March 13th, 2009

breaking bad

What sticks with you

Here is scriptwriter toddalcott's post on Watchmen
I think, in the months and years to come, (viewers) will find themselves arguing with their friends and haunted by the movie's arresting images. I think they'll start to see ideas and themes from the movie come up in their daily lives, and they'll come back to it ... and maybe they'll be directed back to the book and maybe they'll never completely "get" it, but at least it's out there now to be experienced and to become part of our culture and I can't see that as bad.

The post includes an open letter to fans from David Hayter, one of its screenwriters. I will go and see it again this weekend and see how it strikes me a second time. Hayter wonders whether it will be another Blade Runner.

I still remember seeing Blade Runner when it first came out, in a little cinema in Brighton as it happens. I was awestruck, I loved it, and I felt the rest of the audience loved it too. The atmosphere in the cinema was electric. However, the film did not really hit popular esteem for years. In Adventures in the Screen Trade William Goldman concludes his story of screenwriting with 1982, saying 'no good movies were made this year' - film is dead, he said.

I didn't quite get as extreme a 'bloody hell!' vibe off Watchmen as I did off Blade Runner. However I did get a physical sensation so it did something to me.

I'm just thinking now of films that stuck with me - Alien, Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Memento, Big Lebowski, Spirited Away, quite a few others. When I watched them I got a physical sensation, and also I couldn't sleep after. But I'm afraid it's harder to remember whether I got that sensation from other films that now I don't remember, because they turned out to be rubbish.

Now that I blog I suppose all my bad judgements are post-checkable, if only by myself.
breaking bad

Red Riding: 1980

Martin at Everything is Nice blogs this morning about Red Riding: 1980 which was on last night.

Fuck me, 1980 might be the most harrowing film I have ever seen. It has the same awful impact of Irreversible but there is nothing gratuitous or voyeuristic here. As befits its subject matter - and the fact that real women died - it is remorselessly sombre and bleak. With the exception of one vivid, nightmarish scene it is entirely stripped of the surreal air of 1974, nor is there any of the period swagger of the previous film.

They managed to pull out the sticky thread of the plot from the book and transplant it to the TV medium, radically simplifying who does what without losing the integrity of the story. Not softening what Peter Sutcliffe did, and not making his character any less terrible than it is, but not exploiting the suffering of his victims (in my opinion).

I was just blogging about that visceral feeling you get when you know something is really good. I got that watching this last night - right from the very start, I was thinking 'Bloody hell this is good as anything you will ever see'. And you could tell the first class actors who were involved - Edward Fox for about 30 seconds for instance - knew it too.

Incidentally, to bring things down a bit, I though this week's Law and Order:UK - also about police corruption and prostitution - was utter and complete rubbish. It was so misogynist, so feeble and exploitative, that I'm not going to watch that program any more. Roughly the same subject area - a universe apart.
breaking bad

"The labor theory of value applied to sports"

Amusingly, American right wing conservo-Christians have identified another source of evil in this world: Soccer. Yes, like welfare, healthcare and atheism, it is a bridgehead of European decadence, which has the power to sap precious bodily fluids.

The Soul of Soccer

It's no surprise that the moral relativism sweeping across the globe has begotten outrageous behavior.... Watching a soccer fan effusively fling rocks and bottles at innocent players reminds me of cold-blooded abortionists and activist federal judges hurling stones at the preciousness of life. ... look closely next time you see footage of soccer fans gone wild. You'll be staring into the innermost depths of the world's soul.

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