TRAINSPOTTING 2 directed by Danny Boyle (UK, 2016)
I was a big fan of the 1970s British sit com ‘Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads’ in which two buddies meet up again after drifting apart for five years.
When they reconnect, one, Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) is nurturing nouveau riche trappings and getting settled into a cosy, middle-class suburban niche complete with a conventional, status conscious, fiancé. Meanwhile, Terry Collier (James Bolan) remains stubbornly working class. He is back from Germany after a failed marriage and a wound sustained during military service that he prefers not to talk about.
“What became of those people we used to be”, ran the show’s theme tune and this is also the unspoken question that hangs over Danny Boyle’s sequel to the hugely successly 1996 Trainspotting movie. Continue reading
Micahel Fassbender ponders how he got talked into playing the role of Steve Jobs.
STEVE JOBS directed by Danny Boyle (USA, 2015)
The remarkable life of Steve Jobs cannot possibly be condensed into 122 minutes without making significant compromises. You have to distort events to create a cinematic reality. The problem of Danny Boyle’s movie, however, is that the bounds of credibility are pushed too far.
Scripted by Aaron Sorkin from William Isaacson’s biography, it takes such monumental liberties with the facts that what we are left with is a crude approximation of a complex man rather than a detailed insight into what elevated him to greatness.
His relationship with daughter Lisa may have been significant in real life but it’s hard to believe that she had such a major influence on his working philosophy.
In one key scene, Lisa works alone to ‘paint’ a picture on the early Mac causing Jobs’s hard heart to melt. It’s a touching moment but it never actually happened. It only serves to make you wonder how many other details in the movie are made up. The prominence given to the father-daughter relationship is all the more bizarre since Jobs’s wife and three children don’t figure in the story at all. Continue reading
Tom Carter who, with ex-wife and musical partner Christina, makes up one half of Charalambides had more opportunity than most for self reflection this year but not in the happiest of circumstances.
During a UK tour he was struck down with severe pneumonia and spent long periods in isolation as part of his treatment. Due to the absurd health system, this also meant he faced huge medical bills.
Thankfully, if his prolific contributions to Twitter are anything to go by, he now seems to be on the road to recovery. One of his Tweets was to the effect that, this year, instead of making lists of the best new albums, we should go back to past years and check if those records we raved about have stood the test of time.
While I understand where he’s coming from, for me, one of the key appeals of contemporary music is that it fuels an insatiable desire for something truly radical and fresh. Needless to say, 2012 passed with plenty of good new sounds to enjoy but nothing that could be described as life changing. Continue reading
Old wild man seemingly reduces young pop star to a state of ecstasy.
Danny Boyle’s inspired Isles of Wonder ceremony which opened the London Olympics had a clearly defined theme and purpose – using music to celebrate the nation’s achievements and to restore Team GB’s standing in the world.
The only brief for the closing ceremony seemed to be that this so-called ‘Symphony of British Music’ should cobble together whatever performers they could get hold of to make an ‘aftershow party’ with a global impact.
Sadly, the vibrant choreography and state of the art lighting couldn’t mask the lack of genuine substance to Kim Gavin’s show. Lord Seb Coe saying beforehand that “it’s not anything desperately profound” turned out to be a massive understatement.
What was lost amid all this faux-nostalgia was the achievement of the athletes themselves who were shuffled into the stadium en masse to take their place in Damien Hirst’s gigantic union jack while Elbow sang a couple of songs that sounded more dirgey than celebratory. Once trapped in the arms of the stadium flag they were a captive audience to a show that all but ignored their efforts over the previous two weeks. Continue reading