24
Sep 04

AMBUSHED BY UNEXPECTED EMOTION

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 275 views

AMBUSHED BY UNEXPECTED EMOTION
(ps idea stolen from this guy)

ok so i only just got to watch it, and i kinda knew the deal already – except for the music involved – bcz it first aired in the US two years ago (and ppl talked abt it a lot), but the programme wz THE WEST WING (cf here for why i like this prog), specifically the pipe bomb ep (20 hrs in america), and the bit that floored me wz when it started to play “i don’t like mondays”

ok, so why this song, this part of this ep?
i. the structure is open-heartedly manipulative – CJ comes back to the podium to read out breaking news of the bombing as it comes into her earphone; leo sees her still on tv and wonders why and turns the sound up; leo josh and the v.blonde woman whose name i forgot (sorry v.blonde woman i am old and my memory is poor) are in a hotel lobby somewhere and FIRST the music starts playing, THEN leo goes to look at something (and we know what it is but we don’t quite KNOW we know), and what it is reveals as the others join him…
ii. and all the while yr listening and thinking, who is this singing this version of this song? (that’s to say, i think the strength of the affect is a bit related to my not knowing it wz tori amos which i only found by googling a bit later) (not cz i have opinions either way abt tori amos btw but instead bcz i kinda have NO opinion abt tori amos)
iii. i have just spent [xx] months writing a book abt a film in which a buncha kids end up shooting up their own school, a storyline which can’t help jarring up against (at one extreme) brenda ann spencer, whose “just for fun” massacre inspired the original boomtown rats song, and – since it unfolded while my mum was deperately ill in hospital, AND while i wz scrabbling to get the final corrections in and done – Beslan
iv. i think the “why” goes like this maybe: knowing exactly what’s happening and what’s about to happen and what’s being done to you PLUS the way the ideal-on-offer in the fiction gets to grate (you get to let it grate) against the awful wide-openness of the unfolding (actual real) event as you remember it, which of course doesn’t happen with the actual real event (where you don’t know what’s going to happen till too late, plus you rarely have an ideal art-perfect script handy to run it against at the time)

anyway i quite unexpectedly burst into tears

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