Thursday, March 14, 2013

Louie CK Louie CK...

Sometimes, I feel this way..

Louis Szekely has been a stand-up for over twenty years, performing and writing for, amongst others, David Letterman and Chris Rock.  It's only now, how and ever, with the relatively recent broadcast in the UK of his *stand/sit show on post-terrestrial TV, that's he's gained recognition. 

And, pleasantly surprisingly, popularity.

Like all trenchantly funny things, his comedy will not appeal to everyone.  However, if you're a fan of the slightly surreal - and we'll deal with the greatly surreal later - then you might just like Louie CK.

Cue, the greatly surreal:


*stand/sit - a show which features a combination of 'stand-up' comedy and 'situation' comedy. (copyright, S. Lee)

As an adjunct to the above, the Glasgow Comedy Festival starts today. 

Spread over a number of venues, the vast majority of which are conveniently located in the centre of the city, there's something for everyone, whether you're a fan of Jerry Sadowitz or not (and if you're not, why are you reading this blog?)  

Anyway, here's David Kay, the undoubted star of Stewart Lee's 'Alternative Comedy Experience.'  


Friday, March 1, 2013

Oscars - What Oscars?

Of course, The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, and the vast majority of the films that contest them, are a slavering, hyperbole fuelled nonsense... 

Or are they?

The picture above, one of the great films, featuring a supremely talented ensemble cast and two magnificent central performances, puts the above contention into highly entertaining perspective.  

Judy Garland, a shoe-in for the 1954 best actress Oscar in Cukor's remake of 'A Star is Born,' lost out to, an albeit fine performance from Grace Kelly in 'The Country Girl,' in what Groucho Marx - who knew a thing or two about celebrity and its malign influences - called 'the biggest robbery since Brinks.'

The conservative nature of The American Academy tacitly enshrines and ensures that a certain kind of film nearly always wins the big prizes - it's nothing new when a John Sayles film fails to win anything.

Some of the greatest movies, actors and directors have never won an award, any award.  And, as in the famous example indicated above, great actors, great performances - often genre defying and defining - are routinely passed over in favour of what undoubtedly are/are perceived to be, both at the time and retrospectively, lesser works.

I've always preferred films that either poke fun/ignore the self satisfied smugness of awards, and the often ludicrous ceremonies that accompany them, or which celebrate the craft of writing, performing and direction above all else.  

It doesn't matter who wins, it's the not taking part that counts....