Norman Wisdom - News Poster

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A Talent To Amuse

Andrew Heard 21st August 1958 - 9th January 1993

The artist Andrew Heard was a combination of contrasts, contradictions and charm. Although his large immensely detailed canvases referenced quintessentially English topics, it is a testament to their brilliance of construction that the viewer didn't need to know who his subjects were in order to be engaged by them. Usually British actors, comedians and neglected television personalities held centre stage. It helped, enhanced and enriched the viewing experience if you knew them, but as he was more successful in Europe, the references were secondary to the visual impact of the work. Heard had more recognition in Germany where his paintings sold well via the Friedman-Guinness Gallery in Frankfurt, he also exhibited at Turske & Turske in Zurich, where the essentially English comic Arthur Askey held little in the way of a visual translation abroad. His work was initially monochromatic and stark but developed into a cavalcade of color.
See full article at CultureCatch »

The Last Kingdom series 2 episode 8 review

Louisa Mellor May 5, 2017

The Last Kingdom's blistering second series concludes with rousing action and tragic loss. Destiny is all!

This review contains spoilers.

See related Comparing the PC and console versions of Dead Island

As the rock music video genre teaches, fire makes everything twice as exciting. At least twice as exciting. That meant The Last Kingdom’s blazing denouement, in which the East Anglian fortress of Bumfluff burnt to the ground alongside Aethelflaed and Erik’s hope of a happy ending, was almost too thrilling. I had to defrost the freezer afterwards just to calm down.

The finale was bookended by a monologue on love. It gives a man strength, preached Father Pyrlig, often at the cost of his mind.

Hard cut to Alfred, a man freighted with the painful choice between the safety of his country and that of his daughter. He chose to pay the ransom,
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Night They Raided Minsky’s | Blu-ray Review

Following his directorial debut, the 1967 Sonny and Cher vignette flick Good Times, director William Friedkin struggled through a couple of projects before landing his first really provocative title with 1970’s The Boys in the Band. Of course, following that would be The French Connection and so on and so forth. But prior to that, Friedkin helmed a period piece penned and produced by Norman Lear, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, which more or less depicts the accidental invention of stripping during the golden period of burlesque. Plagued by various production issues, including the death of Bert Lahr (you know him as the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz) during filming, the initial cut of the film was famously termed ‘disastrous,’ and the title would be retooled for nine months by editor Ralph Rosenblum and finally see release a year after production ended. While not quite charming or as
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

W1A; Brakeless: Why Trains Crash – TV review

More sitcom than satire: the BBC proves a bit of a struggle for Twenty Twelve's Olympic Deliverance man

The right have always grumbled that the BBC is full of pinkos. The left seem equally certain that Broadcasting House is run by closet Tories. In W1A (BBC2), the follow-up to the brilliant Twenty Twelve, the Beeb is stuffed full of comedians, either dead – the meeting-rooms are named after Frankie Howerd and Norman Wisdom – or unintentional. If some of the BBC's output over recent years is any benchmark, it's a view worth considering.

W1A does also have its comedic moments. The idea that the BBC might actually employ Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), Twenty Twelve's fictional head of Olympic Deliverance, to be head of values as the corporation's ineffectual response to the post-Savile era is all too plausible. As is the thought that commissioning editors waste hours dreaming up
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Addison Cresswell obituary

Influential comedy agent who wheeled and dealed to turn his clients into stars

The colourful comedy agent Addison Cresswell, who has died suddenly at the age of 53, changed the face of British entertainment by steering the stand-up "alternative" comedians who emerged on the Edinburgh festival fringe in the 1980s into the heart of the radio and television schedules. Such was his success that he became the subject of some controversy – even notoriety – for negotiating an £18m three-year contract for his client Jonathan Ross with the BBC.

An ebullient "Jack the Lad" with a penchant for shiny satin suits and big cigars, he was the modern equivalent of such showbiz greats as Lew Grade or Bernard Delfont. His first star proteges were Lee Evans and Jack Dee, both remarkable talents in different ways, one physical and explosive, like an angrier Norman Wisdom, the other laconic and so laid back as to be virtually horizontal,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Dr Who and the Daleks recap: the non-canon version with doddery Doctor

It may be the Day of the Doctor, but over on Channel 5, at 10.05am on Saturday, they are giving Peter Cushing's 1965 film an airing. Was it as bad as we remember?

'I don't know where we are' – Dr Who

Today, as you might have noticed, is the Day of the Doctor. Doctor Who's 50th anniversary is here, and it's an event on an unprecedented scale. A special episode – an extended, all-star, 3D special episode – is being shown around the world tonight, on TV and in cinemas, as the cherry on top of an almighty celebration. The Doctor, in all his incarnations, has become a true treasure.

Well, almost all his incarnations. While we're all gasping and cheering and hiding behind our sofas at whatever Steven Moffat has planned for us tonight, Dr Who and the Daleks – the non-canon Peter Cushing feature film from 1965 – is kicking its heels over
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Dr Who and the Daleks recap: the non-canon version with doddery Doctor

It may be the Day of the Doctor, but over on Channel 5, at 10.05am on Saturday, they are giving Peter Cushing's 1965 film an airing. Was it as bad as we remember?

'I don't know where we are' – Dr Who

Today, as you might have noticed, is the Day of the Doctor. Doctor Who's 50th anniversary is here, and it's an event on an unprecedented scale. A special episode – an extended, all-star, 3D special episode – is being shown around the world tonight, on TV and in cinemas, as the cherry on top of an almighty celebration. The Doctor, in all his incarnations, has become a true treasure.

Well, almost all his incarnations. While we're all gasping and cheering and hiding behind our sofas at whatever Steven Moffat has planned for us tonight, Dr Who and the Daleks – the non-canon Peter Cushing feature film from 1965 – is kicking its heels over
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'I'm a Celebrity' Show 3 Review: Joey of the Jungle

Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey. The rest might as well have not turned up so far. Series 13 of I'm a Celebrity has been completely dominated by the Only Way Is Essex star and his Essex-isms.

Taking part in a Bushtucker Trial with Matthew Wright on last night's show, Joey was joined in a giant tube by mealworms, millipedes, crabs and cockroaches. For the first time in the show's history, the most intelligent creatures involved in the task were the insects.

"What do millipedes do?" said Joey, the great philosopher. The poor creatures are probably asking the same question about 'a Joey Essex'.

After revealing earlier in the week that he had never mastered the concept of telling the time, today's shocking revelation from Jungle Joey was that he'd never learnt how to blow his nose.

"It's like living with Norman Wisdom," commented Steve Davis. That's a bit of an insult to the late comedian,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

4 Formula One abhorring reasons to still see Rush

The roar of a V8, 750 brake horsepower engine.

The high-risk, crowd-pleasing 90 mph overtake.

The rush of a 1.6 second 0-60.

All staples of the Formula One diet, and all things I could care little to even less about...

For many, the full-throttle exhilaration of Formula One is escapism at its finest. While another cold brewski slithers down our necks, accompanied  closely by its cardiac-arrest-inducing brother the cheese nacho,  22 primed and super-human men do battle at speeds of upto 220 mph (miles per hour) for our enjoyment, with hundreds of cameras following their every move.

However, such is my depravity that, without a crash to witness or an airborne F1 monster to gawp at, I have no interest. The thought of watching a group of men racing around a track over...and over...and over...again, is just to bromidic to comprehend. Of course, that's not to say that I don't respect the
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain – review

American stand-up Kevin Hart warms up for a gig at Madison Square Garden in this inane, foul-mouthed and desperately unfunny documentary

This dim documentary, co-produced by diminutive African-American standup comic Kevin Hart, starts off with a nightmare sequence in which he has understandable fears about his insignificance and lack of brand recognition. To correct this state of affairs, Hart decides to book himself into Madison Square Garden. But first he sets off to polish his act on a sell-out tour of Canada, Scandinavia, Holland and Britain, a jokeless journey featuring solicited eulogies from local fans. This leads up to Hart's appearance in a packed Garden, where the well-heeled middle-class audience, half of them women, roar with laughter and applaud whenever he uses the words "nigger", "bitch", "fuck" and "shit", which he does several times a minute.

He repeats virtually every sentence, makes strange shrieking noises and has developed a style
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

British film school voted world's best as it scoops student 'Oscars'

National Film and Television School voted the best in the world as films by three of its students win clean sweep in international poll

A world away from Hollywood glitz and glamour, in dilapidated buildings occupying a sleepy corner of Buckinghamshire, some of Britain's most promising future film-makers build sets, bring puppets to life and create a world of make-believe as students of the National Film and Television School (Nfts). This week, in a remarkable testament to their talent and expertise, they will be saluted as the best young film-makers in the world.

The school has already produced Oscar-winning alumni such as animator Nick Park and director Michael Radford. Now the Beaconsfield-based institution has been voted the world's best film school in an international poll of the major film training institutions around the globe.

In an unprecedented clean sweep, three students have been singled out for the film-school equivalent of the Oscars,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Costume in The Great Gatsby: Use Your Imagination

When glass-eyed Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) tells Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) that all the excess and splendour he drowns in is “from your perfect, irresistible imagination”, it’s hard not to see this entire film in this same light. Director, producer Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume designer, production designer and co-producer Catherine Martin have concocted a vision of the early 1920s that did not exist yet somehow feels entirely natural. Their Great Gatsby is a twenties parallel universe; the twenties reloaded if you will.

This is a flavour of the 1920s, those details that cinemagoers with just a passing knowledge of the era can recognise: cloche hats, bobbed hair, short fringed dresses and striped blazers. From our first proper look at Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), swooping down on his boater topped head from a skyscraper; we know roughly when and where we are. Specifically, this is 1922. It does not
See full article at Clothes on Film »

Jo Hartley's favourite TV

The This Is England and The Mimic actor on her televisual habits, from Mr Selfridge to One Summer

Unmissable show?

Mr Selfridge. It's an easy watch on a Sunday evening. Really well done and performed. The other one is Africa. It's like a meditation. So educational, and visually stunning. The cinematography is just amazing. You learn so much from it.

Box set?

I'm watching The Decalogue by Krzysztof Kieslowski. It's a TV series of 10 films based on the Ten Commandments, about a group of people on an estate in Poland set in 1988. He's in my top five greatest directors. I'd love to have worked with him if he were still alive. It's bleak but also hopeful and real. Quite heavy, though. You need to put Spaced or Frasier on sometimes to get over it.

Unsung telly hero?

Neil Maskell, from Utopia and Kill List. He's really well respected in the industry,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Gerry Hambling obituary

Award-winning film editor who had an instinctive feel for pace, rhythm and nuance

Gerry Hambling, who has died aged 86, was one of the finest editors that the British film industry has produced. He was widely admired, particularly by his peers, for films such as Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988), In the Name of the Father (1993) and Evita (1996). He won many awards from the editors' guilds in the Us and UK, which made up for the fact that, although he was nominated six times, an Oscar always eluded him. He did, however, win the Bafta three times for film editing. My own collaboration with Gerry went back 40 years, as he cut 14 feature films for me, as well as three short films and scores of commercials.

As with many film technicians of his generation, Gerry's choice of profession was serendipitous: born and raised in Croydon, Surrey, he left school at 16 and went to work at the local factory,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Gerry Hambling obituary

Award-winning film editor who had an instinctive feel for pace, rhythm and nuance

Gerry Hambling, who has died aged 86, was one of the finest editors that the British film industry has produced. He was widely admired, particularly by his peers, for films such as Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988), In the Name of the Father (1993) and Evita (1996). He won many awards from the editors' guilds in the Us and UK, which made up for the fact that, although he was nominated six times, an Oscar always eluded him. He did, however, win the Bafta three times for film editing. My own collaboration with Gerry went back 40 years, as he cut 14 feature films for me, as well as three short films and scores of commercials.

As with many film technicians of his generation, Gerry's choice of profession was serendipitous: born and raised in Croydon, Surrey, he left school at 16 and went to work at the local factory,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gerry Hambling Has Died

Gerry Hambling Has Died
The great British film editor Gerry Hambling had died aged 86. Six-times Oscar nominated, an Ace Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a long-time collaborator with Alan Parker, he died in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.Born in Croydon in 1926, Hambling started out working at Pinewood Studios in the 1950s and '60s, editing British comedies such as The Bulldog Breed and A Stitch In Time with Norman Wisdom, and as sound editor for John Huston and Joseph Losey. It was his work with Alan Parker, though, that serves as the most eloquent testament to his talent. Beginning with 1976's Bugsy Malone and including Midnight Express, Birdy, Mississippi Burning and The Commitments, their partnership earned him three BAFTAs and five of his six Oscar nominations. The sixth nod came for his work on Jim Sheridan's In The Name Of The Father."He was undoubtedly one of the finest film editors that the British film industry has produced,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

The HeyUGuys BAFTA Film Awards Liveblog

The 66th annual British Academy Film Awards are here! And there was much rejoicing.

We’re here at the Royal Opera House in London to bring you all the up to the minute news on who won, who looked really annoyed when they lost, and who knows what else will be in store for us tonight?

Lord Stephen of Fry is leading proceedings once again and I’ll be updating you fine people with the winners as they are announced.

The full list of awards and nominees can be found here, and as the awards are announced I’ll update the liveblog below with the nominees and the winners.

The ceremony is due to start at around 7pm and if you’re hungry for all the red carpeting then head over here to see the arrivals from around 5pm.

Updates will be added at the top…But not anymore as we’ve finished.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Here Comes the Boom – review

The good news is that Adam Sandler, executive producer of Here Comes the Boom, doesn't appear on screen. The bad news is that overweight, baby-faced Kevin James does. He plays Scott Voss, a lazy, unmotivated 42-year-old biology teacher at a failing Boston high school, who returns to his university sport of wrestling to save the school's music department from being disbanded and its dedicated elderly teacher (a prissy Henry Winkler) from being made redundant. He does this by becoming a human punchbag competing as a mixed martial arts cage fighter.

Even less prepossessing than George Formby or Norman Wisdom, who had similar romantic yearnings, James sets his heart on wooing the school's beautiful nurse (Salma Hayek). The film aims to be simultaneously a coarse sentimental little-guy comedy, a tale of embracing the American dream, and an increasingly serious underdog fight movie on the lines of Rocky. It fails on all three counts.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ted – review

An acerbic teddy bear comes to life in Seth MacFarlane's hilarious first film about our refusal to abandon adolescence

To some, comedy is a funny business; to others it's no laughing matter, and critics from Aristotle to Eric Bentley have attempted to explain and define it. Pauline Kael's review of The Sting set out to explain why it was neither funny nor entertaining; the leftwing theorist and cultural historian Raymond Williams once told the readers of the Listener that Rowan & Martin's TV show Laugh-In was unfunny. They were as unpersuasive as the British Council lecturer who tried to convince an audience in Tirana that Norman Wisdom isn't funny.

Woody Allen offers two definitions of comedy in Crimes and Misdemeanors, both ways of mocking the dislikable TV star played by Alan Alda and through him the celebrated writer Larry Gelbart, on whom the character is based. The fact is
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

4 Things Wrong With Modern Comedy… And How To Fix It

There’s a moment in ‘Nob and Nobility’ from Blackadder the Third in which Blackadder walks into the pantry and angrily kicks the cat. When questioned why, Blackadder remarks that “It is the way of the world, Baldrick – the abused always kick downwards. I am annoyed and so I kick the cat, the cat pounces on the mouse, and finally the mouse bites you on the behind… you are last in God’s great chain, Baldrick, unless there’s an earwig around here you’d like to victimise.”

It’s a good joke from a very good comedy series of which I am a big fan – what sensible person isn’t? But it also reflects a worrying trend which has been creeping slowly into comedy since the 1980s and is now a source of great annoyance and vexation. Put simply: why are so many modern comedies so mean-spirited? Why do
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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