BCH

CIPC #239: Ava Max, Kings & Queens

Perhaps I have been indoctrinated by Pepsi, but to me Ava Max sounds like some kind of soda. Or perhaps like some obscure British sports car from the seventies. But it does not sound like a person. Possibly because it isn’t. It just happens to be the name under which certain music-adjacent sound files featuring vocals by a certain Amanda Koci are published. Some of said files have found an appreciative public and were accompanied by short cinematic efforts, which also found wide distribution.1 In one of those, entitled Kings & Queens, the following scene occurs:

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CIPC #238: The untouchables S4 E3, The chess game

The untouchables were originally a special team of incorruptible agents tasked with fighting organised crime in Chicago. It then became the title of an autobiographically book by one of them, which in turn was made into a massively popular television series. In the third episode of the fourth season, Eliot Ness, who usually takes on Al Capone and gangsters of that ilk, fights Ira Bauer, one of the most hardened criminals in the city, one of the greatest threats to not just to Chicago but to all of the United States: someone who sells champagne. Yeah, prohibition was pretty stupid.

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CIPC #237: Peep show S3 E3, Shrooming

Peep show is a critically acclaimed sitcom that cemented David Mitchell and Robert Webb as one of the great comedic duos in British television. It is about Mark, a miserable man eking out a miserable existence working a miserable job for a miserable boss. The worst part of his life is his room mate. A good example of why this is, is provided by the third episode of the third season: Shrooming. Jez — that’s the room mate1 — decides tries to get a desperately sick Mark to go on a business trip so that he can do magic mushrooms in their apartment with his love interest and some punk who has previously destroyed the door to their toilet.

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CIPC #236: Killer7

I don’t know a whole lot about video games, but even I can tell from a very short bit of gameplay footage that Killer7 is a weird, weird game. There are the cel shaded graphics, which are highly unusual. It looks like a standard shooter, but apparently it’s a rail shooter. There’s a sort of ghost in a gimp suit that comes down on bungee cords sometimes to give you tips in an incomprehensible language. And the plot is bizarre. It is set in an alternative (at the time of release) present and deals with a certain Harman Smith who has the ability to physically morph into seven other people. He uses this unusual skill to hire his crew of alter egos out as hitmen.1

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CIPC #235: The Addams family S1 E34, Winning of Morticia Addams

Today, we will talk about a group of weirdos with strange customs, largely shunned by society but quite happy on their own. No, not chess players, the Addams family. We will talk about the very last episodes from the first season of the original series. The plot starts when uncle Fester reads some ridiculous report by a psychologist1 in a newspaper stating that couples that fight are really the happy ones. This worries him, because Gomez and Morticia Addams never fight and always seem to delight in each other’s company. At some point, they are even playing chess:

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CIPC #234: Lewis S4 E3, Your sudden death question

After well over four years of weekly blog posts, it’s becoming harder and harder to come with real novelties. But today, I have found it. Today I have a conception that will shock the world of art. I will talk about the same show two weeks in a row! So get ready for some never before seen entertainment! Yes, we’re revisiting inspector Lewis. This episode features Alan Davies,1 paradoxically in the role of a quiz master. He organises a quiz weekend in Oxford for teams of two. One of the participants turns up murdered, so Lewis appears on the scene, his assistant in tow.

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CIPC #233: Lewis S2 E3, Life born of fire

The last time we met Lewis, he was assisting inspector Morse in his final days. It turns out that he afterwards became an inspector himself and took his former’s boss place. It also turns out that it is a small treasure trove of chess scenes. The first one we will dissect comes from the third episode of the second season. A student shoots himself after threatening a reverend that later turns up brutally murdered. Less than twenty minutes in the episode — the reverend isn’t officially dead yet — the camera finds Lewis’s assistant Hathaway:

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CIPC #232: Chanel ad

All too rare are examples of the happy few, the names that everybody knows, the a-list celebrities, that show up at the chessboard. Consequently, the few cases there are — usually monetarily inspired — are fallen upon by drooling hordes of scandal-hungry chess lovers, i.e. me. Today we consider one such case: Keira Knightley. Being the child of two Thespians, she started very early as a child actor. She became a worldwide star with her roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Love actually.

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CIPC #231: D, In the name of justice

Take a good look at the picture below. It comes from the music video for the song In the name of justice by the metal band D.1 What country do you think they come from? Finland, maybe? After all, they are known to send demonic heavy metal to Eurovision. But alas! no. Norway then? It’s one of the death metal hotspot! But again, no. Turns out they’re from Japan. Apparently, they do not just produce overly saccharine pop ditties by cute looking girls groups but also gothic metal. With a chessboard in their music video.

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CIPC #230: Robot & Frank

Last week, we talked about one of the most well-known movies of all time. Today, we look at a far lesser known one: Robot & Frank, a 2012 movie about Frank, an old man living on his own whose son gives him a robot to nudge him towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. He is quite hostile to the idea, until he finds out that the robot could help him to go burgling again. It’s a pretty good movie: well-written, great actors, funny, clever, touching. And when the credits roll and you think it’s all over, you get to the best bit:

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