Saturday, 11 September 2010

Shoot them all down. Stamp on their graves. Blacken their names. This will make you feel better about yourself.

Watched a few bio-pics lately. Always turns out to be a bad thing. Obviously any famous person you ever had any admiration for is a total wanker with no redeeming features whatsoever. This is fact. If you take in this shit that is.

Over the last year or so I have gained so much insight to the creative soul through films and TV dramas. I now realise that in order to create anything beautful or entertaining you have to be an alcoholic bi-polar sociopathic sex-crazed child-hating Tourette's explosive destructive sadistic savage with a penchant for dark green wallpaper. (I think such mournful tones must contrast nicely with dripping gin or something.)

So how come I'm not famous? I can tick most of those boxes. Not telling which.

If you were to swallow all that's put on screen about the people who got off their arses and actually made something of themselves and made lots of other people very happy you would never ever ever watch another Carry On film, or watch any comedy performer of the 1960s or 1970s at all, or read a Virginia Wolf book, or indeed Enid Blyton, or listen to Ian Dury, or Edith Piaf, or ANY country singer (!) or maybe watch, read or listen to anyone/anything ever e v e r E V E R because they are all bastards and you simply can't condone such unforgivable inhumanity.

I wonder what the actors/actresses in these films are thinking while the films are being made? They all seem to be doing their best but inevitably end up looking like end-of-pier painted charicatures while all the other actors around them can do all the clever actingy bits.

Surely possessing talent doesn't automatically begat monsterdom. But 'we' must be demanding it. 'We' only buy newspapers and magazines full of stories and pictures of celebrities being brought down a peg or two. It's the British way. We only pat you on the head and stalk you all the way to the pedestal so that we can put you where we can get a really good clear shot at you.

I'm not asking for a whitewash - just maybe a balance? Or even entertainment?!! Really too suburban of me. Obviously not intelligent enough. Have no idea what film-making is all about. Not a clue about tension and drama. Should go back to Janet and John books. Hang my head in shame for saying out loud that arty films are crap....

......Oh but they bloody are! All this from an ex art student who loitered around the 'film' department for 3 years. It's not sour grapes because I left there without the capability of focusing a camera - honestly. I have goggled and frowned and stroked my chin for hours and hours of my life in front a screen. And I've worn the arty film appreciation beret at so rakish an angle you would die. And I feel totally qualified to blow raspberries at all this depressing hash.

I used to be able to sit through anything. Just in case it had one good line or one nice edit. It could simply be called getting old this impatience thing. If a film doesn't engage me within 10 minutes and hold my pelvic-floor-impaired concentration skills throughout, I just switch off now. I'm like that with books too. No guilt at abandoning somebody's labour of love. Too many mentions of some bird's curly long hair in one chapter and I really can't be arsed to wade through any more.

So if it's not sour grapes on my part, is it rank prunes on the part of these film-makers? There was a hilarious programme on C4 years ago called 'Secret Lives' or 'True Lives' - the basic premise being to besmirch some icon's memory and call it investigative journalism. They did one about Errol Flynn, mentioning his autobiography (which I had already read and gulped at) and promising that their programme would tell the real truth. All the filth they spewed out on the show was plainly IN his autobiography. And they left some juice out. So daft it was kind of admirable that they had such front. But it obviously had to be presented in this way as noone would have watched something that sounded fair. The very idea.

I had a flat-mate once who only liked happy films with white picket-fence endings and roses round the door and I used to tease her for being so dappy. Her argument was that life was rubbish enough and she didn't want to pay to see horribleness when she went out for the evening - she wanted to float on a cloud of lovely lovey love for a little while before coming back down to real strife. And now I am at one with this scene. I've used up all my grim film tokens too. Enough with the rivers of tomato sauce and flicking the volume buttons up and down all the time cos one minute they're muttering by a ticking clock and then they're suddenly screaming death threats in a pounding fetish club scene. Yawn.

Yeah I think I'd better send off for a subscription for Family Circle.

But before I go too far down the road of the vaselined screen-dream, I shall issue a challenge to a British film-maker to present a piece that doesn't take place in a dark green council flat, or a cold stately home, or in the dripping bleak back streets of some evil city. Doesn't contain grisly childhood flashbacks. Doesn't start with promise and chirpy cockerney chai-iking and slump into confused bog of tedium within half an hour. Doesn't have a death/funeral scene - probably with a pale neglected child present. Doesn't have a contrived and confusing 'chase' scene near the end. Doesn't end abruptly with forgotten dangling threads leaving the viewer feeling they have just lost 2 hours of their precious life - time that could have been better spent watching paint dry. Ah I could go on - and I know I do.

Go on you arty tossers, make me a film I CAN watch. Or should I just stick to the olden days films.... Bio-pics of Glenn Miller or George Gershwin that were fast-paced and cheerful and inspiring and happy. Seems a totally mental idea now to expect to be transported to another world for an hour and a half (tops!) and leave with a song in your heart!

So shoot me....


  1. I think I'm a bit like your friend, I was brought up on the saccharine American musicals and adored watching the girl meets boy, girl and boy pretend not to like each other, girl and boy get together while everyone sings. But it wasn't cool to enjoy such mush so Mum and I just watched them together.

    And what is it with our love of Schadenfreude? Have you listened to the song from Avenue Q about it?

  2. The 'funniest' bit of schadenfreude-sharing I ever came across...well let's call it by it's proper name - bitching, was the wildfire spread of the news that the most hard-core Steiner kindergarten lentils-by-candlelight teacher was spotted in the local Tesco's garage shop with a big bottle of coke in his basket. In that world this behaviour aligns him with Charles Manson. How we all delighted in that. Hard-earned reputations dashed in an instant. So British.

    I know I am ashamed of myself for giggling along too.

    Actually no I'm not.

  3. They totally shattered my illusions about Bing Crosby when they did a bio pic on him and showed him as a wife beater! No - not ol' big ears surely? From all those nice films with Gene Kelly or was it Grace Kelly and whatisname... Bob Hope. And the Blyton biopic? How can I ever read one of her books in the same way again? Not that I ever do - they're banned in our house.

    I'm not a white picket fencer but neither do I like unremitting grimness (hey I have my blog for that) like Young Adam or London to Brighton. I'm an inbetweener I suppose. But not The InBetweeners themselves.

  4. Aahhh..... Bing! I won't believe it I just won't!

    It's funny how the thought of Bing as baddie just will not compute, and yet the Enid Blyton thing kind of made me think - so what? I hate her books anyway! But then I started to wonder - COULD someone actually be THAT vile? Did they just miss the nice bits out 'cos they just didn't fit the brief?

    The total destruction of someone and their reputation bothers me - even if I don't like them anyway. I find I want to know from the horse's mouth (so to speak) that these people REALLY did that - otherwise I end up being on their side a bit 'cos I am naturally cynical about this sort of 'character assassination'.

    I read 'Cash' after seeing 'Walk the Line' and there was no mention at all of his father being a total bastard like in the film. (I still haven't read his earlier biog which may have had other info) but I did end up worrying that this man may have been monsterisized just for dramatic effect - but what effect would it have on his actual family forever?

    Thinking too much about stuff that doesn't actually get my own act together. Leave it now.......!