Posts Tagged ‘Old Rope’

Logan’s Run – An Old Rope 30th Birthday Tribute Review

April 28, 2012

All good things must come to an end. But all bad things must come to an end too. And so it is, as we approach the thirtieth birthday of one of cyberspace’s most prolific, profligate and profusively-bearded bloggers, that we wave goodbye to Old Rope, and wish him a short, efficient and hygienic death.

Our society is a simple one, built on immutable truths and sturdy logic. Who among us would sincerely suggest that the life of a 30-year old is as productive or as valuable as that of a 21-year old or even a 28-year old? No-one (except for that gentleman there with the seditious moustache. Security: please detain the Hercules Poirot lookalike for re-education). That’s right, no-one. With the commencement of an individual’s fourth decade comes decreptitude, dependency and sensible pullovers. And so it is, that our simple rational society has decreed that there is no place more fitting for those aged 30 and over than the death-pod.

We take no pleasure at all in euthanizing the crow-footed and the bepaunched. Logic, not desire, demands that we do so. Except in the case of Old Rope, who, I think we can all agree, most heartedly asks for it.

But before we deposit his wrinkled, brown, homunculus body into the death-pod like a breached teabag, let us tarry a while and survey the life of this hirsute reprobate.

We first became aware of the existence of Old Rope when we: that is, I, the evergreen and perma-youthful John Le Baptiste, moved to the north-western wilds of Airstrip One. Even amid the unruly, rug-haired roustabouts of that place, Old Rope stood out as an enemy to decency and a nuisance to any high-minded, high-waisted citizen who crossed his path. Delicate and bird-like of limb, he hopped into my consciousness like a tiny punk goldthrush, chirruping his countercultural cantatas and flapping his little wings to a 3-chord backing. At that time there were many popular musical acts preaching their messages of irresponsibility and scruffy sartorial values. Their names have sunk deservedly into oblivion, but a few linger still in the neural spam box: The Dirties, The Naughty Club, Facking Rotters, The Earnests, The Little Lenins, Heil Humbert Humbert, Bad Attitudez. Yet the most pernicious of all of these combos was Fuzz-Wah, of which Old Rope was the frontman or, as he styled himself, the frontbum-man, sporting, as he did, a prosthetic pudendum and inviting, as he did, members of the audience to ‘return to the womb’ via his ersatz birth-canal.

Since those days, Old Rope has spread his seditious seeds to far-flung corners of the globe, partly through his blog, and partly through his own horrifically-ageing person.

And although Old Rope represents, in many ways, the nadir of everything that humanity is or could be, and although he is now 30 years old and suitable only for the death-pod, I would like to wish him a belated happy birthday and, assuming he survives the euthanisation process, invite him to join me for a moderately-priced bowl of nutrient-paste at the soup kitchen of his choosing this Monday evening.


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.

Pour La Gallery

April 30, 2010

Old Rope has not seen the film Pour La Gallery. The reason for this oversight is not due to some ineptitude or inability to work the DVD player (though I cannot), but rather because it is not a real film. Por La Gallery is a piece of musical theatre and an Argentine one to boot. Since most film versions of musicals are broadly the same as their stage counterparts – and since Old Rope has in fact seen this musical – here is a review of the non-existent film of Pour La Gallery.

Four Queens

The film (stageshow) opens with a rather crude duet that seems to serve little import other than to set up the evening’s entertainment. It becomes clear to the sleepy viewer that there is already little sense in what is taking place on the screen (stage). This production is more a series of musical vignettes rather than a coherent narrative whole. Oliver! this is not. In fact the whole play could be summed up with the subtitle: One Man’s Quest To Be In A Madonna Video. From the word go we are treated to an endless parade of fishnet tights, bowler hats, corsets and codpieces. There are legs akimbo and limbs a flingo! It’s all thrusting and a hustling, bustling and a cussing. If I didn’t know better I’d swear that whilst not rehearsing the cast were off borrowing brown babies from Far Away.

Though obviously I have not seen any  Broadway or West End shows, I would imagine the standard offered up in this home-grown production to be slightly inferior. It is, however, entertaining enough cabaret. The crowd of predominantly geriatric punters seemed in raptures over it, if that is at all possible (it’s not, this is a film remember). 

The general tone attempts to tread a middle ground between the dramatic and the light-hearted and for the most part it does not find its duel identity too problematic. It is safe to say however that, though he clearly prefers the camp and the overly dramatic, writer (and star) Anibal Pachano  is on firmer ground with his interludes of comic relief. The rambunctious number sung by three pretty and talented gals – portraying three different aspects of womanly love like a sort of Nancy if her psyche were hacked into three distinct and disparate parts – with its blend of wry observation and audience participation (if sitting on men’s knees can be described thus) has the viewer (audience) howling with laughter.  As do the vaudevillian mime artists, who put in a sterling effort and win Old Rope’s Best Bit Badge.


When turning his sights on more serious matters, however, Pachano loses his way somewhat. The Lover & The Whore is crude, pompous, overblown and almost certainly a rather sexist portrayal of love and prostitution, whilst the business with the burkas beggars belief. A parade of women, their faces covered in shawls wiggle around in some sort of cartoonish belly-dance, before a backdrop of tear-jerking images from the Iraq and Afghan wars. Meanwhile the Prince of Persia, replete with scimitar and turban, conjures up a version of John Lennon’s Imagine that is beyond embarrassing. The whole segment was so poor in conceit and ridiculous in execution that Old Rope could not help but laugh uncontrollably throughout, much to the consternation of the present Ms Rope, who (unlike these clowns) hates to be shown up in public.

The singing and dancing stumbles to some sort of a juddering halt and our host and sometime star is wheeled out for a lengthy monologue on the nature of the show, his life on the stage and lord knows what else. Though a trifle unusual, this prolonged ego-trip is handled relatively well, delivered with wit and aplomb by a man who has no dearth of experience in front of a crowd. Despite this, one cannot help but wonder if the producers simply ran out of material to take the show to a decent running time.

Anibal Pachano is a very small man, standing approximately two feet tall and dressed in a luxuriously theatrical and camp suit, he is every bit the queen he wishes to be. Old Rope is not playing fast and loose with the homophobia here, Pachano is openly bragging about it in his turquoise finery, dismissing the attempts of his junior actors to outshine him. “They are not the queen. I am the queen” he drawls, each word curling off his lips with a sensuality only possible for a stunted gay thespian in a crown. And in terms of non-existent musical films that Old Rope has not seen, he certainly is the queen to my austere and regal king.

I give Pour La Gallery one Tate and a National.


Backstage video
Website of the show

Footnote: And no I do not know why it is “Pour” after the French word, rather than “Por” the Spanish word

Nueve Reinas

April 11, 2010

I am not John Le Baptiste (I am simply Old Rope). But if I was, I would not have seen Nueve Reinas, the award-winning dollop of Argentine cinema. I might, however, have reviewed it. And so I have.

Nueve Reinas (or “Nine Queens”) is a comedy caper in the Lock, Stock and Two Wanking Mockney’s mould. But with less of the going up yer apples and pears stairs y mas de tu “arriba, che!”. It stars the ubiquitous Ricardo Darín, an Argie actor of some note, being as he is in every film ever made by anyone ever. In fact he is so ubiquitous he is practically omnipresent. Like god, but more handsome. And with an Oscar to his name. Kind of (he has to share it with the rest of the cast of Los Secretos de Sus Ojos).

Darín plays Evita Peron, a hard-hitting no-nonsense street-hustler and cardshark on the prowl for fresh foolhardy meat. “Give me meat, else I die from the wanton boredom of your straight society!” He cries, with his eyes. Evita is not a man to be trifled with.

Two queens

The year is ‘94 and his trunk is raw. In the rear-view mirror is the motherfucking law. As usual. But this isn’t the only problem facing Peron, who along with his sycophantic sidekick Diego Maradona (played admirably by baby-faced Paul Ross look alike, Gastón Pauls) must complete a most unusual challenge. In order to win a twenty peso bet, Evita must convince the Argentine president Néstor Kirchner that he has slept with nine real genuine queens. With a diplomats’ ball looming, Evita has the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the piss-up and make his move on the Premier. It’s just a question of how he will pull off the scam. For this is the juicy kicker: Our Evie does not have to actually sleep with nine queens, but only convince the PM that he has. It is a challenge too rich in promise for Evita to pass over and before long an elaborate scheme is hatched over a cafe con leche, which he makes Maradona pay for. That’s how much of a con artist he is.

The plot truly thickens when nine regal bitches rock into town for a queen conference at the Radisson hotel and Evita is presented with a chance to actually boff a bunch of them and win the bet to boot. Can Evita keep his eye on the prize, or will he have his cake and eat it, whilst Maradona hops about on the periphery of the regal romp hoping for some sloppy seconds. When it transpires that nine camp homosexuals are in fact posing as royalty, in an ironic twist too far, Evita smells a rat (as does the viewer) and realises that he is not the only one with his eye on the twenty pesos.

Though the premise of this film is evidently sound and watertight by the standards of even our own epic literature, one cannot help but feel that it is lacking a little something in the execution. In particular the actual execution scene, which was both baffling and incomprehensible in its inclusion as a musical interlude midway through the movie. I suspect that Fabián Bielinsky, making his directorial debut,  was ‘encouraged’ to include this segment, if only to sell more product-placement space. Renowned gallows manufacturers Nike and McDonalds receive more than ample screen time for their grotesque logos depicting contorted bodies and bulbous blue heads. But, like the film, I digress. I shant spoil the ending, but needless to say there are more twists and turns than a voyage to the centre of Jordan’s clart.

I give this film 3 steaks out of 5 and a Lionel Messi for effort.

The Battleship Potemkin

April 3, 2010

Years ago, I sent the following to Old Rope, who was at that time the leading communist pop singer at the seminary we both attended, in a bid to make the old lush chuckle. I was unsuccessful. He was more interested in licking his own gin-soaked jackboots. Weirdly, a few months ago, I watched Eisenstein’s entertaining pro-Soviet propaganda piece, The Battleship Potemkin, for the first time, and was shocked to find that he had somehow stolen all of my ideas (i.e. the following text) 80 years before I had them. It just goes to show you that you can’t trust a commie. Here is the original text:

Comrade Husk and Comrade Spurtev and Comrade Weepy Willow and Comrade Comrade and Comrade Conrad and Comrade Power Man and Comrade Hinterland and Comrade Uncle Dustev were in the streets.

The Sailors have bent the People’s Beak they cried
Bread and Spatchcock they cried
Down with the Sailors Down with their Counter Revolutionary Hornpipes they cried
Comrade Weepy Willow erected an effigy
Comrade Hinterland lit the effigy
Comrade Spurtev pointed at the effigy
The peasants came and danced and gorged their youngfolk on Spatchcock
Soviet Spatchcock the youngfolk cried
The sign said Chairman Tulip is the Curer of the People’s Puffin Meat
Let us water the People’s Beak said the sign

That it might suck the leprous bourgeois worm and the creeping Priest-Egg out of our youngfolk’s Spatchcock.
Comrade Spurtev dreamed of his wife:

O Comrade Spurtev’s Wife he said
How I admire your Proud Jaw and your Motherly Biceps he said
The effigy ground its bourgeois teeth
Aiee it said I must subvert the People’s Beak it said

For I am a rotten cadaverous bourgeois effigy and I must feed my mouth with Beak Blood.
But the people pointed and cried