Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sunday 26 September 2010

Dream: I am stepping into Portman Road, which is an obvious nod to having just spent time with Dave (Mitchell).  The place hasn’t changed since I used to attend regularly (which I know not to be true in the real world).  Soon it turns out that I am not watching a game of football but instead a film along the lines of Irreversible.  Suddenly I am sat in a small darkened room, doing so without even moving.  Again I take it all in, on board and eventually I exit the cinema through an exit positioned in the same place as the Tottenham Court Road station on Oxford Street.  Stood outside is the lady who made the movie I just saw (not Gaspar Noe then).  Without doubt I find her attractive being a pretty and larger lady dressed in black.  I approach her to shake her hand and I appear to frighten her but then I realise this is due to the cuff/sleeve of my jumper being longer and not showing my outstretched hand.  We get into conversation about the movie and it feels as if we are on the small wavelength.  I tell her that she is important.  I am probably hinting/angling at whether she is single (or even straight) and she tells me she is currently seeing/dating Lenny from The Simpsons.  I don’t even question this information but I guess she means the person who does he voice.  She says they’re like “a couple of loved up kids” and I begin to question “isn’t the cartoon thing a bit of stigma?”  I however do not get this question out in time as the remainder of the cinema audience begins exiting and swamping the woman with questions and congratulations.  I decide to make my own exit at which point she asks me if I like clubbing because she still knows people who can get her (us) onto guest lists.  I gesture “yes” jumping at the opportunity to see her further but when I come to ask her how I can get in touch and contact her she seems reluctant to say how, hopefully due to not wanting to reveal so in front of the numerous autograph hunters now crowding her.  Naturally though there is a seed in my mind that she just might not want me to get in touch with her.

I awaken at 9AM on the dot.  I wrestled for a lie in this morning.  I also prayed that I wasn’t going to wake up with a headache.  Shaking things off I think things are all right.

Last night was a mistake.  More on that later I expect.

Naturally I flip on my TV to catch the news and witness Andrew Marr putting the world to rights.  Unsurprisingly off the back of his Labour leadership victory Ed Miliband is on the show setting out his stall.  Even though I struggle to take a person with the name “Ed” seriously there does appear to be something of the motherfucker about him as he does not necessarily appear to entirely be of the rich boy persuasion.

I continue to analyse last night and my evident social shortcomings/failings.  How on earth after fifteen years can the negative and stunted essence of school remain the same?

Thankfully I soon shake off these thoughts and do a decent session of writing while listening to Fuzzy by Grant Lee Buffalo.  So with this I am basically saying it is fine to revisit the nineties in one way/manner but not another.

Eventually I take a break from writing to continue my concerted effort to catch up on Mad Men and it is beginning to pay off as the show builds momentum in a satisfying fashion.

Afterwards I resume writing before eventually pulling myself together and heading to my parents’ for 3PM and Sunday lunch (as per routine).  Upon arrival at Balkerne Heights I spot the dog poking his head out of the window barking at me.  Apparently he recognises my car.

Sunday dinner is good: pizza and chips.  The sad truth is that I prefer this to a proper roast; I guess I am more of a Chav than I would like to admit.

From here I do little as I lounge around my parents’ place and exist in a temporary state of arrested development.

Tonight I am heading up to London to watch the screening of SHAFT at the BFI followed by a Q&A with RICHARD ROUNDTREE.  With this in mind I grab the 5.30PM train with view to meeting up with Racton around 7.30PM.

In the end we both get to the South Bank in good time and have a drink while exchanging/comparing notes on our respective hectic weekends.  It doesn’t get any easier.

Before long we are heading into NFT1 for the SHAFT screening (collecting notes on the way) which turns out to be pretty great.  Right from the off it is all kinds of awesome as the Isaac Hayes theme drops in majestic fashion.  In many ways the movie is definitely style over substance but there is no questioning its importance or the fact that it was groundbreaking.

I actually have never sat all the way through SHAFT before so tonight this really is the way to be finally seeing it in full.  Almost immediately you realise the importance of the piece.  SHAFT offered escapism and aspiration to his key/main audience (African Americans) and served to empower them in the process.

New York looks amazing.  I truly cannot imagine that it resembles anything close to this now in such sanitised times.  Similarly the look and language of the piece is of a time now past but in its grimey way there is a true sense of nostalgia for a gritty realism.

I don’t think I would be wrong in saying the movie peaks too soon (certainly this is an element later pointed out by Racton).  As with so many seventies cop movies after a big build up the conclusion appears to happen within a few minutes.

As the first time I manage to see the movie all the way through comes to an end as the theme music begins to drop in at the climax it comes coupled with a great closing line which all in all feels/tastes rapturous.  And judging by the audience’s applause I am not alone in feeling it.

At this point some Brixton geezer (Iyare Igiehon) takes to the stage does some housekeeping before introducing RICHARD ROUNDTREE.

RICHARD ROUNDTREE is still a cool dude and unsurprisingly after all these years he is difficult to recognise as SHAFT.  Obviously tonight pretty much all questions relate to SHAFT as in essence this was the Samuel L. Jackson of his day.

With great enthusiasm the Brixton dude grills him on various aspects of his career but ROUNDTREE keeps tight-lipped on the subject of “working” with Pam Grier while clearly expressing distaste for the term “Blaxploitation”.  You can see what he means as so many low quality movies were made in the name of said genre and with SHAFT there is a genuinely great movie that does not exploit anyone.

Later we get a song.  Then we get the man laughing as he watches clips of himself on the big screen (not least of his naked butt from Shaft In Africa) before we eventually get the story of how he washed his hands of the SHAFT remake when a revised script fell into his lap at the read through after being initially impressed and enthused by the project.

Soon it becomes apparent that the super enthused interviewer is causing proceedings to overrun, not necessarily a good thing for a Sunday night.

From here things switch to the audience with the usual set/standard of mixed questions as the interviewer endeavours to squeeze in as many as possible while the clock hurtles past 11PM and I subtly begin to get fidgety and panic about getting home.  By this stage ROUNDTREE has clock how late it is getting and declares that he needs a “wee”.  Not very gangster.

The final question is a random one about product placement in movies and how it has changed over the decades.  It does not appear to bear any kind of direct relevance to ROUNDTREE or SHAFT and even now I am scratching my head to work out just why the person asked the question.  With such stupidity and lunacy ROUNDTREE thankfully jumps up from his chair and declares that he’s “going for a wee” before bowing to the audience.  He’s still a really cool guy and I like him that much more for going easy on us.

We stomp out of the BFI and onto the South Bank where there is suddenly now a rush on to get home.  Swiftly I board the Northern Line late on a Sunday night and find myself truly exposed to lowlife elements.  The people on this tube truly possess an air of the suspicious.  Eventually at Tottenham Court Road I change onto the Central Line where things fail to improve.

In the end I get to Liverpool Street in time to catch the 11.48PM only to discover that there is no 11.48PM on a Sunday night.  Instead I find myself waiting around amongst the dregs for some kind of 12.15AM hybrid.  This does not inspire confidence in my ability to get home in one piece.

Eventually I board the train which is truly a ride for lost souls.  Who on earth rides the train on a Sunday night after midnight?  Certainly not people who have work tomorrow (or rather later on this morning).

Initially when I board the train it is next to empty gradually it collects and gathers extras, filling with losers, most of whom possess baggage both physical and mental.

In the seat dumped opposite me is a drenched copy of the Sunday Mail which I flick through curtly before putting it down in fear of become even more right wing than I already am.  This risk however does not prevent some bolshy drunk guy later scooping it up for his own means.  Who gets drunk at this hour on a Sunday?

Once rolling the journey feels as if it lasts forever as a spook at every stage (station) freaks me out.  Eventually the battery runs out on my iPhone and I truly find myself winging it, trying very hard not to fall asleep and render myself utterly/absolutely vulnerable.

Finally the train gets back to Colchester around 1.30AM which is too late to entertain, too early to rise.

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