017 - England
05. Burkina Faso
07. Cabo Verde
09. Central African Republic
012. Democratic Republic of the Congo - Savage Splendor (1949) + The Nun's Story (1959) + Lumumba: Death of a Prophet (1992)
015. Equatorial Guinea
024. Ivory Coast
025. Kenya - The African Lion (1955) + Cheetah (1989) + In the Shadow of Kilamanjaro (1986)
031. Mali - Guimba the Tyant (1995)
036. Namibia - Animals are Beautiful People (1974) + Laser Mission (1989)
039. Republic of the Congo
041. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
044. Sierra Leone
046. South Africa
047. South Sudan
049. Sao Tome and Principe
055. Zimbabwe - Everyone's Child (1996)
066. Hong Kong
068. Indonesia - Mystics in Bali (1981)
080. Malaysia - Oily Maniac (1976) + The Beautiful Washing Machine (2004)
085. North Korea - Pulgasari (1985)
091. Saudi Arabia
093. South Korea
094. Sri Lanka
100. Turkey - Dry Summer (1963) Turkish Star Wars (1982)
102. United Arab Emirates
111. Bosnia and Herzegovina
116. Denmark - Babette's Feast (1987)
117. England - Brief Encounter (1945) + Carry On Girls (1973) + The Witches (1990) + The Witches (1966) + Howards End (1992) + Fire Maidens of Outer Space (1956) + Richard III (1955)
125. Ireland - Secret of the Kells (2009)
138. Northern Ireland
144. San Marino
153. Vatican City
North America: (3/22)
155. Antigua and Barbuda
158. Belize - Mega Piranha (2010) + Curse of the Xtabai (2012)
159. Costa Rica
160. Cuba - Death of a Bureaucrat (1966) + Now (1965)
162. Dominican Republic
163. El Salvador
173. Saint Lucia
174. Saint Kitts and Nevis
175. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) + Voodoo Man (2014)
176. Trinidad and Tobago
180. Marshall Islands
183. New Zealand
185. Papua New Guinea - Trobriand Cricket (1975)
187. Solomon Islands
South America (1/12)
194. Chile - Battle of Chile Part 2 (1976)
204. The Moon
Stateless Side Project
Brief Encounter (1945)
A man and a woman meet at a train station and fall in love – despite both already being married. Its such a simple story of two people in love in a doomed romance of sorts. I like how much is spent on them vs their respective spouses – you don’t really get to learn much anything about their family’s lives – and whether they have a reason to stray from their normal existence. Its less a story of lust than simply two people wanting new experiences in their lives. It feels more like a film about escapism and finding excitement even when sharing in dull chores. Its a fantastic film.
Carry On Girls (1973)
A seaside town drums up tourist dollars (from a crowd of about 40) by hosting a beauty contest. The sort of movie which thinks bottom pinching and itching powder are the zenith of comedy. Not welcome in the movie was the homophobia (a lesbian who wears a tie + a Mr Gaybody….), the transphobia (they decide they’d get publicity by entering a man in the contest), and the misogyny (the bra-burning women’s league gets involved with the contest). Whatever bawdy seaside postcard humor charm of the Carry On series is lost here – mostly spent on bikini reveals and males going awooga with their tongue rolling out. Oh and plenty of underwear humor for some reason, “lets see the mayor lose his pants again.” Its ultimately a super childish film, but it never earns your laughter or attention.
The Witches (1990)
A young boy must fend off an entire hotel convention of witches – who are hellbent on turning every child in England into a mouse. I like the way the film builds the mythos – with this evil society of witches being everywhere and then covering the ways to spot them (plain shoes, itchy wigs, gloves, etc). It makes me wonder how many children thought their grandma or elderly neighbor were a witch after watching this movie. I criticized Labyrinth for being too juvenile, but this felt too intense for younger audiences. I suspect this film traumatized many childhoods with its nightmarish sequences (such as when one boy is turned into a mouse in graphic detail). The film makes the horrors on screen seem too realistic – and brings them to real life by making you question whether there are witches everywhere around you.
The Witches (1966)
There was a lot of promise here – with the slow unraveling of the mystery of a small village with secrets (which reminded me a lot of The Wicker Man), but it falls completely on its face by the end. I’ll just go ahead and say it – the witch’s ritual was hilariously awful. It has people in rags eating mud, writhing on the ground in an “orgy”, and dancing in unison. It felt like Thriller’s music video! This film explores neither feminine power through witchcraft, nor the idea of ancient England’s first religion. Its more about the personal pettiness of witchcraft than anything else – as all the witches are rather selfish with their powers. The film also makes an interesting parallel between African native religions and English paganism – that they’re both based around fear and magick. The Wicker Man just handled this witchcraft theme a million times better – mostly by making the religion seem believable / admirable. Though I do like the idea that a small town village has a contingency of everyday repressed folks who just want to dance in a cave and have sex with each other while eating mud.
Howards End (1992)
A story of an uppity British family and their constant meddling in each other’s lives. Its a sort of terror of the family unit – as they gossip and shame each other to control their lives in their image. The film also says a lot about how the wealthy treat the poor like shit and go out of their way to be as harmful as possible to the poor. It at times feels like the aristocrats joke – with how far can one family inflict suffering on a lowly class couple? At best, the impoverished are treated like “pet projects” by the wealthy – someone they can condescendingly try to help out, out of charity. The film does have strong, independent women who do as they see fit, but are still shown as fickle + bound by controlling men. There was one moment where a bunch of women discuss suffrage, and one women says she’d prefer not having the vote – to which the whole group goes quiet. Glad to see that these moments still exist. This just wasn’t that special or notable of a film.
Fire Maidens of Outer Space (1956)
Scientists discover Jupiter’s 13th moon is inhabited by babes! Apparently the lost continent of Atlantis moved to Jupiter when the flood waters hit. There’s also a bad looking monster running around, who’s only purpose seems to be trailer / poster fodder. The real problem with the film is that once on Jupiter, everybody seems content with just sitting around and waiting. Seriously, most of this film is padded out by people waiting. There’ll be a random dance sequence and a cut to the monster walking around aimlessly, but then back to the astronauts boozing and cruising with the ladies. At least we watched this on MST3K to help the experience.
Richard III (1955)
I highly recommend not going into Shakespeare blind. We made that mistake with this film and then spent the next three hours struggling to follow along. The big issue here: I couldn’t understand what anybody was saying. I’d catch little fragments, but otherwise it was just a jumble of extremely fast paced dialogue. Reading the (spark notes) Wikipedia entry helped figure out what was going on (somewhat), but didn’t help with the dialogue issue. Maybe if there were subtitles, it would’ve gone better. But from what we did understand – it was a very by the numbers Shakespearean production. Perhaps some stylistic choices on directly addressing the camera and the expressiveness of the costumes. I’m not sure if my problem is with Shakespeare or just this production, or maybe my own spatial-hearing limitations.
Rick Steves – Great Side Trips from London
A quaint walking tour of the Cotswolds. This is one tour I definitely would want to go on – idyllic canals and old stone buildings
Most Haunted – Bamburgh Castle
Quite a lot of poltergeist activity – with doors, drums and tables moving on their own!
Mostly just the restoration of a cathedral set to some brassy 70s tunes
A Worcestershire Sauce, vegies, and ground beef mixture topped with mashed potatoes. Apparently my German grandma made nearly this exact thing, so my parents loved it. It was rather lacking in flavor and needed more things to spice it up. It was just kinda generic ground beef flavor with some vegies strewn in. It smelled far better than it tasted too. We’re in no hurry to try this one again.
English Butter Buns
More like biscuits. These were a hit. Very light and fluffy, with a good yeasty taste to them.
We subscribed to Universal Yums – which is a monthly subscription service that sends you snacks from a different country each month. For our first month they sent us the UK, which we’re breaking up into the 4 constituent countries. So starting it off we have 15 snacks from England. I'm curious if any English members here are familiar with any of these snacks.
Bristow Bucks Fizz Chews
Light orange flavor. No fizz to be had. Kinda like a bland orange starburst.
Bristow Chocolate Limes
We all agreed these were awful. Its a terrible lime hard candy with even worse chocolate hidden inside. Major pass.
Bristow Sherbet Lemons
We kept expecting these lemon candies to do more. They were supposed to be “fizzy” but were instead just enjoyably bland.
Chewy Bonbons Rhubarb & Custard
These were nothing special, it was light on flavor, but at least the texture was definitely chewy. I was the only one to like them better than its Strawberry cousin.
Chewy Bonbons Strawberry Milkshake
The texture is indeed chewy, but the flavor was that very artificial strawberry taste. I wasn’t impressed.
Chili & Lemon Potato Hoops
These had some spice to them in retrospect, but were otherwise very plain potato-y flavored. Could not taste lemon at all.
Clotted Cream Fudge
These didn’t have the texture we were expecting – more like fudge than chewy (hence the name). They had an alright caramel flavor, although perhaps a bit too sweet.
Grandma Wild’s Fruit & Lemon Cookies
These just tasted of lemon, but were better than Biscoff. The only mark against them was for being so super crumbly.
Grandma Wild’s Oaty Cookies
These were excellent: great cinnamon and oat flavor, light and crispy. One of the best of the bunch.
Grandma Wild Toffee Flapjack
My S/O adored this. Its a very oaty flavor with a light layer of toffee. I wasn’t sold on this, it was a bit too much like an oaty granola bar.
Kent Crisps Ashmore Cheese & Onion
These were just ok, with several flavors kinda clashing together.
Kent Crisps Oyster & Vinegar
My S/O thought these needed more vinegar, but I hold the opposite opinion. These are crisps I’m in no hurry to revisit.
Molasses chews that are now my S/O’s favorite candy. Great if only you like a strong molasses flavor.
Walker Nonsuch Brazil Nut Toffee
Excellent flavor toffee with a brazil nut just randomly thrown in. Its a weird combo, but the taste is superb.
Yummy Banana Toffee
Heavy on banana, light on toffee. I’m not the biggest fan of banana, but even with banana fans, this wasn’t that special.
Druid lughnasadh ceremony
Call the quadrants, bless the cakes (donuts) and ale (lemonade), and ask for a merry blessing.
Google Maps tour of the British Museum – which features the entire building + has lovely info cards you can click on for more reading
Spend a Penny – go to the bathroom
Sent to Covnentry – Ostracized
As the actress said to the bishop – That’s what she said
Pop one’s clogs – to die
To go spare – very angry
‘The Gospel According To The Bongolian’ – The Bongolian
Are You Shivering? – Coil
Trip to the fair – Renaissance
BBC Test Card F (1978)
Heinz Beans Curry
-The sea level was lower than it is now and Britain was connected by land bridge to Ireland and Eurasia.
-Boudica was a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61
-Disputes between the Roman- and Celtic-dominated forms of Christianity ended in victory for the Roman tradition at the Council of Whitby (664), which was ostensibly about tonsures (clerical haircuts) and the date of Easter.
-The Forme of Cury is the first known English cookery book to mention certain ingredients such as cloves, olive oil, mace and gourds. Many recipes contain what were at the time rare and valuable spices, including nutmeg, caraway, ginger, pepper and cardamom. There are recipes for preparing many different types of animals, including whale, crane, curlew, heron, seal and porpoise. There are about 10 vegetable recipes, including one for a vinaigrette salad, which indicates influence from Portugal and Spain, as French cooks rarely used vegetables at that time. There are also several pasta dishes, evidence of Italian influence.
And here is a sample recipe from that book:
Sawse madame. Take sawge, persel, ysope and saueray, quinces and peeres, garlek and grapes, and fylle the gees þerwith; and sowe the hole þat no grece come out, and roost hem wel, and kepe the grece þat fallith þerof. Take galytyne and grece and do in a possynet. Whan the gees buth rosted ynouh, take hem of & smyte hem on pecys, and take þat þat is withinne and do it in a possynet and put þerinne wyne, if it be to thyk; do þerto powdour of galyngale, powdour douce, and salt and boyle the sawse, and dresse þe gees in disshes & lay þe sowe onoward.