March 4th, 2011

breaking bad

I don't want to get rough, do I?

An article in the Guardian about the fortieth anniversary of my favourite film: Get Carter.

Carter is one of those films of which almost every line is famous - well, famous among those who love it, like some people are with Rocky Horror or Star Wars. It has the quality of Significance: that everything in it, and everything said, is freighted with meaning, like in Tarantino.

'Oi! In a thin glass!'

The actual story is simple: Michael Caine (as Carter) is a London gangster, extremely cold and inward, who comes to Tyneside to investigate his brother's death. For the first half of the film he is controlled and quiet, and then he sees a porn film featuring his daughter/niece and from then on he goes on a psychotic killing rampage, culminating in his own meaningless death. As well as the people, the city itself is a major character in the film. The bleak post-war wasteland. I lived in Darlington in the 1970s and it was something like.

It's a hugely influential film. I think most modern British gangster films (a huge genre) owe it a first or second hand debt. Life on Mars was heavily influenced by it, as was Our Friends in the North, and the Red Riding trilogy.

Opening credits
With me it's a full time job
breaking bad

Seasonally adjusted

Friends and countrymen. Some people have been concerned about our economy going down the toilet. But, what these people don't understand is that the 0.6% shrinkage in GDP which has occurred in the past three months was due to the unexpected falling of snow at Christmas. An event, I am sure you will agree, of unprecedented gravity.

Similarly, the placement of our party's candidate in sixth place in a recent by-election was due to the flowering of snowdrops and crocuses in the spring time. The thousands, or indeed millions, of people who support us wholeheartedly were distracted by the pleasant display on the way to the polling stations, and failed to arrive on time.

The plummeting of house prices is because unexpectedly high winds in March deter people from moving house, for fear of their pantechnicons swaying precariously in the stiff breeze.

And the recent statements by the Governor of the Bank of England that he is 'Surprised nobody has kicked my head in yet' and 'Oh Christ we are all doomed' were because he was tired and emotional after over-indulging in Cadbury's Cream Eggs and Hot Cross Buns.

I hope that clears things up.