(Planet Me)
Friday, October 05, 2007
Show, Don't Tell

Recently I've spent time in some very very cool places. After my interview on Wednesday, I went down to Camden where I spent some time buying a couple of CD's, and wandered around Notting Hill rummaging in the retro clothing stores, the bookshops, and the bargain basement CD's. I love second hand and thrift stores : I like finding things that you can't get in the High Street. For this reason LB's recent post on the Tescopoly struck me as being particularly interesting. I find the homogenic nature of a Asda World quite frightening : where everyone looks the same and acts the same and wears the same clothing.

In THX 1138, everyone wears the same outfits. Everyone has a shaved head and the same white jumpsuit. This is what a Tesco World looks like.

Therefore, when I get chance to support my local, smaller store, that's what I do. On Wednesday afternoon, I visited the Notting Hill Coronet to see Michael Clayton. I loved sitting inside an ancient Victorian theatre - the first cinema I have been in with a balcony since seeing The Living Daylights play to 1396 empty seats in Birmingham in 1987. Michael Clayton by the way is a rather excellent, old fashioned political / business conspiracy thriller of the type very few people actually make anymore. A film unashamed to show, not tell, and to make people think instead of thrill. Films like this make me think I'm living in a paranoid thriller right now. As I walk down the street I hear the percussion of fear banging in my internal monologue. And a voice over. "This is Mark. he is 34. You don't know this, but he has a big secret." Coming To An Imagination Near You On October 5th!

Later on I was at the East Finchley Phoenix. The first purpose built cinema in the UK and according to the billboard - the best single screen cinema in London. First in a field of one, possibly. Another independent cinema.

I saw Control there on Wednesday night. Control is a wrenching, immense experience and the best music biopic I have ever seen.

Thursday, after my interview there I decamped to the Brixton Ritzy to catch the final showing of Death Proof. It's half an hour too long, lacking in any form of moral base, and therefore, in need of a damn good, almost brutal trim. It has plenty of fine moments, but that doesn't make it a good film. The film has a massive narrative hole missing in it, a lack of motive, a lack of... heart. It's all pastiche, and an exercise in technical ability over enjoyable film making. It's good, but it's lacking something essential. At one point I almost shouted GET A FUCKING MOVE ON! at the screen.

Nonetheless, I have rather enjoyed my trips in subsidising London's independent cinemas. Reminds why I prefer them over the anonymous chain stores : where else but an MVE would you find an entire wall decorated with vinyl copies of Paul Youngs No Parlez? (£1 for any of the dozens of vinyl copies they have).

Been busy. I'm off the treadmill now for a while. How are you?

Sniffle. You make me homesick.
I'd also recommend the Everyman cinema in Hampstead, Screen on the Green in Islington, and the Tricycle theatre in Kilburn.
London is great for independent cinema.
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