Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Method Madness

Hamlet is not a very Danish name. Maurits, King or Prince of Denmark, would be more like it.

Anyway with Claudius, Polonius, Ophelia, and Horatio Shakespeare really fucked up his linguistic geography. This is Denmark, old boy! Not Verona!

And a guy named after a tiny village, doesn’t make much sense either.

Might as well have called him Boardwalk. Bo, for short.

Shakespeare borrowed a lot from the Greeks Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and their treatment of the Oresteia, but Hamlet was no Orestes. Just like in a different context the Wizard’s Dorothy is no Alice in Wonderland, any more than Dan Quayle was John F. Kennedy by Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s stern yardstick.

And I know this is blasphemy but as story lines go Hamlet is a terrible play, neither head nor tail, for a normal spectator at least to follow, or else an endlessly convoluted plot with the dark Danish Prince stricken with grief, going mad, suicidal or simply cunningly paranoid. If not clarity, beauty only in its exquisite language. But even something that is said beautifully must make sense to someone like me.

Here’s the thing as Directors go, it’s dramatically very hard to demonstrate someone apparently normal, slowly going potty. It’s easier to show someone normal conniving his revenge, by faking he’s going potty. But what then is totally incongruous is his doubt about what he should do, commit suicide or not, murder or not, how and when, staging one thing, then the other, with whose help etc etc. For if there’s one thing true in this world or any other, highly motivated and morally ‘just’ counter-conspirators by temperament cannot and will never be pussy-footers or procrastinators. And that’s exactly what Hamlet’s made out to be.

And even Laurence Olivier’s steeply abbreviated cinematic version unable to cut all the fat or for that matter pass any muster. A terrible movie that refuses to fascinate and hypnotise, delivered around a dozen classic one-liners everyone knows by now. But no number of grave diggers, hip friends and ghosts, ooh, aah, woe, the fleet, the fleet…ah yes the completely redundant fleet, making this thing work.

A psychological play avant-la-lettre, dealing with moral and mental illness at the same time? Don’t you believe it, this is theatre for theatricality’s sake, sustained by overly reverent Shakespeare worship.

Growing prematurely bald himself, Hamlet could easily have looked up at the sky, sunk on one knee, stroke an even balder skull, and sigh: Toupée or no Toupée, that is the question! And be just as credible.

  1. And what’s this Laurence bit, Larry? It’s Laurent old boy, if you want to go French all the way, and with your Norman Olivier, instead of Oliver. Laurence’s a girl’s name, so be a good sod and from eternity…  change it back to Lawrence, old man. I mean, we did win at Agincourt, didn’t we? And don’t you remember the Hank Cinq you did?  (Henry V)



So these two friends of Dorothy’s came across one Caitlyn Jenner, and one said to the other ” Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”








For a new police/detective CSI type action show, we seek talent that


-Must look 22 yrs old and not break up laughing when addressed as Doctor or Chief Pathologist


-Must have hair remaining in place come rain, shine, crashed, shot, burned, bombed, near drowned or whatever


-Must have characterless, photogenic facial features with the emotional depth of a frying pan


– No acting technique required, with the body language of a lumberjack, and please don’t stammer: Stanislavski was a Methodist


-Be able to state the understood over and over again, explaining the obvious to a counterpart who plays the apparently stupid expert


-Submit your résumé, including photograph and contact details if you think you have what it doesn’t take.


-Auditions are planned for early June.


-Remember our mission statement: The dumber the better: Good Luck




Chavez was so anti-American, and to think Simon Bolivar’s brother Sunset became a successful rancher in southern California, where they even named a street after him. 




So where’s George?


I don’t know, said his ex. I haven’t got a Clooney!


What’s In A Name?


Few people know this, but Peter O’Tool’s real name was Dick O’Dourke!



When Short is Tall!

There was the violent fictional fight between some carpenters building  a peace conference table, written by Duerrenmatt I believe.


And now there is the fictitious plumber of Christine Lagarde, with whom she might have had a short affair after he fixed her toilet in Paris, where it appears she fell for his crack.


A Spanish plumber it was, who travelled to Los Cabos in Mexico in June, to the International Monetary Fund meeting with the G20 leaders,  desperate about his country’s recent plight, hoping to hook up with her again, begging her to fix his Patria’s woes.


It didn’t work, yet history is full of small cogs determining large state decisions, by accident.


Charlie Chaplin showing us as much a century ago, convincing us that small men and women are our largest capital.


Even when they’re also wrong.


Download Anthony Steyning’s fabulous recent E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns.

The Dread of Reign

Watching this polished circus on TV this morning, I don’t know who the folks at St Paul’s Cathedral are singing to, but it isn’t God.  He may best be found out in the open. I think what’s been sung to here is order and station. Man singing his own praises, the pyramid of him, this small, old gal residing in the penthouse, both holding off and protecting a pack of pious but ambitious actors, below.


Bettter download Anthony Steyning’s new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

KIrcher (II)

Twenty years is nothing, says one tango!


Yet only a few years couldn’t be worse.


The volatile, narcissistic Argentinian President of the multiple extra-marital love affairs, unconvincingly playing grieving, dramatic widow of the man who connived to have his alleged wife too easily succeed him, which happens in many free nations, except most, and a bit like Jacky becoming President of the USA, appointed the 34 year old unemployed, professional-student best-friend of her own son to become President of the State airline Aerolineas Argentinas, to the detriment of this company and her country, losing a mere 2 million $ a day.


The kid never worked, and is all of 34.


And a lady admired by a majority of her country men, the parliament applauding her every move circus-style, it’s what I meant by writing Argentinians are great, too bad they all seem like they’re 14 years old, that is, depressingly juvenile.


This type of carrying on, this juvenile, impulsive knee-jerk thinking only witnessed and approved in Africa and Kazakhstan. Full of Marxist Capitalists, or for that matter, Maoist jewellers.


Yet she, Hugo Chavez and other howler ‘leaders’, remaining forever petulant they get no Imperialist respect. But with theatre like this, who needs to go see Rodney Dangerfield ideology at work?


Download Anthony Steyning’s loaded new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Red Deams!

Now that the incurable police romantic Vladimir Putin had his facelift, he truly looks more and more like a Mongol.

I’m not saying this is bad, but it underlines the fact that the Slav is closer to the East than to Celt and Saxon, and may explain his manic obstinacy.

Democracy, in Russia, is a fallacy; there are only more warning shots than before!

This what I posted some time ago and still applies. Take the trouble of downloading the magnificent 50’s movie Sunset Boulevard, and see what I mean! The resemblances are uncanny and a perfect metaphor for what still prevails in Moscow and beyond, urbi et orbi:


Sunset Prospekt


(Chandeliers & Quiet Vitriol)

She’s imperious, she sulks a lot, she has a great dramatic past, she used to be loved and admired by millions but has been in limbo, stuck in a time warp, great in theory only, left behind somewhat. Her mansion is vast, her mementos full of dust, her gardens need work, her servant once married to her, opens the door to her self-loathing lover and killing him should the visitor show her respect, but not enough.

Posturing of anger, of madness, of passion, she a living shrine adored perhaps not for herself but for the very need to adore by those needing to belong. For when deep down one’s the subject of contempt, one pre-emptively out-loves, pretending the lady doesn’t know what she’s doing, her denial an anomaly needing to be corrected. Surgically if necessary and should that fail, attacking her doctors of course.

Sounds like Billy Wilder’s fabulous 1950 film noir classic Sunset Boulevard, doesn’t it? Making us recall Norma Desmond, the jaded star magnificently played by Gloria Swanson, attended to by Max von Mayerling, her silent, vaguely satanic butler and ex-husband brought to life by Erich von Stroheim who keeps a close pulse on the failed writer Joe Gillis played by William Holden, caught in their net. But it’s Mother Russia that I’m alluding to, the Queen Bee to her jealous lover, the KGB (FSB). Protecting her, killing her with kindness, feeding her delusions, forging her fan mail, murdering for her, ignoring her mind and heart, profoundly convinced only it knows what is good for her while keeping her locked in and up. An obscure and violent romanticism on the part of people appointed by her, paid by her, those quietly ferocious servants from hell, the professional incest palpable. People who looked like Boris Karloff, faces like dogs, but more recently sleeker, on the surface kinder, even elegant yet still chafing under suspicions brought on by ancient complexes. A layer of super-patriots in and out of uniform, collectively called Max for the sake of this article and making it so nobody in that nation is ever really, really in command.

Can you imagine her? Can you see her striking out, but also at herself, lice deeply embedded in her pelt? That is Russia! And where they come from nobody knows, but certain national characteristics seem to develop as if the germ of them is lodged in local drinking water. Of course, you could blame it all on the indiscriminate terror of Czarist police over hundreds of years, but paranoia and heavy-handed reaction to it seem ingrained in the national psyche and Czars or not, must have slowly started with the people themselves because everything always does. Including rejection of expressions of the sort, rejection that did take place in other parts of Europe, terror reigning in most of Europe most of one time, originating in many corners, in many areas like in Robespierre’s France, Cromwell’s England and under Ferdinand II’s Holy Spanish Inquisition, but none turning into the type of cruel national fatalism and paranoia Russia exhibits at all levels, right up till today.

And why she reminds me of Norma, and the KGB (FSB) of Max, agreeing not only that ‘She used to be big!’ but with the timeless paraphrased retort ‘She still is! It’s the world that got smaller!’, and Joe the would-be but forever-menaced lover, perhaps portraying the West.

Download Anthony Steyning’s inimitable new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

%d bloggers like this: