Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Dream: Stressed out about VAT I leave my current job and immediately move to the next role leaving the department (the accounts) in a real mess.  It would appear the move is also brought on by a sudden breakdown in relations.  Nothing new there then.  From here I step straight into my next job which is at the BBC with familiar faces (friends).  In a cramped office I wind up sharing a drawing table with somebody I know.  These are less than ideal working conditions.  As I leave after my first day (where I don’t go anywhere near any accounts work) I get handed a suitcase of fancy premium cookies.  The following day (Friday) I return to work with reservation which now resembles my old office in Baker Street.  It is Baker Street.  As I step into the large open plan office I get a round of applause.  After my initial welcome the company (the place) remains mostly as per three years ago (a graveyard for the talented).  One difference now however is that we are sitting on tables opposite one another like a primary school class.  Hogan remains god in the building, the presence that needs to remain on an even kilter with a placated temper.  Everyone remains fearful of the camp bully.  This is something to the day I will never understand.  While I was at the firm (admittedly only seven months) I never saw him really tear anyone a new arsehole, never saw him dismiss anyone.  He was just rude.  I think maybe the fear fact came from the fact that it was female dominated office and a set up vulnerable to emotion.  Elsewhere Moriarty initially appears to have changed her tune and is being friendly but soon her attitude to work overrides everything as she displays she has not changed a bit and is still a cunt with her “my way only” mentality.  Perhaps this is where the primary school element of the dream comes from, the manner in which she ran our team like a teacher rather than a leader and would cover my work with red pen marks to highlight errors and issues as opposed to sitting down, discussing things and working through problems.  Are many teachers alcoholics without lives or relationships?  At my desk I am sitting opposite The Korean, much like when I originally started at Baker Street.  She attempts to convince me that the place is all right, offering/giving me advice that I should I listen to and take on board but much like three years ago I do not necessarily do so.  The real fear and apparent cause/reality of this dream is that I am no longer able to cut it in such an environment, that I am not good enough to work at this level.  Almost immediately into the dream I begin regretting leaving my current job, which is ironic considering that I often regret remaining there as I feel it is making my skills diminish to the degree feared above.  At least there was no sign of ZoĆ« in the dream.

When I awaken the day is just about light.  Downstairs I hear a slight murmur as somebody goes to work.  From here I am unable to get a decent patch in my pillow so eventually I give up on sleep and decide to catch the news.  There is no news.

Unsurprisingly I am slow moving today.  If I were sensible I would force myself into extra sleep but that is just something I cannot do.

Once into the land of the living I watch this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Emma Stone.  It is a particularly good episode this week, incredibly funny and very on the mark.  This is a show lost to our nation, someone really should pick it up.

Slowly I pull myself together with view to heading up to London for my final London Film Festival selection of 2010 which today is ESSENTIAL KILLING, a film that could definitely end up going either way.

As ever in fear of a NEXD I leave home just after 10AM in order to catch a 10.30AM train.  This decision eventually makes a lot of sense as soon the train begins to splutter and beach along the way.

Early into the journey I realise that I have found myself sat facing Luke Wright who is a few rows down.  This is our local people’s poet, a person who has caused much disdain for years.  It doesn’t help either that success has found him.

Eventually the train gets into London just after 11.30AM as I waste no time in boarding a tube with the tourists towards Leicester Square.  On cue I change at Holborn where I snag the Piccadilly Line to my eventual destination of Leicester Square.

By the time I emerge it is barely midday so with this I head to the Haymarket Spar to grab some lunch and a crazy bottle of Chinese tea for the movie.

From here I take a leisurely stroll through Leicester Square and the garish mini fun park that currently reside within.  Then a few minutes later I am stepping into the Vue cinema (screen 7 again) where I am immediately met with the sight of some douche with his bottle of water in the cup holder on my left arm rest.  I can’t help but think/feel/believe that higher powers are engineering this, fucking with my head on this gesture.  This is now the third such example at the London Film Festival.  Why?

Before ESSENTIAL KILLING begins the director Jerzy Skolimowski steps out to introduce the piece.  He professes to be a seasoned veteran of such events and is somebody who appears to have been lent a second chance with this movie.  He comments in his clipped English how he remembers London and it is why he is wearing a beige raincoat today (which he hasn’t even bothered to remove/take off for the introduction).  He then raises the stakes stating that the last time he was at such an event he was introducing his worst ever film but today he is introducing his greatest movie.

With that declaration the lights go down and the movie begins.  Strangely a few seconds after his announcement the person sat to the left of my direct left gets up and leaves.  Thankfully this then means the person sat immediately to my left moves his bottle of water from my left hand cup holder and suddenly all is right with the world.  Maybe he saw my angry Tweet.

ESSENTIAL KILLING turns out to be quite a piece of work.  Starring a mute Vincent Gallo it is the story of a supposed Taliban member being captured in Afghanistan and then going on the run, eventually winding up in snowy Eastern Europe.

It opens in nasty fashion as a startled Gallo creeps amongst/around the caves of Afghanistan (which could just as easily be Tatooine) where he blows three Americans apart with a rocket launch in vivid and explicit fashion.  Obviously he can’t get away with that and soon he finds himself with a chopper chasing him down.

From here things become worse for Gallo as after the Americans zero in on him they eventually whisk him away to a detention centre akin to Guantanamo Bay.  After a brief bit of torture that is truly nasty stuff Gallo is still not speaking.  Maybe they should have forced him to repeatedly watch The Brown Bunny.  Then the latest in a long series of mishaps occurs as his transport truck flips over and he escapes and the ESSENTIAL KILLING begins.

Unfortunately things soon become absurd.  I love Vincent Gallo and worship Buffalo 66 (and even gave The Brown Bunny a go) but this is a whole different piece of work.  There is no tongue in cheek with this piece, its full on depravity and horror.  Unfortunately it is also at times quite silly.

With his escape the Gallo character winds up in a snow covered portion of Eastern Europe (Poland to those in the know) and with it the neverending task to haul himself back to his homeland, a premise that feels impossible from the off.

In the course of his subsequent movements he gets chased (hunted) by numerous humans and dogs in dramatic and distressing fashion.  He then should probably have found himself frozen alive when falling into a river before slipping into a couple of silly dreams of Islam.  And still he does not say a word.

Before long his survival instincts begin to go into overdrive as he comes to realise that dogs aren’t so bad overall (a common Muslim misunderstanding).  I would like to say/think his culinary choices and options ascend but going from grubs to tree bark to stolen raw fish (sushi?) before eventually winding up explicitly sucking at the tit of a fat mummy (a unique kind of yummy mummy) does not bode well.  The slobber on his lips from this action displays equally how tasty it is but also just how far he has degenerated as a human being.  At this point unfortunately I am not alone in sniggering at the image.

Eventually luck of all luck the mute Gallo happens across a farmhouse with a mute lady keeping home.  Who says opposites attract?  With this she takes care of him before sending him on his way to the eventual conclusion.

When the credits begin rolling it turns out that Gallo’s character was called “Mohammed”.  What bullshit, could this thing be anymore blatant and obvious?

As the lights come up we half expect the director to return for a Q&A.  Alas he does not come back but it would have been a useful exchange.  As I exit I hear an attractive lady ask another “what did you think?” to which she responds “I was disappointed”.  You and me both lady.  At least unlike The Brown Bunny it was short as I clock that the time is only 2PM.

So with the London Film Festival now over for me for another year my plan from here is to now catch an afternoon screening of THE SOCIAL NETWORK.  The next showing at my favourite cinema (the Shaftesbury Avenue Odeon) is not until 3.15PM which lends me a lot of time to waste.

In the end I wind up heading deep into Soho where I hit what remains of the record shops on Berwick Street.  There feels less of them by the month now as they definitely decimate by the year.  With this the day remains glorious as there is some kind of  giddy joy attached to strolling through Soho in the daytime.

Eventually I wind up in Reckless Records where I humiliate myself by flipping through the 3 for £1 seven inches bin.  However when I uncover a Trumans Water, I’m Being Good and Penthouse split single I do not hesitate to purchase.

From here I step into Sister Ray and go the other degree buying just six vinyl singles for £30.  I hope they’re all good at those prices.

Finally I stroll back towards Shaftesbury Avenue, even popping my head into Forbidden Planet.  I am 34 years old, grow up!

Before long comes time to head into THE SOCIAL NETWORK.  My options were the Curzon or the Odeon and for some reason I took the latter naively forgetting that it is half term.  With slight optimism I take a decent seat and prepare myself for a substandard cinema experience.

It begins well when a tall long hair with two girls asks one of them to move along so that he is not sitting in front of me, in my way.  As he makes the gesture I give him the thumbs up in gratitude.

Unfortunately before the trailers even begin it becomes apparent things are fucked as three gobby teenage kids sit to the left behind me.  The loudest appears to consider himself some kind of intellectual streetwise badass but at the same time he sounds camp as fuck.  Still being outnumbered three to one it sees me feeling suitably intimidated to the point of sitting quiet.  Sadly I’m not Larry David.

Eventually THE SOCIAL NETWORK begins and it’s a pretty decent piece of work.  This is the modern world and the latest tale of a chancer happening into profits and being an overnight success by riding a wave of the current trend and profiteering off people’s collective stupidity and insecurity.  It’s a great thing.

In his writing I think Aaron Sorkin manages to tease out extra textures from the story which firmly establish the principles as strong characters if, while not quite being glib stereotypes, manage to display tangible traits and identifiable qualities even if they are Godhead.  I appreciate how much of the tale appears to be some kind of popularity contest and class war and how much of Mark Zuckerberg’s apparent decisions were seemingly born out of spite and anger.  And to a degree rightly so as it is certainly a conceit/concept I can associate with.

Unfortunately the joy of the piece gets repeatedly sucked away as the group behind me continue to make their bleating noise and I begin to wonder just why they have bothered to come to see this film.  Are they agents sent to personally annoy me?  Nope, these are just common Facebook users, kids trying to grab a handle on their existence and find/mark their place in this world.  And that mark appears to be to stand out in the dark at an Odeon cinema on a Wednesday afternoon during halftime.  I do not think we have a Cancer cure in our midst.  As with Woody Allen in Annie Hall, if only I could expound such things in real life.

Back to the movie and eventually Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker turns up off the back of Napster and begins to steal the show as he lends proceedings focus and a profit motive, coming up with a real opportunity to tap into revenue streams.

In the end it all gets dragged out too far.  I struggle to imagine that any of this was as glamorous as the movie is suggesting as I fail to really empathise with any of the players.  Ultimately the ending provides the most crisp moment of clarity as the always awesome Rashida Jones puts things into perspective and explains how the ruling classes will never be defeated, will always have that edge over an average person trying to contest them.

Then it is over.  As the lights come up I turn around to catch glimpse of arseholes that ruined the movie.  To my horror they are nothing.  It should have been easy to them to “shut the fuck up”, so why didn’t anyone?  As I pass the one on the end of the aisle I purposely bump into him but sadly not hard enough.

Somewhat peeved I exit the cinema noting the large number of Odeon ushers stood in the foyer compared to the zero presence/attendance/appearance of them inside the actual cinema.  Why aren’t they doing their job?  I wonder if I moaned enough if I could/would get my money back.  Ultimately my time is more valuable than that.

From here I stomp to Tottenham Court Road where I face, fear and endure the Central Line during the rush.  As ever it is an excruciating process to experience, one of the most stressful things attached to London.  In the end I just hold me breath, put on my loudest music and close my eyes.

In the end I wind up catching the 6.30PM Norwich train home as per usual.  Eventually I find myself with two ladies sat opposite me both reading The Girl With The Shit Tattoo.  Just what is the appeal of those books?

I get home around 7.30PM with thankfully the night still open to me.  However once in I fail to muster any energy for the evening and I soon pack up for the evening and go to bed.

Not the best of days.

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