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days of fear and flaying

Of course I like 28 days later, I'm a JG Ballard fan. Let me rephrase that. Danny Boyle is a wimp, happy enough with sudden gore explosions but with no taste for sustained human-on-human damage. He's also a non-genre writer on a genre film. But. It's the first feature length film I've seen that's not just shot with digital video, but actually using it as a medium, exploiting its strengths and weaknesses; eye-watering sunsets, scenes so dim they crawl, scenes blurred or distorted into impr/expressionist chaos throuh digital artifacts, action scenes which have the sickening wrench of the digital film they pipe back from warzones nowadays. It reminded me of almost everything I've seen/read on the subject before, try The city, not long after, The Drought/The Drowned World, Twelve Monkeys, and On the Beach, for starters. But ... no, there's one movie it really reminded me of, but I don't know its name. I watched it once, one of those late night viewings you half-remember. There was an experiment in a laboratory which produced a sort of pulse. After it died down this guy who had been in an accident wakes up to a depopulated world, which he wanders round a lot, and eventually finds this girl, and she'd been trying to commit suicide, and when they find more people they realise the link is that at the time of the pulse they all died, for other reasons. After that there's some very strange stuff, I distinctly remember a scene where he's talking to a lot of cut-outs on a lawn, and there's a scientist, or maybe he was the scientist, and killed in the blast? But anyway, the thing is, the people left know that there's another pulse coming, and this time it will do something worse. The ending makes no sense at all. There's a plan to do something about the experiment, a car-crash, and a beach, and ... and ... damn it, I can't even think of what it might have been called. IMDB?

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B*llocks. I wonder if Empire is still doing What's that film? Hey ho. Anyway, it's a pretty good film, if you like are weirdly fascinated by the idea of the world being twatted by horrible disasters, which I do. Am. Whatever. Except I wish that Selena hadn't been using a machete (In 28 Days later). I understand why she was, but I would have been happier if it had been a (rather more English but no less lethal) billhook instead.

Damian on 28 Days later: all those eyeballs ... where are all the crows? (Which lead to a long discussion of the probable cost of hiring crows, the impeccable performance of the hero crow in one of the scenes, the likelihood that all the crow population was full of eyeballs by then, and how it would have been good if they'd thought to have seagulls eating the bodies as well, and speculation as to whether seagulls cost more than crows. Eyeballs being much on our minds.)

Before that we saw the Turner Prize, and, damn-it, it's a bit good this year. There are crazy god-story machines and weird cartoons, films made using cranes and toy helicopters, huge full-stops you can sit on and a billboard-sized wipe-clean bright pink description of what sounded like actually quite a fine porn flick. There's also a boring one which I suppose will probably win; a rather nice ceiling (but no nicer than any of a dozen you might see in a decent High street/Office complex) plus a very Wallpaper portfolio in a dull glass case. Yaaaaaawn. The Tate Britain's gone a bit strange, actually, since I was last there. I suppose they're feeling the squeeze from the Tate Modern. Which we dropped into to see Marsyas, the Arnish Kapoor sculpture the size of the sky. Named for the flayed faun, sticky dark red and looped around the huge Turbine Hall like a blimp being folded through too many dimensions at once, it's definitely a spectacle, like a mountain or a nearby tower block; too big to really comprehend, and therefore prone to disappearing from your vision in a disorientating way. Combine that with the way the struts seem to pulse in its dim heights, the lack of obvious support, and the uncomfortable sense that it is twisting away from you in pain whichever angle you view it from, the huge enfolding gramaphone mouths and the weak gleams of light knocking around inside it ... it's a strange sight indeed. Strange, and big.

Comments

cleanskies
6th Nov, 2002 03:33 (UTC)
Re: "Quiet Earth"
While we're on weird-arse films, try Fresh Kill, a wierd tale of lesbians living with glowing cats in a post-apocalyptic New York contaminated with nucleur waste.
crazycrone
6th Nov, 2002 07:07 (UTC)
Re: "Fresh Kill"
Oh, yes please...Must keep a lookout.