Author Archives: pws

Incredible

Summer is always a quiet time for cultural activities, so I am surprised I find so much to write about.

I remember seeing the first Incredibles film at the Empire Leicester Square when it first came out. There was a very mixed audience of young (very young) and old. It was great to see and hear people laughing at different things. It was a film that was very carefully pitched to keep all entertained, and, while it did dissolve into the usual Pixar chase, mostly it was inventive and funny.

Now, the sequel, once promised that it would never happen, has appeared, released in the UK yesterday. No IMAX showings near me, and limited 3D showings too.

Well, very little has changed. The film carries on exactly where the previous left off and covers the same themes. That makes it hard to comment on, except to say, not much new here.

To be honest, there are some wonderful touches of animation, a few genuinely funny bits too, and we’d all like to know someone like Mrs Incredible, and the music doesn’t give you a headache. If you enjoyed the first, you may be disappointed that the second does not really tread new ground.

The 3D gave the film some depth, but was not overdone.

The short that goes with it is a bit odd, but rather sad too.

Any other comments?

Coda

There’s a new film about called Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, a rather quiet biography of the famously reclusive keyboard player from the Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Who? What? Are you asking…

But wait a moment. If you like films, you will be aware of Sakamoto’s compositional work: Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence, The Revenant, The Last Emperor…

If you like Japanese/Electropop music, you will know the YMO. Sakamoto has also performed as part of his classical trio, done disco, funk, solo piano music, you name it.

And was possibly the world’s most beautiful man…

In recent times, he has been an outspoken activist against nuclear power. Plus, he has battled with cancer.

This 100 minute documentary looks at Mr Sakamoto, his life, his music.

There was a showing at the NFT in London recently, and the director and Mr S were present. “I don’t like people knowing about my private life”, he said, “so please close your eyes as you watch this film.”

The cancer has sadly taken its toll a bit, and he looked slightly frail and nervous, but a knowledgeable audience asked good questions and he relaxed and became quite animated. “I like all music except Hawaiian and Country” he remarked. Well, don’t we all…

It’s a great film. Do see it!

Machinal

I see the main purpose of this blog as a way of telling you things I have seen that I have enjoyed, without giving too much away, so you may enjoy it yourself. I am a big fan of the Almeida Theatre these days. Rarely do they do duff stuff.

I meant to write about this weeks ago, but since it is pretty sold out it hasn’t made much difference I expect.

Their latest production is Machinal, and old (1928) play about the frustrations of being female.

As ever, the acting is excellent, with no weak spots. The set is super, and it zips along in 10 parts for barely 90 minutes.

It’s all very stylised, and oddly Trumpian.

Maybe it will transfer. Maybe you can get day seats.