Thursday, 29 August 2013

August Hit, Miss or Maybe

Lots of hits this month. Most of the films have been freebies, seen at the preview event or I was given a free ticket.

1. Percy Jackson & The Sea of Monsters - MAYBE

This is only a 'maybe' because I know people aren't a fan of the demi-gods and their camp. I love this series, I was so happy when a sequel appeared out of nowhere! I suppose its a guilty pleasure. The story sort of picks up from the last adventure with the lightening thief. Percy is at camp with the others but he's not the best warrior unlike Clarice, daughter of Ares. When the camp is attacked and the protective barrier around the camp is broken, Clarice, not Percy is sent out on a mission to find the Golden Fleece that will protect them or something. But of course this Percy Jackson, he goes on his own quest with his friends and he new half cyclops brother. There are a few things wrong with the film such as the actual sea of monsters only has one monster, the Kraken. But otherwise its FUN! And I like silly fun and greek mythology.

2. The Lone Ranger - HIT

Why this didn't do well in US? Well, it is very long for a Disney film and was more about Tonto than the actual Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp who plays Tonto, the native american indian who was originally the sidekick, said he made Tonto more of a warrior. In other words, he wanted the main part but not the conventional one. That aside, the film was great. The 'origin' of the Lone Ranger and fantastic epic adventure action packed train riding, horse jumping, gun shooting, spirit walking tale set in the Wild West. Great fun.

3. Only God Forgives - HIT

Violence can be cinematic and amazing as well as down right grim as proved by the slow and steady  . I am very glad I read about this film before. Knowing it was mostly dreams that the main character is seeing made a lot more sense. I really like Nicholas Winding Refn's work, especially Drive and this film, although a hell of a lot different to Only God Forgives, the styles are similar. There are definitely some screensaver shots in the film. The story is about revenge and in a way, justice. The 'angel of vengence' a policeman who exacts justice but cutting off limbs seems harsh but the character is so in control he doesn't even flinch. There is one scene I had to look away from, a torture scene. Very grim. Apart from that I was glued to the screen. It is an abstract art film so if you just want to Ryan Gosling for no reason then rent The Notebook but if you like his acting, watch this film.

4. Pain & Gain - HIT

Everyone was laughing at this film, just because it looked ridiculous and it was a Michael Bay film. I can confirm it is ridiculous but it is just so brilliant, it had to be a 'hit'. I could not stop laughing. I wasn't sure if I was meant to or not but myself and the rest of the audience were laughing. Based on a true story about 3 bodybuilders who kidnap an awful rich guy in Miami, 1995 and steal his money. The film is crazy, half the things that happen you wouldn't believe but just in case that happens, there are moments when titles come up to tell you 'this actually happened'.

5. Planes - MISS

Terrible film. OK, that was harsh. It is better than Cars/Cars 2 but its still terrible. I never like the 'cars universe' to me the concept just doesn't work. I know these films were made 'for the boys' but surely there are better things to make than this unoriginal film? There is thinly veiled dig at other countries and how they are 'of course inferior to American'. India is a liar, Mexico is stupid, Canada is a man-eater and UK is stuck up and weak. Some of the plains are so stereotypical I wanted to vomit. The story is basic, small crop duster wants to race in a famous race around the world. The 3D hurt my eyes too. Not great but slightly better than cars. Expect Pixar o bring out BOATS in 2015. 

6. Up On Poppy Hill - HIT

I think this is a winning combination. Hayao Miyazaki scripted the film and his son, Goro Miyazaki directed, his second feature. It is such a delightful story about a girl who raises signal flags each day in memory of her father. She meets a boy who run the school newspaper, they share a bond and together try to save the school's clubhouse from being demolished. Set in the 60s, it makes a great period piece and as always, the artwork is amazing.

7. Ain't Them Bodies Saints - HIT

It's a beautiful film. The pace is slow but it worth the wait. Written and directed by David Lowery, the story is about a passionate young couple, Ruth and Bob, who went on a crime spree. In a shoot out with the local officers, Ruth shoots an officer but Bob takes the fall and goes to prison. A few years later, Ruth has raised their young daughter and lives quietly. Bob breaks out of prison to be with his family. It is a very sombre film, despite the description it isn't a loud action packed affair, it is slow and quiet and there are too many beautiful shots to count in this film. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

While We Wait For Wes

YES! It's more 'how much much I love Wes Anderson' posts. I'll be doing this for the Coen Brothers' new film Inside Llewyn Davis, because I am very excited about that too, in fact there was a concert in connection with the film the other day so I'll probably be writing something about that tomorrow.

Back to WES! 

As any Wes Anderson fan knows, while Moonrise Kingdom was still being shown, while it was still being talked about in magazines and such, The Grand Budapest Hotel was coming to life. The film started shooting in March this year and there has been talk that it may be released this year! But my guess only previews and festivals and then a general release early 2014.

There have been photos from the film set which I have nabbed for you all to see, thats if you haven't seen them before. They only feature some of the massive/impressive cast. There is a shot of Edward Norton peaking out from the back so I am content until more photos emerge. 

The story, as far as I know, is about 'a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protege.'

The plot also focuses on 'the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th Century.'

Funny thing. My sister and I were planning on going to Budapest this year but we had made the plan last year and things change so we had to postpone until another time maybe.
Can't wait for this film to come out!!!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Better Late Than Never

I actually set myself some New Year's resolutions this year. I even wrote a post about it. I had 9. I have so far kept to 5, have yet to achieve 2 and there is one resolution I put in but it was more of a long haul thing.

Here is a reminder of what I wrote back in December 2012:

1. I did not stick to, I think I lasted a month if I'm pushing it.
2. I do write, not everything finished but I have been writing each month.
3. I did pass in May!
4. Due to redundancy and hellsville, this didn't work out. I did save money but then I had dip back in to survive.
5. I do read more, alot more. This is thanks to my internship last month.
6. See below
7. This was the long haul deal, plus I'm just wishing here.
8. I did see the dentist and yes, it was very expensive.
9. I changed this as I shouldn't have been specific. I went to Cornwall, that was my holiday for the year.

So my film related challenge? Well I did get a second hand copy of 1001 movies to see before you die, but it seemed impossible to complete the challenge in a time frame that wasn't my lifespan. So again, this was going to be challenge completed over years.

I do have a challenge though. I will attempting to write 50,000 words (175 pages roughly) next month. The challenge is usually taken in November as part of National Novel Writing Month, but I have another competition deadline in October and I want/need 5,000 words done by then. I thought if I get 50,000 words done thats even better!

Wish me luck next month when I immerse myself and look out for my 'Ask Me About My Novel' sticker I will be wearing each week.

Things To Look Forward To

At these times, I think it is good to look forward to something. I was supposed to be on my way to Lyndhurst, New Forest, tomorrow for a free days to see some family but due to annoying circumstances and last minute interviews, I can't go. I had been looking forward to this break for weeks. So instead of feeling down I thought of a few things I am very excited about.

Obviously there are are some film releases in there, some books and events.

From the top left corner going clockwise:

Ain't Them Bodies Saint directed by David Lowery, who also wrote the screenplay. The film is about a young passionate couple who commit some crimes but are then caught and pulled apart. I saw this at the Media Preview Event and was so happy when I saw it on the schedule. I know I have already seen it, but I did love it, such a beautiful, still film. And would you look at that, it is released the day before my birthday, 6th September.

The Cornetto Trilogy is (finally) going to be screened in all its blood splattered, beer drinking, gun shooting, fist fighting, real Britishness glory! And of course the event is taking place at one of my favourite cinemas in London, The Prince Charles Cinema. For those who do not know, the Cornetto Trilogy comprises Edgar Wright's films, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the recent The World's End.

Crafty Fox Market is back in back! It take place in Brixton on 5th & 6th October. Its free to all so go along and see why I am so very excited.

My birthday present was booked way in advance this year. I simply screamed PLEASE PLEASE I NEED A TICKET FOR THIS PLAY! It stars Matthew McFadyen and my favourite, Stephen Mangan. He is hilarious and the play is a preview before it goes to the West End.

Catching Fire, the second part of The Hunger Games. This was my favourite book in the trilogy (lots of trilogys going on) and judging by the fantastic trailers, I really can't wait to see this film! The film is released in November, can't contain myself til then.

The Desolation of Smaug, the second part of The Hobbit. Again another trilogy, but this one was unexpected. I love the Middle Earth universe books and movies but I don't think this should have been split in three. I am still very excited about this film but the second part just reminds you that there is yet another year for the third. The film is released in December.

In A World. The concept is so original, about a woman who wants to be a movie voice over artist. I have see Lake Bell, the actress now writer & director combo, before in mostly comedy roles. Talented lady. Also I do like to support the female filmmakers (not enough of them, shut up males). I have a ticket for the preview at BFI.

Her a Spike Jonze love story. I really like Spike Jonze and his films but I love Joaquin Phoenix. The poster is just his face. Excellent. I like the trailer and story too but I think its great that Joaquin is back! The Master was just a taste of the amazing under appreciated actor and what we had missed for a few years. He's back in full swing!! Released in December, I'm hoping its at the festival.

The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz. It is up to date on all Wes's films and the cover is very cool.  It is released in October.

Last thing in my collage. The BFI London Film Festival. I have been to this festival every year since I was 17, without fail, even if it was just to see one film or event. I love this festival, the variety of film are brilliant and the cinema venues are usually so varied and all over London. Last year I think I saw 8 films, that was a lucky year, I even had a spreadsheet of the events I was attending and what times.

There are more things to look forward to, but these are the highlights.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Spare a Thought For Writers

Saw this brilliant cartoon that I found amusing and quite on the ball!

I have myself gone on long, not quite strange, trip for inspiration, I wrote a blog post everyday while I was there. I have also sought out a workplace without internet. No wine or drugs for me though, I rely on and consume a fair amount of caffeine. I drank so much during my Uni years that I had wean myself off it. eventually. Then I graduated and I started drinking more, its great stuff for writing.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Ugly Towns, They Exist

Yes it is true, a town can be ugly. They can be so ugly that it inspires people to vote.

I found this most amusing, hence a short post about it. I was worried a town near me would be on the list, but in my opinion the towns near (toward Richmond way) are pretty. But I am really surprise the scurge of the South West, Hounslow, the most place on Earth, isn't in the top ten. Really surprised. Everyone hates it, no one who goes there likes it and its a damn ugly. I only go there because it was ordained with a tube station and thats only because its near Heathrow airport.

I actually went to University in no. 9 on the list and I completely agree, Hatfield was vile through and through. And I love the fact that one of my least favourite city, Birmingham is on there too. After I first went there, I actually described it as a bigger version of Hounslow.

I went on to the website  and had a look through the top 100 on the list, and STILL, Hounslow wasn't there. So I emailed them this:

I would like to nominate Hounslow as being one of, if not, the crapest town. I live in Whitton, which is a small town in between Twickenham, Feltham and Hounslow. The two latter towns should both be nominated but Hounslow is the worst place on Earth. It is disgusting. The houses are over priced for the horrible area, it is dangerous to walk around at night and sometimes the day, the high street/shopping area is basically pound shops and bargain bin hell zones and there are known gangs to take over the local pubs and have public fights. It is a grim place, I really hate it. The only reason anyone has to go there is because it has a tube station overwise I know most people avoid it like the plague. You can feel your soul die every time you even drive past it. It is also an ugly place, which is why I surprised it wasn't even on the top 100.

On another matter, I noticed some blind fool nominated Teddington as a crap town just because they don't like middle class people. I think the nominations should be based on towns, not its residents. All three, apart from my own in defence of the town, should be excluded just because the hate middle class people. Its petty.

Thank you,


Hounslow has officially been nominated because it is utter crap. I also left an angry comment for those idiots who nominated Teddington.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Abstract + Story + (Character x Improvisation) = Splinter

End of last year I was lucky to be part of a small cast & crew for the short abstract film 'Splinter'.

A short film about Loretta, Max and David. After the death of Loretta's father, her cousin, David, moves in with her. By David moving in, he changes both Loretta and Max's lives. 

The film was made by Chris Young, Callum Turner & Bruno Collins.

Improvised and performed by Craig Daniel Adams (David), Jonathan Holby (Max) and Louise Dylan (Loretta).

The film has been completed  and it is here in its entirety on Vimeo for your viewing pleasure!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Some Bad Films Are Just Bad

Prepare yourself for a whole lot of hate or alternatively you might find it amusing.

Usually a bad film is defined by the bad acting, bad script, bad direction, it looked shit, sometimes they contain all these elements or just a few. There are more films I should add to this list such as Spider-Man 3, X-Men 3, The Matrix sequels, Epic Movie, X-Men Origins; Wolverine, any Transformers movie, and the infamous film, The Room but everyone agrees those films are bad. The list I have has is there to enlighten people.

I always seem to post about films I love or post the Watch List which sometimes does contain films I didn't like. But the list below are some of the worst films I have seen, not the bad films that are bad but I liked them, no, these were just so gad damn awful, I though I should write a list about them. Like you do.

1. Love Actually.

As I type this I can already hear all the women of the world scream at me for saying how awful this film is. I admit when I first watched it, I liked it, but with further viewings shoved down my throat I began to hate it. Richard Curtis, I admire you, but this film is just terrible, so bad that I prefer The Boat That Rocked (which is actually not too bad?). I even prefer the terrible sequel to Bridget Jones. Although when I watch that, I just want scream WHY NOT JUST FOLLOW THE BOOK!?! Going back to Love Actually, I dislike that all but one story has a kinda happy ending, why couldn't Laura Linney have a happy ending too? It was too over sentimental, too over done and very over rated. I didn't see anything clever about it, also that american child singing at the end just made me want to throw up in a bucket and hurl it at the screen. There are far better romantic comedies out there, What's Up Doc anyone?? Far better comedy and it is, in part romantic.

2. Happiness. (SPOILER ALERT)

Oh my god I hated this film, so much so I couldn't even get past the fact that it was a good story. There was nothing redeeming about this film. None of the characters developed, apart from the pedophile actually admitting what he had done and then going to jail for his crimes. Most the characters are pitiful and again, have no redeeming qualities. I watched this film, not as an admirer of the director (he's weird) but as a fan of two of the actors. One turned out to be a pervert who calls people up on the phone at random and the other, well he was the pedophile. I was disappointed as I heard so much about the film and expected it to be this cult hit, but no. I also found it amusing that my aunt and uncle had borrowed the film (when I owned it, I sold it as soon as possible) but they had watched it with my Nan. She definitely did not like it.

3. Inland Empire.

What the hell was this film about? Oh wait, I don't care! I had just seen The Elephant Man then read a 5 star review of Inland Empire in a magazine, so I saw the film on sale and took a chance. As soon as I watched this film, I tried to return it from whence it came. I couldn't so I gave it to my friend and laughed as I ran away from them still holding the DVD. It was meant to be a follow up to Mullholland Drive, but seeing as I was disturbed and annoyed by the other film I didn't do any further watching of Lynch's films. I really liked The Elephant Man though and I am still intrigued by Twin Peaks. Inland Empire started off well and I liked the story of an actress going mad while making a film which is of a remake of a film where something went wrong. I must have blinked at some point because it changed into this horrible bag of crap. I stuck it out to the end though. I got my parents to watch it too. They agreed with me, which is rare.

4. Stupid Crazy Love.

This is on my list because of how disappointing it was. So hyped up and such a let down. I think I covered my dislike of this the first time round. I didn't like anyone in this film, it wasn't funny, it was actually really depressing, especially for Steve Carrell's character. The twist at the end was good but that was it! Waste of my precious time.

5. Friends with Kids.

Again, I think I covered my disappointment with this first time round too. Advertised as funny, hilarious, best comedy ever, but it wasn't. It wasn't funny. Again it was depressing and the message of this story was, once you have children your life, marriage and probably your career will get worse, crumble and die. The cast were so good on paper, but this was an utter failure in what it was said to be. It was sad, too long and over advertised in the wrong way.

6. Soldiers of Fortune.

In fairness, I though this film was going to be a good bad film. I saw Sean Bean and Dominic Monaghan in the cast and said YES! But even they could not redeem this awful action, thriller, rebellion, blowing stuff up on a small island blah. It didn't help that I didn't understand the plot or the point of the plot, not because I wasn't paying attention but because it was never fully explained. I waited and waited for reasons and development but nothing happened except a group of rich guys training to be soldiers on a random island. They didn't want to be there , except the whole point of them being there was that they wanted that experience. What the hell?? I don't even remember what happened except, spoiler, Farmer Hoggett died. If you know the actor its a spoiler.

7. Sweeney Todd

I like Tim Burton, he's cool, he's dark but makes it light, but, he has two films in this list. And that ain't good. I got through 20 minutes of this film and stopped. I couldn't bare the singing or the acting. I like the story of Sweeney Todd, and I like musicals, but these two did not blend on screen, so why make it a musical? I really did not like it. And if I'm going to be picky, the geographical aspects of the film were wrong too. London isn't planned that way. 

8. Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton's)

I was very excited to see this, but it should have been called 'Return to Wonderland' because that was what she was actually doing. I was angry when I saw this. Alice in Wonderland is my childhood and adulthood story, Alice is my middle name, I've been to the real Alice's grave (its in Lyndhurst) and I love everything Wonderland, but this film was an abomination on Lewis Carrol's name. Great cast, except for Anne Hathaway who was also extremely terrible but she is in everything, and I thought Johnny Depp was excellent casting as The Mad Hatter. But NO, he came out with a creepy, uncalled for random Scottish accent every few minutes. Also, he was bumped up the main character which is stupid because the Mad Hatter isn't! I really hate this film.

9. The Spirit.

Legendary cartoonist Will Eisner is turning in his grave at the thought this film was made. Frank Miller, the creator of Sin City should NEVER step behind a camera again! This film was just too damn bad. The poster said 'My city screams' little did we know it meant it screams because of how bad this film was. The critic commen below pretty much sums up how everyone felt after seeing this film. 

"I'm just trying to figure out why, somewhere in the middle of "The Spirit," Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson arrive on screen decked out in swastikas and jackboots. Nothing in the logic of the film explains it, but then, to use the phrase "the logic of the film" when talking about "The Spirit" may be to take the "oxy" out of "oxymoronic."
A.O. Scott, The New York Times

I returned my copy the very next day after buying it. Said there was something wrong with it, other than it is was shit.

10 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Everyone in the comic book loving world knows that this film was crud. But I put it on the list. In all honesty, if you haven't read the comics and you like literary characters and you have little to no taste, this film isn't that bad. BUt if have read the incredible award winning comics you know exactly what this film was missing, apart the entire point.

I think 10 films to rant about is enough for one day, don't you? Let me know what films you think are bad in a comment or email, I am always intrigued.

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Re-Return of the Story

Back by popular demand! Actually back because my sister requested it. I don't post things twice by seeing as this short story (3rd draft) was originally on my FICTION page was taken down to make room for the next short story. But just this once I will put the story back up. Now brace yourselves this is a long post.

Late Nights at the Movies

 I can feel his breath on my neck before he speaks. This used to make me nervous but now I know he’s there, I am almost at ease.

I would go to the late night screenings every Thursday night, just because I preferred to see the movies in an empty theatre. No talking, no noises, no disruption, no people at all. Maybe one or two people would wonder in either drunk or bored but otherwise I had the place to myself, just the way I liked it. But then he showed up, looking for me.

I don’t like conducting business when I’m trying to relax, trying to escape from the day. But he had insisted. It made sense, he said. No one would suspect anything, especially if this was my normal routine. Even after I protested, he kept showing up. I was annoyed at first, but I then I just got used to it and eventually gave in.

‘How’ve you been?’ He whispers in my ear. ‘I ain’t seen you in a while, you been keep yourself busy?’ He sits down behind me. ‘Or you just been avoiding me.’

I don’t speak. I stare at the screen. I put my hand up and make a stop sign. I hear him sigh and lean back in his chair. He knows me. He was late so I got interested in the movie. He won’t have my attention for a few minutes.

He starts to complain. ‘Ah man, what’s this damn movie even about? What the hell is that?’

On screen, a young girl with red hair is soaking wet as she burst through the doors of a barn. She has been running through the rain. She is obviously upset. She falls to the floor and breaks down in tears. A figure moves in the shadows but the girl doesn’t notice until the figure has fully immerged. She looks up and gasps. She gets up quickly and stands so close to the now closed barn doors as if she would slip right through them. The figure is a young man, dressed all in black. He speaks to her. She looks at him again and recognises him.

Satisfied I know what will follow in this scene, I turn my head slightly to the right. Answering his earlier question, ‘I’ve been right here Jack.’

I hear him move forward. ‘Right here huh, well how else have you been?’

‘I’ve been just fine. Been taking it easy.’ I look back at the screen.

The young woman is crying again but now she is in the arms of the man in black.

‘How have you been Jack?’

‘I’m sure you‘ve heard the rumours going round.’

I pause. ‘I have.’ He sighs again and moves in his seat, uncomfortable about my knowledge of his indiscretion, as they call it. ‘Does it matter?’ I say.

‘No. I guess it doesn’t matter, not anymore.’
‘But the rumours are true, aren’t they Jack.’
‘I thought so.’ I turn back to the screen. The previous scene has ended. The young man in black walks along a deserted road, alone. ‘Doesn’t bother me. You gotta do what you gotta do.’ It’s a cliché I know, but it’s true, he had to do it, he had no choice. I’ve had to make those choices before so I wasn’t going to judge him for it.

‘Not everyone agrees with you.’ I hear him move in his seat again, leaning back. ‘I got some people telling me to step aside. Step aside from what? Others are saying I should just leave. But then I get told, don’t do it again, like its no big deal. I’m not big leagues. I just get a telling off because I’m just the messenger.’ He tuts to himself and sits quietly for a few moments.

On screen the young man in black, still on that deserted road, stops and turns to see a grey car driving towards him. It pulls up in front of him. He talks to the driver and passenger, they seem to know each other. The passenger hands him a case through the window, gives him a warning then the car drives away, leaving the young man in black alone, again.

‘Have you got a message for me then, Mr Messenger?’ I ask. I can feel him get closer, his breath touching my ear. ‘Go to Gardenside Park, Sunday at 3pm. It’s the south corner door. That’s all.’

‘Anything else I need to know?’
‘You’re on your own for this one. It’s basically just a follow up.’
‘That’s it? I need more information.’
‘There were three guys but there is only one at this address. He refused to pay his debt, even after Luther and the others had a talk with him. He’s left handed.’
‘Left-handed. Ok. I can sort that out.’

There is a pause while he moves even closer to me; he is practically inside my ear. When he exhales I feel the hairs on my neck tingle. It’s an odd and unwelcome feeling.  He whispers to me. ‘Now can we talk?’

‘Sure Jack, we can talk.’

When Jack first insisted on having our meetings in the old cinema, I didn’t like it. I felt like he was invading my space. Even though I knew it was his job to find me, pass on messengers I didn’t like the fact someone knew where I was, where I could be found. I felt like my privacy had been taken away. I guess that’s the main reason why I didn’t like Jack, to begin with anyway.

I met him a New Year’s Eve party three years previous. I was standing by the bar as I used to do in those days. I’d talk if spoken to, smile and shake hands when introduced but really, I just wanted to find a quiet corner and drink in the New Year. Donald Fabricant, the host of the party, big time business guy and my employer at the time had personally asked me to attend. I was reluctant but he promised to be worth my while. I thought he meant in a networking sense but he really just meant ‘we’d have a jolly good time’.

After he had got me to meet and greet a few of his dearest friends, as he called them, he left me alone at the bar. He had garbled something about ‘and bring two bottles of wine to my table won’t you my dear?’ and wondered off with a small crowd. I ordered it from the bar and started to drink it myself. I had my back to the party when someone fell into me, I felt liquid down my back. I turned to find Jack holding a half empty glass and surprised expression on his face. He started to apologise but I cut him off abruptly.

‘What the hell are you doing? Don’t you watch where you’re walking? Idiot!’

‘I’m so sorry, I slipped on the-the-‘

‘Slipped on the the the, stop stuttering you moron and just get lost.’ I turned back to the bar and I felt the back of my dress with my hand, trying to gage the damage.

‘It’s not that bad, most of it went on the floor.’ Jack started to dab my back with napkins from the bar. I turned sharply round again and smacked his hand away. ‘Don’t touch me.’ I grabbed the tissue from him. ‘Touch me again and I’ll bite your hand off.’

At that moment my employer came back to the bar looking for his missing wine. He looked at the situation and his face lit up. His red drunken face shined under the pale lights of the bar. ‘Ah so you’ve met, excellent.’ I looked at him confused and still furious.

‘This is the man I wanted you to meet.’ Said Fabricant in a slurred voice.

Jack looked at me and narrowed his eyes. Then he nodded as if he just understood the situation. I was still confused.

‘Jack, this is Livien, the woman I was telling you about.’

Jack smiled unpleasantly and held out his hand. I just looked at him, blankly.

Fabricant, starting to act nervous, quickly grabbed my shoulder and whispered in my ear. ‘This is the man who works for The Company. They asked to meet with you. They want to offer you a contract.’

The Company, the crime syndicate, the most powerful in the city. I had heard they were looking for someone like me.

Fabricant pulled away. ‘Can I leave you two to your business talk then?’ It sounded more like a plea than a friendly question.

Without taking his eyes off me Jack said ‘Of course, Livien and I have quite a bit to talk about.’

On screen, the man in black stops at a road side diner, he sits at a table and looks in the case. He is so absorbed in the contents that he doesn’t notice the waitress standing in front of him. She asks in a bored tone what he wants, he orders coffee and she moves away.

I look behind me and Jack has disappeared. I hear movement to my left. A couple of teenagers or sitting two rows in front. They are giggling at something.

The seat next to mine is now occupied. Jack sits there starring at the screen, breathing slowly. He speaks quietly. ‘Are you going to tell me where you’ve really been or do I have to guess?’

‘I haven’t been anywhere Jack, you know that.’ I look at him, he hangs his head, he doesn’t believe me.

‘If you’ve been taking jobs on the side you can tell me, I won’t get angry.’

Yes he would. The whole point of a contact with The Company is that I don’t work for other people. I’m meant to be exclusive.

‘I don’t like it when you keep secrets from me Liv.’

I stare at the screen now, trying to ignore him. The man in black drinks his coffee, the waitress watches him from the counter. He opens the case and takes out a phone, dials a number and talks to someone immediately. The waitress watches and as the conversation continues, she moves over to his table.

‘At least tell me where you were.’ He asks softly.

I take a deep breath and whisper back. ‘I was in Laytonville, I had business to take care of.’

He looks at me. ‘What business?’

I don’t look at him, I don’t want to. ‘Private business Jack, nothing for you to worry about.’

He gently takes my hand and holds it still looking at me. I feel my heart beating faster. I hate this feeling, I wish it would just stop.

‘I wish you’d told me. I would have come with you.’ He leans forward to try and get me to turn to him. I will myself to stare at the screen.

‘You know I prefer to work alone Jack, it’s better that way. Besides it would have got you in trouble, wouldn’t want that.’

On screen the man in black is outside the diner with the case, smoking a cigarette. The waitress, inside, is on the phone someone. She can see the man in black outside as a yellow cab pulls up. The man in black gets in and the car drives away.

‘That’s bulls shit Liv! You should have told me.’ His voice has changed to an angrier tone. I pull away my hand and look at him for the first time this evening.
Even in the dark I can see his brown eyes glimmering. He has dark circles under them, probably from lack of sleep and his hair is ruffled from moving about in his seat. His hands have odd stains on them, looks like paint. He has spots of paint on his coat too. He looks dishevelled tonight but still handsome, in his own way.

I look at him and say ‘I work alone Jack. If something goes wrong, I’m to blame and only I can fix it. If they find out about it, so be it, I can deal with them. If you wanted to take on a contract you should have gone out and asked them for one, not get angry that I didn’t ask you to tag along.’

‘That’s not why I’m angry.’ He says quietly. He turns away from me and I pause for a moment. I start to speak but takes my hand again and moves in close to my face.

‘I wanted to be with you to make sure you’re safe.’ He leans towards my ear. ‘You say you work alone, that’s fine, but you don’t care about yourself. You can be reckless and act like you’re untouchable. You’re not. I’ve seen you get hurt. I don’t want to see you like that again. That’s why I’m angry you didn’t ask me to come along.’

As he speaks I feel the tingle on the back of my neck. I take deep breaths and listen to him. He’s right. I have been reckless, I’ve been so confident that nothing can touch me I’ve got myself into trouble. The kind of trouble that leaves lasting scars.

His hand reaches out and gently strokes the scar on my neck that continues down my shoulder. His other hand holds mine and pulls me closer until our faces almost touch. I reach across and hold his coat collar. It feel as if I’m reaching across a vast space for him yet he is sitting so close.

‘I’m sorry Jack.’ I whisper.

On screen, the yellow cab car pulls up outside a extravagant hotel. The man in black looks outside the window and up at the building. He pays the driver and steps out, still holding the case. He walks into the building and up to the front desk. He asks a question and the woman behind the desk gestures towards the bar and dinning area. The man in black walks over.

My heart is beating fast again. Jack is breathing heavily, his warm air enters my mouth. ‘You don’t have to say sorry Liv, just please, please don’t do it again.’ I bite my lip and screw up my eyes. I will do it again, I have to.

Our lips are almost touching when there is sudden shriek of laughter from the teenagers. This brings me to my senses. I let go of his collar and move back slightly. Jack is still holds onto my hand.

‘Are there are any other messages for me?’ I say quietly, not looking at him.

‘No.’ He lets go of my hand so I can adjust my coat. I stand up and start to walk out. He grabs my hand once more.

‘It’s ok Jack I know what I’m doing. Left-handed right?’ I smile weakly, he smiles back. ‘I’ll take care of this one.’

He starts to say my name so I lean down towards him so my face his close to his.

‘I’ll see you next week Jack.’ I kiss him on the neck and slowly pull away.

Just before I exit the screen I look to see what is happening on screen. The man in black walks up to a table in the hotel restaurant, the young woman with red hair sits there. She looks up at him and smiles. He smiles back and hands her the case. She looks puzzled so he says something in her ear and walks away. The young woman watches him leave the restaurant, still puzzled at what he said.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Starting Point

So, I have written two short stories featuring the same characters and I have decided that one would make a good short film.

Yesterday I gathered various pictures to use in the first step of this idea, I made a moodboard! Not traditionally used for film (as far as I know) but I remember making a ton of them when I did textiles for GCSE and they captured what I was truly aiming for when making a garment.

The image is actually much bigger, A3 to be precise. I tried to give it the look that all the pictures had been ripped from magazines and books, like a scrapbook.

Anyway, this sums up the feel of the film. Late nights, midnight screenings, movies, noir undertones, intrigue and movie theatres. Mostly empty movie theatres as that is the setting for the stories.

It's just a start but I wanted to share my progress.

Monday, 5 August 2013

And Then It Rained

After that uplifting title, I should share some good news. It's not good news but it is news that isn't lame. I have decided to push forward an idea (hint, look on my fiction page) and I have started planning. Well it will be more like a pitch to people I want to work with me on the project.

Back to today. It was a really bad day. I could feel it.

It started when my phone alarms failed to go off and my radio faffed up. Bad days usually start like this. But the real hint of a bad day was on its way was when the security guard at the studio was rude to me, for no reason.

Today I had managed to get some temp work, with the hope of more work later on, at a tele shopping channel. The studio was near to where I live and they were going to pay me. The hours were as expected, 7am -7pm. I was looking forward to it as I have been told by the recruitment agency lady that everyone was friendly and that I'd love it there. Oh how wrong she was.

The security guard lady was rude to me, for no reason, called me lazy because I didn't open the door. How the hell was I supposed to know what to do if she didn't communicate to me which damn door! I was ushered into a small reception area. Half yelled at what to do with my bag, had to stuffed into a locker and was stared at by the other temps. It was weird, no one was smiling or anything, blank faces. I was then shuffled into the corridor then ordered to sit in the canteen with no exclamation, or the while the other temps just stared and yes, spoke in another language. In fact that happened throughout the day. I'd ask a question and I'd be ignored as they all spoke in their shared other language, that or they just looked at me and shrugged their shoulders.

I was then left waiting in the middle of a stock room, no one told me what to do, who anybody was. I was ignored when asked what should I do then eventually a guy, the only nice person of the day, helped me. He told me what to do, where to sign my timesheet, where things were but unfortunately he was in another building in the afternoon.

Basically I was ignored, not told anything, people were unfriendly, well apart from that one guy, but even he didn't introduce himself and the other security guard was rude every single time I went to get something from my bag. He yelled at me but didn't explain the rules just acted like I should automatically know. Absolute bastard.

I didn't even get to finish my hours because they ran out of work for me to do. Anyone who knows me, I hate doing nothing, I need to be doing the job I came to do. Ended up leaving a few hours early, which also means I miss out on that pay, but when I asked who do I talk to about my timesheet, the other temps just kept saying a random name and 'you know him right?' and when I said no, its my first day for the hundredth time, they just shrugged their shoulders and literally ran off like school children.

Eventually I had to follow someone to where the managers where. I was told it was ok to go. Another hideous moment with the worst security guard in the world and I stepped out into the pouring rain, soaked from walking out to the bus stop right outside. I looked like a drowned rat. I put my cardigan over my head, I did look amusing walking down the street.

This may sound like I'm whining but after scrabbling round the floor counting plastic jewellery pieces, and having to bend into endless giant boxes to count pillow cases, I have had enough. I felt liked to. People were not friendly. It sucks even more after having had a really good time at my internship and even though my admin job was lame, I loved working with my team, and for it to come down to this awful day, just make me angry.

But as always, never going to give up, just keep on trying. Going to stay positive.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Drinking Up With The Joneses

These days I don't drink that much, at least not compared to my (secondary) school, drama group, college and Uni days. Yes, I did start drinking at a young age, don't judge now, I'm sure you all did too. But since graduating I drink far sight less, mostly because I can't afford it or I'm getting old in my bones and just can't bare a hangover if it happens. Anyway, when I do go out and have a drink, I drink! So went an evening combines this aaaand films, I just know it's going to be a good evening.

I haven't played many film drinking games, there was a titanic one where everyone basically forgot the rules and ending up drinking when Jack and Rose said each other's names so we were all pretty drunk 1 hour in. Then there was the Eurovision drinking game, which I know is technically not a film, but it was on a screen. That game was hilarious and we actually stuck to the rules. Then of course there was the drinking game where we made up our own rules for Romy and Michele's Highschool Reunion. Also a very good game.

This time round, it was an impromptu drinking game with Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

I had originally suggested The Big Lebowski but a few people hadn't seen the film before and I thought that such a masterpiece deserves to be seen sober first before the amazing sounding drinking game could be played, so I persuaded everyone to choose an Indiana Jones film instead.

The rules could be used for any of the three film (the fourth film has been scrubbed from my memory so shall not be named) but seeing as we had all seen the third film, we went for that.

These are the rules which I found on Total Film's website, so thank you Total Film.

It was safe to say that were quite tipsy after the first sequence as many things on the list applied, especially the snake bit.

A really fun night and a recommend this game to all Indy fans. Next we will try The Big Lebowski but I was very tempted by the Die Hard game too, oh and the The Lord of the Ring trilogy drinking game, which one day I shall conquer!