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.