Wednesday, July 6, 2011


...but alas, not this show.  I'm afraid this is my final post in this particular blog.  My initial intention here was to write quick reviews of my research, but right out of the gate, they became something much bigger than that.  I could write shorter ones, but if they were to be just standard reviews you can read anywhere, it wasn't very interesting for me to write.  I have enjoyed writing these, but they are taking up too much of my time, and I would rather pursue other writing interests.
  Thanks to those who followed, and to those who read.  I am going to keep the same domain name, and start posting again when I come up with something else I feel is worth talking about.  I will, however, be removing the current posts in the next few weeks.  I hate having to end this before having finished it - there was so much more to come! - but it is just too much of a commitment for now.
  Thanks for your time; I do hope you enjoyed it!  It's time to wave goodbye, like this happy little chappy:

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I couldn't resist sharing this.  A couple of days ago Dave Gordon sent me a link to a site called I Write Like, which analyses your writing style, compares it to famous authors, and tells you who you write like.  I entered the text for my first review in this blog, It.  This was the result:

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I then put in the first five pages of the Stitches script.  Apparently it has a lot in common with:

I write like
Mark Twain
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Then I put in the first few pages of my long gestating novel, The Hallow Inn:

I write like
William Gibson
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

The curious thing is that when you click on the author's name, it brings you to Amazon so you can buy their books.  A cynic might say that this is a clever marketing ploy, but those of us who truly understand literature - Joyce, Twain, Gibson, myself - would point our fingers at those non-believers and call them a 'penis breath.'

Next up... what I hinted at in the previous post.

Friday, July 1, 2011


How many of you read the previous post and thought, 'He's going to do Candyman next!'?  If you did think that, for shame; get the hell out of my blog!  It could only have been Tim Burton's 1988 maniacal masterpiece!  Beetlejuice, along with approximately three hundred and twenty seven other movies, is easily in my top ten of all time.  I'd better get on with this, as I don't want to further incense Úna with delays (some of the things she threatened me with were just depraved; Johnny, your wife has serious issues; don't leave her alone with Oscar!), so without further preamble let's go and have a look, shall we?

I've lost count of how many times I've seen Beetlejuice.  It is one of those movies which is symbiotically infused with my childhood.  I can't think about one without the other leaping to mind.  It's like midi-chlorians, only not stupid and shit.  I must have been about eleven or twelve when I first saw it.  Though it was released when I was nine, I certainly didn't see it in the cinema, and I didn't get into renting movies until my teens, so Beetlejuice was most likely something I recorded off the TV (ads and all!) and then re-played again and again until someone went and recorded Glenroe over it.
  Beetlejuice was Tim Burton's second feature.  Back then his design heavy Gothic-comedy style was something fresh and new.  His films felt like the bastard child of The Cure and German expressionistic cinema.  They had a distinctive look and feel.  They were quirky without being alienating, and along with the likes of Joe Dante and John Landis, he bought a subversive indie edge to family entertainment which, while quite prominent in classic 80s and 90s movies, is sadly absent today.  While you may have memories of it being a kids' movie, make no mistake, Beetlejuice is quite dark and scary at times.  While it was PG on release in America, in Ireland it was 15s.  Regardless, I still consider it a kids' movie, and if your child can't handle this shit, get a new one with some balls (metaphorical balls, of course.  This isn't an anti-girl blog; I'm not China!).
  The basic story of Beetlejuice concerns Barbara and Adam Maitland (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) who contract a premature case of death, and find themselves left behind to haunt their dream home.  To their horror (comedy horror, obviously), the yuppie Deetz clan move in and gut the house of its earthly charm, only to replace it with ghastly modern art.  The Maitlands try to scare them away, but they are just too gosh darn nice be truly frightening.  It is at this point that Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton, in his personal favourite role) offers his services.  He calls himself a bio-exorcist, which means that he can exorcise the living.  All the Maitlands have to do is say his name three times, and this will release him.  Even if you haven't seen the movie, it's pretty obvious what's going to happen (i.e. the cripple telling the story is dead all along, then he sinks).
  Beetlejuice exudes an intoxicating lo-fi charm.  It manages to perfectly balance quirky weirdness with accessible fun.  The word quirky in movies is much like the term pop in music, in that it has taken on a very negative connotation in recent years.  When I say that Beetlejuice is quirky I mean it in the same sense that The Beatles are pop music; it is very much a good thing.
  Beetlejuice is unique in its style and tone.  I have wracked my brains, and I can't think of another film that is quite like it.  Even in Burton's own strange menagerie of movies, it stands apart.  It is so finely balanced in its weirdness that if any one element had failed to work, the whole thing would, much like the credibility and logic in a Harry Knowles review, have fallen apartBeetlejuice has more in common with a cartoon than with a live action film.  This is evident in everything from the production design and lighting, to the characters themselves.  The titular anti-hero aside, we spend much of the movie with the yuppie Deetz family, an unlikeable collection of weirdos, but they are played with such cartoon-like glee that you never want them to leave the screen.  The only characters in Beetlejuice who are normal are the Maitlands, and they're ghosts!
  The closest we get to an ordinary person in the Deetz family is Lydia (Winona Ryder), the goth girl next door whose dark nature means she is the only one who can see the Maitlands.  Her father Charles (Jeffrey Jones, forever to be known as Principal Edward R. Rooney from Ferris Bueler's Day Off) is a cutthroat contractor who has moved his family away from the city, as his nerves demand that he live a quieter life.  Delia (Catherine O'Hara) is Charles' wife and Lydia's step-mother, a high-strung and highly pretentious artist.  The group is rounded out by Delia's equally pretentious friend, interior decorator and paranormal dabbler, Otho (Glenn Shadix).
  The Maitlands are set up as being a perfect couple.  Though we only meet them briefly before their deaths, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis perfectly capture the sense of their quaint and charming world.  Baldwin plays completely against type with Adam.  While I can't claim to have seen all of his movies, I have never seen him play a character like this elsewhere.  He is practically unrecognisable; even his trademark dark hair is absent.  As for Geena Davis, whatever happened to her?  She went from being one of the biggest box office draws in the world to staring two of the biggest bombs of all time, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Cutthroat Island.  Oh yeah; that's what happened to her!
  But while all of the cast are at the top of their game, there is only one star in this show; Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton!

Holy shit!  I wrote it three times, and he appeared!  Mmm.  That gives me an idea...  Natalie Portman!  Natalie Portman!  Natalie Portman!

What a neat trick, though I fear the real reason for the delay in posting this entry has become all too apparent...
   So, what was I saying?  Yes!  Beetlejuice!  Michael Keaton!  Awesomness!  Though he is only on screen for 17.5 minutes of the 92-minute running time, Keaton manages to trump everyone, every time.  The moment he is first resurrected is one of my favourite scenes of all time.  I could watch it again and again and it would never cease to crack me up.  It's easy to forget that Michael Keaton was one of the biggest stars of the 90s, in particular when under the directorship of Tim Burton (before the latter eloped with Johnny Depp).  And to think, it might never have happened!  Keaton wasn't in fact the first choice for the role.  Tim Burton originally wanted Sammy Davis Jr.  Yes.  That Sammy Davis Jr!  In case you can't quite picture him, here's a behind the scenes photo from the Beetlejuice casting sessions:

That's him on the right.  I think.  I don't research these blogs very well.  It's not actually as bat-shit crazy a notion as you might think.  The character of Beetlejuice went through some radical revisions as the script was developed.  In early incarnations, Beetlejuice was supposed to be a winged demon who transformed into a small, Middle Eastern man, and rather than being a wise-cracking con-artist, he was a bloodthirsty killer and a rapist whose goal was to murder the Deetz's.  Fun for all the family!
  And what about that name?  The studio didn't actually like the title Beetlejuice.  The story goes that Tim Burton joked that they should called it Scared Sheetless instead, and was horrified when the executives actually considered using it!
  Tim Burton's imagination is in full flight here.  He creates a unique world filled with wonderfully twisted visual gags.  The fact that the visuals were achieved through the use of physical effects lends the whole production a handcrafted feel.  The vision of the afterlife as an infernal bureaucracy is brilliantly realised, though this is practically pedestrian when compared with what happens when the Maitlands try to set foot outside their house.  These brief scenes are absolutely bonkers, but they leave us with some of the most enduring moments in the movie.  The sense of another world is brilliantly evoked, but what it particularly nice is how the strangeness is mirrored in the lifestyle of the Deetzes, most notably in Delia's artwork.  And then, of course, there's the Harry Belafonte...
  The more I think about it, the more Beetlejuice just doesn't make any sense!  How does this movie work?  If you actually look at the constituent parts, it should be one of the worst movie of all time, but somehow, thankfully, it is the complete opposite of that!  It just works.  There are some things about Beetlejuice that are undeniably good.  The performances are uniformly fantastic, the scripting by Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren (based on a story by McDowell and Larry Wilson) is tightly constructed, and the direction confidant and daring.  As with all Tim Burton films, the production design is superb, and with the main title theme Danny Elfman produced one of his best and most iconic scores.  If I was to level a criticism at it at all, it would have to be that some of the compositing effects have dated, but they are stylised enough that the movie easily gets away with it.
  From its shrunken head to its rotted toes, Beetlejuice is the definition of a 90s movie, and I do not mean that in a derogatory sense.  I adore this style of film.  You couldn’t make it today, but if they did, they would cast Johnny Depp in the title role, he'd deliver his now generic quirky performance, and the whole thing would collapse under the weight of its own shitty CGI.  Then God would rain down fiery vengeance on us all.  The bees would stop pollinating, which would result in all of the world's crops failing.  There would be widespread droughts.  The Internet would crash, cutting the world off from its precious lifeblood of free porn.  Rabid geeks would take to the streets in search of release for their pent up carnal frustrations.  One of them would inevitable shag a monkey, which will cause a worldwide zombie pandemic.  As a result of this chaos, film funding budgets will be cut, which would result in Stitches never getting made...
  Wow.  I actually gave myself a chill there.  Please, Tim Burton, return to your old style and give us some more of that lo-fi magic, or we're all doomed!

If that trailer doesn't make you want to instantly seek out the movie, then quite frankly, you're an asshole.  Death is too good for you, but should you happen to die, you will be forced to take the number 9,999,765,987,345,456,567,889,239 and get in line!
  Michael Keaton's Beetlejuice is a true icon of cinema.  This character is one of our primary influences in what we are doing with Stitches, although I would say that in tone, our guy is probably closer to the original incaration of the character (in terms of personality, not design).  I would love to read some of those early drafts and see what he was like back then!
  Beetlejuice went on to spawn an animated children's series, and while there was talk for many years of a sequel - Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian (I'm not joking) - it thankfully never materialised.  As much as I love this movie, I don't think the magic could ever have been captured again.  Beetlejuice is one of a kind, and better for it.
  To play us out, hit it, Harry:

Next up, I'm going to share a little nocturne with you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Sorry for the delay between posts but at the moment I need to focus all writing energies into the script.  I have the latest blog entry almost ready to go, and will hopefully put it up this weekend.  In the meantime, here's a picture of an Irish clown to keep your appetites whetted:

That's all political and shit.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Sorry for the delay on this, folks, but I'm busy with the script at the moment.  That, coupled with a fairly debaucherous June bank holiday weekend, has pushed me a little behind.  Thankfully, the script is going really well, I've got my voice back after West Fest, and I'm feeling only marginally exhausted.  So here it is, another post that will no doubt bring unbridled joy into your lives.  I'm a lot like Jesus, really.  Today's reading is from the Gospel according to Vicariator.

I was at a house party a couple of years ago, when someone decided to put on one of The Kinks best of/greatest hits collections.  I had never sat down and listened to a lot of The Kinks in one session before, and I was simply amazed when presented with a concentration of their hits.  They truly had a stunning output: All Day And All of The Night, Tired of Waiting For You, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Lola, Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset, Days; each and every one a bona fide classic, and there are many more besides.  While you might expect that Death of A Clown would be a more appropriate selection for this blog, my song of choice is You Really Got Me.

The Kinks were formed in North London is in 1964 by brothers Roy and Dave Davies.  The brothers are the only two members to have stayed in the band throughout their thirty-two year run.  They had a tempestuous relationship, and the years have not mellowed their tempers.  Only last year, Dave said of Ray, 'You've heard of vampires.  Well, Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions and ­creativity.  It's toxic for me to be with him.  He's a control freak.'  Another choice remark is, 'I think Ray has been happy for only three years in his life, and those were the three years before I was born.'  According to Dave, at his 50th birthday, Ray jumped up on the table and stamped all over his cake.  Ray's response to his brothers remarks is, 'Yeah, it depends on what side of the bed he gets up on.'
  Perhaps they were better friends when they were younger, or maybe their youth allowed them to burn off their animosity as creativity, but there is no denying the power of their music.  They have inspired musicians all over the world to pick up instruments and play, and they have motivated handsome writers to fill their blogs with all kinds of awesome observations.
  You Really Got Me was written in 1964 by Ray Davies, and proved to be one of, if not the, most important songs in The Kinks career.  The Kinks needed a hit.  Their previous two singles had failed to chart, and if they didn't break through on their third attempt, they faced being dropped by their label.  It sounds like the ultimate cliched rock 'n' roll story, but it might just have been the one that spawned a thousand imitators.
  Despite the demands of the record label, Ray Davies ignored pressure to churn out a track, and insisted on taking the time to get the sound right.  The extra effort paid off, and the song proved to be a massive hit.  Perhaps Cameron Crowe could write a movie about it.  Actually, no.  He would probably ruin it by casting Kirsten Dunst as the love interest and getting her to do that stupid fucking camera thing she does in Elizabethtown.
  You Really Got Me is widely regarded by the press, the public, but most importantly, by me, as one of the greatest songs of all time.  Ever.  Period.  People who are much more in the know than little old me (they do exist, apparently) consider it to be one of the most influential songs in hard rock and heavy metal, a track that was instrumental in turning rock 'n' roll into rock.  It pioneered the style of chord progression used in the vast majority of hard rock songs, but it was most noted for its use of distortion.  The songs distinctive guitar sound was created by Dave Davis.  He customised his amplifier by slicing up  the speaker cone with a razor blade.  The Davies brothers were in their late teens when they wrote this song and created their unique sound.  Teenagers.  Yeah, I hate the bastards too.
  Persistent rumours surround the recording of the songs iconic guitar solo, with some people attributing it to a noted session musician at the time, by the name of Jimmy Page (yes, the guy in the video for that Puff Daddy song from Godzilla.  I'm not sure what else he's done.)  While it is true that Page did play some sessions as rhythm guitarist on The Kinks debut album, Kinks, most of the people involved in the recording, Page included, attest to the fact that he only became involved after You've Really Got me had been put to tape.  Others, however, claim that he did record the solo.  I guess it's all a matter of perspective, and this was the sixties, after all.  Cocaine's a hell of a drug, especially when mixed with acid, LCD, marijuana, heroin, mushrooms, alcohol etc.
  In his autobiography, Ray Davis says that if you listen closely, you can hear Dave tell him to 'Fuck off!' during the song.  Ray tired to give his brother some encouragement before the solo, but only managed to put him off, so he got told where to go.  They covered over the expletive with drums, but apparently it is still audible on some recordings.  That's one of the downsides to modern digital recording; there is less scope to have unnecessary, random swearing in the background of songs.
  The Kinks followed up You Really Got Me with their fourth single, (talented teenager bastards).  The rest is history.  You Really Got Me has been covered by many of the artists whom it inspired: Robert Palmer, Van Halen, Mott The Hoople, Sly & The Family Stone, and Salt N Pepa to name but a few, but I'll let one of my personal favourites play you out*:

At this point you're probably asking yourself; What the hell does this song has to do with clowns?  The answer?  Nothing!  Yet…
  Here's a picture of a clown rocking, just to remind you what this blog is really about:

He's a rocking clown.  You know, like, he's rocking, but I'm saying that he's rocking out.  A rocking clown.  You see?  You probably think you hate me right now, but it's really yourselves you despise.  Just remember, no one loves a hater, people.

Next up, if you want to read another post, you're going to have to say it's name three times...

* By posting this, I stand the chance of being convicted for grand theft rock 'n' roll.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Sometimes this planet of ours can feel like a small place.  Television brings the whole world into our living rooms and squeezes it into a box.  We can hop on a plane and in a matter of hours step off on the other side of the Earth.  It is easy to loose track of the scale of things.  You can visit a city and claim to have seen it, but there is so much more to a place than monuments that make for a pretty postcard.  Every building in a city tells something of its character, and like fractals, if we look closer, a whole new world is revealed again at the next level.  Buildings are filled with offices and apartments, offices and apartments with people, and these people overflow with curiosity, and interests of a myriad varieties.  It is the possibilities inherent in this that make me truly appreciate the incomprehensible scale of our little world, which in the great scheme of things, is itself just a drop in the ocean.
  As movies are one of my favourite pastimes, the things people choose to watch are of great curiosity to me.  Our interests are so diverse, it boggles the mind.  While populist entertainment does what it says on the tin, there are endless subdivisions and genres, where the connoisseur can indulge the most obscure of tastes.  This is, of course, not exclusive to movies.
  There are many reasons why niche hobbies do not float to the surface of popular culture.  Some of them are too dark for public consumption (exploitation cinema, cock fighting, pornography, dwarf tossing).  Much are too esoteric to generate mass appeal, which gives us the nebulous area of cult entertainment.  But the main reason certain things remain in the shadows is that they are just shit.  I've endured a lot of stink while researching Stitches, but that is not what we are going to look at today.  It is always a pleasant surprise to discover something that has been around for years, yet it has somehow managed to escape your notice (unless it's cancer).  So without further ado (and I appreciate that I've just spouted much ado-do), I give you Tripping The Rift.

The image above probably tells you all you need to know in order to decide whether or not this show is for you.  Of course, I've never been one to use an image when a thousand words will do.
  Tripping The Rift first appeared on my long distance scanner (I really hate myself sometimes) at the Dublin Circus Skills Convention.  While I chatted with Mr. Balloonatic, I told him of my intention to, over the coming months, watch as many killer clown movies as was humanly possible.  To that end, he recommend Tripping The Rift.
  Tripping The Rift is Canadian animated sci-fi comedy series that ran for three seasons between 2004 and 2007.  Created by Chris Moeller and Chuck Austen, it started off as two short Internet films, the first of which was released in 2000.  Chris Moeller began his career as an animator on The Simpsons, before he moved on to direct episodes of King of The Hill.  There he met storyboard artist Chuck Austen (for dramatic purposes, I'm assuming they had never met before).  Between them, they developed an idea which can be summed up as 'Futurama with dick jokes'.  And rape jokes.  And anal sex jokes.  And gruesome deaths.  Did I mention the dick jokes?
  The first of those Internet shorts was  Love and Darph, which you can see here.  Love and Darph is very rough around the edges, but it certainly shows the potential in this idea for a series.  It introduces us to the surly and sex obsessed star ship captain, Chode McBlob (Stephen Root from Office Space, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Cedar Rapids), gay robot and chief engineer, Gus, and sex cyborg and chief communications officer, Six (Terry Farrell from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).  We also meet - most importantly for my purposes - Chode's nemesis, Darph Bobo, whose introduction here delivers one of the best moments in the entire franchise.
  The second short, Oh Brother (which you can watch here.  Only kidding; it's here) is actually a trailer, and while the animation is far better, it is quite misleading, in that both the tone and the story are completely different, not just to Love and Darph, but to the entire series.
  By the time Tripping The Rift made it to the screen in 2004, some major changes had been implemented.  The animation quality was vastly improved.  The dark tone of Love and Darph was substituted for a more light-hearted approach.  That is not to say that the makers in any way comprised their vision; just that it was all delivered in a brighter, more agreeable package.
  Chode, Gus, and Six all returned, though with some alterations.  Chode was virtually the same, though much of the nastiness evident in Love and Darph had been leavened.  Gus, who was originally voiced by Chris Moeller, was now performed by Maurice LaMarche.  Six changed most of all.  She was completely redesigned, and was now voiced by Gina Gershon.  The original crew were joined by tri-breasted cow/crab/scrotum/bitch T'Nuk (Gayle Garfinkle), and Chode's lizard nephew, Whip (Rick Jones).  The team was rounded out by Spaceship Bob (John Melendez).  Together they were to boldly (I mean that in the pejorative sense) go where no man has gone before, on a galaxy spanning quest for illicit sex, booze, and mild criminal behaviour.
  A story is only as good as its villain, and Darph Bobo (originally Chris Moeller, now Terrence Scammell), also made a welcome return. 

Darph Bobo is the head of an evil clown empire.  He and Chode are lifelong enemies.  They have known each other since school, and have even served time in prison together.  Darph Bobo is fantastic fun to watch, and is consistently one of the highlights of the show.  He's a twisted psychopath and a bumbling fool.  He philosophy is best summed up when he is training the peaceful Kubrickians (spot the movie reference) to be more warlike; 'In this training exercise, you will learn to kill an enemy in a way that is both painful, and comically amusing!'  Two of the most quotable lines of the series are his, 'Hello, Chode,' and, 'I'll get you, Chode!'  Written down, they have no power, but when delivered properly, they always provoke a laugh.
  There is a secondary opponent for Chode and his crew, in the form of Captain Adam, a limp William Shatter spoof.  He is pretty bland, and thankfully doesn't feature too often.
  Each episode of Tripping The Rift is cobbled together with references to the multitude of sci-fi movies and TV shows that have inspired the film-makers.  That, and innuendo.  There is no point talking about the episodes from a narrative point of view, as the story is only there to give the characters something to react to, and then move us along to the next gag.  It is the characters, and how they respond to the different situations they find themselves in, that make Tripping The Rift worthwhile.
  Chode is certainly the strongest character.  He is a completely selfish sex pest, but the writers, coupled with Stephen Root's performance, invest him with a surprising amount of heart, without ever descending into schmaltz.  Gus is a caricature of C-3P0, who despite his over the top camp behaviour, insists he isn't gay.  Six is the straight woman, a sex android with a conscience.  She provides the moral voice, at least, she tries to.  T'nuk is basically a horrible and vain bitch.  Her full name is T'Nuk Layor, which spelt backwards is 'royal kunt.'  Nuff said.  Spaceship Bob is their agoraphobic star ship.  He is prone to panic attacks, and his droll attitude gives the impression that he's really not that keen on being a space ship at all.  Then there's Whip, who is just a waste of space.  That isn't a character trait - the character himself is just a waste of space.  He is underdeveloped, and is nothing but a generic stoner teen.  You could edit him out and loose nothing.
  For straight up sci-fi comedy, one can look no further than Futurama or Red Dwarf.  What gives Tripping The Rift its edge is that it can go places those shows can't.  It works best when it is at its most offensive.  There are moments that are laugh out loud funny simply because you can't believe what you are seeing.  While it is certainly crude, it is so over the top, and performed with such affable cheek, that's it's hard to take offence.  The series doesn't pretend to take any moral stance.  Sure, there are some episodes that touch on having a message, but it is usually undermined with a crude joke.  There is no po-faced Prime Directive here; Tripping The Rift has a puerile directive, plain and simple.
  Like most cult entertainment, Tripping The Rift either appeals to you, or it doesn't.  There is no middle ground.  Here is your check list.  Print it out, laminate it, and keep it in your wallet, so that should you have a horrible accident, and end up in a coma, the nurse will know whether or not she should take advantage of you.

Dick jokes
Scatological humour

If you're not saying yes to at least two of those, then this ain't for you.  Perhaps you should play it safe, and watch 7th Heaven instead.  If however you find yourself saying 'Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!' then Tripping The Rift is at least worth a look.  Series 1 is only okay - it has its some stand out moments, but can drag at times - but it is just the beginning, and better things are to come!
  Here are the Series 3 opening titles.  I didn't rip Series 1's, as they are in German on my DVD.  These are basically the same as Series 1, but they were redone for Series 3 with fancier graphics.  They give a brief glimpse of the main characters, and clearly set out the spoof nature of the show:

Lastly, I want to talk to you about a special little place I like to call Germany.  Much like when I was trying to get my hands on Clownhouse, the only place I could find a Region 2 version of Tripping The Rift was through the German branch of Amazon*.  It seems that if you're looking for anything in this world, Germany is the place to find it.  Between that, and the fact that Berlin is one of the coolest cities on Earth, Germany, you rock!

Next up, I'm going to iron out some of The Kinks in this blog.

* The DVD is in German, though it is easy to navigate your way to the English dub.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I hadn't planned on this being the next post, but sometimes you've got to roll with the moment.  I got an e-mail this morning which I just couldn't ignore.  It came from Fern Daly (say hello to Fern, everyone - wow; the united voice of my readers is deafening!), and it read:

               hey dave!
               a guy I was in galway with made this - check out the dirty look about the two minute
               mark :p

The video in question is called Clown Love.  I must say, this is quite a laugh.  Watch the clip before you read on!

You had better have watched it if you're reading this line.  If not, get back!

I certainly took a double take when I saw this!  I wasn't even paying attention to the time lapsed.  I was absorbed in the action, when suddenly, I see my two brothers looking out at me.  This was surprise enough, especially when coupled with the fact that I couldn't figure out how Fern knew what my brothers looked like.  It was only when I watched it back I noticed the sexy bastard on the phone.
  This is so weird!  The night in question was my brother-in-law Mike's stag.  It took place in Galway over a year ago.  At that stage, I had no idea that within six months I would be co-writing a movie of any sort, especially one about clowns.  I'm being stalked by these creatures!  It's like I was already part of their world, and I didn't even know it...  I think my co-writer Conor's response says it best:

               Spooky.  That is mad.  You must of got a fright when you saw that.  I see it as a
               blessing from the clown gods :)

As for Clown Love as a film, it's not bad.  It was nicely shot - the colours popped - and the chirpy music had my toes tapping in my giant clown shoes (they're orthopedic, people, so spare me your snide comments).  I particularly liked the opening.  As I said, I was completely absorbed in the mood of the piece, but it did stumble when it reached the pub scene.  I felt this section was a little stilted, especially after the naturalistic opening.  However the filmmakers pulled it together quickly, and the whole thing ended with a good laugh.
  I find that most short films tend to outstay their welcome, but this one tells it's story concisely, does exactly what it sets out to do, then leaves you to enjoy the afterglow.  Of course, we could talk all day about production values and narrative, but we all know, there's only one highlight here!
  Clown Love also led me to this wonderful image.  Today just gets better and better.  Thanks, Fern, and well spotted!

Next up, I promise, I will bring you on a trip of the rift!