I saw two films today, and one last night, and all of them were vastly slashier in my head than was presumably intended. Well, that does not wholly apply to 'Saved' because the really slashy bit was a deleted scene and that is presumably one of the reasons why they deleted it.
The opening has demento evil Christian Hilary Fay and sweet but misled Christian Mary standing on a crane putting the finishing touches to a billboard Jesus; the original opening has them shot against the sky making vaguely lewd and ambiguous comments, which turn out to be about Jesus, but also lead to the comment 'they are so doing it.. Certainly, though, as with all post-Heathers films about buying into exclusive groups, there is a get a room quality some of the time - as when Hilary Fay and minions abduct defector Mary and try to exorcise her, or when weird dysfunctional Cassie is lying drunkenly under a table and looking at people's knees. There ought to be 'Saved' femmeslash - just saying.
More seriously, I didn't feel it copped out or was soft centred - Hilary Fay is humiliated and broken, but she is still Roland's sister, still someone Mary used to regard as a friend. They have compassion on her, in spite of everything. Similarly, it would have been soft-centred if Pastor Skip had come in and just been part of the family with his estranged girlfriend, her daughter who is dating his son, the gay father of the daughter's baby and so on. But he doesn't; he wanders around the car park with flowers torn between what he believes to be Christian and what he knows in his heart to be right. If he solved his dilemma in this film, it would be soft-centred - I actually find it more subversive that a basically good man like Skip should be turned by his version of Christian belief into something of an asshole than that a silly child like Hilary Fay should discover in it her chance to be a snobbish bitchy monster. I see why people wanted the movie to kick butt harder - sometimes though, gentle is the way to go.
I Heart Huckabees - well, let's just say Jason Schwartzman and Jude Law beating each other up in a lift, or Lily Tomlin and Isabelle Huppert accusing each other of philosophical folly. So much UST it burns the screen. That's all I'm saying.
And 'After Julia' - which is a terribly old-fashioned piece of nonsense which works partly because everyone - Annette Benning, Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Juliet Stevenson - is better than they have been in years, and partly because this is a film in which all the on-screen pairings are supplemented by all the pairings which are obviously going on outside the text. I mean - actress Julia is married to Michael and in lerve with gay lord Charles and sleeping with Yank on the make Tom as well as stringing along an elderly dyke backer and flirting outrageously with a cockney dresser who is devoted to her. Tom is sleeping with her and with young actress Avis, who is also shagging Michael. Off screen, of course, Tom is also having sex with Michael, Charles and Julia's son Roger - because this is a film in which there are so many meaningful glances that you decide everyone is having sex. And the scene in which Julia totally humiliates Avis by rewriting their scene at her is one of the most brilliant scenes of SM sex I ever saw - no, it isn't, but it feels so sexual. I just love the way that a middle-aged Annette Benning is so much sexier than she was when young - and can I say the same about Lily Tomlin and Isabelle Huppert?
I always feel so relieved when I lust after women in my own age group or something like it, because hanging out with sweet young LJers always makes me feel like a big pervert in the playground.
And then there is The Bill.
I'll say it again. Who saw that coming? The abductor of Sergeant Nixon's neglected and disaffected daughter, who is tied up in an air-tight container with a web cam counting down her last hours of air is - No, it isn't Baxter, the guy who falsely confessed to serial killing because he liked it in jail, and who we thought it might be because surely they wouldn't bring in an actor as good as Hywel Bennett a second time to be just a red herring - Well, sucks to be us, because they so totally did that. Nor is it evil cop-killing vigilante rapist cop Gabriel (who isn't Gabriel really, but that's where it gets too complicated) nor is it evil gang queen copkiller Gina, who is on the lam these days. No, it is geographical profiler Hugh, who wants to hurt Sam Nixon for turning him down, heartless careerist minx that she is.
And of course, this is one of the moments at which the show is so brilliantly subversive of its own absurdity. Oh, honestly, those of us who remember when it was vaguely real, grumble, what killer in real life plants elaborate clues about map references and quotations from Shakespeare? Well, of course, a profiler with a taste for crosswords who has gone nuts, duhhh. And now she knows he did it, and can't prove it, and everyone thinks she has lost it. He planted evidence where she could find it in the back of his car, sent her to his car to find it and then took it away again...
My guess is that the increasingly redeemed Phil Hunter trusts his macho dislike of effete academic Hugh and thus wins the hand of Sam. Which is deeply wrong, because they both belong with other people, but wrong in an appalling Bill-like way.
Every time I think it could not get nuttier, it amazes me.
In other news, I met sathinks for lunch and didn't warn her that Neil would be joining us. She did a sweet imitation of a guppy for a few seconds and then acted with quite remarkable sang-froid and savoir-faire and sassiness and sarsparilla and other things beginning with her name. Then Neil left to do famous things and SA and I went looking for coffee, luggage and train snacks, and took in odd churches, ancient statues and similar bits of Roz's London on the way. And Phoenix Park, which I always like showing people, because you only see it when you're there, a little bit of organized wildness steps away from major roads.
I was going to write about Hex, but gonzo21 did it for me, brilliant lad that he is.