Author Topic: Talking Heads Remake  (Read 2073 times)

metaltax

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2020, 08:30:33 AM »
quite surprised by how good Martin Freeman is in this.

Same here. The thing I couldn't get past was that it was still clearly set in the 80s (the "attitudes" warning on iPlayer even made that explicit), and that they'd left the references in to him wearing flares. Well, he wasn't particularly dressed like it was the 80s and he definitely wasn't dressed like someone who would be wearing flares. They could have easily removed that reference and it would have worked just as well as though it was set in the present day.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2020, 10:25:29 AM »
Also, the bit in which he takes umbrage at someone mistaking him and his mam for a married couple - "She has white hair!" - didn't work in this version, as Freeman has white hair too. Apart from that, he did a good job, especially as Bennett wrote that particular monologue for himself to perform. I didn't think it would fly with someone else in the role, but... it did.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2020, 10:47:01 AM »
Doesn't anyone else want to comment on the performance of J.Comer( one of my favourite songs by The Fall) ?

the science eel

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2020, 01:15:12 PM »
It's all 'I AM ACTING', showcases, showboating. What is the context for this? When would this ever happen? It wouldn't. So fuck off.

I like Alan Bennett but he's best when he's sitting in Harrogate tea shops going 'oooh look at her hat'

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2020, 01:42:00 PM »
Sadly, the above is true. The best performance given so far has been by Harriet Walter, due to the understatedness of her performance. Unfortunately, the subject matter itself was a bit on the boring side. I'll probably persevere with 'em, though, all actors involved are jolly good thespians, I don't doubt that the ones with Martin Freeman and Tamsin Grieg will be worth watching.

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2020, 01:44:42 PM »
I like Alan Bennett but he's best when he's sitting in Harrogate tea shops going 'oooh look at her hat'
He's made one (1) film like that, I think; Dinner at Noon, 30 years ago. In a hotel rather than a tea shop, but I think it did feature people having tea. Can't remember any hats.

the science eel

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2020, 01:45:43 PM »
Really?

There's at least one documentary which has him mostly sitting about in a hotel, watching people come and go. It's absolutely wonderful.

the science eel

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2020, 01:46:40 PM »
Sorry - yes, that's what you're talking about.


Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2020, 01:48:58 PM »
Those six television plays he did back in 1979 are all compelling viewing , as far as I can remember ( last saw them when they were repeated on Channel 4 in 1987). I remember a play with a riveting performance by Dave Allen.


Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2020, 01:57:28 PM »
I remember seeing one when it first shown in 1979, I would've been about 9; it was a weird thing about a dinner party and a man under the table cutting a woman's tights with scissors then sucking her toes. One of those strange half-memories that stays with you for years. Big shock about 30 yrs later when I found out it was The Old Crowd by AB.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2020, 02:03:08 PM »
I remember seeing one when it first shown in 1979, I would've been about 9; it was a weird thing about a dinner party and a man under the table cutting a woman's tights with scissors then sucking her toes. One of those strange half-memories that stays with you for years. Big shock about 30 yrs later when I found out it was The Old Crowd by AB.

Directed by Lindsay Anderson , that 'un. Showing the cameras moving about in shot, and all that. This style was later adapted by the director of " The Larry Sanders Show", loved a good mic boom in shot, so he did.

" The Insurance Man" is another play by The Boy Bennett worth watching. The more Kafkaesque play about Kafka, in contrast to the knockabout comedy of " Kafka's Dick".

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2020, 02:15:27 PM »
It's all 'I AM ACTING', showcases, showboating. What is the context for this? When would this ever happen? It wouldn't. So fuck off.

When would what happen? Fictional characters delivering monologues? It's a standard form of theatre.

I like Alan Bennett but he's best when he's sitting in Harrogate tea shops going 'oooh look at her hat'

The vast majority of Bennett's output isn't anything like that.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2020, 02:25:30 PM »
To be fair to the science eel, I think he's referring to the actors being actors, the whole 'actorliness' of the venture, and I see what he means.
I've also stuck up for the variety of Bennett's oeuvre, like the good lad that I am.

neveragain

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2020, 09:27:30 PM »
They're actors acting for God's sake. Most of them quite naturally.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2020, 11:06:22 PM »
They're actors acting for God's sake. Most of them quite naturally.

I'd love to see Brian Blessed in one of these, though. He'd blow our fucking socks off in A Cream Cracker Under the Settee.

I really enjoyed your review on the previous page, neveragain.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2020, 11:31:01 PM »
A nice little , fairly naturalistic bit of acting from Martin Freeman in his episode, to be fair( the fairness going in favour of one of the Talking Heads gang, on this occasion). Quite an engaging little story and empathetic character, too.

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #46 on: July 01, 2020, 12:02:58 PM »
pfff, Rickie G would've smashed it mate. Zip-up cardie, awkward looks to camera, bit of gurning: Bafta in the bag. And Walliams as the kiddyfiddling parkie, proper comedy.

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2020, 12:41:43 PM »
I didn’t get the Jodie Comer one at all, tbh. She seemed self-aware throughout, but then seemed to suffer blackouts during sex. Also, the stuff on the film set was seedy, but meeting blokes in bars and having casual sex? Okay, so what? I haven’t seen the original so perhaps Comer undersold the vulnerability?

The Martin Freeman one was great, very well observed of a certain type of dynamic you always seem to see in these nice Northern villages

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2020, 01:58:46 PM »
I didn’t get the Jodie Comer one at all, tbh. She seemed self-aware throughout, but then seemed to suffer blackouts during sex. Also, the stuff on the film set was seedy, but meeting blokes in bars and having casual sex? Okay, so what? I haven’t seen the original so perhaps Comer undersold the vulnerability?



The character was originally written with a fair amount of ambiguity regarding the self awareness of Leslie and her knowledge that she's appearing in a ropey old Eurosoftporn flick, I think. Julie Walters (2838 years old she was at the time, which makes the performance of her combined vulnerability,  naivete and pretentiousness more impressive IMO) gave the superior performance of the two acting ladies what have done this monologue. The look she gives to the camera at the end of her final line is quite redolent of the aforementioned ambiguity of the plot, and works better than Her Who Plays Villanelle looking like she's going to blub at the end. I dare say she's in that state cos she's thought " Oh Lordy, I've been a right old slapper, and I've appeared in a crap film that I've got me norks out in, to boot" to herself, and thus we, the audience who don't half fancy her sympathise with her. Far better to elicit that sympathy for the character than to retain the original ambiguity , giving the audience the option of laughing at the dozy, self- deluding would- be Luvvie bint  in these Post- Weinstein times was possibly the MO of the director.
Anyways, I've already mentioned that I didn't thoroughly enjoy Her Who Plays Villanelle's reading of the character, due to her delivering her lines in the same staccato way Roger McGough reads out one of his poems. In fact the way she delivers the lines about one of the film crew not being too chuffed about the dinner jacket being knacked at the end of her final scene actually spoils the joke, as she just delivered the line about ruining the dinner jacket in an afterthought thrown away stylee, practically swallowing the words " dinner jacket". Julie Walters didn't mess about with her lines that way.
Still, we got to hear Her Who Plays Villanelle referring to herself in the nuddy, and using the word " nipples", so that was nice (* tips the wink to all the Lisa fans out there*).

the science eel

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #49 on: July 01, 2020, 02:20:12 PM »
My sis was at Central School of Speech and Drama with Martin Freeman, by the way. Lovely fella, always up for a chat, big Stevie Wonder fan apparently. And my sis did A Cream Cracker Under The Settee locally, many years ago. She hasn't bothered with drama since, sadly.

Anyway. I'll definitely watch the MF one.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #50 on: July 01, 2020, 02:32:07 PM »
His brother was in a top 4AD band, as well ( Frazier Chorus, of " Sloppy Heart" and 4AD band anachronistic version of " Anarchy In The UK" fame).All in all, I think It's safe to say that Martin Freeman is a great bunch of lads.

the science eel

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2020, 05:25:15 PM »
He soitanly is!

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2020, 10:30:53 PM »
Just watched the Martin Freeman one and agree that he was excellent, esp. in managing not to sound like Alan Bennett, which must be difficult. He did sound a bit like Reece Shearsmith in places though*. And looked a bit like Bob Mortimer. Also agree that his clothes were all wrong - he looked and seemed a bit too confident, I couldn't really picture him at the community centre making fabric flowers.

*I'm getting an Inside No 9 vibe from these, I suppose they were an influence, but it means I keep expecting a big twist at the end.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2020, 08:41:10 AM »
That 'un with Tamsin Grieg was *very* " Inside No.9"ish, replete with ( somewhat predictable) twist at the end. The boys Shearsmith and Pemberton must have been quite avid viewers of the original " Talking Heads" serieses back in the day ( it makes sense, given that a lot of " The League Of Gentlemen" comes across as Victoria Wood does Hammer Horror).

buzby

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Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #54 on: July 02, 2020, 10:02:21 AM »
Tamsin Grieg gets a special shout-out for being perfectly cast as a sad little mouse of a woman.
I missed the first few of these so I'll have to catch up with them, but of the ones I've seen so far Grieg has been the best for me, Clive. As you say, she was perfect for the role and played it so well with such subtley and nuance. Freeman was also excellent. Comer on the other hand just made me think she was doing a Julie Walters impression, unfortunately (particularly with the voice)..

Has anyone else noticed they have all been filmed on the Eastenders sets? I was reading that due to social distancing, the actors had to do their own hair and makeup and bring their own costumes too, which possibly was an advantage, allowing them to inhabit their characters more.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 10:13:26 AM by buzby »

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2020, 11:32:50 AM »
Well Martin Freeman fucked up then - as has been pointed out, he was  dressed completely wrongly for the part.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • It was with a harpoon gun.
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #56 on: July 02, 2020, 11:35:54 AM »
It's not the sexy MF's fault He's such a stylish fellow.

Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2020, 01:45:08 PM »
Too much of a mod to wear sandals and flares

græskar

  • I want to dance, can you help me
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2020, 12:11:04 PM »
I love love love Talking Heads and know some of the episodes by heart, so I was very excited about this. I think it's because of this mostly that I'm a little bit underwhelmed. I've only watched Lady of Letters, the one with Tamsin Greig and the one with Maxine Peake so far and liked the latter two well enough, so I think my sense of disappointment is caused single-handedly by the Lady of Letters remake. It obviously always was going to be difficult to top Patricia Routledge, she was just perfect in those roles. But I felt Imelda Staunton really overacted and I was annoyed half-way through. I appreciate that it was a different take on the character, obviously it wouldn't be good to just copy Patricia Routledge's performance. This reading was much angrier, much more unhinged and bigoted (she said "temple for the use of racial minorities" with obvious disdain, while the original reading didn't give me that emotion at all). But I think she could've toned it down a bit.

On the other hand, I loved Maxine Peake. It was an immediate proof that you could do a different take than Patricia Routledge and succeed, I think she was just as good. I also liked that her reading gave a different ending to the story, in my perception. When Routledge says "skirt a path round it" at the end, the tone of it, and the whole ending scene, is to me rather hopeless and unhappy, like she's got herself into this mess and now she's stuck with it. Maxine Peake says it with a smile, on the other hand, and it felt like a happy ending almost.

I also loved Tamsin Greig. Although I don't think it was a very different take, it was very well done, she's bloody good.

I watched a few seconds of Bed Among the Lentils and I don't know if I can bring myself to watch the rest of it. It's not looking good, I'm afraid I'll be disappointed. I imagine one can barely compete with Maggie Smith anyway and her performance of this monologue was so amazing that it feels definitive, I don't know how you could try to match that, I think you can only try not to mess it up completely. But I'll try to watch it with managed expectations.

græskar

  • I want to dance, can you help me
Re: Talking Heads Remake
« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2020, 12:12:22 PM »
Julie Walters (2838 years old she was at the time
I can't believe that, what a queen.

(I mean Julie Walters, not you)

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