JOST A MON

The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 24, 2008

Blowup

The wife and the boy are doing the rounds of temples in Kerala and I'm killing time before I go to India next week. So what do I do with my free evenings? Veena is shocked (shocked!) that I'm spending them watching Blackadder and Band of Brothers. At the moment, their stories are blended thoroughly in my mind, and I can scarcely tell which is which, and when I am meant to laugh. Still, it's all good fun.

Just realised that I truly miss the 60s. I wasn't around for 95% of that decade, but clearly something atavistic has stuck in my mind for I yearn for those years of bra-less chicks with their bangs, violet trousers and eye-liner. In celebration of said decade, I watched Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup, as fulfillingly peculiar a film as one could ask for.

I had high hopes for it. Erotic! It said in Turner Classic Movies' summary of it. Intriguing and full of symbolism. Frankly, I missed all the symbols. I did have high hopes. Music by Herbie Hancock. Based on a story by Julio Cortazar. The wife once bought a book by Cortazar and spent a month trying to get to grips with it. She fought it tooth and claw, uttering strange straining sounds and the occasional shriek of frustration when his meaning eluded her for scores of pages at a time. She's much better than I am at eliciting symbolism, of course. Still, I expected that if Vanessa Redgrave was in the film, I could do much worse than watch it. And I did. Damn. Overhead transmission galore.

I did enjoy a scene towards the end when the Yardbirds - and Jimmy Page, as wonderfully axe-wielding as atop that ridiculous bus during the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony - powered their way through Stroll On, with accompanying destruction of a guitar, while the moribund audience stared at them.

Blowup is supposedly the first British film to feature full frontal nudity, but really - it's so brief a moment that you have to pause, rewind, and watch it at half speed for the full effect.

I, of course, did not do this.

Anyway, here are the Yardbirds.

7 comments:

??! said...

Why is Veena shocked? Spending evenings than by watching Black Adder is a most cunning plan...

??! said...

Ufff...drop the 'than' in that comment.

Veena said...

??!: Not shocked anymore now that our High Elf informs me that the alternatives to Black Adder are apparently Kissing Jessica Stein and Charles Darwin's secret lover.

Paul said...

I love that video because it has Page but also Jeff Beck, another accomplished and still very much alive Guitar wizard. He's the one smashing the guitar.

Fëanor said...

??!: Yes, a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel...

Veena: I guess you were hoping I'd edify myself some more elevated fare? I did consider the second season of the Sopranos...

Fëanor said...

Paul: Yes, indeed! I believe Antonioni wanted the Velvet Underground, but the cost of bringing them over was too much; and he was quite fascinated by the Who's smashing of guitars, so he got Beck to do it. All replica Gibsons, so the guitar has a fake quality to it.

Fëanor said...

Hang on a tick: did I say Charles Darwin? I meant Charles Dickens...

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