Posts Tagged ‘Agoraphobic Reviewer’

The Story of Cinema, Part 1: An Agoraphobic Reviewer 3-year Anniversary Special

May 20, 2012

The Hollywood ideal of beauty has changed dramatically in the last 100 years

Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the birth of the Agoraphobic Reviewer. What better way to celebrate than to begin an epic history of cinema, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present day. And who better to narrate such a history than I, John Le Baptiste, a man who has never seen a single film:


The first film ever shown in public was projected on to the wall of a Paris basement in 1870-8 (or thereabouts). Featuring a lithe gentleman in a washing bonnet hanging over the English Channel from the side of a hot air balloon’s basket, wiggling his little Gallic legs and appearing to shout  ‘mere’, ‘merde’ or ‘mer’, this film established the blueprint for everything that would follow. Indeed, when any film of the last 150 years (e.g. Vertigo, Easy Rider, The Rush Hour Trilogy) is boiled down to its core, what remains except a little wiggly man in a perilous situation calling for his mother, shouting about faeces  or exclaiming that he can see the sea?

(As a footnote, the Le Baptiste family had a holiday tradition involving the spotting of the sea. Basically, whichever family member first saw the ocean from the car window, and then exclaimed ‘I can see the sea’, was rewarded with 1 pound sterling from the Le Baptiste paterfamilias. I have long suspected that this contest would make for a great film).

In general, the visual quality of the early films was very poor. This is because the first movie cameras were made out of wishes and were powered by the radioactive bones of Marie Curie. On the whole, however, this blurriness and fuzziness was a mercy, since most films just involved dogs jumping through hoops, women dancing, dogs dancing, women jumping through hoops and/or antisemitism. As an added affront to the refined sensibilities of the fin-de-siecle viewer, all dialogue was conveyed by means of post-it notes stuck to the lens of the camera at inopportune moments. What a crock!



Henry Fool poem competition – second call for entries

June 13, 2010

Nnnnnggggghhhhhh. Must write poem!

Drop your children! Shoot the dog! There’s a Henry Fool poetry competition going on! In Henry Fool, as I have hitherto reported, a binman becomes famous by writing a poem that blows everyone’s minds away, as if everyone’s minds were nought but discarded grains of sherbet on a fat man’s moobs. And yet the viewer is cruelly denied knowledge of what the poem might be about. So, put on your thinking homburgs and write the poem that you think the binman should have written (in the comments section of this post).

Thus far we’ve had an entry from me on the subject of wicked, beastly babies; one from Banjo Fett on an enchanting wench called Bessie; and one from Old Rope in which the titular Henry Fool gets his face grated off in the name of poetic endeavour. We’ve also had an entry from Simon Armitage, but I disqualified it because he obviously got his mum to help him (note: this is forbidden).

The winner shall receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, a £3 book token (expired) and a piggy-back from Brian Blessed.

Here are a few suggestions for subjects you might want to address:

The Littlest Hobo

Brain Death

Chinese/ Indian Burns

John Coltrane’s Prostate

Potato Salad



Henry Fool poem competition – Bessie

June 10, 2010

Here’s my entry to the Agoraphobic Reviewer poem-off with a Henry Fool theme. Of course, having insider information as I don’t, I can’t confirm that the following poem isn’t in fact the actual poem that Simon wrote and that Henry championed.


The winds were bitter,
The air unstill,
And the PE teacher’s face,
Held the darkest chill.
But on that lonely woodland path,
I held you aloft,
As we trudged,
From vale to croft.

Splashing through puddles,
I gasped and whined,
To keep your pace,
And stare.
At your grand, jubbling, ocean-like behind.

The other boys may mock,
Or ignore you,
But you stiffen my cock.
And in my dreams I implore you,
To make my shorts messy.

Agoraphobic Reviewer 1 year anniversary!

May 21, 2010

The Agoraphobic Reviewer staff plus assorted chumps on a team-building exercise in Ipswich

Another year rolls round, disgustingly, like a fetid ball of putrid matter tumbling out of a tiny, grubby orifice in the fabric of reality, furtively imposing itself in all its rancid odium on our jaded, despairing attention like an unwanted dead Christmas pet returned from the grave and poking its necrotic snout through the catflap. Yes friends, that’s right! The Agoraphobic Reviewer is 1 year old! Hooray! Crack open the wet wipes! Turn on the air conditioning! It’s going to be one hell of a party!

The Agoraphobic Reviewer was first conceived as a means of gentrifying the internet and as an online haven for the world’s most tremendous minds. Very quickly it turned into a site wherein a little fat man with an overbite and a thesaurus (that’s me chums!) wrote pointless reviews of films he had never seen. Such is the entropic nature of all things, tending terminally towards decay and degeneration.

But hold your miserable horses mister! After an abortive beginning, things started to improve. The small, plump buffoon made some friends. He was joined first by the bluegrass bard Banjo Chutney (nee Fett), who seared his way onto our consciousnesses with a series of ‘Unnecessary Film Sequels’. My favourite Banjo Chutney piece to date is his poem on Omar Sharif’s beard of beef (check it out in the search bar to your right).

Next came Pariah Rustbucket, the mysterious scholar-visionary, who pumped her way into the minds of AR readers like a Puffing Billy steam train with a piece on the lost chapters of 1984. Rustbucket writes like Yeats would have written had he not wasted his life fiddling about with gyres in his potting shed. I recommend her review of Tron Legacy.

Spicy Eggnog touched down next with a hot slice of review flan on Invictus. This is Eggnog’s only contribution to date, but it is a devilish rectangle of Satanic genius. I demand more!

Last to join this motley band of reprobates was Old Rope. Before he became a contributor to the AR, Old Rope had already forged himself a large and loyal readership on his own blog, like a scientist creating an enormous titanium butler. Indeed, it was Old Rope’s site that inspired me to start up the AR in the first place. Thanks Rope. Of Ropey’s entries on this blog I would have to say that Kes is my favourite, followed closely by Furia di Titanes (Clash of the Titans to congenital gringos such as you and I).

Well, that’s all chums. Have a root round in the archives: see if anything wets your parched beaks. Meanwhile, the party plans are afoot! If anyone would like to join me tonight for a celebratory can of dogfood and a cry, I’ll be sitting outside WH Smiths in St Pancras Station, London, from 7pm. See you there not-watching-film-fans.