March 10th, 2008

Loz Cola

1, 2, 3, 4, tell me that you love me more...

Sometimes I feel like a jerk because I often don't add summaries to my fiction. Even though I know these are good things.

I can't really explain why I don't do it. I guess because, most of the time, my summary would just be a pull quote and I figure people can just read the story to get those lines. Or because, when I summarise my fiction it always sounds faintly ridiculous, or gives the entire game away.

Take my latest piece, which essentially boils down to "Sam and Gene talk about Sam's teenaged guitar playing just before Sam dies, so four years later Gene goes searching for teenaged guitar playing Sam." Well, okay. Now that I know what it's about, why would I want to read it?

But, you see, other people aren't like me. They apparently want to know what they're reading before they get into it. They want some sort of contract with the writer. "This is what you said you were offering, I can now decide whether that is true or not." If I had done the pull quote thing in summary to with a circus mind that's running wild, it still wouldn't have given an accurate view of what was to come.

And maybe that's what I don't especially like. I don't want people reading my fiction based on false assumptions of what they're going to get. I want them to be surprised, without having to go back on that unwritten contract. Because I, quite often, like to do things like unreliable narration and subtext and twists in the tail. I like to be unpredictable (though, not completely, obviously.) And I don't especially like being thoroughly manipulative in order to do so.
Loz Cola

Sleepless, long nights...

1. Chiwitel Ejiofor won the Best Actor Olivier award for Othello! YAY! Okay, so, ideally, it would have been John Simm for Elling. But, it was Chiwitel and this makes me so happy, because he is an amazing actor. I was fascinated by Chiwitel in that episode of Canterbury Tales he and John were in together ("The Knight's Tale"). And Serenity. And Kinky Boots. I think he's absolutely marvellous and deserves many, many accolades.

It's not that I don't like Ian McKellen or Patrick Stewart either, it's just that you expect them to win everything. And I don't know Mark Rylance, so I probably wouldn't have commented at all had he got it (he's won tonnes of stage awards, though.) It was amazing John was even nominated, really, since it was his first stage role in years.

I'm still really sad I never got to see Elling. I try not to be, but I am. It sounds like the kind of thing I would go mad for, even without the added bonus of John Simm. (And I could still watch the film, of course, but that just makes me feel even more sad.) I did a really good job of not constantly complaining about it at the time, so I'm going to feel no guilt at having a whinge here.

Whinge.

There. All done.

2. The first episode of Island at War is remarkably boring. My attention span is much better these days and I'm still nodding off. Lack of Philip has terrible consequences. I usually never fast forward, but it's awfully tempting. Now I know where many of those negative comments about the miniseries were coming from. At this stage it's a little too "oh, those horrid Jerries" for my liking. I'm hoping there will be more depth.

Oh. German aeroplanes just started blowing stuff up. Perhaps I should keep watching after all. Incidentally, Joanne Froggatt, who played Sam's mum in Life on Mars is also in this. (But if we started playing the "spot the actors" game, we could be here for months. The British television and film industry = incest.)

And, at 58 minutes in, we have achieved Phil. As a Nazi. I did know this going in, but it's still a point of interest. His hair's been lightened. He is, actually, quite terrifying. And yet I'm fairly sure I read he's far more sympathetic than other Nazi portrayals. His largely non-German accent is amusing me even as his seeming charms are making me highly uncomfortable. "So. Somewhere to stay. Which is your very best hotel?"

... ?!

3. I have work tomorrow. I could really do with another day or two. Or three. Or the entire week.
Russell Tovey (Is Judging You)

I am easily entertained...

Russell Tovey in the second series of Annually Retentive is just wonderful. I have a massive grin on my face right now. ♥

This may be a huge crush. Oh man, I didn't need another crush on an actor.

Also, I noticed this in Tristram Shandy - A Cock and Bull Story, and The Big Fat Quiz, but Rob Brydon isn't at all afraid to appear as if he's a giant twat. And not as a character, but as himself. I'm sure he's not nearly as obnoxious as his persona. No one could be as obnoxious as his persona. But, to be fair, he's not the only one.

Annually Retentive is a meta show - all based around Brydon's fictitious panel show 'Annually Retentive' and what goes on behind the scenes. Mostly, everyone comes off looking like complete and utter jerks and it feeds into stereotypes about celebrity and the entertainment industry, but you get the distinct feeling that there are good reasons for that. But the thing is, I find the parts we get to see of the actual panel show really quite amusing - that dastardly love of panel shows I have. And it's a playful sort of parody/homage, since Brydon's been on enough panel shows to be exceedingly hypocritical to be knocking them completely.

In that same vein, I really want to see Moving Wallpaper, which is also a meta show, based on what goes on behind the scenes of soap opera Echo Beach. It's created by none other than Tony Jordan and I've wanted to see that concept explored for a really long time for something other than a talk show or current affairs program.