Tuesday, 19 January 2010

One for The Road

For those of us who work in a cinema and have had that particular line delivered to us several times over the last few weeks it's become kind of old. But, seeing as I decided to put myself through 'The Road' yesterday, it is an apt title. And there may still be the occasional person out there who hasn't heard the line and gets a chuckle out of it. Anyway, Monday. I toodled on over to my beloved cinema (Greenwich Picturehouse) where I was far too early to meet my best friend Rosie but thankfully another of my best friends, Melissa, was working so I annoyed her for an extended period of time and took pictures of her.

This is the view down box office, where I mostly work:

And here are several pictures of Mel cleaning box office:

And here is one of the most beautiful images in the world, the standee for 'A Single Man'...but much, much more on that later:

So, now that I've got all the photos out of the way, back to what I should be talking about. Although I have completely lost my intended train of thought. Right. Cinema. Yes. I met up with Rosie and then we went for lunch, after which we watched 'The Road'. I must say, I was completely terrified before watching the film; I have seen it reduce grown men to tears and sleepless nights. Bleak, soul-destroying, unrelenting and horrifically gruesome it's not exactly one for the fainthearted. Seeing as Disney films still evoke a huge crying sesh in me I didn't fancy my chances. Furthermore, I knew it was going to be bad as I actually began crying before the film even started. This is all due to the trailer for the much-anticipated 'Precious'. The first time I saw this trailer I was very hungover, nearing the end of a 10 hour shift and surviving on less than two hours' sleep. I attributed my overtly emotional response to these factors and figured that a second viewing of the trailer wouldn't have quite such a visceral effect, I would recognise it was just a film and not real life and I would be fine. How wrong I was. I cried even more when I saw the trailer for the second time yesterday. Tears were rolling down my cheeks while Rosie laughed at me. But I have honestly never seen anything so depressing or moving. If I can't survive a two minute trailer, lord knows how I'll make it through the film. I'm not sure I'm even going to watch it. Anyway, if you want to be equally miserable, check out the trailer - 'Precious'. I'm getting weepy just talking about it.

While I am on the subject of trailers I need to talk about about 'A Single Man'. Oh-my-frickin'-gee. I have not been this excited about a film since...ummm...something very recently probably, I get excited about films quite often. But this has gone slightly next level. Especially after the release of the trailer. It features a quote from The Times' review that lauds it as "a thing of heart-stopping beauty". That's a lofty claim, but one that the trailer, at least, more than lives up to. The juxtaposition of Matthew Goode's character lying dead on the snow surrounded by blood, with Colin Firth in bed surrounded by black ink is one of the most spectacular things ever committed to screen. The red of life, the black of mourning. But it's the man surrounded by the black who has to try to continue living. It is true to say I have found love in cinematic form. Plus it has Julianne Moore! JULIANNE MOORE! The woman is a goddess. Given the film has Tom Ford at the helm - once model, the designer who saved Gucci and creator of his own impeccable line - it is no surprise the film is sumptuous and alluring in appearance. I just hope it's not a triumph of style over substance. Reviews so far would suggest that there is a genuine heart under the beautiful facade so fingers crossed. I've included a link to the British trailer but if you want to see more footage from the film look up the American trailer. It's not quite as powerful but it does feature more footage. Not to mention shots of Lee Pace. Hot.

Now I have completely digressed away from 'The Road' I should probably return to it. I don't really want to talk about it in too much detail because I wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone else. As aforementioned, many many sentences ago, I was expecting to leave the film a quivering wreck. Somehow, I did not. I think it's because I only half paid attention to the film and tried to think about other things at the same time. For a post-apocalyptic world it was almost beautiful in its bleakness. Every shot is bleached of colour, apart from the occasional appearance of very red blood. I have one word for you in relation to that; cannibalism. Please let's not talk about it any further. What is most striking about the film is the moments of humanity that remain. While most of the world has given up on morality and fully embraced depravity there are occasional moments that are so moving simply because they show there is still some good remaining. It is an amazing film. Not one to watch if you're at all squeamish though. I reiterate, CANNIBALISM.

After the film I was doing a shift at the cinema so it was back to work, ushering. (Every day I'm usherin', usherin', usherin'...). Once a month at Picturehouse we have 'Out at the Movies' which is a screening of a film that is either pro-gay or just, y'know, about gay people. I'm not sure if it's because the manager and half the male staff are gay or because Picturehouse actually thinks it's beneficial to the community but I enjoy it. Last night was a film called 'Victim', that I managed to sit in and watch with Mel. The film was made in 1961 when the bill still existed that meant being homosexual was a crime. The film centers around a boy who is arrested for his association with a prominent lawyer and hangs himself in prison to protect the lawyer. It turns out that the boy was being blackmailed, as are several other local gays, and the lawyer tries to capture the blackmailer to avenge the boy's death. It was a really good film. The films ends with the lawyer working alongside the police, who shouldn't have been helping him at all, and about to lose his entire career when he is exposed as gay. The message is obviously that defending his human rights and preventing the further persecution of his companions is more important. It was not a comedy but I did find myself laughing quite a lot, especially whenever the police appeared to make arrests. They would simply walk up to someone, tell them they were being arrested and ask them to get in the car. There were no big chases, no handcuffs and it was all very civilised. Lovely really!

I rounded off the day with a lengthy walk home with Mel, in which we obviously put the world to rights. And stopped at Tesco and consumed sushi and Krispy Kremes. It was perfect. Here she is on the bus:

Isn't she a doll?

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