Friday, October 26, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Forget the ambition and reach and the message of "perpetual recurrence" and other such gobbledygook. I will give you one good reason to go see the film. An utterly delicious Ben Whishaw as Robert Frobisher in a segment that is Brokeback Mountain meets Brideshead Revisited (or any other Waugh for that matter).

Good enough? More when I get around to it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Missing the psycho line (among other things)

Opened an old handbag to find this. For a moment, thought monkey had become an artist before realisation struck.

And then needless to say, had to go and re-read my favourite lines on the Tube written by one of my favouritest living writers.

As the fine denizens of London Town know, each tube line has a distinct personality and range of mood swings. The Victoria Line, for example, breezy and reliable. The Jubilee Line, the young disappointment of the family, branching out to the suburbs, eternally having extensions planned, twisting round to Greenwich, and back under the river out east somewhere. The District and Circle Line, well, even Death would rather fork out for a taxi if he's in a hurry. Crammed with commuters for King's Cross or Paddington, and crammed with museum-bound tourists who don't know the craftier short cuts, it's as bad as how I imagine Tokyo. I had a professor once who asked us to prove that the Circle Line really does go around in a circle. Nobody could. I was dead impressed at the time. Now what impresses me is that he'd persuaded somebody to pay him to come up with that sort of tosh. Docklands Light Railway, the nouveau riche neighbour, with its Prince Regent, its West India Quay, and its Gallions Reach and its Royal Albert. Stentorian Piccadilly wouldn't approve of such artyfaryness, and neither would his twin uncle, Bakerloo. Central, the middle-aged cousin, matter-of-fact, direct, no forking off or going the long way round. That's about it for the main lines, except the Metropolitan, which is too boring to mention, except that it's a nice fuchsia colour and you take it to visit the dying.

The Northern Line is black on the maps. It's the deepest. It has the most suicides, you're most likely to be mugged on it, and its art students are most likely to be future Bond Girls. There's something doom-laden about the Northern Line. Its station names: Morden, Brent Cross, Goodge Street, Archway, Elephant and Castle, the resurrected Mornington Crescent. It was closed for years: I remember imagining I was on a probe peering into the Titanic as the train passed through. Yep, the Northern Line is the psycho of the family. Those bare-walled stations south of the Thames that can't attract advertisers. Not even stair-lift manufacturers will advertise in Kennington tube station. I've never been to Kennington but if I did I bet there'd be nothing but run-down fifties housing blocks, closed-down bingo halls, and a used-car place where tatty plastic banners fuppetty-flup in the homeless wind. The sort of place where best-forgotten films starring British rock stars as working-class antiheroes are set. There but for the grace of my credit cards go I.

London is a language. I guess all places are.

ps: Yes, of course I am going to see Cloud Atlas. I know the reviews are bad. Do I sound like I care?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


How does one get from Archipelago to Looper, you ask? Because in non-civilisation, they play mostly non-civilised movies. And in non-civilisation, you can't say no to people. To be fair to non-civilisation, Mr. Lane apparently said

"It’s a surprisingly elegant and even elegiac movie, full of strange, befuddling joy" 

I think Mr. Lane has gone bonkers in his old age. Not to say it wasn't cool or chic or stylish. It was. With references to every other cult movie in this genre. But to say the film is anything more than that is bloody ridiculous. 

Oh, and am I only one who thought that they should have switched soundtrack to All You Need Is Love in that supposedly superb climax?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Late September

A house party for his 65th birthday. They argue over a shopping list in front of a newly single house guest, the first sign that the marriage of three decades is coming apart. The son turns up with his puppeteer friend and stages the story of Eurydice and Orpheus. A long time friend does his best but that turns out to be not good enough. They all hold on to their drinks for the most part of the film. 

Jon Sanders chronicles the breakdown of a marriage in a lovely house in Kent in well, I suppose, late September. The film was made with a non-existent budget and shot in 10 days with a mostly static camera and natural lighting which is nothing short of amazing. The long visual takes are Ozu-esque as is the title obviously but the improvised dialogues which gives the film more of a theatrical feel at times didn't make the cut. Maybe its just that they are too British. 

Next up: Same genre. Joanna Hogg's Archipelago.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Chilling in civilisation



"Where are you?"


"Oh cool"

"Its actually not cool. When are you getting home?"

"Usual time only. What did you do before?"

"Went to park"

"Oh nice"


"What did you pick up at library?'

"How does it matter?"

"What are you going on about?"

"Can't you get back earlier?"

"Don't think so. Why?"

"Can't deal with life"

"General drama you are doing"

"If you say so"

"Don't understand what is there to whine about. You have such a good life"


"You get up late, chill, go to park, chill, go to library, chill, watch films, chill...."

"In your opinion, what exactly is your offspring doing while I am doing this chilling to the power of n?"

"Oh, it is well behaved only. It doesn't do anything"

"...but bother me"

"Of course it does"

"Next you will say it is some torturer"

"Of course it is. You think I go to the park to chill? That's why I go to the kids' playground obv"

"But you go to library all the time"

"For fucking rhyme time! For half hour I shall have peace when it is singing and doing naatak"

"You are making too much of this"

"Why don't you try it?"

"You have only been doing this for about a week or so"

"That is more than enough"

"Come on, if out of 30 months of parenthood if the only time you are left alone with it is a week and that too, only in the daytime, I really don't see what is there to complain about"

"One would think so, yes"

"Everyone else in the world has this much worse"

"Except you. Can you stop talking and get back before one of us manages to kill the other one?"


Tuesday, October 02, 2012


It is one thing to know that he died at the Royal Free. Where did you expect him to live anyway? But he lived on Nassington Road? Really? He was like on our street, next door, for the most part of three years and I didn't run into him? £$%^.

And here I was telling everyone how I used to run into Emma Thompson on my Saturday morning runs on the Heath*. Seriously. Holy @£$%.

*I won't mention Mr. Cucumber Patch under any circumstances, no.