Posts from 16th January 2004

Jan 04

Weedy Eighties White People Singing About Soul Stars #2: Spandau Ballet – “True”

I Hate Music11 comments • 1,822 views

In particular, Tony Hadley crooning in is fat faced way:
“Listening to Marvin, Allllll night long.
This is the sound, of my soul.”

Well assuming we can even call True a soul song, if there is one thing it does not sound like it is the master of Motown Prog Marvin Gaye. Now I have extolled the crimes committed by Marvin Gaye at great length, and the proof of the evil is in his shooting BY HIS DAD, but Gaye worship is almost as evil. Just think of all these pale, wan soul boys sitting in bedsits above fish and chip shops, listening to Maaarvin Alllllll Night Long. Fine this might involve the frighteningly over-rated What’s Going On, and a touch Sexual Healing, but it will also involve Hear My Dear. Now imagine Tony Hadley, stuffing his face with a pack of Mini-Rolls whilst sobbing his heart out to a record that Marvin wrote to paty off his alimony. That is the sound of his soul!

Spandau Ballet, daft name, dud band, again with the strange idea that name checking a soul legend will somehow lend some of that legendary status to their big collared affair. All it did of course was cause sleepless nights, as you can’t listen to Marvin Allllll night long without ending up like a sleep deprived prisoner of some ancient fare eastern torturer. I know that much is true.

The ILM Rough Guides

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 490 views

The ILM Rough Guides in easy reference format thanks to a heroic effort by Steve M.

I think I understand all the reasons why people don’t like Lost in Translation,

Do You SeePost a comment • 227 views

I think I understand all the reasons why people don’t like Lost in Translation, but ironically for the film I think much of these criticisms are due to interpretation. Unsurprisingly, middle class single me, positioned socially somewhere between Scarlett and Bill, found it heartbreaking good. I laughed, I cried (mind you I cried at the trailer so it was not much of a push). Now all I have to do is try and avoid interviews with Sofia Coppola which consistently make we want to dislike the movie.

So let me look at some of those criticisms. The demonising of Bob’s wife. I just don’t see it. Of course our view of her is controlled by Bob, but even he seems aware that the potential problems in their relationship are natural developments of the changes that kids bring, ageing brings. The portrayal of Giovani Ribisi’s husband as uncaring, superficial, stupid. There is a degree of reaction against his wife, it worries him that she seems to be drifting. But in the end he is the busy one, he is the reason they are there. nd did you ever get into the wrong relationship? Wrong marriage even? Possibly.

The films portrayal of Japan is one of a tourist, which is what is expected. It could have been set anywhere really, Japan happens to offer plenty of interesting visuals too. Patronising, only in as much as the characters are patronising (which is slightly). But this is not a film about Japan, alienation or even mid-life crises. This is just a film about a meeting which has in its conception carries the bitterness of parting. Before Sunrise is a good reference, with perhaps less waffly dialogue (though nothing in Lost In Translation is particularly more intelligent than what Linklater offered in that film). People meet, people get on, people leave. Its sad. But thta’s life.