Anyone with a passing interest in this site’s doings will by now have noticed the obvious – no posts, not since Saturday at any rate. What’s going on? Is it the end?
Well, not quite. I’m still very much here and can’t even claim to have broken my usual one–per-day posting routine by going off on a glamorous holiday, because sadly I haven’t. I guess I’d call it nothing more or less than taking a week off, trying to avoid burnout after putting together a week’s schedule of films that failed to inspire me. That isn’t the films’ fault, of course. There have been lean weeks in the schedules before, but this time I just couldn’t be bothered to cover them without the feeling that doing so would be a chore, and there’s no worse motivation than that.
For the record, I had Chariots of Fire on this week’s list, timed to coincide with some summer sporting event or other that you may have heard of. I wasn’t looking forward to watching Chariots again – it kind of set the tone for British films aspiring to critical and commercial success in forgoing big budgets providing they were set in some semi-remembered past, focused on poshos and were very, very dull. It’s a boring film, which somehow moves with glacial slowness whilst covering a really interesting subject. Worse still was its indication to future projects that this was exactly the way to go.
At the same time, it has that fantastic score by Vangelis, one used as part of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. The ceremony itself turned out to be a genuinely jaw dropping affair for me. I’d never seen anything quite like it and subsequently went on a bender of listening to Underworld’s back catalogue whilst waiting impatiently for the tie-in album. Employing Danny Boyle to co-ordinate it was a masterstroke – northern and left-wing, two elements that stood out within an event that might very well have substituted style, class and a streak of fun for endless fireworks and dancers. Even its use of the Chariots theme was inspired, shunning the prospect of a straight, reverential playing for the funny, gently piss taking sketch featuring Mr Bean. It wasn’t the Queen actually playing herself alongside James Bond for a laugh, or the sight of thousands of volunteers recreating the bit in The Fellowship of the Ring where leafy Isengard turns into an industrial hell, but it was cracking viewing.
Anyway, my apologies for being absent. I do have a half-written piece on Vertigo that needs finishing and will try and get it online before too long. In the meantime, there’s this superb critique on the same by friend of the site, Sergio, over at Tipping my Fedora to recommend (it’s already better than anything you’ll get here and I haven’t even finished it yet, bloody hell), and if you’re really missing my stylings, my thoughts on another sporting institution have just been posted at the excellent The Two Unfortunates and you can read it here.