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Jameson Cult Film Club: The Blues Brothers

We’re on a mission from God.

– Elwood Blues

If ever a movie lent itself to the Jameson Cult Film Club experience, I think that The Blues Brothers is it. Hosted by the Jameson Cult Film Club as a way of celebrating cinema, the events see the team trying to bring the movies to life, offering a rather immersive experience. It’s a wonderful way to honour classic films, and I think that The Blues Brothers really embodies the best type of film for that sort of adaptation. After all, it is a movie so famed for its cult status and audience participation that John Landis and Dan Ackroyd actively recruited fans from screenings to appear in Blues Brothers 2000. Second to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Blues Brothers is a movie were the energy and exuberance really can’t be confined to the screen, and I think that’s why the team were able to do such a wonderful job with it.

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Non-Review Review: The Blues Brothers

I had the pleasure of catching a Jameson Cult Film Club screening of The Blues Brothers earlier this evening. And it was awesome. Really, really great night. Might have been the best yet. I’ll have more details on it later in the week, but now seems like a good time to revisit the classic.

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

– Elwood and Jake

It might seem a bit redundant to say it, but The Blues Brothers has soul. Not just the funky music, though it has plenty of that. Nor an evangelical message, although the two brothers are, as they claim, “on a mission from God.” No, The Blues Brothers has a core of pure exuberance, a sense of joy that is all too rare – it doesn’t seem like writers Dan Ackroyd and John Landis threw ideas at the wall to see what stuck, so much as they demolished the wall and threw it at another wall. The Blues Brothers is, by turns, absurd, wry, grounded, sarcastic, charming, heartwarming and sardonic, with those elements frequently overlapping to an almost insane degree. In many ways, like John Belushi’s scheming, manipulative and aggressive Jake Elwood, it’s far more charming than it really should be. But we love it for it.

It’s a dirty business…

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Thinking Outside the Box: When Does Reality Subtext Overwrite Fiction?

It happens every so often, to the extent that I’m actually quite used to it. I’ll be either listening to Michael Jackson on my headphones, or mention in passing a bit of trivia, or name the musician as one of the most impressive of all time. And, undoubtedly, there will always be someone who will retort with, “Yeah, but he was a pedophile.” And that will be that – pretty much everything that Jackson has accomplished will be a moot point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing one way or a nother, I just feel a little bit curious as to where the line between what happened in real life can prevent or undermine an artist’s work.

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Non-Review Review: Burke & Hare

I quite like black comedy. There’s definitely a place for the more bitter strain of humour on the big screen, and there’s no denying that the British do black comedy wonderfully – it’s like a national trait of some kind. However, there’s something even deeper and more unpleasant than the black comedy at the heart of Burke & Hare. As I watched it, I couldn’t quite get the fact that it was based on two very real serial killers who (to this very day) have made a lasting impact on Scotland’s political and social history. There’s something very trite about turning their story into a black romantic comedy with a soundtrack from The Proclaimers.

They haven't a leg to stand on...

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