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miracle on Cowley Road

When my ex moved to America, he sold all his videos. Well, to be strictly accurate, he sold most of his videos and a few of mine that looked like they might have been his; all my Russ Meyers went, all my Redemptions, and a few other things along the horror/sex divide. Now, from among that lot, only Up, The Dead Zone and Valerie and her week of Wonders saw a lot of use, so I breathed a sigh of relief and chucked the odd three comedy/actions he'd left me in return.

That was before I discovered that there were no longer any Redemption videos available, and all the special offers on Russ Meyers videos had long since specialled him out of the shops. To add insult to injury, Cronenburg's small venture into the mainstream was in a (mercifully short) period of deletion, meaning that if I wanted to watch Christopher Walken being normal it was The Deer Hunter or nothing.

The Dead Zone has long since returned to my collection, and I'm not very upset about Up (bad habits and all that) but Valerie and her Week of Wonders has, over the years, built up into a serious grievance, the sort I go on about at parties, and randomly whine about in the middle of the night. It's not that special, a surrealist/magic realist/fairytale piece from Eastern Europe (a genre I happen to be especially fond of) with pretty camerawork and a dreamlike feel, but I liked it, and it was mine.

So yesterday evening when I glanced dispiritedly across the half-shelf of Redemption titles in the new video shop on Cowley Road and there it was, Valerie's serious little face staring out off the cover, I was entranced. Struck dumb. It was here. It wasn't mine any more, but it was somewhere I could get it, and that was enough for me, for now.

I didn't even get it out.

I'm saving it, for a night when I need to feel special.

( About halfway through writing this I was struck by a sudden thought; wouldn't it be ironic if it were available on Amazon? )

Comments

( 6 worms — Feed the birds )
ceciley
16th Nov, 2004 10:28 (UTC)
You really can satisfy any craving on Cowley road.
crazycrone
16th Nov, 2004 11:33 (UTC)
Whazzat?
Huh...never heard of VALERIE. Have I been missing something mega, then? Looks intriguing...
cleanskies
16th Nov, 2004 16:22 (UTC)
Re: Whazzat?
hum, well ... it's probably closest in feel to things like Company of Wolves or La Belle at la Bete, but obviously it's desperately obscure (or it would never ended up on Redemption's list). It's a czech magic realist rural catholic girl coming of age story, with all the blood and weirdness that implies, complete with handsome men and vampiric stepmothers and weird moments with fish. It's *very* Angela Carter in some ways -- including the 60s-ish make-up and attitudes.
bugpete
16th Nov, 2004 14:48 (UTC)
It's like the hunt is more important than the kill, as it were. Even when you find the object of your desires taking that one final step would mean it's all over. That need and desire will be extinguished.
cleanskies
16th Nov, 2004 16:26 (UTC)
hmmm, true
though I probably will buy it on DVD, it won't be the same.
cleanskies
19th Nov, 2004 03:31 (UTC)
what did I get out?
I got out:

The first series of Black Books. I'd seen about half of it, as it pre-dates Tivo; I'd missed the shipping forcast episode (oh, Fran). Top of the list of the series you'd most like to live in, for me and doubtless many others. Beats Spaced, because in Black Books girls have more fun. Also it's about the people living on the fringe of extreme urban prosperity, and (in common with many artists) that's where I plan to live, if I even see an open door I can walk through.

The End of Violence. Wim Wenders when he's not being incredibly static, a Hollywood whodunnit that takes a turn weirdward, like a thriller that tripped over its own beautiful background. Great performances from the two leads and a fascinating subject; it's a twist of stories about giving up violence, gardeners to gangstas, film producers to government agents. Odd. Remarkable.

Zipang, a chop-sockey ninja-fest in the style of Zu Warriors of the Magic Mountain. Starring a very bouffante dandy bandit who manages to make his gear look very 80s somehow and Pistol Lili, a bounty-hunter babe who's a deadly shot. They get tangled up in an occult situation in a mountain of gold through an unfortunate magic sword mishap, and end up helping a naked tattooed guy with a teleporting stone circle rescue his girlfriend from a glass pumpkin where she's been imprisoned by some god or other. Major eye-candy and as mad as a lorry.
( 6 worms — Feed the birds )