Lorna Mills and Sally McKay
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I liked the first third of Morvern Callar better than most movies I've seen. The camera plays good games with focus and planes of light. The morality is odd, if not amibiguous, and the storyline strikes an unusual balance between horrific and tender.
BIG TIME SPOILERS BELOW:
She leaves her boyfriend's corpse (a suicide) lying in the apartment for days and doesn't tell anybody that he's dead. Next to the body is a blinking christmas tree that emits a loud, low electrical buzz. The lights are cozy and warm looking, while at the same time flashing like some kind of code-red alarm indicator.
She goes to a debauched Scottish party with her friends and dances, smokes, gets fucked up, gets laid. She goes to her flourescent-lit job at the supermarket. Everytime she comes home the body is stil there and the cozy tree lights are still blinking on and off.
She puts her own name on her dead boyfriend's novel and sends it in to the publisher.
Eventually she strips down to her underwear and chops up the body in the bathtub. Somehow this scene is neither camp nor horror.
She hikes up into the mountains with the body in a back pack and buries him. Then she goes off to Spain on the dead guy's funeral money.
That was enough story for me. The film goes on and it's pretty good but the remarkable strange edginess of the beginning fades away into a more familiar type of tale. Still I recommend it a lot - and the mannered, playful camera is really great all the way through.
In 1967 three sexy smart artist guys threw a Royal Typewriter out of a Buick Le Sabre and carefully recorded the results. In 2000 three sexy smart artist gals threw a Macintosh Plus Computer out of a Ford Econoline and recorded the results in exactly the same fashion.
The Royal Road Test had a major impact on me when I was a student, and my copy of the book is probably the third thing I'd grab in a house fire (after the two cats). Three guys take on technology, using a flash machine (car) to wreck a clunky one (typewriter). A personal mobility machine to wreck a personal expression machine. Their 'test area' is a piece of roadside in Nevada that looks like US nuclear test sites. Governments throw atoms around and blow stuff up, create mushroom clouds, wreck the lives of millions, and threaten the planet with extinction. We little people can get in our cars and throw typewriters. The captions are wry and the whole 'test' is conducted with poignant, deadpan humour. The epigraph reads:
"It was too directly bound to its own anguish to be anything other than a cry of negation; carrying within itself the seeds of its own destruction."
As our technological equipment supersedes itself, it is perfect that Carlson, Henderson and Hlady redid the Road Test. And I love that it was girls this time who threw the damn machine and watched it smash.
Indulge me in a Dave Hickey-esque hiccup. Why is it still the case that the classier the art, the harder it is to spot the gallery from the street?
Before: Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation,
778 King St. W, Toronto, ON, Canada
After: Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation,
same location, after I zapped it with my
supersonic ray gun.
A lot of the best art shows I've ever seen were in this place. So I feel pretty lucky that I know where/what it is.
Vandals! Buckingham Palace's head gardener reportedly in tears after Bush's "choppers" wrecked the joint. (thanks to rick for the link!)
City Beautification Ensemble started colourizing urban fixtures a couple of years ago. Lately they seem to be concentrating their efforts on bike parking. I like them because they really are trying to make things look nice. At first they were pretty slap-dash, and there'd be big messy overspray around everything they did. They got some complaints and then fixed up their methods! Very responsive and responsible for a gang of lads with buckets of paint. Apparently their website is 2% complete.
I like yellow bikes because for a small annual fee you can have access to these plucky little well-oiled one-speeders whenever you like. I picked one up the other day while out on errands. The hard part is bringing them back to the hub on time, cause they are so much fun to ride.