Flash Gordon/Highlander

A two for one deal for you this week. But why I hear you ask? Whatever could link these two 80s classics? Why their killer soundtracks by the unbeatable Queen, that’s what!

Both Flash Gordon and Highlander have their good and bad points – cheesy effects, brilliant one-liners (see clips below), some incredibly risible performances – but that’s all part of the fun. Neither film should be taken seriously. They’re Friday night popcorn at it’s best, and must be viewed as such.

Flash Gordon – Spaceships, mad scientists, pastel coloured midgets, ex-Blue Peter presenters, this film has it all! It’s silly in the extreme, but who cares, because it’s fun too. And it gave us one of the bestest baddies ever in the shape of Ming The Merciless, hammed up beautifully by Max Von Sydow. You can’t argue with that. And the role (and line) for which Brian Blessed would be forever remembered for, Vultan (“Ah well. Who wants to live for ever? ..hahahaha… DIVE!!!”). Brilliant!

Highlander – Who wants to live forever indeed? The eternal question (pun intended). Like Flash Gordon, so much of Highlander has found it’s way forever into the collective psyche. I mean who hasn’t thought how cool it would be to find out your were immortal! Less cool would be finding out there’s a bunch of people going round who want to chop your head off, but whatcha gonna do? This film has some truly bizarre moments, like having a Scotsman (Sean Connery) play a Spaniard whilst a Frenchman (Christopher Lambert) plays a Scotsman – both with dodgy accents respectively – but you can forgive all that for the joy of the pure idiocy of it all.

Both these films are brilliant and daft in equal measure, but what elevates them above the usual fare is their brilliant soundtracks by Queen.

To me, Queen were the masters of the movie soundtrack. They wrote their songs to enhance the movies, not just sell singles, producing pop scores really, not just a few nice tunes. Their music blends perfectly with what’s on screen, whilst at the same time standing out as a cut above the rest. I know that’s a bit of a contradiction, but you’ll just have to trust me on this. These guys knew what they were doing.

Who wants to live forever?

Flash! Ah ah…..

I couldn’t decide which film had the best soundtrack, that’s why I’ve recommended them both. And really you should watch them both, for the cheese-fest that they are. Neither will disappoint, and their soundtracks certainly won’t, I guarantee it!

Week 14: Trees, tunes and tiltshifting

Spent most of this week just monkeying about, doing ‘stuff’. So, in no particular order…

bonsai 11th april 10

Re-potted my bonsai this week with the help of my friend Vanessa, who knows mucho about this kind of thing. It was easy enough done, and Ness was an excellent teacher (she did the one on the right, I did the one on the left – note the variation in quality of craftsmanship, hahaha). I think, once I get myself a proper garden, I’m going to get more into the bonsai thing. It’s a lot more complicated than you think, and a real art form.

In lieu of any script work this week I instead spent my time making iTunes playlists of the soundtrack albums for the films I’m going to write. I know, serious work avoision in action, but I couldn’t help it. Once I got into it I was in the zone. You should hear the one for “Fuck You, Satan!”, my horror/comedy movie, it’s brilliant!
Seriously though, the idea is to have some inspiration music to help get me in the groove when I start writing. It can be hard to get going so a little something to put you in the right frame of mind works wonder. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, so nyah! 😛

low tide at mousehole-tiltshift

I have an new online toy! www.tiltshiftmaker.com. For those of you that don’t know a tilt shift lens is one where by you can move the front part of the lens to varying angles, giving you a very narrow point of focus within the picture you’re taking. Basically you can take a photo of something real and it comes out looking like a scale model (see above). It’s an astounding effect when you get it right, and great fun to do.
Thankfully, for those of us without masses of expensive camera equipment, you can go online and ‘cheat’ it with a picture you’ve already taken. I spent several hours the other day making tiltshift pictures and a few of them are online to check out (click on the pic above to see them). I’m really pleased with the results and this is going to be something I’m going to play around with for a while, see where it takes me.

No new recipe this week. Been on night shifts so haven’t had my head in gear for days. But plan on doing a few this week to try and catch up a bit. Got one planned, one nearly done, and I should be able to do another this weekend. Looking forward to that.