NEWS ARCHIVE - 22nd to 28th SEPTEMBER 2008


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22nd September 2008


Updates and additions to the Incoming database this week include: Hitchcockian thriller The Clouded Yellow; the classic Alec Guinness comedy The Horse's Mouth; new dates and more details of Shameless' Strip Nude For Your Killer and Maurizio Lucidi's 1971 remake of Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, The Designated Victim; Robert Altman's 1997 mini-series Gun; Skinemax softcore favourites Felicity and Vanessa, from Severin; the fourth season of Two and a Half Men; 1955 biopic The Benny Goodman Story; Antonioni's Red Desert, on DVD and Blu-ray, from the BFI; a compilation of sketches from the Dangerous Brothers (Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall, titled Dangervision; a box set of Stanley Baxter TV Specials; a fiftieth anniversary edition of Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo; a box set of the Star Wars Prequels; a special Edition version of Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life; and pitiful spoof Superhero Movie.


Kaleidoscope Publishing is releasing a book about the long-running Radio 4 sketch show Week Ending. Here's the press release...

"Prime Minister, You Wanted To See Me?" - A History of Week Ending

27 October 2008

RRP: £24.99 + P&P from Kaleidoscope Publishing

The Radio Show That Launched A Thousand Writers

In the spring of 1970, BBC Radio 4 premiered a new late-night topical sketch show. Initially an unassuming antidote to the week's events, Week Ending grew to become the nerve-centre of new writing in British comedy. It existed in part as a place for scriptwriters to learn the ropes, before graduating to Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image and beyond. It also provided an early platform for Britain's best-loved performers, amongst them Steve Coogan, David Jason and Tracey Ullman. However, by its eventual demise in 1998, Week Ending had become a neglected and much-maligned programme. What caused it to lose ground as the respected entry point, and how did it sustain itself for so long?

In "Prime Minister, You Wanted To See Me?"' - the substantial opening article - researchers Ian Greaves and Justin Lewis unpack the series' long and convoluted history with the assistance of more than fifty contributors, including Sally Grace, Andy Hamilton, Armando Iannucci, Nigel Rees, David Renwick, Sheila Steafel, Bill Wallis and series co-creator Simon Brett. This background story reveals a constantly evolving programme, often rocked and ravaged by the ambitions of an apparently endless parade of new producers, not to mention a Radio Light Entertainment department in varying states of health.

What follows is a comprehensive guide to all 1132 regular editions of Week Ending, as well as compilations, specials and merchandise. The archives of the BBC have been raided for an exhaustive account of who wrote what and when, and under which producer. Fully cross-referenced, the early work of major writers and performers - Douglas Adams, David Baddiel, Jeremy Hardy, Harry Hill - is given in-depth treatment for the very first time. A History of Week Ending provides a window on a major 'lost history', and finally casts light on many artists' early days in what Stewart Lee dubbed 'the saltmines of comedy'.

* Introduction by series co-creator Simon Brett.

* A revealing and expansive opening article which explores the series' history.

* A complete episode guide for every broadcast - close to 600 pages in total - including recording information, transmissions, durations, sketch titles and itemised programme breakdowns with full writing and performing credits. Based on the holdings of the BBC's Written Archives Centre, as well as surviving recordings, this is a groundbreaking account of a series which spawned almost 25,000 broadcast items.

* A fully cross-referenced index of series contributors - actors, writers, producers, studio managers, production secretaries, editors etc. - indicating their precise appearances throughout the programme's 28-year history.

* Signature Tunes: background information for all four series themes.

* Merchandise Guide: details on the show's spin-off book and cassette release.

* Archive Details: an at-a-glance guide to missing episodes, partially recovered material and the survival rate of broadcast master tapes.

* Miscellany: lists revealing the answers to such burning questions as 'Who was the most prolific writer?', and 'Who produced the most editions?'

* Documentaries: a look at TV and radio features about Week Ending.

* Parodies: analysis of several spoofs of Week Ending, including exclusive research regarding On The Hour and The Burkiss Way.

You can order the book directly from Kaleidoscope - their preferred method - or from Amazon.


Here are the details of the forthcoming H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon...

Cosmic Horror Invades Portland, Oregon

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon at the Hollywood Theatre
Celebrates Film & Culture Influenced by the Master of Cosmic Horror

PORTLAND, OR, OCTOBER 3RD, 4TH, & 5TH – The stars will be right once again for Portland Oregon's own H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon. An annual event founded in 1995, the festival attracts filmmakers, authors, artists, and nearly two thousand movie goers who gather in the historic 1926 Hollywood Theatre to watch feature-length and short films, attend panels, and purchase genre related merchandise.
“As part of Dark Horse's commitment to keep the horror genre alive and twitching in comics and other dark corners of the world, we are proud to sponsor Portland's annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. This homegrown annual festival has gained international attention in recent years and draws fans and special guests from all corners of the world,” remarks Dark Horse editor Shawna Gore.

“Now that Starbucks are apparently just seeds for flowering bushes of gentrification blooming all over town, thank god we have things like the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival to keep Portland weird, in the eternally funky Hollywood theatre,” quips Dark Horse editor Scott Allie.

This year's guests include Author Guest of Honour Brian Lumley (Necroscope, Titus Crowe) and Artist Guest of Honour Mike Mignola (Hellboy). Many other notable artists and authors will be attending and participating in panel discussions, including author Robert M. Price, scholar S.T. Joshi, author Laird Barron, Rue Morgue editor Jovanka
Vuckovic and many others.

Here are just a few highlights from this year's film offerings:

• Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, a new documentary featuring interviews with Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter, Neil Gaiman and more

• AM 1200, a delightfully creepy and masterfully crafted thriller from award-winning DVD Producer David Prior (Flight Club, Master & Commander, Zodiac)

• Eel Girl, a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting too close to your work, featuring spectacular creature makeup from WETA Workshop's Gino Acevedo

• The Casting Call of Cthulhu, A humorous take on the process of casting a Lovecraftian film, with auditions from actors both comic and cosmic

• The Dunwich Horror, a new feature treatment of Lovecraft's classic tale starring Jeffrey Combs and Dean Stockwell

• Hellboy, a special screening of the original 2004 movie followed by a Q&A session with Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola

Another highlight of the festival will be the live dramatic performances of M.R. James' gothic horror tales by award-winning actor Robert Lloyd Parry. Our musical guests this year will be The Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets, who'll be performing at a special afterhours party at Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge. The festival will even be hosting a wedding ceremony (the fifth in the festival's 14-year history).

Sponsors include Dark Horse, Baseline Studio Systems, Film Action Oregon, Night Shade Books, Bullseyedisc, and Lurker Films. Vendors include Cosmic Monkey, Pagan Publishing, Rainy Day Games, Centipede Press, Sigh Co Graphics, and more.

This October 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the three screens of the Hollywood Theatre will be aglow with cosmic horror and the dark seats and hallways of that historic structure will be literally crawling with fans of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary, artistic, and cinematic legacy. Tickets are available through the festivalʼs website and PDX Ticket Network. Day passes are $15 for Friday, $18 for Saturday and $18 for Sunday. Passes for the entire three-day-and-night event start at $46.

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, founded in 1995 by Andrew Migliore, celebrates H.P. Lovecraft, the master of Gothic horror. Starting with the goal of encouraging more adaptations for film and television, the festival has exploded into a multi-media, multicity event hosting such distinguished guests as singer/poet Patti Smith, author Ramsey Campbell, and actors Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, and Christopher Heyerdahl.

A haven for filmmakers and fans, the festival has created its own following: a unique community of iconoclasts, all speaking the international language of cosmic horror.

Lurker Films Inc. produces the Zompire Film Festival every May and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival every October.

The Hollywood Theatre is at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.

More details at the Festival website.

Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


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