Thursday, September 15, 2005

It may be Oscar worthy but it doesn't have a Japanese hitman called No.3 who gets off on the smell of boiled rice, is all I'm saying..

Who’d of thought it, but actually getting to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up early two days in a row increases creative productivity and reduces general madness and drunken rants. It’s like reversing the polarity of your life if you get up at the time you usually go to bed. Despite my rants, it takes very little to make me very happy. I’m a total graphic design geek so the new ‘Berliner’ format Guardian made my Monday. There was also a street party on Upper St. Giles Street on Sunday that was mostly a street full of charity shop stalls—it was a demented Jimmny dream come true, a whole street of charity shop stalls, bought Kids on DVD for 50p. Yesterday got Branded to Kill for 1.49 in Cash Converters-- it's one of my favorite films a 1960s Japanese flick about a hitman called 'no.3' who has to find out who the 'No.1' hit man is and he can only get aroused by sniffing boiled rice?! they don't make films like that anymore! Oh and a new Bizarre with a good Vic Reeves Big Night Out article, two of my obsessions in one place!

Also went to see Crash. It's ok, but I found it very contrived, (feel like using that line from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory : “that seemed a little rehearsed” and use it for every film or play I watch). I can’t quite articulate why Crash irked me so. First up the name, should there not be some sort of 60-year embargo on giving a major film the same name as another one? Cheedle’s opening line is such a Ballard-lite crapfest. The film seems to say that all races are just trying to get along and are fundamentally good as long as they work hard for the American dream, except for the Persian man, who is still a bit nuts, saved from tragedy only by the American flag fluttering in the background and the quick-thinking of his more Americanised daughter.

Small clichés in films always get me—do film characters never check the expiry date on milk—they look at the label they see it’s manky and then they sniff it and pull a horrible face—what the fuck do you expect. It reminds me of whenever you see a film character smoking a joint, they pull these crazy faces that people who genuinely smoke can’t be arsed to make. Crash's ‘ethnic’ music, be it the short burst of the hip hop that occurs when Ludacris and friend are introduced or the ‘hhhheeeaaaahheeey’ with bells in the background to denote any middle eastern nationality ever wrecks my head-like the musical cues in things like The Simple Life. It’s directed by a Paul Haggis! I thought it was a some sort of equity dodge name, like James Tripe or something, but no, he's real and he worked on Diff'rent Strokes and thirtysomething (I almost forgot about the 'trendy' lower case lettering!)

Upside, Ludacris is great, Don Cheadle is amazing as usual and deserves his place as a script-writing term. Cheadle seems to escape Hollywood's attitudes to sex and African-American male characters in movies, which I’ve called the “Denzel Washington why can’t I be a good guy and have sex conundrum”: Good Black Man=No Sex, (Denzel Washington in The Manchurian Candidate, The Siege, The Bone Collector) Bad Black Man=Sex (Denzel Washington in Training Day). It's like Hollywood can handle heroic black characters who save the day as long they don't have sex! This give-and-take in Hollywood reminds me of Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact : Hey, Morgan, you get to play the first African-American U.S. president... but the earth's about to be destroyed, sorry.

Checking imdb just drives me crazier in the trivia section for Crash “Sandra Bullock was so committed to appearing in this film, that she bought her own plane ticket to fly to the set”, wow! That must have really put a dent in her millions- 'triva' for 'Lorcan's Dull and Aimless Life: A Comedy': Lorcan so wanted to clean the industrial fryer on Friday morning he paid for his bus fare out of his own pocket"...actually I walked buses are like a luxury for me, a concept that does not compute in the world of Crash.

The user comments on imdb are all like: "maybe we should get along, and, you know, treat everyone equally, because, like, we’re all human and that", and you need this sort of lacklustre film to tell you that! Go read some humanism for fuck sake.


Caddy Powers Jr said...

Had pretty much exact same reaction to Crash. Some nice acting here and there and one or two great scenes. The rest of the film was an extremely heavy handed 'look how much we understand this problem' Hollywood twaddle.

Still I'd be pretty sure that Haggis will win best Screenplay for this and that the film will be nominated, but not win, at least one of the bigger oscars.

It really just smacks of all those supposedly idependant films the acadamy loves.

Joe said...

Bollocks to the new Guardian, Lorc. It looks like a copy of Metro. The only good bit about it has been Steve Bell's cartoons in which the characters keep noticing the new colours.

You working tonight, by the way? If not, there's a gig at the NAC.