I’ll start with a film I saw the other evening and that I’ve been wanting to watch for some time. It’s an independent film called Coffee and Cigarettes. It’s a series of vignettes, starring 2 to 3 people in different settings, being… people. There are connecting themes (coffee and cigarettes being the most obvious but by no means the only one) both in the narrative and in the visuals. The vignettes range from the utterly bizarre, the funny, the poignant and the very simple normal, everyday coffee shop scene.
What this film does not have: A clear beginning, middle and happy end; Action, explosions or car chases; Romance
Who is in this film: Bill Murray, Cate Blanchet, The White Stripes, The Wutang Clan, Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan, Iggy Pop and a host of others.
In summary: I really enjoyed this film and I think many people will. But not if they want their conclusions wrapped up and presented on a silver platter. Some things don’t have a meaning and are just there to be experienced.
My god, I sound like a pretentious film student! Noooo!
Anyway, moving onto comics/graphic novels/[insert newest term here]. Last night I read the much sought-after Signal to Noise, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean. Both writer and illustrator and people whose work I like a lot so this was something I’d been hunting for some time. Unfortunately it is out of print and and second hand dealers were asking a fortune for it. So when I found it on Ebay, I was much thrilled and hastily clicked the ‘Buy it now’ button. It arrived in short order, read it last night and it was worth every penny. A dying director ‘films’ his last movie in his head. That’s the whole story, but it all hangs together wonderfully. Gaiman and McKean do their thing very well together.
Right, next I bought the first two copies of Desolation Jones, the new comic by Warren Ellis. In this world, there a bunch of ex-spooks in the world and when they get to be a problem they are ‘imprisoned’ in LA. They have freedom of movement of the city and immunity within it’s boundaries, but that’s it. Jones is a British ex-spook, turned private investigator, specialising in dealing with problems that have arisen within the intelligence community. His first case is, quite literally, hardcore. It’s a good story, though Ellis is prone to throwing loads of interesting tidbits into the first episode (“look what interesting fact I found on the internet!”), but by the second episode things settle in a bit more and take on some life of their own. It was a good read.
Ellis seems obsessed with the whole fallout of the global intelligence community. It was first touched upon in Global Frequency and now in DJ. I have no idea why, but it does make good stories.
technorati tag: comics