July 09, 2007
King of the Mountains. In Kent? Shorely shome mishtake.
This is why we don't tend to have the Tour de France in Britain (apart from Britain not being France, presumably):
Twenty-three years after his namesake, Robert Millar, won the King of the Mountains classification in the Tour, David Millar, the time-trial specialist, reversed roles and became a climber for a day, pulling on the Tour’s polka dot jersey for best climber at the finish in Canterbury. (The Times)
Next time I hope to see them exit Britain via Norfolk. King of the Mountains?!
July 08, 2007
Liars' League is 'le cool'. Apparently.
Never got round to posting this little project I helped to start but we're getting some pretty favourable buzz. Don't take my word for it. Le Cool (a weekly newsletter with what's hot) says:
These are great times for London's grass-roots literature; the London Lit Plus festival is going great guns, there's Litro getting literature onto the tube, and now this rather neat idea. It's simple. Writers submit short stories on whatever the month's theme is - this week it's Sex and Death, which should be meat and drink for most writers I know. Then, above a pub, naturally, a gang of actors read the best ones aloud, in suitably gripping/seductive voices to the adoring throng (i.e. you lot). You lot cheer wildly; the actors bow; beer is drunk and everyone goes home happy as you like. Like all the best ideas - simple.
What more can I say? This Tuesday at the Lamb in Conduit Street, London, 7pm. www.liarsleague.org
July 07, 2007
I just love Film Four. I've been recording stuff they put on in the afternoon or late at night and rarely is there a duff movie, just hundreds of films I've never heard of, let alone seen.
Such was the case with Gentleman's Agreement: Gregory Peck's Phil Green is a journalist for a liberal magazine in New York, shortly after the end of the Second World War. Commissioned to write an in depth article on antisemitism, he pretends to be Jewish and is astonished at the reaction. Perhaps most from his well-born fiancee who thinks and speaks liberal but finds the social upheaval of acting on it too difficult.
It reminded me of a former girlfriend who, when I mentioned that my great-grandmother was Jewish and therefore my grandfather also, asked that I didn't mention this to her grandfather. I asked why not, as it is something I'm rather proud of (the rest of my ancestory seems depressingly English). Like Kathy in the film, she replied that he wouldn't understand.
How dismaying it is that half a century since the film was made, we still live in a world where antisemitism can fester, not to the degree it did, but perhaps more than at any time I can recall.
Still, it only goes to show that Gentleman's Agreement, not to mention its fine script and excellent performances, has something to teach us today.
July 01, 2007
The tune presently known as the Nokia theme...
...is, in fact, a composition by the Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega (1852 -1909). According to Wikipedia:
He is also the composer of what has been claimed to be "probably the world's most heard tune": the Nokia ringtone Nokia tune or simply Nokia, also used in their advertising spots, is based on Tárrega's Gran Vals.
Who'd a thunk it?
(Learnt this from the 'new' BBC4 panelshow, Face the Music 2007 which also featured Rory Bremner's version of 'I am very model of a modern Major General' as sung by our new Prime Minister.)