Monthly Archives: May 2010

Charlie Brooker – The Hell Of It All

(Faber & Faber, London, 2009)

The Hell of It All is a new anthology of articles, reviews and observations by the acid-tongued Guardian columnist and TV critic, Charlie Brooker. In his previous collection, Dawn of the Dumb, Brooker was exposed as a highly-strung misanthrope who had an aversion to pretty much everything, and in this new collection compiled from his weekly contributions to the Guardian Guide and Guardian G2, his views remain equally unsullied and uncensored. The book spans two years of cultural observations with the credit crunch in the midst of it all, but Brooker has far nastier things to concern himself with, such as emetophobia, Heat magazine and the return of Gladiators. Continue reading

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Filed under Books/Novels/Authors, Comedy, Journalists

An Interview With Amy Winehouse’s Mirror

Amy Winehouse and BeehiveIt’s a cold and miserable February morning at Sotherby’s auction house where an eighteenth-century grandfather clock loudly tomes – in two hours time some of Amy Winehouse’s possessions are about to go under the hammer. An auctioneer ushers us into a back room where old pianos have been left to fester under dust-laden canvas sheets. The room has the atmosphere of a morgue and smells musty – the sky outside is grey, the light inside greyer still, giving the overall effect of a 1940s film-noir movie. Sitting by the window, looking out onto the street below, is Cheval de M’iroir smoking a cigarette from an elegant filtered holder – the type Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) would puff away on in Absolutely Fabulous. Continue reading

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Who Is Thomas Pynchon?

Thomas Pynchon is a Wanted author. You have probably never seen Thomas Pynchon, many people never knowingly have – Google his image and you’ll get around 48,500 hits of which maybe four or five are genuine. His identity is a closely guarded secret, with rumours and conspiracy theories rife. Has he altered his appearance with reconstructive facial surgery or maybe grown a second pair of eyebrows? Not many people know for sure why he is so sequestered, but what is known, is that Pynchon is perhaps the most important post-modern writer of the latter half of the twentieth century.

Fact: if Pynchon was a band he would probably be the musical equivalent of Radiohead Continue reading

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Stanley Kubrick: A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of A Clockwork Orange was released to a furore of controversy surrounding its depictions of gang violence and rape. Nominated for 4 Oscars, Anthony Burgess later viewed the film with disdain saying, “The over-exposure meant that people could talk about it at cocktail parties without having read it.”

Singing In The Rain

But A Clockwork Orange is worthy of such notoriety – whether its author approves or not. It is a film of its time and can be viewed for the 1960s zeitgeist alone. It opens in the Korova milkbar where Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell) and his droogs are sipping on ‘Moloko plus drencom’ (milk plus drugs). The Korova is a gaudy bar with obscene female mannequins posing as furniture, adorned with giant Barbarella-style bouffants that wouldn’t go amiss in Manchester’s Pop Boutique. Continue reading

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