22 October 2011

VISIONS OF JOANNA

~ some music, maestro ~

Thursday Oct 21, 2300hrs Clio Muse Time:

A hush has fallen over Prospero's Cell as we huddle round our HDTV screens to watch [and listen to - that voice!] the very professional and watchable Joanna Lumley "do" Corfu.

I've been invited to 'Maki's Manger' ['soignée swaddling of the gentry'] by the manager Gerasimos himself to share the sumptuous buffet he's set up for guests prior to us settling down to watch ITV's Lumley Odyssey.

cPrime puller is the presence among us of Cap'n Bob Queen whose 'Icarus' ferried JL thru our waters.

Such a clever idea of Maki to arrange this soiree and make this ITV1 gem available to those of us who lack the Identity Cloaker software pseudo server.

I see familiar ex-pat faces loading their plates and summoning flagons of ruby red wine with which to enjoy the show.

I also see many tables of hearty guests of the hotel, swapping tales of that day's outing and ... summoning support flagons of the ruby rouge. It will be an ebullient evening.

Indeed, dinner is served at 20:00 hours and transmission not 'til 2300.

Big Bob is wearing a shirt crossed with white stripes. Seated, he shows only half the stripes which make him look like a housemaid of the Upstairs Downton cast.

My table is next to an attractive young lady who turns out to be an Israeli IT expert. Next to her is a raucous table of rubicund northerners who seem not to be aware of why we are gathered there.

Ms Codista and I exchange glances and I invite her to join me which she accepts. She has an iPad that she swishes thru and shows me her day's photographs. She has hired a scooter and driven everywhere. One shot seems to be of a papas struggling to get off a crowded bus; I tell her that is my favourite. The driver has not seen the honest friar and everyone is calling out to let the cleric off.

We settle down to watch the show.

Lumley has the most melodious mellifluous voice and radiates high seriousness. The camera work is first-rate and the shots of Corfu do it more than justice.

I've rarely seen it look better and regret taking so much of my home for granted.

I am there to see which of the kreme de Kerkyra were chosen for interviews.

As it turns out, none of us was and we are miffed and out to diss those who were.

But ahoy! Pay attention ~ Cap'n Bob's sleek 'Icarus' cleaves the waves and a cheer goes up.

  • JL gestures to the Kensington-on-Sea coastline [Jeers. Boo hiss. Toffs!].

  • bJo-Jo mis-identificates the White House as belonging to la famille Durrelle.

    [Which sharp-eyed correction, I owe to Jim Potts whose Ionian Islands and Epirus is a must-read].

  • Lo! She is heading for the beach landing of none other than the Palazzo Flamburiari, residence of Count and Countess Spiro whom JL correctly identifies as one of our most distinguished residents.

    There they are waving from the beach, the Count debonair in creased troosers of deepest crimson as la Contessa stands gravely by.

    M'sieur le Comte introduces his wife to Ms Lumley and the world-wide ITV syndicates as 'long-suffering', tribute to her patient hosting of cameras, cables, script girls and dialogue supervisors.

    I translate for Spiridoula who is serving me another tranche [dread word!) of ham ladled with piping hot Bisto: I try her with 'μακρόθυμος'. She hoods her eyes as only the Greeks can and I remember she is from the rugged foothills of Salonika; no Corfiot softie, she.

    A cheer goes up from the audience but it lacks a certain proper respect. Maya giggles at my glower.

    beerGracious greetings and they ascend to the patio where Count Spiro serves and explains our local Tsitsibirra.

    The camera catches him from the side and some ruffienne on the 'locals' bench comments rudely on his midriff profile. I give her a 'look' and make a note to delete them both from the San Luca liston. Social death by 1,000 cuts. Poor wretches.

    But hold! Whither les Flambeaux? Gone? And no other swells to be featured? What sort of travelogue advertorial does ITV think it's running? Heads will roll.

    But we have had our glimpse of ermine and phooey to Tertius Kendrick in his scurrilous 1822 tract The Ionian Islands.

    And again here, courtesy of Professore Potts. Actually, I don't link to be of assistance, just to show off that I know how to link and know that it's part of pert 'puting.

    Kendrick only deserves one link - and a faulty one, at that: wasn't he the blackguard who had the timerity to suggest that every other Ionian Islander started claiming hereditary titles, honours and nobility as far back as 1817? I think he was, in which case he is orf the Holmes liston and I doubt Maman and I will be rubbing doilies and fish knives with him chez Flamburiari any time soon.

    Loipon. Leap on ~ an excellent game of cricket with the MCC only beating by a coat of linseed the home team, the whole thing made even more nail-biting by the brilliant imaginative camera work.

    Even more cleverly shot are the ace aerials of the town's noble band in oompah action.

    I had no idea that we owe the formation of the bands to our very own Queen Victoria vetoing one of her gunship combos playing at a Spyrithion knees-up.

    "We'll show her!"

    And by St Michael and St George, they did 'n' all.

    "... and it's an early bath for Vicki and the Vyronics and straight into the #1 slot for the Makari Brass Balls Marching Band with Blues for Bosketto.

    There's a moral there somewhere: Not a saint to diss, ma'am."

    COOL CAMERATICS - Hot damn the Net is cool.

    I had moaned about not being able to award full honours to the anonymous camera man and quick as a flash an equally anonymous person has zapped in the info'.

    I'd whinged that

    "I wish i could find out the name of the camera man.

    Here's a write-up that names all the top brass except.

    Whoever Mr Anonymous Lens is, he's an artist and a pro, as is the luminous Lummers as we follow her up thru the north of Greece in a much more interesting story."

    I can now share much more about this shining bright Tiger Aspect production:

    "From the credits of Episode 1:

    Lighting Cameraman ~ Will Churchill

    Assistant Camera: Ben Bishop

    Sound Recordist: Kiff McManus

    Fuckin' A, dudes ~ ^5

    And cap doffs to 'Anon' ~ whom I suspect to be Sinba' de Lis ~ for keeping me honest.

    Don't you sometimes wonder, "Who was that Masked Stranger?" as they disappear in a cloud of silver HTML. And there's Tonto grunting and muttering about COBOL Sabay.

    Hot damn is this a cool post or whut? Started with Joanna and lookit the super links coming out of it.

    And clever clever Endemol for having this tidy acquisition in their back pocket. Don't you love success stories where the pros have got their shit together?

    But I digress. Back to the story. I thought Corfu got exactly the time it deserved and I suspect Lumley was presented with a list of Kassiopulent wankopoloi to interview, saw thru them and dumped 'em all on the cutting room floor. Bravo.

    She's a smart woman and I recall the time when she was invited onto the Booker panel and Jeff Bernard (RIP, God rest his liver) made a cutting remark in Muriel's about bimbos. I let fly and Jeff looked shocked.

    Muriel Belcher laughed and told Jeff, "That'll teach you! He's a pretty little miss and he also knows books, so go back to your Stolly and shut up."

    BORDERLANDS ~ The coverage of northern Greece was first-rate, including some astonishing coverage of troops for which permission to film must have required mythical skills at slicing the crimson Gordian. I want that man at the Troika negotiating table.

    For the horse riding, Joanna had a wonderful rangey guide whom she pretended to meet on the off-chance as she emerged from the inn.

    I once handled a filmed interview of an author who insisted on being 'discovered' in his study in the act of taking down a book [a rival's as I later discovered]. He turned to a page, shook his head in sad rebuke of some bish and only then seemed to notice the camera and full crew crammed into the tiny attic.

    Brilliant showmanship. Pity none rubbed off on his tragically hip novellas.

    Adapting the Lumley bish, it would be:

    "And over there the White House of Kalami - originally built to house Gerald Durrell's burgeoning collection of creepie-crawlies."

    mumI loved the whole show and so did my mother who watched the replay and was uncharacteristically transfixed and approving.

    At one point the b/g music sounded exactly like the theme from Deadwood, and what better play-out with which to end?

    Addendum: Rest of JLu Odyssey passable but she is spectacular in Downton Spoof 2.

  • 4 comments :

    Simon Baddeley said...

    Lumley is indeed smart. Her remarks border on the obvious. Her real commentary is unspoken, non-verbals regularly caught on camera.

    Anonymous said...

    From the credits of Episode 1
    Lighting Cameraman Will Churchill
    Assistant Camera ben Bishop
    Sound Recordist Kiff McManus

    Programme made by Tiger Aspect productions

    Anonymous said...

    I think Will Churchill IS the top man.......have a look at his website:

    http://www.willchurchill.com/

    And look at this description of
    a "lighting cameraman"

    http://www.startintv.com/jobs/lighting-cameraman-director-of-photography.php

    Corfucius said...

    You see, this is where my cunning shines thru. Easy, really: cobble up a page on some cool subject. No need to apply excess elbow grease, the pros will do that.
    Cast the post adrift with a few open-ended questions and feeble references ~ in a trice, like the shark in Jaws, out of your pathetic post will rear the Real Thing, all accuracy and cool links.

    i usually suck the data out of the comment, then delete it so no one knows its not me, and slip the good stuff in as if t'were off the top of me own bonce.

    never fails - get it slightly wrong or fall short of the proper treatment, and some Top Gun type will have gone "oh fer chrissake, get it right if youre going to do it at all" and shazam! youve got a tight blog post that'll have the chicks wilting over their monitors. ("That Confucius - sooo cool. didja see his link for Will Churchill? I'd luhve to meet him, kai tou all") Their best friend is going like No no that was Anon but the chick doesnt care 'dont spoil it, sigh, why do you always sweat the small stuff?'