Up from the ashes

Weird. I just started this blog today and already the world on screen (in the form of perennial kids’ favourite ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’) and the world of Jaguar collide (or rather, thankfully, don’t), in the case of a veteran actor Dick Van Dyke – who I actually thought was dead – escaping from a ball of four-wheeled flames on the LA freeway.

Why a Jaguar caught fire is still a mystery. I thought that only happened to Ferraris.

Although, interestingly, fans of the 1968 movie will remember that in it’s pre-Chitty life, the titular car did burst into flames in the opening credit sequence, before being repaired (with the help of a metal chimney piece and a wooden row boat) by Dyke’s character, the inexplicably cheerful hitherto failed inventor Caractacus Potts.

Which brings to mind some words of wisdom from one of the lesser-known songs from the film:

“From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success.”

If children’s movies have anything to teach us, it’s that while a flaming car is not a good thing, on balance, it could be worse.

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“I never knew Barbara had a Jag. Always wanted to drive one of those.”

The XJ from Shaun of the Dead

Next stop, The Winchester.

Shaun of the Dead was on TV last night and it brought to mind two things.

a)    God, it’s a brilliant movie

b)   Why does seeing Jaguars on telly make me so happy?

I’m not a Jaguar owner (anymore), but I do love them. So whenever one turns up on screen, it’s like a spotting a cameo from an obscure actor that you’ve always loved – and possibly thought was dead. A bit like when Ollie Reed turned up in Gladiator. You didn’t care what he was saying, you just wanted to cheer every time he appeared.

Anyway, I thought I’d start a blog dedicated to all things Jaguar in TV, film and pop culture in general, with a few other bits and pieces thrown in.

Slightly Caddish? If you have any interest in Jaguar at all, you’ll remember the classic Top Gear riff on what makes a Jag a Jaaaaaag.

Amazingly, I was looking online for a screenplay of the movie to get a closer look and it turns out, they’ve just released a brilliant interactive version as part of the general hoopla for The World’s End.

Jag-wise, the pages you want are 104-137.

Although, I have to say, my favourite line of all is not dialogue at all but a scene heading:

INT.              JAG             – AFTERNOON

(Comes a close second to ‘Exit, pursued by bear’ in great script directions of all time.)

I also want to do a feature on why the Jag was so expertly cast as the perfect vehicle for eluding comedy zombies in suburban North London, but that’s a longer post.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the exact model on IMCDB.

And do check out the interactive screenplay. It’s awesome.