Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Artist, Top Totty, The Walbrook and wholesome song



It seems that the entire population of the known universe is raving about just how good The Artist is and the rabbit, who went to see it last night, would like to join in the chorus of approbation. The first thing to say is what a daring project it is: in the era of 3D and the avatar, The Artist is a full length black and white silent movie - about a silent movie actor.
Could they possibly pull it off?

The answer is yes. As a fan of French film, I suspect that only the French would have the flair and imagination to try in the first place. But it works - for a number of reasons. The acting follows the convention of the silent movie, where the story is told mostly told by overstated gesture and expression - with the odd text for the more complex strands. The sets are outstandingly authentic looking - entirely convincing in fact. There are all the set pieces of early cinema - including the performing small dog. The narrative makes a good, affectionate job of conveying the cartoonishness and sentimentality of early cinema. Of necessity the story is driven by image.


And the story? Well let's just say it begins with a chance encounter, the rise of one person as another falls, apparent betrayal - and a happy ending. Otherwise go see. You won't be disappointed. Oh and hiuge credit goes to the two principal actors, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo who the rabbit was wholly unaware of before but may be slightly in love with.


Here is a really stupid story. Above is the handpump plate for a beer called - erm - Top Totty. It is brewed by Stafford based brewers Slater's and features a bikini clad young woman in its promotion and is described as 'a stunning blonde beer ... full bodied with a voluptuous hop aroma'.

Haw! Haw! Haw! (etc)

Apparently, it's not a very good beer and jokey names tend to give away the embarrassing fact of a naff product, the exception being Fat Bastard Wines, which are generally rather good but I digress. Now the House of Commons has a number of rather good bars. (Selected) members of the public are allowed in the Strangers' Bar (the rabbit has been a few times and rather fun it is too) - Top Totty was installed as a guest beer.

Oh dear ...

Enter Kate Green MP , Labour spokesperson on equality issues in full blown outrage mode. She pronounced herself 'disturbed', demanded a debate on 'dignity at work in Parliament' and further demanded the removal of the offending beer - which was done in 90m minutes flat.

I really have to say that I'm struggling to get worked up about the (former) presence of Top Totty. It hardly ranks up there with war crimes as a source of -erm - being disturbed. Perhaps Kate Green MP should get out more. The topic makes for strange bedfellows: I've just read the first comment from an UKIP member I've ever agreed with (Mike Nattrass MEP) 'This sort of knee jerk puritanism does more to damage the cause of equality than a thousand beer labels. It suggests that to be in favour of equality you must be a dour faced, insult searching misery'.

Not Kate Green's finest hour?


The rabbit has hitherto blogged without ever putting a pic of himself up- but I suppose it had to be done one fine day and the day is upon us. On Friday, he was invited to the Walbrook, a members' dining club in the City of London. so here he is (blue shirt on left) with colleague and friend It's well posh and has a number of oddities, Winston Churchill's hat in a glass case, two (not very good) original John Lennon cartoons and a completely surreal gents. Below is the toilet paper dispenser. Weird or what?



Finally, and as an apology for the appalling lapse of taste in posting Downtown with an - ahem - reference to solitary vice, a wholesome song is in order. What could fit the description better than the king of the slide guitar, Elmore James , with Dust My Broom.

23 comments:

sybil law said...

I think I'd love The Artist - but I love silent movies, anyway.
Kate Green - seriously? That's just stupid. Some people get offended over any and everything.
Looking good, rabbit! Nice to see you!

simply wondered said...

well, i'm with kate green. i don't think we need to get worked up about it - and i'm not offended, largely cos i just don't get offended, but why would we want anything that crass anywhere, let alone a place that is supposed to legislate for all of us. shit marketing, must do better; see me.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

About time you came out of the darkness and showed your face (although your face is all over the Internet anyway). The Walbrook website says tie and jacket are mandatory, so how did you two rebels get in without jackets?

Kate Green should be enjoying the Top Totty beer label as much as the gents - that's equality. I have no respect for women who get their knickers in a wad over stuff like that.

white rabbit said...

Sybil/SW/Catchy - I don't think anyone emerges very well out of Top Tottygate. The beer's title and promotional material is pretty witless but going nuclear on the topic is overkill IMO.

Catchy - I'm all over the internet???

:0

Petit fleur said...

Rabbit,

I've heard The Artist is super. We do not get out much though, so will probably have to wait till it's available on Netflix.

As to the booby beer... All sour pussing aside, it's rather impressive that ole Kate was able to get it removed in record time! I don't see that EVER happening here in the states. None the less, with all that is going on, I agree it seems a piddly thing to get all twisted up about.

Nice photo. Good to finally see you!

TP dispenser is definitely weird.
xo pf

simply wondered said...

did she go nuclear? she appears to have acted calmly and decisively and got it removed, that's all. i'm sure it'll be welcome back when they realise it isn't the 1970s and sort their marketing appropriately.
sure, it's up to women rather than me as to whether they want to object to this sort of shite, but she clearly does. and i do think it's all part of the existing nonsense that helps perpetuate inequality. the flipside is 'is anyone's life made worse by having it removed?' it's not as if they will sell only beers brewed by women-only co-operatives.
a reasonable and proportionate action for my money.

white rabbit said...

Thought the Top Totty observations might liven things up - there's a lot to be said for going against type from time to time.

Now about that toilet paper dispenser???

Mahal said...

The utterly predictable result of Kate Green's complaint is that sales of Top Totty have increased greatly. Did she really fail to see that coming?
Meanwhile I wonder how much time she's spending on mass murder in Syria, genocide and the use of rape as a weapon of war in Sudan, persecution of Roma in Europe and the death penalty wherever it exists. I must have missed her name when reading about those subjects.
For those who want a good Staffordshire beer that doesn't use crass advertising I recommend Blythe Brewery's (no interest honest) "Palmer's Poison" or their "Staffie".

white rabbit said...

Mahal - Palmer's Poison? That would be William Palmer...

Have you ever read Robert Graves's 'They Hanged My Saintly Billy'?

simply wondered said...

mahal - thanks for the beer tip. always keen
a) to support the independent brewer (hook norton rules!);
b) to try new quality crafted ales;
c) to drink stuff.

you help me kill all three birds with one pint.

(the word 'birds' is not used in a derogatory way towards women)
(and i don't want to hurt birds)
(or women)
(or beer)
just being careful.

Mahal said...

"Palmer's Poison" does indeed refer to Dr William Palmer, the Rugeley poisoner. "They hanged my saintly Billy and he was the best of my brood" (or something like that) were what Palmer's mother said after the hanging. Palmer is reputed (on dubious evidence, but it's a good story) to have said as he stepped on the trap-door for his public hanging at Stafford Gaol ('Jail', American persons): "Is it safe?"
The bar in the Rugeley Rose theatre is known as Palmer's Bar - a label to which some tediously boring and humourless members of the local Labour Party objected in vain.

white rabbit said...

Mahal - If his mother's 'Saintly Billy' was the best of her brood, I raise an eyebrow as to what his siblings were like/got up to.I'd come across the doubtful 'is it safe'?' quote before. A Texas (where else?) death row victim named Vincent Gutierrez's last words really were 'where's my body double when you need one?' thus showing considerable panache in the circumstances IMO. He was 28. Gutierrez that is, not Palmer.

Michael said...

You can't beat a drop of top totty. It's funny how they've never served that in the Queen Vic! ;-)

Jessica Harper said...

I went to the cinemas today to see an old black and white film and while I was there, they showed the trailer for the Artist. I now feel like I have watched the whole film if I am honest.
The film look super but the trailer gave far too much away (At least I think it did!)
Mind you - I am still looking forward to seeing this film.

Jessica
www.jessicaeharper.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

great

Anonymous said...

I went to the cinemas today to see an old black and white film and while I was there, they showed the trailer for the Artist. I now feel like I have watched the whole film if I am honest.
The film look super but the trailer gave far too much away (At least I think it did!)
Mind you - I am still looking forward to seeing this film.

Anonymous said...

awesome

Anonymous said...

did she go nuclear? she appears to have acted calmly and decisively and got it removed, that's all. i'm sure it'll be welcome back when they realise it isn't the 1970s and sort their marketing appropriately.
sure, it's up to women rather than me as to whether they want to object to this sort of shite, but she clearly does. and i do think it's all part of the existing nonsense that helps perpetuate inequality. the flipside is 'is anyone's life made worse by having it removed?' it's not as if they will sell only beers brewed by women-only co-operatives.
a reasonable and proportionate action for my money.

Anonymous said...

awesome

Anonymous said...

About time you came out of the darkness and showed your face (although your face is all over the Internet anyway). The Walbrook website says tie and jacket are mandatory, so how did you two rebels get in without jackets?

Kate Green should be enjoying the Top Totty beer label as much as the gents - that's equality. I have no respect for women who get their knickers in a wad over stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

great

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