Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday 26 October 2010


Tuesday 26 October 2010

Today is one of those mornings where I sleepwalk through proceedings.  There is a horrible atmosphere at home currently and as a result I do not feel safe or comfortable at my own address.  This is definitely not how it is supposed to be.

As I exit past the culprits (the Trash Humpers’ apartment, home of Caroline Geary) the rubbish has returned.  I would imagine that it is here to stay now.  We are heading towards Pacific Heights territory.

The drive to the station is a drag as I get stuck behind an SUV which itself is stuck behind a tree surgeon’s van.  Not only are these people killing the environment they are also killing me spiritually.

Driving I am now paranoid that my car has been tampered with by my neighbours, not least whenever the slightest suggestion of a flat tyre can be heard during the drive.

Running against my psychosis I make it to the station then platform easily in good time, happily snagging my seat in the process.  From here things run smoothly up to town as for a second day running people leave me alone in my seat.  As a result when we eventually roll into Liverpool Street I feel rarely relaxed and ready to go.

The ride across town echoes as a stress free journey and before long I am emerging at St Johns Wood and walking down Loudoun Road prior to stepping into work.

Unfortunately once behind my desk today I find myself unable to maintain momentum as yet again I am unable to work effectively and efficiently due to being distracted.  What the hell is wrong with me?  Without doubt it is down to the situation with the Trash Humpers in 15 Hollytree Court.  This cannot afford to continue.

Early on the manager of the restaurant comes into our office bemoaning the attitude of the Bald Kosovan Muslim for being lazy.  Mere minutes later the angry boss is then tearing said manager a new arsehole over the guy.  Very fair.

From here a heads down mentality prevails briefly but in the end it is only fleeting.  Soon the females of the office begin to forget themselves.  Such is the way.

Annoyingly I reach lunchtime without much to show for my efforts.  Then the afternoon does not fair much better as I count down the afternoon with view to escape to the London Film Festival.

Today the highlight turns out to be when The Girl receives an email from a male stranger with photos of him in various states of undress.  I hate how women suddenly turn prudish when faced with such things.  They are such hypocrites.  Secretly I suspect they fucking love it.  There are very few things in this world more depressing than listening to women talk about sex.  Its so reserved and phony.

In the end tonight I take the post and duck out of work quarter of an hour early in order to ensure that I get to Leicester Square in time for HOWL at 6PM.

With tube decisions to be made (Green Park or Oxford Circus) in the end I change at Bond Street and risk the Central Line with view to saving a few footsteps and more essentially minutes.  Before long I am stepping out onto Argyll Street and through Soho rushing into Leicester Square via Chinatown.

As I near the cinema (the Leicester Square Vue) my iPhone rings with Eleanor checking on where I am.  Luckily I am about ten seconds away which proves reassuring to us all.  When we finally bump into each other moments later she tells me that she just saw Frank Skinner.  I would not have had him down as being a fan of Beat writers.

From here we step into the cinema (Screen 7 yet again) where we have perhaps the best seats in the house.  Once settled I update her on the drama of the weekend before the movie begins.

Just before HOWL starts the lights come up and the two filmmakers (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman) are introduced to the audience and announce that they will return after the film for a Q&A session.

HOWL turns out to be a fantastic piece of work that manages to captivate me all the way through.  To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to be expecting from the movie (not least with doubts about James Franco being Allen Ginsberg) but what they made definitely works.

The movie offers up a concise background of the famous poem without fawning too excessively towards the subject matter or losing touch with the wider impact of the piece (which is not necessarily something that could be said of the William Burroughs documentary last week).

Much against my reservations Franco manages to pull off playing Ginsberg in both enthusiastic and endearingly nerdy fashion.  Then as the poem begins to take form the recital of the work is performed using a staggering piece of animation akin to an explicit take on Fantasia which sweeps the story (and the entire movie) across the scream and away to some place gorgeous.  The artwork is breathtaking, a tasteful rollercoaster and spectrum of ingenuity where the pain of the poem is explained and expounded with more clarity than I have ever encounter before.

Backing Franco is a great cast including everyone’s favourite current man’s man Jon Hamm in the role of the lawyer defending the poem against obscenity charges.  Elsewhere in the piece is Bob Balaban, who always reminds me of Ghost World (as Enid’s dad), in addition to the familiar faces of Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels and Treat Williams.  I would say though that the portrayals of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady are more in line with The Last Time I Committed Suicide rather than the superior Heart Beat.

Generally the story enthuses me more than anything before as it brings a modern take and touch to classic item that has been already covered and profiled to death.  Somehow though the filmmakers have managed to put a modern spin on proceedings without sacrificing any of the tradition or humility of the work.  Based on actual exchanges/conversation the film is a breeze that flies with no flab or meandering.

Soon the movie comes to an end as it prompts genuine applause (something that films cannot necessarily bank on at this film festival).  At this point Eleanor heads off as I decide to opt out of the Japanese food and remain for the filmmakers Q&A.

When the lights come up it prompts more applause as the directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.  The Q&A proves entertaining as they go through the machinations of the piece describing where the original concept came from and how they got hold of the original transcripts of the interviews and whose permission they had to sought.  Obviously Ginsberg was sadly not alive to see the final results but his partner Peter Orlovsky (who emotionally appears towards the end) was around just in time to see the work before he sadly passed away.

It turns out that the animation and visuals were the work of Eric Drooker who I later find out was the illustrator for the cover of the Faith No MoreKing For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime” album.  He is an amazing talent.

As the questions get thrown out the audience one lady becomes interestingly and comically anal asking about the disclaimer at the close of the credits that states “the incidents, characters and firms depicted in this movie are fictitious” as she rightly points out that surely with this being a biopic that cannot be so.  With this she questions the validity of the piece but the filmmakers just shrug this off as being legalese and necessary.  Nice technicality.

The last question comes from Frank Skinner.  I don’t remember what he actually asks only that his accent is broad and unashamed as half the room turns around to look at him when they recognise his distinctive tones.  Now that is pull.

From here they call it a night and the audience exits in good spirit.  Naturally I grab a peak at Skinner before leaving.  He looks as per.

Before long I am boarding an early evening tube at Leicester Square, changing at Holborn and tearing back across to Liverpool Street.

In the end I jump on a decent train (the 9PM weird train) which happily gets me home around 10PM and not beyond midnight for a change.

I soon turn in.

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