Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 - 31

Potentially Erroneous

The main thing I wanted to talk about is something I don't want to talk about. To quote my dad, I don't want to put the mockers on it.

There was something else, but I forgot to write it down and as I can't think what it is at the moment...

I considered talking about something that I said I would refrain from talking about, then I changed my mind.

I will say that I have found that surreality has saved my sanity this week; but only in something I'm not going to talk about.

I'm not suggesting I've had a boring week with nothing to write about, but I'm struggling to finish this sentence. To be fair, the week has been very much like other weeks - it came and went. I popped over to Duston on Monday; went quizzing on Tuesday; stayed in on Wednesday, had a takeaway and a beer on Thursday and last night we watched a film that neither of us were particularly bothered about and thoroughly enjoyed. Funny how that happens.

The film was called Chronicle and was one of those 'lost footage' movies; you know the kind that has to get you to suspend belief because the arsehole holding the camera would rather get a shot of the monster's dental work than run for his bleedin' life. I appreciate we live in a world now where everyone thinks they're Alfred Spielcas and are filming their boring lives, on their boring phones, and then You Tubing it so everyone else can see how facile and boring their lives are; but these surveillance camera; video footage, The Blair Cloverfield Activity type movies are all much of a muchness and I always feel the films would have made better movies had they been done, you know, conventionally. I still believe the best film of this kind was Cannibal Holocaust, not because it was a good film, but because when it came out (1981, I think), there had been nothing quite like it before and I've always believed the best bit of that film was the actual lost footage, because it is very unsettling.

Chronicle could be the best of all the recent films and that might be because you almost forget you're watching a 'lost footage' film; especially during the finale, which, because it takes place in front of millions of potential cameramen, looks extremely cinematic. It has a number of genuinely laugh out loud moments; has a pretty plausible idea and tackles teenagers very well, even if the teenagers again all look like people in their 20s. The special effects are quite excellent and while the film does set up a sequel, I hope they don't.

It is a film that reminded me, in a little way, of one of the comic series I feel would make a good film. The Griffin touches on similar themes as Chronicle, albeit in a slightly different way. My rating is it really is worth watching, plus the closing music is by M83.

While writing the above, I was reminded that these 'footage' films remind me a little of Stephen King's first novel, Carrie. Instead of a normal narrative, Carrie is put together with excerpts from books, diaries, newspaper clippings and in between all of this is a third person narrative filling in the gaps. For some strange reason, Hollywood has decided that Brian De Palma's classic film adaptation of King's novel (and one of the few that are actually any good) is being remade. I still struggle to understand why, but I hope they follow the novel even closer than De Palma. The Sissy Spacek film actually toned down the carnage (something that also happened in the film version of Misery), so I hope the new film conveys that feeling you get from reading the book that this event was something considerably more important than just a freak accident.

I just finished King's best Dark Tower novel. Best in this case is a pejorative word, because, frankly, King could have taken a vindaloo dump on a ream of paper and it would have been more coherent and interesting than the last three DT books. The Shit Through Your Letterbox or whatever it's called is nominally to be regarded as The Dark Tower 4.5; taking place between books 4 and, I'm thinking, 5? It is a tale within a tale within a bookend. It's another Roland as a teenager adventure with a Gilead fairy story told in middle. It's pretty disposable stuff and doesn't actually do anything to the DT legend than make you wish King had waited before rushing into finishing his opus. It's written with a warmth and enthusiasm which has crept back into King's writing of late; perhaps his 4 months a year in Florida is rejuvenating him? Who knows, had he just let it run its course it might have been quite good.

King's next book is a sequel to The Shining, which, according to a few King places I pop into from time to time, has divided opinions. Doctor Sleep drops back in on Danny Torrance, 30 odd years after his father went ape shit in the Overlook Hotel. How does a kid with a profound mental ability survive in the world, especially after the trauma he suffered as a child? I read the blurb about it on King's own website and I have to say it looks really good. I think I'm allowed to take that as a pinch of salt, but if he follows a recent trend then it might be a treat.

Apparently, either in 2013 or 2014, we can expect the third and final part of the Jack Sawyer Trilogy (the books he's written with Peter Straub - another author who needs to rediscover his mojo).

Some wanky fan site recently did their top 52 King novels (or something like that) and had the audacity to put Insomnia almost last and yet had Cell in the top 20. Some people should have their fingers chopped off.

Undoubtedly Superfluous

Tonight, we witnessed the death of a great football team. No, not the final flourish of a Chelsea team that just seemed destined to win a trophy they never looked like deserving for most of the season and now face a summer of transition as the old guard depart. Nor was it the demise of Bayern, on their home turf to a bunch of lucky old bastards.

No the death tonight was of Spurs. Who earned a Champions League spot and have had it snatched away from them. Because tonight players like Luca Modric, Gareth Bale, Raphael Van Der Vaart will be sold, Emmanuel Adebayor will not be tempted to join and my football team will no longer be a burgeoning force in English football.

I'm glad the season is over. Part of me hopes it never starts again...

  • I've had an eclectic listening week: Sugar, M83, Brahms, Liszt, Mike Oldfield, Salt Tank and assorted Cafe Del Mar ambiance.
  • I have mainly been writing as opposed to reading; roughing out an old idea.
  • I am finding the cost of fuel is becoming increasingly a concern.
  • Apparently summer is going to make a brief appearance next week. I had gloves and a hat on today - it's the 19th May.
  • John Carter was okay; the guy playing John Carter couldn't act and neither could the woman who played the princess; but that aside it was a bit like some other films and was far too long.
  • Glow in the dark beards.

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