A New Blog!

For the last year I have been writing on here, and I have really enjoyed it.  The problem I have is that it’s not really focused, or has a main theme.  So I’ve opened up a new site, for all of my film ramblings.  This way I can begin to narrow down what I want to write about.  This blog won’t go away, and the small audience I have will still get the odd post, when I feel like writing something that’s not film related.  This could be political talk, book talk, or even a short story.  If you’re interested in film chat, go here:

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(I quite like that I’ve named my ‘more focused’ blog with the word focus in it)

 

Results – 12/06/17

These are the words written when I think today.  It is June. The sun is not out, but it is warm.  My feet ache from walking, though I have not walked far.  Tapping and lawnmowers is what I hear.  A droning.  A moaning.  A systematic approach to thinking.  Being displeased with the current situation of sitting, and rising up to attention.  To flow, I allow my fingers to move, not my brain.  My brain moves too slow, or so quick it appears slow.  Like the earth spinning.  Like clouds moving.  Cumulonimbus.  Full of rain and dampness.  An uncomfortable setting of clothes.  It creates an itch, completely scratch-able yet completely avoidable.

Is Jeremy Corbyn a fashion icon?  Is the culture he presents strong or weak?  My answers to both these questions is no.  My answer to most questions surrounding the labour party leader is no.  The answer to most things in general is no.  Yes is not a complex enough answer.  Yes appears perfect and absolute.  No requires explanation.  Explain yourself, said American serial TV detective to the unassuming suspect.  They never explain themselves.  It was a victory for the left, the 2017 snap general election.  It was victory for the Owen Jones and the indie twitter goons.  I celebrated this victory heartedly and for once felt content with political views.  Frustration had fled away from me, and hope replaced it.  Laughter is the key, and at the centre of it all.  Laughter at Theresa May, and the failings of the uninformed.  The blindness of the ignorant must be mocked, and not shunned.  Mocked to the point of obscenity would be my preference in the future.

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The plan is to continue to be amused by the current political climate.  An amusement at the red versus blue, and the desperate colours in between.  A more pragmatic attitude would be welcome in me.  Where would I find it from?  Coffee or adderall?  Patience is a nice word to use.  Patience for a film to inspire me or a politician to anger me.  My anger stems from those who follow, not those perpetuate.  At this time it seems as though no-one is following Jared Kushner, except for perhaps his father-in-law.  I can’t wait to hear him speak.  His voice must be of an odd nature, or a crude one.  It must whine or croak for it to have been hidden for so long.  I picture a United Kingdom with a strange coalition.  At the top sits Corbyn, alongside Nicola Sturgeon and Tim Farron.  They are on a peculiar mound inside the houses of parliament and Farron is lighting up a joint whilst tweaking a newly fitted reverend band.  Kushner enters, before a state visit from the American president.  He delivers a statement and the coalition laugh at his voice.  An echoing laugh and the speaker calls order.  From then, they begin to tease him on the President’s policies of coal mines, an industry worth about 1% in workforce and effort.  Kushner cries, then goes home, only to realise that James Comey has in fact eaten the whole Trump family.

Edgar Wrights new film Baby Driver is in cinemas soon and it is just making me want to un-follow Wright on twitter.  There must be a limit on the amount of posters created for a singular film, and the amount of times a director can self promote.  At least the film is something to look forward to, away from this sea of current boring cinema.  Wonder Woman as a concept and a film falls right into that, and whatever anyone says, it’s still a superhero movie.  Thankfully, my mind hasn’t been on writing about film and has been fixated on the election.  That is not going to change anytime too, thanks to a literal non-existent government.  A non-existent government that may soon be a Tory slash 1980’s right wing collaboration.  The notion of reverse Northern Irish devolution is both terrifying and hilarious.  Also a possible chance we can fight terror with terror, thanks to a return of an IRA movement.

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Passing judgment or thoughts on the recent terror attacks is hopeless and I have just about given up fighting for any sort of flagship position.  Being passive is the way forward, and muting tweets is my new favourite hobby.  My timeline (without creating my own echo chamber) is slowly being catered to less nonsense and stupidity.  I’m not blocking out varying views, but stuff I can live without, like a tweet a minute about Rhianna.  I’m not even sure I’ve spelled her name right.  Either way, I can’t run away from the horrors of the world, and I’m still very much in the camp that the world’s demise is incoming.  However there is much to be excited about, such as the cricket, a sport in which I’m happy to say England are quite good at.  For now.

 

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The bitter cold in my room is beginning to worry me.  Can you freeze to death from prolonged sessions in a mildly cold room?  I ask myself that question now as I drink coke and plough through this writers block.  Coke is awful, evil capitalist superpower dragging my morals across the floor as I take each sip.  I don’t particularly care though, I care about Newcastle, and Simon Sheffield, and history, and Tom Cruise.  Can all these things be represented through my early lonely university experience?  I ask myself this question as I put a second jumper on to clothe myself from the dread.  The coke is nice, yet I can taste the sugar more than usual.  Perhaps it’s because I’m having one of my transparent periods, where everything seems clear.  My typing hands are possessed by some writing demon, a friend inside me I don’t see often enough. Or an enemy I’m at war with.

I can see out of my window two men across the bridge.  Are they workers?  Honest people, that actually contribute to society?  Possibly electricians, the white box they are circulating around looks full of electrics.  One of them is on the phone.  I wonder what he’s talking about.  Probably how they are ill prepared for the job at hand, but still require payment. Are they lazy or righteous?  They’ve gone inside to what I envision is a much warmer building than the one I’m sat in. Although it has warmed up a bit, thanks to my ability to switch the heating on.  I can hear the coke fizzing still.

Continuing to stare out of my window is meaningless; I need to get out there.  Talk to people; not let my anxiety control me.  Who would I talk to?  The homeless guy outside the old baths?  He doesn’t scare me like the rest of them.  There is a patience too him, an enormous sense of experience.  He doesn’t need your change; he’s had your change.  I finished my coke.  This is far more rewarding than my university course.  A foundation year. What a joke I am, what a failure, what a reject.  Maybe not that last one, I am sure I have some fans out there. Selasi from Kenya reads my blog on a library computer that he commutes to after his school day.  He is a well of Kenyan, adopted by rich parents, saved from the Nairobi slums.  Lived through turmoil and now he enjoys my witty rhetoric on a Woody Allen film.  This is my dream.

Shall I research for this?  Is my goal to plunge through page after page in the library?  I’m not entirely sure what this is.  Is it real, or am I just asking myself too many questions.  It’s too abstract, too indefinite to be called anything.  There’s no need for a title or a description.  My teeth hurt from the coke, I’m regretting drinking it. The plan was to write about the new Daniel Radcliffe films, and it’s transformed into this.  I have sat down at my laptop and metamorphosed into some languid poet. Or a fool.  The sentence before the last probably doesn’t make any sense under the microscope.  The green pen of the a-level marker would ruin those few words, and then write a series of ‘poor comments’ in the margin.  Thank god that’s over with.

I have 11 minutes left until I have to start getting ready to leave.  Or meet.  Or whatever it is I’m doing.   Putting a time limit on this makes it all the more exciting.  Will this ever be read?  Another question that will probably never be answered.  A question that will be lost in the stratosphere of my subconscious when I delete this in 10 minutes.  That was a fast 60 seconds.  I’ve always had this notion of time passing at the same rate as normal; making it easier to suffer through three periods of German when I was 14.  However now I see time for what it is.  A traitor.  Someone we put so much trust into for them only to kill us.  I’m going to stop now.

 

The Wire: An Actual Review

Having finally finished ‘The Wire’ after starting my crusade with it almost a year ago, I’d thought I’d write a bit about it.  And for the first time I’m actually going to label it as a review, but only in the sense that I’m going to break down every season and ‘review’ my thoughts on them.

Season 5

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I’m starting here because obviously it’s the one I’ve watched the most recently, so it’s freshest in my mind, but also because it’s my least favourite.  And it’s a shame that it’s my least favourite, because that seems to be the popular consensus, which I’m trying to shy away from. However this season for me felt more like a chore, just to get to end so I could write this.  Due to this, it’s probably the season I’ve watched the quickest, though it is only ten episodes long (first problem).  The problem I have with the season is that I stopped caring about the events and the characters.  All the character building of the youth in West Baltimore felt lost and the plot lost all its momentum.  What seemed like an incredible rising climax at the end of season 4, had suddenly been replaced by a really strange turn of events.  Now I didn’t hate this season, mostly because of my already existing admiration of the major characters, but none of it really interested me.  The serial killing plot line felt sloppy, being an excuse to throw McNulty in the fire and the Sun newspaper narrative was half cut to say the least.  Effectively what had been a very rich piece of writing ended on a poor ten episodes, with the amount of cringey lines and uncharacteristic events rising.  Despite this, the season wrapped up okay, and overall, thanks to the other seasons I felt satisfied with the closing moments, even though it was a little disappointing.

Season 2

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Now, this is the season that grew the most on me, as at first I wasn’t too keen on the sudden change of pace from season 1.  Then I began to build an affection for the characters, with the world around them becoming thicker.  Immediately Bunk was more involved, who in honesty is a mystery of the whole series, being seriously gripping but also a lot of the times a foil for the rest of the cast.  The new addition to the team in Beadie Russell was nice, with her vital role growing as the season went on.  And on the other side of the coin Nick Sobotka was a complex new arrival to the game, tragically endearing, and his appearance in season 5 was probably the highlight of that season.  Most of all, the partnership between Prez and Lester emulated around the core team, and Prez’s rise of esteem was incredibly satisfying. Consequently you have this mix of great core characters, not the mention the advance of Stringer Bell, with a meaningful story-line.  And by meaningful I mean that everything in the narrative happened for a reason, and tied up to a thrilling climax.  For example, I hated Ziggy Sobotka’s character, a lot of his nature felt forced, but the shootout scene when he goes back and forth from the car made it all worth it.  This season was a slow burner for me, though a very enthralling one.

Season 3

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For the most part this season is a blur for me, and the one I remember the least about. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like it though, quite the opposite, I loved this season.  It boils down to one major reason and that’s Stringer Bell.  Throughout the whole of The Wire he was my favourite character (even though he’s absent from the last two seasons).  His attitude and demeanour create this wonderful villain, and in some ways anti-hero.  Idris Elba plays him so that it’s impossible to hate him, and allows his demise to be as heartbreaking as any of the deaths in the rest of series.  He’s only a small piece in a diverse 12 episodes and alongside his power surge you have the rest of the cast struggling with their own issues. The most intriguing being the introduction of Lieutenant Colvin and his attempt to legalise drugs, which starts of bizarre then grows to be a plot line that asks many curious questions.  There wasn’t a step this season took that felt off or strange, and each character had their own time in the spotlight.  Even the repeat fall of Prez was paid off in the next season to great extents.  Overall this season changed the game for the whole series, it felt like a stopping point for the original narrative, and left an effective feeling of completion to the original battle the wire team was facing.

Season 1

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Looking back at this season is more of a nostalgia trip more than anything else.  It’s where it all began, and where the characters were introduced.  If you compare this season to the last one, you can see how far everything has come.  All of the characters are sat in a different position to how they started and the Baltimore setting has completely shifted. This season was also simpler times, a team of police using a wire tap to crack down on Avon Barksdale.  An enigmatic king-pin who’s really just in it for the game.  The highlights of the season again are a blur, but I have great admiration to what the show used to be.   McNulty and Bunk analysing a crime scene, Prez and Lester cracking codes, Herc and Carver fooling around, and Daniels begrudgingly steering the ship.  You also have D’Angelo Barksdale playing a major role, and his death in season 2 is amongst the most tragic, with him being probably the deepest character, with the largest arc in the whole series.  However the most important thing this season brings is the character of Wallace, played wonderfully by a young Michael B. Jordan.  His heart-wrenching end (dealt by two equally loved characters) is arguably the highest point of the whole show, as well as the most harrowing.  To talk about this season is just about talking about the wire, which quintessentially this season is, and a great introduction to the epic series.

Season 4

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I’m ending with my personal favourite, and I think the most critically acclaimed season of the show.  And it’s weird, because this is the season that goes away from the classic wire format.  It sets up more of a look into Baltimore life, or even just slum life, by going through the struggles of young teenage males in the area.  Despite this, it still has the original cast with their own battles.  The beloved Bubbles is hit hard during this season, making a lot of his scenes uncomfortable to watch, but it feels right with the tone of the season.  Prez returns triumphantly as a teacher trying to make a difference, being the eyes and ears of the audience for a lot of the series.  McNulty is absent in the most brilliant way, leaving Bunk to buddy cop by himself and Kima is suddenly given plenty of weight to carry too. Omar is still relevant and I’ve noticed I haven’t really talked about him yet, and that’s not purposeful because he is a fascinating character, it’s just he’s always there and more of a constant of the wire, rather than a piece to pick out.  The same slightly goes for Marlo Stansfield, who takes the pedestal of Stringer Bell well, bringing a new sadistic side to the drug trade of Baltimore.  Also Tom Carcetti, who is played fantastically by Aidan Gillen, became a favourite of mine as he attempts to a make a real change to the city.  It’s hard to write about this season because it is so full of depth and I have a great affection for it. There’s a reason it’s considered the best season of television of all time, and I don’t have to describe it.

 

Sidenote:  From this, you’ll be able to tell I’m a massive fan of The Wire.  Yet, I’ve barely scratched the surface and left a lot of stuff out that I wanted to talk about.  I’d recommend to binge the show and find out for yourself.