Monday, 30 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Well, it seems there was every chance.
The news that a genuine Hollywood superstar would, quite literally, be lighting up the city, has caused a mixture of shock and awe in many circles. In our office alone a kind of minor hysteria has set in!
Friday, 20 November 2009
ither way I am pretty certain that due to their immense popularity at times that would have meant both a President Thatcher and a President Blair at one point. Both presidencies would have been very popular with their supporters – but would have incensed their opponents both here and abroad. And if you look at the nobody who has just become President of Europe that hardly inspires the Republican cause either. I doubt too many people will be buying tea towels with his face on it ....
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
The Festival chose Komedia to be the host for its launch which I thought this was a very good, non-traditional venue for a film fest.
The film footage, which has only just resurfaced and has now been beautifully packaged, followed the somewhat shambolic opening preparations for this gig to its triumphant conclusion where the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, dominated the show. The footage of this remarkable man was enough to make the film itself but you had plenty of other great performances to admire from African and African-American artists - I loved Miriam Makeba, The Spinners, BB King and Bill Withers in particular . All performed so well you almost forgot how bad their flares were.
The real star however was the main man himself - Muhammad Ali. If there is a more watchable man on screen I have yet to see it, because you literally can't take your eyes off him or turn off your ears to what he says. The trip to Africa clearly had a profound impact on him and he used every opportunity to talk about the relationship between black and white people in a way that still strikes a powerful chord today, 35 years later. And it clearly inspired him in the ring as well - enough to help him win the big fight that followed....
But this is not a boxing film, it is a musical one and the music just burns brightly. The feet never stop tapping throughout and it was a genuine (and unexpected) pleasure to see a film end with enthusiastic applause from a live and lively audience.
So a great kick off for the Bath festival and look out for many fine films in the next few weeks from blockbuster names and much-anticipated premieres such as The Informant and A Prophet to weird little movies including a 'cricket slasher movie' (I kid you not) and old classics like The Belles of St Trinians.
More details on this great feast of film from http://www.bathfilmfestival.org/.
Get up, get on up!
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The fact that Hugh’s album can de downloaded free all around the world (visit http://www.hooverdamdownload.com/) will greatly help that process.
- The Bath Chronicle has two tickets to give away for the gig. If you would like to win the pair then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to the question: in what year did Hugh and his fellow Stranglers release Rattus Norvegicus? The concert promoters will contact the winners direct.
Monday, 9 November 2009
If you were to ask people around me to list my most irritating faults, I am pretty certain that one thing that would crop up frequently is that I am forever banging on about the fact that I don't think I look my age. No matter what my passport or driving licence tells me in my own warped mind, I am convionced the mirror tells a different story.
However, sometimes something creeps up and bites you on the big bottom of life that cruelly destroys your self-delusion about your age.
And that happened to me last weekend when my eldest 'child', my 'little' girl, Charlotte, was 18. Yes, I am now the the father of an 18-year-old and no pretence that I look young enough to host Blue Peter can escape that fact.
It really is a sobering moment to realise your child is no longer your 'child'. She can see the same films as I do (not that we have the same tastes), vote in the same elections (not that she has the interest that I do) and do practically anything she wants really without ever uttering the immortal words 'Dad, can I.....?'
Actually that isn't strictly true. As every parent of a teenager will know, you become a taxi driver – and so, last Saturday night, my role was to help ferry her and her friends off to Poo Nah's Nah's in Bath. Nightclubs hey...and all this from that sweet little well-mannered girl who only a few years ago (in my memory) was taking her first dancing lessons at the age of just three.
Nowadays, in the world of social networking sites it is so easy to track the length of people's lives and learn all about them easily but for me, and the rest of the family, our pondering over Charlotte's 'big 1-8' has still been centred around digging out old photographs of baby competitions, first days at school, first holidays and so forth. It has been, as our American cousins say, emotional.
Perhaps the best way of tracking that time, however, is to see how different the world was when Charlotte was born (in 1991) to today.
For a start, the aforementioned social networking sites obviously didn't exist. It is amazing, considering their influence, to learn that Facebook is only six years old (and in reality was nothing like we know it today until two or three years ago), Twitter is just three years old and even the supposed 'grand daddy' of them all, Youtube, is astonishingly just four years old. How many other four-year-olds can genuinely be considered a world phenomenon?
Oh and as for Wikipedia (nine years old), if I had wanted to give Charlotte that much info as a birth gift I would have had to pay £200 for a book of dusty old encyclopedias – which would have been outdated the moment after purchase.
Those 18 years have, of course, seen many epic, often frightening worldwide events but it is probably this dramatic age of communication change that has characterised this past generation.
Many of you, may, for example be reading this online on my blog (hi there!) rather than in print and with so many developments of this kind happening so quickly one can only imagine how different the communications scene will look when one day Charlotte talks about her 'eldest's' 18th.
By then the world may not, for instance, be 'run' by the US and Europe as we pretend it is now but by the 'BRIC' countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China, the next global powers apparently). And I defy anyone to predict what life will be like then because no one, but no one, could have predicted life now the day 'Lotte' took her first breath.
So, a belated very happy birthday 'young' Charlotte. No dad in the world could be prouder of this but please don't be offended if you overhear me say: 'An 18-year-old daughter? When I look this young? Impossible....'