cocktail waitress, and wound up work-
ing for some high-rolling gamblers, running cash and making bets. Rebecca Hall is manically vivacious as Beth, and Bruce Willis shouts a lot as her kindly employer Dink. In fact, everyone does a great deal of tiresome shouting and yell-
ing, as if they’re auditioning for the Max Bialystock role in The Producers. PB The Last Projectionist
Director: Thomas Lawes. With: John Brockington, Les Castree, Paul Curtin, Phil Fawke. 82min. Cert: 12A Tom Lawes’s fi lm is a labour of love about a labour of love. In 2004, Lawes bought the crumbling Electric Cinema in Birmingham and restored it. The Electric is the oldest working cinema in Britain; it opened in 1909, became a newsreel cinema in the second world war, and then in the 1970s a sleazy but profi table porn-fl eapit when British cinema was going through an all-time low. Lawes interviews the various owners and projectionists of the Electric and sits them down for a lively debate about the merits of digital projection versus 35mm fi lm. Does digital lack soul? Maybe; maybe not. This fi lm occasionally looks like a sentimental in-house video, but it’s an entertaining trip down cinema’s memory lane. PB The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan
Dir: Paul Tanter. With: Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani. 81min. Cert: 18
Paul Tanter’s fi lm adds a tiny twist to a tired old genre epitomised by aggressive and self-pitying “true-crime” geezer operas such as Essex Boys . A football hooligan gets inducted into some criminal business – in this case, cloning debit cards. All the shopworn clich es are in place ; as ever, the movie is based on the semi-reliable memories of an allegedly decent-ish bloke who got out of his depth. Nick Nevern plays Mike, an unemployed guy who meets up with an old mate, Eddie (Simon Phillips), who gets him into a dodgy set-up. Inevitably, the whole thing turns out to be more dangerous and violent than he realised. There’s a target demographic for this sort of fantasy on DVD , but it’s a pretty depressing experience. PB
Director: Alex Pillai. With: David Harewood, Ashley Madekwe, Michael Maris. 86min. Cert: 15 Alex Pillai’s urban melodrama Victim has a bizarre and overwrought ending and a few EastEnders-ish moments. But the fi lm has energy. Ashley Madekwe plays innocent Tia, who comes to London to study, staying with her tough cousin; this is Charmaine (Shanika Warren-Markland) who seems to be living the high life, partying and hanging out with male friends including Tyson (Ashley Chin). The awful truth is that Charmaine and her mates are run-
ning a honey-trap scam: they seduce drunken City types in clubs, go back with them to their expensive fl ats, then Tyson and his crew move in, beat them up and steal everything. Inevitably, a romance develops between Tia and Tyson. It doesn’t quite come together, yet there’s some rough’n’ready force. PB Think Like a Man
Director: Tim Story. With: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good. 122min. Cert: 12A Self-help guru Steve Harvey appears to be self-helping himself all the way to the bank with Think Like a Man, a glossy two-hour book commercial lightly disguised as a romantic comedy. This suspect aff air juggles loving closeups of the dust-jacket with grinning cameos Silent Souls
Director: Aleksei Fedorchenko. With: Yuliya Aug, Larisa Damaskina, Olga Dobrina. 78min. Cert: 15 If you can imagine the world of Milan Kundera moved many miles to the east and tinged with melancholy, you may have some idea of Silent Souls, by the 45-year-old Russian director Aleksei Fedorchenko. It combines sadness with a really gamey sexiness and quasi-
necrophile rapture: a drama set in west central Russia, among the ethnic Meryan community who trace their origins to Finland. There is a shimmer of unreality; perhaps it is magic unrealism. When Tanya (Yuliya Aug), the wife of factory boss Miron (Yuri Tsurilo) dies, he asks best friend Aist (Igor Sergeyev) to help him with the tradi-
tional observances. These include “smoke”: the bereaved one speaks of the departed in the most sexual way, in order to convert grief into tenderness. Moreover, the body is adorned as it was for the wedding night, with multi-coloured strands attached to the pubic hair. During the “smoke”, Miron discovers that he was not the only one in love with Tanya. Fedorchenko may not exactly be on oath with all of these Meryan traditions of his, but they create an utterly distinctive world, and the close harmony provided by a choir in one scene really is arresting. PB Chernobyl Diaries
Director: Bradley Parker. With: Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. 86min. Cert: 15 Oren Peli, creator of Paranormal Activity, has produced this chiller about Ameri-
cans abroad: it has a hint of Eli Roth’s Hostel and indeed Jeff Schaff er’s comedy EuroTrip. Some American college back-
packers chance across an ex-army guy in Ukraine who is running “extreme tours”: he will smuggle them into Prypiat, the eerie ghost town in the shadow of the Chernobyl power plant . There is some very good and creepy docu-realist loca-
tion work when everyone fi rst shows up there (it was in fact shot in Hungary and Serbia), and they start to suspect that the town may not be entirely deserted. But as sinister presences emerge from the shadows, it gets dull. There is a scary and surreal appearance by a bear. PB Director: T
omas Lawes.
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Excitable … (above) Joshua Jackson and Rebecca Hall in Lay the Favourite; (below)
Jérémie Renier in Cloclo
22.06.12 The Guardian 19
Read more fi lm reviews at lm WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO MISS
Where Do We Go Now?
Dir: Nadine Labaki. With: Nadine Labaki, Leyla Fouad. 110mins. Cert: 12
It’s easy to see why Nadine Labaki’s cheery Lebanese collective bagged the audience award at last year’s Toronto fi lm festival. It’s machine-tooled to raise smiles, swell hearts, and tickle tear ducts, yet it does so with suffi cient cross-cultural cred you don’t feel too yanked. Likewise, it’s easy to see why it hasn’t followed previous recipients of that award – Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech – to Oscar glory. T he implication that if ladies were in charge, the Middle East would be peaceful, feels queasy. Catherine Shoard Planet of Snail
Director: Yi Seung-jun. 88 mins Cert: tbc
Nature fans beware: this is no micro-
cosmos of the mollusc. Rather, it’s the intensely moving and inherently taxing study of how a couple in South Korea cope with disability. Young-Chan is deaf, blind, and uses fi nger-tapping to communicate, while his wife, Soon-ho has a debilitating spinal problem that has impaired her growth. Neither the subject nor director ask for sympathy; what emerges is a nuanced hymn to the human spirit that still saddens, even when it inspires. CS Cloclo
Director: Florent-Emilio Siri. With: Jérémie Renier, Benoît Magimel, Monica Scattini. 148mins. Cert:12A Cloclo is Claude François: spring-heeled 70s Gallic disco heartthrob , and now in Florent-Emilio Siri’s four-decade survey, Sinatra. More usually, François was a frenetic piggybacker on Anglo-American trends; Siri does better on this score, with the help of a monumental Jérémie Renier turn, almost summoning the grandeur of the Scorsesian personality opera. Whether the personality deserves it is another matter. Phil Hoad
another control-freak biopic monster to join Howard Hughes and J Edgar. François penned Comme D’Habitude, the song that became My Way. Siri – a gifted stylist – makes a golden moment of its composition, linking it to the singer’s struggle to pull free of a barren childhood, and to his surrogate father, from the man himself as it spins a set of contrived case studies out of Harvey’s 2009 bestseller, in which he advises “lady” readers to adopt macho tactics to snare themselves a mate (I’m para-
phrasing here, but not a lot). “Don’t hate the player, change the game,” quips Harvey at one stage, and this sounds fair enough, because the players (Kevin Hart and Meagan Good in particular) are warm and likable . But the game is something else again: fast and loose and rigged and stacked. Beware beaming self-
publicists bearing relationship advice. Those bold, bright one-liners point the way to a life of abject humiliation. XB 20 The Guardian 22.06.12
Reviews Rock & Pop
By Alexis Petridis
Go Kart Mozart
Go Kart Mozart Are On the Hot Dog Streets
The sleevenotes for Go Kart Mozart’s third album take almost as long to read as its 18 tracks take to play. There is a reading list, containing books on soci-
ology, music and mental illness, many of which appear to be made up: you’ll search Amazon in vain for Sanitary Ramblings: Women With Their Knickers Down by Dr Ono Powers. There is a playlist, which reveals that On the Hot Dog Streets was made under the infl u-
ence of both Wiley’s Avalanche Music 1 and Thing , a fl op 1972 novelty single by Edwina Biglet and the Miglets. And there is a list of potential band names for anyone inspired by the album itself and “thinking of having a go”: Dough-
nut Corporation, Female Rejection, Unlikely Pub, Bing Bong Crosby.
There’s something brilliantly, defi antly insane about the notion that anyone is likely to be inspired to form a band in Go Kart Mozart’s image after hearing On the Hot Dog Streets, let alone take advice on their name – or indeed, any aspect of their career – from their frontman, Lawrence . Even the makers of the documentary Lawrence of Belgravia, who think he’s an unsung genius responsible for some of the greatest music of the last 30 years – the lambent, cascading abstractions of Felt ; the brilliant, glam-fuelled dissec-
tion of pop culture on Denim’s 1992 debut Back in Denim – might baulk at the idea that his is a path anyone should follow. Commercial failure is part of his legend , compounded by the sheer odd-
ness of much of his music . There may be no greater example of major record labels’ misguided profl igacy in the Britpop era than the fact EMI saw fi t to release Denim’s 1997 album Novelty Rock: “We are the new potatoes,” he sang on the opening track , before off ering songs called Tampax Advert (“being on is no hassle – girls love it, it’s great”) and a cover of the theme from the 70s sitcom Robin’s Nest .
But it was in fact an indicator of the direction he’s continued to pursue in Go Kart Mozart. “Mister A&R man, he don’t understand,” he complains on the optimistically titled Lawrence Takes Over and, as it shifts from tinny electropop to mock pomp-rock to pub knees-up and back again in the space of three minutes, you can sympathise with Mister A&R man’s baffl ement. If On the Hot Dog Streets isn’t quite as confounding as Go Kart Mozart’s previ-
ous albums, where blackly comic songs about heroin rubbed shoulders with a track about the Rwandan genocide called Drinkin’ Um Bongo , its contents are still so far removed from anything even on the fringes of alternative rock as to make your head spin.
The best way to describe its sound is to imagine an alternate musical uni-
verse, where the shrill pop new-wave of Kim Wilde’s debut album and the tinpot experimentalism of Lieutenant Pigeon have supplanted the set texts of rock. Syndrums ping, trebly guitars chug, there is the occasional deviation into oompah and at one point a burst of terrible cod-Jamaican toasting. Amid all this is As Long as You Come Home Tonight, a heartbreaking ballad about a sickly relationship: “It’s at moments like these, I get down on my knees, I can’t summon the strength to even leave.” It’s preceded by song called Ollie Ollie Get Your Collie, which appears to be about caulifl owers.
Perhaps Go Kart Mozart’s fans are engaged in an act of indulgence , putting up with stuff like this in the belief that Lawrence will eventually collect himself and start making music as beautiful as Felt’s Forever Breathes the Lonely Word or The Splendour of Fear again. But however abstruse On the Hot Dog Streets seems, it’s powered by the same melodic facility as those albums: believe it or not, the tunes of White Stilettos in the Sand, Blowin’ in a Secular Breeze and, indeed, Ollie Ollie Get Your Collie are indelible. It’s often howlingly funny or discomforting, or both – I Talk With Robot Voice off ers a saga of emotional disconnection, complete with the refrain: “Yet I admit I’m still susceptible to vaginas.” Whatever you make of it, you’d have a hard time arguing On the Hot Dog Streets is anything other than unique: the sound of a man pursuing a singular, uncompromising artistic vision, as he has been doing for the last 30 years. You might call it inspirational after all. Even when he’s singing about caulifl owers, it’s hard to deny Lawrence is one of pop’s all-time great one-off s
Against all odds
Body Weather – Sunless 97 This is lovely: slightly out-of-
focus synth-pop, unexpectedly decorated with sax
THIS WEEK ALEXIS LISTENED TO Head-spinning … Go Kart Mozart’s Lawrence
22.06.12 The Guardian 21
From stroppy despair to proud optimism … Metric (below)
Listening to Synthetica, you have to keep reminding yourself that this is Emily Haines’s fi fth album with Metric, because the singer repeatedly comes across like a surly teenager oscillating between stroppy despair and proud optimism. Her fi rst line, “I’m just as Beachwood Sparks
The Tarnished Gold
The LA quartet Beachwood Sparks are a band out of time, in two senses. First, their third album comes the best part of 11 years since their last . Second, their music is so tied to the southern California of the late 60s and early 70s that it’s hard not to imagine the songs as outtakes from the Easy Rider sound-
track. Curiously, though, that makes them feel more current than they did fi rst time around: Beachwood Sparks are bathed in same the hazy, tinted nostalgia that powers Tumblr and Instagram. It helps, too, that Tarnished Gold is of a piece with their fi rst two albums, but never a pale imitation. Earl Jean combines country rhythms with soft jangle of electric guitars, like the Byrds in their Clarence White era ; Talk About Lonesome sounds like a ballad Neil Young wrote for Johnny Cash in 1972, then forgot about. The mariachi diversion No Queremos Oro is a little puzzling, but the rest’s a summery shimmer of pleasure. Michael Hann Metr
immer o
leasure. Mich
l Ha
fucked-up as they say”, is fl inty with defi ance; her last, “I’ve got nothing but time, so the future is mine”, burns with hope. The more confounding she is, the more Haines gets under your skin: she delivers the cutesy Lost Kit-
ten through a sardonic scowl, while Dreams So Real manages to express both the resignation of age and the pet-
ulance of adolescence: “I’ll shut up and carry on,” she chants, “the scream be-
comes a yawn.” Musically the album is far less complicated: produced by gui-
22 The Guardian 22.06.12
Reviews Rock, pop, folk
L’Enfant Sauvage
France’s Gojira have established themselves as one of heavy metal’s most wildly creative and cerebral forces. Their fi fth studio album sustains their trademark blend of unfathomable heaviness, structural The Smashing Pumpkins
Fresh from announcing that he would “piss on” Radiohead to show up their pomposity, Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins interrupt their 44-song concept release about the tarot for Oceania, an “album-within-
an-album”. Continuing to make this principled stand against pretentiousness, Corgan staggers around a number of meandering rock songs in search of hokey mysticism. “God right on! Krishna right on! Mark right on! … Let’s ride on!” he urges on opener Quasar, like a beefy, post-
grunge Kula Shaker. Frustratingly, when that song hits its stride, there’s a nod to that insistent drive that made the Pumpkins in their prime so urgent, which means Oceania isn’t Watch online
On Saturday, we’re live-
streaming the Simón Bolívar Orchestra’s sold-out show at the Southbank in London
A bloated path to nowhere … The Smashing Pumpkins
tarist Jimmy Shaw, Synthetica has the fl awless sheen of stainless steel and feels just as workaday, with even the industrial buzz of Artifi cial Nocturne and Youth Without Youth polished to a characterless gleam. Maddy Costa without merit. When it fi nds focus, as it does on the lean, certain The Celestials and The Chimera, it’s a clear, timely reminder that Corgan can be a fi ne songwriter. But elsewhere, and too often, tracks chug and puff along a bloated path to nowhere. Rebecca Nicholson invention and ecological-cum- existential poetry while subtly enhancing its dramatic and emotional impact. As fans have come to expect, songs such as labyrinthine opener Explosia and the scabrous, melancholic trawl of Planned Obsolescence eschew metal cliches in favour of exhilarating percussive twists and turns, churning dissonance and deft fl ashes of melody. The uninitiated may detect shades of Killing Joke amid the epic, tectonic grind of Mouth of Kala and the skitter-
ing menace of the title track, but over-
all this is a ferociously original piece of work that reaches its electrifying zenith on The Gift of Guilt: six minutes of sledgehammer sorrow built from riff s that sound like warning shots fi red from the planet’s doomed and turbulent core. This is metal taken to a higher plane of brilliance. Dom Lawson 22.06.12 The Guardian 23
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Maroon 5
The title of Maroon 5 ’s fourth album is a straightforward declaration: owing to 8m sales of the 2011 single Moves Like Jagger , plus leader Adam Levine’s stint as a judge on the US edition of The Voice, the public have seen rather a lot of this band lately. But this album could change that, because nothing here is in Jagger’s insanely catchy league. That’s not for want of trying – where previously Maroon 5 mainly wrote their own songs, here they’ve tried to reproduce the Jagger eff ect by collaborating with Britney Spears songwriter Max Martin, among other expensive hitmakers, but the songs they came up with are not especially memorable. The hooklines and charac-
teristic high-shine production are there, but don’t quite replicate Jagger’s blue-sky charm – quite the opposite in the case of Payphone , which bolts together hip-hop, a superfl uous Wiz Khalifa rap and some embarrassing effi ng and blinding from Levine. Try instead the pumped-up electropop track Doin’ Dirt and One More Night’s white-dude reggae. Caroline Sullivan Linkin Park
Living Things
“ Linkin Park can be as lyrically or sonically adventurous as we want,” the band’s Mike Shinoda said in these pages last year, after their fourth album A Thousand Suns marked an unlikely metamorphosis from blockbusting nu metal to left-fi eld , electronic, political pop. Such motivations explain the follow-up’s opener, Lost in the Echo, which crams Europop, hip-hop and a big screaming chorus into just over three minutes. However, Living Things feels more like consolidation than advancement, perhaps in an attempt to pacify fans alienated by the new direction, while keeping new converts interested, too. Thus, the scream-
heavy, anguished guitar anthems of their fi rst two albums nestle alongside Victimised’s more brutal rap-metal, dewy electro and Kasabian-like stomp. Living Things is more personal than A Thousand Suns, with underlying themes of recovery from traumatic experiences. The exception, Burn It Down , delivers an antiwar sentiment via Depeche Mode-y electro-bounce, Moulettes
The Bear’s Revenge
Moulettes are among the frontrunners of the new British acoustic scene thanks to their sophisticated, unpredictable approach, matching precise female harmony vocals against complex, swirling backing featuring violin, cello and bassoon – and with banjo, lap steel, hammered dulcimer or washboard added in. They are intrigu-
ing because almost every song takes a diff erent direction. Thus the opening Sing Unto Me is a light, cheerful sing-along that seems just a little too It’s My Life
Bon Jovi Real Gone Kid
Deacon Blue
Maybe Tomorrow
Father and Son
Cat Stevens
Damien Rice
Tears in Heaven
Eric Clapton
Doesn’t Really Matter
The Hummingbirds
while the similarly standout Roads Untraveled is an eerie confessional ballad. Living Things would have bene-
fi ted from more of such adventure, but they still sound like a band enjoying an unexpected second life. Dave Simpson simple until Georgina Leach’s adven-
turous violin eases in, while Songbird is a charming neo-folk ballad with exquisite harmonies, and the instrumental Grumpelstiltskin’s Jig sounds like a furious English dance tune that suddenly veers off into controlled discord. The album is never as gently chilling as their excel-
lent live performances, but the long and thoughtful Some Who You Love is a reminder that Moulettes can be edgy as well as upbeat. Robin Denselow 24 The Guardian 22.06.12
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1, 2 and 3
Netherlands Radio PO/
BIS ★★★★★ Shostakovich’s fi rst three symphonies just squeeze on to a single CD, but as far Byrd: The Great Service
Devine/English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble/
Musica Contexta/Ravens
CHANDOS ★★★★★ Rediscovered in the library of Durham Cathedral in 1922, the exact circumstances of the composition of what was immediately dubbed William Byrd’s “Great Service” remain Messiaen: Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum, etc
Orchestre National de Lyon/Märkl
NAXOS ★★★★★ Both in the concert hall and on record, Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Reviews Classical and jazz
Berlioz: Les Nuits d’Eté; Herminie; Ravel: Shéhérazade
Gens/Orchestra National de la Pays de la Loire/Axelrod
★★★★★ Véronique Gens has recorded Les Nuits d’Eté before, in 2001 for Virgin Classics , as part of an all-Berlioz disc alongside the early scena, La Mort de Cléopatre. The wonderful poise and clarity of that performance invited comparisons with what is generally regarded as the greatest of all versions of Berlioz’s song cycle, by Régine Crespin. In returning to the work, Gens pushes that parallel even farther by pairing it with Ravel’s Shéhérazade, as on Crespin’s original LP.
As you might expect, Gens’s singing has sharpened its musical perceptions still further and acquired even more shades of colour since that earlier recording. No one today delivers French song with the combination of tonal beauty and verbal nuance she does, and each number of Nuits d’Eté off ers a miniature masterclass, whether it’s in the joyous buoyancy that she brings to the opening Villanelle, the sensuousness wrapped around the phrases of Sur les Lagunes or the hint of mysterious smokiness that invades her tone for Au Cimetière. With the Angers-based orchestra that he took over last year, John Axelrod provides wonderfully supple, attentive support. His players are equally impressive, whether conjuring up the hazy, suggestive backdrops to the gorgeous velvety sheen of Gens’s voice in Ravel’s Klingsor settings, or the more classically correct accompaniment to Herminie, Berlioz’s second unsuccessful attempt to win the prestigious Prix de Rome, for which Gens’s experience as a Gluck singer is the perfect pedigree. The disc’s only blemish is a curious one: two-thirds of the way through Sur les Lagunes, the voice suddenly recedes, as if Gens has moved farther from the microphone. Everything else is pure ravishment. Andrew Clements
Mysterious smokiness … Véronique Gens; (right) Kwartet’s Tim Whitehead
as I know this is the fi rst time they have been released in such a convenient package, as they make up the latest instalment in Mark Wigglesworth ’s cycle of the complete symphonies. From the perspective of how Shostakovich’s career was to develop, all three off er a fascinating array of might-have-beens, hinting at stylistic directions that were contemplated, but never followed up. Wigglesworth’s performance of the First Symphony particularly, though, seems intent on demonstrating how much that work does actually foreshadow what followed from the Fifth Symphony onwards. With their much looser grip on tonality and constructivist approach to form, it’s much harder to disguise the modernist inclinations of the Second and Third, but Wigglesworth and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra do a fi ne job in clarifying the tangled textures , and in making their choral fi nales seem a bit more than just propagandist doggerel. AC unknown. The sheer scale of the setting, including matins, communion and evensong, and the forces it requires – two fi ve-part choirs – indicate that it was certainly written for use on state occasions at the Chapel Royal where Byrd, a Roman Catholic in the service of an Anglican monarch, was employed from 1572 . Most modern performances have either been given a cappella or with organ accompaniment, but in his notes to this recording, Musica Contexta ’s director Simon Ravens argues that Byrd might well have envisaged performances with much larger forces. That’s the starting point for this reconstruction, in which sackbuts and cornetts as well as an organ accompany and reinforce the choirs; instrumental versions of motets from Byrd’s 1607 Gradualia serve as preludes to each liturgy, earlier instrumental pieces are interpolated into the sequences and anthems composed for other occasions end the fi rst and third parts. It’s a fascinating piece of musical conjecture, even if the textures sometimes seem a little too overripe. AC PHOTOGRAPH JEAN-BAPTISTE MILLOT 22.06.12 The Guardian 25
Jan Garbarek Sart/Witchi-Tai-To/
Dansere ECM
This ECM box set brings together three early Jan Garbarek albums, made between 1971 and 1975, and all featuring fl uently inventive Swedish jazz pianist Bobo Stenson. The players were the emerging young stars of the Scandinavian scene , and though the music is uneven, its growing independence is palpable. Sart refl ects both Miles Davis’s late-60s fusion and Coltrane’s and Albert Ayler’s free-sax odysseys (in Garbarek’s high, squealing dissonances and battering runs), while Witchi-Tai-To is steered by Stenson’s aff ection for folk-song melody. But 1975’s Dansere fi nds Garbarek beginning to leave orthodox jazz-sax methods behind, his tone now unique, his phrasing sparing . The spine-tinglingly lonely hoots on trances like Skrik & Hyl and Lokk represent the Garbarek his regular admirers know. John Fordham
Kwartet Seventh Daze
In the newly formed Kwartet, saxophonists Tim Whitehead and Tony Woods go for a straight repertoire – Mortuorum, Messiaen ’s 1964 memorial to the dead of two world wars, is heard far more than it used to be . Heard live, its huge dynamic range, with its apocalyptic gongs, can be genuinely intimidating, but though Jun Märkl ’s performance is well paced and carefully shaped and balanced, there’s just not enough presence in the recorded sound to make it really eff ective. The disc’s real interest comes with the pair of early pieces, both genuine rarities, that follow Et Exspecto here . The fi ercely combative Le Tombeau Resplendissant dates from 1931, though it was never heard again in Messiaen’s lifetime after its fi rst performance, while Hymne, composed the following year, had to be reconstructed entirely from memory by the composer in 1946, after the score was lost. All the early infl uences, from César Franck to Stravinsky can be detected, not yet synthesised into a unique, utterly distinctive style. AC
Rogers and Hart’s My Romance, Charlie Parker’s Confi rmation and Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way, alongside original folk and contemporary-jazz themes . It’s unpretentiously joyous music-making, often very reminiscent of 1950s contrapuntal jazz featuring two-
horn front lines , and the contrast between Woods’ restraint and Whitehead’s rugged vigour keeps the mix simmering. It’s old wine in new bottles, but engagingly done. JF
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22.06.12 The Guardian 27
Preview Games
ames tend not to borrow stories from literature. Not explicitly, at least. I’m sure some wishful academic has argued at one time or another that Lara Croft is a modern-
day Emma Bovary, Resident Evil a met-
aphorical Bleak House and Just Dance 4 a physical interpretation of Joyce’s Ulysses. By and large though the worlds of literature and video games remain separate, and where the two do meet the results are often half-
hearted . Successful games spawn hasty tie-in novels, while books suc-
cessful enough to become fi lms spawn hasty tie-in games.
Why the reluctance of game design-
ers to plunder bookshelves? In part, perhaps, because games are designed and built by scientists more than art-
ists. Rightly so, of course, considering the vast, invisible nuts and bolts of games are code and calculations. Try as they might, a team of literature graduates will fi nd it diffi cult if not im-
possible to build a physics engine out of feminist approaches to the work of Dickens and a critical response to Web-
ster’s The Duchess of Malfi .
Games designers may also be put off by the novelist’s focus on the in-
ternal lives of their protagonists. With their relentless emphasis on action and reaction, games just don’t have time or space for the inner workings of the human psyche. A crippling fear of social isolation or an unwillingness to come to terms with having aged won’t exactly make for thrilling boss battles. That’s why the platform game of The Great Gatsby mocked up to look like a NES title by a pair of enthusiasts features the novel’s recurring motif of watchful eyes in a pair of spectacles as a hovering, laser-armed fi nal boss.
on a mission to fi nd the commander of a lost rogue battalion. Where Conrad’s Charles Marlow seeks out the elusive Kurtz, Walker’s target is a Colonel John Konrad. No one’s claiming it’s a subtle homage.
Comparisons with Apocalypse Now are inevitable, and the game is rich with at least as many references to the fi lm as to the novel: in its opening movie, Walker relates the story so far in voiceover as he rises from a sun-
soaked bed in a sparse hotel suite. The three main characters are well-
written and voice-acted, and put to good use in the game’s many fi re fi ghts. You control only Walker directly, but Lugo and Adams can be commanded to chip in by hurling stun grenades, fo-
cusing their fi re on tougher enemies or sniping distant gunmen . Combat in the game lies some-
where between Mass Eff ect’s cover system and a conventional fi rst-person shooter. Sadly it’s not quite a happy medium. Aiming can be a pain , and there’s a lack of tactical depth to most gunfi ghts, which boil down to shooting whichever bad guy’s closest, reloading and then shooting the next.
Dynamic environmental conditions – notionally one of the game’s other major selling points – add only a little more depth to the game’s bigger bat-
tles. Infrequent sandstorms force your team to seek shelter indoors, and a handful of fi ghts require you to riddle a window or door with bullets so that an avalanche of sand engulfs your enemies from above, but this is quite a bit less satisfying than it sounds. There’s a reason, after all, why no one has ever made a game called Window Slayer, and it’s nothing to do with the challenges of conveying a window’s complex inner life.
Game on
If you’re going to base a game on a book, Heart of Darkness isn’t a bad choice By Tom Meltzer
It’s odd, bold and really quite com-
mendable then that the makers of third-person squad-based shoot-em-up Spec Ops: The Line (Xbox 360/PS3 /
PC) have chosen to base their story both openly and heavily on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Albeit a version updated for the Modern Warfare generation in which, instead of the Congo, events take place in a disaster-hit Dubai, half-sunk after six months of sandstorms and peopled by refugees and rogue militias. Our hero is Captain Martin Walker, of US special operations team Delta Force. Walker’s here with his buddies Lugo and Adams bad
Your target
is a Colonel
Konrad. No one’s
it’s a subtle
28 The Guardian 22.06.12
Reviews Television
BEST POSSIBLE TASTE What could other documentary makers learn from Grayson
A week in radio
Ferguson lacks fi reworks
“We should,” Sue Lawley mooted, as she introduced the fi rst of this year’s Reith Lectures (Radio 4) by Niall Ferguson, “expect a few fi reworks.” As the lecture ended , however, it was hard to tell if there had been any. Ferguson’s lecturing style – punchy, starchy, rhetorical, swooping cadences, emphatic pauses and more than a little pleased with itself – almost entirely eclipsed the content.
It was the antithesis of last year’s brilliant lectures by Aung San Suu Kyi , which were direct, clear, bold and gripping. Despite their big themes and broad scope, they incorporated the crucial radio quality of feeling as if one person is simply addressing another, while Ferguson’s was hard to connect to. He was much more involving, and even funny, in the discussion that followed. Yes, this is a lecture series, but it’s also radio, and that takes diff erent skills from the formality of a lecture theatre or the demands of television; in both of those, people are in some sense in the room with you. Having read the lecture afterwards – and you really shouldn’t have to do that to get the gist of it – I’m still not sure fi reworks is quite right, but there were defi nitely interesting sparks.
Delivery was also an issue in Your World (World Service), in which writer Lauren Beukes explored the rise of science fi ction in Africa. This was a fascinating subject, showing how the genre takes a diff erent form on the continent as it ditches the dystopian urban futurism associated with other locations, but also how it challenges stereotypes of Africa.
While contributions from those interviewed were excellent, Beukes’s exposition was nigh-on unlistenable. She spoke far too fast, with a brusque harshness to her voice that wasn’t helped by a tight feel to it, as if she just needed to slow down and take a deep breath. As with the Reith Lecture, you no-
ticed how she was saying things rather than what she was saying. The very best broadcasters manage the opposite, seemingly eff ortlessly. Elisabeth Mahoney
I sometimes wonder what would happen if all three television Wallanders were gathered together in the same room. The atmosphere would surely be bleak enough to extinguish all hope in anyone present. Perhaps nobody in the whole of southern Sweden would ever smile again.
Each of the portrayals – by Krister Henriksson and Rolf Lassgård in two separate Swedish TV series, and Ken-
neth Brannagh, who is about to return in the British version – brings some-
thing special to Henning Mankell’s tortured detective ; but it is Lassgård , star of this box set of four original Wal-
lander dramas, who best captures the shambolic physicality of the novel’s character as he lumbers, sweats and puff s his way around the screen. On one occasion, Mankell has Wallander wipe his armpits with a curtain in lieu of a shower; with Lassgård’s Wallander, you’re relieved you can’t smell him.
Which is not to say Lassgård plays the policeman as an unsympathetic character. On the contrary, throughout the four stories – Pyramid, One Step Behind, Firewall and The Man Who Smiled (the latter two of which come in two parts) – that aired on BBC4 in late 2010, Wallander seems at his most human, with his emotions, frustrations and vulnerability laid open. He seems Your next box set
Wallander to bumble – and indeed bungle – his way to the right answer.
I’m not entirely convinced, how-
ever, that the production values always match Lassgård’s powerful central per-
formance. Some of the dramas lack the visual fl air that the mysteries and their Skane setting could have aff orded ; plot and character are prioritised instead, along with a certain realism. While The Man Who Smiles off ers us glimpses of the Swedish landscape and dreamy asides, Firewall seems almost deter-
mined to keep us within the beige surrounds of the police station.
Pacing can also be lacking. Fans of The Killing are used to mystery-
solving taking a long time, but Fire-
wall does rather move at one speed. Whether that strikes you as a problem is probably largely determined by your view of Lassgård’s Wallander. I could happily watch him for hours, although I would have preferred it if the dramas came in the right order here. It’s baffl ing to be jumping about Wallander’s love life (for me, some-
thing of a distraction in any case).
But these are niggles. Despite having read the novels and watched fi ne performances by Branagh and Henriks-
son, I found that Lassgård grabbed the attention and kept it, making old stories seem new – his impotent, drunken rage at the close of The Man Who Smile d, for instance, is mesmerising. Wallander may feel less refi ned here than his rival incarnations, but that is to the good. It’s this essential rawness that makes Lass-
gård’s performance so compelling.
Vicky Frost Shambolic physicality … Rolf Lassgård as Wallander; (below) Reith lecturer Niall Ferguson
22.06.12 The Guardian 29
’m a little weary of all these macho cooking shows, and shouty celebrity chefs strutting around the kitchen with their cocks in the air. Well, a big knife actually, here in Marco Pierre White’s Kitchen Wars (Channel 5). Sabatier rattling. Actually I can’t see Sabatier on this list of equipment suppliers on the Channel 5 website, maybe it’s made by someone else. Anyway, who the hell does Marco think he is? D’Artagnan? Zoro? Mack the friggin’ Knife? And why does the kitchen have to be such a war zone? I like cooking for love, in a nice relaxed way, with a glass of wine. Or two. Oh Keith Floyd, I do miss you.
Before the war begins, our contest-
ants – three couples who already run their own restaurants – have to get to “the battle kitchen”. Which they do in smart black people carriers, taking in as many of London’s landmarks as possible. Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Westminster, the Embankment, Wembley … where the hell is the battle kitchen? Hope this isn’t on the meter. I think Marco’s Kitchen Wars is trying to be just a teeny bit like The Appren-
tice, don’t you?
Once assembled in the gleaming theatre of war equipped with all the latest hi-tech weaponry (check that list if you’re interested), Marco explains the rules of engagement while pacing up and down and stroking his big knife with pantomime theatricality. They will cook a meal, against each other, and against the clock. It will be “one of the toughest services of your life”, he tells them. Which is his way of saying: “Cook-
ing doesn’t get tougher than this.” And it is now basically MasterChef. One couple will go through to the next round, the others Marco gets to impale on 10 inches of cold steel … That would be good, but no, they just go home, I’m afraid. In disgrace.
And so they’re off – chopping, week. Here’s why. I’m a big fan of Sharon Horgan, who co-wrote and stars in it. Pulling, which she also co-wrote and starred in, was fabulous, one of my comedy highlights of recent times. But this was pretty lame – and tame – in comparison. I wanted to like it, but couldn’t.
So I ignored it. Perhaps it needed time to bed in (pah!), and would get into its stride in week two. I told myself I was giving it a chance by deferring judg ment, when of course I was really simply bottling it.
This episode is maybe a bit better. There are some nice lines: “Mia casa, tua casa, is that German, erm, mein Kampf is your Kampf?” Horgan’s character Helen tells her new prison exchange cellmate Gertie (played by Anna Crilly, whose German accent is pretty much the same as the indeter-
minate eastern European one she has as Magda in Lead Balloon). And some nice performances (Emma Pierson’s stands out, as the dead boss’s widow). But, let’s be honest, it’s not good – neither wonderfully anarchic nor wonderfully rude, as Pulling was. It lacks that conviction and confi dence. It’s old-fashioned, unadventurous and, more serious still, unfunny.
Oh God, my confession gets worse, it was a bigger bottle even than that. Sharon Horgan follows me on Twitter. I was like an excited little boy when she did, given that I don’t just follow her, I practically stalk her. Now I’m like someone who’s pestered her forever for a kiss, she’s fi nally relented (out of pity), and I’m running around saying her breath stinks. Let’s face it though; it does. Not literally, but her sitcom does.
I say she follows me, I’m sure she doesn’t any more. Oh well. Nothing – and no one – comes between me and critical integrity … Yeah, shush now. Last night's TV
Marco’s cookery show has a bit of everything – it’s The Apprenterchef’s Kitchen
By Sam Wollaston
shouting, sweating, effi ng and blind-
baking too, as the heat and the pres-
sure build. One couple call each other chef – yes chef, no chef, three bags full chef. That’s a bit weird, isn’t it? A tray of lambs’ tongues clatters to the fl oor, conveniently caught on camera. That often happens. Because it is incredibly tough. Oh, and it’s not completely like MasterChef, because the kitchen then turns into a restau-
rant, and our couples have to serve the food to customers. So it’s sort of like Hell’s Kitchen too. A hybrid then – The Apprentice, MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen. The Apprenterchef’s Kitchen. And I really can’t be arsed, to be honest. Too much much shouting, too much war. Give peace a chance.
Confession time. I didn’t review Dead Boss (BBC3) when it began last AND ANOTHER THING
Next week looks good: Armando Iannucci OBE’s Veep and Alan Partridge on Monday, Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty and Spike Jonze’s Scenes from the Suburbs on Tuesday … And I’m going to be on bloody holiday.
Sabatier at the ready … Marco Pierre White and contestant 30 The Guardian 22.06.12
Watch this
TV and radio
Simon Schama’s Shakespeare
9pm, BBC2
What came fi rst, English-
ness, or Shakespeare’s idea of it? Simon Schama produces a persuasive argument towards the latter. We scarcely knew ourselves before the bard solidifi ed us on stage, and here Schama revels in explaining how Shakespeare had an unrivalled hand in crafting our national personality. Interspersed with some choice moments played out by some choice Shakespear-
eans (Roger Allam is belting as Falstaff ), he was variously the fi rst poet of class war, the quintessential everyman and the choreographer of the rhythm of our language. Ben Arnold
David Bowie And The Story Of Ziggy Stardust
9pm, BBC4
It’s 40 years since Bowie released The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. For some, that’s a fact that’s scarier than the Starman in that skintight frightsuit. Avid fan Jarvis Cocker narrates this documentary that looks at how Bowie experimented with diff erent musical styles (The Laugh-
ing Gnome, anyone?) before lopping off his long ladyhair, slipping on his high-heeled boots and becoming Ziggy. Hearing the songs again is a reminder of the greatness behind the gimmick, and Elton John, Holly John-
son and Marc Almond are among the fans who talk fondly about his infl uence. Hannah Verdier Episodes
10pm, BBC2
Another meeting where Bev and Sean think their show is going to be axed turns out to be about something else entirely. The problem they are faced with is one of the more realistic Episodes has dealt with, as Matt LeBlanc’s decreased screen time on Pucks! has given him the chance to stuff his face and pile on the pounds. In the more soapy part of the show, Bev goes on a date with Morning’s brother Rob (James Purefoy), an apparently normal LA resi-
dent, something the show has in very short supply. Phelim O’Neill
David Bowie And The Story Of Ziggy Stardust, BBC4
Channel 4
Including music by Stravinsky, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Hutschenruyter, Debussy, Gorecki, Haydn, Mozart, Schein, Korngold, Saint-
Saens, Gesualdo, Viotti and Liszt.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday In Parliament. 8.58 (LW) Weather 9.0 Desert Island Discs. Kirsty Young talks to Ahdaf Soueif. (R) 9.45 (LW) Act Of Worship. 9.45 (FM) Book Of The Week: Beauty And The Inferno. The Ghosts of Nobel, by Roberto Saviano.
10.0 (LW) Woman’s Hour. 10.0 (FM) Woman’s Hour. 10.45 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v West BBC1 BBC2 ITV1
6.0pm Eggheads (R) (S) With Jeremy Vine.
6.30 Great British Railway Journeys (R) (S) (AD) Stilton cheese secrets revealed.
6.0pm Local News (S) Weather
6.30 ITV News And Weather (S)
6.0pm The Simpsons (R) (S) (AD) Krusty’s busted for tax evasion.
6.30 Hollyoaks (S) (AD) Riley declares his feelings for Mitzeee.
6.0pm BBC News (S) Weather
6.30 Regional News Programmes (S) Weather
7.0 The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best (R) (S) (AD) Si King and Dave Myers sample dishes most usually served up on special occasions, including Baltic pig’s trotters, lemon souffl e and honey-glazed ham.
7.0 Emmerdale (S) (AD) Gennie discovers Chas and Cameron together on her sofa. 7.0 Channel 4 News (S) 7.25 4thought.
tv (S) Have social networking sites led to more bullying?
7.30 Come Dine With Me (R) (S) The culinary challenge fetches up in Hampshire.
7.0 Match Of The Day Live: Euro 2012 (S) Germany v Greece (kick-off 7.45pm). Gary Lineker hosts coverage of the second quarter-
fi nal. Subsequent programmes are subject to change.
8.0 Coast (S) The team visits Sweden.
8.30 Gardeners’ World (S) Monty Don plants annuals to add colour to the garden. Carol Klein off ers advice on how to create a wildlife-
friendly plot.
8.0 Lewis (R) (S) (AD) Hathaway and Lewis investigate the death of a student during a clinical trial for a new antidepressant. With Douglas Henshall.
8.30 The Million Pound Drop Live (S) Davina McCall hosts the quiz show where contestants can win a prize of £1 million.
9.0 Simon Schama’s Shakespeare (S) (AD) The historian presents two documentaries about how Shakespeare’s world infl uenced his work. First up, the history plays, Englishness and Sir John Falstaff .
11.0 The Review Show (S) Armando Iannucci’s new TV drama, Veep.
11.45 Weather (S)
11.50 Macbeth, The Movie Star — And Me (S) Actor David Harewood works with inner-city teenagers. 11.35 Best In Show (Christopher Guest, 2000) (S) The eccentic owners of pampered mutts prepare for a dog show. Witty mockumentary from the co-creators of Spinal Tap. Starring Eugene Levy.
11.40 Random Acts (R) (S) Short arts fi lm.
11.45 Keeping Mum (Niall Johnson, 2005) (S) (AD) Uneven black comedy centred on a murderous housekeeper. Starring Rowan Atkinson and Maggie Smith.
11.20 The National Lottery Friday Night Draws (S) 11.30 White Van Man (S) Darren doesn’t turn up for work.
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Sara Mohr-Pietsch introduces favourite pieces, notable performances and a few surprises. 9.0 Essential Classics. Including more Purcell chamber music performed by London Baroque, plus the daily brainteaser and performances by the Artists of the Week the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
12.0 Composer Of The Week: Claudio Monteverdi. Lagrime d’Amante al Sepolcro dell’Amata (Sestina); Vespro Della Beata Vergine (Nisi Radio
Domius, Audi coelum, Lauda Jerusalem); Io mi son giovinetta; Rutilante in nocte; L’Orfeo (Act 5). (R)
1.0 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. In the last in a week of concerts given at the Sage Gateshead, the Escher Quartet performs Zemlinsky’s String Quartet No 1 in A and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No 6 in F minor.
2.0 Afternoon On 3. A concert recorded yesterday at Belfast’s Ulster Hall in which the Ulster Orchestra performs works by Ives, MacDowell and Vaughan Williams.
4.30 In Tune. Sean Raff erty presents a selection of music and news from the arts world.
6.30 Composer Of The Week: Claudio Monteverdi. (R)
7.30 Radio 3 Live In Concert. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Matthias Pintscher performs works inspired by America, including Bartok’s Violin concerto No 2 and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
10.0 The Verb. Ian McMillan showcases new writing, performance and global literature.
10.45 The Essay. In the week’s fi nal essay, lawyer Albie Sachs refl ects on the cases involving social and economic rights that were brought before the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
11.0 World On 3. Lopa Kothari introduces a specially recorded studio session by the band R.U.T.A., who off er an unlikely blend of early music, Polish roots and punk infl uences.
1.0 Through The Night. 10.0 Episodes (S) (AD) Sean and Beverly have to confront Matt about his excess pounds. Beverly goes on a date with Morning’s brother.
10.30 Newsnight (S) With Gavin Esler.
10.0 ITV News At Ten And Weather (S)
10.30 Local News/
Weather (S)
10.35 Euro 2012 Highlights (S) Matt Smith hosts action from Germany v Greece, from the Arena Gdansk in Poland.
10.0 8 Out Of 10 Cats (S) Jimmy Carr hosts.
10.50 Stand Up For The Week (S) Hosted by Jon Richardson. With Seann Walsh, Josh Widdicombe, Sara Pascoe, Paul Chowdhry and Andrew Lawrence. 10.0 BBC News (S)
10.25 Regional News And Weather (S)
10.35 The Graham Norton Show (S) With, Greg Davies, Miriam Margolyes and Adam Lambert.
Film of the day
The Godfather: Part II (9pm, Film4) The fi rst sequel to win a best fi lm Oscar, part two interweaves the bloody progress of Al Pacino’s ruthless mafi a don with the roaring 20s story of his father Robert De Niro’s early years in New York
22.06.12 The Guardian 31
Other channels
6.0pm The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon feels threatened by a teenage prodigy. 6.30 The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon loses his place on the bowling team. 7.0 Hollyoaks. A humiliated Mercedes plots to put an end to Mitzeee and Riley’s happiness. 7.30 How I Met Your Mother. Barney tests his womanising tactics on Ted. 8.0 The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon teaches Leonard about American football. 8.30 2 Broke Girls. Caroline and Max try to boost their income. 9.0 The Full Monty. Comedy, starring Robert Carlyle. 10.55 Revenge. Emily has the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on Dr Michelle Banks. 11.50 The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon feels threatened by a teenage prodigy. Film4
7.05pm Drillbit Taylor. Comedy, starring Owen Wilson. 9.0 The Godfather: Part II. Oscar-winning gangster sequel, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. FX
6.0pm Leverage. The team tries to help a National Guard soldier. 7.0 NCIS. A blind man unwittingly photographs evidence of a murder. 8.0 NCIS. A man is found dead in a taxi. 9.0 NCIS. Gibbs takes desperate measures to track down Harper Dearing. Last in the series. 10.0 Family Guy. Double-length episode. Peter tells a story spoofi ng Star Wars. 11.0 Family Guy. The Griffi ns get a new dog. 11.30 Family Guy. Peter is forced to return to third grade. 12.0 American Dad! Roger and Steve seek fame and fortune in New York City. ITV2
6.0pm The Jeremy Kyle Show USA. The host takes his successful talk-show stateside. 7.0 The Cube. A student takes on a series of challenges. 8.0 You’ve Been Framed! Harry Hill narrates camcorder calamities. 8.30 You’ve Been Framed! Harry Hill narrates camcorder calamities. 9.0 Rumor Has It. Romantic comedy, starring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner. 11.0 Take Me Out. A semi-
professional wrestler, a musician, a stockbroker and a student take part. Channel 5 BBC3 BBC4 Atlantic
6.0pm The Middle. The Hecks host a foreign exchange student. 6.30 Futurama. Bender heads a campaign to legalise “robosexual” marriage. 7.0 The Simpsons. Homer choreographs the Super Bowl half-time show. 7.30 The Simpsons. Marge and Homer go on a second honeymoon. 8.0 Futurama. Fry enrols at Mars University. 8.30 The Simpsons. Homer and Bart deliver a dead trucker’s cargo. 9.0 A League Of Their Own: Unseen. James Corden introduces out-
takes from the comedy quiz. 10.0 An Idiot Abroad 2. Karl Pilkington travels along America’s Route 66. 11.0 Dog The Bounty Hunter. Tracking fugitives. 11.30 Dog The Bounty Hunter. The Chapmans continue their war against bail-dodgers. 12.0 Road Wars. Police officers engage in a high-speed pursuit. Sky Arts 1
6.0pm Isle Of Wight Festival 2012. New series. Featuring the headlining set by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. 12.0 Beat Beat Beat. Featuring Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. TCM
6.50pm Rio Lobo. Howard Hawks’ western, with John Wayne and Jorge Rivero. 9.0 Ocean’s Eleven. Crime comedy, starring George Clooney. 11.10 Ballistic: Ecks V Sever. Action thriller, starring Antonio Banderas.
You Inexperienced? AL Kennedy refl ects on her visit to California’s Chateau Marmont. Last in the series.
4.0 (FM) Last Word. Obituary series, with Matthew Bannister.
4.30 (FM) Feedback. Listeners’ views.
4.55 (FM) The Listening Project. Members of the public share intimate conversations.
5.0 (FM) PM. Presented by Carolyn Quinn.
5.57 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v West Indies.
5.57 (FM) Weather
6.0 (FM) Six O’Clock News
6.30 The Now Show. With Marcus Brigstocke, Lloyd Langford, Mitch Benn and Laura Shavin.
7.0 The Archers. The terror mounts at Brookfi eld.
7.15 Front Row. Kirsty Lang presents. 7.45 An Everyday Story Of Afghan Folk. Written and directed by Liz Rigbey. 8.0 Any Questions? From the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London. 8.50 A Point Of View. Refl ections on a topical issue. 9.0 Honest Doubt: The History Of An Epic Struggle. Omnibus. Last in the series. 9.59 Weather
10.0 The World Tonight. 10.45 Book At Bedtime: Salvage The Bones. By Jesmyn Ward. 11.0 A Good Read. With Larry Lamb and Ian Marchant. (R)
11.30 Today In Parliament. Mark D’Arcy presents.
11.55 The Listening Project. Members of the public share intimate conversations. Last in the series.
12.0 News And Weather 12.30 Book Of The Week: Beauty And The Inferno. The Ghosts of Nobel, by Roberto Saviano. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast Radio 4 Extra
Digital only
6.0 The Toff And The Runaway Bride 6.30 Bulldog Drummond 7.0 Smelling Of Roses 7.30 The Write Stuff 8.0 The Navy Lark 8.30 The Burkiss Way 9.0 Are You From The Bugle? 9.30 Tickets Please 10.0 Fortunes Of War 11.0 Five Stories By Margaret Drabble
11.15 Mrs Bradley: The Mystery Of A Butcher’s Shop
12.0 The Navy Lark
12.30 The Burkiss Way
1.0 The Toff And The Runaway Bride 1.30 Bulldog Drummond 2.0 The Tenderness Of Wolves
2.15 This Sceptred Isle
2.30 The Camomile Lawn
2.45 I’m Here I Think, Where Are You? 3.0 Fortunes Of War 4.0 The 4 O’Clock Show
5.0 Snap 5.30 Smelling Of Roses 6.0 Night Watch
6.30 Undone 7.0 The Navy Lark 7.30 The Burkiss Way
8.0 The Toff And The Runaway Bride
8.30 Bulldog Drummond
9.0 Five Stories By Margaret Drabble 9.15 Mrs Bradley: The Mystery Of A Butcher’s Shop 10.0 The Write Stuff 10.30 Comedy Club: Old Harry’s Game 11.0 Radio Active 11.30 Lee And Herring’s Fist Of Fun
12.0 Night Watch 12.30 Undone 1.0 The Toff And The Runaway Bride 1.30 Bulldog Drummond 2.0 Are You From The Bugle? 2.30 Tickets Please 3.0 Fortunes Of War 4.0 Five Stories By Margaret Drabble 4.15 Mrs Bradley: The Mystery Of A Butcher’s Shop 5.0 Snap 5.30 Smelling Of Roses
World Service
Digital and 198 kHz after R4
8.30 Business Daily 8.50 From Our Own Correspondent 9.0 News 9.06 HARDtalk 9.30 The Strand 9.50 Witness 10.0 World Update 11.0 World Briefi ng 11.30 Science In Action 11.50 From Our Own Correspondent 12.0 World, Have Your Say 12.30 Business Daily 12.50 Sports News 1.0 News 1.06 HARDtalk 1.30 World Football 2.0 Newshour 3.0 World Briefi ng 3.30 The Strand 3.50 From Our Own Correspondent 4.0 News 4.06 HARDtalk 4.30 More4
Indies. 11.0 (FM) United Irishmen. Social boundaries in Northern Ireland.
11.30 (FM) Births, Deaths And Marriages. By David Schneider. 12.0 (FM) News
12.04 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v West Indies. 12.04 (FM) You And Yours. 12.45 (FM) The New Elizabethans. The life and career of actor Laurence Olivier. 12.57 (FM) Weather
1.0 (FM) The World At One. 1.45 (FM) Honest Doubt: The History Of An Epic Struggle. Richard Holloway refl ects on the series. Last in the series. 2.0 (FM) The Archers. David loses his cool. (R) 2.15 (FM) Afternoon Drama: Amours De Voyage. By Mike Walker. 3.0 (FM) Gardeners’ Question Time. The panel answers listeners’ questions. 3.45 (FM) Are 6.0pm Home And Away (R) (S) (AD) Xavier accuses Jett of mugging Marilyn.
6.30 5 News At 6.30 (S) 6.50pm Supersize Vs Superskinny (R) (S) A 33-stone man chows down on foods that are free of lactose, wheat, sugar and fat. 6.0pm ER (R) The staff deals with the aftermath of a bombing at a family planning clinic.
7.0 Cricket On 5 (S) England v West Indies. Mark Nicholas hosts highlights from Headingley of the fi nal one-day match of the series. (Followed by 5 News Update.)
7.0pm Doctor Who (R) (S) (AD) Part one of two. The Time Lord receives a warning.
7.50 Doctor Who (R) (S) (AD) Part two of two. The Stone Dalek targets the Doctor. Last in the series.
7.0pm World News Today (S) Weather
7.30 Concerto At The BBC Proms (S) Soloist Julian Bliss performs Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A, recorded in 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall.
7.55 The Restoration Man (R) (S) A couple live on site in a cramped caravan as they convert a coach house in East Sussex into a family home.
7.0 House (R) The medic suspects a 15-
year-old model may have been abused by her father.
8.0 New Emergency Bikers (S) A drunk driver zooms down a busy dual carriageway in Yorkshire. (Followed by 5 News At 9.)
8.45 Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (R) (S) Gaff es from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Robert Webb hosts.
8.0 Puccini’s Il Trittico (S) Puccini’s Suor Angelica, a tale of love, loss and redemption set in 17th-century Sienna. Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
8.0 Blue Bloods (R) (S) (AD) Three teenagers die after taking narcotics at a house party.
9.0 Big Brother: Live Eviction (S) Brian Dowling reveals which of the nominees is to be turfed out of the Big Brother house.
9.0 Dead Boss (R) (S) (AD) Helen has to share her cell with a German prisoner. 9.30 Chris Moyles’ Comedy Empire (R) (S) An evening of stand-up comedy to launch the London 2012 Festival.
9.0 David Bowie And The Story Of Ziggy Stardust (S) (AD) Charting the creation of Bowie’s glam-rock alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. Contributors include Elton John and Marc Almond. Jarvis Cocker narrates.
9.0 An Offi cer And A Gentleman (Taylor Hackford, 1982) (S) (AD) Overcooked romantic drama with Richard Gere as a naval recruit trying to rise above his past. Also starring Debra Winger and Louis Gossett Jr.
9.0 Blue Bloods (R) (S) (AD) Erin pressurises a high-
school teacher to testify against his gang-boss brother.
11.0 10 Things I Hate About 1990 (R) (S) Robert Webb narrates a guide to the year of the shell suit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Woof!
11.15 Family Guy (R) (S) Brian learns his former girlfriend is getting married.
11.35 Family Guy (R) (S) Peter has a psychic palm reading.
11.0 Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (DA Pennebaker, 1973) (S) Watchable record of Bowie’s 1973 Hammersmith Odeon concert, where he announced Ziggy’s retirement.
11.25 Coppers (R) (S) Following offi cers as they respond to emergency calls. Plus tales of the daft and inconsequential incidents that prompt people to dial 999.
11.0 The Wire (R) Omar wants revenge against Stringer. Nick goes to the police.
10.0 Big Brother’s Bit On The Side Emma Willis and guests pick over the third eviction.
10.30 Russell Howard’s Good News Extra (S) Highlights from the topical comedy series.
10.0 The Genius Of David Bowie (S) Performances from the BBC archives. Featuring Lulu, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.
10.0 Awake (S) Marital tensions cause problems when an mobster’s accountant and his wife enter witness protection.
Sport Today 4.50 Witness 5.0 World Briefi ng 5.30 World Business Report 6.0 World, Have Your Say 7.0 World Briefi ng 7.30 One Planet 7.50 From Our Own Correspondent 8.0 News 8.06 HARDtalk 8.30 World Football 9.0 Newshour 10.0 World Briefi ng 10.30 World Business Report 11.0 World Briefi ng 11.30 The Strand 11.50 Sports News 12.0 World Briefi ng 12.30 World Football 1.0 World Briefi ng 1.30 World Business Report 1.50 From Our Own Correspondent 2.0 News 2.06 HARDtalk 2.30 World Football 3.0 The World Today 3.30 The Strand 3.50 Witness 4.0 News 4.06 Assignment 4.30 One Planet 4.50 From Our Own Correspondent 5.0 The World Today 5.20 Sports News 5.30 Global Business Rio Lobo, TCM
Full TV listings
For comprehensive programme details see the Guardian Guide every Saturday or go to
32 The Guardian 22.06.12
On the web
For tips and all manner of crossword debates go to
Medium. Fill in the grid so that each run of squares adds up to the total in the box above or to the left. Use only numbers 1-9, and never use a number more than once per run (a number may recur in the same row, in a separate run).
Printable version at guardian.
A great range of puzzle books is available from Guardian Books. To order, visit or call 0845 606 4232.
23 15
35 16
16 18 4
23 15
4 12
16 15 7
6 10 23
7 15 16
25 3
33 8
4 24 5
28 19
16 7
4 7 7 3 9 7 4
6 5 9 4 1 5 9 5 6
7 6 7 8 7 9 8 4
4 8 5 9 7 6 8 6 7
8 9 6 9 8 9 8
9 7 6 8 5 4 8 6 7 9
8 9 9 8
8 4 9 7 5 3 7 9 8 4
6 7 6 9 8 6 7
9 8 5 9 7 6 8 9 8
7 9 7 8 7 9 7 9
5 6 7 7 3 9 9 5 6
5 9 4 1 5 7 4
Doonesbury Garry Trudeau
Solution to no 1296
Kakuro no 1297
Sudoku no 2220
5 4 6
1 2
9 1 8
6 9 7
3 2
5 4 8
4 7 5
5 2
1 3 7
Hard. Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0036. Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline). Free tough puzzles at
9 3 1 6 8 2 5 7 4
4 6 8 7 9 5 1 2 3
7 2 5 3 4 1 6 8 9
3 7 2 5 1 4 9 6 8
5 8 4 9 6 7 2 3 1
1 9 6 8 2 3 4 5 7
2 5 9 4 3 8 7 1 6
6 1 3 2 7 9 8 4 5
8 4 7 1 5 6 3 9 2
Solution to no 2219
Quick crossword no 13,142
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9
10 11
13 14 15
17 18 19
21 22 23
1 Powerful portable stereo (6,7)
8 Perpendicular (7)
9 Good — noise (5)
10 Unwell (4)
11 US government personifi cation (5,3)
13 Day nursery (6)
14 Diminish (6)
17 Outside wall covering (8)
19 Platform (4)
21 Leaves out (5)
22 Breastbone (7)
24 Arrogant — pompous (4,3,6)
1 Wildebeest (3)
2 Otalgia (7)
3 Roman garment (4)
4 Science of plant life (6)
5 Exonerated (8)
6 Bundle of hay or straw (5)
7 Basics (9)
10 Penitential attire (9)
12 Former British colony in central Africa (8)
15 Trusty — steadfast (7)
16 As new (6)
18 Imitating (5)
20 French military cap (4)
23 Hawthorn blossom (3)
Solution no 13,141
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0039 or text GUARDIANQ followed by a space, the day and date the crossword appeared another space and the CLUE reference to 85010 (e.g GUARDIANQ Wednesday24 Down20). Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Texts cost 50p a clue plus standard network charges. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline). Want more? Access over 4,000 archive puzzles at Buy all four Guardian quick crosswords books for only £20 inc UK p&p (save £7.96). Visit or call 0330 333 6846.
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the guardian G2 - Friday, 22 June 2012
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