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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

May 18 - The Harpo Club

Bored and obviously stuck for a new place to gorge with a fresh brood of waiters to insult, Michael dragged me to the launch of Geri Halliwell's new book, Tony, Vitamins and Me at the Harpo. Expecting a full, sit-down dinner, he was forced to dine, as heartily as the poor caterers could manage, on, heaven forbid canapés. Woe be tide any of you who let on to my fiercely pro-carnivorous host that absolutely every morsel he shovelled into his chops that evening was vegetarian. As usual he is already in full flow…

"I’ve decided to end my French boycott a week early. The Cannes Film Festival this year may be one of the most boring in living memory but that’s no reason for me to go without is it? Good gracious old boy, are these blinis wholemeal? Oh shut up you little toad and fetch me some more caviar! Taste like lentils but I shan't starve.

Actually, there was one small piece of news from Cannes that caught my eye. It seems that Ken Loach suffered some sort of brain-fit during an interview and started ranting on about new British filmmakers. His chief complaint was that people these days make films "with one eye on Hollywood" and then promptly decamp to America as soon as they get the chance. Now, I’ve got a lot of sympathy for Ken’s point of view. Most directors do run away to America to make films as soon as they can - Stephen Daldry did it just recently. Sam Mendes bypassed the "making a film in Britain" stage and went directly to making Hollywood films. It’s not bloody good enough and something ought to be done. But then again Ken Loach is in Cannes to promote his new film ‘Bread and Roses’ which is set in, er Los Angeles. I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning!

This main course doesn’t seem to be up to much. This blue fin tuna is distinctly chewy. Overall, it’s rather bland and insignificant. It lacks real bite like, what's that excuse for food called? Tofu yes. A bit like a performance by Liz Hurley really. By all accounts she nicknamed her ex-boyfriend Hugh Grant "monkey" because that’s what she said he resembled. Do you think he nicknamed her "plank"?

A scientific study has proved that winning an Oscar can prolong the winners life by an extra four years. Now I found this a truly alarming statistic for two reasons. Firstly, that anybody in their right mind would devote the best part of their life to such a completely pointless research topic. Shouldn’t they be trying to find a cure for cancer or something actually useful? The second reason that the report disturbed me somewhat is that it now means that the Oscars are no longer a rather tedious backslapping excuse for a piss-up by a load of rich Yanks. They now actually count for something. Tom Hanks has already had an extra eight years added to his life. We now have to endure Julia Roberts for four more whole years. So can I put in an early request to the Academy to take extra care in who they hand them out to in future? Think of the bigger picture, that’s all I’m saying. After all do we really want Adam Sandler around any longer then we have to?

Have you heard the rumour that Dreamworks are desperate for a sequel to ‘Gladiator’? A plan slightly scuppered by them killing of the central character at the end of the film therefore offering no possible hope of a return, no matter how popular the film has been. I like to call this "The Titanic Effect". Undeterred though they are allegedly pushing forward with plans for the new craze around town - the prequel. They’re all at it - Austin Powers 3, Star Wars Episode 2 and 3, Hannibal Lecter: The Teenage Years and so on and so on. The ‘Gladiator’ film is supposed to follow Maximus Aurelius rise through the ranks of the Roman legion. As yet the film doesn’t have a name. Well I’ve just copyrighted ‘Maximus’ as a film title. Shall we start the bidding?"

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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