Thursday, January 29, 2009

Residents Of West London - I Am Studying Your Necks Intently

My cinema mission has got off to a mixed start. Film not bad, more on that later (try not to whoop yourself right off your chair). But one of those things happened that is the cranial equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death, or Red Ring of Death, or...I don't have a Mac alternative as, like all those wonderfully vibrant, multi-cultural people on the adverts, I'm a pissy...where your brain reboots and leaves you reeling in confusion. In my case, reeling directly into the path of one of Shepherds Bush's many purveyors of the dubious pleasures of the more dubious flesh, who cheerfully told me to fuck off before continuing on her unsteady way.

I had lost something during the reboot, as you often do. A much-loved, currently very useful and irreplaceable without great expense thing. But a very unexciting thing. You see, I had a scarf, from Ecuador, spun from the wool from the only the very snootiest and disapproving of llamas (ie all of them. Llama humour!) My chronic ability to buy any souvenirs of anything anywhere for fear of finding exactly the same product on the shelves of my local Tesco Express had meant I had nothing to remind me of the rather epic time I had in that lovely country (three weeks of harrowing emotional turmoil punctuated with starbursts of utter wonder. Another story for another day) so the young chap had kindly given me one of the many trinkets he'd accumulated along the way, the aforementioned scarf. It was a nice scarf, and it kept my neck warm. And it has accompanied me for three years, to three continents, through drunken nights where all up to and including dignity had been lost, into new homes, out of the front door, onto the bus, and into the cinema. It sat quietly all the way through the film. Snuggled nicely into my bag for the exciting walk out into the gathering dusk. Then there was a glitch in the matrix, and it was gone.

I had it. I distinctly remember placing it in my bag. Then it suddenly wasn't there. False memory? Very stealthy wool-seeking thief? Loose thread in the fabric of reality? Or did I just drop it on the way out like a dolt? No way of knowing. But it's gone, and my clavicles are chilly.

Luckily this happened after I had watched The Wrestler, which had not exactly packed an emotional punch, or indeed bodyslam. Anything more powerful and I would have thrown myself under a bus in scarf-mourning. Film all very well and good, but the "wrestlers are a noble band of brothers" schtick was laid on a little thick. And the device of the camera mostly hovering behind the shoulder of the characters, looking at the back of their heads, which I'm sure is a fabulous directing trick meant to evoke an overwhelming feeling of something or other, but just left me feeling like I was playing a really dull FPS with no ammo and a broken right analog stick.

I am really not intelligent enough to be allowed into the cinema. I don't appreciate the films and I litter the place with articles of clothing. I even needed extra assistance with my hotdog purchase, not being able to figure out myself where in the holding hierarchy it fitted in as I was already clutching a wallet and a ticket. But Vue has given me a money-off voucher, the total pricks, so I'm off again tomorrow to nod thoughtfully at another Oscar-botherer, whilst in my head the little monkey keeps on clanging those cymbals together...

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