Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The '39 Oscars

Tonight, tiring of modern television, I re-watched Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. I expect you've seen it many times as well.

It surprises me how a film made in 1935 stands up so well. That's a whole 75 years ago, friends and neighbours. Not that corny, and not so, well, 'old fashioned'. Though clearly of it's time, the scenes of the train, the Forth Bridge, the streets, a young but somehow no different John Laurie never fail to delight me. Perhaps I make allowances for it.

Along with Hitchcock, Robert Donat in the lead role - born today in 1905 - really deserves the plaudits for this film version of John Buchan's story. I know Donat was considered to be a fine actor in his time, in fact quite a favourite for his portrayal of 'well bred but not aloof' characters. At least that's what my father tells me.

On looking Mr Donat up, we see that he won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1939 (for Goodbye Mr Chips). An Academy Award's not so bad for a lad from Great Britain in any year.

Even better when you consider that in 1939 he beat the following nominees to the big prize: Clark Gable (for Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind); Micky Rooney (for Micky Moran in Babes in Arms); James Stewart (for Jefferson Smith in Mr Smith Goes to Washington); Laurence Olivier (for Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights).


Happy Birthday, Robert Donat

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Do I really need this s##t in my life? No I don't.

Tonight I thought I'd play a CD in my computer. How fu##ing quaint. I put the CD in and it didn't play. It is an old CD. It is in good condition, but still, perhaps the CD fairies have corrupted it sometime between 1988 and now. So I tried a new CD. That doesn't work either.

'Why?', I thought. Then I thought, 'Actually, I don't want to understand. I just want it to work.'

After my outbreak of petulance, I searched for 'why the f##k wouldn't a simple CD play on a fu##ing computer?'

The consensus seemed to be that I needed to download yet more software. 'Try Windows Media Player'. Yeah, why not. It's on here already but never mind let's upgrade the fu##er. I mean, after all, all we're asking here is for the first mass media piece of digital, er, media to be played on another piece of ubiquitous digital technology. I mean really, what could possibly go wrong?

And it still doesn't work. The media player offers to organise, catalogue and 'library' my 'clips'. It can 'burn', 'rip' and 'sync' things. I'm not here to pirate, rip, sync, burn, 'library' or catalogue. The only thing I want 'organising' is for the CD to play.

But, as I said before; I don't want to understand. I just want it to work. There is no button to press that says "PLAY THE CD".

F##k it, I'll play it in the car tomorrow. What s##t this all is.

Happy Friday all!