Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Camera Obscura

Not a great deal of cultural activity, or indeed, activity of any kind in the past few weeks, through a combination of football, sunshine and post-thesis lassitude. Rather enjoyed “X-Men – The Last Stand”, if only because the use of journeyman director Brett Ratner in a franchise with an established cast, style, narrative concept, etc. meant that one could actually see what was going on, rather than having all the action flashily, if stylishly fragmented as in Bryan Singer’s first two adaptations. The post-credits scene was certainly worth the slightly awkward wait.

Interesting to note that “Home Again”, the BBC1 sit-com which I was privileged to observe in production, has received some of the most dismissive reviews, both professional and on-line, in British TV history. One wonders if it will return after an overhaul – it would be a pity to waste the efforts and commitment especially of such a remarkable cast.

Another transcendent gig experience at Clwb Ifor Bach last Thursday – in the wake of England’s glorious victory over the might of Trinidad & Tobago. The wonderful Camera Obscura, creators of some of the most delicate, sensitive grown-up pop tunes of the past few years, managing to translate them triumphantly in the live context, their classic “Eighties Fan” coming over especially well; lead singer Tracyanne not exactly dominating the stage in a Jarvis Cocker style, but proving that charm is an invaluable commodity. Support was from local singer-songwriter Gethin Pearson, who’s obviously been listening to Bright Eyes (and none the worse for that), and quirky and at least partly French neo-mini-orchestral act Francois, who were highly engaging.

I’ve had another couple of “Tracy Beaker” episodes repeated on terrestrial BBC in the past few weeks – sadly, my sole source of income at the moment, so greatly welcome.


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