Thinking back to Brass Eye’s 2001 “paedophile special”, and in particular the furore it caused among certain sections of the media, it’s easy to see how misunderstood Chris Morris often is. Typically outraged, the Daily Mail described the episode as “a spoof documentary on paedophilia.” Which is missing the point. The programme was a savage attack on the media's own thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction to a serious issue. It clearly didn’t stop, though, large sections of the press demonstrating their own thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction to the show.

It seems likely, I’m afraid, that those same sections of the media will be up in arms about Four Lions, Morris’ directorial debut, a “jihadist comedy”, no less, focussing on four wannabe suicide bombers in Sheffield. Which is a pity, as Four Lions is an extremely good film; far more than **just** a comedy about suicide bombers.


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At the time of writing, the Oscars are three days away, and some folks, it seems, are getting jittery. Avatar, James Cameron’s lumbering 3D epic – seen by many as a shoe-in at Sunday’s ceremony – doesn’t appear quite the sure bet it was a few weeks ago. The reason? The significant head of steam built up by Kathryn Bigelow’s bomb disposal drama, The Hurt Locker.


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This year’s Academy Award nominations have just been announced. No great surprises, I see – plenty for The Hurt Locker, Up In The Air and **whisper it** Avatar in the big categories. But it’s certainly grand to see the likes of Kathryn Bigelow, Jeremy Renner, Jeff Bridges, Michael Haneke and Jacques Audiard in there, at any rate. Anyway, here’s what’s what in the key categories, with my take on the nominations, for what it’s worth.


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Sad news reaches us of the passing of Edward Woodward, who died today aged 79.


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It perhaps says much about John Lennon – the callow 16-year old version, that is – that he’s really only a supporting character in his own biopic. This Lennon has yet to develop into the sardonic, quick-witted Beatle we know from interviews and newsreel footage. He’s not even quite the Lennon we saw in Ian Softley’s Backbeat, despite the events of that film taking place soon after Nowhere Boy finishes.


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This year's London Film Festival kicks off next Wednesday (October 14) for 2 weeks. As usual, there's a ton of UNCUT friendly films screening, plus a particularly strong selection of music documentaries. So, for those of you umming and ahhing about what you might go and see, let us make some suggestions...


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“This is great, you don’t have to cheer for that,” deadpans Josh Tillman as a smattering of whistles and applause greet his arrival on stage. “It was pretty lazy of me. But I thank you for your faith.”

Tillman, a tall, commendably hirsute figure, has a fine line in flint-dry humour, which he seems more than happy to indulge himself in many times during his 90+ minute set. After a slow, sedentary “Firstborn”, for instance, he stares out into the crowd and drawls, “This is no Vampire Weekend show, for sure.”


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It’s been a bit quiet on the blog for a while – apologies, but I’ve been embargoed from writing about a couple of films I’ve seen recently. Anyway, one film I have seen, which I am allowed to write about, is Wes Anderson’s latest, Fantastic Mr Fox.


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Traditionally, August is something of a slow news month. Anything, however apparently inappropriate, seems to be used to fill in valuable airtime or column space during the holiday season. You might, for instance, have happened to hear yesterday morning Evan Davies interviewing august cricket commentator Henry Blofeld on the BBC’s flagship radio news programme Today about whether he’d prefer to commentate on the 100 metres at the World Athletics Championships. Today, it seems everyone’s got in a palaver about Avatar, James Cameron’s 3D sci-fi epic of which 15 minutes was shown during a series of screenings rolled out at hundreds of cinemas round the world.


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In issue 3 of the unfortunately short-lived UNCUT DVD, we ran a piece called The Curse Of The Mullets. It was a particularly funny account of the scandalous fall from grace of the Brat Pack actors and the whirl of sex-tapes, alcoholism, drug busts and straight-to-video hell that engulfed them following their mid-Eighties peak. As hilarious as the piece was, it feels somehow emblematic of the way these films, and their stars, have become viewed over the last quarter of a century. Which, sadly, detracts from the importance of those films and the achievements of the man behind them – John Hughes, who has just died at the age of 59.


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Editor's Letter

Inside the new Uncut...


Vile day here in London, improved to some degree I'd hope by the arrival in UK shops of the new edition of Uncut. It has Nick Drake on the cover, as you probably know if you're a subscriber and your copy arrived over the weekend.

It's the first time that Drake has appeared on our cover,...