A Fever Pitch with Rita, Sue, and Bob, Too

January 4, 2015 | By

Before I get to the latest review links, an update on KQEK.com’s podcasts, and the ways you’ll be able to enjoy them starting the middle of this week.

I’ve been busy for the last few days working on standardizing the audio-only versions of the podcasts archived at Libsyn in order to make sure the RSS feed works fine in iTunes, displaying the proper info and linking to the files without any hiccups.

Happily, iTunes has accepted the show for dissemination, so probably by mid-week you’ll see 22 podcasts available through iTune’s store. They’re 100% free, and I’ve just a handful more podcasts to convert to audio-only versions, after which everything will be up-to-date.

As mentioned late last week, the first new podcast of 2015 will be a Q&A with Cinerama historian and preservationist Dave Strohmaier, followed by a lengthy Q&A with composer John Murphy regarding his latest album Anonymous Rejected  Filmscore.

I’m sorting through some format tweaks, but certainly with the composer podcasts, you’ll be able to hear the audio-only versions via Libsyn / iTunes; video versions with supporting background visuals will continue to reside on KQEK.com’s YouTube channel; and visual extracts from the latter podcasts will be showcased on Vimeo, with making-of details on the graphics at Big Head Amusements.

Now then.


This artwork might be slightly redolent of the mid-eighties. Slightly.

Just posted are reviews of two Twilight Time releases from early 2014 – the 1997 British version of Nck Hornby’s novel Fever Pitch with Colin Firth sporting the waviest hair of his career, and Alan Clarke’s film version of Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987).

I have to say, Julie Kirgo’s intro to the work of Clarke was identical to mine. Decades ago, I’d seen a trailer on TVO for Made in Britain (1982), in which Tim Roth plays a ferocious, grinning punk, and it scared the crap out of me, leaving an impression that Clarke was all about gritty, grubby kitchen sink dramas.

Like Kirgo, Rita is my first taste of Clarke’s work, and although shot in very working class environments, I was surprised by the slickness of his camerawork, the artfulness of the cinematography and overall look of the film, and strong performances that really, really benefit from long yet fluid takes.

I love the film, but there’s a sequence in the movie which I watched in a state of mid-level shock, realizing the song everyone in a dance hall was merrily singing and swaying to was real, and not the result of watching the film in some  post-sugar binge haze. When the Brits want to sneak a little barb at audiences, it can be very, very sharp.

Last point: Rita, Fever Pitch and Resurrected (1989) are all Film Four International productions, and these are very beautiful HD transfers. Rita may be a little soft, but it’s an elegant production where the grit and grime come from the characters rather than blistering high-contrast film stock akin to Made in Britain.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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