Archive for Cate Blanchett

The Big Vox Scoop

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by dcairns

A Shadowplay Informant brings me an exciting scoop for the Vox Project, my plan to uncover the anonymous vocal artists lurking out of frame revoicing the people in close-up. As far as I know, this one has never been published and is unknown to the world, although as I’ll explain further down, a few insiders may have been playing with the info, teasing us.


The masked girl is voiced by Cate Blanchett. There, it’s out.

If this is true (and I pursue deniability like a true weasel) then it’s not CB’s only masked and anonymous role. In HOT FUZZ she plays Simon Pegg’s girlfriend in the opening scenes, but in that movie her identity was leaked early on and was mentioned in numerous reviews. And in that movie it’s her behind the mask. In EWS it’s Julienne Davis who provides the physical elements of the performance.

It does seem like a startling coincidence for Blanchett to be asked to contribute a masked, uncredited performance to HF without somebody involved knowing the secret of her involvement in the Kubrick production (released in 1999, the same year as AN IDEAL HUSBAND, so CB had certainly been in the UK around the right time), so maybe this occult performance is known to a few people in the industry. They just never thought to tell me, until now.

Assuming this is indeed La Blanchett (and I have considerable confidence in my informant and I know how they got the information), I admire the subtly proletarian “Noo Yawk” accent she’s doing, appropriate for a character who is presumably a working girl. My informant says, “Could she have been imitating Kubrick’s accent? I don’t know, but CB can do just about anything, can’t she? With the possible exception of looking like Kate Hepburn.”

Of course I have to protect my source from the Vox Mafia, who guard their secrets jealously. If they catch you spilling the beans they cut out your vocal cords and replace them with one of those little cylinders that goes “moo” when you turn it upside down. So then you can only go “moo” in answer to any question, and even to say that much you have to do a handstand.


Haynes’ Pandemonium Carnival

Posted in FILM, literature, MUSIC, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2008 by dcairns

he's not here 

My head is an incredible jumble! I feel like I have been melted down by the Button Moulder.

I start lecturing again tomorrow (and we’ll see how I keep this blog going once THAT happens) so I started preparing my first lecture, on Jack Clayton. I love THE INNOCENTS especially and THE PUMPKIN EATER and am pretty wild about most of the others, and I’ve never done a talk about him so it seemed like fun. I was looking at THE GREAT GATSBY (featuring the infant Absolute Beginner Patsy Kensit) again, trying to choose extracts, and I got sucked into it and suddenly realised I’d better stop and go and see I’M NOT THERE, as had been my plan for the day.

Off to the Cameo!* This is a legendary Edinburgh art-house/fleapit. My parents saw THE RUNNING JUMPING STANDING STILL FILM along with THE SEVEN SAMURAI here (an unlikely pairing). It used to be run by a wild entrepreneur and showman called Jim Poole, who would turn the heating up for desert films, and other feats of William Castle-style Sensurround legerdemain. Yet I can’t see any obvious reason why, for this film, the auditorium was freezing cold and smelled of wee. These sensations disappeared as the film began though, returning with renewed intensity as the end credits rolled (to the sound of “Like a Rolling Stone”) and I realised I’d been in a state of sensory suspension for the whole film, absorbing only what the film’s makers delivered to me through my ears and eyes. 

I don’t feel equal to delivering any kind of useful thoughts on this film just yet, which is a Phantasmagoric Cavort through various aspects of Bob Dylan’s life and art, because a) it’s pretty complex and b) I don’t know much about Dylan and c) I have managed to amplify the rather weird state the film induced in me by way of artistic overload:

On the bus home, I had the gated drums of Siouxie and the Banshee’s Peekaboo and the lovely Charlotte Gainsbourg singing to me on my Nano, while I read a little memoir by Ralph Richardson (favourite role: Peer Gynt) and the illuminations of the Balmoral Hotel and Edinburgh Castle glowed, and I thanked my lucky stars again for living in the city where W.C. Fields first tasted whiskey.

Then home, lighting a fire and finishing off THE GREAT GATSBY, which has marvellous people and moments, even if it doesn’t entirely grip. Fitzgerald is referenced in Haynes’ film, but I thought on the whole that SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, a marvellous film made by Clayton and partially unmade by the suits at Disneycorps, is closer to Haynes’ film, which has a definite flavour of the Fellini-esque about it. EIGHT AND A HALF is the big stylistic cue for the Cate Blanchett scenes, but then this circus flavour invades the Richard Gere sequence, supplanting most traces of Peckinpah (though the presence of Kris Kristofferson as narrator provides another reminder of PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID). I guess the blend of Americana and the carnivalesque is what brought Clayton’s film to mind.

all I see are dark eyes

dusty old fairgrounds

You can probably expect more on the neglected Clayton, and hopefully some more ordered thoughts on Haynes’ film, which I kind of loved, soon. Or soon-ish.

ONE thought: Cate Blanchett has rightly had much favourable attention for her work here, but I think she has an advantage over her co-stars because drag is pretty well always interesting. Not that she isn’t remarkable. But I want to say that Marcus Carl Franklin as “Woodie Guthrie” is also a true Star — when he’s on it’s like someone pierced the celluloid and let a VERY BRIGHT LIGHT shine through.

MC Franklin

*One very nice thing about this picture house is that there’s generally one of my students or ex-students working there. This time it was Clair. Hello, if you’re reading this!