Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The 500 Faces of Hebden Bridge

A fantastic project by the legend that is Jason Elliott.

Well done Jason, absolutely fantastic!

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Big Night In 2

After the success of the first ever ‘Big Night In’ back in January 2010, popular demand has led to the event being held again on Friday 9th July. The event is a unique initiative designed to entertain all audiences, with various acts of entertainment scheduled in to take place throughout the evening.

Performing on the night will be a total of four live acts, with extremely talented Patrick McCallion opening the evening, local bands Pink Elephant Fish and Frontier Psychiatrists and headlining the event will be an unmissable band...

There will be plenty of audience participation too with a round of ‘Play Your Cards Right’ and a family quiz. A bar and BBQ will also be present.

Tickets cost just £4 (including quiz entry), with a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) just £15.

Money raised will go towards the Great Generation Project and Cancer Research UK.

The event will take place from 7pm onwards at the Ted Hughes Theatre, Calder High School, Mytholmroyd and promises to be an even bigger and better event from the inaugural ‘Big Night In’ back in January. Do not miss what will be a fantastic evening of fun, entertainment and pure enjoyment!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner


Firewall is a 2006 American film starring Harrison Ford as a bank security manager whose family are kidnapped by a criminal determined to steal $5 million. So how does it rate?

Well, firstly, it is absolute standard fare in every single way. It’s 100 minutes long, it was made for $50 million and it took $82 million. It stars Paul Bettany as the criminal mastermind who hopes to steal from the bank. He does a perfectly fine job in this role although he is effectively playing himself.

A slight problem with the film is that Harrison Ford growls his way through it like Clint Eastwood without access to Lemsip. It starts off just being annoying but by the end it becomes amusing as Ford delivers every line with his own ridiculous growl. This includes the line “Don’t hurt the dog.” which I thought was rather good.

Another problem is that the plot is just so generic. Main character's family kidnapped, he has to do some bad things to get them back, it all ends happily. I mean it’s not the most original of stories. This isn’t a major problem if all you want is a mindless couple of hours however it does make you wonder why the needed to spend as much as $50 million on it.

It’s not a terrible movie by any means but what’s most striking is its complete mediocrity. This film is Stoke City, Birmingham, toast and cricket all rolled into one, it’s fine but it’s no more than that, passable but not astonishing. I would really only advise it as a watching experience if it happens to be on TV when you’re there. In short it is the filmic equivalent of the Gaelic shrug.  

Monday, 21 June 2010

Painter's Journey Post

I'd like to start today's 'Painter's Journey Post' by making one thing absolutely clear, I am not in any way, shape or form becoming slightly southern, an impression you may get when reading this post. Not happening, and never will, I'm a proud Yorkshireman!

You could argue that today's post isn't technically a journey post as I sit here typing away in Terminal 1, London Heathrow. Sadly aeroplanes do not have the luxury of wireless internet yet, but I am sure with worldwide technological advances that are occurring every minute, they soon will. Watch this space...

When waking up this morning I had no idea what I would ramble on about today, and I must admit I even consulted Joe for an idea. And with Callum still not putting in place a strict brief to adhere to, I could literally natter on about anything. The challenge is, getting a subject that might slightly interest the two readers of this post...I'm rambling again, here goes!

Today's subject is...Cities Worldwide and Our Capital

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has grumbled about our capital, London. 'It's too busy' ... 'There's far too much noise and pollution' ... 'Where are all the hills in this place?' However, having spent the day touring round a summery London, I was inspired to write this piece.

Yes, London isn't perfect, but when you open up your eyes, become open minded and appreciate the surroundings you soon realise that it's a rather nice place to call our capital city. An international hot spot, cafes and restaurants for all and a genuine place for people wanting to see more of the world.

My main message and purpose of this post however is not a sales pitch to drag more of you to London, yet again I'm thinking of a deeper message (lights dim)...

We see international capital cities on our news every day, and the majority of stories are bad news. People killed, terrorist attacks, civil wars, how often does London fit that category? Not often, does it?

We have a capital that we can be proud of. We can visit and enjoy our stay without the pressures of problems occurring. Maybe we take it too much for granted. Can you imagine Christmas in Karachi? Holidays in Harare? Weekends in Beirut? Wouldn't quite be the same, would it? 

We're fortunate to live in the country we do. Remember that.

The Vuvuzela

This is the sound of the world cup in South Africa, and indeed may become the sound of the British summer 2010. Sales of these natural horns, made of plastic, have rocketed in UK supermarkets since the start of the World Cup. But why? Probably because there is something innately pleasurable about blowing a horn and making a loud noise.

They don't require much skill, just a basic grasp of brass playing techniques - blowing 'raspberries,' so to speak. Indeed, talented brass players are able to play a tune on the instrument, like the great Byron Wallen, see here.

Incensing people who hate them, and inspiring people who love them, the vuvuzela has it's fans and critics. Yet it's probably going to become a more regulare feature of British sport.

Robert Holme

Saturday, 19 June 2010

An Apology, An Excuse And A Link

Hello all you subscripients,

I am writing to sincerely apologise for the neglect you have been suffering at the hands of the malicious and cold hearted web team. Unfortunately (and I sense a strong feeling of deja vu here...) the exam season has caught up with us, and if it wasn't for the commitment and dedication of the brilliant Sam Larner (who is also in the middle of exam season, yet doesn't let that stop him) the site would be well and truly dry, so to him I am extremely grateful. However, I am sure this is not a repeat of last years tragic closure of the Painter's Chronicle (touch wood) and as the exam season is drawing to a close now, I'm sure the site will be full to the brim with exciting articles once more in no time.

I'm sure that many of you have been following the World Cup this year, as have I, and the completely unpredictable nature of the tournament so far in has blown it wide open, I'm sure this coming month has plenty of exciting twists and turns in store for us. To those that are watching (and for those that aren't I strongly suggest you start soon!) I strongly recommend Oli White's brilliant, and often hilarious, blog.

Well, that's all from me for now, I promise to get the site churning out fantastic articles and features again as soon as possible,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine
Email: callummacrae@painterschronicle.co.uk

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner


There's a story that when Mel Brooks — until then acknowledged king of the movie spoof with the likes of Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety and Young Frankenstein behind him — first saw Airplane! his heart sank.

Airplane! is based on a 1957 disaster movie called “Zero Hour”, although it is now considered a great example of how to make a spoof it wasn’t initially accepted, some studios wanted it as a 20 minute sketch whereas others couldn’t see the potential. Eventually in 1980 it was made.  It is still considered the ne plus ultra of comedy films.

The plot revolves around ex-fighter pilot Ted Striker as he attempts to win back his wife. He does this by following her onto a flight, however when the pilot's are killed by the food he is forced to step in and land the plane. The plot is mostly lost beneath the great and plentiful gags that adorn this cinematic masterpiece.

The most amazing thing in Airplane! is the sheer number of gags. Between 5 minutes 14 seconds and 6 minutes 14 seconds there are 8 jokes, all of great quality, including the brilliant, “give me Hamm on five, hold the Mayo”.  Some people have counted the number of jokes in Airplane! and a conservative estimate puts it at 600!

Another distinguishing feature in the movie is that the actors are not comedians; instead they are straight actors who were used because the directors wanted to maintain a feeling of seriousness. This leads to some fantastic lines delivered in a deadpan way, “Joey, have you ever spent a night in a Turkish prison”, springs to mind.

It truly is the Citizen Kane of comedy movies, and the Wayan brothers should have their cameras taken away from them until they have been forced to watch Airplane! at least ten times. Is it one of the best films I’ve ever seen? Yes, surely I can’t be serious? I am and don’t call me Shirley.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Photography Competition

If the bird chorus waking you up hasnt reminded you of the fact that spring is here then its about time you got out there to see if for yourself..! This months competition is to get a photograph of a spring creature, whether it be a bird or a lamb, or even the first litter of baby pigs!

Also, congratulations to Duncan Lomax, who's photograph of Mumbles Head won last month's competition, the subject of which was 'Nature'.

Remember to send your entries in an e-mail entitled 'PC Photography Competiton' to callummacrae@painterschronicle.co.uk

Fay Bland

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

National Treasure: Book of Secrets 
So, it’s a sequel to a film that probably should never have been made in the first place, however the numbers added up so it’s inevitable we’d have a second and now a third in 2011. Nick Cage phones in another performance and God knows what evidence they had on Helen Mirren to make her do this. In short it’s terrible; however it is incredibly amusing in its woefulness.
The plot, and I use that term loosely, is utterly baffling. I saw the film and then checked Wikipedia to see if I had understood it, I hadn’t. Basically Nick Cage attempts to clear the name of his ancestors by  proving that they didn’t kill President Lincoln and then for no clear reason he has to visit the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, The White House and MT Rushmore.
First problem, no plot to speak of really just a bunch of stuff happening so that they can attempt to disguise Cage’s terrible acting. Second problem, the writers are credited as the Wibberley’s which as far as I could tell was to spread out the blame. There is dialogue in this film that is so wooden I thought I might get a splinter if I listened to it too much. There is a scene towards the end where they are in a great underground game of mouse trap and the room is filling with water, now they pull a giant plug and the water subsides. That’s fine, I can see what’s happening because they’ve spent millions on this set, that doesn’t stop Cage from standing up and saying “the water’s going down”, yes thanks for that Nick. We then have the best dialogue of the film with Nick and the gang on top of Mt Rushmore searching for clues. Nick then gets out a bottle of water and spills it on the mountain and in a moment of eureka! proportions he says “Pour water on the rocks, it makes them go dark”. Let me put this into context, I was sat there with my hands squeezing my mouth together trying to prevent the tripe coming off the screen from actually corrupting me, however I couldn’t stop myself from falling about laughing.
Thirdly, it is directed by a man who obviously has a very limited atlas. They visit France, and obviously the Eiffel Tower is in every single shot. They then visit London and break into Buckingham Palace and then they up sticks and travel to the White House. So three main problems, no plot to speak of, terrible dialogue and stereotypical Europe.
The film it’s most similar to is The Da Vinci Code, and this is much more fun than that. The best review of this film actually comes from within it; there is a scene where Helen Mirren and John Voight (ex husband and wife in the film) swing across a gorge on a rope ladder. As John is preparing to do this Helen stops him and says “This is stupid”, and that is a better review than I can muster. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The World Cup - Sir Robert Holme KBE's Tip

It's the chance for every nation to make themselves,
Heroes will be created, phrases coined.
They think it's all over... it is NOW.

That was just a short poem about the upcoming World Cup, where I expect England will do quite well. However the Robert Holme Bookmaker plc. does not expect England to progress to the semi final. But that's just our professional opinion.

The odd's for North Korea winning the World Cup at Robert Holme Bookmaker plc is 1:1. So that means they'll definatly win the world cup. Predicted final is North Korea vs. New Zealand, with North Korea winning on penalties. The score (including penalties) will be 5 3 to North Korea. Watch out! It's going to b a crazy ride.

Sir Robert Holme KBE

Get In The World Cup Spirit!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Painter's Journey Post

Hello and you’re very welcome to another edition of ‘Painter’s Journey Post’. There were quite a few different subjects I considered talking about today and it took some real mulling over, however, I managed to come to a decision.

Today's subject is...The Magic of Sport and England Football Team

As a sports enthusiast and the typical British ‘Northerner’, I for one am looking extremely forward to the tournament. Exactly what our chances and prospects are I do not know, but what I do know is that all the football on show will be truly exhilarating and exciting with all 32 qualifying nations going all out to win.

The World Cup only occurs every four years and over the four year qualifying process, the expectation of the English nation seems to consistently increase as we get closer to the finals. However, each time we somehow just don’t manage to make it and this is never quite good enough for us. Are we realistically the best nation in the world? Should we as English fans be able to sit back, relax and have full confidence that our boys can get to the final and take the prize? You’re probably answering no, so why do we constantly think not winning the World Cup is a huge failure?!

Don’t get me wrong, I want us to win the World Cup as much as the next person, but I won’t grumble and cry myself to sleep for two weeks after if we fail to do so. Whenever I watch my team play, more often than not it’s not the result I make my verdict from, it’s the performance and the character that the players on the pitch show. So, if they give their all, play 110% and entertain me as a spectator for the duration of the game, I will be happy and proud to wear the shirt. On the other hand, should the team go out and not give it their best shot and give themselves the best possible chance of scoring a victory, I shall then be disappointed and feel let down, and probably rather annoyed and disgruntled.

England go into the tournament as one of the favourites once again, and I believe that we have quite a realistic chance of ‘bringing it home’ in 2010 should the players under the expert tutelage of Fabio Capello gel together and play the standard of football that has warranted their selection for England. We have to believe this,  the players have to believe this, we can conquer the world at football, we have just 7 more games to do this, around 650 more minutes of hard work and determination, our hopes lie with 23 players, and if, just if, these numbers work out we can become number 1.

Whether you’re playing international sport, professional sport, or just having a quick mess-about with your mates down the park; you should always give it your best shot. We’re fortunate to have the opportunity, and there are plenty of people out there who sadly can’t do it for whatever reason. Make the most of what you’ve got, strive to be successful and most importantly enjoy taking part. Those three factors are what sport is all about, and that’s why it is such a strong piece to the worldwide jigsaw puzzle of activity.

Well, there goes another ‘Painter’s Journey Post’, hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading! Enjoy the World Cup; I know I certainly will be doing!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Jack's Ride For The Weekend

The Painter's Chronicle Team are delighted to announce another new website feature; 'Jack's Ride For The Weekend'. The much anticipated feature finally makes it debut this week. Jack Paige is a keen cycling enthusiast and with this in mind, he has kindly offered to share some of his favourite routes with you all, to quite literally give you a ride for the weekend!

May’s Shop Route

Start: Hardcastle Crags Car Park
Finish: Hebden Bridge
Time: 1.5 to 3 Hours
Distance: 11miles (approx)
Difficulty: Moderate; the descent from Jack Bridge is quite rough but the rest is fairly easy.

1. Start in the Hardcastle Crags car park and head up the main track through the crags towards Gibson Mill. Once you reach the Mill continue up the hill on the same track. Once you reach the top and come out of the woods take the left fork towards the Walshaw Hamlet.

2. Continue along the flat dirt track, after about half a mile you will reach a gate. Go through the gate and the track will start to go downhill, gently at first but getting steeper. At the bottom of the hill you will come to a river with two bridges across it. Cross the river and head up the steep track, which joins another track after about 50 metres. Carry on up this track and then take the left fork after 100 metres. Follow this track, over the cattle grid and down the hill.

3. At the bottom of the hill you will reach a road. Here turn left and after 30 metres cross the road and go through the gate (signposted Pennine Bridleway). Follow the track curving around the hill and cross the dam at the top. After the dam, turn left and just after the houses turn right through the green gates (sign-posted Pennine Bridleway).

4. Follow the Pennine Bridleway over the hill, down the other side and through the gate at the bottom. From here follow the track all the way to the end. The Pennine Bridleway turns off but ignore this. After about a mile from the gate you will find May’s Shop tucked away on the right which is a great shop that sells everything.

5. From the shop follow the track to the road and turn right down through Colden and up past The New Delight Pub. Just after the pub there is a track to the left, on the corner of the road. Continue straight down here, through the woods for about a mile down hill. The descent becomes quite steep and rocky, but it is a challenge to see if you can do it without using your brakes!

6. The track then meets another, wider and less steep track which you want to turn right onto. This track takes you to Mytholm Steeps which you follow to Burnley Road. Turn left onto Burnley Road and follow back to Hebden Bridge.

Thanks Jack, we look forward to many more routes from you!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

The Wicker Man

This cult classic is a must for any film fan who has grown tired with the horror dross that the Saw franchise grinds out every couple of years. This review is of the original Robin Hardy directed film and not the woeful remake staring Nick Cage.

It stars Edward Woodward as an uptight Christian policeman who is sent to Summerisle to search for a girl who has apparently been abducted. Once there he discovers that the entire island is engaged in neo-pagan rituals. The film becomes increasingly tenser and odder as it unfolds culminating in one of the most horrific and stunning dénouement in film history.

When I saw this film I already knew the ending as I assume many of you will, however that didn’t detract from the horror and discomfort that I felt as the film progressed. Christopher Lee gives the performance which will define his career as Lord Summerisle who governors the island and appears as a kind of God for the islanders to follow.

The brilliant thing about this film is that almost none of the horror is shown on screen instead Hardy leaves you to envisage what the characters feel. This really is the film that James Wan (Saw) and Eli Roth (Hostel) should watch before they make anymore stomach turning tripe. As Alfred Hitchcock said “Once you’ve seen everything what’s left to fear?”

If you are ever in the mood for a Saturday night fright fest then get some mates round and rent The Wicker Man, I swear it is far scarier than anything produced today. A film that will stay with you for a long time and a final scene that when you are alone in the dark will lodge itself right in the front of your brain and refuse to move.

Carrying on from last week I will now furnish you with some film trivia with which to ‘entertain’ your mates.

Christopher Lee was so keen to make the film that he worked without pay during shooting and once the film was released he offered to pay for critics seats just so they would watch it.

Filming took place in Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland, in an interview Britt Ekland referred to it as the bleakest place in the world. Locals were so enraged that the crew had to apologise before filming was allowed to continue.