Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The TV Listings (4)

Oh dear - I haven't done an update on my YouTube postings for a little over a year now. However, since the censorship in China got so crazy last year in the run-up to the 60th anniversary (of the founding of the People's Republic) celebrations, and since the Tor proxy I'd been relying on for so long began letting me down big time.... well, I didn't post any videos at all for the best part of six months. So... hopefully, this list won't get too unwieldy. Hopefully....

The Comedy/Movie Channel

Keeping upbeat - a couple of classic exhortations to 'positive thinking': Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters singing Accent-tchu-ate the Positive (from Dennis Potter's BBC musical drama series The Singing Detective) and Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life from the end of Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Using your imagination - the climactic confrontation (and the official trailer) from Jim Jarmusch's recent philosophical, dreamlike 'thriller' The Limits Of Control.

My Fantasy Girlfriend - Tilda Swinton, in brief clips from one her earliest films, Sally Potter's Orlando, and one of her most recent, Jim Jarmusch's The Limits Of Control.

More great film openings - the stunning 'life of a bullet' sequence from the beginning of Andrew Niccol's Lord Of War, and links to several other classic openings.

My Fantasy Girlfriend - Kseniya Simonova - the gorgeous 'sand artist' in action: the performance which secured her first place in the 2009 Ukraine's Got Talent contest.

Those naughty Australians!! - links to some classic risqué TV adverts for AntzPantz knickers and Castlemaine XXXX beer.

Australia, Australia, Australia, we LOVE you! (AMEN) - Australia Day, January 26th, prompts me to post a couple of classic comic stereotypings of the tense Aussie-Pommie relationship, from Monty Python and Barry McKenzie.

My Fantasy Girlfriend - Vanna Bonta, and her video What Goes Up, celebrating the human conquest of gravity.

Gourmet Night - another of our 'Gluttony Night' excursions in Beijing reminds me of this immortal bit of Fawlty Towers (not in fact the 'Gourmet Night' episode, but the one where the rude schoolboy demands salad cream rather than mayonnaise).

"Oh my god - it's full of stars!" - naturally, I celebrate the 2,001st post on Froogville with the Stargate sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Space: 1999 - while Post No. 1,999 prompts me to share this video mash-up of clips of aliens from the cheesy British '70s sci-fi series (set to The Monster Mash, of course).

Snow business - a couple of seasonal clips of mass snowball fights, from Leuwen in Belgium (the current world record holder) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (an almost-annual challenger).... and a famous Budweiser commercial with horses having a snowfight.

I think Mr Garrison says it best - a fun slide-show illustrating the song Merry F**ing Christmas! sung by demented 4th Grade teacher Mr Garrison in South Park.

Scary Santa - the deeply disturbing dream sequence from the beginning of oddball 1995 French film La cité des enfants perdus.

My Fantasy Girlfriend - Dorothy Provine - my profile of the lovely '60s actress/singer Dorothy Provine concludes with a clip from her show-stopping turn as Wild West saloon chanteuse Lily O'Lay in Blake Edwards's slapstick comedy epic The Great Race (see also 'Great bar fights' below).

Great bar fights - classic film brawls from The Great Race, Blazing Saddles, Shane, and Ride Beyond Vengeance, with a link also to the marathon fistfight between John Wayne and Victor McLaglen in John Ford's The Quiet Man. [Damn - it looks like a couple of these might already have been deleted by jealous film studios!]

12 Square Metres: The Movie - my favourite little bar in Beijing is featured in a brief travelogue piece on a Chinese website.

An omelette of peace - I conclude the answers to my recent 'Film Quotations Quiz' with the scene from wonderful foodie film Big Night where Italian chef Secundo (Stanley Tucci) makes up after a big fight with his brother Primo (Tony Shalhoub) by sharing a frittata with him. Just magical.

Shoe Jintao - a video report on Tibetan New Year celebrations amongst the exile community in Dharamsala, north India, which includes Tibetan kids spiritedly flinging shoes at a portrait of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The Music Channel

Keeping upbeat - Accent-tchu-ate the Positive and Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (see above).

Great Drinking Songs (20) - my St Patrick's Day treat this year is the rousing singalong Those Were The Days: the classic 1968 hit version by Welsh songbird Mary Hopkin, and live performances by the Leningrad Cowboys and Liam Clancy, plus links to countless others....

Jesus Saves, I Spend - electro-folk-pop exponent St Vincent (real name Annie Clark) is one of the artists in town for this year's Jue Festival. I didn't get around to seeing her myself, but thought it was worth posting this link to one of her more interesting videos.

Also Sprach Zarathustra, arranged by Japanese electronica whizz Isao Tomita, accompanied by some freaky fractal animations (also, a link to his hilarious interpretation of the Star Wars theme).

For What It's Worth - the classic Buffalo Springfield track accompanies the 'life cycle of a bullet' sequence that opens the arms-trafficking film Lord Of War (see above).

Hurt - I celebrate 'Johnny Cash Day' - the great man's birthday, February 26th - with the video of his haunting performance of this Trent Reznor song.

Can blue men sing the whites? - my extended diatribe against James Cameron's Avatar provides a pretext to provide a couple of links to this song: the original by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (no video, alas) and a more recent pub gig rendition by The Sticklebacks.

Great Love Songs (17) - Country star Faith Hill's irresistibly catchy 1998 hit This Kiss, accompanied by a montage of Disney cartoon romances (plus a link to her original video, and some anime fan tributes).

Marley Day - I celebrate Bob's birthday (and my imminent flat-warming party) on February 6th with the incomparably spaced-out Kaya (photo montage only).

Carnival time once more - at the end of January the Krewe du Vieux parade rolls in New Orleans, an early precursor of the Mardi Gras season in which I have been lucky enough to participate a few times. This year the King of the Carnival was none other than Dr John - so here's a great live performance of his classic party song, Iko Iko.

Great Drinking Songs (19) - the great raunchy comic songstress Sophie Tucker belts out the 1920s hit Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong (the subject of an extravagantly convoluted pun in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow), and links to several more of her performances.

Weekend musical moment - Canadian band Patrick Watson are in town (though I didn't go to see them), so I post the atmospheric video of their song Fireweed, and provide a couple of other links.

Continuing the numerical theme - Post No. 2,000 on Froogville seems like an ideal excuse to embed the video for Pulp's Disco 2000.

"We're not worthy!" - the legendary Jimmy Page is in town for a couple of days: I get all overcome with fandom, and feel compelled to post a few examples his awesomeness.

Snow Song - the wonderful stop-motion animated video for White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. (Also, links to some others of their songs, including the video for Mykonos.)

He Shouldn't-a, Hadn't-a, Oughtn't-a Swang On Me - a great Henry Mancini-Johnny Mercer song from the film The Great Race (see 'Dorothy Provine' above).

Don't Be A Chinese Child - I commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Karamay theatre fire on 8th December (in which 325 people died, the majority of them young schoolchildren) by posting a video of blind Chinese folk-singer Zhou Yunpeng performing his bitter song on the subject. I posted the lyrics, in Chinese and English, here on Froogville, and wrote more about the Karamay fire here.

Great Drinking Songs (18) - I mark my departure from China for an extended summer break with this all-too-appropriate hit from The Animals: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (taken from an obscure '60s 'beach comedy' called It's A Bikini World).

Tell me WHY - Bob Geldof and his Boomtown Rats pianist Johnny Fingers perform a stripped-down version of I Don't Like Mondays for the 1981 Amnesty International fund-raising show The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.

Great Drinking Songs (17) - my favourite song from the later, post-Shane MacGowan era of The Pogues - Drunken Boat (only a fan slideshow, alas, not a performance video).

Great Love Songs (16) - bluesmaster Big Bill Broonzy sings the Gershwin song Glory of Love; perhaps my favourite ever piece of acoustic guitar.

Great Drinking Songs (16) - for St Patrick's Day this year, I post The Pogues' and The Dubliners' version of The Irish Rover.

The Sports Channel

Er..... no sports selections in the whole of the last year?! How did that happen? I'll have to do something about that very shortly.


Tony said...

What richness is here! How do you find the time to dig all this up for our delectation?

But damn you, I shan't get to bed until I have explored all this, excluding your talentless Welsh chit of course.

Thank you anyway.

Froog said...

Tony, alas, I rather doubt that much of this stuff will hold any appeal for you.

If you are going to dip in somewhere (and you somehow missed them first time around), I would especially recommend to you the Big Bill Broonzy, Dorothy Provine's Wild West saloon number, and the frittata sequence from Big Night.

Tony said...

No, the music means nothing to me, but the comedy clips are, as I said, a joy.
I have almost no interest in pop music, bars, sport or China but I get much pleasure from your blog, in the same way that I admire the diarist and critic James Agate, whose nine-volume EGO I devoured in my teens although his obsession with golf, pony trotting and nineteenth century French theatre left me cold.

No, perhaps that's a bit over the top; you're not in his class, quite. But neither do you practise his disgusting perversions, as far as I know.

Anyway, as Private Eye readers say, keep up the good work.

Froog said...

Mr Agate is unknown to me - well, other than as a familiar name I guiltily feel I should know a little more about.

Time to consult Wikipedia.