Brighton pix

 I went to Brighton for a few days last week and here's some pictures. Yes, I've been too busy to write anything since. And Brighton's great.


Film Reviews - Dazed and Confused@30, A Haunting in Venice


Looking back on Dazed and Confused (in cinemas again to celebrate thirty years since its release) is almost like looking back on one’s past.  A slow burn success, partly due to misleading marketing, it’s charms have only become apparent to a wider audience as time went by and perhaps because it contains early performances by the likes of Mathew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Parker Posey.  They are part of a tapestry that depicts the last day and night of a typical American high school summer semester in 1976, the Bicenntial year though there is no celebration of that, not even from the teachers.. You might say- as some have- that nothing happens in this film when in fact it is packed with small incidents it’s just that events unfurl at an unfussy natural pace. These are not our personal memories of such a formative time yet they seem as if they are.  Nowadays this sort of filmmaking is much more commonplace than it was in 1993 so in some ways the film may not seem as groundbreaking now.


Top of the Pops 9 Sep 1988


Words; Chris Arnsby

[But first, a bit relating to last week's show and the great stereo switch on. Over at https://www.mixcloud.com/espeee/top-of-the-pops-1st-september-1988-with-steve-wright-mark-goodier-radio-1-fm-stereo-switch-on/ there's a recording from Radio 1 on the big day, just before Top of the Pops begins. Steve Wright briefly interviews producer & director “Stan” Appel, and Ian McLean the floor manager, and Mark King from Level 42. You get to hear how TotP was integrated into the Radio 1FM schedule and at the end there's the latest news from 1988].

 Mike Read: “Yes. Top of the Pops time again. Not only that but we're in FM stereo on Radio 1. And tonight, with me, the semi-legendary Andy Crane.”
Andy Crane: “You're too kind. Later in the show we've Britain's brand new number one but to get things underway, Mark Almonds and La Magia and Tears Run Rings.”




Reviews- One Piece eps 5 - 8


Just two weeks after debuting on Netflix, the notoriously reluctant -to- renew  streamer has actually granted this show a second season. Looking at the analytics its easy to see why- the show was Netflix’s number one in eighty-four countries beating recent high water marks such as season four of Stranger Things or the first series of Wednesday. Of course it does have the benefit of already being a globally recognised brand and has potential beyond that too when you consider its more accessible than either of those other shows especially to younger viewers. What it’s success may also open up is a rich seam of manga adaptations perhaps taking some of the territory currently occupied by comic interpretations? Is this a sea change? Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves but I’m pleased that a series I like has actually been renewed by Netflix for a change after the Lockwood and Co debacle. Mind you the figures do show what it takes to get that elusive renewal. Popularity in a handful of places- even if they are the US and the UK- is just not enough. Nothing less than a global reach will do.


Top of the Pops 1 Sep 1988


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby.
Mark Goodier: “Hello and welcome...”
Steve Wright: “Hello!!”
Mark Goodier: “... to a very special Top of the Pops tonight because it's the first ever nation-wide stereo simulcast.
Steve Wright: “The man speaks the truth!! And here are the frequencies!! In Central Scotland at 98.6!!
Mark Goodier: “Yup, 98.6”.
Steve Wright: “In the north at 98.8 FM!!”
Mark Goodier: “98.8”.
Steve Wright: “And in the Midlands at 98.4 FM now!!”
Mark Goodier: “98.4”.
Steve Wright: “[to the crowd] Shut up you lot!!”
Mark Goodier: “Brilliant. So make sure you turn down the TV sounds, switch up Radio 1 FM...”
Steve Wright: “Woo!!”
Mark Goodier: “... and hear crystal clear stereo Top of the Pops. Now our first band tonight have been away for a long time. Welcome them back. Straight in to 18 at the chart, Level 42.”

 [18] LEVEL 42: heaven in my hands. Paul Ciani is away. As mumu03 pointed out in a comment under the 18/08/1988 write up, Ciani is tending to one of the other plants in his Light Entertainment garden, Call My Bluff. Recording a new series which would start broadcasting at the end of October. While looking up the dates on BBC Genone I came across a Christmas 1975 programme he produced for BBC2, Great Big Groovy Horse. “A rock-musical romp through the legend of The Wooden Horse of Troy.” That's a new entry at the top of my list of programmes I want to see about the Wooden Horse of Troy, beating out the Doctor Who story The Myth Makers.



Reviews- One Piece eps 1- 4, new Sigur Ros album


Another month brings another big Netflix launch but curiously of a title I -and I’m sure many others- have never heard of. One Piece is an adaptation of a manga comic whose sales it is claimed make it one of the top ten most read books ever. Its been adapted before as an animated series and now Netflix has lavished considerable resources on this live action version.  The first eight episodes can now be watched; each around an hour long, each containing considerable spectacle. Its about a band of juvenile `pirates` in an unnamed land who join in a race for a fabled treasure called the One Piece. What they lack in age or experience they make up for with assorted skills enabling them to overcome a series of mad pirates.



Top of the Pops 25 Aug 1988


Words: Chris Arnsby
Gary Davies: “Hi. We're very glad to see you. Welcome to another Top of the Pops. On the show tonight it's all the Bs, we have Breathe, Brother Beyond, and Baz and the Plastic Population.”
Nicky Campbell: “Er... but we don't have Princess Beatrix quite yet but what we do have is a brilliant British band, Big Country.”
Gary Davies: “Yeah!”

 [16] BIG COUNTRY: king of emotion. Let's take a moment to admire the opening view of the studio. Gary Davies and Nicky Campbell are both together on one of the studio bridges and a handheld camera is used to grab a shot of the pair with the studio and audience in the background.

Paul Ciani is away and it's interesting to see Stanley Appel quietly ditch the elements of the show he doesn't like. Paul Ciani's first week off was 11/08/1988 and instantly gone was the (admittedly daft) insistence on splitting the two hosts to introduce the show from separate parts of the studio. Bruno Brookes and Liz Kershaw were allowed to get together, whereas the previous week Janice Long and Mark Goodier were on different stages. Gone also, Paul Ciani's tendency to treat the video played over the closing titles as an extended Breaker.