What I did with my two weeks off…

(This blog was originally written on Myspace)

Not a lot, really. Oh, I had intentions. Big, round, bouncy, exciting intentions like traveling to far away places and having adventures and such, but alas, me being myself, I didn’t get it done. What I did do, though, is watch a heck of a lot of movies, and that beats real life any day!

I started on a sunday with Lost In Translation, courtesy of Film Four and its free-ness (Hey, have you seen those Sky Movie ads ripping Film Four? Sweet Moses, are they REALLY that threatened? I mean, like most people with multi-channel television, I’m viewing Film Four through my SKY digibox with its SKY subscription. You’re still getting my money, Rupert!). I was more than willing to dislike this film. I have an adverse reaction when some directors are heaped with praise, and this happened with Sofia Coppola. Her indie credentials would get me all “Do we really need another film where a girl stares forlornly out of a window at an exotic/alien locale, soundtracked to some ‘cool’ indie band? PFFT!”. Also, that awful Scarlett Johansson advert with the shiny shit that makes her lips look like they’ve been stung by African killer bees, didn’t help. But i liked it! The film washed over you with gentle humour and melancholy. Bill Murray was Bill Murray, and therefore great, and Ms Johansson wasn’t annoying in the slightest. Was it worthy of its place in the 50 films to see before you die? No. It wasn’t very substantial (though, it could be argued, that is the point).

The next day i indulged myself and gorged on the filmic delights that are Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2. All I’m going to say is this – I still prefer Vol.1 to Vol.2. If you are one of the morons who thinks differently, you know where my blog comment is (it’s down there *points*) and I will be happy to point out how wrong and misguided you and your headface are. Later in the day (at night), I finally got around to watching Brazil, which had been languishing on my Sky+ hard drive for many a moon. It was good, Gilliam’s vision of a dystopian future was brilliantly realised, but I must admit my attention wandered before the ending.

Tuesday was far too warm a day to sit inside enjoying moofies, so I ended up making a little short film of my own (more on that later)! Wednesday, if anything, was even warmer, and i spent most of the day sat outside in the cool shade listening to the many varying choons upon my Pod.

By thursday the temperature had dropped enough that I could watch my films again without melting into some fatty, gooey substance. I decided upon Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson’s first film (not that it matters, I haven’t seen any of his others), and a dvd I’ve owned since november but had yet to find time to watch. It was good, just the right side of quirky, but it was a little slight. As the sun set, i put on my second Terry Gilliam film of the week – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Depp and Del Toro are fantastic as Hunter and Dr Gonzo, the two guys who go to Las Vegas, take a copious amount of drugs, and leave. And that’s the plot, simply put. If you should find that too basic for your liking, you could always play ‘spot the star in the brief, almost cameo role’. Look, there’s Gary Busey!

On friday I watched Requiem for a Dream, another film that had been languishing on my Sky+ hard drive for many many months. And what an unrelentingly depressing experience it was too. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s an ace film full of neat lil’ visual tricks and brilliant performances, just you know from the outset the characters are doomed, and you must be prepared to follow them to the very darkest depths. The closing scenes of this film will stay with me…

After that, i prolly should have watched some cheery happiness to counteract the blues, but no. I finished the day with Film Four’s Apocalypse Now. There’s nothing quite like the descent into madness, a journey into hell to give you that warm fuzzy feeling.

I didn’t moofie it over the weekend, I spent my time more wisely on crappy tv, videogames, and surfing the interweb. It wasn’t until monday, when I put 3 hours aside, that i watched the final film in my couple of weeks away from work. I made it a good one – Magnolia. A truly wonderful film. Watch it. Watch it NOW.

So, that’s it, really. Not very interesting, I know, but hey, fuck you, it’s what i felt like writing aboot, okay?

To my film! Yes, i made a film. Go watch it (down the bottom there), then maybe these facts (and opinions, possibly) will make some sense. Go. GO!!! –

– The song I used is Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney. You can find it on their last album, The Woods.

– All the characters that star in the film are MY toys, not my brothers. Yes, i know I’m 25 (nearly 26) but i care not a jot what you think. You, with your preconceived notions and ideas. You sicken me…

– No, that is NOT a bucket Luke, Leia, and Qui-Gonn Jinn are stood in. They’re at a party and it’s hot tub/jacuzzi. Use your goddamned imaginations, people!

– I filmed the last sequence in my bedroom first. At that point it was just a random robot attacking plastic men. It’s only when i went outside and started filming on location that the idea came that it was a love story.

– I filmed the action using the video camera on my Nokia N80 and edited it on my Mac using iMovie. I knocked it out in just a few hours.

– I’ve also got a recut version with opening titles and subtitles, but i don’t think it’s as good as my first attempt.

– Making this film has inspired me muchly and i want to make more, but much bigger in scope and grander in scale. Making this film has also exposed the limitations of what I’m working with and I’ve started serious searches into video equipment and editing software.

If you haven’t seen my film yet, here it is folks. Marvel at my genius! –

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