Friday, 12 August 2011

Fetch The Engine

People got angry and stole things. Shortest version of that story ever to be told, I bet.

Watching Question Time last night was an interesting experience - David Davis was great, Camila Batshitomiddjalilipicalilliexpialidocious was utterly ridiculous, as per, and John Prescott looked as if he was ready to have a heart attack at any moment. Listening to them squabbling about which government was responsible, however, was pathetic. Utterly absurd. These people didn't loot because of politics or because many of them had fewer opportunities than others; indeed, the vast majority of people in exactly the same situation didn't loot or riot, and actively defended their communities and condemned the actions of the looters. The reason for the violence is pure and simple: they're absolute cretins; they wouldn't recognise a political point if it hit them in the face, branding their faces with the words "This is a political point". That's all I'm going to say on the matter here.

For those of you who care, I'm still in Frankfurt and am working bizarre non-hours. 2 days a week, 4 hours at a time, either very early in the morning or late in the evening. It's not massively exciting, but it's nearly over.



Thursday, 4 August 2011

Review - "The Ledge"

Today I'm going to do something a little different: a film review. Why, I hear you ask? Well, it's a film about which I had heard a lot and of which I had very high hopes, but sadly it did not meet these expectations.

"The Ledge" is a film written and directed by Matthew Chapman and features as its protagonist an atheist, which is how I came to hear about it. From what I had been told, the film dealt with secular morality, love, loss and good, old-fashioned debating. And it did. Sort of. It had lots of debating - he debated his gay flatmate about his desire to remain connected to the Jewish faith; he debated the fundamentalist Christian with whose wife he was trying to do the dirty; he even debated with the aforementioned wife. The problem was, these debates were the most inorganic conversations I have ever come across in a serious film: they were as artificial as American cheese and as nuanced as a Glenn Beck rally. Furthermore, some Christians have complained that the film used a caricature of a fundamentalist instead of presenting a realistic image of a devout believer; while part of me wants to tell them they're idiots and to get over it, they sort of have a point. While each individual action the character took was in isolation consistent with a fundamentalist Christian, the entire package felt somewhat...unrealistic. By the time the film had reached its dramatic climax (n.b. it wasn't very dramatic), I no longer cared what happened. It had become a bit silly.

My second objection was to the question posed by the fundamentalist to the atheist, "Would you die for your beliefs?", as if this were somehow a valid question. Yet (wait for it), the atheist actually said that he probably would. Quod the proverbial fuck? Life is far too precious to die for the lack of a belief in a deity, and to potentially throw it away for the sake of scoring a cheap point over a deranged lunatic seems a tad...irrational for someone who claims to be a bastion of logic and reason. So yes, that bit didn't ring true either.

To be fair, it was always going to be ground-breaking, and these things certainly take time. I credit Chapman for his idea, but the actual filmcraft left a lot to be desired.

Big love,