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Summer catch-up: Films

Posted: June 25th, 2008, by Marceline Smith

What the diskant team have been watching this Summer.

Jandek On Corwood
Now on DVD is the by-now quite old documentary Jandek On Corwood. Although it means putting up with yet more American talking heads who insist on phrasing everything they say like a question, it’s a remarkably gripping film made with very little source material save for the aforementioned interviews. I can take or leave most of Jandek’s music and I have my own theories about what’s behind it but the documentary is incredibly watchable even for people who aren’t fans. Video 1 | Video 2. [Chris Summerlin]

In Search of a Midnight Kiss
In the same week that I took a lucky lady (ho ho) to the SEX AND THE CITY movie I really liked IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS, which I instead found myself watching on my own.  I am officially becoming more soppy with age as my demographic appears more lovelorn than ever but can still manage to be so in a cool, black and white way that is sharper and spikier than those two drips in Before Sunrise ever got. [JGram]

Blades of Glory
When I saw it recently at ATP I genuinely thought it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I like it when that happens. [Simon Minter]

Joy Division
Written by Jon Savage, who reviewed ‘Unknown Pleasures’ in 1979 this is the story of the Manchester band whose music captured the post-industrial world of the late 70s and features all surviving protagonists. The grimness of their urban reality is captured via archive footage of high-rise flats that developed ‘concrete cancer.’ Bernard Sumner met Peter Hook in Salford and the story of the band really begins when they paid 50p for the legendary Sex Pistols gig at the Free Trade Hall and the ‘exciting mess,’ inspired them. Soon Ian Curtis answered an advert and Stephen Morris became their drummer. The film documents the transition from their early outings as Warsaw and their name change to that of the Nazi brothel. It details Gretton’s management, their signing with Factory. Peter Saville discusses the bleak cover art and on the road stories are interspersed with live performance footage. Throughout the film the lyrics to tracks such as ‘Digital’ and ‘Dead Souls’ are emblazoned on the screen as you are delivered to places such as The Electric Circus, their rehearsal rooms and the Russell Club, first home of Factory. Personal viewpoints come from Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P. Orridge, Paul Morley, Anton Corbijn and Belgian journalist Annik Honoré who speaks for the first time about her relationship with Curtis. This documentary is at times laugh out loud funny. Darker moments are Curtis’s struggle with epilepsy, and the bands guilt about not realising his intent. The film briefly touches on their rebirth as New Order after this tragic event.  This will appeal to people who are Joy Division fans as unlike ‘Control,’ it tells the true story rather than the printed legend. It is all acutely real, depicted in technicolour thirty years on.  ‘The thing is, it was all very easy,’ says Hooky. ‘It only got difficult after he died.’ [Mandy Williams]

No Country For Old Men
I always say this but I don’t like watching films. That said, No Country For Old Men blew me away despute being a tense and unrewarding cinema-going experience thanks to the crowd as per normal. It’s just out on DVD so I will be picking through the details again in the comfort of my own home. Video. [Chris Summerlin]

Rambo / Cloverfield / Indiana Jones / Iron Man
For some reason I’ve really been missing out on any kind of ‘credible’ or ‘art house’ films at the cinema this year – I think Persepolis is the only thing I could be bothered with. But then I’ve also had a great time switching off my brain and revelling in the awful spectacles of Rambo (brilliantly bloody), Cloverfield (gets better with every annoying castmember offed) and Indiana Jones Checks Into The Retirement Home (flashes of brilliance, long yawning stretches of Lucas-inspired drivel). I even saw Iron Man the other week and it was pretty good in places (read as: Robert Downey Jr made the film), if annoyingly transparent in its attempts to set up yet another ‘franchise’. [Dave Stockwell]

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


5 Responses to Summer catch-up: Films

  1. Jason Graham

    Blades Of Glory – oh yes!

    with hindsight I could have been tempted to change my pick to Juno

  2. Alex M

    These posts are causing me severe Amazon wishlist bloat.

  3. Dave S

    I got In Search of a Midnight Kiss on R1 DVD at Christmas, and it is indeed fantastic and hilarious. However, mine’s in colour, despite all the UK reviews I’ve read of it referring to black and white cinematography. Colour me officially confused.

  4. Jason

    In Search Of A Midnight Kiss in colour??????

    This is major news to me!!!!! need to check that out!

  5. JGRAM

    fucking hell – just downloaded the colour version. It really looks so different. Looking forward to checking this out