June 9th, 2004


Mrs Worthington

For some reason, a lazy entry to a post but the one I'm using, my dream last night was a Patti Smith biopic. I wasn't so perturbed by it whilst asleep, but on awaking I felt a little let down that my mind chose to throw up such a wilfullly inaccurate portrayal of one of America's finest. Here are some of my issues with the film:

1. I'm not aware that Patti Smith at any point in her life was addicted to a mixture of heroin and Drano.
2. She managed to keep her involvement in the the development of the stealth bomber very quiet. That stunt flight sequence was inserted solely to try turn it into an action pic.
3. It's not impossible that secret meetings were arranged between the Queen and Patti at some point, but the shot of her approaching Buckingham Palace in the limo - Patti's concerned face. Oh dear.
4. Where was everyone? Mapplethorpe, Sonic Smith, Burroughs, Clive Davis, Lenny Kaye, anybody... The only apparent cameo was Ernest Borgnine who played a struggling manager forced to smuggle narcotics inside Super-8 cameras to make ends meet.
5. Who stole all the rock'n'roll? First it was Patti scraping for shekels in some Bowery sweat shop, next it was all Fifth Avenue success and merchandising. I wouldn't say no to a set of those matchbooks though.

The actress did look sort of [or should the 'look' be inserted here?] like Patti. I've been trying to remember her name. She was someone who was fairly common in 70's films, but I can't remember who. The idea of a biopic is pretty bad, but not so bad. Not sure who would play Patti, I guess once you might have gone for Lili Taylor, but she seems to have somewhat vanished off the map. [Maybe not, reading that]

A film I did see last night was The Day After Tomorrow (in the queue, I heard both "Two for The Day Before Tomorrow" and ''Two adults, one child for The Day After Yesterday"). I'm a sucker for a good pseudo-scientific disaster film. I've got fond memories in childhood of watching 1,000,000 Years BC and The Land That Time Forgot with my parents as they spent their time pointing out all the paleological and geological gaffs. One day, I possibly thought, I'd like to be able to rip into a film like that. Obviously there may be some spoilers ahead...

Meteorology aside, what was wholly unnecessary was a sequence involving wolves. Now these were obviously New York wolves (Canis lupus stuyvesantis) because:
a. They had an attitude.
b. They were hungry for human flesh.
c. They lived in New York.

Of all the animals that could escape from a zoo, they were about the least likely carnivores to attack a group of three able-bodied humans. They acted more like the dogs in The Thing. I can imagine that wolf groups in America have already lodged formal compaint about this misrepresentation. I wouldn't be too happy to see three psychotic wolves gambling towards me in NYC, but the thing is, you just wouldn't. These wolves were obviously deep in The Method and thought they were playing some other animal. It's a shame they didn't tell us which animal they were supposed to be.

The CGI of the film didn't look right to me. I suppose there's only so much you can do with ice, but it gave everything a sort of sub-impressionist haze. The Statue of Liberty remained standing (as it did in Planet of the Apes) against some tidal wave that would have flattened it in a moment. Hands didn't stick to sub-zero metals. Nobody snapped into pieces - shame on you CGI people! They chose to burn books rather than wood - I suppose if you've got the New York Public Library at your disposal that might make sense, but I'm not sure which should generate the greater energy if supplies were not a concern. I've forgotten which part of the phonetic alphabet I agreed to broadcast to alert the Professor of an urgent query.

As the Northern hemisphere plunged back into an Ice Age, the film ended with the President giving a speech thanking the Third World for giving such a warm welcome to all the refugees who had managed to escape into these warmer climes. Well, I do hope that such a welcome might be extended in the event of such a disaster (it will take 6-8 months, no, 6-8 weeks, no, 6-8 days...Dammit, that's not swift enough for the audience's attention. People need to be seen running against the visible approach of deathly supercooled air.) but I'm sure that much of the world will be celebrating that the US President at such a point will have become as relevant as the King of Ruritania. Of course, the US President was speaking on behalf of the entire western world and there was no mention what happened in China or Russia, but maybe they just add in a local sequence for each non-domestic release later on. A film in which there was a massive displacement of refugees would in fact be more interesting in some ways, given the limited amount of resources available and the havoc wreaked on ecosystems. After consuming so much for so long, I can't really see it working out so amicably. Looks to me like the world could go back to the Mexican dollar as a unit of international currency.