Monday, April 21, 2014

Another Brief Snippet of the Screenplay of my Life

Which, amongst other things, demonstrates that my kids do listen to me.


HOLLY is trying to describe to DAISY the plot of 'Killers From Space', the bloody dreadful  film that she'd watched earlier in the day with her DAD.


...and all they did to make them
 look like aliens was make them wear
 black and stick ping pong balls on
 their eyes and they they were in
 this underground tunnel thing only
 it wasn't really a tunnel it was
filmed in Bronson Canyon...

(The penny finally dropping.)
Aaah!  A Bronson Canyon movie...

Nice to know they do listen to me sometimes - even if it is only when I'm prattling on about shite movie locations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog, Son of Blog

In a rare outbreak of adventurousness (prompted by Flickr's newly improved totally fucked-up interface) I have been exploring other places on the web to shove miscellaneous photos.  (And redefining the word 'adventurousness' to mean: 'adding a few new bookmarks'.) 

In an un-rare outbreak of semi-obsessional faddism I am filling this one up with scans from a huge pile of 1980s Photoplay magazines before I bind them into sturdy hardback volumes -  a process which makes them difficult to get flat enough to scan, reduces their value to nothing,  but makes them a sod of a lot easier to store (and read) - and it's fun.  

Bookbinding is fun?  Christ, I'm getting old....

For some reason I find the explosion of video advertising that exploded onto the pages in 1980/81 fascinating.

I've also found a home to post one of my slightly longer-term, pointlessly, time wasting projects: 

A Thousand to One in Film Stills

I'm slightly stuck on 12 but once I've got that one sorted I have a whole pile ready to go...

I have also updated my Every Film I Have Watched list for the first time in several months.  Ye Gods! I watch some awful drivel.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Here's a story I wrote a wee while ago that has just been published in the latest edition of Mythaxis webzine.

Don't worry, it's very short.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

For a while now, after I fiddled with something it turns out I shouldn't have fiddled with, my scanner thinks it's Italian.  (Or my computer thinks I'm Italian, I'm not sure.) Either way I do know that when I scan anything I have no idea what half of the options I have available to me actually are any more.  The help files are in Italian too so I can't work out how to set  it back to English. 

Here's what I see when I scan anything: (click to bigger up the image)

Some of the options I can figure out.  'Scansione' is pretty obvious (in context) and 'Zoom' is pretty self-evident but what the hell is 'Ritaglio multiplo'?  I have no idea and I'm too scared to fiddle with anything else in case I really bugger things up and the computer decides I'm Finnish or Arabic and I really loose contact with it.

I'll tell you what 'Ritaglio multiplo' sounds like to me.  It sounds like a really nice interesting pasta dish - some sort of complex ravioli thing with a rich sauce.  Most Italian words sound like foods to me: 'Selezione Larghezza'  is obviously a really posh pizza, 'Impostazioni' sounds like a plate with a selection of cheeses and sliced salamis, and 'Dimensioni foglio' are really fat, tagliatelli-like noodles in a creamy, butter-heavy, spiced sauce. (The fact that the pull down box next to it offers 'Platina completa' as the first option suggests to me that smaller portions are available if I wanted them.)

Scanning makes me hungry.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

One For Me Ninteen For You

I think I came across a bit of government frugality the other day.

Every year the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs people send me a nice letter telling me how much, as a self employed person, my monthly National Insurance contributions will be for the coming year.  This is the back of the envelope containing this year's letter for the 2014/15 tax year:

"HMRC changed banks in April 2009.
  The old accounts will be closing in 2010"

Does this mean this envelope is over four years old and the HMRC are diligently not wasting taxpayers money by using up out of date stationary?   I like to think so. Mind you...  they must send this letter out every year to every self employed person in the country.  There are millions of us. It does make you wonder just how many decimal places were slipped when they first placed the order.

Bloke behind the counter at Prontoprint: "You sure about this?  That's a LOT of envelopes..."

There must be warehouses full of the things. And how much has it cost to keep them all dry for all these years? 

Monday, March 17, 2014

I love films.  Old films, new films, good films crappy films - I also really like film magazines.  Recently I bought a huge pile of 1970s and 80s Photoplay Film Monthlies from eBay for peanuts (well, okay not quite peanuts - pistachios).

It's getting dangerously near nostalgia reading them,  though most of the articles in them (like most articles in most mainstream film magazines ever published) look very much like publicity people's handouts and press releases reworked to fit the space on the page and are pretty bland.  The letters columns, filtered through 35 years of 20/20 rose-tinted hindsight, are a hoot:

Here's one from January 1976
    What's The Attraction of Jaws?

    I cannot for the life of me understand why the public are going in droves to see Jaws in America. What is the attraction of sitting for two hours watching a shark attack people?  A reflection perhaps of the sort of society we live in today, though I must confess out of curiosity I went to see it to see what all the fuss is about. But then this is why everyone probably wants to see it.

    I recently went to see Gone With the Wind for the 21st time and it remains a beautiful, moving film in the very best traditions of film-making.

    Here is a great film that will always be remembered

    Will Jaws live as long as Gone With the Wind - so far 35 years? I doubt it very much. because Jaws will be swallowed up by the obvious number of imitations that are sure to follow.

    I don't remember there being a flood of civil war love stories following in the footsteps of Gone With the Wind.

    T. H. Gaymor, Kingston Road, Staines, Middlesex
I really wonder who the magazine was aimed at. It's all very British and a weird mixture stories about new, big-budget films (Logan's Run, The Man Who Would be King, Rollerball etc.), good old family values (with wholesome good old Hollywood stars like Bogart, Gable and Garland featuring in the '1976 Souvenir Calendar'), and slacious photo-features on wannabee starlets heaving their naked tits at the camera (not that I am complaining).  I'd forgotten just how weird the 70s were.

Another letter on the letter page starts:
    As President of the Alice Faye Appreciation Society, may I request...
Now that's a polite stalker!

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Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

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