Underground Girl and Underground Guy

The emo duo first appeared on Ronnie Johns Half Hour, an Australian sketch show, in 2005. Played by Jordan Raskopoulos (Axis of Awesome) and Felicity Ward, the black-clad hipsters compete over who can be the most “underground”.

For my own part, I remember switching off Wittgenstein as a Media Studies sixth-former, thinking, “F*** this! I want to watch Die Hard!” and writing my own rule that the first law of art is that it absolutely must entertain. Not all entertainment is easy viewing – American History X, for example, is almost unwatchably horrific – but anything that bores has failed before it’s begun. This is why Commando will always be a better movie than Citizen Kane.

To Underground Girl and Underground Guy, the only value in a piece is its obscurity. This is, of course, complete rubbish: most of the time, the reason something is not popular is because it is s***. Not always, though – there’s plenty of great stuff that is truly “underground” – but let’s face it: Underground Guy is the sort of person who heard Pavement in 1993 and thought he was unique. “It’s not cool to wear a t-shirt that other people think is supposed to be cool.”

These beautifully-observed sketches would have been funny in any year, and are still funny now. Enjoy!


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Romancing the Stone / Jewel of the Nile

Although he started acting in the 1960s, Michael Douglas was first and foremost a producer. He decided against casting himself in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, considering himself too old, and put Jack Nicholson into his Oscar-winning role. Romancing the Stone was Michael’s breakthrough role as a leading man – a film he also produced – and cast alongside himself his roommate Danny DeVito and Body Heat star Kathleen Turner. This was the film that launched Robert Zemeckis as a director, although the studio was so sure it would flop that he was fired from Cocoon before this unexpected hit was released.

Romancing the Stone was written by Malibu waitress Diane Thomas, who died shortly after the film’s release. It’s an entirely feminine fantasy, with the emphasis firmly on the romance of the story. Joan Wilder is the archetypal lovelorn New Yorker who lives alone with her cat while she waits for Mr Right. She’s a writer of the bodice-ripper persuasion, determined to meet and marry the selfless heroic type she describes in her novels. One mysterious package from a murdered Colombian; one treasure map, and one frantic phone call later, she’s in the jungles of South America, swinging across ravines on vines and falling over waterfalls – all without breaking bones, of course.

Enter stage right our romantic hero, Jack Colton. He’s handsome but not too handsome; tough but not too rough. He’s only interested in the money … but we can tell he’s in love. He’s every Mills & Boon swashbuckling “I’ll save you!” rogueish charmer. Han Solo in a white puffy shirt, who’s a crack shot with a rifle. About five minutes later, Joan’s uptight up-do has tumbled down revealing silky blonde tresses; her skirt has slashed at the most flattering angle, and she’s magically transformed from plain and useless to a rosy-cheeked and capable heroine. I don’t need to tell you how it ends.


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