Friday, 25 August 2017

Dominic Jeffery – Filmmaker Ordinaire

Dominic Jeffery was a French film director, producer and garage attendant. As a film director and producer he made more than forty films. As a garage attendant he cleaned more than forty cars. His films are often cited as among the greatest ever made by Mrs Edith Witherspoon of Stepney. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the motion picture industry in 1975, although 'stole' might be a more appropriate word.

Jeffery was the son of the acclaimed painter and decorator Pierre-August Jeffery, who was also his father. Shortly before his birth, Dominic went to live with his uncle Ned, which was confusing for everyone. As he later wrote in his memoir My Life, My Films and My Work In Garages, "this was confusing for everyone." His younger brother Len (1901-1971) had a brief career in the film industry as a plinth operator, although work was scarce as plinths were rarely needed. His older brother Tim (1910 -1852) was a time machine expert. Dominic was also the uncle of the amateur cinematographer Norman Splatts, who worked on several of his films until he pleaded with him to stop.

During World War One, Dominic served in the French cavalry as a waiter. After being shot in the leg during a particularly violent meal, he acquired a leg injury which left him with an injury of the leg. At the end of hostilities he was given an honourable discharge by the navy, as the army had run away. Jeffery then followed his father's suggestion and tried his hand at making ceramics, but soon set that aside to make films, having been inspired by Erich von Stroheim's classic book, Setting Aside Ceramics To Make Films.

He decided to change career in 1928 when he directed the first of his nine silent films, 'La premiere de mon neuf films silents' (1935) which starred his first wife, Vera, who went on to become older. In 1937 he directed one of his best-known films, 'Mon film best known' (1948). Sadly the original negative of the film was destroyed in a cinema seating accident, and it was not until the 1950s that French film enthusiasts Jean and Jacques Plinge were able to reconstruct a print of the film using some old washing-up liquid bottles and sticky back plastic. His final work, 'Trouble de Voiture' starring Iain Lee (TalkRadio, The 11 O' Clock Show) and John Dredge (nothing) can be seen below, and was nominated for an Academy Award by Mrs Edith Witherspoon of Stepney.

Monday, 10 July 2017

New Song From Allegedly Classic Pop Duo


Pop duo The Dredge Hibbett Conunundrum formed in 1982 near Mungbean-on-Thames in the UK, Engerland, inspired by groups such as Bunsen Burner Breakdown, Whose Legs Are These? and Ornithologist Overdrive. The group consisted of singer/parking meter attendant John Dredge, guitarist/biscuitologist Mark Hibbett, and Rex Harrison (no relation) who left due to a disagreement over how many people could be in a duo.

During their initial run in 1982 they released two singles, Twig of Doom and Wait Till Irving Becomes Rotund on Pigflip Records, which sold over nine copies. The duo split up after becoming involved in a fight with their manager and a spaniel, but got back together when Pigflip put out a compilation of songs about teacakes, including the Conunundrum classic 'Fondant Fancy Fandango.' A sudden burst of recording, undertaken without the duo's knowledge, resulted in their first full-length album Have We Become Insipid? and a tour of Woking followed, followed by another tour of Woking due to an administrative error.

And now The Dredge Hibbett Conunundrum can be heard on Listen to the Bands, the Monkees tribute album from 7a Records! Their contribution The Day We Fall In Love was recorded over a three-year period. When questioned as to why it took so long, John replied that he was a perfectionist, although this trait is certainly not evident on the final 7a recording. Why not watch their new video anyway?

@7aRecords
@johndredge
@mjhibbett

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Dear Dredge - The UK’s Foremost Untrained Agony Uncle Attempts to Help You With Your Awful Problems.

Dear Dredge

Both my father and my mother have been banjo players since before the war. Sadly I am unable to play the instrument myself despite having had 3,5050461235 lessons, and instead I have had to make do with the flute.  My parents have virtually disowned me and I have been ostracized by a number of ostriches as well as people in the local banjo-playing community. What should I do?
 

Don, Prestwood


Dear Don

Disguise the flute as a banjo.  If anyone asks you why it still sounds like a flute, simply change the subject. 




Dear Dredge

My husband has decided to hire the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to mow our lawn. He feels that not only would the large number of people involved help get the task completed more quickly, but they might give us a musical performance afterwards at no extra cost. We are both fans of classical music and effective gardening, but is this a step too far?
 

Gladys, Frinton


Dear Gladys

The RPO are not widely known for their lawn mowing skills so it may prove a costly mistake, with the possibility of sheet music left strewn all over the garden. I would recommend you use the Kronos String Quartet instead, as they have excellent horticultural skills, and are happy to give recitals after completion of any gardening work. They also take up a lot less room, and are in the phone book.




Dear Dredge

I am writing a concerto for camels as I believe these magnificent creatures have been ignored by the classical music world for too long. Do you have any advice?
 

Len, Nahden-on-Sea


Dear Len,

Speaking as a composer of concertos for camels myself, I can only applaud this move. However if you do have to give a performance in the desert, make sure you take some suntan lotion. I should add that camels fear the key of G, so why not write it in A-flat or, if you need more room, A-house.

Goodbye.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

plinge

I haven't blogged since last year thus now I rectify said blogging contrafibularities forthwith.  Plinge.

Today I was listening to wonder broadcaster Danny Baker on the Radio Today podcast. I reckon he could easily get on TalkRadio if he wanted.  Most peculiar that Radio 2 didn't like him - probably meaning one person didn't like him.  The world of radio continues to confound innit.

Am doing some sort of live podcast for Comic Relief next month, one hour's nonsensical ramblings as part of the Southampton Super-Pod. Looking forward to burbling on with ace nutcase Andy Harland and our cat, Norrington.  I think our double-act could go places this year.  Places like Scarborough, Whitley Bay and Pobblehume.

Pondering going to Iain Lee's Performance Ring this evening where he generously showcases new acts - Andy and I did the first one and had a blast.  I think I was possibly the first person to push a wheelbarrow across the stage in that particular venue.  But then again who knows what tonight will holdddddddddddd?

I was watching an old Tiswas yesterday which brought back lots of fun memories.  Mainly of watching Tiswas.  Of the old team, Tarrant's probably done the best with his long boring train documentaries that are on at the moment, although he was never better than when hosting the Saturday morning madhouse.  Lenny Henry's still at the top but again I think he was best on that kids show.  They never spoke down to their audience, which marked them out as something special back then.  I remember when Tiswas finished, the next week Isla St Clair was on with something called The Saturday Show and I couldn't understand why it was nowhere near as good.  Looking back, few things were ever as good.

I sometimes wonder exactly where I fit into 2017.  Perhaps into a small holdall in the corner of the living room.

I must now leave you to return to my home planet of Vulcan.  Live long and prosper, and don't forget to put the cat out.