Just An Observation Friday  September 27th


  Today sees the official release of Jon Blair’s interpretation of Irvine Welsh’s so called ‘un-filmable’ novel Filth. Having already seen the film at the Edinburgh premiere, with the author, director and lead actor –James McAvoy- in attendance, I can reliably report that although the first twenty minutes or so do their best to capture this un-filmable quality by being unbearable and occasionally unwatchable it eventually turns a corner and  becomes a far more inspiring and rewarding experience.

 Once settling down into a more coherent narrative to become less shaky, haphazard and disjointed it actually emerges as a good movie. Until this point it falls into that most of annoying of things, a ‘try-hard’ experience’ and although the triumvirate at the centre of its creation warned us before it played that this might be the case, in its early stages it was still something to endure. A full review of the film can be found here.

 There was of course the prerequisite after party in the Caves following the screening and for obvious reasons- the characters Welsh surrounds himself  with in his home city fuel many of his literary characters and in reality many are more colourful than their written about counterparts- I had higher expectations of this than the film. It was however a pleasant experience but brought home that what once would have been a raucous affair probably extending itself over several days was neatly wrapped up and over by midnight.

The most riotous thing to happen all evening was someone being thrown out for smoking upstairs-rock and roll!- and the sight of a twelve year old boy masquerading as James McAvoy before the realisation that said twelve year old was in fact McAvoy himself.

Running around like a pre-pubescent scamp with purloined and illicit cigarette behind his ear it was hard to coalesce the hard core character of the film we had just seen with the diminutive character –in bios he claims to be 5’7’’ which is the same height as me although I have decided by this reckoning I am now 6’2”- scampering round the venue looking aggrieved and harassed. Only his arrogance remained from his screen persona. His young appearance contrasted squarely with most other attendees whose more ‘mature’ approach and behaviour indicated that middle age had caught up with their rock and roll lifestyle or perhaps the fact it was on a Monday evening meant that such behaviour would simply be too disruptive to their well organised and structured weeks. Age catches up with all of us in the end I suppose and in some ways it is a good thing.

 Talking of growing older there has been much discussion this week of the raising of the retirement age to sixty eight. As usual the loudest dissenters would appear to be those in the teaching profession. Although I understand that this is a highly stressed profession- I know this as they never shy away from telling us this at every given opportunity- it can only be more discouraging for a worker in MacDonald’s or some other fast food chain say who is now looking forward to another few years shovelling chips and burgers for an unappreciative clientele who are essentially as faceless and anonymous as they are.

 Personally I reckon I will have to work until I drop and I know several others who are also in this boat and after watching Channel 4’s ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ last week wherein six women of seventy plus showed us all how good and rewarding growing old can be.  Each and every one of them still works and actually embraces it as a worthwhile thing which goes someway toward keeping them young in their approach. Apart from one former dancer who now teaches dance there was not one teacher among their ranks. Just saying!

 Last week I mentioned I had put my central heating on and am happy to announce that was a temporary measure and a slight rise in temperatures has postponed this need for a week or two yet. It did gladden me however that Labour plans to introduce capping prices on fuel companies in their election manifesto. Other parties should follow suit as the increases introduced over the last few years –which in 2009 and 2010 housed tow of the coldest winters in living memory- were ludicrously high and financially crippling to many households. Matters were not assisted by there not being much of an improvement during the summer months-this year’s heat-wave aside- which often found many reaching for that dreaded heating switch in a bid to keep warm at a time generally considered to be of a more temperate climate.  The fact we live in Scotland never guarantees this however and it will be interesting if this issue raises its head during independence debates.

This weekend sees Neu Reekie 39 light up Summerhall and the last weekend of September. The line up includes Billy Letford, The Wellgreen, Linden, Professor Elektric Al and Pumajaw none of whom I am familiar with so I am expecting to be bombarded with a whole new set of experiences by the end of the evening, I am sure I will not be disappointed.

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