5 January 2011

This Time

two and a half fucking years. I am older but not wiser. I am more bitter to the world and even more in awe with it. I have loved and lost and loved and lost again. I have tried to be a brother to my friends and a friend to my brother but not sure exactly if I have succeeded in either. I have moved from here to there and then even further down the road. I feel so distant from my starting point my base my heart and even further from my goal my dreams. To be the man I want/need to be I need to change, but I have been saying that for years and I am not sure yet if a change of postcode is good enough.

2011 is probably my make or break year. It's the first year I have a structure which can help me become what I want to be and there is great hope there. However it may also be my last chance for this and if I fuck it up what then for me. I had a phone call today where someone criticised me for always thinking of the factors to a decision and therefore rendering me unable to make one. Well I know the answer to this one. And yet it's 4am and I have done nothing to help me. Hopefully this is the moment, the statement of intent to drive myself forward.

2010 was a hard hard year for me. I am of 27 years of age but am really a boy making pretend. I feel a lot of us are like that but we all hide it so well.....most of the time. I watched a television show tonight, a comedy which a dark turn at the end where one of the main characters parents die and all he can say is "I am not ready for this yet". I cried. That was my 2010 summed up right there. With sadness and happiness colliding on a daily basis I wasn't ready for any of it but that's the joke none of us are are we.
For the people around me the people I care about most had to deal with crushing blows too and it is a level of helplessness that invades us no matter if it is us being affected or has the observer to one of life's random moments.

I'd like to thank the people that have stood behind me for the last few months and years. My mother and father, its not been easy and I know the are like me sometimes lost in the unknowing but when they are wise they are wise and when they don't know they are honest and that is all I can ever ask them for. To david, my dear dear friend. I thank you probably the most for the last year. We haven't seen each other or talked as much as we should have but my friend my brother you were there for me when I needed you and I wish I could have done the same for you and I hope in some small way I was. I truly love you man. To Lana, you have been my teacher both saintly and demonic and a place in my heart will always belong to you for what we have been through and I wish you the best future possible and beg of you never be afraid. To steven, you are my currently my worst friend and my best friend sir. You are a short tempered bastard and fucking underselling yourself, but if you weren't always on the end of the phone when I needed you whether I have asked you to be or not I'd be in a much worse place.

This is not a new year resolution post and shouldn't be interpreted as one. It comes more from conversations and experiences and dreams of the last 4days. I will use this site again to try and spur myself on hopefully with you my friends and family watching over me. And I will try and use it to prove I am worth your time and effort and it is now the time. I can't promise I am going to wake up early tomorrow morning but I will wake up.

I need a future. maybe I should have thought of that before I went to art school but I am here now let's see what happens.

Thank you all

Graham Neale

30 July 2008

Things I wish weren't true


Things I am going to leave the house for

1. To buy Gears of war 2
2. To buy TNA wrestling game
3. To buy force unleashed
4. To Buy Guitar hero 4
5. To get a job when I run out of cash buying all these games

16 July 2008

Trailer of the Gods

This is the best Television trailer I have ever seen but that might be because I am a huge Kubrick fan. I even own a few frames of 2001.

26 March 2008

Lucas: Hero or Villian


Me and my friend Steven had this discussion a long time ago and it got rather complex.

Lucas is essentially vader. He and Coppola belived in an indpendant cinema one where the could finance and deal on their own terms they were young naive hippies who believed in the "force" of art. Coppola is the Obi-wan to Lucas's Anakin. He brought him on board and trained him up and gave him the power he needed to be a jedi (cinematic auteur)

Coppola became embroiled in his own clone war (zoetrope/apocalpyse now) and while he was off fighting Lucas came in with star wars his love ltter to cinema that sparked his imagination. Its the story of Hippies over coming the MAN.

The irony here is Star Wars gave Lucas all the freedom in the world he could film anything he had achieved what he and coppola had always dreamed off but slowly but slowly the commercialism of Star wars picked away at him like the darkside with the emporer (Rick McCallum) pulling away from his artistic integrity and watering it all down into an empire.

This means when Lucas was ready to get back to directing the hippies were no longer the protagnists and instead it was the story of a man with potential who is bit by bit turned from an idealistic young boy to the evil commercialist.

Maybe just maybe he will pass that financial assistants onto his kids who can redeem him with films of their own.

So really Lucas isnt a hero or villian but a tradgic character of shakespearian stature

14 February 2008

Valentines Cheer

A lot of people think I am a miserable git but I made this for all those lovey dovey people (oh and as my friends can attest I finished this before the current HMV ads started to screen)

6 February 2008


"White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own
White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own" - The Clash

What Happened? What Happened to british cinema? I recently watched two classic british films back to back and was left flabbergasted. How could we produce such sublime mainstream and world relevant work then but not now? The first was Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 "Blow Up" starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave. The plot folows a single day in the life of Thomas a David Bailey styled photgrapher and the horrible truth he may or may not have uncovered. The film is brimming with what it is to be cool and british. Thomas drives round in his Rolls Royce buying antiques, taking photos and seducing groupies. If you want to know where Mike Myers gets his idea of Britian that is used in the Austin Powers films its from this. We see the cool britiania of the sixties, where life was what you wanted it to be a celebration of colour and characters without being that over the top. The film showcased not just the life style but also the people, some even before they were famous. Here is a scene where Thomas stumbles into a club where the Yardbirds (who eventually morphed into Led Zepplin) are playing, we see David Hemmings in his first role before appearing in "The charge of the light brigade" (another great British film of the 60s) and "Barbarella", We see the yardbirds with both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, the girl in thre stripey tights is journalist Janet Street-Porter and apparently future surrealist Micheal Palin is in the audience.

The film is dripping with sex. Hemmings is a playboy and hits on every female in the film and its not just skin baring (although it does contain the first full frontal nudity in a British film) but erotic too. Atone point Hemmings seduces a supermodel with the camera during a photoshoot barking orders at her and eventually mounting her all with clothes on and although they are just working it is so sexually charged and not some cheesy micheal bay looking sex scene and it gives you a great iconic image that im sure everyone has seen before.


And the film was a success too. A worldwide success. It cost $1,800,000 and made $20,000,000 million back, but not just financially but also critically aswell notcing up 2 oscar nominations, 3 BAFTA nominations and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival. It was a Relevant British film that celebrated being British celebrated the underground and didn't need to import a US actress to be the marquee name.

Blow up won the Palme d'Or in 1967 the next winner wasn't until 1969 and it to was a British film Lindsay Anderson's "If...." The plot of "If...." sounds like a typical stuffy British film. Set in an Public boarding school it follows three boys as they rally against the cruel prefects and inept schoolmasters but St. Trinians this isn't! Although we see the school days laid out before us and watch the traditions of the school there is abubbling of something almost intanglible that makes you see more. Hostility bubbles from ever surface and you don't feel you are watching another heady tale of glorious schools days but the seeds of rebellion against those who might think they know better but don't. The reason this works so well is the direction of Lindsay Anderson and the performance of Malcolm McDowell in his debut, look at this scene below its not just a student standing up against a prefect who is powermad but a call to arms.

what Anderson brings to the film is absudity. and freedom. For brief moments we see what they are fighting for, whether it's in the piece of african chanting that McDowell's Mick Travis listens to or the use of both colour and black and white film which was used to 'texture' the film, or in just absurdist moments like this

The original title for the film was "Crusaders" and thats what the film's protaganists are, but watching them it's not just there fight it's all our fight against those he use power and act in a superior and hierartical fashion through the class system. Why this film won the Palme d'Or 2 years after Blow Up was because there was no awards ceremony in 1968 due to the riots in France as University students, muscians, poets, and teachers took to the streets to protest against the bureaucracy the engulfed the education system and the way they had been treated. The film was of the time and spoke to the audience who could identitfy with what was happening. Although it was the schools microcosm it was universal in theme. It was British to the core but spoke a language we could all speak. If only British films were like this today. Looking at the nominations for Best british film at the BAFTA's this year (Antonement, Control, this is England, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Eastern promises) really aren't really British films with Bourne Ultimatum mostly funded by American movie and starring a cast of Americans in America. And Eastern promises starring an Australian (yes I know she was born in Kent) and A sweedish American, and a French man directed by a canadian. This leaves Atonement, Control, and This is England none of which are set within a contemporary setting. But maybe just made a film like This is england can speak to us about identity and racism its a shame that although nominated this film was never given the big push that british films need just like the french do with their cultural laws. ah if Only

16 December 2007

Physical Cinema

I have a slight problem. My problem is that although I am a film lover I find myself draw to and the most in love with movies that are seen as some what controversial. I love the emotional impacts of some films that make you look in awe or pull you into the storyline but really its films that not only do that but also physically have an effect on you, and I mean the intended effect not just pure hatred and clenching of fist against crimes of the cinema world (yes Paul WS Anderson I'm looking at you). Comedies do this on a basic level but it can be so easy to garner a laugh from something as simple as a pratfall and this is why I believe the comedy genre is looked down upon in many sectors of the film industry and the same with horror, if you look at the list of Best Film Oscar winners you will find few comedies and only one classed as horror (silence of the lambs). And I can understand why they do garner such basic emotions it's almost like shooting fish in a barrel and sometimes it takes a really special film to truly grab you and let you understand what the genre is about in the last few years only The Descent has actually grabbed me and demanded respect for the emotion it has garnered. But it is movies that have truly shaken me I want to focus on.

One of the first films that I came out the cinema truly physically and emotionally moved by a film was Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aranofsky. It follows the rise and fall of four individuals into the highs of drugs and then the almighty fall that follows. The warm slow glow of the first third entitled "Summer" is quickly shattered by The middle section "Fall" that quickens in pace and in darker ones that give a sense of foreboding in the final Third "Winter" that is intense and visceral all sound tracked by Clint Mansell's brilliant score that builds along with the imagery to the bloody and horrid Climax. I was instantly in love. A friend remarked as we left the cinema "I loved it but I never want to see it again" and I knew exactly what he meant, to see it again would be to go through this terrifying experience again but I needed to and I have seen that film dozens of times and each time I am blown away and now I appreciate every stylistic choice and visual and audio marker Aranofsky has placed and the fantastic performances that may go unnoticed the first time due to its impact. If you haven't seen it I suggest you do even to never see it again.

The second film ever to get this feeling out me is the film I know consider to be one of the greatest pieces in cinema history. Irreversible directed by Gasper Noe and staring real life European super couple Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, it was hyped as being the continental Eyes Wide Shut before its release but now is know as the movies with "those scenes". In this film the plot and the story are two very different things so to just tease you the plot follows a man as he is looking for a man for revenge for what we do not yet know. In someways Irreversible is the exact opposite of Requiem for a dream, as it is a march towards the light of a upbeat and bright finale coming from dark and brutal confusion as the start of the film, but of course this is a trick played on the audience as the film like memento or the Pinter play Betrayal so really when we see the beautiful green park at the end it is a bittersweet portrait of serene beauty. It is a film that intentionally confuses and disorientates you the camera spins the music is just noise and we begin with a couple of middle aged men one naked talking about having sex with their daughters, these figures are never seen again after that. The film is a gut punch on three counts. Firstly is the complete disorientation at the begging it is simple a mind fuck on celluloid and ends with a brutal act that makes you question whether what you seeing is real or not. From then on for the next twenty minutes to half an hour we are left with the knowledge that an even more violent act must occur to set the actions we see into motion.The act is a rape but unlike one seen before on cinema. It has been accused as voyeuristic and certainly it is (but what cinema isn't?) but it is real and graphic and not titillating there is no quick editing no close ups no thumping soundtrack just a red lit tunnel and a woman screaming for ten minutes begging for help as we watch unflinching at how deplorable an act this is how brutal an inhumane. What makes it worse for the viewer who is trapped within the camera unable to move is the fleeting outline of a man in the background who choose, actually choose not to be involved. It leaves you feeling broken and sickened although I have seen the film several times I don't think I have ever been able to watch that scene in its entirety without looking a way. But by the end it is a celebration of life but this celebration will be short lived. The irony here is that the only person that can give us a happy ending is the director by ending the film on such positive imagery yet the final words are "Time destroys all things" and this is true for even this story as the acts will still unfold and are essentially irreversible.And this is the third gut punch that all the mastery beauty of the locations sets actors and the fantastic ad-libbed dialogue and heartbreaking performances that this happy ending is a facade. You are left going into a dark world after seeing this film even if it is screaming daylight, but that effect it has had on you I find is a rare thing.

The Last film i want to talk about is Pier Paolo Passolini's 1975's Salo 0 le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salo or the 120 days of Sodom). The film is as controversial today as it was on its release. it is based on the novel by the Marques De Sade but is updated to the fascist landscape of Italy 1944, where 4 men named only The Magistrate, The Bishop, The President and The Duke decide that fascism is the one true power where anything is permitted "We fascists are the only true anarchists" they marry each other daughters kidnap 18 children (9 male, 9 female) and send the next three days listening to stories from middle age prostitutes that are meant to arouse them into action against the children. The power the men show over the children (all virgins) is gruesome and debauchery in the highest order as they sexually and mentally molest them. The film shows how those in power have complete control over the underclass literally feeding them shit to eat and gaining pleasure through their complete destruction. The film is told over three days in sections echoing Dante's inferno. The first day (the circle of manias) concerns the sexual molestation of the children as the first whore tells of her 7 year old plus sexual experience. The second day (The circle of feces) Has the second whore talk of her experience with clients who enjoy bathroom activities in the bedroom and the final day (the Circle of Blood) is the final tortured deaths of those children that have broken the laws set down by there captors. the film is an unease watch and although filled with sex it is all just as deplorable as the act in Irreversible. It is a film about power and commercialisation. It has been described as the "death of sex" with the sexual acts all performed with no eroticism and with no pleasure as not even the captors are seen to be sexually satisfied. it is the act for the act sake and it seems to have foretold the current world we live in where nudity is everywhere to be seen even if just for the hell of it. The foretelling is more evident in day two where a girl is literally forced to eat excrement from the floor and when Passolini was asked what the scene represented he said it was an attack on junk fund that is just "worthless refuse". After all that I find the third day the most brutal as it is pore voyeurism but unlike Irreversible where we the audience we watching we instead see the final tortures through the eyepieces of one captor as he sits on a balcony watching the others scalp, brand, and cut out the tongues and eyes of their victims. It is brutal and executed well enough to make you flinch and be reviled while the watching captor ogles and gains sexual arousal out the situation making it even more sickening for the audience. It is a film unlike the other two with no fleeting moments of beauty it never stops being a dirty piece of cinema.

The funny thing about Salo though is what I saw during the second day. Many commentators on the film and those who i have spoken to about the scenes of forced eating a feces were all adamant about how sickening these scenes were and yes but thematically there are sick and unspeakable but yet I didn't find myself as repulsed as i thought I would be, and I suddenly realized why; i had seen it before on film but used in a different way. To go back to my opening it was a comedy that had used this before - American wedding to be precise. In one scene the character of Stifler is forced to eat dog matter just to stop someone else from it. It serves little purpose other than to get a straight comical (although a "gross-out" one) from the audience. Passolini's statement on mass produced foods a serious point that is intended to make you act or at least think ruined by a throw away laugh. reacting to the second does not make up for my lack of reaction to the latter. Maybe it that's while a comedy can make you react it won't necessarily make you think.


The rough translation is:
-Do This
-Now say I have Nothing to eat
-I have Nothing to eat
-Then you will eat shit