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Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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Dai the Llama

Bristol Fashion: Wedlock is a Padlock

In common with a great many Bristolians, I’ve probably tended to underestimate, if not dismiss outright, the so-called Funnyman of Folk, Fred Wedlock. But age is a funny thing, and I am no longer immune to the charms of folk music. Even so-called comedy folk music. Sure, Fred Wedlock’s no Jake Thackray. Who is? Not even Jake Thackray.  But a recent, absent-minded search on You Tube threw up this surprisingly good rendition of the old Spanish Civil war tune, Si Me Quieres Escribir, sung in Spanish but with an unmistakeable Bristolian twang to it. Continue reading “Bristol Fashion: Wedlock is a Padlock”

Fear of a Black Planet: The Ten Most Racist Films Ever

Let’s start with one of my guiltiest pleasures, Black Hawk Down, because – like multi-storey car park crime – it’s wrong on so many levels. It’s directed by Ridley Scott, for a start. What has Ridley Scott contributed towards the happiness of man? I mean, apart from Alien and Blade Runner? And the gladiator bits in Gladiator? Apart from that, what has he contributed? Continue reading “Fear of a Black Planet: The Ten Most Racist Films Ever”

Archaeology Corner: Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson (1918-1996) started out as a stuntman and rodeo rider before making a whole bunch of Westerns with first John Ford and then Sam Peckinpah. It’s his work with the latter on The Wild Bunch, his Oscar-winning performance in The Last Picture Show and his role in the John Milius gangster pic Dillinger that interest me, and should interest you. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Ben Johnson”

Every Album I Own: Es are good

Es are good, but I’ve only ever had a handful: Ebony Rhythm Funk Campaign’s Watchin’ You, Watchin’ Me; the first (and possibly only) Ecstasy Passion & Pain album; Donnie & Joe Emerson’s  Dreamin’ Wild; Here Come The Warm Jets by Brian Eno, and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Eno & Byrne; an ESG compilation, and another by Evans Pyramid; Gloria Estefan’s Mi Tierra, and a brace by the cheerfully deranged Bahaman singer Exuma, who puts Dr John and Nick Cave to shame in the scary stakes. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: Es are good”

Archaeology Cornel: A Walk on the Wilde Side

The subject of today’s post is Cornel Wilde, B-movie actor turned independent producer, director, actor and sometimes writer, whose handful of 1960s and ‘70s films, while not entirely ignored on release, have now been more or less forgotten, probably because they had the temerity to be clumsily written, badly acted, and directed with fists of ham so great the Spanish could sell them to the British in their overpriced tapas bars. Continue reading “Archaeology Cornel: A Walk on the Wilde Side”

Archaeology Corner: Inca Roads

Did a vehicle come from somewhere out there, just to land in the Andes? So sings George Duke on the Mothers of Invention album One Size Fits All, recorded in 1975 and perhaps the pinnacle of this, the very finest of Mothers line-ups. Well, in spite of Erich Von Daniken and Close Encounters, we can be fairly sure that the answer is no, a vehicle did not come from out there just to land in the Andes, or anywhere else. There are plenty of perfectly rational explanations for the Nazca lines, some of which also acknowledge and incorporate a relationship with the Gods/cosmos, albeit one emanating from Earth, and focusing on the entirely understandable need to believe in other worlds/higher powers, rather than entertaining the actual existence of extra-terrestrial or supernatural intelligence. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Inca Roads”

Archaeology Corner: Apocalypto

Hooray! At last, we have some REAL archaeology to get our teeth into. We’re talking Mayan pyramids, and Mayan language, and Mel Gibson. But as ever with archaeology on film, we’re gonna get mired in controversy over how accurate things really are. The first time I saw Apocalypto, I thought “Cool!”  Sure, there’s a bit too much joking around at the start with tapir testicles, and Jaguar Paw’s young, pregnant wife and son at the bottom of the well is a touch too Hollywood, but the decision to use an indigenous language (Yucatec) is a stroke of genius, and the pursuit of Jaguar Paw by the Bad Mayans is super exciting and combines elements of Deliverance with Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey to great effect.
Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Apocalypto”

Archaeology Corner: Deliverance

Deliverance is the ultimate “dam” movie. Okay, so there aren’t really that many films about dams, but they do include a couple of corkers, namely Larissa Shepitko’s difficult-to-find Farewell (completed by her husband Elem Klimov after Shepitko died in a car crash, so very much a farewell to his wife as well as a farewell to the Siberian village threatened by a hydro-electric scheme) and the Argentinian/Welsh co-production Patagonia, neither of which we’re concerned with here, as I’m saving Argentinian/Welsh co-productions for another, necessarily short post at some point in the future. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Deliverance”

Archaeology Corner: El Derecho de Vivir en Paz

All translations by Google*

El Derecho de Vivir en Paz (The Right to Live in Peace) is a song by Victor Jara from the 1971 album of the same name, which also features the songs El Alma Llena de Banderas (Alma’s Up To Here With Antonio Banderas*) and Ya Parte El Galgo Terrible (I Went to a Terrible Party in Wales*). It was Jara’s expression of solidarity with the people of Vietnam, who in their desire to “live in peace” had comprehensively defeated the French in battle and were, when he wrote the song, giving the Americans a good hiding as well. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: El Derecho de Vivir en Paz”

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