May 6th, 2005


The Walk of Shame

At Home in Bed
Brian Eno doesn't own a TV either, I read the other day. Nevertheless, I was pleased to see on my return home last night that I could watch the election coverage via the BBC Media Player. There's not a huge amount of movement so it's not so much of a problem that the frame rate stutters from time to time. Actually, the effect can be quite pleasing. Various faces would splinter into Futurist portraits. Andrew Marr appeared to be wearing a scramble suit from A Scanner Darkly. Candidates would freeze mid-sentence and it didn't do Boris Johnson any favours.

Just as I enjoy F1 coverage for its hypnotic lack of incident and am generally asleep within 15 minutes of watching, I was hoping the repetitive nature of the cover would have the same effect. Well, not quite. The election does matter, however it may make me despair, and I hoped there'd be something approaching a car wreck. The percentage of votes going to the BNP, although not large, was exasperating. George Galloway's victory had an unpleasant flavour to it. I dropped off to sleep at around 3:30 when it was obvious that there wasn't going to be any substantial upset.

Each election sees the BBC update its palette of video tricks to represent possible outcomes and similar. Just as the Eurovision song contest demands Terry Wogan, so does the election demand Peter Snow. My favourite was a virtual representation of Downing Street with the three candidates stood at one end. How close would they each manage to get to Number 10? They walked with all the grace of Grand Theft Auto bystanders and, when Tony Blair had made far enough along to establish a parliamentary majority, he suddenly burst into some hip-gyrating air-punching dance routine. This comic effect will probably not be repeated next election as I imagine that they'll be relying on a more advanced engine for body movement.

Fußball's Coming Home
Heimat fans rejoice! As I was looking through Amazon UK yesterday, I saw that Heimat 2 has a release date of May 23 for the DVD. Furthermore, Heimat 3 is getting a commercial cinema release. I missed this Guardian article but it's great to see that we're getting the 680 minute version of the third part rather than the domestic version originally shown in Germany. It's showing as six films at the Renoir from today and it looks like I can watch it from Tuesday to Thursday. I'll try to take some potato cakes and sausage with me for sustenace.

Update: BBC 4 viewers may see Heimat in its entirety from May 27. If you scroll down that link, you'll find further details on the Renoir screenings also. I'm vaguely perturbed that Amazon has the runtime of 999 mins for the DVD, since I've got 1532 as the original length. I'm assuming that's just a maximum possible length for that entry field.

Further Update: Whilst I am indeed fascinated by and passionate about cinema and overjoyed that UK residents willl have a variety of opportunities to watch this outstanding series, it's not everything. Since I started this journal in August 2003, there are some things I've never had the chance to write and not because of a lack of time. To me, the absence or exclusion of something from a narrative is often its most prominent feature. So, I've never written that I've fallen in love (for I haven't) although I've made mention of disappointments. Somehow, when I read myself writing about runtimes for films, I worry that I may one day appear to be exclusively concerned with aspect ratio, the quality of the colour transfer, sprocket design... Like the train-spotter who stands on a platform noting the distinctions between each train, but who only ever buys a platform ticket. I'm not sure there is a defined ratio between technical obsession and emotional absence, but it's there. I'm sure when I do watch Heimat 2 that I will be profoundly moved at a number of points. There's what the film contains, there's what that reminds you of yourself and others, how the experience of watching it speaks to you of when you were watching it before. It's a dastardly trap of associations and distances. No, I was never a music student in 60's Germany, but I feel that I might have been. Yes, I have loved, but sometimes I fear that I may forget. The film finishes, the lights come up, the sound of that final strip flapping against the projector, I remain in my seat, worrying that all that lies beyond the exit is the bright afternoon. I shall leave it there before I descend into an indulgently baleful entry that may be found in any number of teen journals present at this site. Sigh...

The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table performs this Sunday at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street. I'll be on at 9 and performing for about half an hour. There's more information available from Turning Worm. I only found out today.