Friday, March 17, 2006


With reference to Capote (see previous post), I won't bore you with the details but would recommend seeing it. Look, it only takes about three quarters of an hour to get used to Philip Seymour Hoffman's voice. Well, actually, it annoys you for all of the film but you learn to put up with it. I've read In Cold Blood but haven't studied the life of Truman Capote and have never heard him speak. If Hoffman's voice was spot on in the film, I'm surprised that he wasn't murdered by someone at one of those parties when he was holding court.

Anyway, we saw the film at the multiscreen at Bluewater shopping complex. Unfortunately, art house cinemas are in short supply around South London, and I'm sure there are a lot of middle aged blokes in black polo neck jumpers who mourn the decline of that sort of establishment, because they always lived in the hope of getting off with a lovely young film student who looked like Anna Karen and would stare meaningfully at them in the organic-produce-only cafe afterwards (in their dreams).

This is the first time I've visited Bluewater in the evening and there's something disturbing about the place. As a shopping complex during the day it's normally chocker with people buying the kind of shoes I can't afford but as the sun goes down you realise how remote and unreal it is. It's built on a former quarry and there are cliffs overlooking it which become dark, satanic and vaguely threatening at night.

Do bats live there? Or weird old hermits who come out at night to pounce on the final stray shoppers, dragging them away and hacking them to death in their caves? Now I know what happens to all those missing people who they print pictures of in local papers . . .

Or perhaps there are ghostly highwaymen . . . or packs of ferocious wild dogs . . . or wailing maidens calling you over from the other side like Kate Bush doing Wuthering Heights in a long white nightie . . .

It is definitely the sort of place where no one can hear you scream.

Not what you usually expect from the modern consumer experience, then. Instead, a reminder that we are still not unshackled from our brutal heathen past, perhaps . . .

Ah. Working are you Blogger?

I have heard a recording of Capote and he does sound like that (highly annoying). Thanks for the tip though, we'll definately go and see it sometime.

That shopping centre sounds like one of my bad dreams. Sort of Mad Max meets White Trash Temple.
Blogger appears to be working, for the moment, at least in this part of the world. Perhaps it is playing up due to the high winds which have been sweeping in from the Urals.

I bet Philip Seymour Hoffman really relished "the challenge" of having to get that voice right. Actors, eh?
Did you know that there's a relatively new art house cinema in Greenwich?

The one in central Greenwich (next to the Ibis hotel) that opened in the early 90s, then closed a few years ago when the Filmworks (now Odeon) opened near North Greenwich tube... [pause for breath...] has now re-opened as part of the Picturehouse chain.

Current programme here.

I never liked that cinema because the auditoria didn't slope enough and it was sometimes hard to see over the head of the person in front. Haven't tried it out yet to see how extensively they've refurbished it.
So what do I do?
You tell us to go and see the film - then slag it off mercilessly.
Then you scare me to death so that I probably daren't leave the house for a week.
Cheers Hg, I saw a few films at the old cinema in Greenwich and don't remember being too impressed by the place, but it seems like ages since I was last there. We did consider going to see something there but decided to go for the multiscreen option I'm ashamed to admit after thinking "there probably won't be anywhere to park around there". Unfortunately I've now got into the rut of thinking that any given film is likely to be out on DVD in a few months anyway, so it isn't worth the effort of getting up off the sofa to go to some auditorium miles away - especially if it's London and the tickets prices are astronomical.

Kaz - I know it looks as if I'm slagging off the film but I'm not really, just Philip Seymour Hoffman's voice. Otherwise it's fairly understated and compelling to watch.

Don't ever venture near Bluewater at night though ...
bluewater IS creepy - the quarry surroundings should be the ones issued with ASBOs not the kids in hoodies

and i can confirm that the new cinema in greenwich is fabulous and a refreshing change from filmworks and uci (although you will see the odd black-clothed art student)

the bar on the first floor is great - floor to ceiling windows and armchairs

why else would i have gone there twice in the space of ten days to see the same film?

oh, well, maybe it was the joaquin phoenix factor too

um, obviously it's just the windows which are floor-to-ceiling

not the armchairs

that would be odd

oh, and there are free copies of the guardian

Okay, the floor to ceiling chairs, which sound like they would be in a dream sequence from Twin Peaks, have swung it for me, and I will definitely pay a visit, if I can persuade the husband that there is somewhere to park the car close by. It has to be better than the nearby Filmworks - it's in one of the most depressing settings I can think of, especially on an overcast day.

parking: if it's outside daylight hours, you can park in the street outside OR burney street pay-n-display behind cinema OR somerfield car park opposite

er, not quite at the cardboard box stage yet - need someone to buy our house first...can i tempt you?

lovely breeze block and plasterboard arrangement with drive-by shootings, muggings and bomb scares (yes, really) thrown in??
Well our area is a bit rough around the edges, but at least our close is nice and quiet, which is what I want at my age. Where you live sounds like the sort of place that would appeal to your Nathan Barley types who want a bit of edginess.

Mind you, talking of bomb scares we did have to evacuate the area when an undiffused WW2 bomb was found in the town centre a few years back. For a couple of days, I was having to face the fact that our house might end up being a pile of rubble if the bomb disposal experts got it horribly wrong. Phew!
Ah. Now I feel even more guilty for that gripe about the cost of seeing films at the Chapter Arts Centre here in Cardiff. It really is a marvellous place. Give this refurbished place in Greenwich a try, I say.
No worries, Ben. London ticket prices are just ridiculously expensive, even if there is a choice of stuff to see. For instance, the BFI puts on a lot of great 40's and 50's films but it's still off-puttingly pricey. The Greenwich cinema is on my list of things to do that won't get done, anyway.

By the way, Wyndham's review of Capote at http://wyndhamtriffid.blogspot.com/2006/03/wyndham-goes-to-movies-ii.html is better than my load of old tosh.
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