"Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world; it is a hammer with which to shape it"

Friday, 25 January 2008


Vienna, 1981. Directed by Russell Mulcahy.

…a strange melancholy seemed to descend upon me over the last weekend and has not yet lifted. Maybe it’s the time of year… I don’t know. However, I’ve been trying to catch up with all your blog-posting that I’ve been missing over the last couple of weeks and you’re all so disturbed insane eccentric amusing that it’s been a pleasure and perked me up somewhat. But I thought I’d foist some of my melancholy onto you. Like a cold. Aren’t you lucky?

I suspect I’ve been thinking of the past and future just a little bit too much of late. I’ll not bore you with the details; so, broadly, I’ve been thinking on the funerals I’ve been to over the years… when it hit twenty I stopped counting and then started running through the people and all the things you should have said, all the things you shouldn’t and all the things that can now never be. These kinds of days always remind me of the Ancient Mariner’s lament. On top of this I’ve been thinking on the Screenwriter’s Festival; to go or not to go…

Vienna has been running through my head for the last couple of days… I’d completely forgotten about it and, despite having loved the song for many years, I’ve not got a copy*. It was always around when I was younger and I can’t believe how long ago it actually was. Of course, back then I didn’t realise where the image system and reference points came from… turns out to be all the films I’ve watched since! Strangely, while the song itself is inspired by the brilliant The Third Man** (1949, Carol Reed; Sp: Graham Greene) the promo itself, I think, reminds me far more of a great Burt Lancaster film, The Killers** (1946, Robert Siodmak; Sp: Anthony Veiller, Richard Brooks, John Huston)... but I’d have to check. I was staggered to find that the promo was directed by Russell Mulcahy. It's become very easy to mock 80's things but how much of current popular culture will look patently absurd in twenty years…

*I’ve just realised- I think I was invaded by the trailers for Ashes To Ashes…
**Despite all evidence to the contrary, I do actually like some films… both of these are brilliant: The Third Man being one of the greatest films ever made and if you don’t agree may all your toast burn ever so slightly for the next seven days!

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