Sunday, 4 September 2011

Day 346

… er, so when I said “see you in August”, I meant “see you in September”. Slip of the tongue. Typo. In fact, you must have misread. It's your fault.

I got back here to London the other day and hung my head in shame at the demands of “W-WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN” from various flatmates, all of whom I'll soundly miss when we all get chucked out of the Halls on the 10th.

Unfortunately, catching up with people means I have to leave my bedroom from time to time, URGH. So I've been utilising bedroom-time well. I ordered nine Greek boys. Actually, I stayed in and watched Ringu. Because Oliver says so.

It still counts as “watching” if I turn the volume almost all the way down, doesn't it? I'll watch it again soon, though the soundtrack is bloody terrifying. I'll have to listen to some whiny American pop music very loudly as I watch it.

I like the psychological thrill and clever twists of horror movies, but I avoid most of them if there's a chance of massive jumps or very vulnerable characters being terrorised. I don't give a crap if a fleshy bronze lead man gets tortured, nor a supermodel with boobs that flop over her shoulders as she flees, but having elderly characters that scream and cry should be out of bounds.

Anyway, Ringu doesn't bother itself with any of that. It's very chilling, but probably the most precise and meticulously structured chills I've ever seen. The opening scene is two young girls enjoying themselves by scaring themselves stupid with tales of a rumoured cursed video. It comes on late at night. If you see it, the phone rings, and a week later you die. The girls act like kids at a sleepover, jumping when the phone rings, and giggling when it's just mum on the other line. Then one nips upstairs for a moment, and the other pads into the sitting room where the TV is flickering...

There's also an unexpected extra depth regarding the girl in the well and the protagonist's reaction to her “plight”. Kind of moving, really. I intend to watch Ringu again, but I've no idea what I'm going to do about the volume, short of going through on Windows Movie Maker and muting every jump moment.........

The other film I saw was Submarine, because the London Film Festival is coming round again, and last year I narrowly missed getting tickets for the press screening of Submarine. It was written by Richard Ayoade, who as an actor I love.

It was very well received by critics.

It's pap.

The biggest problem is that it's pretentious. This means the makers think it's okay to a) not have a story and b) have a “fade to red” at the end of scenes. The 15-year-old protagonist (who I strongly suspect is autobiographical), is pointless and difficult to like, and I can't think of a single reason why I'm expected to care about him. Maybe it's meant to be about a boy's experience. And if so, what boring, stony, pointless experiences “boys” must have.

Being pretentious also means that they think they have the right to attempt timelessness. There is no setting that I can remember. Every scene, interior and exterior, was extremely affected. INTENTIONS flying at you from every direction. Why can't a house just be a house? If you have good characters and a good story, you don't need a meaningless fishtank glowing magical colours in the dim.

By the way, did I mention I only watched two thirds of Submarine before giving up and eating some noodles instead?

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