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Fig. 1 Gerard Depardieu in Mammuth

The production company is called ‘No Money’, sadly, the obvious lack of a budget to do the film got in the way. They could have done with it to finish the film; the third act is rushed/truncated.

The story though is both simple and compelling: a guy retires, needs the paperwork from former employers 30 odd years in his past. Serge, nickname Mammuth, played by an obese, but loveable Gerard Depardieu sets off to get the affidavits he requires. He meets some odd people, in some odd ways.

It could have turned into a series of sketches : the men all crying in the hotel restaurant, Miss Ming his niece, the metal detector, the ‘Thelma and Louise‘ moment for his wife and he friend.

It inspires me: low budget films can be made. Hollywood should do a remake NOT with Depardieu, but perhaps Kurt Russell or even Jack Nicholson, with a cameo from Lady Gaga and Elizabeth Taylor (especially as she’s dead).

The print was fair easier to view and the subtitles to read at Lewes. The Lewes Film Club in the All Saints Church is more intimate. There were more belly-laughs, with some people drifting into periods of chortles and constant giggles. There are a series of moments that tickly you, especially his first day of retirement (which is perhaps how the idea started out?)


All the films I’ve ever seen (C)



Cabaret 1972


Caddyshack 1982

TV does this better and for less.


La Cage aux Folles 1978

The French did it best.


Calamity Jane 1953

With Doris Day. Don’t even get this on TV anymore, though this is where I would have seen it twenty odd years ago.


Call of the Wild 1972


Camelot 1967

But Richard Harris can’t sing and his toupee or brush-over looks ridiculous.


Camille Claudel 1988

Isabelle Adjani as Rodin’s pupil and mistress. Brilliant.


The Cannonball Run 1980

Whacky Races with has been talent.


Cape Fear 1991

Scary stuff. Robert de Niro is hideous and Juliette Lewis a wet fanny.


Capricorn One 1978

A film with Elliot Gould – there used to be a lot of them.


Captain Blood 1935

The pirate film that made Errol Flynn. Have I seen it? Or just clips?


Captain Correlli’s Mandolin 2001

Great book, shame about the film and Nicholas Cage’s accent.


Caravaggio 1986

Derek Jarman. What a ham. So gay I nearly walked out. Saw it at the ICA with Derek Jarman giving a talk afterwards.


Carrie 1976

Sissy Spacek in this Stephen King novel directed by Brian de Palma.


Carry on up the Khyber 1968

And many other Carry On films (all on TV, usually around Easter or Christmas)


Casablanca 1942

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Burgman … and so much analysed we all know the story inside out.


The Casino Royale 1967

‘One of the most shameless wastes of time and talent in screen history.’ I can see where Austin Powers came from.


Casper 1995

With Christina Ricci.


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958

Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor


Catch 22 1970


Catch Me if You Can 2000

Stephen Speilberg directs Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Hanks. Great stuff.


The Cement Garden 1993

Charlotte Gainsbourge has sex with her brother after their parents die.


Chaplin 1992

Before Robert Downey Jnr went off the rails. Directed by Richard Attenborough. 145m … though some thought it should be longer.


The Charge of the Light Brigade 1968

With Trevor Howard


Chariots of Fire 1981

‘The Brits are coming’ Oh yeah?


Charlotte Gray 2001

Cate Blanchet from a best selling novel.


Le Chateua de Ma Mere 1990

Lovely French film of childhood growing up in Provence.


Cheaper by the Dozen 2003


Chicago 2002

In which Catherine Zeta Jones should NOT have received an Oscar.


Chinatown 1974

Roman Polanski directs Jack Nicholson.


A Chorus Line 1985


A Christmas Carol 1938

Never bettered.


The Cider House Rules 1999

Lasse Haelstgrom with Tobey Mcguire.


Cinema Paradiso 1989



Circle of Two 1980

A 60 year old artist falls for a teenage student. Should this be allowed? Richard Burton was eyeing up Tatum O’Neal.


Citizen Cane 1941

Orson Wells


City Slickers 1991


Clear and Present Danger 1994

Harrison Ford is the same in each one of these.


Cleopatra 1963

Have I ever sat through all of this?


Clerks 1994


Cliffhanger 1993


Clockwork Mice 1995

Vadim Jean at his inadequate again.


Clockwork Orange 1971

But have I sat through it?


Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977


A Close Shave 1995


Cocoon 1985

With Don Ameche directed by Ron Howard.


The Color Purple 1985

Whoopi Goldberg directed by Stephen Speilberg


Coma 1978

Where Michael Crichton began (I believe). With Genevieve Bujold and Michael Douglas.


The Commitments 1991

The audience sequence is the blueprint for the X Factor.


The Company of Wolves 1984


Conan the Barbarian 1981


Conan the Destroyer 1984


Condorman 1981

With Michael Crawford.


The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and His Lover 1989

Peter Greenaway. Why critics rate this unpalatable, unpopular tosh so highly I cannot fathom.


Cool Hand Luke 1987

Paul Newman eats a lot of hard boiled eggs.


The Count of Monte Cristo 2002

Kevin Reynolds with some unknowns – needed the style and action of Pirates of the Caribbean.


Cousin, Cousine 1975

Various love affairs centre on a family wedding.

On video somewhere.


Crash 1996

James Spader is weird in J G Ballard’s weird book.


Creature Comforts 1989

Another Oscar for Nick Park.


Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989

Woody Allen at his most insightful.


Crimes of Passion 1984

Ken Russell at his perverted, esoteric worst.


‘Crocodile’ Dundee 1986

Paul Hogan in a surprising hit


Cromwell 1970

Alec Guinness and Richard Harris. The kind of thing that turned me on to history despite its stogginess.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000


The Crucible 1996

Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Rider in 1690’s Salem


The Crying Game 1996

Neil Jordan and an IRA Murderer.


The Curse of Frankenstein 1957

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.


Cyrano de Bergerac 1990

Brilliant with Gerard Depardieu




BOLD – seen and should see again
Normal – seen
Italics – haven’t seen but interesting
BOLD ITALICS – haven’t seen, but ought too.


BMX Bandits 1984
Australia has a film industry – it has the sun. Need to see this for the moral tail it tells to early teenagers.

Babe 1995
One of the best. And from Australia again. From a book by Dick King Smith.

Babes in Arms 1939
Not seen it. Put of by Mickey Rooney in anything. Like the theme in which the teenage children of retired vaudevillians put on a show.

The Baby and the Battleship 1956
Two sailors hide an Italian baby on their battleship. (So this is how the hapless men with a baby idea began)

Baby Boom 1987
Diane Keaton. As the review points out ‘It lacks any particular distinction.’

Baby Doll 1956
From the play and screenplay by Tennessee Williams.

The Baby of Macon 1993
There was a period when I had to see everything that had been touched by Peter Greenaway – I gave up after Tempest and never saw this either. Perhaps I should.

Baby’s Day Out 1994
The Home Alone formula with a baby. The trailers were enough. I’ve seen it on this basis alone.

Bachelor Mother 1939
A farce I should see that starred Ginger Rogers and David Niven.

Back to the Future 1985M
How to do it with the mad professor and ‘teenager’

Back to the Future II 1989

Back to the Future III 1990

Where the idea of trilogies or making two sequels back to back began. ‘Accelerates with wit, ideas and infectious, wide-eyed wonder.’ Variety. (Just what you want a review to read from a mass market family flick such as this).

Backbeat 1993

Bad Day at Black Rock 1955
Spencer Tracey. The guilty town motif started here.

Badlands 1973
A road movie I should see for its take on disaffected youth.

Baghdad Cafe 1988
Got this as a freebie on a Sunday Paper. Loved its simplicity, the clarity of the character arc it follows and the melange of actors, with the exception of C C H Pounder who over acted through-out.

Bambi 1942
Disney Animation Classic

The Band Wagon 1953
I will have seen several Fred Astaire films without being able to name any.

Bandit Queen 1994
Great when a woman takes revenge against men like this.

Bang 1996
How empowering a cop’s uniform becomes to a wronged woman.

Barbarella 1967

The Barbarian Invasions 2003
Canadian must see film

Barbed Wire 1927
A French girl falls for a German POW during WWI.

Barefoot in the Park 1967
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are perfect in this Neil Simon play. As a child I couldn’t phantom why anyone would spend several days in their hotel room and never come out 😉 I’ve had fun reliving these days on a number of occasions – bed, a bit of food and sex between lounging in the bath, showers, sunbathing nude with the windows open … but never leaving the room and never getting dressed!

Barton Fink 1991
Ethan and Joel Coen at their best.

Basic Instinct 1991
Crude and clichéd but it made millions.

Batman 1989
The one with Michael Keaton

Batman Begins 2005
The latest one with Christian Bale.

Batman & Robin 1997
The one with George Clooney and a cast that turns it into a Hollywood Panto Ensemble piece. Made $233m

Batman Forever 1995
Val Kilmer is dreadful but the film made $333m

Battle for the Planet of the Apes 1973
Who can’t attach the voice of Roddy McDowall to every one of these.

Battle of Britain 1969
A family evening out before my parents split – all I recall is the horror of the dead WAFS, dressed like my grandmother, laid out after an air raid.

Battle of the Bugle 1965

Battle Royale 2001
One to see

The Battleship Potemkin 1925
Sergei Einstein. One of the benefits of living in Paris was to see films such as this projected in a cinema.

The Beach 2000
Danny Boyle one on from Trainspotting with Leonardo di Caprio (when it should have been Ewan McGreggor)

Beau Brummel 1954
Stewart Granger, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Ustinov and Robert Morley … typical BBC 2 midweek, midafternoon fodder for the nearly deceased.

A Beautiful Mind 2001
Jennifer Connelly has escaped the clutches of Labyrinth and Russell Crow shows that he can act. A terrific portrayal of a troubled mind. Directed by Ron Howard.

Beauty & the Beast 1991
Disney animation at its best.

Becket 1964
Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole as Becket and Henry II respectfully.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1971
Seen as a family when I was nine? Had the parents not split up by then, when trips to the Odeon via the Milk Maid had become a thing of the past. A frequent repeat on BBC.

Beethoven 1992
Must have seen it. Panned by the critics, probably loved by the preteen audience.

Beetlejuice 1988
Must have been early outings for Geena Davis and Michael Keaton.

Being Human 1994
Why Bill Forsyth’s directing days are over. Intriguing premise. I’d like to see it to be warned away from this kind of thing.

Being John Malkovich 1999
Need to see this one for its weirdness and appeal.

Being There 1979
Yes. It is compelling with Peter Sellers.

Belle de Jour 1967
Catherine Deneuve directed by Luis Bunuel. Have I seen it, or just reviews?

La Belle Noiseuse 1991
I fancied it because you get to see Emmanuelle Beart naked – this sight subsequently put me off the film. He gamine, even petite exterior exposed child baring hips, hefty thighs and calves to match. As someone who once loved to draw girls (it was a teen thing) and his girlfriends naked (into my twenties) I found the subject appealing and my mother (an artist) and I were impressed the way they cut between the actor and the hand/skill of a real artist to give the thing credibility.

The Belly of an Architect 1987
For me, Peter Greenaway at his best. A compelling characterisation that uses character actors, not stars. Brian Dennehy.

Ben Hur 1959
With Charlton Heston. The notes suggest the 1925 version is more worthwhile.

Bend it Like Beckham 2002
A delightful, if predictable film that could have and could still put class, gender, age or cultural differences against each other. A springboard for Kiera Knightly (16/17 at the time of shooting?) and Parminder Nagra who has made it to ER but no further?

Betty Blue 1986
Jean-Jacques Beineix – one of my favourites, with Beatrice Dalle. So many great moments, the best being the orgasmic opening.

Beverly Hills Cop, 2 & 3 1984, 1987, 1994
Eddie Murphy at his best. An audience pleaser. Where has he gone?

Beyond Bedlam 1994
Vadim Jean was ‘it’ for a short spell. ‘Profound failures’ such as this will have seen him off.

(If I want Art, I’ll buy a painting)

Bicentennial Man 1999
Could have been better … much better. Should have been a TV mini-series. Just shows how hard Science-Fiction is to bring to the screen. Beware. Much science-fiction is best left in the book and in the mind of the beholder.

Big 1988
Or Vice-Versa, or Turnabout. Same premise, often repeated, rarely bettered with Tom Hanks in the lead.

The Big Blue 1988
Luc Besson. Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno … and even Rosanna Arquette. I loved it so much I sat through the 168 minute version in a French Cinema.

Big Fat Liar 2002
I loathe it but the kids then 7 and 9 loved it and keep watching it. They like the idea of taking revenge on an adult who is a ‘big fat liar’ and the method of revenge is EXACTLY what a child would want to do. Put it in the same league as Home Alone – I bet video/DVD sales are fantastic.

The Big Lebowski 1998
Joel and Ethan Coen. Haven’t seen it. Must!

The Big Sleep 1946
Have I seen this? Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall. Surely.

Big Trouble in Little China 1986
Kurt Russell with too much eye shadow.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure 1988
Keanu Reaves and Slex Winter. Why not. My kids like it. Napoleon on a flume … the best bit.

Billy Elliot 2000
Julie Walters and Jamie Bell directed by Stephen Daldry.

Billy Liar 1963
Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie show how painful it is to love and lust at any age or in any era.

Biloxi Blue 1988
Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walken. Surely I’ve seen it.

The Birds 1963
Tippi Hedren gets it in the eye, doesn’t she?

Black Beauty 1971
My sister might have better recollection of this. Patrick Mower and John Nettleton are the types you’d expect to see.

Black Knight 2001
A worker in a medieval theme park is transported back to the Middle Ages. Interesting. Bodyguard 983, which I wrote in 1990, is exactly this premise. I’d better take a look.

Black Rain 1989
Michael Douglas. As predictable as the annual Christmas Pantomime.

Blackbeard the Pirate 1952

Blackbeard’s Ghost 1967
On telly for the second time in 12 months just recently. Nonsense with Peter Ustinov.

Blade 1998
Wesley Snipes hokum.

Blade II 2002
I may have seen this, or the other, or both. What’s the difference?

Blade Runner 1982
Ridley Scott with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah. Some film, some cult to follow.

The Blair Witch Project 1998
I can’t believe I haven’t seen it. Do I need to?

Blazing Saddles 1974
Mel Brooks. My brother’s favourite film because of the farting round the camp fire when they eat baked beans. I think. Have I even seen it? Surely I have?

Blow Out 1981
With John Travolta. Awful when Nancy Allen is snuffed. So why is Brian de Palma supposed to be so good?

The Blue Lagoon 1949
Not seen the original, but would like to. Novel by H de Vere Stacpoole.

The Blue Lagoon 1980
This was my dream and that of my girlfriend – she was 16, I was 19 – who would blame us. Age 13 I tried to write something along these lines which I later called ‘Adam & Evie’ – same idea, two pre-adolescents alone on a spaceship/island headed for New Earth. Get it? Brooke Shields. Yep. Could have done with more sex under the waterfall and more of her belly as it grew … and what about the biggest moment of all. Birth itself!!! Come on guys, babies don’t grow on trees.

Blue Velvet 1986
I prefer mine Betty Blue. Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini, with Dennis Hopper creating the character that Anthony Hopkins turns into ‘Silence of the Lambs.’

The Blues Brothers 1980
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Enjoyable, but I never got on board this they way I may have taken to The Rocky Horror Story, Back to the Future or Star Wars.

Das Boot 1981
A marvel. Wolfgang Petersen wrote and directed.

Body Snatchers 1993
Scary, but you still want to get into Meg Tilly’s knickers afterwards.

The Bodyguard 1992
With Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Good pop video.

Bonnie & Clyde 1967
Warren Beaty and Fay Dunaway.

Bonnie Prince Charlie 1948

Boogie Nights 1997
Porn star in the 70s. It works! (Without becoming pornographic)
With Mark Wahlberg.

Born Free 1966
Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. I had the honour of cooking them dinner in 1987 when they came to their friend’s house Tommy Plaistowe, Alma Square,St John’s Wood.

The Borrowers 1997
From Mary Norton’s books, brought up to date by Gavin Scott with whom in a few conversations were tried to get some new project going of his called ‘The Tower.’

The Boyfriend 1971
Twiggy. And I had a chance to be the boyfriend in an Oxford University version.

Boys Don’t Cry 1999
Hilary Swank is a girl in the early 90s who decides to live as a boy. She won an Oscar for this. I need to see it.

Brain Waves 1982
A brain dead accident victim is brought back to life with the brain-patterns of a murder victim with disastrous results.

A brain dead accident victim is brought back to life with his pre-stored brain-patterns with disastrous results.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992
Gary Oldman hams it up under Francis Ford Copola’s direction with Winona Rider in here somewhere too.

Brassed Off 1996
Tedious with Peter Postlethwaite who should NEVER be a lead.

Braveheart 1995
William Wallace played by Mel Brooks. Never convinces as a young man … he gained 20 years while his childhood sweetheart picked up 10.

Brazil 1985
Terry Gilliam directs, Jonathan Pryce stars. The first video I bought. Probably cost £30.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
Old enough to be my mother, but Audrey Hepburn is delightful, gamine, sexy and fun. My kind of girl for a while.

Breaking the Waves 1996
I need to see this. With Emily Watson.

The Bridge over the River Kwai 1957
Alec Guinness and his skinny POWs build a bridge while the Japs stick ‘em.

Bridget Jone’s Diary 2001

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 2004

A Bug’s Life 1998
Better than Antz (which I still may not have seen)

Bugsie Malone 1976
Alan Parker’s big break. Jodie Foster was the only one who could act (and sing?)

Bullets over Broadway 1994
Woody Allen at his best directing John Cusack.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969
Paul Newman and Robert Redford at their best. The more time passes, the more you see it as hippies from 1969, rather than train robbers from the Wild West.

Tracey Emin at my fingertips

Friday 3rd February 2006

(First appeared in Diaryland)

There’s a danger I’m going to better my current track record of posting regularly

There’s no way I can get out of my head, get away to the level you can by drinking. I need to get out of my head and put it all on my fingertips if I am going to say, do or suggest anything mildly amusing or outrageous.

Or so I’m led to conclude having just read Tracey Emin’s Column in the Independent newspaper.

I’m starting to like her

I’m starting to feel jealous of her life style. Her scramble through life is fun to read. I’d like to be the kind of person she’d meet and enjoy. She could be rude to me, crude with me and I’d remember it all. She strikes me as the kind of person you don’t forget with ease.

‘Last week, I spent a week in bed. I got up twice.’

She begins the second paragraph. I wanted to think this was artistic licence; I take to bed to think, to find solitude. She was ill. Sorry. Some people, even Tracey Emin take to their beds when they feel sick.

Tracey Emin Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of ...

Tracey Emin Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of Terrence Higgins Trust. Please attribute photo to Piers Allardyce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘There is more testosterone per square foot than anywhere else in the world. Men, men, men! Single. Gay. Married. Lovely, intellectual men! It’s not exactly a hunting ground – more a stampede.’

It sounds like the kind of party I’d enjoy

I’m arrogant enough to feel it is the kind of party that I should attend. We had heads this big at Oxford, all of us. At our soirees, our cocktail parties, we all thought we were so brilliant. Many of us turn out to be – I’m not amongst them. I don’t run my own firm of stockbrokers, I’m not a millionaire publisher, a Hollywood director, or an Oscar winning composer. I’m not a leader of a political party in this country, or Europe, or North America, or Asia or Malaysia, all countries that were represented by aspiring barristers and politicians when I was an undergraduate at Balliol. Nor have I written a book, I haven’t finished several. I’m the runner who competes in a marathon every year but never finishes.

Her column reads like the letters I used to get back from my girlfriend

They make you smile and wish you were there to enjoy her adventures.

‘Its a tricky life getting the balance right. I’m not a big drinker; I just can’t take my drink. I have the constitution of a mouse. Hic. ‘

‘I rarely ever make mistakes in life. Not when I’m sober. I only make mistakes when I’m drunk. Some may say that that’s quite a lot of the time. But I drink to get out of my head. I want to go somewhere else. I want the level of freedom which is absolutely impossible in my natural state of mind.’

If I found someone who wrote like this online, I’d want to love them and make love to them.

I’d want to get inside their head and share the contents of my mind with them. So where are you Trace?

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