A day of three films

by Suw on August 9, 2003

Well, as I've lost my voice utterly and completely now, and can do no more than whisper hoarsly and gesticulate, and as it's been astoundingly hot and really quite uncomfortable even in the shade (quite contrary to my prediction this morning), Kate and I did the only thing we could possibly do. We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean.

I cannot explain what a wonderous thing it was to walk into that air-conditioned cinema out of the blazing, searing sun.

Nor can I adequately explain what a wonderous thing it is to see Johnny Depp with eyeliner on and sporting the most perfect saaf lundun accent. I wasn't expecting much from the film, just a lot of swashing and buckling, and whilst it's true that Pirates of the Caribbean does indeed contain much swashing and buckling, I have to say that it really is one of the best yarns I've seen spun this year.

The sword fights were beautifully choreographed and timed, the clashing of steel punctuating the score quite marvellously. CGI was great – the whole going in to and out of the moon bit was fantastic. And I did like Orlando Bloom… But Mr Depp stole pretty much every scene he was in with that half-drunken slur and mad glint in his eye. Not to mention the beads, the gold teeth and those tight leather trousers. (Whether or not he actually wore any tight leather trousers during the course of that film doesn't actually matter. I can't remember noticing, although that may be because I couldn't see through the rising flood of drool.)

There were barely a half dozen of us in the cinema (everyone else, I presume, was out at the beach getting sunstroke), yet still I managed to be sat in front of the Brat from Hell who insisted in kicking the chair back at every possible opportunity. Bratling. Still, I will certainly have to go and see Pirates of the Caribbean again as soon as I get the chance and my voice back, if only to to be able to guffaw properly, rather than in the half-arsed hoarse way I could only manage today.

Once Kate and I had managed to crawl our way home without becoming undistinguishable from a small piece of charcoal, we decided that the best trick would be to watch more films. I can't talk anyway, so having any sort of conversation is just too painful and experience (for me, literally as talking rips my larynx to shreds, and for Kate the effort of trying to understand what fuck I'm trying to say with my arm waving and mouthing is tiring and not particularly illuminating).

So we watched Dogma, which I'd not seen before. More hoarse guffawing. I do quite like that film – although a few points did confuse me. Firstly, wasn't Loki a Norse God rather than a Christian angel? And why the fuck did they cast Alannis Morrissbloodyette? She makes a particularly irritating and smug God. Nevertheless, I did quite like it. Had some real laugh out loud moments, good writing, and not a little fun at the expense of the Catholic Church, which is always good in my book.

Hell, any fun had at the expense of any church is good in my book.

Finally, to round of the evening was The Dish, a great Australian film about the role played by the Parkes Satellite Dish in the Apollo 11 moon landing. Absolutely fantastic film. I love Australian films anyway – Muriel's Wedding, Strictly Ballroom etc. I think I come pre-Australianised, having lived there for a year and having family over there. I really do get their sense of humour. And The Dish is one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time. Just beautifully written, with some really subtle lines in there that you could easily miss if you weren't paying attention.

I have to say, though, that all that laughing has played havoc with my throat. It feels like I've swallowed a cactus. Not so good.

Anyways, I am now feeling all inspired, and can't quite wait to get home tomorrow so that I can rewrite Act 2 of my screenplay. One day, that will be my name up on the credits next to the words 'screenplay by…'. 😉

A visitor August 10, 2003 at 6:39 am

The Dish is indeed a sweet, sweet film. I can almost forgive Sam O'Neill all that Jurassic Park scenechewing for the wonderful job he does. The day the Space Shuttle exploded over Texas, I consoled myself by watching the movie. I was just shy of being six years old when men first walked on the moon. The space program was a huge part of my childhood. The movie perfectly captures the wonder and awe of that time.

I really like Dogma, too, even if the Red Bank, New Jersey, of the film doesn't look like the real Red Bank, and the movie has pretty much the least to do with New Jersey of any of Kevin Smith's films. (Yes, I'm being terribly provincial here, having lived in the towns that Smith's films are set in for most of my life. The video store in “Clerks” where Randal goes to procure his weird sex tapes is on the same street as the house I grew up in. And the love interest in “Chasing Amy” would have been a classmate of my brother's at the local high school were she a real person rather than a fictional construct. But I digress….) The theology of Dogma may be a bit muddled, and I wouldn't take any of it as the gospel truth, but it makes for a neat story. When the film first came out, all sorts of fundie groups were upset, saying it was blasphemous and all that. A few of them protested at the local mall a couple of miles from where I sit. Smith joined the protest, and even brought his own signs. The protestors had no idea who the guy with the beard and longish hair was, but welcomed him into their midst. 🙂


Suw August 10, 2003 at 10:24 am

I've made a point of never seeing Jurassic Park as I absolutely hate Michael Crichton. He's possibly one of the worst sf writers to walk the earth – all 'oh look at me, I know all this clever stuff, aren't I the big science hotshot'. Bah. But as you say, Sam O'Neill does redeem himself in The Dish for the sin of even reading the Jurassic Park script.

Dogma is the only Kevin Smith film I've seen so far, but I wouldn't mind seeing Clerks and Mall Rats. I know very little about Christian mythology, and what I do know I've learnt from Neil Gaiman, but even I could see that Smith's 'interpretation' was not particularly accurate. Still, what does it matter, it's only a film. 😉

Love the idea of Smith going and protesting about his own film. That's too funny. I do remember that there was a bit of a rucus at the time, but thought then as I do now that anyone who takes such a thing too seriously doesn't deserve to themselves be taken seriously at all.

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