Michael Bonner

Athens Film Festival -- blog the first



Stephen Dalton is currently at the Athens Film Festival, where he's serving on the jury. Here's his first report...

Greetings from the strangely wonderful parallel universe of the Athens Film Festival, where your Uncut reporter is serving on the jury of the Music & Film section. A very bizarre experience, being on the other side of the fence for once, doing press conferences and interviews instead of asking the questions.


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Allan Jones

Happy birthday to The Band's Garth Hudson. . .



When on July 28, 1973, The Band played the Summer Jam festival at Watkins Glen, New York, on a bill that also included The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers, Garth Hudson, if he’d been so inclined, could have looked out from the stage onto a crowed of more than 600,000 – at the time, I think, the largest-ever audience for a rock show.


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Michael Bonner

Why Across The Universe is the worst film you'll see this year



And considering the competition -- Spider-Man 3, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End -- that takes some beating. Admittedly, last week saw something of a bumper crop of UNCUT friendly movies (The Assassination Of Jesse James, American Gangster, The Darjeeling Limited), but all the same -- Across The Universe is a truly dreadful film.


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Michael Bonner

First Look -- Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror



Settling down into my seat at last night's press screening for Planet Terror, I overheard the chap sitting next to me giving his friend a crash course in the film's back story. "You know Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof was originally part of a double-feature called Grindhouse? Well, this is the other bit." Quite how Robert Rodriguez would respond to having his film referred to as the "other bit", I don't care to imagine, the Mexican temprament being notoriously fiery. It's a stroke of luck, then, that his name appears 7 times on the opening credits, just to reinforce the fact that there's more to Grindhouse than just Tarantino's movie.

In fact, Planet Terror is far and away the better of the two movies, Rodriquez cannily remembering to include some of those elements in his film Tarantino left out -- plot, character, humour, simple things like that. Though, thankfully, Planet Terror conspicuously lacks the rather nasty, misogynistic streak that made Death Proof such an uneasy viewing experience for me.


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John Mulvey

Today's Uncut Playlist plus Radio 1: Established 1967



Now that the India vs Pakistan cricket has finished, I can turn my attention to a blog. We've also just spent an hour dipping into the Radio 1 birthday album, which features 40 of today's Top 20 habitues covering 40 years of hits. Some grim moments here, as you might imagine: Robbie Williams does "Lola"; our era's pre-eminent power trio The Fratellis having a crack at "All Along The Watchtower"; Razorlight's particularly masochistic "Englishman In New York".


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Allan Jones

Dylan storms Nashville, Jack White guests



Of course, I’d love to have been there, but since I wasn’t, here’s guest blogger Gavin Martin, on Bob Dylan’s return to Nashville. . .


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Allan Jones

Mick Jones, Back In The Ring!



There’s barely a dry eye in the corner of the Electric Ballroom where I’m standing when as part of the taped music that introduces Mick Jones’ Carbon/Silicon, Joe Strummer’s lovely, wistful “Willesden To Cricklewood”, the dreamy closing track of Joe’s ‘comeback’ album, Rock, Art And The X-Ray Style, plays over the PA.


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Michael Bonner

First Look -- Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited



The arrival of a new Wes Anderson film is pretty much always a cause for celebration in the UNCUT office. He's a master of dry, melancholic comedies and a meticulous visual stylist, with a fine ear for music and who's surrounded himself with a peerless roster of actors -- Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Gene Hackman among them -- who faultlessly bring his peculiar, poignant stories to life.

It's perhaps emblematic of Anderson's universe that, in the production notes handed out at last night's press screening for The Darjeeling Limited, Anjelica Huston describes her character in the film as "something of an action hero nun." I am also warned, half-seriously, by the film's press officer to prepare for the continuous use of Peter Sarstedt's ballad "Where Did You Go To (My Lovely)" over the soundtrack. Oh, and Bill Murray crops up for the opening five minutes in a mute cameo.


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Michael Bonner

FIRST LOOK -- Ridley Scott's American Gangster



After a week off, holed up in the Cotswolds since you ask, it's been a busy time for film screenings. I went to see The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford on Tuesday, this time on a proper 35mm print rather than the beta tape I saw a few months back, and tonight there's Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited that I'll hopefully blog about tomorrow.

Last night, though, our album reviews editor John Robinson and I went to see American Gangster, at close to three hours as epic as it gets, with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington manfully chewing chunks out of the scenery in late Sixties/early Seventies' New York.


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John Mulvey

A Bugged Out Mix by Klaxons



It’s easy to be a bit snide about the Klaxons, as some of the fartish blather that greeted their Mercury Prize win proved. “Myths Of The Near Future” (was that the title?) wasn’t the best record on the shortlist, to my mind; I’ve played the Arctic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse albums more, if that’s any measure. Third best is still pretty good, though, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Klaxons were a truly futuristic band (one or two commentators claimed this after the Mercury win. I’m not even sure what “futuristic” means any more with regard to music, but never mind), I certainly like their ideas, their sense of intelligent mischief, and the suspicion that these are men who listen to a much more interesting range of music than their indie contemporaries.


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Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Robert Plant, Tom Petty, The Beatles, King Crimson, Bobby Womack: inside the new Uncut!


Welcome to the new issue of Uncut! John’s on holiday this week – he was last seen disappearing into darkest Gloucestershire – so it falls to me to show you around this month's edition instead.

Our exclusive cover story finds us catching up with Robert Plant...