Monthly Archives: July 2013

Alan Partridge: a look inside his mind

Partridge writers Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons reveal what they’ve learned about East Anglia’s everyman philosopher

Peter Baynham When I first heard Alan on On The Hour, which I wasn’t involved in, it felt like a new kind of comedy. I hadn’t seen or heard anything like it before. As I became more involved, I remember thinking he didn’t feel like a one-joke character; there was something three-dimensional about this guy, something real. Without someone as talented as Steve Coogan, he could just have been “the comedy sports presenter”.

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Sacha Baron Cohen quits Freddie Mercury film

Borat star has bowed out of forthcoming biopic over creative differences with Queen singer’s former bandmates, reports say Continue reading… Continue reading

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Kenneth Anger: how I made Lucifer Rising

The director of the 1966 occult classic talks about how an anti-British massacre paid for his film, and the debt it owes to Jimmy Page and a bunch of jailed killers

This was the first really big film about black magic or white magic or whatever you want to call it. I’m a member of the OTO – Ordo Templi Orientis – an occult order founded by British genius Aleister Crowley, who was maligned by the gutter press. The Express’s rightwing jerk Lord Beaverbrook sold a lot of papers calling Crowley a satanist, with headlines like “The man we want to hang”, to provoke people to murder him. Crowley’s like a bogeyman, which was unfair. He wrote wonderful books and poetry. Lord Beaverbrook loved to call Crowley a cannibal: eating human beings makes good headlines, and Crowley couldn’t countersue.

Lucifer Rising was about Egyptian gods summoning the angel Lucifer – in order to usher in a new occult age, in accordance with the principles of OTO. I used a bit of deception to film it in Egypt. I said I was doing a documentary on ancient Egyptian beliefs and needed to film in the actual settings: in front of the Sphinx, at Karnak, along the Nile where you see beautiful ruined temples. The authorities fell for it.

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The Treasures of Bruce Lee: unseen shots of the life and work of the martial arts star – in pictures

Unseen images from the new publication The Treasures of Bruce Lee, by Paul Bowman with a foreword by Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee’s daughter). It is released on the 40th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death on 20 July Continue reading… Continue reading

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The World’s End – review

Edgar Wright has saved the best for last in the final movie of his ‘Cornetto’ trilogy about a gang of hapless men who feel alienated from their pastEdgar Wright’s new movie lands a double-whammy of funny and clever: a good-natured sci-fi comedy of male… Continue reading

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John Goodman: five best moments

The Monsters University star has been a big screen presence for a number of years. Here’s some of his most memorable moments Continue reading… Continue reading

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The Deep – review

The mystery of an Icelandic man who survived icy seas for six hours makes for an intriguing drama

Baltasar Kormákur’s drama trails its fingertips in a true-life story of fathomless mystery and pathos. In 1984, a fishing boat sank off the coast of Iceland and the local community was alerted to this disaster only when the sole survivor, Gudlaugur “Gulli” Fridthórsson, staggered dripping and shivering into town. Incredibly, he had swum back through icy seas in six hours. How did he cheat hypothermia? Scientists pondered what appeared to be a freakishly dense layer of heat-retentive body-fat, yet the mystery was never entirely solved. As portrayed by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Gulli is shy, plump, unassuming: he whiled away the time in the water by thinking of all the life-debts he wanted to repay. Yet there was no great Hollywood redemption narrative. Somehow his fat saved him, but this made the survivor-guilt worse. It’s an intriguing drama, though this extraordinary story might have been better served by a semi-dramatised documentary, in the style of Kevin Macdonald’s Touching the Void.

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