Sunday, August 20, 2006

I feel a rant coming on.

I feel a rant coming on. I am 42, I may not have the stamina for some things that I had when I was younger but at 42 I'm a more rounded person, I can handle myself better in a fight and I can talk my way out of one just as well, I'm a better lover, I'm a better father and a better husband then I would have been in my twenties, I'm better read, slyer when necessary and less likely to compromise my believes for a quick buck.

So what! you say. The point is I will pay good money to watch movies with men my own age or older dealing with bank robbers, hostage situations or crazy people out to destroy the world, to watch couples in my age bracket going through the painful complications new love brings, In short, to watch people my age deal with the sort of shit that makes for a good story.

I know I know, movies like that exist but for every movie with Paul Giamatti or Pierce Brosnan or even Bruce Willis, there are 10 with Josh Harnett looking moody or the guy from Dawson's Creek looking moody or Orlando Bloom looking moody, For every Julianne Moore there are 10 Hilary Duff-a-likes filling your screen.

Now I'm not unreasonable, I realise there are people in their teens who will pay good money to see the kids I've named, but equally there's a good number of people my age and older who'd pay good money to see an intelligent film with characters they can actually relate to.

What actually started this was reading something either by or about Pierce Brosnan that said he'd stopped being James Bond because he felt he was too old to play the character. Pierce Brosnan was pushing 50 for his last Bond movies and they were the best Bond movies I have ever seen, bar none. He had a world weary edge to him that made him more believable and yet he "believes" he is now too old to play the character. Can you imagine someone saying to John Wayne "Sorry John, you're to old to play this part in "The Shootist". We've got this young guy, Bill Pullman, he's raw but he'll appeal to the kids"

The urge to rant is disippating. I just watched Paul Giamatti in "sideways" He's three years younger than me but the film made me feel like someone out there actually does understand what I'm talking about. Painful screwed up relationships of people who've lived long enough to have real screwups, not teens upset about being two timed or dumped in college.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

God bless film 4

Thanks to the magnanimity of Film4 in making themselves a free digital channel, I have now seen all the major Studio Ghibli movies except Nausicaa (which I'll catch next week). I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite although I've just watched My Neighbour Totoro with Molly, my daughter, and she sat through the film without hiding behind the sofa and appeared to love every minute, so that's a possibility.

Miyazaki's work seems to bear up well to the oft mentioned Disney comparison in terms of quality of animation, but it lacks the emotionally scarring material that makes Disney so Disney. I would happily let Molly watch Princess Mononoke with me, with all it's blood and monsters, but I'd be far less willing to let her watch Disney's Pinnochio, images from which still turn up in my nightmares from time to time. Even the darkest moments of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke seem positive compared to the soul numbingly distressing key moments in most of the classic Disney movies. Disney's greatest skill in the earlier movies was to be able to create an air of menace and fear that would be carried beyond the watching of the film and go with you into the world outside. The Ghibli movies on the other hand have generally left me carrying away a warm feeling towards the rest of humanity that lasts well past the initial viewing of the film.

Plus Totoro is just so cute/ugly.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Night Garden

For maybe five years now I've had a picture of a boy and a fox in a garden. Finally I know what it's for.


Friday, August 04, 2006

other people's funerals

Today I attended the funeral of a work colleague I had never met as an active participant.

The colleague, a man my age, passed away in his sleep, and his manager, as you always do, said to the grieving family "If there's anything we can do?" That anything turned out to be arrange to project some dvd'd tributes at the service and the job fell to me as the only person in the company even vaguely technology competent. (I'm no great shakes but I can work these things out).

So today I found myself sat with the family at the front of the service with a laptop, projector, screen and two dvds.

I have been thanked so many times by various members of the family for an act, that to me at least, seems so insignificant that I feel alternately supremely humbled and supremely awkward.

An act of kindness towards strangers but I would rather the need had never existed.