Empire States: Writhing, Thriving, Jiving, Er, Drive-in
Posted on Sunday July 4, 2010, 16:22 by Kat Brown in Empire States
Ever since John Travola introduced “stranded” and “branded” into my vocabulary after unsuccessfully trying to grope Olivia Newton-John, I’ve wanted to go to a drive-in cinema.Unfortunately, I grew up in the picturesque, deeply dull, countryside where there are plentiful places that could hold a drive-in cinema, but as I didn’t pass my driving test until I’d left home, my mum would have had to drive me there. This is not conducive to romantic trips, or hi-jinks of any kind.
Drive-in cinemas haven’t featured much in Britain over the years, which, given the tenuous state of our car seats (un-sofa like, buckety) and our weather (poor) isn’t terribly surprising. Popular in Australia, Canada and the States – yes. There’s even a couple in India. Film4 took a touring version around Britain a few years ago and last winter, Pinewood Studios opened its doors for two months of weekend features. Continue reading...
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Empire States: Pretty Women: Why Does Hollywood Hate Redheads?
Posted on Tuesday February 16, 2010, 15:17 by Kat Brown in Empire States
Twenty years after Pretty Woman cemented red hair’s association with prostitution*, I’m looking at a rare breed of screen redheads. When I first saw, and fell in love with, Pretty Woman, I was a gangly ginger kid being picked on at school. “Never mind,” I thought, “by the time you’re an adult there’s sure to be loads of mainstream films with glamorous redheads in them.”
Well, I was half-right: there are whole cinematic genres based around gangly kids being picked on in school, but redheads? Not so much. While television has welcomed gingers with open arms thanks to the likes of Desperate Housewives, Mad Men, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy, the big screen has proven to be a lot slower: the quirky redhead remains an art house or indie staple but has not made it into the mainstream. With just Amy Adams, Isla Fisher and Julianne Moore leading the charge of redheaded A-list leading ladies, and even fewer leading men beyond Damian Lewis and Kevin McKidd, Moore’s joke to fellow ginger Conan O’Brien that they should form a club seems less of a giggle and more depressing....
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Empire States: When Cinemas Go Wrong
Posted on Monday September 10, 2007, 11:03 by Kat Brown in Empire States
As a rule I don’t scare easily. No, wait that’s a complete lie, I scare extremely easily, but ordinarily this tends to be stuff like spiders, bananas or Helen when Hugh Jackman’s name is mentioned. Let me tell you now that there is nothing – nothing – scarier than an opening night Atonement audience confronted by technical failure.
While people chucking food and talking are generally annoying, they're not scary unless the knives come out. It's the sheer unexpectedness of polite old Middle England rearing up and showing its teeth that's weird, like that story about the cat treeing a bear. Coming back from a popcorn trip after the usual arse-breaking half hour of adverts, the place was laughing in that patronising way generally used to indicate someone else’s failings, in this case the lack of sound accompanying the opening scenes.
People who’d read t...
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