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Alistair McGowan – your questions answered on piano, football and why he'll never impersonate Trump

The TV comic revealed how much he had to practise for his new album of piano classics, who he’s most asked to impersonate, and why he’s not as big a Leeds supporter as people think

2.12pm BST

Thank you for your questions. Time for some toast.

2.08pm BST

SundridgePete asks:

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever done, and is it worth watching?

I did two football videos called Football Backchat in the late 90s. I think there is a clip on YouTube of me re-voicing Les Ferdinand as if he is auditioning for a Bond film. I think that may be my funniest moment. Having said that, I'm hoping The Piano Album is more Katherine Jenkins than Florence Foster Jenkins.

2.02pm BST

saidzebedee asks:

Are you comfortable impersonating a black person, or an Asian (i.e. Jamaican, Indian accents)?

Yes, of course. Certainly in my stand-up act.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Vampyr (1932)

Of all the legendary early horror films Carl Theodor Dreyer’s vampire nightmare was once the most difficult to appreciate — until Criterion’s restoration of a mostly intact, un-mutilated full cut. Dreyer creates his fantasy according to his own rules — this pallid, claustrophobic horror is closer to Ordet than it is Dracula or Nosferatu.

Vampyr

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 437

1932 / Color / 1:19 Movietone Ap. / 73 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 3, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Julian West (Baron Nicolas De Gunzberg), Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz, Jan Hieronimko, Henriette Gérard.

Cinematography: Rudolph Maté

Art Direction: Hermann Warm

Film Editor: Tonka Taldy

Original Music: Wolfgang Zeller

Written by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Christen Jul from In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu

Produced by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Julian West

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr is a tough row to hoe for horror fans, many of whom just
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

10 Tombstone Facts You Never Knew Until Now

10 Tombstone Facts You Never Knew Until Now
Who doesn't love Tombstone? It's one of the most beloved Westerns of the modern era. And if you're a fan, you can undoubtedly quote most, if not all, of the lines delivered with scene-stealing flair by Val Kilmer in what's become the definitive portrayal of gambling gunslinger Doc Holliday. You may know every scene in this movie like the back of your hand, but today we've collected 10 Things You Never Knew About Tombstone. And you may walk away pleasantly surprised and shocked.

Tombstone boasts one of the most formidable macho ensembles imaginable: Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, as well as smaller roles for Michael Rooker, Thomas Haden Church, Stephen Lang, Billy Zane, Jason Priestly, Billy Bob Thornton, and Terry O'Quinn. So let's get into it, shall we?

Tombstone is missing a few Earps.

The heroic ensemble at the center of Tombstone includes Wyatt Earp, played by Kurt Russell,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 CD Score From Composer Tyler Bates Available On April 28

Marvel Music/Hollywood Records have released the digital versions of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 songs-only album and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 original score album by composer Tyler Bates (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “John Wick Chapter 2,” “Watchmen”).

The film opens in U.S. theaters on May 5, 2017.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is filled with great action, humor and performances, but it is also infused with a new mixed tape and soundtrack, a dynamic that resonated deeply with audiences in the first film as evidenced by the success of the soundtrack album. The Grammy-nominated “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, becoming the first soundtrack album consisting entirely of previously released songs to top the chart. The album was certified Platinum by the R.I.A.A.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Review: ‘Lemon’

Film Review: ‘Lemon’
To say that “Lemon” is quirky would be like saying that a lemon is yellow: It’s the nature of the object. The film’s entire raison d’être is to be as quirky and anomalous and avant-weird as possible. Mission accomplished. It’s fair to ask, though: To what end? “Lemon” is the year’s breakout buzz film from the Next section of Sundance, which is all about the cutting edge (it also just kicked off the International Film Festival Rotterdam), but let’s be clear: You could program this movie in 100 specialty theaters and market it with an advertising budget of $5 million, and it’s still doubtful that many people would show up. Not because the film is “too strange,” but because it’s so hermetically coy and self-conscious.

Lemon” is a comedy of miserablism that keeps poking you in the ribs — and, quite often, fails to hit
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Quotes of the Week from Westworld, Agents of Shield, Shooter & More

  • TVfanatic
See what quotes came of shows going off the air for the season, including Secrets and Lies, Pitch and Westworld.

While they may be gone, those crazy Real Housewives from Beverly Hills stormed back to the small screen in a big way.

Get your fill of the latest and greatest quotes of the week now!

1. Westworld Ford: An old friend once told me something that gave me great comfort. Something he read. He said Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin never... 2. Agents of Shield Mack: It's not a mask, it's a balaclava. Robbie: I thought that was a dessert 3. Shooter Donnie's Mom: Facts can be twisted, but you can't fake the look in their eye when somebody's telling the truth. 4. The Affair Noah: Are you asking me if the kids downstairs are having better sex than you or I? Juliette [with a smirk]: Do you? Noah: No. But they... 5. The Librarians Norman: Finklestein!
See full article at TVfanatic »

Magnetic Pole: Andrzej Kondratiuk and the Strange Attraction of "Hydro-Riddle"

  • MUBI
StardustExile can take many forms. Several major filmmakers from Poland famously followed the Chopin route to France—Walerian Borowczyk, Andrzej Żuławski, to a degree even Krzysztof Kieślowski—while their pugilistic peer Jerzy Skolimowski, as well as Roman Polanski, was ranging even further across Europe and beyond. But the comically-oriented writer-director Andrzej Kondratiuk—an early Polanski co-conspirator, who died in June aged 79—found voluntary geographical exile without leaving his own country. He was able to renew his creative energies in rural isolation, seeking, gaining and retaining true independence amid a political system founded upon collective, communal effort. Kondratiuk’s five-decade career is thus a consistently idiosyncratic and enigmatic one, encompassing eight theatrical features, several shorts and five TV-movies. Among the latter is the work for which he’s now best known—at least at home—the raucous and irresistibly-titled black-and-white superhero/comicbook spoof Hydro-Riddle (Hydrozagadka, 1972), which after hostile initial reactions has
See full article at MUBI »

Anniversaries: Dmitri Shostakovich Born 110 Years Ago

Many consider Dmitri Shostakovich the greatest composer of the 20th century. Born September 25, 1906, he might not have lived past his teens if he hadn't been talented. During the famines of the Revolutionary period in Russia, Alexander Glazunov, director of the Petrograd (later Leningrad) Conservatory, arranged for the poor and malnourished Shostakovich's food ration to be increased. Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1, his graduation exercise for Maximilian Steinberg's composition course at the Conservatory, was completed in 1925 at age 19 and was an immediate success worldwide. He was The Party's poster boy; his Second and Third Symphonies unabashedly subtitled, respectively, "To October". (celebrating the Revolution) and "The First of May". (International Workers' Day).

His highly emotional harmonic language is simultaneously tough yet communicative, but his expansion of Mahlerian symphonic structure, dissonances, sardonic irony, and dark moods eventually clashed with the conservative edicts of Communist Party officials. In 1936 he was viciously denounced by Pravda
See full article at CultureCatch »

Music and Sex #11: Music, Music, and More Music

Music and Sex: Scenes from a life - A novel in progress (first chapter here).

Walter had been so busy with midterms that he hadn't gone record-shopping recently. Neither had he spent his income on anything else, other than eating on the weekends, though he'd eaten better than usual. He'd wandered into a fast-food place on Broadway called Amy's and, for the first time in his life, had tried a falafel sandwich. Well, not really a sandwich, at least not as he thought of a sandwich, which was (mostly) meat between two separate pieces of bread, but he didn't know what else to call these things stuffed into pita bread. He'd liked it, not least because just one sandwich was very filling, so he had gone back regularly for lunch on weekends. It was a nice change of pace from the food at John Jay cafeteria. There never seemed to be many customers,
See full article at CultureCatch »

May Classical Review Roundup

Hélene Grimaud Water: Berio: Wasserklavier: Sawhney: Water: Transitions 1-7; Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch No. 2; Fauré: Barcarolle No. 5; Ravel: Jeux d'eau; Albéniz: Almeria; Liszt: Les Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este; Janáček: In the Mist: No. 1; Debussy: La Cathedrale engloutie (Deutsche Grammophon) Classical purists be warned: almost half the tracks here are not the solo piano recital you might expect from the billing. Instead, Grimaud had composer Nitin Sawhney create electronic bridging miniatures (ranging from 0:56 to 1:41) fitted between the solo piano tracks. This works wonderfully well, changing this album from a traditional presentation into a moody soundscape (though the purist crowd was quick to take offense, witness the extremely snarky review on classicstoday.com). Of course, Grimaud is her usual scintillating self on the solo piano pieces. The pieces she has chosen for this thematic program are in a couple of cases "usual suspects" -- the Ravel and Debussy
See full article at CultureCatch »

Oberon on TCM: Actress with Mystery Past Wears Men's Clothes, Fights Nazis

Merle Oberon movies: Mysterious star of British and American cinema. Merle Oberon on TCM: Donning men's clothes in 'A Song to Remember,' fighting hiccups in 'That Uncertain Feeling' Merle Oberon is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of March 2016. The good news: the exquisite (and mysterious) Oberon, whose ancestry has been a matter of conjecture for decades, makes any movie worth a look. The bad news: TCM isn't offering any Oberon premieres despite the fact that a number of the actress' films – e.g., Temptation, Night in Paradise, Pardon My French, Interval – can be tough to find. This evening, March 18, TCM will be showing six Merle Oberon movies released during the first half of the 1940s. Never a top box office draw in the United States, Oberon was an important international star all the same, having worked with many of the top actors and filmmakers of the studio era.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘Amy’ and ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’ Join Long List of Music-Related Docs Nominated for Oscars

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

This year’s best documentary feature nominees continues a long trend of music docs being recognized by the Academy, as two music-related films have earned nominations at this year’s Oscars.

Amy, which tells the story of late songstress Amy Winehouse in her own words through never-before-seen archival footage and unreleased tracks and is nominated for best doc this year, earned nominations for the Queer Palm and Golden Eye awards at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for director Asif Kapadia.

Filmmaker Liz Garbus earned the second nomination of her career with the Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? The film focuses on the life of iconic R&B singer Nina Simone and her life as a singer, mother, and civil rights activist. Garbus earned her first Oscar nomination in 1998 for her documentary The Farm: Angola, USA.

Music-related docs have been a hot topic for the Academy in years past,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Scorsese On Janis Film, "Vinyl" Involvement

Martin Scorsese is set to produce a new biopic based on the life of classical pianist Byron Janis for Paramount Pictures. Peter Glanz pitched the project and will pen the script basd on Janis' book "Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal".

A student of Vladimir Horowitz and selected in 1960 by the U.S. to perform in the Soviet Union, he represented the start of a successful cultural exchange between the Cold War adversaries. His extensive repertoire included Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.

Scorsese also says he anticipates his involvement in the day-to-day running of his new HBO drama "Vinyl" will be more hands-on than it was on his previous effort with the network - "Boardwalk Empire". Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this week via THR, he talked about helming the two-hour pilot and hopes to direct several more episodes as
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Martin Scorsese Developing Byron Janis Biopic at Paramount (Exclusive)

Martin Scorsese Developing Byron Janis Biopic at Paramount (Exclusive)
Paramount is developing a biopic based on the life of classical pianist Byron Janis with Martin Scorsese producing, Variety has learned exclusively.

The studio has bought a pitch from Peter Glanz, who is writing the script. The project is based on Janis’ book “Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal.”

Janis has been widely honored for his extensive repertoire, which includes Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, with a special affinity for the music of 19th century composer Frederic Chopin. He discovered two previously unknown Chopin manuscripts in 1967.

He was student of Vladimir Horowitz and was selected in 1960 by the U.S. to perform in the Soviet Union, representing the start of a successful cultural exchange between the Cold War adversaries.

Scorsese has been working on the historical drama “Silence” with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver starring. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Shusaku Endo,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Learning From The Masters Of Cinema: Cornel Wilde's The Naked Prey

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, The Naked Prey remains the only film directed by Cornel Wilde to be widely available, a situation that based on this example, is a lamentable state of affairs indeed. An incredibly physical actor, who was at least as proficient an athlete, Wilde found himself regularly typecast in classically heroic roles after moving to Hollywood. He had been offered a place on the Us Olympic fencing team in 1936, but turned it down to pursue his acting career. In 1940, Wilde played Tybalt in Laurence Olivier's New York stage production of Romeo & Juliet, for which he also choreographed the sword fights. Then in 1945 he was cast as composer Frederic Chopin opposite his acting hero Paul Muni in Charles Vidor's A...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Kcc: Reitzell scales back score for Hannibal, Ep. 3.09, “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…”

Kate’s Classical Corner: Hannibal, Ep. 3.09, “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…”

As a classical musician, I can’t help but be influenced in my interpretation of Hannibal by its amazing score and soundtrack, composed and compiled by music supervisor Brian Reitzell. This is not intended to be a definitive reading of Reitzell or showrunner Bryan Fuller’s intentions in regards to the music, but rather an exploration of how these choices affect my appreciation of the given episode. Read my review of “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…” here.

Classical piece featured:

24 Preludes, Op. 28, no. 2 in A minor, Lento by Frédéric Chopin (1839): Hannibal prepares Abigail for the Red Dinner

Yet another classical piece to previously be featured on the series (this brings the total up to four), this prelude by Chopin is lovely and dark, a natural fit with the scene. The somber feel of the
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Kcc: Reitzell expands series’ sound in Hannibal, Ep. 3.08, “The Great Red Dragon”

Kate’s Classical Corner: Hannibal, Ep. 3.08, “The Great Red Dragon

As a classical musician, I can’t help but be influenced in my interpretation of Hannibal by its amazing score and soundtrack, composed and compiled by music supervisor Brian Reitzell. This is not intended to be a definitive reading of Reitzell or showrunner Bryan Fuller’s intentions in regards to the music, but rather an exploration of how these choices affect my appreciation of the given episode. Read my review of “The Great Red Dragon” here.

Classical pieces featured:

Alleluia from Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1773): Hannibal experiences his arrest from his mind palace

This famous movement from Mozart’s solo motet, beautifully performed here by boy soprano Aiden Glenn (the piece was originally composed for a castrato), is a fitting choice to represent how Hannibal elects to experience his arrest and incarceration at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

New on Video: ‘Five Easy Pieces’ is a fine entry to the Criterion collection

Five Easy Pieces

Written by Adrien Joyce (Carole Eastman)

Directed by Bob Rafelson

USA, 1970

Five Easy Pieces follows along an existential strain of American cinema that began with films like The Graduate (1967) and Easy Rider (1969), where, in the latter example, two men went looking for America and, as its tagline states, couldn’t find it anywhere, and continued through the vehement introspection that emerged from the tormented minds of Martin Scorsese’s anti-heroes, like Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver [1976]) and Jake La Motta (Raging Bull [1980]). Somewhere in between these two manifestations of anguish is Jack Nicholson’s Robert Eroica Dupea, the main character of Bob Rafelson’s 1970 feature. Disenchanted with life and the people who surround him, and utterly aimless in his restless, insatiable quest for self-contentment, Bobby is continually disheartened by the realization that his ideals of happiness and unhappiness don’t apply to everyone else, and may not even be applicable to himself.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Kcc: Reitzell layers sound for a familiar, intense score in Hannibal, Ep. 3.02, “Primavera”

Kate’s Classical Corner: Hannibal, Ep. 3.02, “Primavera”

As a classical musician, I can’t help but be influenced in my interpretation of Hannibal by its amazing score and soundtrack, composed and compiled by music supervisor Brian Reitzell. This is not intended to be a definitive reading of Reitzell or showrunner Bryan Fuller’s intentions in regards to the music, but rather an exploration of how these choices affect my appreciation of the given episode. Read my review of “Primavera” here.

Pie Jesu from Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 by Gabriel Fauré (1900): Will gets surgery/Abigail is autopsied

The main classical piece featured in “Primavera” is the Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem. A requiem is the music for a Catholic mass for the dead, of which there are many famous classical examples, the Fauré being one of the most well known. Its most famous aria is the Pie Jesu,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Kcc: Reitzell’s dreamy, jazzy score adds depth to Hannibal, Ep. 3.01, “Antipasto”

Kate’s Classical Corner: Hannibal, Ep. 3.01, “Antipasto”

As a classical musician, I can’t help but be influenced in my interpretation of Hannibal by its amazing score and soundtrack, composed and compiled by music supervisor Brian Reitzell. I’ll be reviewing Hannibal season three for Sound on Sight and along with each review, I’ll be writing up a few notes (or this week—thanks to the sheer volume of music—many, many notes) on the episode’s scoring and soundtrack choices. This is not intended to be a definitive reading of Reitzell or Bryan Fuller’s intentions in regards to the music, but rather an exploration of how these choices affect my appreciation of the given episode. Read my thoughts on “Antipasto” here.

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by Claude Debussy (1894): Gideon and Hannibal eat dinner, Hannibal tends his snails

Based on L’après-midi d’un
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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