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The Guardian G2 2012 06 29

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12A
Friday 29.06.12
Lost in showbiz
Hide the vodka bottle! Cinematic enigma
Jean-Claude Carrière Rhythm is rhythm
Jamaica at 50
Killer Joe
Peter Bradshaw’s verdict
Dirty Projectors
By Alexis Petridis FROM HIMBO TO HIGHBROW
How Matthew McConaughey reinvented himself
2 The Guardian 29.06.12
Lost in Showbiz
Martin Amis should take a leaf out of Katie Price’s book. With some Speedos, a horse and a vodka bottle he could save the future of publishing Y
ou are doubtless aware that these are diffi cult times for the book publishing industry. Physical book sales are down 5% year on year, with the increase in ebook sales insuffi cient to compensate . In Britain, the number of high-street bookshops has almost halved: 2,000 have closed since 2006.
Lost in Showbiz wouldn’t pretend to know how to counter these problems, but it thinks it knows a woman who might. It gently draws the attention of the Publishers Association to the fragrant fi gure of Katie Price, and, more specifi cally, the whirl-
wind launch last week of In the Name of Love . This, you will be eager to learn, is the eighth in the brain-melting series of novels she once announced she “doesn’t physically write” , a reference perhaps to their basis in metaphysics, their restless probing of what Aristotle called aporia. Having spent time with In the Name of Love’s predecessor, Santa Baby, Lost in Showbiz can confi rm that few novels have ever caused it to question so thoroughly the very nature of being: no sooner do you start it than you fi nd yourself wondering if there is any point in being alive.
But we digress. Back to the launch. What an event! Here was an occasion special even by the standards of previous Katie Price launches, including the one where she chose to promote her range of personali sed iPods by appearing with them strapped to her head. It opened with the author appearing on a live, rearing black stallion and dressed in an orange satin bikini and matching mantilla. Lost in Showbiz off ers up this image to the great and the good in the world of letters and says: frankly, my learned friends, you can stuff your essay-length review in the TLS and your learned profi le in the Paris Review’s Writers at Work series. This is how you get a novel noticed. It notes with interest Price raised
the bar of literary marketing twice in a single day
By Alexis Petridis the world would be a happier place. Come on, Marts! Get your Speedos on and saddle up!
Under any normal circumstances, this would clearly have been the high-
light of the occasion. But it proved to merely be the amuse-bouche before the gut-busting main course that was the subsequent press conference, as reported in the indispensible journal of record Now! magazine . It was here that, while fi elding questions about her former husband, cross- dressing kick boxer and new dad Alex “The Reidinator” Reid, that Price chose to favour the world with the information that she had once inserted a vodka bottle into his rectum.
In response, one onlooker reported, “the room fell silent”.
Lost in Showbiz doesn’t doubt that it did. Perhaps the assembled hacks were stunned by the sense that they had just witnessed history in the making. It’s easy for hacks to be tired and jaded, but here was something genuinely new: a woman plugging a novel she hadn’t actually written by publicly claiming that she’d sodomised her transvestite ex-husband with a vodka bottle. You don’t get that on Radio 4’s Open Book.
Or perhaps they were ruminat-
ing on the many additional questions raised by this revelation. What brand was involved? Do we espy a new opportunity for the former Jordan to implement one of her lucrative promotional deals with them? And, not least, what long-
term eff ect might her revelation have on her former paramour’s drinking habits? There’s presumably only so many times a man can hear a bartender sniggeringly ask “Do you want that on the rocks, or does Sir prefer to … take it straight up?” before he decides to cut his losses and go teetotal.
Or perhaps they were simply noting that Price had now signifi cantly raised the bar of literary marketing twice in the space of a single day. First, the rearing stallion/bikini combination. that Martin Amis claimed to have read a number of Price’s autobiographies as research and respectfully suggests that if he had taken a few pointers from their author vis-à-vis how to launch a novel, then perhaps the reviews of Lionel Asbo might have been a little kinder. It can’t help but think if he had spent a little less time at the Hay literary festival boring on about the state of the nation and a little more time galloping about the site astride a noble thoroughbred, clad only in a pair of revealing swimming trunks, then o
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d PHOTOGRAPHS REX FEATURES; FELIX CLAY FOR THE GUARDIAN Ride a black horse … woman of letters Katie Price in a satin bikini with matching mantilla
29.06.12 The Guardian 3
You are perhaps aware of the deal whereby a celebrity gives an interview to one of the gossip mags in exchange for a planted question enabling them to publicise a good cause they support. It happens a lot: so often, in fact, that it occasionally feels as if all the truly important good causes may already have been taken.
Thank the Lord then, for TV presenter Dawn Porter, who this week appeared in OK! magazine discussing her forthcoming marriage, the burgeoning Hollywood stardom of her fi ance Chris O’Dowd etc in exchange for the opportunity to gain a few Dawn Porter and her good cause gives us all paws for thought Dawn Porter . . . sticking up for the rights of the little, yappy dog
On the web
Participate in these important debates guardian.co.uk/lostinshowbiz
precious column inches for the Paws in Places campaign . This is a vital crusade battling tirelessly for the rights of an oft-forgotten group on the margins of society : the kind of people who carry small yappy dogs around with them all the time.
And what is the brave aim of the Paws in Places campaign? To end what Lost in Showbiz likes to think of as “the forgotten apartheid”: the refusal of closed-minded shop owners, restaura teurs etc to allow the kind of people who carry small yappy dogs around with them all the time to carry them wherever they want. “I’m passionate about humans having nice lives with their dogs and being able to experience stuff with them rather than dogs being left at home,” off ers Porter, in what will doubtless go down in history as the small yappy dog people ’s answer to G andhi’s Quit India speech.
Lost in Showbiz can think of few things more important to be passionate about in these dark times. It has long prayed for an end to this silent bigotry , waiting hopefully for the arrival of a fi gure such as Porter, brave enough to take a stand . To paraphrase another great fi gure in the campaign for civil rights: she may not get there with you – she may have to pause and pick up her dog’s excrement off a shop fl oor with a plastic bag wrapped around her hand – but she knows one day you’ll get to the promised land.
Now, Vodka Bottle Up The Bum-gate. Once again, Lost in Showbiz fi nds its thoughts turning to Martin Amis, delivering his next coruscating satire on the shortcomings of the underclass to his publisher, and discussing the subsequent publicity campaign. “Of course, Martin, in the past, your reputation and a series of broadsheet interviews in which you loudly decry the moral decrepitude of Britain would have been more than enough to secure a prime position in Waterstones. But I’m afraid the goalposts have shifted since we last met. I might as well ask you: have you ever stuck a vodka bottle up someone’s bum? Perhaps you might consider it? Well, they don’t have to enjoy it. Tell them to lie back and think of the Sunday Times Bestseller List.”
Jim’s worldwide words of wisdom
One of the internet’s greatest functions is to allow a celebrity to reach out to their audience without the meddling of the press, expressing their opinions freely. So Lost in Showbiz would like to direct readers to the blog of comedian Jim Davidson (pictured), perhaps the greatest repository of straight-talking wisdom on the web. Th rill to his ability to tie together diverse topics – LiS recommends the post where he moves seamlessly between his friendship with the Krankies and the rise of the far right in Ukraine – and hear his views on subjects as diverse as the Olympics ( “let’s hope our black people beat all their black people” ), Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements (“Jimmy, me and other celebrities earn loads … is it immoral that we want to keep most of it?”) and racism . “As funny as bigotry appears to be, it is also dangerous,” he counsels wisely, presumably after consulting his famous friend Chalky on the matter. dogs
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29.06.12 The Guardian 5
Shortcuts
By Nicolas Philibert
The Take
People ask me what I’m trying to achieve with my fi lms. The answer: I have no idea
by Paul Lester
New artist of the week
Josephine
of radio is linked to its absence of im-
ages and that’s what attracted me to the subject. It’s a paradox: a fi lm about radio. Who knows? Maybe it’s not such a good idea after all.
People sometimes ask me what I’m trying to achieve with my documen-
taries. I suppose that I’m trying to achieve myself, or at least fi nd myself. Put simply, I make a fi lm in order to understand why I wanted to make a fi lm. The problem is that when the fi lm is fi nished, I usually still don’t know. So then I have to go and make another one.
Basically I don’t know what I’m do-
ing. I like to think I’m in control, but I’m not. We make fi lms from our sub-
conscious and there’s no way of anticipating what they will provoke in the minds of others.
That’s why I like audience Q&As: they help me learn things about my own work. Take Etre et Avoir , for ex-
ample, my documentary about a rural school in France. I always said that the real subject and theme of that fi lm is about how we grow up and about how we learn to behave in society. Then one day a lady stood up in the audience and said: “You must realise that your fi lm is about separation; about learn-
ing to separate.” And when I thought about it, it was absolutely clear. It’s the whole point of the fi lm. It’s the thing that is at the beginning and at the end and that sits right at the very heart of the story. To grow up is to experience separation. I knew it without knowing it. Some-
times nobody is more surprised by a fi lm than the person who made it.
Nicolas Phi-
libert was in London as head of the jury at the Open City Docs Festival and was speak-
ing to Xan Brooks.
Josephine Oniyama is not another soul girl, even though some early breathless accounts of her work and voice are of the “you won’t believe this isn’t a classic lost R&B or blues recording” variety. In terms of vocal delivery and idiosyncratic lyrical vision, the girl (born to a Liberian mother and Jamai-
can father) from Cheetham Hill, Man-
chester, has more in common with Mor-
rissey than she does Mahalia Jackson.
She has been working with Ed Harcourt, as you can tell from the quixotic song structures and quirky ar-
rangements. Other musicians involved in the the 29-year-old’s debut album Portrait, out in October, include Jimmy Hogarth, whose production and writ-
ing credits range from Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae to Harvieu and Estelle; and Polar Bear’s drummer Seb Rochford. And just as Harvieu had early support from Johnny Marr, Oniyama has a Mancunian indie hero in Guy Garvey, who has been raving about her.
The music is fabulous ; stylistically, it’s all over the place. Opening track When We Were Trespassers sounds like a Björk hyperballad . Apparently a song about an experience Oniyama had as a child in a derelict house involving a mural of a skeleton on a motorbike, it confi rms that, lyrically as well as musi-
cally, there will be no fi tting into niches – new Amy? new Emeli? – for her. For all their strangeness and charm, the songs are catchy and commercial, albeit in a Radio 2 way . Portrait is a poignant shuffl e about “postmodern multimedia ennui”, Pepper Shaker is prog samba pop, like Santana meets Emeli Sande in 1974, while What A Day revisits the melody to the Smiths’ Girl Afraid. Each song has an intriguing construction and takes unexpected twists and turns. “I search for science, but I fi nd art,” she declares at one point. “Can someone please arrive to send the raging beast to slumber?” she asks at another. We’d be glad to.
The buzz: “She’s remarkable. An old soul singer in a beautiful young girl” – Guy Garvey. The truth: Some girls are better than others . I
n France we have a saying: “Le chemin se fait en marchant”; the path is made by walking it. And that, for better or worse, is how I tend to work as a fi lm-
maker. I make my documentaries from a position of ignorance and curiosity. I need to have a starting point but I don’t need a map; I don’t need to know the fi nal destination. In this way, the fi lm is an invitation. It’s saying: come with me and we’ll go and see what’s happening. We might get lost but that’s OK. In 1991 I made a fi lm about the deaf community, In the Land of the Deaf . I wanted the movie to show the world through their eyes and to have sign language as its mother tongue. What I didn’t want was to meet with special-
ists or read any books on the subject. If you do that, you’re simply carrying a ton of baggage into the encounter. You spend the whole time checking your homework and reinforcing your prejudices. The less I know, the better I feel. And, besides, I have never liked fi lms that are based on certainty. I’m not a journalist and I’m not a teacher. The fi lms are not there to put a new idea on the table or to tell the viewer what to think. A fi lm is not a message; it is just a fi lm.
Which is not to say that I don’t have my own specifi c prejudices or interests. Of course I do, just as everyone does. I’ve always been fascinated by commu-
nication: by voices and language. One of the reasons I was attracted by cinema as a teenager was that it was a way of seeing unknown countries and hearing unknown languages. The cinema was my way of travelling. It allowed me to visit Swedish people in Bergman movies, Italians in Pasolini movies. But of course we aren’t getting the entire picture, because the lan-
guage is translated. So we are having to project our own experience and fi ll in the gaps with bits of ourselves.
So yes, language and communica-
tion are major themes in a number of my fi lms, whether it be In the Land of the Deaf, Etre et Avoir or Nenette . Right now I’m working on a fi lm about Radio France. Naturally the strength o
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Etre et Avoir: ‘Audiences help me learn things about my own work’
6 The Guardian 29.06.12
‘I DID A FEW ROMANTIC
COMEDIES THEY PAID WELL’
If Matthew McConaughey is best known for forgettable romcoms, then his latest roles – as a psychopathic killer, a male stripper and a gay reporter into S&M – might come as quite a shock. He talks to Andrew Pulver F
or Matthew McConaughey, as someone whose name escapes me once said, the handsome lessons have defi nitely paid off . Chiselled of jaw, glittering of eye, radioactive of tan, McConaughey has spent the best part of the past decade nailing down a rugged-yet-sensitive screen persona that has seen him crowned as the smirking prince of the romantic comedy, the repository of apparently inexhaust-
ible yearnings for a tamed alpha-male mate. His screen foils read like a rollcall of the romcom damned: Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Garner. For all his crimes against motion pictures – The Wedding Planner , Failure to Launch , Fool’s Gold – McConaughey is despised as much as he is envied. He is, after all, an actor who, way back at the dawn of his career, shot to fame by working for such titans as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis. He was once the muse of such intriguing talents as John Sayles and Richard Linklater . He could have been the new Brad Pitt, a stand-by of the Oscar nomination sheet; instead he became the young George Hamilton.
But things seems to be changing in McConaughey-world. Exhibit A is his new fi lm Killer Joe, adapted from a Tracy Letts play , and a veritable poke in the eye of all that bluff , hale romcommery. The title is itself a bit of a clue: Joe isn’t a thirtysomething architect who can’t commit, but a very nasty cop-and-contract-killer with an unhealthy interest in messed-up teen-
age girls. It’s not too much of a stretch to compare McConaughey’s performance with Casey Affl eck’s in The Killer Inside Me . Magic Mike , the new Steven Soder-
bergh fi lm, doesn’t exactly tear up the rulebook by casting McConaughey as a thong-waggling male stripper, but the likes of Hudson and SJP are conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps most amaz-
ingly, in The Paperboy , an adaptation of Pete Dexter’s blood-heat thriller, McConaughey dabbles in some serious gay S&M. Somewhat improbably, The Paperboy was one of two McConaughey fi lms selected for competition at last month’s Cannes fi lm festival – along with the admittedly more conventional Mud , a sort of modern-day Huck Finn. What price the star of Ghosts of Girl-
friends Past becoming the toast of the world’s premier art-cinema showcase?
So what’s going on? Is he really leaving the romcoms behind? You hardly dare ask. In the fl esh, the full McConaughey aff ect is undeniably leonine. Manly charm exudes out of every pore. The Texan drawl oozes like room-temperature honey. Graciousness fails to desert him for a single moment. “I appreciate your honesty,” he says.
“Romcoms are hard in a lot of ways: they’re built to be buoyant. It’s easy to demean them. I did a few romantic comedies. I enjoyed them. They paid well; they were fun. I didn’t know if I wanted to do any more. I decided to sit out, and I had to endure for a while. Another one comes with a big old pay-
check; I had to say no. I was looking for something to be turned on by.”
For a moment it seems as if McConaughey is talking about a parallel career as a gentleman escort of rich, lonely women. But no. “Somewhere in that endurance, after a year or two, other fi lms started coming. I didn’t go after Killer Joe, Billy Friedkin came to me for it. Soderbergh called me. Lee Daniels called me on Paperboy. I saw these as very determined, →
29.06.12 The Guardian 7
8 The Guardian 29.06.12
singular-willed fringe characters, arresting and kind of scary. I’m hanging my hat on reality and humanity, not morality. Not placating or pandering to any convention.”
McConaughey cites The Lincoln Lawyer , the 2011 thriller about a car-
bound attorney, as the turning point – “at least re-tilting how I was perceived” – but his quest for edge may have not involved quite as much straining at the leash as he suggests. He admits, for example, that he “didn’t get” Killer Joe when he fi rst read the script. “It made me sick. I didn’t like it all. I felt it was gross. I wanted to get a steel brush and clean myself off . But afterwards I called up someone I work with, who had read it simultaneously, and they tapped me into looking at it a diff erent way. Then Friedkin talked to me about how absurdly funny he thought Tracy Letts was, so I reread it and it clicked.”
Killer Joe, with it copious nudity, suggestions of incest and paedophilia and – let’s be careful not to give too much away here – one particularly eye-
watering scene involving Gina Gershon and a chicken drumstick, may well be steel-brush-worthy, but McConaughey turns out to be quite the theorist when it comes to acting technique.
“The key with a scene like the chicken one is: it’s really gotta build. It’s scary to do, but it was a real go-for-it scene. It was a biggie: everyone knew when it was coming in the shooting schedule. I got in there, no warm-up, let’s blow the top off of this thing. After the fi rst take I think I blacked out or was seeing stars, or something. I was excited to go to work that day. I had the chance to do one of those scenes that could go down in cult history.”
McConaughey is at pains to suggest his past commitment to romcoms has been somewhat overstated, and in fact the stats bear him out: of his 40 or so signifi cant screen credits, only fi ve really qualify as unambiguous roms. “Truth is, I was in a colder part of my career at the time. I was coming off , what was it, U-571 ? I had to try diff er-
ent things. I did action movies, crime; and then I did Wedding Planner . I thought, let’s go see what it’s like to just be light ; never done that before. And then, shit … it made a whole Himbos go arthouse
The hunks who got serious
James Franco Begun fi lm career as the hottie in Drew Barrymore vehicle Never Been Kissed and teen Cyrano update Whatever It Takes. Now hipster himbo numero uno.
George Clooney Even before ER, was a staple of the bedroom wall thanks to roles in Red Surf and Sunset Beat. Career is a model of how to progress from poster boy to heavyweight A-lister .
Brad Pitt
Shedding clothes in a Levi’s ad and Thelma and Louise made him catnip for the Diet Coke crowd . At 48, still hasn’t removed the himbo yoke, but he wears it with cred.
←
Back to beefcake – with a diff erence – in Magic Mike (right); with Gina Gershon in Killer Joe (above)
29.06.12 The Guardian 9
PHOTOGRAPHS MJ KIM/AP; SPORTSPHOTO/ALLSTAR
‘I WAS SO EXCITED. I HAD THE CHANCE TO DO ONE OF THOSE SCENES THAT GO DOWN IN CULT HISTORY’
bunch of money, and they came back, and off ered me more.”
“See, A Time to Kill was the one I got famous off . Big ka-boom, over one weekend. After that, I did fi lms that I really wanted to do. Amistad and Contact . Spielberg and Zemeckis. Director and story meant most to me, even more than character. But the studios off ered me fewer dramas after those two than they did before. Doing fi lms like The Newton Boys or Two for the Money didn’t make the Hollywood system come to me. I loved the experi-
ence, but no matter how good they are, for the studio system it has to do a certain amount of business.”
This is the Hollywood actor as entrepreneur, as career strategist, and McConaughey suddenly sounds like the most hardheaded ballbuster in town. He is certainly correct to say that he never really connected with the action-
movie audience, an aspiration abruptly ended by the disastrous Sahara , one of Hollywood’s legendary all-time loss-
makers. And it’s also fair to conclude that the late 90s was a wobbly period for his career. After a steady succession of eyecatching roles, beginning with the sleazy Wooderson in Dazed and Confused (“That’s what I love about these high-school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age”), his gilded ascent was slowed by a fl urry of under-
whelming fi lms: period gangster fl ick The Newton Boys, Edtv (a reality-show satire that ran second to The Truman Show ), and U-571, a second world war sub yarn. After The Wedding Planner restored his box-offi ce clout, he still made plenty of non-romcoms ( Reign of Fire , We Are Marshall, Surfer Dude), but none even nearly approached the popularity of the likes of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days .
Nothing if not a pragmatist, McConaughey even now enthusiastically lectures me about his romcom chops, an unlikely philosopher of the genre. “I take the comedy real seriously. There’s a whole plan behind it. Even though those characters look like I’m just skating through, there’s a design behind it. They look easy-breezy, but if you go digging too deep into character, you sink the ship.
“The male is always the pawn in a romantic comedy. Come together, break up, go chase her, get her, roll credits. That’s what happens in all of them. Some of the scripts have the man coming back on all fours – but I’m like, ‘What woman wants that guy?’ The guy’s gotta maintain his integrity, he’s gotta maintain his balls . The guy’s got to come back and go: ‘I screwed up.’ It’s got to be a choice, not just desperation. The humour that I want to do is this: the guy’s really self-assured and thinks he’s got it all fi gured out, but then the door shuts, and the audience knows I don’t have it fi gured out. You’re getting a laugh because you get to watch me lying through my teeth and trying to be cool about the situation, but you know I’m going to eat crow in a minute.
“I’m always a guy’s guy, even in a romcom. The girl always takes the guy to see them, but I always did my best to make him feel like it wasn’t a complete dead loss. I was saying: if you don’t like romcoms, I’ll help you make it through. If you do like ’em, I’ll try to give you the beats that are inherently built in and hope you can enjoy it.”
Matthew McConaughey as a spy in the house of love, a secret agent for the boys’ team? It’s not the most far-
fetched theory of all time. Be that as it may, McConaughey seems to be emerging blinking into the light, ready to stake some kind of claim as an actual thespian, albeit a well-rewarded one. “I’m enjoying acting. I want to go act. Right now I want to be an actor for hire, and I want some piece of the back end. I’m really into the acting.” I think the message is getting through. THE DETAILS
Killer Joe is released today.
Magic Mike will be released on 11 July, Mud and The Paperboy later in the year.
Brendan Fraser Lunkish jock parts gave way to mum-bait in The Mummy and George of the Jungle. And then: arthouse for Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American.
Catherine Shoard
10 The Guardian 29.06.12
WHAT THE FOLK! NIC JONES IS BACK
Thirty years after the car crash that almost killed him, British folk hero Nic Jones is returning to the stage. He talks to Colin Irwin about his rebuilt body – and being an impostor ‘E
xcited? Nah, not really, but it should be good fun,” says Nic Jones , with his trademark infectious giggle . “ Be nice if they don’t jeer me off though .” He sounds as if he’s contemplating karaoke in his local pub . Instead, he’s talking about something he hasn’t done for a very long time, something that nobody who loves folk music dared dream of seeing – Nic Jones back on stage .
It has been 30 often diffi cult years since Jones’s last appearances in his own right, but he maintains a carefree nonchalance about the fate that wrecked his career. He remembers nothing of the gig at Glossop in February 1982, the road between Peterborough and March in Cambridgeshire on the way back , the lorry he collided with head-on while closing in on home. He was in a coma for weeks and in hospital for six months while they tried to reassemble him. “Everything on my right side was bust,” he says cheerily. “Eyes, ears, arm. Elbow smashed to bits. Wrist. Everything had to be replaced. I’ve got a metal arse, a false eye, false teeth, everything is false. I’m an illusion. The only thing that wasn’t bust was my guitar.”
And he’s really not nervous about his comeback? “I’ve never really suff ered with nerves – the family are more nervous about it than me .” At the time of the accident, Jones – then 35 – was at the top of his game. With his percussive arrangements, relaxed vocals, an ear for a potent song and an enlightened, freestyle approach built around progressive open-tuned guitar, he was one of the star attractions on the vibrant British folk circuit. His fi fth and most recent album, Penguin Eggs , had taken the genre to a new level, with Jones channelling his inner rock psyche into the unlikely format of a solo singer playing mostly traditional songs on an acoustic guitar. With two young kids, no income and a body to reconstruct, the following years were traumatic for his whole family ; their survival is largely down to the stoicism of Jones’s wife, Julia (when Jones was presented with the Good Tradition Award by the BBC in 2007, he thanked Julia for transforming him “from sub-human to paranormal”). It was she who appealed to fans to send her bootleg recordings to play to Jones to bring him out of his coma . The response was so good that some of those tracks ended up being released on her home-produced compilations In Search of Nic Jones (1998) and Unearthed (2001), which – with his fi rst four albums still largely unavailable – helped to introduce him to a fresh audience.
The decades following Jones’s accident were largely barren for British folk music, but when a new generation of musicians started to come through, one thing was notable – they all appeared to carry a copy of the one Nic Jones album they could easily get their hands on, Penguin Eggs. And while Jones him-
self contented himself swimming, playing chess, taking the dog for walks, fi ddling with his guitar and trying to get his fi ngers to work, his reputation as a bona fi de folk legend began to take off in earnest. Emerg ing young stars such as Kate Rusby , Seth Lakeman , Jim Moray and Jon Boden cited him as a seminal infl uence; Bob Dylan and Marianne Faithfull covered two of his most iconic Penguin Eggs tracks, Canadee-i-o and Flandyke Shore ; John Wesley Harding recorded a whole album of Nic Jones covers ; and in 2001 Penguin Eggs was named second-best folk album of all time (behind Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief ) in a BBC poll .
None of which remotely im-
presses the laconic Jones, always a determinedly anti-establishment fi gure with no patience for celebrity culture or the self-seriousness that often attaches itself to the folk re-
vival. He once wilfully confronted the famously rigid musical policy of Nottingham Traditional Music Club by playing big-band standard Chatanooga Choo Choo. Another time he turned his back on an inattentive audience and sang to the wall; on another occasion he stopped halfway through his set to ask the promoter of a particularly unruly gig how long he was required to play. “Play as long as you like,” said the promoter . “O K,” said Jones, picking up his guitar and walking off .
“I’m a fraud, an impostor,” he says . “I came into folk music by accident. I wanted to be in a rock group. I was a Buddy Holly fan and I wanted to be in the Shadows … except I could never do the dance.”
He got into folk when a schoolfriend invited him to join a popular folk group called the Halliard . When they split, he reluctantly undertook his fi rst solo bookings, moulding himself in the image of Martin Carthy. “I was useless,” he says. “I couldn’t speak to audiences and I hated it.” Gradually his confi dence grew and his personality came to the fore. “I just thought: ‘ What’s the point of singing songs about Napoleon Bonaparte?’ ‘I wanted to be in a rock group’ … Jones in 1980
29.06.12 The Guardian 11
PHOTOGRAPH DAVE PEABODY/REDFERNS; HAYLEY MADDEN I never knew him , I didn’t know what he was like. I’m from Essex!’ So I tried to sing more normally and moved from being a fake traditional singer to a fake rock guitarist.”
Like other singers of the day, he scoured old books and visited London’s Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, to listen (and surreptitiously record) the riches of traditional material in the library there. Yet he had no qualms about messing with the tradition, rewriting tunes and lyrics wherever he saw fi t – one of his most acclaimed songs, Annan Water , changed so much along the way that it virtually became a completely new song. “I got bored with singing some-
thing the same way all the time so I’d change it. I’d try out diff erent chords to make it more interesting and so it would evolve. It’s what the folk proc-
ess is all about, isn’t it?”
B
y the time of the accident he was fully embracing contemporary song and so hooked on Bob Marley he was even contemplating folk-reggae fusions. Entertainingly self-eff acing, he has little regard for his former self, even damning his classic Penguin Eggs album with faint praise. “It’s all right,” he says, “but people only go on about it because I wasn’t around after that. I was inter-
ested in a more modern sound and I think I could have come up with a more interesting record after Penguin Eggs. Me having the smash-up made it more popular.”
He’s scathing, too, about his guitar playing. “It wasn’t until after the accident that I realised what an inept guitarist I was. I never played ‘It was only until
after the accident that I realised what an inept guitarist I was’
straight tunings, it was always open tunings, which I think now was a bit of a fake way of playing. Listening to jazz guitarists made me wish I could improvise like them. Diz Disley made me realise how bad I was. And Django Reinhardt – he could speak with his guitar and spin a mood, a shape, just by walking with his fi ngers.”
As the years passed, all hopes of seeing Jones performing again faded, but the groundswell of interest among modern revivalists helped, in 2010, to inspire Sidmouth Folk Week to hold an In Search of Nic Jones tribute concert. It was there that Pete Coe – one of Jones’s compadres in Bandoggs, a short-lived folk “supergroup” of the 1970s – persuaded the great man to join his adoring acolytes on stage and sing along with the choruses. It was a night fl ooded with emo-
tion but Jones enjoyed it enough to agree to another helping – albeit with a diff erent line-up of performers – at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall last year. Beaming throughout (“I like hearing other people do my stuff , especially when they try to do some-
thing diff erent with it”), he shocked everyone by getting up at the end to sing a couple of songs with his son Joe Jones on guitar and Belinda O’Hooley on piano.
It wasn’t the Jones of old, of course, but it was impressive enough to plant the idea that – accompanied by his son and O’Hooley – he was in good enough shape to play a few full sets over the summer. “But it’s not a comeback,” he emphasises. “I’m not going back on the road or anything.”
He says he won’t be delving too far into his back catalogue either (“It’s bor-
ing, so what’s the point? – I like new songs”); and, despite namechecking Kate Rusby, Lau , Karine Polwart and Jim Moray as favoured representatives of the modern age, admits he doesn’t listen to much folk music these days and much prefers Radiohead – pride of place in his new set will be Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees .
“I won’t be playing guitar on stage. I know what to do but the right hand won’t do what I ask. I do all these exercises before I get up and I’m get-
ting better but I still have problems with rhythm. I still enjoy singing and playing and writing songs, though – you don’t need to be up on a stage to do that, do you?” ‘I like hearing other people do my stuff ’ … performing with his son Joe, 2011
Nic Jones appears at Warwick Folk festival (26 July), Cambridge Folk festival (29), Wadebridge festival, Cornwall (3 Aug), Towersey Folk festival (25), Cecil Sharp House, London (22 Sept).
12 The Guardian 29.06.12
RIDDIM Celebrations to mark Jamaica’s 50th anniversary and musical heritage have of I Am Not Afraid and People Talk , as well as Wrong Address, on which she addresses social inequality. There is also the lovers rock classic Blessings, which features the Sicilian-born reggae star Alborosie (testimony to reggae’s pervasive global in-
fl uence). Drawing on infl uences including Erykah Badu, India.
Arie and Corrine Bailey Rae, she’s shaping what she dubs a “reggae-
soul” sound.
Popcaan The rave king
“Wha’ gwaan’ Popcaan?” was the phrase on everyone’s lips after it was used to introduce Vybz Kartel’s huge hit Clarks (a tribute to the British make of shoes) in 2010; following Kartel’s incar-
ceration on successive murder charges, his young accomplice Andre “Popcaan” Sutherland is undoubtedly dancehall’s main attraction now. Last year, sum-
mer anthem Ravin’ was the fi rst of a string of smashes for the 23-year-old with the adolescent vocal style and gift for melody. Party Shot is nearing 3m views Etana The reggae-soul diva
Shauna McKenzie, 29, decided to call herself Etana while leafi ng through a book of African names because it means “the strong one” (plus it rhymes with Shauna). Her introduction as a reggae performer came as a backing singer for the Rasta art-
ist Richie Spice .The born-again Christian has gone on to carve out a successful solo career, recording the empowering likes Tarrus Riley The righteous Rastafarian
Probably your favourite reggae singer’s favourite reggae singer, “singy-singy” Riley has said that his mission is to “preserve our culture” – meaning reggae and the philosophies of Marcus Garvey adopted by Rastafarians. Born in the Bronx in New York and raised in Florida and Jamaica, he is the son of Jimmy Riley, a celebrated singer from the 70s and 80s. Socially con-
scious songs such as Getty Getty, No Wantee and Start a New aren’t your average soppy ballads: rather, both encourage women to stand up for themselves and to walk out on abusive partners. But while the 33-year-old has been pitted as an antidote to the less politically correct likes of Vybz Kartel and Mavado, he still can pound out his message on dancehall riddims. The recipient of several awards in Jamaica, including “most ad-
mired song in the past 15 years” for She’s Royal, Riley has also produced some stirring cover ver-
sions. Check out his versions of John Legend’s Stay With You and Michael Jackson’s Human Nature .
Mavado The “gully god”
Bursting on to the scene in the middle of the last decade, David Constantine Brooks – AKA Mavado (that name adapted from a make of Swiss watches) – has been a controversial fi gure ever since. Raised in “the gullyside” in Kingston, he painted a series of vivid images of life in the ghetto on a string of hits and the album Gangsta for Life. Success – not-
withstanding criticism, including allegations of glamorising vio-
lence – has meant that the 31-year-
old now lives in a mansion in the hills. With that change has come a lighter style, demonstrated by the likes of Settle Down, and he is signed to hip-hop label We the Best/Young Money Cash Money.
Natalie Storm XXX-rated
Female dancehall artists discuss bedroom politics with just as much explicit detail as their male counterparts, if not more so. For-
merly of female trio TNT (along-
side Tifa and Timberlee), Storm follows in the shoes of Patra, Ce’Cile and especially Lady Saw.
“I like to talk about nasty, risque stuff that maybe most people don’t talk about, but I’ve always grown up around that, the slack-
on YouTube, Only Man She Want made it on to the Billboard R&B charts (there’s also a remix with Busta Rhymes) and even Cana-
dian hip-hop superstar Drake is a fan. Dancehall – a sparser form of reggae – came to predominate in Jamaica in the 80s, especially after the adoption of digital pro-
duction techniques. ness, and my mother had a very dirty mouth,” she said recently.
Born Natalie Cole in rural Trelawny, but raised in Kingston, she has toured the world and mixes global bass genres into her dancehall repertoire. One Man Girl sees her boasting of road-
testing several suitors, while Rock the Runway – on the Loudspeaker riddim – and the funky bashment cut Look Pon Me (produced by Sticky) ooze swagger and appeal to both sexes.
29.06.12 The Guardian 13
NATION
begun. Here Marvin Sparks clocks eight acts now representing their country
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES; REDFERNS
Romain Virgo Voice of the struggle
A winner of Jamaican TV’s Rising Stars (the equivalent of The X Factor), Virgo found himself play-
ing shows in Europe in the wake of his 2010 debut album. The 22-year-old from St Ann parish has found his niche with songs such as Who Feels It Knows, which addresses life on the minimum wage , and caters to fans of lovers rock – witness his cover of Adele’s Don’t You Remember.
Konshens The adaptable singjay
Feted in Japan (a huge reggae mar-
ket), Garfi eld Spence – AKA Kon-
shens – appeared on the radar of Jamaican dancehall fans with the bleakly controversial Winner in 2008. Since then, the Kingston na-
tive has represented for the rude boys with hits such as Do Sum’n and produced up-front party anthems including Gal a Bubble .
Protoje A natty dread
Dreadlocked newcomer – born Oje Ken Ollivi-
erre, from the parish of St Elizabeth – who represents new-age reggae with a dub foundation. The son of 70s singer Lorna Ben-
nett, the 21-year-old has been likened to Damian Marley, whose half-brother Ky-Mani features on his hit Rasta Love (the story of an uptown woman’s struggle to tell her father that she loves a Rasta). His debut album, The Seven Year Itch, produced by his cousin (and Grammy award winnner) Don Corleon, has been critically acclaimed and features the likes of No Lipstick , a paean to a woman who loves herb.
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Konshens Gyal A Bubble
Stylo G, Nadia & SmoodFace Summer Is Back
Listen to a mix courtesy of The Heatwave at guardian.co.uk/music
SUMMER ANTHEMS
14 The Guardian 29.06.12
J
ean-Claude Carrière welcomes me into the former gaming house and den of iniquity that he has called home for nearly half his 80 years; the 19th-century building stands in a sun-dappled Parisian court-
yard. It’s a glorious afternoon, and I apologise for being so demonstrably English in remarking on that fact, but the legendary screenwriter – tall, with salt-and-pepper stubble and warm, alert eyes – waves away my words. “Why shouldn’t we discuss it?” he chuckles. “At least everyone can agree on the weather.” Imagine the sense of social rupture if they didn’t. “I have a little of that,” he confesses, settling into an armchair in a high-ceilinged living room where wooden sculptures stand guard over Persian rugs. “Com-
ing from a farming family in the south, rain to me is beautiful. All my youth, I heard my father saying: ‘Oh, it is so dry.’ When I hear the forecast is rain, I say to the radio: ‘Nice weather.’”
That is typical Carrière . As demon-
strated by an upcoming season of his work at London’s BFI Southbank, his speciality is the subtle reversal, the THE DISCREET CHARM OF CARRIÈRE
Legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière has crafted strange, wonderful fi lms with directors from Buñuel to Godard. Ryan Gilbey meets the master of the cinematic enigma
perverse but straight-faced switcheroo. He is most highly regarded for his six fi lms with the surrealist vision-
ary Luis Buñuel, but his subversive-
ness outlasted that collaboration. In the 1986 oddity Max Mon Amour , for example, a diplomat’s wife falls in love with a chimpanzee. In Birth , a 10-year-
old boy claims to be the reincarnation of a woman’s dead husband; she is won over and plans their future together. Carrière’s approach to factually based fi lm is no less unconventional: Milou in May addresses the upheavals of May 1968 from the unlikely vantage point of a bucolic village far from Paris; Taking Off examines the hippy counterculture as it aff ects parents rather than their rebellious off spring. He is a master of the cinematic enigma – it was Carrière who advised Michael Haneke to prune some explanatory material from The White Ribbon to intensify that picture’s enigmas. (It’s a nice in-joke that Abbas Kiarostami’s Certifi ed Copy features Carrière as the only character whose words can be taken at face value.) I don’t think he could do things by the book if he tried. When a work of literature is deemed unfi lmable, he will Above: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Right: Jean-Claude Carrière
ourgeoisie ean-Claude rrière
29.06.12 The Guardian 15
“A HILARIOUS TOUR-DE-FORCE
FROM THE GODFATHER
OF SURREAL CINEMA”
SHORTLIST.COM
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A COMIC MASTERPIECE
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BACK IN CINEMAS NOW
STUDIOCANAL PRESENT A
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“THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE” STARRING FERNANDO REY PAUL FRANKEUR DELPHINE SEYRIG BULLE OGIER STÉPHANE AUDRAN JEAN-PIERRE CASSEL JULIEN BERTHEAU MILÉNA VUKOTIC MARIA GABRIELLA MAIONE CLAUDE PIÉPLU MUNI WITH
FRANÇOIS MAISTRE PIERRE MAGUELON MAXENCE MAILFORT AND THE PARTICIPATION OF
MICHEL PICCOLI SCREENPLAY BY LUIS BUÑUEL
WITH THE COLLABORATION OF JEAN-CLAUDE CARRIÈRE
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION ULLY PICKARD
PRODUCTION DESIGN PIERRE GUFFROY
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY EDMOND RICHARD PRODUCED BY
SERGE SILBERMAN DIRECTED BY
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be the one to take a crack at it, from The Tin Drum and The Unbearable Lightness of Being to Proust ( Swann in Love ) and The Mahabharata (which Carrière adapted in a nine-hour stage production for his long-time collabora-
tor Sir Peter Brook). The centrepiece of the BFI season is his work with Buñuel, including Belle de Jour , the dazed erotic satire star-
ring Catherine Deneuve as a housewife turned prostitute. Carrière explains that the character’s fantasy life is based entirely on fact, drawn from inter-
views conducted by him and Buñuel. “Her daydreams are all real,” he says, relishing the paradox. “Each one was dreamt by a woman we spoke to. But the character’s life with her husband – that is artifi cial. So the reality is unreal. That’s part of the mystery of Belle de Jour. It’s a very strange fi lm.”
Aren’t they all? There is The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie , the Oscar-
winning masterpiece of frustration and deferral in which a group of friends fails repeatedly to sit down to a meal together. Or The Phantom of Liberty , a relay-race of warped sketches that Carri ère calls “the most daring of all the fi lms we made ”. That picture also contains his favourite scene from his work with Buñuel: a couple attends a police station to report their daughter missing, all the while accompanied silently by the child herself. “Several people told us afterwards that we cap-
tured that feeling where sometimes your child seems to be there when she is not, or seems not to be when she is. You write something, you give it to the audience, and you never know what they will do with it. Even we were not sure what we had done.”
Carrière was 32, and already an Oscar-winner (for Heureux Anniver-
saire , a short fi lm made with his friend and mentor Pierre Étaix ), when he was chosen by Buñuel in 1963 to co-write Diary of a Chambermaid . “I realised I wanted to love his ideas so much that I was in danger of agreeing to every-
thing,” he recalls. Trying to fi nd a way to spruce up a dinner-table conversa-
tion scene, Buñuel suggested that the camera might follow a woman’s hand as she reaches below the table to feed a wild boar idling at her feet. “I said: ‘I love it! What an image!’ But Buñuel said: ‘How stupid. Don’t you realise that from this moment, the audience will wonder only what is going to happen with the wild boar? The rest of the scene no longer exists.’” He set you a trap. “I think he did,” Carrière smiles admiringly.
The partnership thrived. They would spend several months at a time in a hotel in Toledo, Spain, doing nothing except writing, eating, drinking and telling one another stories. “Sure, we fought. That is normal. If not, you go to sleep. Some-
times I had to help him to be Buñuel. Every original artist has a tendency to want to be who he is not from time to time, so when he rejected some strange ideas I proposed, I would have to persuade him to be more like Buñuel. But how we mixed together is impossible to say. One started an idea, the other fi nished it.”
Carrière would fi gure prominently on any Venn diagram of the history of cinema, having worked also with Godard, Malle, Ôshima, Tati and Wajda. His attitude to these masters, and to his own role, remains consist-
ent. “My job is to help the director fi nd the reasons why he chose this fi lm,” he says. “Sometimes he doesn’t know.” The British fi lm-maker Jonathan Glazer brought Carrière the idea for Birth, and worked with him on it for 18 months. “Jean-Claude enjoys the fact that the work is spawned by the relationship between the writer and the director,” Glazer tells me. “It’s not like: ‘I’ll write the script and you direct it.’ It’s more like: ‘Well, what fi lm do you want to make? What are we doing in this room together?’ He has a remarkable feel for that indefi nite space you want to get to.”
E
very director approaches the screenplay diff erently. “Godard doesn’t like a script,” says Carrière. “He likes to talk a lot but also to have some pieces of dialogue in his pocket just in case. Buñuel liked everything to be in the script except the technical. The word ‘camera’ was prohibited. That was his work.” Carrière has described a screenplay as a cocoon that is discarded once the real fi lm emerges. “If you want fame, and a beautiful statue made of yourself, don’t be a screenwriter. The writer disappears. He works in the shade.” It’s easy to see parallels with Cyrano de Bergerac, composing odes for his rival in love to recite (Carrière scripted the 1990 adaptation starring Gerard Dépardieu), or with the lot of the ghost-writer. (Yes, Carrière has done that too: he ghosted Buñuel’s auto biography, My Last Sigh .) There is, he says, an advantage to the semi-
invisible life. “A fi lm-maker can’t do other things without having that ‘director’ tag. But a screenwriter can do anything.”
Carrière is living proof. If you want some idea of his scope and erudition, take a look at the subjects we don’t get around to discussing: his operas, his books with the Dalai Lama, his Robinson Crusoe TV series, his published conversation with Umberto Eco on technology and literature ( This Is Not the End of the Book ), his presidency of the fi lm school La Fémis , his work in the fi eld of science. About the creative process, though, he is wonderfully expansive.
“When a good idea occurs, it has been prepared by a long time of refl ection. But you have to be patient. We all have what I call the invisible worker inside ourselves; we don’t have to feed him or pay him, and he works even when we are sleeping. We must be aware of his presence, and from time to time stop thinking about what we are trying to do, stop being obsessed about answers, and just give him the room, the possibility, to do his work. He is tenacious, you see. He never loses hope.” CARRIÈRE CLASSICS
Heureux Anniversaire
Oscar-winning comic short: a luckless Parisian battles the traffi c to meet his wife for dinner.
Max, Mon Amour
Nagisa Ôshima-
directed study of love between a woman (Charlotte Rampling) and a chimpanzee.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is re-released today. The Jean-Claude Carrière season is at BFI Southbank throughout July.
18 The Guardian 29.06.12
PHOTOGRAPH DAVE M BENETT/GETTY
30 minutes with ... will.i.am
The Black Eyed Peas star says that raving with the Queen is like hanging out with his grandma
Hello will.i.am! Tim Jooooooonze! What a nice welcome. How are you ? I’m all right. I’ve been on a fl ight from LA to London so I’ve been sleeping, dreaming. What does will.i.am dream about? Just random things. One time I had a dream and in my dream I went to sleep and had a dream, woke up and told everyone my dream, then said, ‘Wait a minute, I’m still asleep,’ so I had to wake up again. I have dreams like that. But being creative is the same as dreaming. You get to mould your real-
ity. If I didn’t mould my reality then I’d still be in the ghetto where people like me are supposed to stay. You have to dream your way out of the nightmare ...
You new album is called #willpower – why does your #album have a #hashtag? Because #willpower to me isn’t an album, it’s a conversation around optimism. It’s a conversation I have with people who respect my perspective. They respect my perspective. The play on that whole word there is “speck” … because I’m just a little thing in this big thing called the universe. And this whole thing is also a spectacle (1). Did you expect to be making music 20 years after you started?
Yeah, just like I know I will be 20 years from now. But it won’t be the only thing I’m doing. These days, it’s science and technology that I think about most. Every day for four years I’ve thought about making products, or doing something in the social connec-
tivity world . I’ve been surrounding myself with geniuses like Dean Kamen (2) so I can learn from them. I wanna go back to school and take a computer science class. I’m planning the next 20 years. I wanna still be relevant in popular culture but it ain’t gonna be for music. I don’t wanna be like “Remem-
ber this song! [Sings]‘I gotta feeling!’ I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 57! ... [breaks up into hysterical laughter then phone goes dead for 10 minutes before PR reconnects (3)]
Let’s talk raving ... you used to go to raves, right? Yeah, I used to go to raves with a guy by the name of Pasquale (4) who throws the biggest raves in America. We were in 11th grade when we started going to raves. There would be, you know, between 10,000 and 50,000 people . You’d have to go to three diff er-
ent spots to pick up directions, people would express themselves with loud colours, DJs would play crazy beats. How did they compare to playing the Jubilee concert? (5)
That was a royal rave. Do you see the royals as a good thing for Britain?
I like all the families in the UK. But what I like about the idea of the royal family is … they seem like they’re well educated and there’s something admi-
rable about them. And the Queen … she reminds me of my grandma. I was like: “Wow, that’s how my grandma is!” Elegant, classy and the way she wore her hat … even her clothes are like my grandma’s clothes! She’s the leader of the family, you know, and when Prince Charles called her Mummy or Mumsy I was like: “Wow!” It’s amazing because they’re just regular people. (6) They’re in the public eye but they manage to live straight. (7)
You carried the Olympic torch recently – what would your Olympic sport be? Track. I’m very fast. I take pride in how fast I am, still to this day. I was in the studio the other day and me and Chris Brown were talking. I don’t know how it came up, but I was like:“I’m fast.” And he was like: “You ain’t fast man.” So I said: “Let’s go race!” His trainer gets in on it too, who was supposedly an ex-NFL footballer, so we’re standing in the middle of the street and I asked if I could take my shoes off because I had dress shoes on – at least let me run barefoot! But they made me run in my Christian Louboutin shoes! Did you win? Man let me tell you they were so upset because I not only smoked them once but smoked them twice. I beat Ne-Yo too! And his trainer! It’s the R&B Olympics!
Willie Zoom. That’s my nickname. I go “zooooom”. That’s the sound when I beat you. Really. You know when Black Eyed Peas played at the SuperBowl? Well, Usain Bolt was there.
Don’t tell me … you beat him? Nah, I challenged him. But it was a joke. He’s faster than me. (8)
Footnotes (1) I trust you are following this (2) Dean Kamen invented the Segway, among other things (3) This call had to be reconnected fi ve times. The PR said: “Best not tell Will you’ve been disconnected for 10 minutes, he’s been talking all this time.” (4) Pasquale Rotella, now CEO of Insomniac Events and creator of Electric Daisy Carnival (5) will.i.am was dressed as a new rave Queen’s guard (6) He still has a bit to learn about the royals (7) See previous footnote (8) There is no proof of this, as they have never raced.
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29.06.12 The Guardian 19
Reviews
Film Pop Jazz Classical Television
PHOTOGRAPH GRAEME ROBERTSON FOR THE GUARDIAN
Wannabe
The Spice Girls
The musical is soon to be upon us, but remember them instead when they were young and fresh and – whisper it – exciting.
Accident Murderers
Nas feat Rick Ross Nasir Jones enlists Rick Ross and some vibrant Hammond organ samples in this paean to gunslingers who can’t shoot straight.
Mariô
Criolo
Possibly the next big thing from Brazili, Criolo has just released his album Nó na Orelha here, and this samba-heavy cut is a highlight.
I Am The Resurrection
The Stone Roses
Will Ian Brown and co wig out at the end at Heaton Park? Or will Reni go home early for his tea to cries of “amateurs”?
The F&M Playlist
Avant-blues meets ferocious free jazz: Neneh Cherry unveils The Cherry Thing, page 27
NEW STANCE
s
s
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Survival
Muse
Was Uprising too subtle for you? The band return with an offi cial song for the Olympics that’s almost hypnotically preposterous.
Storage 24 page 21
20 The Guardian 29.06.12
Reviews Film
By Peter Bradshaw
Killer Joe
★★★★★
Dir: William Friedkin. With: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon. 103min. Cert: 18 The career of William Friedkin will always be defi ned by The French Connection , with its violent and amoral cop, and The Exorcist , featuring a little girl inhabited by demonic forces. There’s a hint of both these unquiet spirits in Friedkin’s new fi lm: a gruesome, brutally violent and queasy trailer-park nightmare from deep in the heart of Texas. It’s adapted by Tracy Letts from his 1993 play (Friedkin also turned Letts’s play Bug into a fi lm in 2006), and its theatrical origins do become obvious in the way certain characters are left disconcertingly off screen; the movie is concluded with a long, slow and single-location sequence, which makes it looks oddly like a fi lmed stage play. There is also a bit of what screenwriters call “sexposition”: that is, if you have a couple of sleazy male characters discussing something important to the plot, they might as well do it in a topless bar for the added frisson.
But for all this Friedkin and Letts don’t pull their punches, and Matthew McConaughey holds the centre of the movie as a cold, cruel gourmand of violence, second only perhaps to Casey Affl eck’s sadistic Texas cop in Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me .
McConaughey plays Detective Joe Cooper of the Dallas Police Department, an offi cer who cruises around in an unmarked car, wearing dark clothes, accessorised with aviator shades and the inevitable Stetson. Cooper is to make a remarkable intervention in the lives of a dysfunctional local family, whose appallingly inadequate paterfamilias is Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), a welder of low ambition and low IQ, acrimoniously divorced from his alcoholic wife, and now living with his dubiously loyal girlfriend Sharla (Gina Gershon), who has the unfortunate habit of answering the door naked from the waist down. Sharla is the resentful stepmother to Ansel’s son Chris (Emile Hirsch), a failed drug dealer who now owes several thousand dollars to some scary characters. Chris’s sister Dottie, played by Juno Temple, still lives in the family nest, a delicate and unworldly person given to sleepwalking and sleep-talking, a condition that makes their family life anxious and surreal. Yet poor Dottie is treasured as a vulnerable soul.
Desperate for cash, Chris lets his dad in on a secret, murderous plan for easy money. Hirsch’s twisted, twitching, horribly needy face lights up with joy at the thought of it, and so to some degree does his dopey father’s, although Church is too intelligent a performer to play stupid with absolute conviction. They need someone who is good at murdering, and this is where Joe comes in: he augments his police pay with a sideline in contract killing and could be persuaded to take the job in return for a share of the promised payout. “Killer” Joe is unimpressed with the off er, but much taken with comely, scantily clad Dottie. Perhaps they can come to an arrangement.
McConaughey’s Joe has icy intelligence and competence, and a keen sense of the art of the possible; he makes everyone else look like a child, with the exception of Dottie, who is the nearest among them to actually being a child, though she has a precocious adult awareness of exactly what is going on, and is an enthusiastic supporter of Chris’s plan. Joe moves into their lives and indeed their home, like a parasitic Satan, taking charge. Once he has accepted a commission, there is no turning back, and he is clearly all too accustomed to whingey and panicky clients having second thoughts, and having to ride roughshod over their scruples.
The chaotic outcome of the plan is where the fi lm comes most alive, with its ugly collisions of double-cross and triple-cross, and the horrible realisation that they are involved in evil, and have themselves become evil. When Dottie sees Joe fi rst, she says that his “eyes hurt”, and later she will repeat this remark to him directly, without making it clear if she means Joe’s eyes are hurting himself or other people, or both. Joe does not reply to this observation, and it’s a shame that their approaching intimacy rather puts a stop to poetry of this kind in the screenplay. Dottie is a version of Blanche Dubois – not a young Blanche necessarily, because of that weirdly mature self-possession, but one who welcomes the kindness of this particular stranger.
Killer Joe sets the scene for a killer noir, with some killer lines and killer characters, but Friedkin’s energy and determination to wrest the story away from the stage and set it free in the cinema deserts him in the fi nal act. It is up to McConaughey’s crooked cop to carry the picture: a sleek, loungingly casual loner whose hunger for violence, like his hunger for fried chicken, is fi nally and horribly gratifi ed.
Matthew McConaughey is another of William Friedkin’s unquiet spirits, as a hitman-cop who rides roughshod over a dysfunctional Dallas family
Texas hold ’em
Sleek loner … Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe
29.06.12 The Guardian 21
Storage 24
★★★★★
Dir: Johannes Roberts. With: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock. 86 min. Cert: 15 Unfolding largely in a London storage warehouse, this drama channels a love triangle involving Noel Clarke , his estranged girlfriend and her new boyfriend into a second plot isolating several characters in a confi ned space with a killer. Early on, a loud, off -
screen bump presages both a crashed aircraft (from which something nasty has escaped) and intermittent power outages (which lock up the premises’ security system, trapping people inside). An impressive if unoriginal monster is upstaged by – spoiler alert! – a cuddly toy dog with fi reworks attached. The whole thing proves unexpectedly entertaining. Jeremy Clarke Lovely Molly
★★★★★
Dir: Eduardo Sánchez. With: Alexandra Holden, Johnny Lewis, Gretchen Lodge, Ken Arnold. 99min. Cert: 15 In 1999, as the era of aff ordable digital videocameras dawned, Eduardo Sánchez co-wrote and co-directed The Blair Witch Project , and so co-created the found-footage or fi rst-person horror fi lm: later examples were Cloverfi eld and Paranormal Activity . It would be nice if Sánchez’s new fi lm Lovely Molly was a masterclass in this type of chiller, but despite a good performance from newcomer Gretchen Lodge it’s a bit of a mess, a derivative scary movie with a jumbled plot and pointless added bits of digital video, with the red “Rec” sign in the top right of the screen and the date pedantically and redundantly showing in the bottom left. Lodge is Molly, a troubled young woman who moves with her new husband back into her childhood home now her parents are dead. But the house is haunted with horrible memories. The fi lm presents us with too many unearned revelations, and it unravels. PB We Are Poets
★★★★★
Directors: Alex Ramseyer-Bache, Daniel Lucchesi. 80min. Cert: tbc Reality TV gives the impression that egomania, humiliating losers and wittering on about your personal jour-
ney are essential factors in the process of nurturing talent. This refreshing documentary off ers another way of thinking. It follows the work of Leeds Young Authors, a performance-poetry group for teenagers in the toughest parts of the city. Six of them are chosen to represent the UK in a US Poetry Slam in Washington DC, and the fi lm-makers come along for the ride; they show young people who are very idealistic and fervently committed to poetry, drawing on the energies of rap, hip-hop and standup comedy. Perhaps nothing in the fi lm quite matches the slo-mo sequence at the very beginning, but this is a worthwhile record. PB Friends with Kids
★★★★★
Dir: Jennifer Westfeldt. With: Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Westfeldt. 107min. Cert: 15 Actor Jennifer Westfeldt makes her debut as writer and director of this agonisingly unfunny and charmless grownup relationship movie (perhaps inspired by Nicole Holofcener) that is so phoney it made all my teeth hurt and caused my sinuses to feel as if they had been fi lled with radium. It its own horrible way, it’s as unwatchable as Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. Westfeldt has the leading role in which her performance is a stately, humourless amalgam of Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston. She plays a singleton who agrees to have a baby with her platonic best friend Jason (Adam Scott) – they actually have sex, rather than use the turkey baster – and insist they will be able to date other people afterwards and not let feelings get in the way. And guess what? If you see this on at the cinema, walk on by. PB King of Devil’s Island
★★★★★
Dir: Marius Holst. With: Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad, Trond Nilssen . 120min. Cert: 12A Stellan Skarsgård gives a wonderfully weighted and authoritative performance in this otherwise overfamiliar Cuckoo’s Nest-style drama, pungently played out at a youth prison off the Norwegian coast. He plays Hakon, the foursquare, God-fearing warden, struggling to subdue the antics of a fi ery new arrival (Benjamin Helstad) who becomes the poster boy for the cowed other inmates. Robust acting and crisp direction eases the old-rope material through to the inevitable confl agration. Xan Brooks The Fairy ★★★★★
Dirs: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy. With: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy. 93min. Cert: PG As in their 2008 oddity Rumba, Francophone clowns Abel, Gordon and Romy here mix Tati-esque sight gags, physical theatre and divisive, Mighty Boosh-like whimsy: it’s the kind of fi lm that delights in sending its principals – Abel’s loser hotel receptionist and Gordon’s barefooted kook – to the sea-
bed to cavort with carrier-bag jellyfi sh. Juggling random motifs (scooters, lost dogs, the number 57), this threesome are content with sustained dottiness, where Tati shaped his skits into a far grander vision. Still, it’s meticulously slight: every setup – whether involving life-threatening ketchup bottles or sausage-snatching migrants – yields its own minor rewards. Mike McCahill several
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... the CBBC comedy Dani’s House in the company of his seven-year-old child
THIS WEEK PETER ENJOYED …
Confi ned … Laura Haddock in Storage 24
22 The Guardian 29.06.12
Reviews Film
Dark Horse
★★★★★
Dir: Todd Solondz. With: Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Zachary Booth, Mia Farrow. 86min. Cert: 15 Sexual obsession, sibling rivalry, chilling despair … it can only be a fi lm from Todd Solondz. Interestingly, Dark Horse is a Solondz fi lm that is slightly diff erent from his other movies: a little more muted, a little less alienated, a little more sympathetic.
In the midst of a wedding reception, we are introduced to two non-dancing wallfl owers. One is Miranda, played by Selma Blair, whose face is a catatonic mask of indiff erence and ennui. The other is beefy and unattractive Abe, played by Jordan Gelber (right) , a guy who when not in a tux favours sports-leisure gear that makes him look like an extra from The Sopranos.
To Miranda’s obvious discomfort, Abe asks for her number, and his attempt to court her turns out to be a dramatic mid-life gesture. Abe is a loser who wants to reinvent himself as a “dark horse”, a guy who can show he’s got what it takes to get on in the world – by getting married.
All Solondz fans will naturally be hanging on for an unbearably horrible moment of humiliation comparable to the opening “date” scene in his 1998 fi lm Happiness . But the director is showing us something a little diff erent. When Abe and Miranda kiss, which they do by gingerly moving their heads together close enough for their mouths to touch for a few seconds, Miranda is afterwards awed by an absence of disgust. “That wasn’t horrible …” she murmurs wonderingly to herself, “… that could have been so much worse.” And Blair’s performance underlines the awful truth: having once dreamed of being a writer, Miranda had intended in some way to mortify herself, humiliate herself, to wallow in the defeat and disappointment of settling for marriage and children with such an unprepossessing guy. Yet perhaps there are feelings there after all. After the death-metal of emotional horror in his earlier movies, Solondz gives us quieter chamber music in a minor key.
Could Todd Solondz be mellowing, wonders Peter Bradshaw Courting happiness
Joyful Noise
★★★★★
Director: Todd Graff . With: Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Kris Kristoff erson, Courtney B Vance, 118min. Cert: PG They speak in analogies in this Georgia-
set diva duel over the hearts and larynxs of a gospel choir. “There’s always free cheese in the mousetrap,” says Queen Latifah , “but trust me: the mice there ain’t happy.” “Trying to fool me is like trying to sneak sunrise past a rooster,” says Dolly Parton . Gradually the tea towel wisdom gets more complex, the references – square eggs, cakes of baby – more oblique and the women work out they’re not so diff erent . Todd Graff ’s fi lm sags in the middle and is clunky with social context (recession, Asperger’s) , but there’s enough good heart to see you through. Kris Kristo ff erson dies early on then returns as the world’s most brightly lit ghost. Catherine Shoard The Athlete
★★★★★
Directors: Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew. With: Rasselas Lakew, Dag Malmberg, Ruta Gedmintas, Abba Waka Dessalegn. 92mins Cert: 15 An Ethiopian drama based on the life of marathon runner Abebe Bikila , who won the Rome Olympics in 1960 bare-
foot and broke the world record at the next games before a car accident left him in wheelchair. It’s a blend of documentary and drama, but while the archive clips of Bikila’s victories are thrilling, the performances are fl at and the script tired . It joins the pack of athletics movies ( Fast Girls , Town of Runners ) vying for Olympics-associated glory. Henry Barnes Your Sister’s Sister
★★★★★
Director: Lynn Shelton. With: Mark Duplass, Rosemary DeWitt, Emily Blunt. 90mins Cert: 15 An interesting relationship triangle is presented in this low-key drama, with self-aware, witty yet emotionally raw characters. There is some great work by the performers, their characters often seem painfully real, although nearly every bit of subtlety is countered by a plot contrivance or scene that’s too on the nose. Intention wins over execution, but it’s a closely run race. Much makes the viewer feel they’re a fl y on the wall, albeit a fl y who has diffi culty holding the camera steady or staying in focus. Phelim O’Neill Web chat
Video: Xan Brooks and Peter Bradshaw review The Amazing Spider-Man and other big releases guardian.co.uk
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The Five-Year Engagement
A romcom with actual real-world problems Silent Souls
Gripping Funeral drama among the Russia’s Meryan ethnic group
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Timur Bekmambetov’s revisionist take on the 16th president
Cloclo
Grand Scorsesian biopic of French singer Claude François STILL SHOWING
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29.06.12 The Guardian 23
Reviews Pop
By Alexis Petridis
Dirty Projectors
Swing Lo Magellan
DOMINO
★★★★★
Dirty Projectors’ mastermind David Longstreth has talked up the Brooklyn collective’s Swing Lo Magellan as “an album of songs”. As a USP, that seems fairly underwhelming. You could say every album on this week’s rock and pop release schedule, from technical death metal titans Nile’s At the Gates of Sethu to the expanded reissue of Showaddywaddy’s 1979 opus Crepes and Drapes , is an album of songs.
But the comment makes more sense in context of the Dirty Projectors’ back catalogue and the polarised response it’s received. To their fans, some famous ( Björk and David Byrne are past collab-
orators), Longstreth is a polymath genius, fl itting between 20th-century orchestration , medieval vocal polyph-
ony and what Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig – a former Dirty Projector him-
self – admiringly called “a fucked-up version of American music”. He is so brimming with original ideas, so superior to his peers that he bears comparison to the late Frank Zappa.
Then there are people for whom that comparison is the problem in a nutshell: like Zappa, he deals in smug, arid intellectual exercises, albums that are – to borrow a phrase from the former culture minister Kim Howells – cold, mechanical, conceptual bullshit . It’s an intriguing schism, summed up in the fact that people who love Longstreth have an unerring knack of describing his albums in a manner apparently designed to instill in anyone who hasn’t heard them a burning desire never to do so as long as they live: “So good at what they do they can be hard to like”, “the execution is as important as the music itself” and, indeed, “ the listener can picture a West that has been smith-
ereened into archipelagodom, where the human survivors place their faith in po-mo calypso’s power to impress the warlord carnival judges ”.
Listening to th is sixth album, you do wonder if Longstreth might have noted some of the dissenting voices and con-
ceded they have a point . Certainly, there’s a huge emotional gulf between , say, 2007’s Rise Above – on which Longstreth “reimagined” the music of hardcore punks Black Flag and drained every last drop of feeling from it in the process – and this album’s Impregnable Question or See What She Seeing, both plaintive love songs, the former boast-
ing a lovely McCartneyesque melody.
There are moments here when old habits appear to die hard: the album opens with a burst of weird, comically overemphatic humming, as if to sug-
gest that what follows should be taken in inverted commas, while Unto Ceasar features a lot of breaking-the-fourth-
wall stuff involving backing vocalists asking: “When should we burst into harmony?” before singing. Whether you fi nd that kind of thing brilliantly witty or profoundly irritating, it’s vastly out-
weighed by songs that seem designed to be taken at face value. Gun Has No Trigger has a rather Zappaesque topic – how easily conformity overwhelms dissent – but rather than sneering about it, it sounds anguished; there’s a fantastic moment at the end of the chorus when Longstreth’s voice cracks as it sings the song’s title and the back-
ing vocals switch from softly cooing to an emphatic wail. It’s genuinely moving, not a phrase you would apply to much of their past work. So is the closing Irresponsible Tune, of all things, a heartfelt acoustic ballad about the power of music: “Without our songs … life is pointless, harsh and long.”
But not all of Swing Lo Magellan is that straightforward. Disparate styles still crash together, rhythms are fi dgety , time signatures tricksy, and at times Longstreth appears to be singing a diff erent song from the one the band are playing. But what’s striking is how easy it is to listen to, partly because the melodies are unfailingly great, partly because the emotions strike home, but mostly because the tricksiness feels as if it’s there in service to the song, rather than for the sake of it. When Dance for You’s skittering drum s and trebly guitar is suddenly submerged beneath a luscious interlude of orchestra and church organ, it fi ts with the song’s lyrical evocation of music’s mysterious power: “I want to feel the breath of a force I can’t explain.”
You could argue that making your music more accessible without sacrifi c-
ing any of its originality is an infi nitely more impressive feat than all the brainiac stuff that’s preceded it in the Dirty Projectors’ oeuvre. There’s always a chance that it is all intended in inverted commas, which would be a bit depressing, but perhaps that doesn’t matter. The best moments of Swing Lo Magellan transcend whatever intentions their author may have had, as amazing songs are wont to do.
Dirty Projectors have become more accessible without sacrifi cing their originality – whether they meant to or not
Easier listening
128 Harps – Four Tet
Kie ran Hebden’s latest single release is simultaneously high speed and low key, wrapped in a delicate, hypnotic harp sample.
THIS WEEK ALEXIS LISTENED TO Unfailingly great melodies … Dirty Projectors, Dave Longstreth seated PHOTOGRAPH JASON FRANK ROTHENBERG
24 The Guardian 29.06.12
Reviews Rock, pop, folk and world
Reptar
Body Faucet LUCKY NUMBER
★★★★★
Pick up a back issue of any indie magazine from 2007 and every band in it will have been making music like this. Reptar are a bit like MGMT. They’re a bit like Vampire Weekend. They’re a bit Animal Collective, a bit Passion Pit. Remarkably, on Houseboat Babies, they sound as if they’ve taken vocal inspiration from a YouTube video of Pete Doherty doing an acoustic reggae cover in a crack den. This is the Afrobeat-tinged equivalent of landfi ll indie, a band deciding to have a go at call-and-response because everybody loves Graceland. It’s not so much that the songs lack shape , it’s that this suggests Reptar lack conviction – every song borrows from something else, something vaguely similar but diff erent enough to make this an incoherent mess, albeit one with oddball preten-
sions. Even Orifi ce Origami, which should off er some respite based on its title alone, merely plods, while Sweet Sipping Soda sounds like the View sat on a keyboard. In trying so hard to be strange, they miss out on simply being half-decent. Rebecca Nicholson Diiv
Oshin
CAPTURED TRACKS
★★★★★
Pick a song, any song, on the debut album from Brooklyn quartet Diiv and it’s likely you’ll be momentarily dazzled by its glistening distillation of dream pop. You might pick Air Condi-
tioning, whose twin guitars set off on a cross-country track, scampering and clambering through sun-dappled forests, with bass and drums The View
Cheeky for a Reason
COOKING VINYL
★★★★★
View frontman Kyle Falconer’s description of his band’s fourth album as “Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours done by the Clash” will invite scorn, but “sprightly melodies executed with a hint of a sneer” wouldn’t have conveyed the message quite so catchily. The Dundee group’s metier is still the combining of rattling guitar-rock with lyrics that show greater empathy and self-awareness than you might expect – as ever, though, the words are swamped by the band’s let’s-rock boisterousness – and Falconer’s adenoidal vocals are a scrawny counter point to the glossiness of Mike (Razorlight) Crossey’s production. That’s no bad thing on the sweet little Tacky Tattoo, which cuts through the gloss to ambivalently count the cost of an extramarital aff air, but it’s wince- inducing on the pints-
aloft chants How Long and AB (We Need Treatment). Despite such patchiness, and a new propensity for ass-kicking rock statements (Bullet) that would sound more persuasive in the hands of Kings of Leon (whose producer, Angelo Petraglia, co-wrote several tracks), Cheeky for a Reason is just interesting enough to tide them over until guitars come back into fashion. Caroline Sullivan Josh Osho
L.i.f.e
ISLAND
★★★★★
When ITV come back from the ad break and Adrian Chiles delivers a line about the performance of the Spanish football team, the music playing underneath is by Josh Osho. The song, Redemption Days, was fi rst released last year, and reached 162 in the charts, but is now the lead track on an album that hopes to establish Osho as a soul-
ful, sincere singer-songwriter. The formula is roughly Seal times Lightning Seeds, with the odd contemporary eff ect added for good measure (a DJ’s scratch, a Ghostface Killah verse, acronyms for titles). The lyrics cast Osho as ideal husband material, determined yet vulnerable Kotki Dwa
Staycations
NATIONAL TRUST
★★★★★
It’s an unusual name for a record label, but then National Trust isn’t really a record label – Kotki Dwa’s second album has been recorded with funding from the National Trust , and it will be a
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available from its shops, as well as from the band’s website . So, the trio display admirable resourcefulness – but does their music match up? It’s not long ago that they were an essentially workaday indie band, but Staycations shows why the National Trust was happy to be involved. Despite the band’s Polish ancestry, it’s awfully English music: summery , peppy and good-natured, mixing artiness with poppy accessibility in the ska-pop of the title track and the pizzicato keyboards of She Likes It, leading into the album’s best chorus. A couple more hooks like that and they’d have an extra star; even so, the boundless, puppyish charm of Staycations deserves an audience. Michael Hann and focused on helping his love realise her dreams. It’s the kind of stuff you’d imagine to have been written by a focus group if it weren’t for the beguiling way Osho occasionally turns a phrase – “Just when I think I’m growing stronger, the stitiching starts to fray” – or latches on to a melody – even if the melody, as in the case of TMAIA (Take Me As I Am), is a barely tweaked rework of Bette Davis Eyes. Paul MacInnes PHOTOGRAPHS JONATHAN HORDLE/REX FEATURES; RICK PUSHINSKY
29.06.12 The Guardian 25
Umoza
Tumbuka Voices
IRL/DAISY LABEL/PROPER
★★★★★
Southern Africa is a region packed with great singers and choirs, many non-
professional. Last month’s album from the Malawi Mouse Boys was a set of classy village music, and now comes a rousing and unlikely youth choir. Umoza is a school for deprived street children in northern Malawi that has been helped by the Irish producer John Dunford, who recorded this cheerfully confi dent, varied set there. The songs are based on traditional tunes, with lyrics praising the project, and the powerful, hypnotic vocal harmonies are backed by vizumba trumpets and percussion. There’s accordion from Irish star Sharon Shannon on one track, and wailing guitar and added percus-
sion from co-producer Justin Adams, currently back working with Robert Plant. But they are careful never to dominate the young African choir. This is a charity record worth hearing. RD Sam Lee
Ground of Its Own
NEST COLLECTIVE/PROPER
★★★★★
Sam Lee is doing all he can to ensure that the British folk On the web
Dave Simpson’s verdict on the debut album from Turner prize-
winner Martin Creed guardian.co.uk/music
maintaining solid, fertile ground beneath them. You might pick Human, where frontman Z Cole Smith’s exuber-
ant vocal shimmers amid gushing streams of guitar. Or perhaps Earthboy, which does the scampering, sun- dappled, shimmering, gushing thing, but throws in an intriguing glassy clattering sound, which might be trains rushing past or someone rattling a box full of beer bottles ready for recycling. The trouble with listening to these songs en masse is that each one blurs into the next, making the whole unmemorable. It’s not landfi ll indie so much as cloud-formation indie: a sequence of beautiful shapes, billow-
ing magnifi cently, only to blow away on the breeze. Maddy Costa revival doesn’t fail by becoming predictable. He’s an avid song collector, a folk entrepreneur and a singer who sets out to revive lesser-known traditional material in an often startlingly unexpected style. He has a distinctive, unforced voice and his quietly compelling, at times crooned, no-nonsense approach is matched against constantly surprising backing. There are no guitars on his debut album (he apparently feels that guitar folk has little new to off er), but he makes use of almost anything else to bring out the eerie mystery or emotion in many of the songs. So The Ballad of George Collins, a Sussex story of love and death, is backed by Jews harp, banjo and fi ddle, while On Yonder Hill, a bittersweet story about hares is, told to the sound of trumpet and tank drums, and on the upbeat lament Goodbye My Darling he brings out his shruti box to add Indian drone eff ects. He didn’t need the samples of nightingales, swifts and other singers, but this is an impressively brave and original set. Robin Denselow a
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A
POLLO THEATRE 0844 412 4658
DAVID SUCHET LAURIE METCALF
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY
INTO NIGHT
By Eugene O’Neill
Mo, Tu & Thu - Sat 7, Wed 2.30
Run time 2hr 30mins plus interval
LYCEUM 0844 871 3000
book online www.thelionking.co.uk
Disney Presents
THE LION KING
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Thursday matinees from 19 July
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Lloyd Webber's
THE WIZARD OF OZ
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THE WOMAN IN BLACK
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JERSEY BOYS
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A
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ICTORIA 0844 847 1696
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WickedTheMusical.co.uk
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LES MISERABLES
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Audience Award
Eves 7.30, Mats Wed & Sat 2.30
www.LesMis.com
Piccadilly Theatre 0844 871 3010
"A spectacular, pulse-racing
fantasy" Time Magazine
GHOST THE MUSICAL
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V
audeville Theatre 0844 4124 663
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What The Butler Saw
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VERSION
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*****'A magnificent triumph'
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A
ldwych Theatre 0844 8471712
TOP HAT
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in a lifetime." Sunday Tel
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www.abigailsparty.co.uk
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LYRIC THEATRE 0844 412 4661
THRILLER – LIVE!
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Tue-Fri7.30, Sat 4&8, Sun 3.30&7.30
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FRESH AS EVER!’ Magic 105.4
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THE OPERA
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS
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St Martin's 08444 991515
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IC 0844 871 7628
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Cambridge Theatre 08444124652
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Roald Dahl’s
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
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Criterion Theatre 0844 847 2483
London’s Funniest Comedy
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A
mbassadors 08448 112 334
STOMP
Mon & Thu – Sat 8pm
Thu & Sat 3pm, Sun 3pm & 6pm
Globe Theatre
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shakespearesglobe.com
Playhouse Theatre 0844 871 7627
DREAMBOATS
& PETTICOATS
Shaftesbury Theatre 0207 379 5399
ROCK OF AGES
THE SMASH HIT MUSICAL
SAVOY THEATRE 0844 871 7687
THE SUNSHINE BOYS
DRURY LANE 0844 871 8810
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PHOENIX THEATRE 08448717629
BLOOD BROTHERS
29.06.12 The Guardian 27
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen
Adam/Kollo/Altmeyer/
Nimsgern/Jerusalem/
Norman/Dresden Staatskapelle/Janowski
SONY (14 CDS)
★★★★★
Until the proliferation of Rings issued in the last decade or so from live Neneh Cherry
The Cherry Thing
SMALLTOWN SUPERSOUND
★★★★★
Maybe former pop singer and Brit award-winner Neneh Cherry was destined to end up singing with a free-
improv jazz band. After 1980s hits such as Buff alo Stance and Manchild , and collaborations with fi lm composers Christian Scott
Christian aTunde Adjuah
CONCORD
★★★★★
New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott’s 2010 album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow received acclaim for its balance of early-jazz brass power and contemporary urban sounds, and for the unfl inching social and political agenda he managed to raise without hectoring. The double album Christian aTunde Adjuah broadens the themes further: to his family’s African ancestry, contemporary inequality and racism, globalisation and war. It isn’t a lecture, but a courageous and ambitious experiment. The proclamatory purity of Scott’s trumpet sound could carry much of the set’s message on its own, but guitarist Matthew Stevens’ raw chords and churning vamps make eff ective contrasts with the leader’s silvery double-time passages. Wistful laments such as the ballad Kiel refl ect Scott’s admiration for Miles Davis’s early muted sound ; the Hurricane Katrina-inspired Danziger has an expectant air ; and the racing Jihad Joe combines a rocking guitar hook, scalding drumming and dazzling trumpet improv. This double album takes its time, and it’s mostly all about Scott’s trumpet, but it’s a tour de force just the same. JF Reviews Classical and Jazz
The Debussy Edition
Various Artists
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON (18 CDS)
★★★★★
Of the compilations released to mark the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy ’s birth this year, this is the most treasurable. As a survey of the music of perhaps of the greatest 20th-
century composer it could hardly be bettered, especially within recordings from a single label, or rather, a single group of labels, for as well as Deutsche Grammophon recordings it also includes material from Philips and Decca, which are al l now part of the Universal stable.
Many of these performances would rank among the fi nest Debussy recordings ever made . The piano music is wonderfully served; there’s Krystian Zimerman ’s polished accounts of the two books of Préludes, Mitsuko Uchida ’s version of the Etudes, and the Kontarsky brothers ’ performances of the two-piano works . The smaller solo sets are covered by Zoltán Kocsis and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli , whose jewel-like performances of Images and the Children’s Corner Suite are among the greatest of all piano discs. The main orchestral works, from Prélude à l’Après-Midi d’un Faune onwards, are represented by the lucid recordings Pierre Boulez made with the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1990s, while Debussy’s only completed opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, comes in Claudio Abbado ’s refi ned 1991 recording with Francois Le Roux and Maria Ewing in the title roles, and José van Dam as Golaud.
Not all the discs of songs and chamber music are on quite the same exalted level of performance . But you do have Martha Argerich partnering Mischa Maisky in the Cello Sonata and Maria-João Pires with Augustin Dumay in the violin one, while Ernest Ansermet conducts Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien (just the symphonic fragments) and La Boite à Joujoux. T o get the set at less than the cost of four full-price CDs is a wonderful bargain. Andrew Clements Debussy virtuoso … Mischa Maisky; Neneh Cherry (below)
On the web
Read the rest of the week’s classical and jazz reviews guardian.co.uk/music
PHOTOGRAPHS MAT HENNEK/DG; GRAEME ROBERTSON FOR THE GUARDIAN
To download or buy any reviewed CD, go to guardian.co.uk/music/reviews or call 0330 333 6840. recordings, the market was dominated by a handful of competing sets from the LP era, led by the pioneering studio version conducted by Georg Solti made by Decca from 1958 onwards. Alongside that cycle, as well as those under Herbert von Karajan and Karl Böhm , this East German one with Marek Janowski conducting (originally released in Britain on Eurodisc in the early 1980s) was perhaps under-
appreciated, even though it was the fi rst to be recorded digitally. Janowski’s unfussy, clearly laid out performances, with the Dresden Staatskapelle on superlative form, may lack the sweep and energy of Solti’s, or the compelling beauty of Karajan’s, but they still have much to recommend them. The casts feature a fi ne mix of the leading Wagnerians of that period, including René Kollo as Siegfried, Theo Adam as Wotan and Siegmund Nimsgern as Alberich, alongside others who are less well known for that repertoire. The great Peter Schreier sings both Loge and Mime here, for instance; while Jessye Norman , then at the height of her vocal powers, is a rich-toned Sieglinde alongside Siegfried Jerusalem’s Siegmund ; Cheryl Studer features among the Valkyries. AC and dance experimentalists in the noughties, she returns to the jazz-
inspired situations she fi rst explored with the post-punk band Rip Rig + Panic, which she’d learned at the knee of her jazz-trumpeter stepfather Don Cherry. This exhilarating set with Norwegian and Swedish free-jazz trio the Thing dramatically bridges the singer’s avant-pop world and the fl at-out sax-howling, percussion-
thundering soundscape the group have been poleaxing audiences with since 2000. The cover of Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream , the eight-minute standout track, is like free-squalling South African township jazz . Sudden Movement has a feel of Don Cherry’s involvement with the Liberation Music Orchestra to it, while the vocals on his own Golden Heart are ghostly and echoing . The Stooges’ Dirt is a terrifying avant-blues shout amid multiphonic squeals. This album is real fusion, not just a genre-crossing shot in the dark. John Fordham 28 The Guardian 29.06.12
Reviews Television
ALL THE WORLD’ S A SCREEN Mark Lawson on tackling Shakespeare for television
guardian.co.uk/tv
A week in radio
The song remains the same
It takes a big song to fi ll an hour’s programming dedicated to it but Shipbuilding – written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer, and sung by Robert Wyatt – easily justifi ed Is It Worth It? (Radio 2). An exemplary music documentary, this explored both the track’s social and political context, and the teensiest details of its making.
I loved hearing how Langer played the melody to Costello in his car outside a party at Nick Lowe’s house (“I had a Golf, it had a good stereo in it – I was la-
la-laing it in a Robert Wyatt style”). After hearing that, Costello penned the lyrics while on tour in Australia and called Langer. “I’ve written the best lyric I’ve ever written,” Costello told him. “I’ve written the best tune I’ve ever written,” Langer replied. They were on to some-
thing: a song so absolutely of its time, but also timeless and always a directly emotional, powerful listen.
The programme, presented by Annie Nightingale, drew a picture of its time really well, with input from a Falklands widow, men who worked on Tyneside shipyards and a war veteran who served there. Paul Morley and Pat Kane described the political and cultural scene (“the lingering aftershock of punk”), while David Gray analysed the song’s meaning (“can’t we do some-
thing else, something brighter and more beautiful than war-making and bullying?”). Costello spoke about how his family history had been shaped by war and the shipyards, and was as forthright as ever. “In British history,” he said, “they nearly always get a working-class boy to do the killing.”
Personal history is the structure for Meeting Myself Coming Back (Radio 4), an always interesting listen and sometimes an ex-
traordinary one. This week’s, with Clive James listening to his life in archive clips, was the latter: a very moving look back at a life full of spark and brilliance but now in its fi nal stage. “I’m getting near the end,” James told John Wilson. “I am a man who is approaching his terminus.” Elisabeth Mahoney
How the memory plays tricks. When Eddie Shoestring made his debut as a private investigator in 1979, he was must-watch TV. Shoestring was Radio West’s “private ear”: a burnt-out com-
puter geek turned airwaves sleuth who would launch investigations on behalf of his listeners . He wore pyjama tops as shirts and had a droopy moustache and even droopier bags under his eyes that hinted at a world of pain. I loved Shoe-
string and I loved this BBC show. He spoke my language and the storylines felt sharp and timely: prostitution, drugs, punk , hippies, religious cults. My aff ection for the show, set in Bristol, has never diminished. I’m not sure why. It’s not as if turning 23 was a formative episode in my life; and I ’ve watched countless other private detec-
tive dramas just as keenly since. But none ha s made such a lasting impres-
sion. I must be one of the few people who watch Trevor Eve in Waking the Dead and think: “What’s Eddie doing here and how come he’s got so large?”
So when I heard the fi rst series had been released on box set , I grabbed at it. And I was surprised by how dated it felt . Not in the details, such as the Your next box set
Shoestring landline telephones , Eddie’s orange Cortina , his half-tied tie and all those typewriters , because I expected that. But in the pace and character of the stories. What I had remembered as fast, grimy realism now felt languid, gentle and unmenacing: the baddies were like cartoon characters and the violence wasn’t very violent. In just about every episode, Eddie is jumped by dangerous thugs. Then, before anything much can happen, we cut to Eddie back home, nursing a small cut on his lip .
For absurd storylines, though, it’s hard to beat the one about the sinister Starshiners religious cult, in which fresh-faced drama students with cut-
glass accents wander around Bath in nice robes, wittering on about infi nity and the master being at the south pole. W as whoever wrote this on drugs?
And yet ... there was something pleasurable about reconnecting with my past: was that really Toyah Willcox making a guest appearance as a singer called, cleverly, Toola? How innocent I must have been back then. I guess Eddie and I weren’t quite the bad asses we thought we were. For those too young to have caught Shoestring fi rst time round, be grateful you won’t get caught in a sudden reality check as I was. Instead, enjoy this show for what it has now become: a period drama. With pyjamas. John Crace PHOTOGRAPH REX FEATURES
Droopy moustache and even droopier bags under his eyes … Trevor Eve as Eddie Shoestring (below) Elvis Costello
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29.06.12 The Guardian 29
T
here is a constituency that fi nds pleasure in watching other people’s sorrow, and I have to admit I belong to it, though I hate that trait in myself. If it were just the fact that sadness is often caused by an interesting, dramatic event, I wouldn’t mind. Instead, you watch it – say it’s somebody else trying to comfort their post operative toddler. You summon up all that they are going through, the suff ering and impotence and desperation. Then bosh, credits roll; it’s not your kid, it’s their kid. Phew. Anyone fancy some Doritos? It is so obnoxious, and what is more obnoxious still is that people such as Nho, whose son Viet has bilateral facial clefts, have to suff er this smug scrutiny because … well, for whatever reason. On The Baby with a New Face – Extraordinary People (Channel 5), she was probably given a choice, but she might on some level have felt that the free treatment of this crack team of surgeons depended on letting in the cameras . I don’t know why lead surgeon Niall Kirkpatrick let it happen; possibly he is really proud of his work, and he does seem tremendously good at it. Some people think the high level of disfi gurement in children in Vietnam is a legacy of the American s’ use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. “Some people think …”, programmes such as this always say, whenever they are about to say anything more controver-
sial than “dogs are cute” or “children mean a lot to their parents”. It bestows a sceptical air on even the most well-
established ideas. I would like to see it replaced with “most people think”, or “some people think, and those who don’t, it’s because they’re stupid”. There is another constituency, one that loves to watch gore; I’m not in that one, and I don’t really get it. I had to look away for all the scalpel-through-
tissue action, so for at least half of it, all I got was Natascha McElhone’s is so overbaked, his pauses so pregnant, his Anthony Hopkins impression so unwarranted, his remarks so inane, that the contestants can’t really work out how to react. You will recall from the Great British Bake Off that real people, with a passion, under pressure, can be quite moving and sweet and even – I’m thinking of the seminal croque mbouche episode – enlightening. However, opposite this great ham, the contestants can’t do “normal”. They would feel as though they had walked into the wrong play. So they are rendered pretty well mute – they are just meat in the room, to showcase Marco’s charisma, which he has in homeo-
pathic quantities. The meals are fi nally brought out, to a waiting crowd that makes sour remarks, revelling in its own ignorance. “There’s a lot of fl avours, I’m not sure that I can identify any of them,” says a female diner. Come on. If you can put something in your mouth and not recognise anything, maybe you should have a KFC (no off ence to the Colonel) and go and criticise something else. That’s partly why it doesn’t function as entertainment, the unacknowledged injustice of this random arbitration. You want to root for some people against other people; it doesn’t work when you’re rooting for all the participants, against the entire production team. It doesn’t function as a competition because there is no constant: they all serve diff erent food to diff erent people. The only still point is Marco, and the only reliable element of his personality is this vaudeville cantankerousness. He keeps fondling a sharp knife, as if to underline his raw sexuality. It’s like that episode of Friends where Monica tries a knife-wielding-qua-sexual- display and chops off Chandler’s toe. Even the most bizarre, unsuccessful elements of this show are knock-off s. Last night's TV
The knives were out, for surgery and for cooking, but taste was sadly absent
By Zoe Williams narration: “Then they release the lower eyelid sections and bring them together. Next, they create the right corner of the mouth. Finally, they can stitch all the pieces together.” It was perplexingly precise, as though she were making a teaching video for people who themselves might be called on to reconstruct a face. Up against an experience that left me despising Channel Five, myself and warmongers in general, Marco Pierre White didn’t stand a chance for Worst Programme of the Night, though never let it be said that he doesn’t try. Kitchen Wars (Channel 5) features pairs of restaurateurs, up against the clock (sort of … they have four hours to prep, so it is not exactly Ready Steady Cook) to feed some people around tables in a characterless studio. Marco y
absent
AND ANOTHER THING
I don’t have Sky Atlantic, so I’m Twitter-watching Veep. I see what people say and form a view . When I fi nally see it , I will have done the groundwork of having an opinion. People, it’s GREAT.
Viet in Vietnam with his father and his mother, Nho
30 The Guardian 29.06.12
Watch this
TV and radio
Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads
8pm, Channel 5
The Ice Road Truckers take on the North Yungas Road in Bolivia in this thawed spin-
off . It’s aff ectionately known as El Camino De La Muerte, or The Road Of Death, a notorious 43-mile stretch of crumbling mud clinging precariously to the side of the mountains. It claims the lives of around 300 people every year thanks to its narrow carriageway and the fact that on one side it drops away into oblivion in a stomach-churningly terrifying fashion. God help them. Ben Arnold
Simon Schama’s Shakespeare
9pm, BBC2
The second part of Schama’s mission to historicise the bard begins by considering Shakespeare’s relation-
ship to monarchs and, in particular, what happens when a mere mortal puts on a crown. Henry V is the touchstone, a play in which Shakespeare – while fl atter-
ing Elizabeth I with almost obsequious comparisons to Henry – provides us with a portrait of a ruler affl icted by doubt and the burden of kingship. Martin Skegg
The Circus 9pm, ITV1
The circus, as this fl y-on-
the-wall series points out, is best experienced through the eyes of a child. That certainly seems to be the case as the Darnell family take their Paulo’s Circus to delighted families for the west country summer sea-
son. For the adults involved, however, there is plenty to contend with behind the scenes: animal rights protesters, gruelling hours and the anomie that comes with a rootless existence. John Robinson
Quadrophenia – Can You See The Real Me?
9pm, BBC4
“If you take away the mod uniform, all you’re left with is the universal adoles-
cent problem.” The Who manager Bill Curbishley there, nailing the theme of Quadrophenia, album and fi lm (which follows). In this fantastic documentary, Pete Townshend talks us through it. Ali Catterall
Quadrophenia, BBC4
Channel 4
Mapangala with his mix of rumba, soukous and traditional Kenyan styles.
1.0 Through The Night. Including music by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Stenhammar, Bruckner, Saint-Saens, Gershwin, Muff at, Prokofi ev, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Verdi.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News headlines and sport. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday In Parliament. With Sean Curran. 8.58 (LW) Weather 9.0 Desert Island Discs. Kirsty Young talks to John Bishop. (R) 9.45 (LW) Act Of Worship. Led by Canon Chris Chivers. 9.45 (FM) Book Of The
BBC1 BBC2 ITV1
6.0pm Local News (S) 6.30 ITV News (S)
6.0pm The Simpsons (R) (S) (AD) Bart rents a car illegally.
6.30 Hollyoaks (S) (AD) Joel’s life is in danger. 6.0pm BBC News (S) 6.30 Regional News (S) 7.0 Emmerdale (S) (AD) Jai seeks refuge in the factory when he hear his parents are separating.
7.30 Coronation Street (S) (AD) Sean is convinced Marcus has been unfaithful and follows him to work.
7.0 Channel 4 News (S) 7.55 4thought.tv (S) Mark Prince believes his son was stabbed to death in 2006 because of the murderer’s distorted sense of honour.
7.0 The One Show: Best Of Britain (S) Highlights with Alison Craig and Mike Dilger.
7.30 Fake Britain (S) Dominic Littlewood talks to the police and UK Border Agency offi cers about fake passports.
8.0pm Today At Wimbledon (S) John Inverdale and guests review the key moments from day fi ve in SW19, focusing on the men’s and ladies’ third-round singles.
8.0 Grimefi ghters (R) (S) Dagenham property manager fi nds one of the most appalling houses he has ever seen.
8.30 Coronation Street (S) (AD) Sean’s outburst startles Marcus considerably.
8.0 Come Dine With Me (S) Four amateur cooks from Keighley, West Yorkshire, put on what they hope will be a prize-winning dinner party, including one with a German theme. 8.0 EastEnders (S) (AD) Jay lets slip that Lola was responsible for vandalising the cars.
8.30 Would I Lie To You? The Unseen Bits (R) (S) Previously unseen material from the latest series.
9.0 Simon Schama’s Shakespeare (S) (AD) The historian examines how Shakespeare used his experience of writing for the courts of Elizabeth I and James I towards the creation of tragic royal fi gures such as King Lear.
9.0 The Circus (S) Cameras capture life with Paulo’s Circus, a family business that started in the 19th century but is facing tough challenges as ticket sales drop and the petrol prices steadily rise.
9.0 The Million Pound Drop Live (S) Davina McCall presents the quiz show in which contestants have to hold on to as much of the £1million prize as possible.
9.0 New Tricks (R) (S) (AD) The team discovers new information linking the death of a market trader to a series of drug rapes in east London.
11.0 The Review Show (S) Hosted by Kirsty Wark.
11.50 Welcome To Collinwood (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2002) (S) (AD) Unconvincing crime comedy with Sam Rockwell.
11.20 Stand Up For The Week (S) Jon Richardson hosts the satirical comedy show, with Seann Walsh, Josh Widdicombe, Sara Pascoe, Paul Chowdhry and Andrew Lawrence. Last in the series.
11.20 The National Lottery (S) 11.30 White Van Man (S) Ollie accidentally arranges a date with an old girlfriend, and Emma discovers Tony was able to get a date of his own. Will Mellor stars.
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Music, news and the occasional surprise, presented by Petroc Trelawny. 9.0 Essential Classics. Guest Jo Shapcott discusses the Poetry Parnassus event being staged this week at London’s Southbank Centre. Plus, music by the Kuijken Brothers and Collegium Musicum 90.
12.0 Composer Of The Week: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Donald Macleod refl ects on the latter part of Mozart’s life and career. Music includes excerpts Radio
from operas La Clemenza di Tito and Don Giovanni.
1.0 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. From Liverpool’s St George’s Hall, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and pianist Russell Ryan perform Schumann’s song-cycle Dichterliebe and German works by other composers.
2.0 Afternoon On 3. Recent performances by the BBC Philharmonic and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, including Berg’s Seven Early Songs with mezzo Jennifer Johnston and Haydn’s Symphony No 97 in C.
4.30 In Tune. Sean Raff erty presents a selection of music and news from the arts world.
6.30 Composer Of The Week: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Donald Macleod refl ects on the latter part of Mozart’s life and career. Music includes excerpts from operas La Clemenza di Tito and Don Giovanni. (R)
7.30 Radio 3 Live In Concert. Live from London’s Wigmore Hall, American mezzo Susan Graham performs songs by Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Berlioz, Joseph Horovitz, Poulenc, Messager, Porter and Sondheim.
10.0 The Verb. Ian McMillan showcases new writing, performance and global literature.
10.45 The Essay. Novelist, playwright and memoirist Gillian Slovo stands up for those competitors who miss out on the podium places by coming fourth.
11.0 World On 3. Lopa Kothari introduces a specially recorded studio session by Congolese singer and bandleader Samba 10.0 Episodes (S) (AD) Beverly gets ready for her second date with Rob, but things are more complicated now Sean knows she is seeing somebody else.
10.30 Newsnight (S) With Gavin Esler.
10.0 ITV News At Ten (S)
10.30 Local News (S)
10.35 Public Enemies (Michael Mann, 2009) (S) Johnny Depp stars in this crime drama about 1930s bank robber John Dillinger.
10.30 8 Out Of 10 Cats: Best Bits (S) First of two compilations of highlights from the latest series of the panel show hosted by Jimmy Carr.
10.0 BBC News (S)
10.25 Regional News And Weather (S)
10.35 The Graham Norton Show (S) Celebrity chat and musical guests.
Film of the day
Public Enemies (10.35pm, ITV1) Michael Mann applies his heavy-duty modern gangster method to Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger, with Johnny Depp as the charismatic crook and Christian Bale as FBI man Melvin Purvis
29.06.12 The Guardian 31
Other channels
E4
6.0pm The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is delighted Leonard’s girlfriend matches his high standards. 6.30 The Big Bang Theory. Leonard seeks relationship advice from Penny. 7.0 Hollyoaks. Carmel returns home from hospital. 7.30 How I Met Your Mother. Marshall feels guilty about fi ring his assistant. 8.0 The Big Bang Theory. Leonard argues with Penny. 8.30 2 Broke Girls. Caroline moves her pet horse into the backyard. 9.0 Die Hard. Action thriller, starring Bruce Willis. 11.35 Revenge. Emily preys on Victoria’s guilty conscience. Film4
6.40pm Around The World In 80 Days. Comedy adventure, starring Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan. 9.0 The Day The Earth Stood Still. Sci-fi remake, starring Keanu Reeves. 11.0 Domino. Thriller, starring Keira Knightley. FX
6.0pm Leverage. Nate Ford returns to Boston Assurance. 7.0 NCIS. An admiral is murdered. 8.0 NCIS. The team searches for a missing survivalist. 9.0 NCIS. Tony appears to have shot another NCIS agent during a months-
long case. 10.0 Family Guy. Peter presents his own version of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. 11.0 Family Guy. Peter is inspired by the writing of Stephen King. 11.30 Family Guy. Peter discovers he led a past life in 17th-century England. 12.0 American Dad! Stan tries to make a man out of Steve. ITV2
6.0pm The Jeremy Kyle Show USA. The host takes his successful talk-show stateside. 7.0 The Cube. A 31-year-old Scotsman takes on the challenge. 8.0 You’ve Been Framed! Featuring a pensioner in a spin and a puppy doing a headstand. 9.0 Love Actually. Romantic comedy, with Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon. 11.45 Take Me Out. A personal trainer, a football freestyler, a student and a mobile-phone salesman take part. Sky1
6.0pm The Middle. Frankie’s parents decide to celebrate Christmas with her. 6.30 Futurama. The theory of Channel 5 BBC3 BBC4 Atlantic
evolution is tested on a robot population. 7.0 The Simpsons. Anne Hathaway takes up temporary residence in Springfi eld. 7.30 The Simpsons. Homer becomes a masked vigilante. 8.0 Futurama. Aliens threaten to destroy Earth. 8.30 The Simpsons. With the guest voice of Sacha Baron Cohen. 9.0 A League Of Their Own. Highlights from the fi fth series of the sports-
based comedy quiz. 10.0 Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life. Spoof documentary, starring Steve Coogan. 11.0 Walking And Talking. Kathy Burke’s comedy, starring Ami Metcalf and Aimee-Ffi on Edwards. 11.30 An Idiot Abroad 2. Karl Pilkington prepares for a 15-hour trek to the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan. Sky Arts 1
6.0pm Live At The Criterion. A discussion between Nigella Lawson and Kirsty Young. 7.0 The South Bank Show. Profi le of singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading. 8.0 All You Need Is Love. The story of the blues. 9.0 Classic Albums. John Lennon’s fi rst solo album John Lennon/
Plastic Ono Band. 10.0 Beach Boys: Good Vibrations Tour. The fi ve original band members perform in 1976. 11.0 Elvis 56 Special. Following a pivotal year in Elvis Presley’s career. 12.0 The Ronnie Wood Show. The Rolling Stones guitarist talks to Paul McCartney. TCM
6.25pm The Man From Utah. Western, starring John Wayne. 7.25 Murder, She Said. Miss Marple mystery, starring Margaret Rutherford. 9.0 16 Blocks. Police thriller, starring Bruce Willis. 10.55 My Cousin Vinny. Courtroom comedy, starring Joe Pesci.
learns an uncomfortable truth. (R)
2.15 (FM) Afternoon Drama: The Man Who Sold The World. By Natalie Mitchell.
3.0 (FM) Gardeners’ Question Time. From the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Stratford, east London.
3.45 (FM) Elizabeth Taylor Short Stories. New series. The Idea of Age, by Elizabeth Taylor.
4.0 (FM) Last Word. Obituary series, with Matthew Bannister.
4.30 (FM) Feedback. Listeners’ views.
5.0 (FM) PM. With Eddie Mair.
5.57 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v Australia.
5.57 (FM) Weather
6.0 (FM) Six O’Clock News
6.30 The Now Show. With Jon Holmes, Marcus Brigstocke, Mitch Benn and Pippa Evans.
7.0 The Archers. David feels isolated.
7.15 Front Row. With author Jake Arnott.
7.45 The Pursuits Of Darleen Fyles. By Esther Wilson.
8.0 Any Questions? From the Young Carers festival in Southampton.
8.50 A Point Of View. Refl ections on a topical issue.
9.0 Four Trees Down From Ponte Sisto. By Sharon Charde.
9.59 Weather
10.0 The World Tonight. With Ritula Shah.
10.45 Book At Bedtime: RU. By Kim Thuy, abridged by Jane Marshall.
11.0 A Good Read. With Constance Briscoe and Angela Saini. (R)
11.30 Today In Parliament. Mark D’Arcy presents.
12.0 News And Weather 12.30 Book Of The Week: Damn His Blood. By Peter Moore. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast Radio 4 Extra
Digital only
6.0 The Toff On The Farm 6.30 Secret Agent — X9 7.0 Smelling Of Roses 7.30 The Write Stuff 8.0 The Navy Lark 8.30 The Burkiss Way 9.0 After Henry 9.30 Trivia Test Match 10.0 Fortunes Of War 11.0 Five Stories By James Ellis 11.15 The Psychedelic Spy
12.0 The Navy Lark
12.30 The Burkiss Way
1.0 The Toff On The Farm
1.30 Secret Agent — X9
2.0 The Tenderness Of Wolves 2.15 This Sceptred Isle 2.30 The Camomile Lawn 2.45 More Than A Game 3.0 Fortunes Of War
4.0 The 4 O’Clock Show
5.0 Snap 5.30 Smelling Of Roses 6.0 Doctor Who: The Scapegoat
6.30 Mort
7.0 The Navy Lark
7.30 The Burkiss Way
8.0 The Toff On The Farm
8.30 Secret Agent — X9
9.0 Five Stories By James Ellis
9.15 The Psychedelic Spy
10.0 Comedy Club: The Write Stuff 10.30 Old Harry’s Game
11.0 Radio Active
11.30 Lee And Herring’s Fist Of Fun
12.0 Doctor Who: The Scapegoat 12.30 Mort 1.0 The Toff On The Farm 1.30 Secret Agent — X9 2.0 After Henry 2.30 Trivia Test Match 3.0 Fortunes Of War 4.0 Five Stories By James Ellis 4.15 The Psychedelic Spy 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 Sport Today 4.50 Witness More4
Week: Damn His Blood. By Peter Moore. 10.0 (LW) Woman’s Hour. 10.0 (FM) Woman’s Hour. 10.30 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v Australia.
11.0 (FM) You Must Take The A Train. Celebrating 50 years of the New York subway route. 11.30 (FM) Births, Deaths And Marriages. By David Schneider. Last in the series. 12.0 (FM) News
12.04 (LW) Live International One-Day Cricket. England v Australia.
12.04 (FM) You And Yours. Consumer aff airs.
12.45 (FM) The New Elizabethans. Profi le of comedian and actor Tony Hancock. 12.57 (FM) Weather 1.0 (FM) The World At One. 1.45 (FM) The Cave. By Patricia Reynolds. Last in the series.
2.0 (FM) The Archers. Adam 6.0pm Home And Away (R) (S) (AD) Heath tells Sid to save the baby before Bianca.
6.30 5 News (S) 6.50pm Come Dine With Me (R) (S) The dinner-party challenge comes to north Somerset.
6.0pm ER (R) Benton learns that his son is deafness and Corday makes an important decision about her future.
7.0 Cricket On 5 (S) England vs Australia. Mark Nicholas introduces highlights of the opening one-day international of the fi ve-match series at Lord’s. 7.0pm Top Gear USA (S) The men make their own versions of their favourite cars to have appeared on TV and fi lm.
7.45 Top Gear USA (S) The team transports tons of explosive cargo across Michigan.
7.0pm World News Today (S) 7.30 Concerto At The BBC Proms (S) A 2006 recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 from the Royal Albert Hall. Soloist Richard Goode performs with the BBC SO.
7.55 Grand Designs (R) (S) (AD) Kevin McCloud meets Wiltshire dairy farmer Andrew Ainslie and his wife Meryl, who plan to build a house made from engineered timber and with a barrel-shaped roof.
7.0 House (R) A teenage faith healer with severe stomach cramps claims to have healed a cancer patient.
8.0 Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads (S) The series returns with a new setting in the Andes. Six drivers working in pairs take on a notorious road in Bolivia that claims up to 300 lives every year. 8.30 Snog, Marry, Avoid? (R) (S) Comedian Ellie Taylor heads to Newcastle, where she has a “Toon blow dry” and meets Cumbria’s male answer to Kim Kardashian.
8.0 Puccini’s Il Trittico (S) Lucio Gallo stars in Gianni Schicchi, the fi nal part of Puccini’s operatic trilogy. A dead man’s relatives race to fi nd his will and get the inheritance. Last in the series.
8.0 Blue Bloods (R) Jamie comes to the aid of a woman in trouble while he is off duty — but the incident gets out of hand and threatens his career.
9.0 Big Brother: Live Eviction (S) Brian Dowling reveals which of the nominees has proved least popular with the voting public. 9.0 Dead Boss (R) (S) (AD) Helen takes matters into her own hands by studying law.
9.30 Live At The Apollo (R) (S) Al Murray hosts the stand-up comedy show with guests Chris Addison and Tim Vine.
9.0 Quadrophenia — Can You See The Real Me? (S) Pete Townshend recalls some of the stories from the making of the Who’s sixth studio album Quadrophenia, released in 1973.
9.0 Kiss The Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) (S) (AD) Nasty thriller with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd about a kidnapper who murders his female victims.
9.0 Blue Bloods (R) (S) (AD) Erin and Danny try to prevent one of New York’s most dangerous criminals from killing again after he comes out of prison.
11.0 Big Brother’s Bit On The Side Emma Willis and her guests discuss the latest eviction.
11.15 Family Guy (R) (S) Lois thinks Stewie is trying to kill her.
11.35 Family Guy (R) (S) Peter starts a new religion dedicated to the Fonz, and Stewie ends up stuck in a bubble.
11.15 Coppers (R) (S) How police offi cers cope with the Saturday-night beat, dealing with constant instances of drunkenness, abuse and violence.
11.0 The Wire (R) (S) The mayor orders Burrell to reduce the rising crime rate, and Daniels isn’t sure if he’s going to be promoted to major after all.
10.0 The Bachelor (S) Return of the dating show, this time with Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews getting some lovely free holidays as he romances 24 women around the world.
10.0 EastEnders (R) (S) (AD) Jay lets slip that Lola was responsible for vandalising the cars.
10.30 Russell Howard’s Good News Extra (S) The best comic moments from all six series.
10.10 Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam, 1979) (S) Sixties Mods and Rockers do battle in this frenetic drama based on the Who album. Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash star.
10.0 Awake (S) Rex asks Britten to help discover the real reason why his girlfriend has broken up with him. 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 BBC Africa Debate: South Sudan — Has Independence Met Expectations? 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 Love Actually, ITV2
Full TV listings
For comprehensive programme details see the Guardian Guide every Saturday or go to tvlistings.guardian.co.uk/
32 The Guardian 29.06.12
Puzzles
On the web
For tips and all manner of crossword debates go to guardian.co.uk/crosswords
Hard. 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.
co.uk/kakuro
A great range of puzzle books is available from Guardian Books. To order, visit guardianbooks.co.uk or call 0845 606 4232.
17 17 9
39 19
17 33
16 7
30 8 6
11 3 10
3 6 4
10 4 16
6 24 30
23 17
31 14
15 36
11 13 16
14
16
3
8
24
17
12
30
3
12
16
17
32
23
4
24
7
18
7
7
3
24
26
16
10
28
4
30
4
24
22
3
4
17
12
8 9 6 4 5 3 1 2
8 6 7 9 5 6 3 1 2 4
9 7 7 2 8 1 3 1
6 9 8 3 4 2 1 5
3 1 2 3 6 1
7 9 3 2 9 1 1 4 2
1 3 2 1 6 3 6 8 9
2 1 4 4 8 2 1 9 7
4 5 9 7 2 1
8 9 7 4 5 2 5 1
1 3 9 6 8 1 2 3
4 2 5 9 8 9 4 3 1 2
2 1 3 4 6 2 1 4
Doonesbury fl ashback
Garry Trudeau
Solution to no 1297
Kakuro no 1298
Sudoku no 2226
7 3
5 9
6 9 2
4 3 6
4 2 1
6 2 8
5 9
6 7
Hard. Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at guardian.co.uk/sudoku
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 www.puzzler.com/guardian
8 2 7 9 1 6 3 5 4
4 6 5 7 3 2 9 1 8
1 3 9 4 8 5 7 6 2
9 8 3 6 5 4 2 7 1
2 5 4 8 7 1 6 9 3
7 1 6 3 2 9 8 4 5
5 7 8 1 6 3 4 2 9
3 4 1 2 9 7 5 8 6
6 9 2 5 4 8 1 3 7
Solution to no 2225
Quick crossword no 13,148
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8
9
10
11 12
13 14
15 16 17
18 19 20
21
22
23
24
Across
1 Be careful! (5,2)
8 Rare (7)
9 Where things are sold to the highest bidder (7)
10 Warp (7)
11 Administers medicine to (5)
13 Personifi cation of a homely girl (5,4)
15 Experiencing diffi culties (2,1,6)
18 Russian spirit (5)
21 Guff aw (7)
22 Lager (7)
23 Biology, perhaps? (7)
24 Small antlered animal(s) (3,4)
Down
1 The ___, area between the North and South Downs (5)
2 They suck from warm-
blooded animals (5)
3 Pedantry (4-9)
4 Arctic plain (6)
5 Amount of inconvenience or annoyance that can be caused (8,5)
6 Goddess of the dawn (6)
7 Dress (6)
12 Portent (4)
14 Part of the body — cheek (4)
15 Crime within the family (6)
16 Extremely minute (6)
17 Goalie (6)
19 Ball (5)
20 Drying frame (5)
Solution no 13,147
B A B Y B U G G Y S M
G U R E M E R E
Q U I C K S A N D Q Z
E K I I B U Z Z
S P S N O U T E A
T O U C H E S A M S O N
O S R P T I
P O S S U M C A V E R N
P Y B O N U S R E
R A F T S B E B
E O S Q U I L L I O N
S L O B U S A Z
S T V E R M I L I O N
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 guardian.co.uk/crossword. Buy all four Guardian quick crosswords books for only £20 inc UK p&p (save £7.96). Visit guardianbooks.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
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