It’s nearly NaNoWriMo time again and my biggest worry about this year was doing it sans fags. Now I look back and laugh as best I can under the circumstances, since laughing starts me off coughing and that can take the best part of an hour and half a bottle of Covonia to quell. Nicotine is the least of my worries – my head is full of all manner of nasty.
We’ve all got it. On Saturday I put six new toilet rolls in the stacking toilet roll holder in my bathroom. By Sunday night four of those had vanished and Man’s nose was shading towards vermillion. I’m not sure whether to put a pumpkin outside the front door tonight or just paint a big fucking red X on it.
Watched Black Swan last night, which was nice. It was a very serious and moving study of mental disintegration, set in the gruelling world of…hahahaha oh God, no, I’m sorry, I just can’t.
It’s Showgirls, people. It’s Showgirls but with fancier cultural framing. Oh my God, were they fucking serious when they coughed this thing out? They must have been – it got Oscars all over it, and what the fuck does this say about Hollywood?
What it says about Hollywood is hilarious.
“Well, no – you see she’s mewing and humping the pillow in an artistic way, you see. Because her teacher told herself to touch herself.”
No, seriously. Her teacher told her to touch herself. Because her Odile wasn’t coming across sexy enough. Jesus, I used to reject scenarios like this as too self-consciously porny back when I wrote porn.
Basically, if you claim it’s about high art, like ballet, you can get away with any number of awful soft porn cliches. Like pouting lesbians. Showgirls has that bit where Gina Gershon’s comedy cowgirl character has a heavily suggestive lunch with Elizabeth Berkley’s boobs and takes the opportunity to steal a kiss. Black Swan has the free-spirited-slutty-one-who-might-be-a-lesbian performing frantic cunnilingus on a moaning Natalie Portman. But tastefully.
Honestly? What is the difference? One wins an Oscar, one’s in the cinema Hall of Shame. Both were very clearly written by straight men with one hand beneath the desk.
And what the fuck was with the cardboard ballet mom? Controlling mother, you say? Got pregnant at the wrong time? Never left the corps? Delusional narcissist living vicariously through her child?
Sorry, what the fucking fuck is this fucking shit? Was this film written by the Lazy Writers from Mitchell and Webb?
Oh my God, it was so bad. I know Hollywood is infamous for pseudo-intellectual bibble (Witness the latest kerfuffle over Anonymous. ‘Was Shakespeare A Fraud?’ Short answer – no. Long answer – how long have you got?) but this is a whole new world of fancy schmancy bullshit. Sure, you might feel sophisticated watching it because it’s set in the world of ballet and not backstage in Vegas where Nomie Malone is studying the tit-ice machine with a shank in her eye and vengeance in her chilly little heart, but Black Swan is really a Girls Gone Wild movie with a Madonna/Whore complex bigger than a convention centre hosting the AGM of the International Norman Bates Appreciation Society.
It’s like they read the plot of Swan Lake off the back of a theatre programme and stuffed it in a blender with the kind of pop-psych laden misery memoir that comes printed with a blank space ready for the inevitable Oprah’s book club sticker. Then they garnished the whole thing with cunnilingus and Sissy Spacek’s mum from fucking Carrie.
And there’s a bit of dancing. Which Natalie Portman may or may have not done. And at this point who gives a shit because it’s awful. Awful.
Oh, and in other news, you may have noticed that it is Halloween. Today is the day that Sally Morgan enters the lab and performs her…whatever it is that she actually does under controlled, sceptic approved conditions. I’m on tenterhooks for the results. Obviously, a win for everyone’s favourite bargain bucket Madame Sosostris will have vast ramifications for religion, philosophy and indeed, our whole concept of the meaning of life.
Sally Morgan, an ordinary housewife from Fulham, is going to prove that there is life after death. Properly. None of that “Well, I was dead three days ago and look at me now,” stuff – that’s proved controversial, to say the least. Sally’s going to draw a line under the whole business. Absolute proof of an afterlife.
So, you know – expect to hear from Pope Eggs Benedict sometime this evening, along with various Imams, Rabbis and Archbishops. The Bishop of London might even pull his head from his arse to gawp at what will undoubtedly be the greatest revelation of all time. Heliocentric universe? Meh. The Origin of Species? A mere blip in your worldview. Human Genome Project? Don’t make me laugh.
Strap yourself in. It could be an interesting night. Or not. Personally, if I were of a betting persuasion I’d advise you to take a punt on ‘not’. Just a feeling. Call it intuition.