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Showing posts from July, 2017

Why I Love Blue Velvet

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"Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!"

Blue Velvet is a movie about the hidden perversions and horrors hiding in plain sight underneath an idyllic surface. It is a movie that establishes many themes that would crop up again in Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me, The Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE. This is particularly true of Twin Peaks which Blue Velvet was in many ways the prototype for, and not just because they both starred Kyle MacLachlan. David Lynch is interested in the perversion that lies behind a pristine facade, and how evil can fester in even the most "normal" of places. It is the story of an innocent who becomes seduced by the dark side of life. Whether he will survive his odyssey and return home intact is never sure, until the final confrontation with Frank.

Frank Booth is surely one of the best villains in cinema. Dennis Hopper has all the volatility and menace that the role requires and turns in the best performance of his car…

Why I Love The Let's Get It On Cover

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"I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then, c'mon, oh, c'mon
Let's get it on
Ah, baby, let's get it on
Let's love, baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on
We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we've got to be here
Let's live
I love you
There's nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true
Don't you know how sweet and wonderful life can be
I'm asking you baby to get it on with me
I ain't gonna worry
I ain't gonna push, won't push you baby
So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush
Let's get it on
Let's get it on
You know what I'm talkin' 'bout
C'mon, baby
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let's get it on
Let's get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let's get …

Why I Love Dougie

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"HelloooooooooooooOOOoooooooooo!"

Twin Peaks is a show that a lot of people love. Some love it for its dreamy surrealism, some love it for its quirky characters and soap opera conventions. The latter, while legitimate, don't seem to get why the show is one of the greatest of all time. They are stuck in a literal world, unable to appreciate the greatness of David Lynch and Mark Frost's creation, that gets to the heart of the matter in a more immediate way than almost any show in history. Frost and Lynch have made a show that speaks to our greatest fears and hopes. Twin Peaks was cancelled following its second season and ended on an incredible cliffhanger. Fire Walk With Me resolved many of these plot threads but there were still many questions to answer.

The return of Twin Peaks in 2017 has been incredible. Some questions have been answered, while a whole lot of new ones have been raised. The most infuriating aspect of the show, according to some, has been the daze t…

Why I Love Den Haag

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I love Den Haag because it is a free city. It is free thinking and prizes the right to air controversial views in public. When I was going through my Christopher Hitchens phase (still in it mostly), I got much pleasure from listening to him praise The Netherlands for their tolerance and acceptance of unusual ideas. I first came to Den Haag when my father got a job as a Garda Lisaon Officer. I remember the night before I went over. I was upset, largely because I had drunk too much and was listening to Mother by John Lennon... Yeah. I know. That was just the way the night went.

Noel, my Dad, came down to me in my bedroom and gave me a big hug, and he said that he was going to give me all the things I missed out on. My father was a loving man, but we had our issues. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that when my Dad left our family, it hurt me. It did. I spent many years trying to wrestle with the fact that I loved Noel and he didn't seem to love me. This was a silly yo…

Why I Love Columbo

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"There's just one more thing, sir!"

Along with Noir, my most loved genre is Murder Mystery. I have adored the work of Agatha Christie for years and years. There is something so satisfying in discovering clues with Poirot or Miss Marple and trying to unravel the mystery for yourself. I also adore Inspector Morse and Endeavour. All of these will receive a Why I Love article. First though I want to tell you why Columbo is, in my opinion, the greatest Murder Mystery show of all time. Better than Poirot, better than Miss Marple, better than Morse. Let's start with the structure of the show. It is a reverse Murder Mystery. The murderer is revealed in the opening of the show. Everything after that is about how Columbo discovers how and why they did it.

Writer R. Austin Freeman claimed to invent the inverted detective story in 1912. Creators of Columbo, Richard Levinson and William Link discussed this in their book Stay Tuned: An Inside Look at the Making of Prime Time Televis…

Why I Love Nick Drake

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"A day once dawned
And it was beautiful
A day once dawned
From the ground

Then the night she fell
And the air was beautiful
The night she fell
All around

So look see the days
The endless colored ways
And go play the game
That you learned
From the morning

And now we rise
And we are everywhere
And now we rise
From the ground

See she flies
And she is everywhere
See she flies
All around

So look see the sights
The endless summer nights
And go play the game
That you learned
From the morning."


"A day once dawned
And it was beautiful
A day once dawned
From the ground

Then the night she fell
And the air was beautiful
The night she fell
All around

So look see the days
The endless colored ways
And go play the game
That you learned
From the morning

And now we rise
And we are everywhere
And now we rise
From the ground

See she flies
And she is everywhere
See she flies
All around

So look see the sights
The endless summer nights
And go play the game
That you learned
From the morning.&…

Why I Love Writing

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"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

I write because it is the only thing I can do. Christopher Hitchens gave advice that writing should only be attempted if it is literally the only damn thing you can do. Well, it is. So here I am. Stephen Fry once commented that you are allowed one article about writing an article, so I guess this will meet my quota. I started writing with serious intent about fifteen years ago. I began my small time career on the message boards of The Smile Shop, ran by my good friends Jon Hunt and John Lane. I will remember many people who helped me for a long time, but a shout out to Jon and John and Ian Wagner who taught me my most important lessons in writing. Namely, say what you're going to say. Don't bother qualifying it with weaselly get outs. State your business, and state it well. If you love an album, say you love an album. Don't bother trying to anticipate people's issues, just get to that love deep in your heart a…

Why I Love Lost

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“This is my destiny! Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”

It's a long way down. Lost aired from 2004 to 2010. It has been seven years since it ended, which kind of blows my mind. I was introduced to Lost through my mother and brother, who found it through our friend from Chicago, Michelle. The title screen is a brilliant way to express what the show is about: something distant and out of focus, getting closer and clearer before it drifts off, again out of focus. Lost is a show that demands patience. It does not easily reveal its secrets, something which the duller members of the audience found difficult. Lost learned many things from the great Twin Peaks, but the number one thing it learned was don't give away your central mystery until you are ready to wrap things up. Where as Twin Peaks revealed who killed Laura Palmer in the second season, Lost kept its cards close to its chest until the very final episode. This is something that should be lauded to all hell. To understand who …

Why I Love Blade Runner

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"Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

Blade Runner is my favourite Science Fiction film of all time. It doubles as one of my favourite Noirs too. It is based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick but stands on its own as a great, original work. It does this through taking the themes of the novel and expanding them out in a way that, in my opinion, smooths out the flaws and replaces them with new ideas that are more powerful and universal than the book. Dick's novel is essentially about people who have no emotions and act in a way that reflects the kind of people who Dick found objectionable. In Ridley Scott's film, these replicants are seen, instead of the evildoers, as a slave class that are used to perform all the jobs human beings don't want to do. This includes sex slavery -referred to euphemistically as "pleasure models"- and all of the physical labour that humans ca…

Why I Love The Force Awakens

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"We'll see each other again. I believe that."

I have loved Star Wars for as long as I can remember. I remember in vivid detail watching the original three films with my mother, father and brother. They dominated my imagination from then until now. The world was so wondrous and exciting. The story was universal, able to get across what it needed to say with the pure beauty of the visuals, no dialogue required. I will admit up front that I still like the prequels by George Lucas, particularly Revenge of the Sith which I still believe is a great movie in its own way. So if you're looking for me to bash those films, sorry, I won't. I will say however that the new Star Wars films are better in nearly every way. They are human, where the prequels were synthetic and distant. They are funny, where the prequels were humorless and plastic.

When I went to see The Force Awakens with my best friend Conor, I was skeptical. J.J. Abrams is someone who can be either very good (a…

Why I Love Slow It Down and Yamaha

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"It's that nigga!
It's that nigga!
Radio killer!
I know they ain't gon play this on top 40 radio
But the white girls still gon' ride it like a rodeo
And I'ma stay ridin' this beat like a rodeo
And keep throwin' money til shorty gon' touch her toes
I'ma keep it real with you baby you bad
Kinda like Michael Jackson you bad
If you was my girl and you left me I be sad
And for that let me see that ass go

I'm here to see that thing pop
I'm here to see that thing rock
I'm here to see you pick it up and let it drop
She backin' it up on me, DJ you know you wrong
Enough with the mothafuckin' dance songs

You gotta slow it down
Down down down
Down down down
So she can take her time and work it on me babe
DJ you gotta slow it down
Down down down
Down down down
Whisper in her ear while she on me babe
You gotta slow it down
Down down down
Down down down
Just swing it left, swing it right
DJ you gotta slow it down
Down down down
Down down down
Uh that's what sh…

Why I Love Jack Goes Boating

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"Don't worry, I'm a good swimmer." "I knew you'd be good." "I am for you."

Jack Goes Boating is my favourite Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie and performance. It is a story about how small changes make all the difference. It follows Jack who can't swim, always putting it off until another day. When he meets Connie, she tells him that she would love to go boating. To make sure he can protect her, his friend Clyde teaches him how to swim. I love how Jack Goes Boating takes such a small and seemingly insignificant thing and makes it appear all important. It is not an epic, or a grand tale, it is about the small things in life and how they can take a life poorly led and make it into something meaningful.

Jack Goes Boating is immensely romantic and funny. It is well observed and on point. We are taken through two relationships, one beginning and one ending. We see the poison of jealousy and mistrust and the dark places that people go in pursuit o…

Why I Love Field of Dreams

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"If you build it, he will come."

The "he" in the quote above is not Shoeless Joe Jackson but the father of Ray Kinsella. Field of Dreams is a movie about how through unspecified, supernatural means, a father and son can put aside their differences and make peace with one another. It is a movie introduced to me through my mother and father who both loved the touching message of the film. I don't really like to call myself spiritual (let alone religious) but when I watch Field of Dreams, that's how I feel. It is a magical film, with five superb performances from Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster and Ray Liotta, who plays the elusive Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Director Phil Alden Robinson weaves a tale about an unenthusiastic farmer who is given a message by a mysterious voice to build a baseball field in his corn. Perhaps looking for any excuse to not become a farmer, Ray Kinsella readily takes on this mission with passion. In his heart…

Why I Love Homie Lover Friend Remix and I Don't Mean It

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"A homie lover friend is what I'm lookin for
A homie lover friend is what I'm lookin for
A homie lover friend is what I'm lookin for
A homie lover friend is what I'm lookin for

Homie lover friend is what I'm lookin for
Someone who can relate to what I have in store
She can kick back with the homies
Playin spades, gettin paid
That down to earth girl from around the way (hey)
We will be together for all times
I need a homie lover friend that will always be mine."

Homie Lover Friend Remix is my favourite song by R. Kelly in history. It is the best example of his style, his production genius and his ability to deliver a vocal that makes you feel intense love. If there was one song I had to choose to explain why R. Kelly is the most gifted man of his generation, it would be this one. Some songs take forever to get around to what they want to say. As much as I love him, Bob Dylan can take six verses before he gets to what he means. Here R. Kelly does it in one…