Gladiator 2 – Christ Killer

Apparently Nick Cave wrote a script for a Gladiator sequel as a favour to Russell Crowe. Unsurprisingly, as you’ll see once you read what’s below, it was never made:

Maron: What was the story for the second Gladiator?

Cave: Well, that’s where it all went wrong. Very briefly, it was, I’m like, “Hey, Russell, didn’t you die in Gladiator 1?” He’s going, “Yeah, you sort that out.” So, he [Maximus] goes down to purgatory and is sent down by the gods, who are dying in heaven because there’s this one god, there’s this Christ character, down on Earth who is gaining popularity and so the many gods are dying so they send Gladiator back to kill Christ and all his followers. This was already getting… I wanted to call it Christ Killer, and in the end you find out that the main guy was his son, so he has to kill his son and he’s tricked by the gods and all of this sort of stuff. So it ends with, he becomes this eternal warrior and it ends with this 20-minute war scene which follows all the wars in history, right up to Vietnam and all that sort of stuff and it was wild.

Twin Peaks, True Detective & the lineage of American TV credits weirdness

The first version of Twin Peaks’ opening credits were two and a half minutes long. You don’t see any of the characters and some of the shots linger for ten or more seconds.

I thought of this while watching the opening credits of True Detective the other night. Mesmerising and expertly done as they are, they feel a little formulaic. You know precisely what you are getting into on first watch. The genius of Twin Peaks’ credits lay in what was not shown. They are contemplative, with only the plaintive quality of Angelo Badalamenti’s music hinting at the unsettling nature of what is to come. They still engross.

Here are both opening sequences:

And here’s Badalamenti explaining how he and David Lynch created Laura Palmer’s Theme (brilliantly sampled by Nico Jaar):

Art of the Title has more detailed deconstructions of the credits of both shows:

True Detective
Twin Peaks

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November & December

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We made it to my old local for an hour or two on Christmas Day. Sofie even said she was beginning to understand why I missed it.

There’re new money village pubs with Range Rovers parked outside, and there are old world pubs overlooking the common brimming with red-faced, cheery women in Hunter wellies with beat-up Volvos, and there are estate boozers, and there are the garish, sorrowful bars-that-once-were-pubs, and there are the ancient watering holes in the City frequented annually by the London Society of Swedish Bankers, and then there’s The Farriers Arms, where the landlady made a friend and I a roast dinner one cold Tuesday evening, and where I was an occasional member of the darts team, and where, every Christmas Day from 12 til 3 people gather to drink a beer or two and pass on the greetings of the season. Idiosyncratic, old-fashioned, and inefficient, but so lovely and real and reassuring.

Attention to detail

It seems there’s an inexhaustible supply of Steve Jobs anecdotes. This one’s a gem:

Jobs wanted the demo phones he would use onstage to have their screens mirrored on the big screen behind him. To show a gadget on a big screen, most companies just point a video camera at it, but that was unacceptable to Jobs. The audience would see his finger on the iPhone screen, which would mar the look of his presentation. So he had Apple engineers spend weeks fitting extra circuit boards and video cables onto the backs of the iPhones he would have onstage. The video cables were then connected to the projector, so that when Jobs touched the iPhone’s calendar app icon, for example, his finger wouldn’t appear, but the image on the big screen would respond to his finger’s commands. The effect was magical.

From the NYT.

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Sweden: Part 2

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Some more pics from Sweden. I looked on a map to see where we were and was surprised we’d barely gotten out of the bottom sixth of Sweden despite driving for four hours. Big country.

Sweden: Part 1

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Pictures from a lovely weekend at a friend’s cabin in Småland. One shower in three days, nothing to do but make sure the kids didn’t kill each other, cook and make coffee. One night we even played Pictionary, or Draw and Guess as it’s called in classic Danish functional style.