Hercules Returns – Oz movie #6

A stellar example of what I understand is a genre, the parody overlay. A cult movie and not only in Australia. That’s sort of surprising as the language and expressions and accents are so very Aussie. In fact we had a New Zealander watching with us who occasionally interjected. What’s ‘grouse’? Well, this film is an example. Excellent. Wonderful. Amazing.

I’m starting to wonder if there is an inverse relationship between budget and quality of movies. The bigger the budget the more one has available for ‘stars’ and ‘special effects’, and the less needs to be spent on script, ideas, creativity, acting, characters. Start off with almost nothing and the crew has to be careful and lovingly thoughtful about every dollar spent.

This is the second Australian movie we’ve watched in a row where the funding has come from an ‘ordinary’ businessman with a light-bulb moment. Kenny was financed by a toilet company. And Hercules Returns was financed by a businessman who saw one of the gang’s live renditions of the dubbed overlay and saw the opportunity to make it something more. Ironically, because it was considered necessary to have recognised actors in the main parts, they only mime their parts during the part of the movie where they show the movie.

Favourite moment:

Bruce Spence in Hercules Returns.png

Bruce Spence is in a pub bar, holding a dude up against the wall. He’s angry. ‘Now I’ll ask you just one more time. Do you agree that Martin Scorcese injects some autobiographical content into the majority of his films?’ The dude is frantically nodding yes. You can see it just past the 6 minute mark here. What a great comic talent Bruce Spence is.

If you love films, the very idea of the film, how could you not love this?

You’ll find it on youtube at the moment here and there is an excellent article detailing the background of the movie here.

Rugby player admits difficulty with sex

My attention was caught watching the news the other day when a rugby player said to an interviewer that ‘it’s hard to come from behind’. My first thought was ‘Why would he find that hard?’

Evidently the physical inadequacies of rugby players are not necessarily limited to their missing necks. I could start feeling sorry for them.

Recently a linguist said to me that ‘You are complicit in the factitious enshrinement of an ensemble of rules-for-their-own-sake’. It was because I wasn’t willing to write the word abientot without the circumflex it requires.

Yet the fact is that I find myself regularly confused by incorrect use of language. Proper usage – if I may use two words which will get me into no end of trouble – always (should that be in inverted commas?) avoids this happening.

I’m reading Annie Proulx at the moment and came upon the following sentence (Bad Dirt p. 21):

He adjusted his Stetson, which like a Texas sheriff, he always wore in the office.

The picture which spontaneously came to mind for me was a person wearing a Texas sheriff in the office. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what this sentence means? Replace ‘Texas sheriff’ with, for example, ‘scarf’.

I spend way too much time trying to understand badly constructed sentences which don’t actually say what the author intended.

It’s all very well to say that a squiggly bit on top of the word abientot is a rule for its own sake, but at which point is the line drawn?

The post-modernist limerick

I sent Petrus, an artist, an email that contained reference to a pair of jugs. He sent one back about knockers (and I’m not talking doors here). Why couldn’t a pair of jugs be just that, I asked him. Two matching pieces of ceramic ware that poured liquids? Before long we were embroiled in a vigorous intellectual tussle on the nature of jugs within a gender framework in a post-modernist context.

Frankly, the whole thing needed to be brought back to Planet Earth and what could do that better than a limerick?

There once was a mug with a jug
Who kept a big bug on a rug
He would lug it around
And thought it profound
To give it a very big hug.

Internet recipe reviews

You know those interactive recipe sites like Epicurious. You try the recipe, come back and review it. So often this happens:

‘This is the worst bolognaise recipe ever. Avoid at all costs’ No stars.

I glance through the recipe and it looks pretty much your bog standard bol: beef mince, onions, a little chicken liver of course, etc etc, some cream at the end. How bad could it be? The review reads like this:

‘We’re vegan so I used vegie-burger mix instead of the mince. My boys don’t like onions so I left them out, but I noticed I had a bit of pumpkin left over from our vegan roast last night, so I thought “hey, can’t hurt to throw that in”. I’m on a diet so I used coffee lite instead of cream and Natasha, well, she’s boycotting parmesan cheese on account of how Italy cheated their way to a win over Australia in the World Cup so I used that liquid orange cheese instead. You get it in a plastic bottle at the supermarket. Even the dog hated this recipe.’

Quite.