What a lousy weekend. I was ill from Thursday last week yet solidered on into work on Friday (yeah I know, what a martyr) which essentially led to me being restrained to my bed for most of the weekend, I felt better by Sunday lunchtime so decided to try and salvage the remainder of my free time and hit the cinema. I’ve had my eye on this and will certainly be catching this during the week, however due to the London Marathon and subsequent disruption to travel arrangements I had to keep things local which essentially reduced my choice to the well received thriller ‘State Of Play‘ which was playing at the local multiplex. Before you ask yes, ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop‘ was sold out, I’m just not having much luck at the moment am I?
Firstly of all I haven’t seen the BBC series the film is based on so I was going into the film ‘fresh’ as it were, I’d heard good things about the series so was hoping for a challenging little thriller to distract me from my receding symptoms. US Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), chairman of a senate committee investigating the alleged corrupt conduct of military contractor Pointcorp (a thinly veiled Haliburton clone) visibly breaks down on TV as he discloses the suspicious death of his beautiful assistant which opens the film. A media circus ensues and Collins confesses to an affair, threatening the marriage to his wife Anne (the always welcome Robin Wright Penn) and a political scandal. Hard-nosed Washington Globe editor Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren) assigns veteran reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), an old friend of the senator to cover the story along with ambitious rookie Della Frye (Rachel McAdams). A deadly conspiracy soon emerges which challenges the official suicide verdict of Collins mistress, it’s a race against time to uncover the truth before the evidence is destroyed and potential witnesses silenced….
Does the world need another nervous, hand-held camera Washington political thriller movie? Evidently so. Well, this was perfectly acceptable mainstream Hollywood stuff, no more, no less, which will evaporate from the memory the morning after you’ve seen it. An unnecessarily star laden cast all turn in acceptable enough performances with only Affleck not quite convincing as the junior senator and Mirren excelling as the irascible Washington Globe commander in chief. The film just never really takes off, there are some nice scenes detailing the actual investigative trails that McCaffey and Fry follow to unearth the conspiracy and only a couple of lapses into unnecessary action frolics, it so desperately wants to be ‘All The Presidents Men‘ but unfortunately fails to reach the lofty plateaus of that movies classic status. I don’t want to sound too harsh, it’s worth a look on a uneventful Saturday night, again I’m just mystified by the lavish praise that perfectly average films seem to get from certain quarters, even the usually bullseye accurate Philip French seems to have gone overboard on this one although he does seem to give a historical context for a film rather than review the actual movie these days. Oh well, different strokes for different folks eh?
Just about a third of the way through the year and only now have I managed my first gig – criminal. I do have five other concerts lined up throughout 2009 so can’t complain, I kicked proceedings off with an event centering on the more avant garde area of my musical tastes, a glitch festival called Ether 2009 which was held at London’s Southbank. The line-up for the evening was CM Von Hausswolff (who I’d never heard of), Rosy Parlane (who I’d never heard of) and perhaps the glitch scenes most high-profile act Christian Fennesz. As it was the most beautiful day of the year so far we actually missed the first act and most of the second act due to being distracted by sunshine, cold beer and a glorious view of the Thames from the Royal Festival Hall, we did manage to catch the Fennesz set and an encore of all three acts performing together.
I don’t have a great deal to say about this as, well, it’s honestly not an area of music I know anything about other than a gut reaction to the discs my friend has supplied me over the years, he’s the real fan. What I do like about this music live is that when you’ve got no lyrics to absorb, no bass chords to connect to, no drum rhythms to ‘centre’ the music then your frittering imagination expands to fill in the gaps, like some sort of group meditation session. Perhaps it’s the recent passing of JG Ballard being on my mind but I can recall thinking of how curious it is that a bunch of shaved monkeys works all day for another bunch of shaved monkeys in order to obtain some nice shiny things to exchange with other shaved monkeys to watch one monkey manipulate our monkey senses with machines invented by dead shaved monkeys. OK, OK, I’d had a couple of drinks, alright?
It’s either genius or one of the biggest con jobs in modern times. How do they know, when composing their pieces that they’ve got it right? The correct level of pitch, the right chord that harmonises with the other layers? Are these musicians even classically trained, can they read chords or do they take a mathematical approach to the material given that it all conjured up through top range imacs? Even the usual live performance conventions are subverted, no-one knows when to clap as you’re not actually sure when a piece has finished, there is no interaction with the audience from the musicians other than a courteous bow, all in all it’s quite a different live music experience and hey, like Woody Allen said, ‘I’ll try anything once, except incest…or Line-Dancing’. I enjoyed the evening and I’m sure it will serve as a amusing counterpoint to my next planned gig.
They’re dropping like flies these days. Only a fortnight ago I watched ‘Black Narcissus‘ for the first time on Blu-Ray, a revisit of one of the finest British films ever made which I haven’t seen for at least a decade. It was incredible and a major strut of its brooding tension is Cardiff’s photography, I remember thinking when his name appeared on the opening titles ‘man, he must be really old by now’……so it goes. I should do the chap a better tribute but quite honestly this week I’ve spent all day every day in front of computers writing reports and I’ve had enough, so here’s some examples of unquestionably one of the UK’s finest ever cinematographers:
As well as shooting some of the classics, he’s also earned a fondness from the cult movie brigade with some of his more esoteric efforts of direction such as:
and some strangeness, such as this:
But let’s close with a spoiler ridden clip of ‘Narcissus’, breathtaking stuff:
And of course this:
I’ve been trying to get my hands on this for a while, let’s see if eBay can offer a solution.
Is the phrase ‘a great British comedy film’ an oxymoron these days? Thankfully not as hot on the heels of ‘The Boat That Rocked’ and ‘Lesbian Vampire Killers’, two films I’m not going to do the honor of providing any links for as they both look absolutely terrible comes British comedy maestro Armando Iannucci’s film debut ‘In The Loop‘, a big screen expansion of his critically lauded, satirically devastating BBC4 series ‘The Thick Of It‘. Whilst the latter centred on the politics of spin, manipulation and policy screw-ups emanating from the inept halls of Whitehall and Westminster, Iannucci and his cadre of fellow wordsmiths have set their sights on the broader canvas of international relations with the same hilarious results, exposing and exploring the machinations of contemporary politics on both sides of the pond.
The film is a thinly veiled satire on the run up to the Iraq War but if that makes you roll your eyes in boredom then let me be clear that such an approach is merely a springboard to deliver a hugely entertaining, prescient and convivial treatise on modern politics whilst most importantly being very, very funny. Ineffectual Secretary Of State Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) remarks in a radio interview that ‘war is unforeseeable.’ Unfortunately for Foster the unseen Prime Minister is being pressured to support a US led excursion into the Middle East and brutal communications director Malcolm Tucker (the real star of the show, Peter Capaldi) launches into a expletive peppered tirade when the press transform Foster’s innocuous comment into a major news story. The bumbling Foster becomes an unwitting media figure as he and his personal communications director Judy (Gina McKee) and political damage control expert Toby are despatched to Washington to liaise with senior American State Department officials (including Sledgehammer himself) and Pentagon attaché General Miller portrayed by a bruising James Gandolfiini. Largely Ignoring both Judy’s and Toby’s advice Foster exhibits an inept ability to follow the party line as he finds himself caught in a maelstrom of pro and anti war factions. To complicate matters further back in England Fosters constituency is brewing its own local political scandal with an unstable adjoining wall between his office and a vocal neighbour’s property heralding future complications….
I love ‘The Thick Of It‘, it is an exceptionally smart and insightful series with an expert eye for the minutiae of contemporary UK politics, a worthy heir apparent to Iannucci’s beloved ‘Yes Minister‘. ‘In The Loop‘ employs the same veritie, fly on the wall approach as ‘Thick‘, it’s essentially a big screen spin off which for once doesn’t feel exhausted considering the glut of comedy these days that follow the same template, its sheer intelligence and wit have effortlessly leapt to the big screen fully intact. I did wonder if the inclusion of American politics might not gel with this approach but rest assured they complement each other perfectly, in fact the premise that the writers seem to be aiming for of our political representatives being seduced by the scale and glamour of Washington’s power are illuminated with a razor intensity. The dialogue veers from the parochial ‘Oh, I hope we don’t go too war, its difficult enough just dealing with the Olympics’ to the offensively sublime, ‘There’s a cartoon of you in the Telegraph, it’s got you sitting on the great wall of China. You know why? ‘CAUSE you’re a political FUCK-UP of such immense FUCKING proportions it can be seen from fucking SPACE’ – if you don’t find elaborate swearing big or clever then this might not be for you. On that note the star of ‘The Thick Of It‘ and indeed this movie is Malcolm Tucker, the terrifying spin doctor impresario whose diatribes of expletive infected rage form many of the films highlights. The character of course is lifted from the odious Alastair Campbell who has dismissed the film as ‘boring’ which says it all really, there’s many accusations you can level at the film but with its pnuematic gag delivery and attention critical plot machinations you cannot label this movie as ‘boring’. Of all the absolute fucks who managed our country since 1997 (and I say this as Labour supporting youth whose idealism has been utterly destroyed and submerged to a Mariana Trench depth of cynicism when it comes to the current political machine) he really is a fucker whose levels of deceit and lies have critically eroded any trust I any many others can ever have in our current democracy.
On a day when my local government colleagues were grimly amused at our current Home Secretary’s painful attempts to salvage her career with this spin induced u-turn – there is a gag in the film where Foster moans about not being able to risk a quick stroke to his Washington hotel’s porn channel as it would inevitably end up on his disclosure of members interest expenses – I’m wearily comforted that there are some people out there like Iannucci who can generate some level of solace in poking fun at our esteemed elected representatives. Just to keep things jolly (this must be my most optimistic review of a comedy film eh?) it seems that finally an appropriate period of time has elapsed between the Iraq war’s genesis and inception, there are a number of conflict themed movies in the pipeline which have cultivated my interest. Yeah, I know that trailer for ‘The Hurt Locker‘ looks pretty terrible trailer-wise but it has got some cracking reviews from various festivals and Bigelow always produces material that consistently has some merits so I’ll give it a look. Well, here’s my attempt to finish on a couple of positives, the NFT are running a Nouvelle Vague season at the moment, the best briefing I’ve read for a while on the movement is here which is also some of the best general cinema discourse I’ve stumbled upon for some time. Finally, this has been doing the rounds and made me, um LOL. Yeah, I’ve still got it….
To celebrate their 75th anniversary the magnificent National Film Theatre held a poll to determine which one film their panel felt most appropriate to share with future generations, a nice alternative to the usual ‘Best Film Ever’ tradition and I think a sign of our entrenched, forward looking cultural temperature. It wasn’t a huge shock to see the mighty Blade Runner steal the top spot, it regularly and appropriately gets nominated as one of the most intriguing and prescient movies ever made, as the years slip away and the inexorable march to 2019 continues it seems that more and more of its 1982 predictions come incrementally closer and closer to realisation. I was naturally overjoyed at the award to one of my favourite films and couldn’t wait to see the arrangement of events the NFT had programmed, it was quite an agenda which I’ll outline for you here. After the Kubrick retrospective and this event I wonder if I’ve accidentally sold my soul or something, if a John Carpenter season emerges toward the end of the year then I will run shrieking to the nearest cathedral. Again.
The day kicked off with a screening of the superb Mark Kermode narrated documentary On The Edge Of Blade Runner (it’s been pulled from Google Video I’m afraid) which is always worth a look, it’s an ideal primer which delivers all the essential details of the movies tortured production history, its genesis in the amphetamine addled mind of Philip K Dick through to the release of the films directors cut in 1992. It’s one of the better documentaries on the movie with some insightful observations, this moment got a huge laugh (1:28) from the terrific M. Emmet Walsh. I also love the story of David Fincher going to see the legendary screening of the recently unearthed pre-director cut print in LA back in 1991, (the reaction to which prompted Scott and Warner Brothers to work on the Directors cut), Fincher attending the screening with the editor on his then current project Alien III, Terry Rawlings who of course was also the editor of Blade Runner and, um, the first Alien which of course was directed by Ridley. How’s that for the incestuous world of film-making?
The documentary was followed with a lengthy panel discussion of the film including producer Michael Deeley, academic Will Brooker (curator of the recently released ‘The Blade Runner Experience‘) and probably the worlds foremost authority on the movie Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir which I strongly urge any film fan to pick up not simply for its comprehensive coverage – Sammon was actually on set for 75% of the film’s shooting schedule – but also for a prime exemplar of the very best of film writing, at least from a production and trivia modus operandi. Sammon has spent years trying to identify who in the art production department came up with the films specific marketing font used in the poster art and VHS packaging, that’s just one example of the obsessive level of research. The first section of the panel discussion was a little idiosyncratic, focusing on the projects financial construction, the $21 million budget parsed equally between domestic theatrical US rights for Warner Brothers, foreign theatrical territories resting with Sir Run Run Shaw and the peripherals, the VHS, merchandising and TV transmission global rights resting with the idiots Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin who are entirely responsible for the production difficulties, the constant heckling and interference culminating with the sacking of Scott and Deeley once the film went $1 over budget and the subsequent poor quality releases of the film over the intervening twenty or so years. Deeley outlined exactly how they are essentially the archetypal Hollywood money men, utterly uninterested in any artistic merit who only invested in the film as a complex tax evasion strategy. Responding to the inevitable sequel questions Deeley remarked that those rights now rest with Yorkin due to a complex sequence of legal manoeuvring which gives them preference over any new material, according to recent lore his son is in the midst of writing Part 2. Yeah, can’t wait for that…
Every film fan loves a tale of their beloved artists pitted against the philistine executives who fuck up a potentially outstanding piece of work by constantly turning the screws to make a project more ‘commercial’, more marketable with more merchandising opportunities however Deeley quite rightly conceded that sometimes that sense of pressure and conflict on set can actually push people to produce even more outstanding work, a peaceful and harmonious production environment sometimes resulting in bland and tepid films. A fair point I think, nothings changed in the past 25 years it seems. Some more specific anecdotes and general observations were then discussed including the films title being culled from a William Burroughs story, the antipathy between Ford and Scott, the outstanding model and effects work and other well known facets to the film that I won’t regurgitate here. I did enjoy Brookers observation that one of the alluring facets of the film beyond its core as a movie itself is the existence of the many different versions of the film, the inconsistencies (the differing number of replicants in many of the versions for example) and amendments that occur in each incarnation reflecting back on the films central themes – a detective story within a detective story – making it a truly meta-textual post modern masterpiece. Heh, yes I guess he is an ivory tower academic but what can I say, I unapologetically love that kind of observation. As you’d expect the discussion concluded with the most obvious question, is Deckard a replicant or not? Does he even know he is if he is? Does he think he’s a replicant even if he isn’t? The usual arguments were expressed, I prefer to keep it ambiguous and treat it as a logical reaction to the films intrinsic depths and strengths.
In the interim between the discussion and next event I rushed to the NFT bookstore and picked up a hardback copy of Future Noir and got it signed by Sammon, (he quite amusingly penned ‘Have A Better One’ before his signature which may raise a knowing smirk amongst you fellow fans out there) along with a copy of Brookers book, some photos of the set-up from a fellow blogger
here (EDIT – Alas the link has been updated to the homepage). I’m a nerd I admit when it comes to certain films, I was in amused awe however at the fellow attendees who produced some truly remarkable pieces of Blade Runner memorabilia such as Roy Batty action figures, original UK story annuals and most impressively in front of me one acolyte unfurled a perfectly preserved original movie poster signed by at least fifteen people (including Scott, Ford, Hannah and screenwriter Hampton Fancher from what I could see) for Deeley to add his autograph too. That’s far beyond my level of obsession I have to add, I have never been in the least bit interested in the (for me) irrelevant action figure Otaku sub-culture that coalesces around these events, I will however confess a secret ambition to one day develop an expensive film poster acquisition obsession but that’s just me. Whatever floats your boat I guess, using my ESPER I’ve located some links to deleted and alternate scenes of the film that may interest you.
Naturally such an event would have to include an actual screening of the film, right? I’ve seen the movie in its various incarnations around a half dozen times on the big screen but the pristine digital screening of the Final Cut version that followed in the enormous NFT1 was something special, far and away the best screening I’ve enjoyed. When I first saw the Final Cut version of the film it was at the cosy Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton which was fine, you may remember my previous report on that event which I’ve already published on this blog but the scope and scale of the image and sound coupled with the electric atmosphere in this auditorium was quite a different experience, especially since I wasn’t distracted by geekily identifying the slight changes to the film that dominated my previous viewing. Every time, without fail that opening sequence as the music swells up and the Los Angeles hades of 2019 materializes on screen I’m in total and utter cinema heaven, simple as that. The sound of the Spinners reverberating around the theatre, the crystal clear fascinating imagery and the now defunct practice of presenting the credits for a good two minutes before launching into the movie itself, acclimatising the viewer to the cinematic experience and the future world we will be exploring are all unbeatable to me.
How do you beat that? Well, you have an interview and Q&A with Roy Batty of course. The event was appropriately chaired by Sammon, Hauer was thoroughly charming and very, very funny. Sammon had a curious tendency to begin talking about himself and his history with the film during the interview which was fine for the panel discussion but I and the audience begin to feel impatiently uncomfortable with his recitals as hey, we’re here to see Rutger and get his perspective and recollections of the film not your admittedly impressive but inappropriately timed recollections. When one anecdote relating to Sammon’s close relationship with Philip K. Dick started to trail on and on and on Rutger cheekily interrupted his speech with the question ‘Let me tell you about my mother‘?, you can imagine the reaction:
Once the crowd had stopped laughing we got some insights and further anecdotes, how he and Ridley envisioned the replicants as being essentially children (‘wow, you’ve good some really nice toys here…’) coupled with adult senses of mortality given their four year life span which informed his approach to the character. Roy’s unusual tattoos seen during the final scenes were never explained by the production designer or make-up artists, it was concluded that they may be the results of the gene bank style birth of the replicants rather than some adolescent stab at individuality. On the production side Rutger explained that he became increasingly aware of the outside pressures on the film which centred around the ‘hero’ – Deckard – being essentially an impotent, incompetent jerk who ‘ends up fucking a washing machine’ as the emphasis began to turn on the replicants and the themes surrounding their existence and experiences – he barely spoke to and never connected with Ford.
Finally of course the discussion turned to that scene. Quite honestly I always believed until relatively recently that the story of Rutger conjuring up that speech himself, independent of the screenwriters was one of those myths that actors sometimes verbalise, especially when talking about film moments that enter public consciousness and can effectively build an actors future career. Well, another slice of humble pie was choked down by the Mint when I saw this confirmed a few years ago, Rutger explained how he calmly developed the speech himself as the shoot came to its close, called Ridley into his trailer and delivered his soliloquy which resulted in Ridley pausing for a moment, looking down in a pensive fashion, smiling and enthusiastically murmuring ’Lets shoot it now’. That’s how film history is born.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get tickets to the final event, an interview and discussion with none other than the great Sir Ridley Scott himself which given his commitments (he’s got two movies on the go and of course is based in LA) was quite a coup for the NFT. I’m in two minds on missing out on this one, on the hand I was furious with the NFT for once again releasing tickets for anyone, members and non-members alike at 11.00am on a phone line when the event was announced – I spent half an hour on the phone trying to get through to the Box Office without success whilst simultaneously attempting to book on-line (yes, I can multi-task) with a system that crashed every couple of minutes before you could get through to the payment section. Absolutely useless and I ask again, why do I pay my £40 yearly membership subscription again? A fair crack of the whip with other BFI members would have been fine, that’s life but such an approach to ticket allocation is not ideal. On the day however since I hadn’t had the chance to catch anything to eat since breakfast due to running around to buy books and signatures between events I was quite happy to slip away although I’ve had trouble tracking down any coverage of that interview since. C’est la Vie.
I’m normally a glass half empty kind of guy but given the pedigree of the previous segments of the day I had a fantastic time, I got some pointers on new avenues of exploration regarding the film – apparently there is a wealth of outstanding mash-up cuts out there on bittorrent (the ‘white rabbit‘ edit allegedly being the best) which normally don’t interest me but hey, this is Blade Runner. I’ve made a promise to visit LA ten years hence to see how things turn out, a pilgrimage I’m sure which won’t be unique amongst us film fans and new devotees who fall in love with this remarkable movie over the next ten years. Lets finish with a potentially controversial clip of the original ending to the movie, famously culled from out-takes of Kubrick’s opening scene of The Shining. I love the fact that some filmmakers still trumpet the original ending, Del Toro is on record for actually preferring the original theatrical noir voice-over and ‘bad ending version’, of course I agree that the re-dux versions are superior and the happy ending is nonsensical, however there is just something about this sequence that I will always love and enjoy. ‘Have a better one…..’
So another work location means plenty of new cinemas to test-drive, right? Sweet. After spending the last couple of months checking out films I have anxiously been waiting to see I thought it would be fun to see something I hadn’t heard a great deal about, something I didn’t have circled in the diary, a film I haven’t even seen the trailer for – pretty crazy eh? Clearly I am a maverick who doesn’t play by the rules. OK, OK, truth be told I have heard a couple of things about ecological disaster mystery ‘Knowing‘ and whilst the reviews were hardly glowing I was intrigued by the apparent unconventional and unexpected final act to the picture which tickled my curiosity bone, I was also in the mood for some big bombastic American nonsense after wading through most of this superb but intellectually challenging documentary over last weekend. Hell, it’s just fun to see stuff getting blown up sometimes…
In an idyllic, Autumn hued Boston suburb a class of school kids including recently widowed John Koestler’s (Nick Cage) son Caleb excavate a fifty year old time-capsule which was buried by their fellow alumni back in 1959. One letter, conveniently selected by Caleb contains a sequence of seemingly random numbers which is interpreted by Koeslter as a secret code that tallys with the dates of many of of the globes most terrible disasters that have occurred during the intervening fifty years, a sequence that is further proved as accurate by corresponding with a duo of terrible accidents that Koeslter finds himself witnessing during his grief stricken investigations. As the code unravels a further, final cataclysmic prophecy emerges that signals the end of the world itself, can Professor Koestler prevent the possible Armageddon or has his grief clouded his intellectual judgement to embrace conspiracy theories?
This is a silly film. This is a very, very silly film with absurd plot faults that could be easily overlooked had the ‘Twilight Zone‘ clone plot not deteriorated into utterly predictable and convenient convulsions. Look, I like, in fact I love ‘The Twilight Zone‘ as much as the next man, this has been on a wish list of mine for quite a few years but a film like this which adheres to such predictable developments can be a real chore, even the trumpeted the final revelation is utterly predictable. ’Knowing’ is yet another one of those post millennium anxiety films which seem to search for meaning in a anarchic and uncertain world, finding answers in conspiracy theory influenced doctrine which I loathe. I’m not a squeamish sort, I think we’ve established that during some recent posts but I frankly found the presentation of the terrible accidents as almost pornographic in their delivery, the loud cacophony of a plane crash and resulting presentation of gasoline engulfed victims screaming at the screen and a truly revolting subway crash rendering hapless commuters into fine red mists was pretty hard to stomach. To be fair the final few scenes are impressively presented and the kid isn’t as irritating as they usually are in these movies but these elements cannot salvage this uninspired mess. Lesson learned? Maybe, I wanted to see this which I may try to catch tomorrow but it’s only playing in Leicester Square on I’m sure the smallest screen for £15 a pop, perhaps a visit to some of the finer torrent sites is in order….
Anyway yeah, yeah I know – a Nicholas Cage movie, I need my head examined right? Well, while I’ll admit that the man has been in absolute, unmitigated drivel over the past five years or so he has managed to deliver the odd brilliant performance during his career, I’m particularly fond of his Oscar winning performance in ‘Leaving Las Vegas‘ for example and he was ideally cast and superb in ‘Adaptation‘, I’ll also remind readers of his engaging turns in both this and this, maybe he has got another great couple of film in him, maybe not. Director Alex Proyas was once a name to watch with his early movies ‘The Crow‘ (although that film never worked for me but I’ll concur that it struck a chord with a certain breed of viewer) and the Ebert championed epileptic ‘Dark City‘, it’s a shame he’s forged such a pedestrian career after such intriguing and promising early efforts. In any case, this is a wonderful opportunity to present the best moments of ‘The Wicker Man‘ remake, one of the finest worst films of recent history, at least that managed to be entertainingly bad.
Speaking of foolish things to do I swung through the City on the way home to get a feel for this weeks protest proceedings, wearing a suit and tie and everything. It was of course quite subdued by the time I got there, Bank had been completely sealed off so I got off at Moorgate and walked around the perimeter of the Police cordon and up to Tower Bridge to pick up the DLR home. I was a bit surprised to see some scuffles still occurring on the news when I got home, I saw nothing but wary commuters wandering the backstreets, seeking alternative routes home – but there was an unusual atmosphere in the air. Had I not secured a new assignment then I would have popped along , I was proud to have attended the Iraq War march back in 2003 (for all the good that popular uprising did eh?) and without boring you with my political views (although this makes me seethe) I support the protest movement 100%. In this glorious 21st century it’s charming to know I could have actually been arrested for taking the photos of the police above yet they are empowered to not only stop people from leaving areas with physical force but insist on releasing attendees only once they had agreed to be photographed and identified or they would be thrown back into the controlled area. There’s something very, very wrong there. Anyway, I’m experimenting with Twitter (you can follow me as ‘Mintyblonde‘ cool kids) at the moment hence the new sidebar on the blog, I’ll try to put up some haiku style reviews of what I’m watching but I suspect I’ll get bored of it very soon and suspend the endeavour, we shall see. As per my first ‘tweets’ I’m afraid ‘My Name is Bruce‘ was another terrible movie, again I wasn’t expecting ‘Citizen Kane’ or anything but there’s not even one single solitary gag in the damn thing, the hour long making of documentary was fairly entertaining so not a total loss.