For context; I’ve had a few ideas knocking about for a while, regarding a potential miniseries about a confused young man navigating the fetish community. Here is the pilot for that miniseries. I just wanted documented proof of a thing that I’d written. Publishing it here (I think) immediately disqualifies it from being entered in any competitions and the like, which is probably the only way it would ever get made, but I’ve decided that a few middling comments from a screenplay judge isn’t worth the potential feedback this might get from a wider range of people (he said optimistically).
Unless, of course, someone reading this wants to make it. In which case, please get in touch.
Continue reading “What Kel K. Chose (Pilot)”
“You have to walk hand in hand with death through life.”
This is the truest line of dialogue spoken in Nobuhiro Suwa’s flawed yet captivating 2017 film The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and it is a barefaced lie. It is spoken by Jean Pierre Léaud, playing a thinly veiled version of himself, called Jean. The words are to his ex-lover, Juliette (Pauline Etienne) who may or may not have committed suicide, but did die mysteriously, at the age of 23. Jean, now 72, has started to see her, her ghost, her essence, as she has been preserved in his memory through Jean’s long years without her.
Continue reading “Exploring The Ineffable Physicality of Jean-Pierre Léaud in Nobuhiro Suwa’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and other works”
Girl Band’s new single, Shoulderblades, is one of the best songs of the year so far, a pummelling and ascendant noise-rock dirge with an uncertain structure that draws repeated listens like water from a tap. This piece is not about the song. It is, however, about the music video. Music videos have long been an underrated artform, and whilst some are simply vehicles for the song, some, such as Pulp’s This Is Hardcore (dir. Doug Nichol), and Grace Jone’s Corporate Cannibal (dir. Nick Hooker), operate distinctly as works of significance in her own right.
Continue reading “Physicality and Framework in Girl Band’s ‘Shoulderblades’”
A conflict has been percolating for some time, between the responsibility of art in a violent world, and the idea that art has no responsibilities. Slightly different from the idea of censorship, manifestations of this conflict have lead left-wing protestors (typically anti-censorship) to do things like boycott an X-Men film (ostensibly a children’s film) because of a poster showing a woman being choked, and right-wing protestors (usually pro-censorhip) to hide their arguments behind the flimsy muslin gauze of ‘free speech’. A very charitable reading of this debate is that people are demanding higher standards from their art. A less charitable one might be that people, as Jarett Kobek has observed, are so saturated in capitalist media that the very act of seeing a superhero film can be considered ‘activism’, and thus people are requesting that the landscape fit their beliefs.
Continue reading “Skinflicker”
Three Colours Blue was the film that made me a cinephile. It was among the first films I wrote about, after I first watched it at the age of fifteen. It is the film that both shaped, and thus limited, my view of what cinema was capable of, and that first viewing eight years ago was akin to a religious experience. It tells a simple story, of a widower coping with the loss of her husband and daughter in a car accident, through her attempts to ‘free’ herself from her grief (the film is modelled on the French ideal of liberty), and yet seeing it for the first time I felt my soul being lifted up, to places other films were simply incapable of reaching. It was the first film that felt like it was being born inside my eyes, relentlessly alive and almost conscious.
Continue reading “When A Film Is No Longer A Film: Re-Examining My Relationship with Three Colours Blue.”
I attended this screening at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton last night, as part of a series of screenings hosted by OpenColour. They obviously care deeply about film, and deserve any serious filmgoers support and attention. It was an honour to attend and I feel lucky to have been there. Information can be found here: http://www.opencolour.co.uk.
Continue reading “Finding Hope in G.W Pabst’s Kameradschaft (1931)”
Jordan Peele’s latest horror film, Us, is a delirious and visually captivating experience that, before anything else, is about images and movement. Over the course of its perfectly paced two hours, Peele strips away extraneous details of his film until it culminates in a near-symphony of exquisite framing and unfettered physicality. It proceeds organically from the bare bones of the horror genre, and along with cinematographer Mike Gioulakis (who also worked on It Follows), Peele has created a film that works as a postmodern-ish riff on horror techniques, as well as a fine example of the genre on its own.
Continue reading “The Ecstasy of ‘Us’”
Like a lot of people, I love Arrested Development. It’s the ultimate show for neurotics, taking the format that Seinfeld pioneered (awful people doing awful things while the programme itself maintains a deceptively breezy tone) and doubling down on the obscure, the minutiae, the bizarre. Jokes were set up, riffed on, and a couple of season’s later twisted inside out; there is no such thing as an idle minute in Arrested Development, where everything will be called back to, or is setting up some obscure payoff however far in the future. It is the hardest show to explain the appeal of to someone who hasn’t seen it. It’s just… Funny. Not because of this joke, or that joke, but simply because the whole show operates as a joke.
Continue reading “Arrested Development: or, when to say Enough is Enough”
I spend a lot of this review essentially disparaging the director of this film, who has embarked on a career largely focused on perpetuating his own cult of personality. I admire that. I also admire how utterly mysterious this guy is. To remain mysterious after literally jobbing yourself, after putting your phone number on the header of your website, takes some doing. You can read about this cult of personality here. You can look on his website here. Whether his persona is some kind of knowing ironic send-up of the jobbing actor is not for me to say, because I don’t know. If this is, indeed, a stunt, then I will say that this Woodruff guy has got Tim and Eric, and Eric Andre, utterly beat. But as I say, I don’t know. You have to take these things at face value; and I’m sure after reading what I had to write, you’ll understand what face value means.
Every now and again, a film comes along that redraws the map a little on what you thought cinema was capable of. This can be good (A Bout De Souffle), or it can be bad (the August Underground Trilogy). Films that open your eyes to new pathways in the medium are, necessarily, few and far between, but they are always miniature landmarks in the lifetime of the committed viewer. Roger Ebert spoke of the top-shelf of the mind, a place where films stay and leave a lasting impact, where other, lesser films simply come and go.
Continue reading “Dennis Woodruff’s ‘Spaceman’”
Look at The Man. Behold Him. The Man is Anguished- can you tell? He is so anguished, the Anguished Man. He holds his head, barely able to contain the affliction of his mighty intellect, for his is the Brain; The Biggest Brain. He speaks and you listen (we must all listen to Anguished Brain Big Man). You note the words coming out of his mouth. You register that he is speaking. It is very scary, what he is speaking like. His voice is scare, so we, too, must be scare. Then, perhaps, later, you listen to what he is actually saying, the content of his speech, its meaning. You dig through the noise vibration gently pummelling your eardrum, emanating from Big Man Brain. You hear- is it?- yes! Yes. It is. It is phone. Phone bad! he says. Phone is the big bad.
Continue reading “The Anguished Man: Dismantling Simon Sinek’s Empty Platitudes”