venerdì 3 giugno 2016

The New Statesman

The New Statesman (1987-1992 plus two specials, one in 1988 and the other in 1994)

Rik Mayall stars as Alan B’stard, Tory MP, in this black comedy series about British politics. Alan is cartoonishly evil, greedy and immoral and is surrounded by people as ruthless as him. It’s mainly a satire of the Thatcherites of the time.

You expect him to be punished for his many wrongdoings, but the thing is, he always comes out on top. In this series the worst of man wins.

At the end of the fourth series, he manages to be appointed as Lord Protector (like Cromwell) with seemingly dictatorial powers.

The stage show’s continuity is at odds with the series finale and shows that Alan defected to the Labour Party and is now a Blairite.

(Wikipedia article)

mercoledì 20 aprile 2016

Victoria Wood (1953 - 2016)

Kelly-Marie Tunstall and her exploratory operation – that was how I first met Victoria Wood. Aged about 10, I sat mesmerised in front of a family friend’s new-fangled video recorder watching a tape of Victoria Wood As Seen on TV. There she was, as the punk teenager at the bus stop describing her latest adventures to a gormless friend. “He said, ‘Oi, scallop-face, your skirt’s all caught up in your knickers at t’back!’ I said “I pity you, d’you know why?’ He says ‘Why?’ I says, ‘Cos it happens to be t’latest fashion, I read it in a book’. He says ‘What book?’, I says ‘Vogue, that’s what book.’ He said ‘Oh, likely, likely, when d’you read Vogue?’, I said ‘When I’m in hospital ‘aving exploratory surgery, that’s when’, so he said ‘Oh.’” “He didn’t?” “He did.”

It was perfect. In form, in structure, in language, in content, in … funniness, in everything. I heard, for the first time ever on the telly, my northern family’s voices, in the rhythm and the vocabulary (“book” being a common – in both senses – synonym for magazine Up There but not Down Here). And because it was as seamlessly constructed and melodic as a song, it slipped easily into my memory, never to be forgotten. Even now, 30 years on, I didn’t need to look it up. Kelly Marie Tunstall is always with me, along with Kitty (“I thought – what would the Queen Mum do? So I just smiled and said ‘We shall have fog by teatime’”), Mrs Overall (“Kenny – if you could hover with my Vegenin”), Susie Blake’s newsreader (“We’d like to apologise to viewers in the north – it must be awful for you”), Barry and Freda and all the inimitable rest of them.

Their creator, alas, is suddenly, unbelievably, no longer with us. Victoria Wood has died at the age of 62 after a battle with cancer.

She grew up in Bury, in an oddly atomised family that largely left each other alone to do their own things. Wood watched comedy shows, taught herself the piano (she was too shy to endure lessons for long), and nurtured an ambition to perform. She got her big break when she won New Faces in 1974 and had two plays performed and her first television series (Wood and Walters) commissioned before the decade was out. The 80s were dominated by the two As Seen on TV series and the Bafta-winning An Audience with Victoria Wood. She grew in stature, reputation and self-confidence and her talent kept unfurling.

In the 90s she moved into comedy drama (including the TV film Pat and Margaret – her first foray into bittersweet territory since her early plays) and – in between various sold-out live shows, several of which I saw and wept laughing at – wrote her first sitcom, Dinnerladies. She played Bren and assembled an all-female, mostly menopausal cast around her and gave us questions (“And where has it got you, having a pelvic floor like a bulldog clip?”) and images (Petula Gordino’s rumination on her toyboy Clint – “He played my body like a pinball machine. I lit up, paid out – and no tilting”) that will live down the ages. After that, she concentrated more on straight drama, including Housewife 49, for which she won acting and writing Baftas.

She was literally peerless. She carved out her own career without precedent – the only woman, the only solo artist, the only northern woman/solo artist creating, writing and performing plays, standup, sketch shows, drama. French and Saunders overlapped, but they started later, and there were two of them, and they were southern, and they didn’t write everything they did.

She made me want to be a writer. She made me think it was possible, even in a family where magazines were “books”. The precision of everything she did, the whetting of essential truths to a comic edge keen enough to slay everyone in the aisles (“And we weren’t having hysterectomies every two minutes either, like the girls these days. If something went wrong down below, you kept your gob shut and turned up the wireless”) – her genius for it all fills me with an awe exceeded only by the amount of laughter the shining, brilliant results have given me over the years.

Like many families, dozens of her lines have entered into my family speech. If my dad asks my sister for a cup of tea, she informs him that “For you, Lord Delfont, it would be a pleasure and an honour”. If someone says “womb” we say “Col, get your duffel!” And when someone dies we say “72 baps, Connie – you slice, I’ll spread.” That’s what my sister texted to tell me the news. I’m laughing as I cry.

Victoria Wood: 'Her shining genius never stopped unfurling' by Lucy Mangan

venerdì 9 ottobre 2015

The Killing Joke

Alla fine ho aperto un sito di fansubs, dove in un modo o nell'altro potrete trovare tutte le mie traduzioni (salvo inconvenienti tecnici o bastardate dei bot del copyright). Perciò vi invito a puntare i vostri browser su questo indirizzo:


mercoledì 7 ottobre 2015

Bottom - On and on (remix)

Un remix tratto dalle registrazioni degli spettacoli live della serie tv Bottom, con Rik Mayall e Ade Edmondson.


domenica 6 settembre 2015

Eddie Izzard Marathon (supplemento)

Force Majeure (2013) Highlights: Riccardo Cuor di Leone che parla francese, antichi romani = idraulici fascisti, l'asse del bizzarro, Die Hard Il Musical, sacrifici umani, le tre regole del fascismo, la cospirazione ebrei-bolscevichi, le mucche fantasma, Dio che fa immersioni e Mr. Stevens, Siobhan dea dello spelling pericoloso, George W. Bush Kraken, gli animali selvatici sono in forma, le guerre surrealiste e il dressage, l'arte di fumare la pipa e la saggezza, Il Signore degli Anelli alternativo.


giovedì 21 maggio 2015

L'umorismo in rete e quello senza rete

Esempio becero: a me piace fare battute su internet (come nella vita reale). Su alcune ci rimugino sopra più che su altre e potrei dire che ce ne sono alcune di cui sono “fiero”. Una manciata di persone le vedono e possono farsi una risata o pensare che io sia un cretino. La maggioranza degli italiani non le vedrà mai e non saprà nemmeno che esisto. Ciò non toglie che, anche se scrivessi per qualche realtà consolidata on-line per l’umorismo, non mi considererei mai “comico” o “autore comico”. Non è solo una questione di passione, ma dell’impegno e del tempo che ci dedichi.
Ad esempio, qualcuno che fa di professione lo stand-up comedian in America o in Inghilterra, quando non si esibisce, quando non viaggia per arrivare al prossimo pub, locale, teatro, palazzetto o topaia dove si dovrà esibire o quando non fa autopromozione, scrive. Con costanza. Magari non produrrà del materiale fantastico ogni giorno, ma si sforza al meglio delle sue capacità. Quasi niente è improvvisato e ci vuole un sacco di determinazione. E puoi fare questo per anni, senza mai diventare famoso. Ciò non toglie che fai quello che vuoi fare e hai preso una decisione e un impegno mica da ridere. È un lavoro, con tutto ciò che questo comporta. E io ho un grande rispetto per chi sceglie questa professione.

Perciò no, non dico di essere un comico anche se faccio battute.
Ripeto: magari sbaglio io.