Sunday, August 06, 2006

As a means of escape yesterday I thought it might be an idea to lock horns with some “culture”. It wasn’t entirely successful but whats done, etc. Edinburgh is already hoaching with Festival goers and the "season" hasn’t really even started to kick in. Auld Reekie is also teeming with drunks who have od’d on the hot weather and being able to sit outside like they do in other European cities. It’s just that many of them aren’t up to the task. But anyway, irritating as these people may be, let’s not get into that debate that right now. The Notorious Bettie Page is a somewhat unadventurous endeavour. Looks great and the old NY footage works really well. Gretchen Mol is authentic and Lilli Taylor as Paula Klaw is a casting plus. This all went down just 50 years ago and we’ve ended up quite the way down the highway since then. However, it seems like no time ago at all and the mainstreaming of the fifties glamour/fetish material has diluted the myth somewhat. If the myth is gone then what the hell is left. This is gloss over substance and quite possibly premeditated as such. However, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours. Isn’t there another Bettie biopic doing the rounds someplace? I wish she would tell her story from her angle. Now that might well be something. A wee amble through the densely populated streets then to my next encounter with the arts. Harry Shearer and his wife Judith Owen are appearing at the Assembly Rooms all through August. This Is So Not About The Simpsons (American Voyeurs) starts with Harry doing Montgomery Burns, Ned Flanders and a couple of others before presenting their view of the US circa now. To be able to see someone who was in Spinal Tap and The Folksmen up so close was great. I wish I could say that the show was wall to wall funny but it really wasn’t. There’s a short back projection of Robert Tilton and a section of Bush film (no, that wasn’t me referring back to the Bettie movie) but the rest left me thinking, er, is this it? His wife’s oeuvre is, to my chagrin, basically Vonda Shepherd channelling Richard Stilgoe with added scat singing. I’m not big on the latter and wasn’t convinced that the rest of the audience had been won over either so perhaps it wasn’t just me. Elsewhere in the building, Kylie Minogue was hanging out at some show with “Havana” in the title. Far as I know it has nothing to do with The Ramones.