Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Buddy Can You Spare A Dime

Regular visitors to this blog will spot a slight change today with the addition of a Flattr Me button. In case you don't know about Flattr, it's a new site which aims to create a way of rewarding bloggers, tweeters and other providers of internet material for their efforts. I've always steered clear of Google Ads and similar on this blog as it's basically here for my own writing practice, I enjoy it and I'm not looking to earn anything from it. However, the beauty of Flattr is that you can donate miniscule amounts and, in due course, those miniscule sums could eventually grow into something worthwhile. 

To participate you need to go to and sign up. You then fund your account with a sum that you can afford and, if you like, agree to a monthly commitment. Say you put a fiver in on the first of the month. You are then free to click on as many "Flattr Me" buttons as you like for a month. At the end of the month your fiver is shared equally between those sites that you have "Flattr'd" so a hundred clicks would give them all 5p, ten clicks 50p and  five clicks a pound. It's a way of flattering tweeters and bloggers you enjoy reading and it costs as much or as little as you want.

So there it is. Click on it if you are enrolled and donate a penny to this poor blogger. I will leave it up there for a while and monitor the progress. It's a new site and I don't expect that number of Flattrs (currently zero) to move much initially but please don't leave me with zero - it's bad enough having no friends on Facebook.

Finally back to the cinema today. And where better than the fabulous FACT in Liverpool where we enjoyed a tasty snack in the cafe before settling down to The Ides Of March. With an amazingly strong cast including Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti the omens were good. And we were not disappointed. It's a very believable story of spin doctoring and political scheming on the American Presidential campaign trail perhaps a little in the manner of the old BBC House Of Cards series. Gosling plays the Alastair Campbell style guru behind Clooney's whiter than white Democrat Governor  Mike Morris but Gosling's character Stephen Mayer's idealistic views are shattered when he discovers a skeleton in his boss's cupboard. We both enjoyed the film immensely and  can strongly recommend this tight and finely plotted piece of intrigue and study of political morals. A great title too.

After Clooney's thought provoking piece we had time for a quick drink before heading into the super little Box screen at FACT for Snowtown. I've read three or four glowing reviews of the film and all mentioned that it was dark. But the quality papers' reviewers must be made of sterner stuff than me as dark is way too light a word to use for this horrific true story of Australia's worst ever serial killer John Bunting. Bunting was responsible for eleven murders in total but fortunately the director spared us much of the grisly detail and we only witness one of the killings and the prelude to and aftermath of others. But the one murder shown in graphic detail was enough to prompt two of the audience to leave early. The film tells the story of how Bunting weaseled himself into the friendship and hospitality of a single mother and her sons after a neighbour she trusted to babysit turned out to be a paedophile who abused her children. Bunting's initial blood lust is cloaked in the guise of revenge but as he befriends the teenage Jamie and grooms him as a partner in crime we see him for the sinister and horrifically violent sadist that he is. The film is unquestionably hard hitting, extremely well filmed and has incredible performances from Daniel Henshall as Bunting and Lucas Pittaway as Jamie but it's grim, grim, grim. In addition, we both struggled with the sound and felt that some of the thick Ozzie accents could have benefited from subtitles and consequently we were not always sure exactly what was going on. See it only if you have a very strong stomach and even then make sure it's empty.