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I draw with the TV on in the mid distance, so I glance at it enough to stop getting a close-work headache, like screen-breaks for a computer. For pencilling I can't have anything interesting on -- too distracting. That's MTV time, old Clint Eastwood films time, world cinema favourites with the subtitles turned off time.

Inking is different. Inking is dull, just marking over and over the same line, making it deep enough and right enough that other people can see it. But I need the screen because my nose is about two inches from the paper and after an hour of that I feel very weird. So that's my time to catch up on all the movies I ought to have seen but haven't, off that hypothetical long list of everything that sounded kind of interesting.

Last night, American Beauty, what a crock that was, a movie so annoying you can argue with it, like Radio 4. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's well shot and acted, and the music is lovely, but what's with that fat-arsed story? Just the safest little corner scraps of Donnie Darko and Fight Club little magic realism filips, but nothing too challenging. And that irritating central character! Hi, I'm alright, I'm good, I'm a fine upstanding all-american middle-aged man and everyone else is a psycho bitch-assed whining drug-dealing pinko commie gun-nut nazi homosexual out to kill me and/or shag me because, hey, I'm that good. It couldn't have been pandering more to the prize-givers if it had got down on its knees and yelled, "Oscar me, baby!" I was hoping he'd die of a heart attack while screwing his daughter's friend, but no, the repressed nazi homosexual got to do it. How radical that wasn't. Definitely a movie saying nothing useful or new, but saying it well -- but maybe that's what's fashionable now. After all, Lost in Translation was saying a lot of the same things. Heck, it was practically the same movie ... Me, I'm getting a little bit sick of people pointing at the status quo and claiming it's some sort of deeper truth. It isn't, it's just laziness.

Followed by Blow Up, another of those iconoclastic 60s style pieces. That'll be where Austin Powers got his photographer personality from, then ... it's an odd thing, a sort of car-crash of stoned ramblings and a really sinister thriller. Fluff meets grit. And another very annoying central character. I kept wishing he was Cary Elwes (whom he vaguely resembled) or anyone with charm. He was handsome, though. And though the framing was flashy, (for a film about photography) the colour and quality of light were appalling (though that may have been the print, I suppose), all greyed-out flesh tones (which flattered the dolly birds not at all) and flat toneless landscapes.

In an attempt to finish the bottom of the page, I also watched the Futurama christmas special ... and gave up on panel seven. Eh. Tomorrow.

Should I buy Labyrinth on DVD for £3.99?


( 25 worms — Feed the birds )
6th Apr, 2004 07:03 (UTC)
If it is in Borders, buy an expensive book with it: the 20% you then get off the book will pay for the DVD. I did this with Shadow of the Vampire (which of course was then televised the week after).
6th Apr, 2004 07:44 (UTC)
it's in HMV
... I also nearly bought Kiki's Delivery Service, Subway, Sonatine and the collector's edition of Near Dark. Quite a good selection in the sale, for a change.

Fortunately I got distracted and put them all back on the shelf.
6th Apr, 2004 08:17 (UTC)
Re: it's in HMV
Sonatine is available in a snazzy 3 pack with Violent Cop and Boiling Point £14.99 at play.com http://www.play.com/play247.asp?page=title&r=R2&title=110344&p=57&c=&g=72
6th Apr, 2004 08:27 (UTC)
This is the sound of me balancing the cheapness of online shopping against the inconvenience of travelling out to the Cowley Road postal depot.
6th Apr, 2004 08:45 (UTC)
If you work in a reasonably small and/or efficient place you may consider getting it delivered to your work address. I do this with Amazon stuff which generally doesn't go through the letterbox, most play stuff will fit in my letterbox although the Takeshi trilogy didn't. My local post depot's only about 15 or 20 mins walk away though.
6th Apr, 2004 09:06 (UTC)
I would explain to you why I nearly fell of my chair laughing just then, but then I'd have to make this a friends-only post ...

Sandy Lane West is my local depot.
6th Apr, 2004 07:12 (UTC)
Jim Henson is GOD...
...or was anyway. I'd buy it, but then I have a goblin addiction.
6th Apr, 2004 07:46 (UTC)
I already have the VHS special edition. But it's slightly annoying! And this is so cheap!
6th Apr, 2004 07:45 (UTC)
Should I buy Labyrinth? Do you need to ask? At any price, you have to buy it.

Bought Jim Henson's The Storyteller online yesterday, and I am now awaiting it's arrival - yes, finally they have given that excellent series a video/dvd release!! Finally!!!
6th Apr, 2004 07:49 (UTC)
... I'd be able to do proper freeze frames ... and I could give my old VHS copy to my little sister

(talking herself into it)
6th Apr, 2004 07:56 (UTC)
That's settled then.

And buy The Storyteller at the same. You know that it makes sense... *grins*
6th Apr, 2004 07:59 (UTC)
Hayao Miyazaki is God too...
How can you turn down Kiki's delivery service? Buy that too! Where is this place? Is it big enough for a Liverpool branch? :-)
6th Apr, 2004 08:21 (UTC)
Re: Hayao Miyazaki is God too...
I keep seeing various Miyazaki DVD box sets on eBay such as http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4180235101&category=41524
which may be worth investing in ?
6th Apr, 2004 08:23 (UTC)
-- there's world cinema in the clearout. It's not as cheap as Labyrinth, mind.
6th Apr, 2004 08:25 (UTC)
It's funny. Over here American Beauty had such a strong love/hate reaction. People either thought it was the best movie ever, or the worst. I fell into the former category, not because I fell in love with the Kevin Spacey character, but I saw it as such a perfect send up of the clichéd superficial middle-aged American man. (It helps if you're middle aged when you see it)--it reminded me a lot of The Player by Robert Altman, with Tim Robbins, which was a great send up of the superficial Hollywood film scene.
6th Apr, 2004 08:39 (UTC)
I didn't hate it, it's a good movie -- I'll heap technical praise on it till the cows come home, especially the sound, which is superb.

I didn't really see it as a send-up, more of a fairy tale -- to me, it lacked bite, consequences.
6th Apr, 2004 12:27 (UTC)
I am in the 'former' category as well...
The film certainly has its flaws, but what I liked most about it was how well it captures the superficiality of suburbia, especially American suburbia so horrifically well. And did so without the exotic comedy-horror paranoid of The 'Burbs or teenage-rebellion-destroy-it-all in a similar film title.

I also liked that it showed the tightly woven mix of good and bad in every moment, in every character. So even the central character's death was sweetened without 'high purpose' ideals.

Moreover, there was definitely a consequence in the death of the main character - which was quite well dramatized by his horrified wife moments after finding his body.
6th Apr, 2004 12:28 (UTC)
Another element
And I think this applies for Lost in Translation as well ...

that kind of inconclusive drifting aimlessness that mixes, produces new, and parts again ... a lovely metaphor for modern life, in all its loneliness and possibility.

6th Apr, 2004 08:26 (UTC)
I liked Lost in Translation better. It wasn't trying as hard to pretend to be saying anything much... or was it try-hard in its very nonchalance? I actually don't mind things just being nice and interesting to look at, I prefer shallow and pretty.

I think I agree with everything you said about the central characterand that woman's superficiality was too much of a caricature to be convincing enough for a decent tragedy.
6th Apr, 2004 08:44 (UTC)
They're both very pretty movies

... ah, Lost in Translation ... Scarlett Johansson and her amazing feet. Wait, wasn't that toe supposed to be horribly bruised? Ah, who cares, let's just look at the pretty lights!
6th Apr, 2004 09:23 (UTC)
yesyesyesyesyesyes.... all films with muppets in them should be bought and treasured and loved and shared... you even get that bit with that mr Bowie doing them spinning silver balls and i love that Tina Turner wig he wears and everything...and, once, they showed some behind-the-scenes bits on Blue Peter explaining that very trick which is definitely not computer fx, oh no. yes, get that deeveedee.... quickquickquickquickquick !!! (can you tell i've been eating chocolate-covered coffee beans all day?!)
6th Apr, 2004 09:51 (UTC)
hopped up on coffee beans!
no, indeedy. That's Michael Moschen, with his hands up David's sleeves, contact juggling blind ...
6th Apr, 2004 12:38 (UTC)
Labyrinth for 3.99?
Fascinating juggling by the one & only David Bowie?

The pit of eternal stench?

Adolescent precursor of the eventual hottie Jennifer Connelly, defender of brunettes in the blonde Hollywood ocean?

Chock-a-block Hanson puppets/muppets?

Is there any question? ;-)
6th Apr, 2004 16:41 (UTC)
yes buy it
you told me to buy it on VHS when I mentioned but I missed my chance. Oooh i want it on DVD now... especially at that price.

(oh and what eventually happened with your broken palm situation thingy?)
7th Apr, 2004 06:37 (UTC)
Re: yes buy it
palm thingy situation rattling on with glacier-like slowness

will probably crack and buy a cheap replacement as my life is falling apart without the intervention of tech.
( 25 worms — Feed the birds )