This is the second half of my Fortnight of Culture. I have been putting together a schedule of music, film, television, literature and more, for my friend Chris who has two blissfully free weeks in need of filling. “How odd,” you might say, “to post this, the second half of your Fortinght of Culture, on a Tuesday rather than on a Monday, which is, after all, the start of the week.” Have you ever attempted to curate an entire Fortnight of Culture for a man who’s only ever seen the film Cool Runnings? I thought not. You ingrate.
Yes, I know it’s too late for Monday. You’ve already made that abundantly clear. Hell, it’ll probably be too late for Tuesday by the time I’ve finished writing this.
10AM – Today’s Showing
Today we have a time travel triple bill. It’s back to back Back to the Future. You know about these films because of that day last year when everyone kept making jokes about not owning a hoverboard yet, but just because so many people like Back to the Future, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad films.
10AM – 12AM Back to the Future
Reflect on the fact that if you owned a time travelling Delorean you would be able to get back to Monday and properly adhere to this schedule. So really, you’re the failure here.
12AM – 2PM Back to the Future Part II
Now pause and reflect on the fact that, if you ignore the integrated trailer for the third film, the ending of Back to the Future Part II is superb. Can you imagine how pleased with themselves they must have been when they came up with that ending? They were probably high on their own genius for days after that.
2PM – 4PM Back to the Future Part III
Yes, you’re right, you did just watch the same story three times in different settings, but don’t feel short changed. Think about it, isn’t every film the same story, deep down.
Don’t worry, that was just the sound of your mind being blown.
4PM – The News
There are seven episodes of the spoof news show Brass Eye and we have seven days to fill. They’re hosted and written by the incomparable Chris Morris, the dark comic genius behind the film Four Lions. Pretend that they’re all real news broadcasts for added immersion. I realise that I’ve created a rather expensive fortnight for you, but Brass Eye is only the click of a mouse away.
5PM- 7PM – This Evening’s Showing
Brass Eye was really good, right? Imagine if Chris Morris made a feature length film about Islamic terrorism in Britain. Now stop imagining and watch Four Lions.
Yes Chris, I know that it’s going to be far too late for you to do anything that I schedule for Tuesday. I think we both know that I don’t really intend you to read/watch/listen to all this stuff in the allotted time because it’s impractical, expensive, and won’t be of any use to you. I’m just doing it out of a sense of novelty, so stop being such a pedant.
10AM – Today’s Marathon
Remember how much you enjoyed watching The Cornetto Trilogy last week? Well, before The Cornetto Trilogy, Simon Pegg wrote a TV sitcom called Spaced with the brilliant Jessica Hynes. It was directed by Edgar Wright and featured Nick Frost, Mark Heap, and Peter Serafinowicz.
Today you shall watch all of Spaced. There are two series made up of seven episodes each.
It is now 5PM. Take an hour for yourself.
6PM – The News
Time for another episode of Brass Eye.
Night, night. You’ve got a big day tomorrow.
Spaced is a beautiful tapestry of homages and references to that which its creators hold dear. You liked Spaced, you liked the Cornetto Trilogy, so surely you’ll like all the stuff that inspired it too. Spaced is like a funny, artistic, entertaining, valuable, well-written, career-launching, beloved version of this blog.
10AM – Breakfast
Today, you breakfast like a King of Kulture. We’re going to kick off the day with a screening of the iconic sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. If possible, try and see it at Symphony Hall with a live orchestra providing the soundtrack (I realise that this may not always be possible but I just wanted to boast about the fact that I clearly have. Pathetic, isn’t it?) 2001 is referenced a couple of times in Spaced, including in the first episode, when some of the music is sampled.
1PM – Reflection
When David Bowie saw 2001: A Space Odyssey he reflected on it by writing the song Space Oddity, which has since been performed in actual space. He set the bar pretty bloody high.
2PM – This Afternoon’s Screening
You’re going to watch Sam Raimi’s classic Zombie flick Evil Dead. There are many references to the Evil Dead series throughout Spaced. Invite me round for this one, because I haven’t seen it and I think I should. Why should you get to have all the fun?
4PM – Reflection time
Reflect by cooking me an early dinner while I drawl on about my own ill thought out opinion on what we just watched.
6PM – This Evening’s Screening
This evening we (if I decide to stick around, this may depend on the quality of your cooking) will be watching the film The Shining. I’m not going to point out how everything is referenced in Spaced, and I know you’re going to think I’ve forgotten about the Spaced thing and have just gone back to recommending things, but I promise you that Spaced really does reference all these things.
The Shining is one of those films that you’ll get something out of whether you like it or not. It’s sort of like having a cursory knowledge of The Bible; it unlocks so many nods and winks in film and TV that may otherwise have gone whizzing over your head.
9PM – The News
Everything that you watched yesterday was referenced in episode one of series one of Spaced. I’m starting to worry that we aren’t going to have enough time to cover everything.
10AM – This Morning’s Screening
Raiders of the Lost Ark – If I had time I would make you watch all three Indiana Jones films (THERE ARE ONLY THREE) and sit with you reeling off every line of dialogue Sean Connery says in the third one. But we don’t have time and at least one of us would end up dead.
1PM – This Afternoon’s Screening
Reservoir Dogs – When I re-watched this last year, I forgot about the opening scene. That conversation is not one that you want to hear coming out of the telly when you’ve just chosen a film for you, your girlfriend, and your girlfriend’s Dad to watch. Watch alone if possible.
5PM – This Evening’s Showing
Fight Club – you know the rules.
9PM – The News
10AM – Today’s Marathon
Now that you’ve done the background reading on Spaced, it’s time re-watch it. This is a process that usually takes years of acquiring pop-cultural knowledge, but in just a few days you can view Spaced on an entirely different level. You. Are. Welcome.
9PM – The News
You expect me to fill your weekend too? Well tough, I’m done with this. YOU AREN’T THE BOSS OF ME! WHY NOT TRY THINKING FOR YOURSELF?!?
Recommendations in brief:
Parny and Ollie, I think you would like this video about the music in the Lord of the Rings films.