September 4, 2003

The B List

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Caution: Permanently Under Construction

Ever wonder what the column writing process is like here at daze? How about the relationship between writers and editors? For your edification (pun not intentional), and to fill space, this week my column will be run with the editorial comments intact.

Okay, so, I don’t really know what I’m doing right now. Maybe that’s not the best way to start off the very first installment of my new column, but too bad. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m kinda scared that this is going to suck, and that I won’t be able to write something good every week, or every other week, depending on space and a bazillion other things that I have no control over. All I know is that I get the bottom of page fourteen all to myself, and that’s pretty damn cool. [Yes, so cool that we’ve now resorted to swearing in the first paragraph — Ed.]

So, other than my reveling in how much fun it is to have my own column and how scary it is, what the hell is this about?, you might be wondering. I’m sort of wondering the same thing myself. Basically, this space is very much still under construction, hence the ridiculous name. I don’t know if I’m actually going to settle on something very definite for this space, because I’m a bit of a schizo person, and I enjoy seeing and reviewing diverse things. And after much haranguing of my editor, I have finally made her see the light of my idea of a column that’s not really about anything in particular. Well, not really: it is about the arts, and I’ll be reviewing movies, television, music, books, and perhaps even some web thingys if the mood should strike me. {Wow. This is an interesting interpretation of that conversation. What ever happened to a nuanced, sophisticated examination of B and low-brow culture? — Ed.]

This column is my hello to you, the reader, which now that I look at it, sounds pompous and British. Whatever, it’s written, and going back to change it would just take too much damn energy, so screw it. Also, this is a chance for me to talk about a movie that I just saw, which, though it isn’t new, is new to me, and that’s really all that counts here. {Because what you really want is to sound like the NBC promo department. Or is that in keeping with the low-brow? — Ed]

Dirty Pretty Things: if you’ve seen it, you know how damn good that movie was. Holy crap, after a summer of complete cinematic junk food, this was the rich homestyle dinner that I’ve been craving. Mmmmm, now I’m hungry. Well, now that I think of the movie, not so hungry anymore. The basic premise is as follows: Okwe (Chiwetel Eijofor) is an illegal Nigerian immigrant working as the concierge of a rather seedy London hotel. Working as a maid at the hotel is Senay (Audrey Tautou doing a great Turkish accent over an English accent and man is this girl talented), who also provides a couch for Okwe to sleep on. One night, Juliette (Sophie Okonedo), the hotel prostitute, informs Okwe that there’s a problem with a toilet in a room. The cause of the blockage turns out to be a human heart, quite healthy, aside from its lack of a body to reside in. It soon becomes clear that there’s an illegal ring of organ transplantation going on in the hotel, a ring that eventually embroils everyone in the film.

I totally thought that this would be an excellently made film and a thoroughly depressing one as well. I mean, all the previews and synopses of the film that I have seen and read prepared me to leave the theatre in a shell-shocked state with no faith in humHomey. Instead, I had the pleasant surprise of getting quite a few chuckles out of the film in addition to a rather buoyant mood. Granted, the humour was dark and not the sort of thing to discuss when you’re having tea with the Queen, but it was still delightfully enjoyable. My boyfriend actually suggested we view it, so I have him to thank for seeing this fantastic movie. Thanks Matt. [Yeah, thanks Matt. — Ed.]

The acting was superb as I am now in love with Chiwetel Eijofor and am determined to find him in more movies, and who doesn’t love Audrey Tautou after Le Fabuleux Destin d’Am