It’s funny how some films are released in accordance with a date on the calendar, embedding itself into the present and thereby gifting itself with some sort of temporary relevance. I mean not funny ha-ha, just amusing maybe. Like Christmas or Halloween films, except more obscure or oddly specific. Like New Years Eve. Or the recent Mother’s Day from the director of Valentine’s Day.
Beyond the cynical reading of studios simply trying to cash in on that immovable but very much reliable cycle of time, a film that reflects or feeds into the context in which it is presented has a special quality to it. A heightened, permeating immersiveness that transcends the confines of the film and places it in your world at that moment. I mean it isn’t strictly holiday based films and it may be personal to you as an individual, but when this synchronicity occurs in any medium it shapes your opinion and anchors it to this moment in time.
(Sidenote: This incidental synchronicity has spawned some great reads that I hold dear, influenced I’m sure by the context in which I read them. I read Bukowski’s Factotum just as I started temping, and happened upon Post Office whilst working in a Post Room. One of the most uniquely structured pieces of fiction that I’ve ever read, with footnotes larger than passages, Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker – a book that obsesses over the trivial mundanity of corporate life – I stumbled upon after giving over to the long term tedium of office work.)
The recent number of superhero civil war, pick-a-side films, appeared around the same time that Bernie and Trump were defining the dichotomy of the American peoples. And now we have this new old sequel, Independence Day with a 20 year resurgence, but for some reason or other it lands a couple weeks ahead of July the 4th. An opportunity missed? But fear not it ends up having some cultural relevance in my neck of the woods.
So today the island on which I was born, the United Kingdom, has lopped itself off of from the neighbouring countries with which we used to form a union – we’re now fully independent like. Well we were before, we just have less friends now. The band are still together mind, we’ve just decided to go it alone. And though the majority (of those that voted) wanted to leave, they aren’t really the circles that I roam about in and so when I heard the news and discussed the news and wallowed about in the thoughts of what this news meant, I actually just felt a bit sad.
Like many others I hadn’t actually thought this was going to happen. It felt like a joke, even when it was on my doorstep. A Vote Leave sign found it’s way up on my street, but some swift comic justice adjusted it to read Vote Beaver. Excellent. Well, the Beaver’s have only fucking done it haven’t they. We’re Beaving. We’ve Beft.
Expecting to have a relatively quiet Friday morning contemplating this turnout, my time was cut short by crowds of children all off to see The Secret Life of Pets. An inset day evidently, and a break from the generous dose of sunshine that was being offered to them skyways. They’ve got no clue and sadly they’ll be the ones most affected. Well I say that, one of them’s called Octavious. These children will all look back and say – ‘I remember when we left the EU, a gorgeous day, we went to see a film together, such fun it was – and then just flames for 20 years. Now I have to drink battery acid just to fit in, what with that Prince Octavious upping the taxes again. I wish we could go back to that day when we were watching that film and end it all’.
Probably unfair to push my suicidal thoughts into the minds of these gleeful children, I’ll just let them enjoy the talking animals.
2 legs good, 4 legs bad.