Hints & Tips
Now with the recent Oscars in mind here is something different. From the earliest days of the moving image, filmmakers have tried to stretch the boundaries of technology to realise their visions. Some have been so frustrated by the inability to achieve what they wanted at the time, they have gone back later enhance their films with the latest bells and whistles. Witness, for example, George Lucas ‘reinventing’ of his original Star Wars trilogy by replacing special effects that were, at the time, a bit more Blake’s 7 than he was happy with. Even the mighty Steven Spielberg went back and re-jigged bits of ET and added ‘better’ effects. Of course for some, ‘re-booting’ or ‘re-imagining’ is equivalent to sticking a big stick of dynamite in a pumpkin, lighting the fuse and expecting it to look better after it has gone off. However, with our love for garden machinery, we have decided that there are some movies out there that could be improved with the insertion of a bit of garden vroom. So here is a brief list of our nominations.
1. Jungle Book – Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright
We all know that, in the famous Disney version of Kipling’s classic, Mowgli finally defeats Sher Khan by attaching a branch alive with ‘man’s red flower’ – fire, to his tail, something the WWF would certainly never allow to happen now. But the main reason Mowgli gets into trouble in the first place is that he can never see the flipping Tiger coming. The silky voiced Sher Khan is permanently creeping up on people like a supervisor in a chocolate factory and appears as if from nowhere on more than one occasion. This is not surprising. Fish out your DVD copy and look at the state of the jungle. It needs a good clearing, some pruning and a going over with a heavy-duty grass trimmer. A few hours’ work and Mowgli will always be able to see Sher Khan coming, and skip up a tree, not to mention being able to avoid that annoying snake that comes over all Derren Brown with the googly eyes.
We say – “Bare necessities”? – A good brush cutter and a high quality tree pruner!
2. The Railway Children – Slip Sliding Away
Yes, it’s everyone’s favourite Jenny Agutter movie, a Christmas, Easter, Bank Holiday and Duvet Day staple and one of the very few films it’s officially OK to cry at if you are a fifteen stone bloke called Colin. It’s one of our favourites. And where would we insert a scene of gardening goodies? Well take a good look at the garden of Three Chimneys where they live. It’s a constant mess and could do with a few of those daisies being mown down but actually; I am more concerned with the landslide. Those trees come sliding down the hill, threatening the lives of all who are on the soon to be arriving on the 11.29. I understand that it would take more than a couple of shovels to clean up the mess, but if Bobby, Peter and Phyllis had whipped out a couple of chainsaws or an old-fashioned axe, early on in the film, rather than whipping off their petticoats later (not Peter) they might have taken down the rotten old tree whose roots were causing the subsidence in the first place. Not only that, they would have had a great supply of firewood instead of pinching Bernard Cribbin’s coal. I mean after all, they are ‘poor’. This means (in Edwardian E. Nesbitt land at least) that they could only afford one servant rather than three. It’s broken Edwardian Britain.
We say – “Daddy my Daddy… come and get this tree chopped up pronto!”
3. Witness – Coming Here John Book, With Your Chainsaw of the Hand
Not an obvious one maybe because, let’s face it, The Amish community, as portrayed in this excellent thriller directed by Peter Weir, are perfectly happy to do things the old way, shunning machinery, eschewing buttons positively rejecting zips and raising barns without a lithium-ion battery between them. But just think. If Harrison ‘John Book’ Ford, hiding out amongst the cows and carriages, had been able to use a few power tools, perhaps a strimmer, a chainsaw, even a powered wheelbarrow, he would have been working a lot less and would have had a great deal more time to spend dancing in the hay with Kelly McGillis; and that, to many men of a certain age, would be no bad thing!
We say: “We’ve got a barn to raise … so grab your chainsaw”
And that’s it. Now, seriously film and gardening fans, look out for our own exciting ‘MD re-boot’ soon, and I promise you it’s better than Star Wars 1,2 or 3 (i.e 4, 5 and 6 in real terms). Watch the site! See ya! Holly.