Look at Me, Ma! I’m Doing a Blog!

For reasons that I will explain shortly, I have resolved to blog more regularly.  We will see how long this lasts.  Without the push and motivation of the Benrik community, I just need to sit right here, on my arse, and write a bloody blog.  So that’s what I’m doing.

Here are the questions that my celebrity friends have been asking me this week:

What’s Going On?

Why, thanks for asking me that, Marvin!  I’ve just finished my annual stint at the Leeds International Film Festival – as usual a heady mix of pleasure, rage, and my obstinate refusal to fill in the audience response forms at the end of every film.  Pleasure at watching some interesting films.  Rage at the ABSOLUTE LACK OF MANNERS THAT PEOPLE DISPLAY IN THE CINEMA!  And this whole audience response thing – I don’t know about anyone else, but it can sometimes take me weeks to let a film settle in my head; I refuse to give a score out of five to a film as I wander, dazed, out of the cinema.  Some films seem like stinkers, but they stay with you in a way that makes you respect it – and that might be a process that takes months.  I certainly could never know how I feel about a Lars Von Trier film straight away, I need to mull it all over.  But after a bit of mulling and musing, here are the films that I enjoyed at this year’s festival:

Sightseers – Imminently due out on general release, exec. produced by Edgar Wright – it’s like Nuts in May but with murders in it.  Worth watching for the visit to the Pencil Museum.

Excision – This was a strange film, but worth it for the amazing performance by AnnaLynne McCord.  A sort of Heathers horror affair, but pretty funny too.

Death of a Man in the Balkans – A really clever, compact film.  A man kills himself in his apartment, and the entire film shows what happens next – as recorded by the webcam on his computer.

John Dies at the End – This one lost its way a bit, but is still worth watching.  It’s based on a book that I knew nothing about.  Two stoner guys have to try and save the world from evil demons.  If you put a stoner in a film, I will watch it!

Here Comes the Devil – A very subtle Mexican horror, worth watching for the realistic way in which supernatural events are dealt with.

The Hunt – A more timely subject matter I can not imagine – what happens when a man in a small community is accused of molesting children.  Directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen and his beautiful face.  This film just gripped me – you really should see it!

Persistence of Vision – A documentary about the animator Richard Williams and his decades-long attempt to make his ‘masterpiece’ of animation.  This film, in conjunction with a few conversations that I’ve had with Chris about some poor films that we’ve seen, really got me thinking about ‘getting something done’.  Williams worked for years and years trying to make the perfect animated film – in the end his obsession with perfection led to him losing control of the film and it eventually ended up as a second-rate cartoon given away free with boxes of cereal.  There’s a spectrum of creativity which goes all the way from ‘I don’t have much of a plot, or any really good ideas, but I’m going to write this book/make this film’ through to a Flaubert-like reluctance to put pen to paper until perfection is achieved.  Even though there are people who produce (what I consider to be) poor books and films, I have to give it to them for getting it done.  They didn’t criticise themselves into a morass of inaction, they just kept going, finished it, and convinced someone else that it was worth their time and energy.  I saw a documentary about Ian Rankin the other day in which he wrote the words ‘Christ, he needed a cigarette’ – I would never ever commit those words to paper – I would expect to be ridiculed – but Rankin did, and he’s a millionaire crime writer. So, back to the film, it was very thought-provoking!

Oh look!  Here’s my friend Joe Dolce with another question:

What’s a Matta, You (Hey)?

This week I have mostly been worrying about:

  • I ate some coleslaw that was 2 days past its Use By Date.  It’s been a few days, I think I’m going to be ok now.  The stupid thing is that I put it in my jacket potato, knowing it was out of date, feeling anxious about it – but put the bloody stuff back in the fridge!  I am an idiot. [I am also slovenly because it’s actually still in the fridge many days later]
  • I have a really big project at work – the biggest I’ve ever undertaken – which involves relocating about 30 OAPs from their sheltered accommodation while we get some asbestos removed.  Last week I had to go and tell them about this, and was fretting about it.  No-one attacked me with a walking stick, so I see that as something of a success.
  • I don’t want to die and I don’t want to get old.  I know that no-one does, but I’ve taken to waking up at 3am feeling absolutely terrified about the whole thing.  I think that the fact that my 40th birthday is now only 25 months away might have something to do with it.  I keep seeing old people on telly and they seem really confused and stupid and stuck in a timewarp – and they’re always getting robbed and murdered in their own homes and scammed and stuff.  I want to be one of those whip-smart oldies – like Tony Benn or Germaine Greer – but can I guarantee it?  Are the slow-witted old people I see on TV like that because they were always slow-witted, or have they declined mentally over time?  Having taken the decision not to have children, I am also in a position where I have no-one that I can emotionally blackmail in to sticking a pillow over my face if I become a complete imbecile.

What You Waiting For?

Good question Gwen!  I am almost certainly going to start making some changes.  Priority number one is to move house – it’s ridiculous that neither of us actually like our house or the area that we live in, and it’s time to get ship-shape and get this shit on the market.  We’ve kind of broken this house, though, so it’s going to take a while to actually get it into a sellable state.  Our cats have a fair bit to answer for too – but I can almost guarantee that they will not be pulling their weight when it comes to putting it all right – and there’s a very good chance that they will choose to do poos when someone comes round to view the house.  We may be here for some time, but I’m enjoying looking at new houses and imagining how they will fix every wrong thing in my life just by virtue of not being my current house.

I also think that forcing myself to write a regular(ish) blog, regardless of whether it is funny or clever or not (and to be fair, whenever someone does think that something I’ve written is funny, I usually dismiss them as an idiot anyway) is a GOOD THING.  It’s the mental equivalent of getting out of the house for a bit.

So let’s see how long I can keep this up for…

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