Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Time and Relative Dimensions in Ketchup

There's that thing in films, although they don't do it so much now, where the camera sort of focuses in on the person (often a screaming woman, or a Hero going 'what the'), whilst at the same time the background zooms out. I think they do it in the first LOTR movie, when that bloke from Lost is wittering about carrots, and Frodo gets an inkling that the Black Riders might be coming, so everything goes whooshy (my professional script directions are better than this)*.

Anyway, this morning, I tipped a small tin of baked beans into a white bowl and opened the microwave door... to find a white bowl with exactly a small tin's worth of baked beans already sitting there.

So everything went all out of focus and strange and a bit whooshy, and for a moment I genuinely thought I had transcended the boundaries of space and time, and was just starting to wish it had involved something more exciting than legumes**, when suddenly I a) realised that these beans were cold, and b) remembered I had put some beans in the microwave on Sunday morning, where I had clearly forgotten to pay them any more heed.

So, I got it all sorted out in the end, although at one point I had a white bowl of baked beans in each hand and was having some difficulty picking out which ones I should heat and eat and which ones I should throw away. I think I made the right choice, but I'm still not sure.

Oddly enough though, I do have a new winter wardrobe (I buy new clothes about twice a year, but get very excited), which is mostly earth colours, with the ocasional rather daring white accent (white buttons on black linen shirt, white laces on fat new trainers, pale spots on new brown shirt, black bootcut cords ) but (this is relevent) teamed with my autumny black coat from last year which I forgot about, I think I look rather Doctor Who-ish. Of course, only the beans know the truth.

The new Dare video by the Gorillaz (I would link to it, but I can't make it work) by the way, illustates perfectly the Sexydance I did when was testing my ensemble for flexibility/Dalek-fighting suitability, and shows my, what I loosely term 'technique' has rather a worrying amount in common with the dancing stye of a twelve year old imaginary japanese girl. Particularly the arse moves. I may have to recalibrate.




*Steve Mangan said his favourite ever GW stage direction was 'Guy reddens slightly', which if you think about it, is slightly easier to write than do.

** Possibly not the right word.

35 comments:

Mummy/Crit said...

'Legume' is a perfect word to describe beans, baked or otherwise. (Not only am I a pedant, but I work with fruit and veg.) I'm slightly mystified by the duplication of the posts, but I'm sure I'll get over it soon.

Danny Stack said...

I think that funny zoom technique was first used in Jaws when Roy Scheider's face goes white with fear at the first glimpse of the shark at the beach, the big girl. But I could be wrong.

Orb said...

Ah, I was thinking the duplication of posts is to echo the duplication of the beans. Maybe I am over-complicating the pudding, or over-egging two stitches in the bush.

Have you noticed the two posts differ near the end? One has a broken link to a Gorillaz video and one links back to James's original, seminal SexyDancing post. This is to signify the dilemma - heat or bin? Heat or bin? It's one we all must face at some time in our lives, although it may be dressed up as something more significant, like whether we should abandon our ballet dancing careers for the mundanities of family life.

(I'm instilling quite a lot of meaning into this duplication thang. I'll be gutted like a cheap mackerel if it was just a mistake...)

surly girl said...

i thought it was a clever reference to the duplicitious nature of the baked beans.

i expect it was, wasn't it? or maybe i should get out more...

Kalista said...

I just bought some silver shoes. Very practical for winter I think you'll agree.

Steve Dix said...

The funny zoom technique is done by dollying the camera backwards whilst zooming in on the subject.

It's a bugger to do, but these days a lot easier as the focus-puller now has a radio remote control, instead of having to hang on the dolly whilst manipulating the lens.

surly girl said...

eh? it's much easier to just think about shoes...

james henry said...

It was a very clever thing I did, and well done to those who spotted it. The (second) hole in the space/time continuum has now (then?) been repaired, and without an assistant, too.

I'm sure Hitchcock did the first funny zoom shot, bt annoyingly can't think which film it's in. Vertigo possibly? Would seem like the natural one, but possibly I'm making stuff up, as I am wont to do. I might save time and just agree with Danny...

tracy said...

I didn't find beans this morning but did find something silly to laugh at. I was awoken by my small people jumping on my bed demanding I watch a very odd animation on nicktoons. It's actually rather good, well bonkers actually. There's this horse and he bosses about a cowboy and an indian. You might want to look if bored at all!
I tried to find an online clip but all I could find was their website in french. Oh and I also found an amazing picture of Katrina.
Anyone else think Dare really sounds like Prince's Kiss?

patroclus said...

Patroclus reddens slightly while reading the comments from the original (and seminal) SexyDancing post.

Danny Stack said...

Hitchcock seems like a much better answer as the originator of the 'funny focus'. And he had nice shoes and did a mean Charleston. Perhaps.

Kalista said...

I think we need a step by step guide to the much coverted SexyDancing.

suzanne said...

also a very interesting, if slightly disturbing, sexydance: steve mangan in the party scene in episode five of green wing.

is steve's (toyfu) hat from the lego darth vader then?

i kind of have a crush on steve. you guess which one.

irony in motion said...

Ah, the SexyDance(tm). I shall have to try to find the Gorillaz video.

By the way, did the scene with the many exploding butterflies (or something like that) actually get into gw series two?

james henry said...

Nope (they've used something else). But that frees it up to use somewhere else - even if just quietly at home one day when I'm bored.

And both Steves are equally worthy of adoration.

I'm off to London for more meetings now, hurrah.

Kirses said...

saw the Dare video in the weekend, but had trouble figuring out whether the dancing cartoon was male or female, sadly this reminds me of a time in the eighties when my dad was awfully confused at the gender of Boy George on the chart show.

Elfgirl said...

Me too Suzanne (and you share my name).

Sexydance sounds all right, I think. I know someone who dances as though she is mixing things in various imaginary bowls in mid-air. It can be tricky if you get in the way because there's always the danger of being jabbed in the eye.

Uberpause said...

Isn't that zoom shot first used in Psycho when the policeman falls backwards down the stairs?

Marsha Klein said...

Christopher Eccleston Dr Who-ish or David Tennant Dr Who-ish? I'm guessing David Tennant

Orb said...

So long as it's not Patrick Troughton. There's only so much mileage you can get from looking like a disgruntled maths teacher.

Suzanne, you're right, Steve is a handsome chap. But you'd be sat there having dinner in a fancy-schmancy restaurant and you wouldn't know whether to look him in the eyes or the nostrils...

Steve Dix said...

Danny, it wasn't Hitchcock who was a mean Charleston-er, it was Lord Lew Grade. He started out as a table dancer in the 1930s, when that meant something considerably different to what it does now...

TOTKat said...

SexyDancing... that always makes me think of various R'n'B videos of afro-caribbean ladies gyrating their bottoms in unfeasibly tiny shorts and bikini tops. And given the descriptions of James as being something of a tall and rangy lad, the images clash in my brain and make it go all woozy.

As for Winter wardrobes... my favourite colour (really dark purple) is so in this year. Hoorah! Of course, now comes the fight to justify buying lots of new clothes.

Lee said...

For those who actually care:

Wikipedia entry for Dolly zoom.

Invented by Irmin Roberts and most famously used in Vertigo (1958), but actually first appeared in Spellbound (1947). Interestingly, Spellbound also pioneered the use of the theremin in its score, well before it appeared in the credits of Star Trek.

Good old Hitch.

irony in motion said...

I've always wanted a theremin.

cello said...

Damn. I wanted to say that about 'Spellbound', but I've only just come back from Scotland. That's what happens when you go on holiday; other people get to show of instead of you. Hitchcock was the first to do so many things cinematically. And 'Spellbound' gave me terrible nightmares with its Dali designs and surreal eyeball wallpaper when I was a kid.

James, what's happened to the BC Forum? I was going to put something up about The Green Wing Masterclass at the TV Festival but it seems a bit poorly. It was brilliant fun. Victoria was very revealing and Rob was on the stage as well as Michelle and Julian (as substitute for the billed Steve). I was very disappointed not to see Steve, but quite happy to see Julian. Of course.

cello said...

The irony. Showing 'of' instead of 'off'.

smoo2 said...

Cello, can you post a review of the GW Masterclass on C4forum instead? The Blue Cat forum has been like that for a week or so. The host is getting a new server apparently and backing up all old stuff. So, in theory all our stuff should reappear...
Trust you to see JRT. Isn't that the second time?

cello said...

Third actually, Smoo, but I think I might not have told you about the more embarrassing occasion.

I will do that, Smoo. I also took a couple of rubbish pictures so I might have to beg Patroclus or Pashmina to put them on their blogs.

But I returned to say...bloody baked beans. We have just paid £17 for a plate of non-zooming beans on toast, masquerading as High Tea, at a very swanky Scottish hotel. Nothing else. No drink or cake. And only one slice of toast to boot!

smoo2 said...

Good grief. Sounds like an easy way to make money.

smoo2 said...

Oh, and now I really want to know about the embarrassing time.

Elfgirl said...

I saw the Dare video for the 78th time today and I am still not certain of the dancing one's sex. It's confusing me too much now, I can't watch it. O_o

irony in motion said...

Can you post a link to a review, if there is one, for the non-regulars? :D

james henry said...

The dancing person in the dare video is Noodles, the not-quite-teenage Japanese girl member of the Gorillaz. Which is whi I am so vexed that she and I have the same dance.

srs2 said...

The dolly back and zoom in technique was in Vertigo in the bell tower. And Scorcese used it later in Goodfellas, in the scene in the diner when DeNiro and Ray Liotta meet and Liotta's character starts to understand that he's going to get offed.

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