Monday, 12 January 2009


How heartening. You'll have to excuse me while I double-lock my front door.

In a bit of an odd limbo-time at the moment between semesters. Next week we're working towards making a piece with the legendary Mitch, while this week we've got a schedule of films based on plays to watch in the mornings. Today's was Closer, which was okay.

I've not seen it performed (although I may read it later on as I've still got Bill's copy, apologies there), and like a lot of films based on plays the writing's really the star. That said, when translated to film the writing doesn't sit well in the all-too natural setting. I also felt it so removed from any kind of reality that it was difficult to get engaged with any of the characters. I smirked at a scene where Jude Law steps out of a glamourous art exhibition and raises his arm to catch a gleaming black cab. It's like Nichols is trying to reinvent London as Sex and The City's New York. It doesn't work when you know the place; London will never be that, and shouldn't be portrayed as so. Funnily enough, Sex and The City's New York is similarly devoid of truth, with the writing being the key thing there too.

I remember when I started working as an extra and a boom-op in early 2005 seeing posters for Closer from a train rolling out of Victoria to get to Chatham for 7am and pondering about how disasterously distant the finished product in film is from the reality of the making. In the theatre you're there in the space where the work is. A film can go anywhere (I remember feeling something similar watching a video of a Las Vegas Britney Spears concert when I was sitting in a restaurant in Mongolia). The world of Closer is just so distant (fnark) that it's difficult to care about.

Marber's a good writer though, and I'd love to see the play. I still think his better work was Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan.

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