The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

“This….is my BROOMSTICK! D’OH!!!”

Or “Shop smart. Shop Kwik-e-Mart”

August 30, 2010 Posted by | TV | Leave a comment

“All Good Things….”

I was planning to post a sort-of review for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’, having (finally) caught a showing yesterday. Yet, whilst riding the #74 across St. Osyth Road, heading to Colchester, I discovered something that filled me with an overriding sadness that, even as I write this, still lingers.

My local ‘video’ store has closed for good.

I know it sound ridiculous, but I discovered so many of my favourite movies from renting there. Whilst recently it had been a Blockbusters (who I detest. They never stock anything of interest), it was originally a VideoPlus, from where my father got a membership for me so I could get to watch movies like the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, for example (I clearly remember him renting the “classic” Christian Slater flick ‘Gleaming The Cube’ from there!). When I was old enough I then got my own card and spent hours, and some amount of cash, in there. This continued when, around the late 90’s it became a ‘Choices’. This would become my own little nirvana. For years, they carried such a variety of non-commercial, non-Hollywood, independent and international movies that I dread to think how much I’d have spent in there over the years that followed. I spent so much time in there that it would have been easier to move in and kip out the back than go home. Don’t think I’ll ever forget the weight of the bag of tapes (subsequently discs) I used to walk home with!

Gillo Pontecorvo’s ‘The Battle Of Algiers’. Guiseppe Tornatore’s ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Matthieu Kassovitz’s ‘La Haine’. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Delicatessen’. James Mangold’s ‘Heavy. Doug Liman’s ‘Swingers’. Ricky Tognazzi’s ‘La Scorta’. Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Hana-Bi’ & ‘Brother’. John Woo’s ‘Hard-Boiled’ & ‘The Killer’. Curtis Hanson’s ‘LA Confidential’. George Armitage’s ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’. The list of classic movies I discovered in there is literally endless.

Such a wondrous journey of discovery. Exciting. Inspiring. Endless. I can never replicate that thrill of the walk from my house, up Park Road, onto Upper Park Road and into St. Osyth Road, never knowing what latest treasures I would discover, what foreign or indie flick would become my little secret that no-one else I knew would have even had heard of.

Yet, “All Good Things….”, as it’s said. About three years or so ago, Choices became the aforementioned Blockbusters and, for a time, I stopped going (my last trip consisted of my buying ‘The Mist’ and ‘The Fly 1&2’ on DVD). By now I had already experienced rental-by-post (did that for a couple of years but nowhere near as fruitful), and my supply of quality movies, suited to my tastes, had pretty much dried-up. I did cave somewhat and sign up to Blockbusters last year but hardly ever used it from then on.

Now how come a Blockbusters has closed? Is it because of low-cost online stores like Play.com or Amazon? Or maybe because of downloading? Nope, none of these. Simply put, there was the other Blockbusters less that two hundred yards away (where I had work for two months part-time in the early part of the new millennia. It was a crummy job. I think I was hoping for something like ‘Clerks’ but it was nothing near as funny or hip). Once my store fell to the dark side, I guess I knew it was inevitable that it’s time was drawing to a close.

And so it has. I’m filled with sadness and happy memories. For someone who, in truth, has always been somewhat of a loner at heart, it was my second sanctuary, after my study*. Strangely, it’s harder now, today, to keep up with the array of incredible movies out there than it was ten years ago, thanks to VideoPlus/Choices.

Oh, as for ‘Inception’, this was my tweet yesterday. Sums it up perfectly:

“Seen it. Buzzwords: Stunning. Incredible. Complicated. Brilliance. Brain hurts.”

*My Study. Or ‘Batcave’. Or ‘Fortress Of Solitude’. Or playroom. I’ll post some pictures someday.

August 1, 2010 Posted by | Film, General Musings | Leave a comment