Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

London in films – why don’t they get it right?

I went to see the new Clint Eastwood movie ‘Hereafter’ at the weekend. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it, I was just in one of those ‘why not catch a movie’ moods and was passing the cinema… I saw that Clint had directed it, so that was enough.

And it was OK, quite an enjoyable film. Matt Damon is getting better as he gets older and Clint is having something of a renaissance in his twilight years. Of course, being about the afterlife you need to suspend disbelief and assume that there really is a place you go when you die that is all bright lights and people floating around in eternal happiness… but apart from the ‘Ghost’-like plot devices, it all works quite well.

But, being a Londoner I was appalled by some glaring issues with the film. And this is just from sitting there watching it, not scouring the web for bloopers.

1. Since when did Virgin Atlantic fly direct from Thailand to France?

2. The London Book Fair at Alexandra Palace? It’s always been at Olympia, except for the past few years where it has been at Earl’s Court, but never at Ally Pally.

3. Liverpool Street Station is featured in the film, but re-badged as “Charing Cross Station” – why?

The last time I noticed so many misrepresentations of London in a film was in ’28 Days Later’ where the geography of London was all over the place and it’s annoying for locals when surely the filmmaker doesn’t need to do it? Or am I being naive and ignoring the need to scrape together product placement dollars wherever they can be found?
Phoenix Cinema

Sexism in football – and the Pope is a Catholic?

Football is a sport dominated by men and so the pervasive culture of the game is male-oriented. It is usually just sexist, but at worst, just plain misogynistic. So it’s no surprise to hear the off-air comments by Sky pundits Richard Keys and Andy Gray where they complain about a female assistant referee officiating a game.

It might be true that sexism is still part of football culture, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to judge professionals on the basis of gender alone. As many other pundits have found, comments about race lead to certain sacking – who knows if Sky will judge these comments as strongly?

Can someone tell me the difference?

They deserve to be fired just for perpetuating these stereotypically macho views in the public domain – even if they did not expect their comments to be broadcast.

If those who lead the game can’t even deal with sexism then how will they ever deal with the endless racism and homophobia that continues to blight the game. Come on Sky, give them the boot. This is the 21st Century, we don’t need these ‘Gene Hunt’-era “experts” on TV…

——

Richard Keys: Well, somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.

Andy Gray: Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don’t know the offside rule.

RK: Course they don’t.

AG: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s fucked up big.

RK: I can guarantee you there’ll be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager] will go potty. This is not the first time. Didn’t we have one before?

AG: Yeah.

RK: Wendy Toms.

AG: Wendy Toms, something like that. She was fucking hopeless as well.

RK: [exasperated groan]

AG: [inaudible]

RK: No, no, it’s got to be done, it’s good. The game’s gone mad. See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love.
Brazil v Sweden, Emirates Stadium

What are you looking at, cripple?

There was an interesting story that hit the news here in São Paulo at the end of last week. A policeman parked his car outside at shop using the space reserved for disabled people. As he got out of the car, a guy was passing in his wheelchair. The genuinely disabled guy commented to the policeman that as a more-than-able-bodied citizen he might leave the space free for those who need it.

The policeman responded by calling him a cripple who shouldn’t get involved in the business of others and he even hit the guy in the wheelchair. The intensity of the physical violence seems disputed. The disabled guy says he was punched and attacked and the policeman says he only gave a few slaps around the face.

Either way, even if the physical attack was at the lower-end “just a few slaps”, what public official has the right to shout verbal abuse and physically assault a citizen when they do nothing other than pointing out that the policeman is not showing any respect to the community by using a space reserved for the elderly and disabled?

The police officer has been suspended pending an inquiry. Under normal circumstances it might be normal to expect this to just get swept under the carpet, but this time the man in the wheelchair is a lawyer. Let’s hope he does not rest until he finds some justice.
Police on bicycles at Waterloo bridge