Archives for category: Film

This may well not be a popular viewpoint amongst these new “tech” consumers, people who have had computers of some form or other in their life for their entire life. People who have come of age in an era of programmes such as the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing et al.
They claim to “love” things made by people such as musicians. However, they only love it if it is free. They love free, consequence free art. Or, they buy digitally through one of the various portals into which we volunteer reams of data, and ignore a plethora of conditions; in order to only spend seven tenths of a pound on a song.
Who benefits from this arrangement? Certainly not the artist, for often they receive a mere single figure percentage of the received income. Not the record label, as they also do receive barely enough money. It also is not the customer. They receive a low quality product which is designed to be heard once, maybe twice and then mostly forgotten about until the utilisation of something called “iTunes Genius“, reminding you of all these songs you actually have.
So no verifiable person wins, nobody who spent their childhood after school learning an instrument, in the vague hope that maybe one day they could earn a crust from their skills. Their idle wanderings along the fretboard as a teen were for their pleasure, but then they realised they were actually quite good at this old lark. Why not try and do it forever? Making music.
Making music is something which is inherent amongst humans. There has always been music. There always will be music. The worry is that we have entered a new age. Not one of particular beauty, of innovation, of expansion or new thought. One where the race to the bottom is the only worthwhile thing. Where everything is described only in profit margins – from the food we eat to the television we watch.
As a result, we are processed into thinking we have more control over our culture, through televised karaoke. We don’t seem to realise that the more we buy into this fake form of “democracy”, the more we lose sight of what it means to live in a decent society. Art is no longer extant for searching for truth, or beauty or a profound sense of what it is simply to be. It is produced in great factories in order that we, the consumer; can forever try and keep up with the vulgar Joneses.
In a world where we believe we have a right to not pay for anything, what do we expect? Our conditioned greed in this toxic environment leads us to believe that because we have more of everything, it is therefore better and more culturally rewarding than in the past. More songs, more films, more television channels, more books.
What people fail to realise is that it is all pulp. Crass, mass produced stupidity. Where are the good ideas anymore?
We, as the world; have not seen new innovations in politics, literature or art that have changed the entire future course of their areas for decades. Everybody peddles all the same wares. Carbon copies of things once done. We need originality, we need to engender an atmosphere in which the eccentric, the bohemian and the simply philosophical can take root.
Since the advent of television, and its incessant popularity since; we have become weaker intellectually. People think that they have access to new and better information with a television. This would be a fine assumption, if it were possible for people to make television programmes. As it stands, a very small number of people across the globe actually put out any form of prgramming.
We are being trained into being stupid. We are trained into accepting things as they are, accepting that art is only ever money.
Maybe, these kids will argue that there are no more geniuses, which is simply absurd. Genius will always exist in people, but if we create a world in which they suffocate rather than breathe in the admiration of their peers, of course they will be forced into mundanity and a real job.
I do not want to live in a world where people pay only £0.69 for a song. Something which most true artists would have pored over maybe for years. It all starts with the musicians. The longer we allow ourselves to be spoonfed the lie that cheap equals good, the longer we will wander headfirst into a new European Dark Age. We are on the cusp. If we persist in humiliating and devaluing that which has the true ability to satirise our society, thus muzzling it and castrating its ability to have any impact, then we will be judged by history as the people who just didn’t care.
I hope you think twice next time the cursor hovers of “Buy now”. Don’t do it, engage yourselves.

A man whose face was seemingly never off my television during my formative years is now dead. 110mph, a split second too late and that’s it. 34 years old. You may well argue that Jackass is “just idiots doing stupid things“, but so what? If that makes you feel sufficiently high-brow, congratulations. His was a talent- an affable manner, the chemistry between him and best friend Bam Margera was always palpable. Not scripted. Not created by MTV executives. Not to be taken for granted.

Recently in the cinema one of the over-the-top, edited in a really slick manner ads was for the new Jason “Jason Statham” Statham film. The basic premise is that he, a hard cop who likes his booze and “unorfadox meffods” that, doubtless, “get the job done, guv” is hunting a typically cast oik who has the gumption to be shooting police officers. With the police- including SO19, Special Branch and actual police unable to find the assailant it is left to an offensively racist portrayal of an Irishman to find the killer. So far so bland. Paddy Considine’s billing offers a glimmer of hope before the film starts, because unlike Statham he is an actual actor capable of portraying more than one role.
His character, a homosexual police officer, does offer some respite from the atrocities gurgled by Hollywood’s favourite neanderthal. That his character is homosexual seems to be a device through which the writers felt was the only way they could have an anecdote about “breaking into [a paedophile’s] flat and smashing his balls in with a baseball bat”, the constant homophobia adds nothing to the story, and in this day and age porbably doesn’t even add a sense of “gritty reality”, it was just backwards, boring and predictable. Other than the aforementioned anecdote of vigilantism and the chance for, snicker, graffiti that reads “Nash sucks cocks” and numerous chances for Statham to proffer “you’re a good cop, I meant that…for a puffter” (is that even spelled corectly?) the fact that Considine’s character is homosexual is completely irrelevant- other than to be the contrast from Statham’s hard, heterosexual idiot.
Ah yes, back to the ginger haired, shell suit wearing, alcoholic grateful-for-anything-you-want-to-give-Mr.-Big-Englishman-thank-you Irishman. Now, don’t think for a minute that this is the first stereotypical reference to the Irish, in the opening scene, after Statham improbably fights off three “hoodies” who armed themselves with knives, he quips: “this is a Hurley lads, it’s used in the Irish game of Hurling: a cross between hockey and murder” how the writers felt that was an incisive definition of Hurling was absurd, as the history of Hurling dates back three millennia, whereas hockey only stretches back 200 years. But, after numerous odes to knee-capping our dishevelled, unwashed, psychotic hero does what the police fail to do: he finds the killer, oh yes, and also his weapons. He achieves this by following the same leads as the police, what separates them though is that this Irishman is desperate for money- he searches through his bins.
All these improbable, boring and stupid events leave the viewer somewhat confused- good (inevitably) wins, but of course there’s a “moral” catch- if the police stoop to the level of the killer, who’s good? If you will, it’s The Satires of Juvenal for someone who thinks that the basis for a good, worthy film is rampant homophobia and near impossible happenings.
Don’t see it. Please.