Give me a soft subtle mix, and if it ain’t broke then don’t try and fix it.
Time flies, you know? Days wax and wane, the months rocket by, summers come and summers go and we all get older little by little. It wasn’t that long ago that everyone here at MostlyFilm was scrabbling around after the Guardian’s film talk-boards closed without notice. But without any ado or panic (okay, some ado and quite a lot of panicking) we found a life-raft, steeled ourselves to our new circumstances, and collectively decided to create something.
Not that we’re ‘creatives’, of course. Fuck that.
The point of all this is that it won’t be very long until we publish our one-thousandth article. Chances are it’ll pass by unnoticed, apart from this, but what we mean to say is; hang around here and you’ll get to read some damn good stuff – none of it tested on animals or harmful to the environment. We say that without checking, mind you, but we’re going to assume it’s true.
Oh, and if you wanted to write something, or just join our talkboard and hang out with the sort of people who can argue for hours over anything at all (sometimes not even film-related), then come and talk to us.
But hey, the Olympics start tonight! Which is always exciting, even if you don’t like sport that much. So either you’ll be glued to three weeks of strangely-shaped people doing all manner of outlandish things for pretty much no reason at all, or you’ll be avoiding it like the Zika virus. Which is more than the Olympians will manage etc.
So you could do worse than take a look at what we came up with during what we’re officially calling The Hideous Shuddering Shitshow That Was July.
The Criterion Collection continues to pump out its excellent selection of “Acknowledged Classic”s, “Is That A Classic? Okay, If You Say So”s, and “I Have Literally Never Heard Of That”s, and we like reviewing them – this month we had Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, and Howard Bruckner’s documentary about William Burroughs. We also pondered deeply over a bunch of Buster Keaton shorts, if that’s your thing.
It’s not all indoors, you know – we wandered along to the V&A David Bowie exhibition, via the reshowing of the 2013 doco, hopped around Scandinavia’s cinemas without knowing any of their odd-sounding words, and popped into Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, because we can take on the tough, unglamorous jobs too.
Everyone loves an anniversary, and since it’s the 40th of Obsession and the 30th of Cocoon, we felt they were worth a revisit, especially since the latter has a new release. Actually, 1986 itself came to the fore for an exciting week where we gave a lot of thought to why we loved a whole bunch of stuff from then, and also a few reasons why we might, on that subject at least, be full of shit. You see? We’re multi-faceted. Or we just like arguing. Could be either, tbh.
Telly! We did some telly as well, what with a brief curtsey in front of Armando Iannucci’s abandoned baby Veep, and an extended stroll up structured-reality trailblazer The Hills.
We also ran the only review of Ghostbusters that didn’t make you want to strangle yourself with one of Paul Feig’s cravats.
So – MostlyFilm was the only place in the world that had a good July. Have a little think about that.
Of course, unlike a lot of the big sporting telly-takeovers, the Olympics is different in that if you don’t like one bit of weird faffing around, there’ll be a probably-quite-different one along in short measure. Personally, we like the shot put the best, as it consists entirely of people who’ve never actually been told that they aren’t cannons.
But if all that variety fails, and you want to head to the movies or put something on your telly that’s not covered in Lycra, what options do you have?
If you’re heading to the cinema, well, there’s the Suicide Squad, which has been fairly lavishly panned by everyone who’s seen it so far – those poor bastards at DC can’t seem to catch a break these days. It’s funny; these big tentpole comic-book films are so frame-by-frame tailored to what they hope the shittier bits of the internet wants these days that the obvious suggestion that we’d put forward if we were asked (“Make better films!”) doesn’t seems to get a look-in. For example, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is out on Blu-Ray this week as well: they worked on it for ages, put three proper superheroes in it, and it still managed to be so boring that you ended up praying for the sweet release of death.
Ghostbusters is still on, in its eager-to-please but weirdly unfinished way, but did you know it’s not being released in China because the authorities disapprove of portrayals of the supernatural? So what if Bill Murray’s enthusiasm levels seemed to be those of a dead person, that’s no reason to take it out on the movie, China!
If it’s something for the kids, then next week sees the remake of Pete’s Dragon hit the theatres. We know very little about it, but we happened to see the original on the big screen when we were only three years old, and the sensory overload was so much that ever since, for some reason we can’t explain, we’ve always been afraid of people named Pete.
So to finish, let’s recommend a couple of decent items – firstly, Stranger Things, on Netflix. Lots of us here have dug it quite extensively, with storytelling and aesthetics that manage to walk the line between homage and pastiche beautifully, all the while remaining very much its own thing. Who knows, you might like it too.
Also coming to Netflix is the Norwegian phenomenon of Slow TV – hour after hour of train journeys, canal expeditions, knitting groups and salmon fishing, all taken to the nth degree and possibly designed to lull us into a sense of mental stasis before the aliens invade? We’re not sure. But it’s not just Norway – on the summer solstice this year, Icelandic oddballs Sigur Rós spent an entire day driving all the way round 1332km-long Route One, starting and finishing in Reykjavik, all to a self-generating, constantly-evolving soundtrack of their own music and broadcasting it live on national telly and YouTube. It sounds like an awful idea, but we watched some of it at the time (using the very narrowest definition of the word ‘we’ possible here, it must be stated) and it was hypnotic, life-affirming and, fuck it, kind of glorious. You’ll not catch us saying that in print, though, NO WAY.
So if you’ve got a day to spare, you can relive it here, here and here.
(Finally, he might be a Scientologist egomaniac dick, but since Mostly Links has been nicking lines from his best song as our headings for AGES, we should probably give a shout to the Fresh Prince when he does something fun, like the other night during the adverts on Colbert. Shame his kids turned out all weird though, eh? Still, not their fault.)
Okay, that’s enough for now – Europe’s #1 film site will be back next week. (Remember, all of Europe’s other film sites are #2 or lower).
See you then.