Thursday, 12 April 2012

Vanessa Redgrave latest - a laff-riot no doubt (hat-tip: Damian Thompson)

In case you missed this in the Telegraph blogs section, click here (if only to enjoy some of the deranged leftist comments beamed in from Planet Liberal). There's an article by Michael Billington in the Guardian about the old bag's role as director of the Brighton Festival, which bears the unlikely title, 'I want to give people the jolliest time' - yes, dear, I'm sure you do - and which you can read here.


  1. VG. Great actor [or "actress", as we used to say]? I have never been a theatre-goer so have never seen her tread the boards, but I have seen her in film and she is one shite performer. Like Anthony Hopkins, she relies on a bag-of-tricks. Especially her vapid, stupid, infuriating smile. She ruined the first half of "Charge of the Light Brigade" [David Hemmings ruined the second half] and helped Burton [who seemed to think he was playing out the final scenes of "El Cid"] to destroy "Wagner". I will not mention Antonioni's dreadful film about "Swinging London" whatever it was called. Her politics are her business - wish she would mind them. Vanessa redgrave - please go away.

  2. Blow Up was it's name. It has a completely spurious scene in which David Hemmings goes to Antonioni's idea of a trendy 60s club where The Yardbirds are playing. The scene ends with a guitar smashed against a speaker. In a move which further reinforces his claim to a life peerage at least, the great Jeff Beck replied to Antonioni's insistence that he destroy his vintage Les Paul in the name of art by telling him to bugger off back to Italy. The disgruntled Italian pseud then had to send out for a Woolworth-level cheapie acoustic to act as the sacrificial offering before the world's greatest living guitarist agreed to do the scene. Truly crap film. Mind you, Vanessa had rather an attractive back in those days....

    The most significant artistic contribution Richard Burton ever made to the British film industry was his wonderfully evocative enunciation of the words "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" in "Where Eagles Dare". Just goes to show what an actor can do when the script matches his talent.

  3. ex-KCS. Thanks for explanations.

    I once took a very pretty girl [her name was Vivienne Hahn] to see Antonioni's film "The Red Desert" [or "Red" something] at the Academy in Oxford Street with Monica Vitti and Richard Harris [the cake in the rain man]. I fell asleep at the beginning and when I awoke at the end my "date" had gone and people were hissing at me because of my snoring. I did a repeat during "Last Year at Marienbad" with Ms Hahn. She did not return mu telephone calls.

  4. Which of us, when we watched David Hemmings in Blow Up, could have guessed that this vapid, baby-faced, oyster-eyed, weak-voiced mincer would turn out to be one of the outstanding hard-drinking, womanising, Good Time Charlie thespian roister-doisters of his generation, with a big gravelly baritone voice to boot??? As a child he appeared in several Benjamin Britten operas and spent a lot of time at Britten's house, practically living there (there was no fiddling, apparently) before being ruthlessly dropped the minute his voice broke. He went on to direct many American TV series, including episodes of The A Team, Quantim Leap and Magnum P.I. Interesting chap.