Art House Cinema, Blackadder and a Poem

Published: 22 May 2003

Adders Black

So this week my computer broke down in a big way. That is to say, lots of its bits and pieces died. I managed to get the thing to limp along in a limited way but it will never be the same.

I’ve never liked this one. We’ve been enemies from day one.

I built it from bits and it’s a testament to my technical abilities that it has lasted only a year and then had a nervous breakdown.

I feel no paternal instincts like I did with the last one. This one needs a mercy dose of euthanasia.

Also this week, at work, we launched the Blackadder site. It’s a bit of a vanilla model, a certain amount of love was involved but not a tenth of the devotion that went into Blackadder Hall.

(Good on you, whoever built that. It’s perfect.)

And now a poem:


Folks keep having babies, man!
Folks keep having sprats.
They do a thing nine months ago
To fill the Earth with brats
They ought to put a tax on it
To hinder Mr Stork,
They ought to issue special pills
Or block it with a cork.
These babies breath the air, you know.
They eat up all the food.
They dribble and they poop their pants
And can’t spell interlude.

Best Art House/Foreign Language Films I Ever Did See

1. My Life As A Dog
Extended Family is where it’s at. Rights of passage and Nordic humour – a potent mix.

2. Regeneration
A BBC film of the Pat Barker novel. Jonathan Pryce is superb in this most anti of anit-war films. (Someone once said all war films are anit war.)

3. Cyrano De Bergerac 1990
Anthony Burgess provided a more poetic, less direct, translation for the subtitles. Who can fail to be moved by the idea of a gifted, romantic bloke with a big schnozz being gazumped in the girl stakes by a good looking dimwit?

4. Mediterraneo
Italian soldiers stranded on a Greek island for the duration of the war have the time of their lives. Watch this and feel like you’ve been on holiday for three weeks.


5. Genghis Blues (documentary)
Nominated for best doc Oscar, this is about the oddest subject matter you could ever hope for. Blind San Francisco bluesman, Paul Peña makes a pilgrimage to the land of Tuva, Northern Mongolia, to learn Throat Singing. Out there, man.

6. The Bicycle Thieves
Hard to stand by your principals when faced with dire poverty. Still a highly effective and relevant film 50 years on, and no professional actors involved.

7. The Apple 1999
And Iranian film about two kids, kept virtual house prisoners by their backward parents (what a metaphore!), who venture further than their own backyard for the first time in their lives. Director Samira Makhmalbaf was aged 18 when she made this.

8. Central Station 1998
A middle-aged Brazilian woman takes responsibility for abandoned boy and sets out on the road to find his long lost Dad. I just can’t describe how superb this film is and perfect in every way. (And how many times do you see any 50-plus women in a starring role?)

9. Tous les Matins du Monde
French cinema, in the main, is so vastly overrated, pretentious and up it’s own arese, but this one, for the music and message of experience pain before you can make great art, stays just the right side of the line.

10. Seven Samurai
Takes all day to watch these guys fight off the baddies and save the poor villagers.

Published: 23 May 2003


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