Kieron Gillen's workblog




I worry about my taste sometimes.

Yeah. Regular readers or anyone who I've ever met are rolling their eyes at this point, but it's true. I really do worry that my critical faculties are completely underdeveloped and I'm a low-browed bottom-feeder.

But only about films.

Games. Music. Books. Even comics, which I'm a relative newcomer to, I'm certain that my corner is worth arguing. But the movies? Christ - I'm a sucker. I can get a small modicum of kicks from most films I go to see. Even if I loathe it, I'm normally riffing some idle idea it's thrown out into odd dimensions that I'll use for something or another. If it's bearable? I just feel that sometimes my soul is made of popcorn.

Case in point being Gangs of New York, which I just went to see. Go to see it with a football team of associated people. Watched it, transfixed. God knows it wasn't perfect, but there were two clear changes that could have been made to be a genuinely great thing rather than the merely highly entertaining piece it was. Masses of stuff worth ripping off - the retro-urban setting was just perfect, strange and other-worldly while making exact sense, for example - and with one and a half more actors with a degree of weight, it could have ground all comers beneath its feet (One weighty actor to replace Caprio, who just is buffeted along by the situations wings. It's a character who, having seen his dad killed, spends years planning the murderer's death. He should be insane, driven - Taxi Driver, essentially. As he is, he's nothing, and it kills that part of the film. A merely half-decent one to replace Diaz, who is fine in light-entertainment and or whispy-drifting, lacks what's required from a classical/cliched fiery irish red-heads).

But I like it.

When I get out, everyone in the group is slagging it off. "It's the funniest thing he's seen for a year," states the fairly-characteristic-for-group-Richard Cobbett. At which point, a choice presents your humble scribe. You can either shut-the-fuck-up, smile and go along with everyone else, or stick two fingers up to the crowd and say it like it is.

I'm momentary proud when I do the latter. I start on a general speech, hitting on the exact points of what I like. The whole opening run, leading towards a genuine collisions. The brutality. The ludicrous glea Day Lewis took to his role, merely lacking a decent foil. Some genuinely perfect mini-scenes, some unpredictable and other deliciously un-so. A period mostly untouched, thus strange and fresh. The sight of mud-covered hovel dwellings kicking the shit out of each other - the sort of look my Dad's mates have after they come off the building sites, the sort of men who'll pop your eyeballs if they have to, and do it without a thought and without bragging. And so on and so forth. I finish with the line, "To be honest, I thought it was pretty much most of the good stuff I'd expect from Copola".

At which point, in one voice, the crowd states, "It's Scorcese, not Copola".

Fuck the lot of them.

Also: Started reading Donna Tartt's Secret History, which has the best first fifty pages I've read since The Great Gatsby.




Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.