Sunday, 25 September 2011

A film made just for me. Possibly.

The Adjustment Bureau is exactly my sort of thing. I know they didn't make it just for me, but they might as well have. A politician is told he can't see a woman again, because it doesn't follow his 'path'. It would mess everything up. So he has to fight the future to see her again. It's a love story being attacked by the agents of fate, who are all very smart and wear hats. He rides the same bus for years hoping to see her again. The men in hats watch and adjust the world in front of him to keep them apart. Every time he meets her she's pulled away by the hat men, in what looks like an unfortunate series of events. These really are mean hat men. But the path they make for us is for our own good. It can't be changed. Which makes all this running about part of a bigger fight. It seems impossible to outrun his own future and choose something else.

There are films that are objectively good - films that everybody likes because they speak to everyone at the same time. And there are subjective films - the ones that will only be perfect for certain people. I'm not saying The Adjustment Bureau isn't a good film, it'll just have extra goodness if you're me. It features ideas that I love and puts them all into a pacey, smart, and oddly moving thriller. It doesn't get bogged down in the heavy questions it raises. It gets on with it. All the surreal back-room gods and breaking reality you could ever want, with an engaging love story. It's like they looked into my mind and made the film I wanted to see. Maybe I just need to read more Phillip K Dick, or maybe this is as good as I think it is.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bloggity blog blog

If you're reading this (which, er, you definitely are) you probably have your own blog. So you might look at it and think 'why do I have this thing?'. To provide some sort of service? To promote yourself? Maybe you just want to do some good old-fashioned film reviews. Whatever you choose you'll have to do it a lot. Then after some time has passed you might want to try something else. Start again with a new idea. Or just keep going.

When I started this blog I wanted to write about some short films I was making. When I wasn't making short films I reviewed long films. After two years of doing that I came to realise that I'd reviewed all the films. And most television too. I don't make short films anymore. And I don't review many films. But I still have this blog. That's a good thing, because when there's something I want to write about, where else would I go? It's nice to have your own corner of the internet that you can fill with things you like and thoughts that need to be stored. I've been doing this for a while now, and I've come to realise that there's no point in posting for the sake of it, or trying to promote yourself across the internet. Blogs aren't making anybody famous. Every now and then I write something and some people read it. And I get to read their stuff too.

So yeah, if you've got a weblog, why do you do it? Do you still enjoy it as much as when you started? Will you still be doing it in a few years?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Music from before

Some music sounds like a long time ago. There might be bands or film soundtracks that sound like your childhood. It's not like that for me. There's only one thing that was the soundtrack to my twentieth century. And films have got nothing on this.

For when you're swimming around calm waters with a giant eel
You can't go swimming without this. You'll feel a lot more relaxed, and you'll be able to hold your breath for longer. If you feel like you're about to drown, look for air bubbles or coins. Then when you're jumping around a massive castle, wondering what to do next, you'll realise there's a slide in the attic.

For when you're standing in a field feeling epic
Listen to this. It works better if you've got a sword and a shield. When you're feeling epic enough, walk into a forest to look for money in the bushes. If you accidentally open up an ancient underground labyrinth, don't go in without a few bottled fairies. If you make it back to your village, go into your friends' houses to break their pots and steal their money. Then go back out at night.

For when you're crawling through ventilation shafts
The only place they lead is the toilets. Make your way through the building, killing no more than two scientists. Shoot everyone on a train. Shoot everyone on a boat. Get thrown in jail. Then climb an electricity pylon for the final showdown with your nemesis.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Giving up on a film

Have you ever given up on a film? I'll usually watch anything to the end, but with Confessions I couldn't be bothered. And it wasn't even a bad film. A Japanese teacher gets revenge on her insane students, very slowly and usually in slow motion. It winds along with all its different threads coming and going, and doing it all so stylishly that I lost interest. About half way through I thought about turning it off. That's a dangerous thought. What if I miss something brilliant? Maybe I should just skip through it. So I press fast forward. Nothing to watch in that scene. Or that one. I skip the whole chapter. And the next one. And the next one. Then I'm watching a bit of the end. And the film is gone. It was that easy to throw it away, and I didn't really regret it. Sitting down to watch a DVD or some Blu-rays, it's like you're making a commitment. It just wouldn't be right to stop watching it halfway through. It would be messy. It's probably the same impulse that makes me finish books I don't really like. Everything has to be completed and put back in its place. So how boring or bad does something have to be to turn it off?

I've watched some really bad films to the end, getting more annoyed and angry. I still don't think Confessions is a bad film. I just thought I'd rather be somewhere else. Like in bed, where there isn't so much difficult art. I feel a bit sorry for it. They put in all that effort. Never mind.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Things to do now that Harry Potter has finished

Harry Potter's over then. Done. Finished. Not coming back. Not even a little bit. Some people seem quite upset about this, so I've compiled a list of other things to do.

1. Read some more books
J.K. Rowling wrote some very good books. There's other ones too. Books by other writers. They're not really as good as Harry Potter, and you probably won't enjoy them as much, but they're still available. Some of them are actually quite boring. So, yeah, keep reading.

2. Watch some more films
The Potter films are pretty much indistinguishable from each other until everything blows up at the end. The last one's got a good bit where Neville cuts off a snake's head with a sword. There's still other films to watch. I like The Social Network. Have you seen that yet? It's really good. It's out on Blu-rays, and you can even buy the Oscar-winning soundtrack.

3. Eat some delicious biscuits
I like custard creams. You could eat a dozen of those. Hob-Nobs are good, especially the chocolate sort, but you've got to make sure the crumbs don't go everywhere. Shortbread is okay, and sometimes comes in plate-sized chunks. Jammy Dodgers are a bit niche these days, and are probably expensive. Party Rings are disappointing if you're not actually at a party.

4. Join some sort of website
'Registration for Pottermore starts soon,' says the website called Pottermore. 'Explore the stories like never before' and 'discover new writing from the author'. This is just a guess, but I think this will be rubbish. There's no way there's going to be any new Potter writing without a large cheque from a publisher. It'll probably just turn your mouse cursor into a wand.

5. Try to make one eye look down and one eye look up
If you do this your eyes will break and roll backwards, and then you'll only be able to look at your brain. So this probably isn't the best thing to do. I don't really know why it's, um, on the list.

Or you could just read the books again.