Monday, June 21, 2004

Wow, there’s been some great football matches in Euro 2004. France-England, Czech Republic-Holland, Spain-Portugal. Greece and Latvia are putting up a good show also. I’m a bit disappointed Spain are leaving early. In every tournament I expect them to do well but they flatter to deceive. Well I suppose you can take nothing for granted in sport.

There’s a really good add for Heineken beer on Irish TV at the moment. It’s set in Prague in 1971. Basically the camera follows a young woman dressed in a brown leather jacket and a red beret as she travels through Prague. She walks the streets, she catches a tram. Shady looking characters who are members of the Czech secret service follow her. Eventually she gives them the slip. She passes several people on the street.

Eventually she enters a building walks up the stairs then after hiding in the stairwell after hearing someone approaching rings a doorbell. The door is opened and she’s admitted into an apartment. Inside people are talking, a false bookcase is opened and the woman is handed a bottle of Heineken. A man she passed on the street greets her.

But all is not well and one of the men glances toward a room. In the room we see a man sitting down. He’s a slight old man, deadly serious, dressed in a dark suit. He’s reading a book and drinking from a mug. Unsmiling he lifts his mug in salute to the people looking on. We’re left wondering who is this guy? Friend or foe? The add ends.

It’s a classic, an absolute classic. It’s very atmospheric. The background music is wonderful. I think it’s by a Czech band called “Plastic People Of The Universe”, who were formed after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces in 1968.
PPOTU were later forbidden by the Czechoslovak authorities from staging concerts and had a twenty-one year battle with officialdom.

The music of PPOTU is heavily influenced by The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. The name of the group is inspired by Frank Zappa.

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