Whoa... Hello everybody. How's the brand spanking New Year treating you so far? Good? Pants? Somewhere in-between? Mine, so far has been pretty nuts. Lots of y'know, stuff going on. I have also managed to spend plenty of time at the cinema this month. I'm forging my own groove in my own seat, Homer Simpson stylee. It's all good.
American Girls Say; 'Be tearily happy!'
I've been doing loads of thinking and there have been plenty of things I have noticed. One such thing may be of interest to you guys. It concerns the whole divide of our respective cultures, something I have been known to mention on numerous occasions before and something I still cannot quite fathom. There is no major revelation here, on any thought provoking conclusion, it is simply an observation that has been intriguing and puzzling me. The focus is on two movies that were released over the 'holiday' period. Both movies were given comparative release dates on each side of the Atlantic. Both were aimed at the holiday market. But there does seem to be a distinct divide in the opinion of both and that is reflected in ticket sales.
The two movies are P.S. I LOVE YOU and THE GOLDEN COMPASS. The Butler/Swank weepie is pulling in tons of cash at the box office on your end of the planet. And it is plainly obvious
that you crazy boys and girls generally love it. Have you read the Matchflick reviews? Most are gushing, even Zara succumbs to waxing lyrical over the sentimental value of it, and I don't need to tell you how profound that is. Over here, the main vein of feeling is that it's sickening rubbishy drivel. Seriously. Friends and colleagues have expressed an almost pure hatred of this flick. One such associate described it as 'The sort of thing that could inspire me to top myself'. Crikey.
British Bloke Replies; 'No! Be serious and moody!'
On the other hand, over here, where the weather is wetter, windier and don't-you-dare-tell-me-otherwise, colder, we have been almost rapturous in our devotion to THE GOLDEN COMPASS. The merchandising has been everywhere. After work pub talk has revolved around in-depth subjects such as; what would your Daemon be? What is this whole religion thing about anyway? And, have you read the others? We love it. Back over to you, and the critics were mostly indifferent, Cinema sales mediocre and the opinion that it was produced to fill the void left by POTTER and NARNIA is popular.
I have been thinking as to why this is? Are we, the British true to the stereotype of misery and cynicism? Are you guys more in-tune with your emotional well-being? Could we ever bridge
the gap and find common ground? To be honest, and as previously stated, I have no idea. Personally I feel that both films were pretty good and very much in keeping with the spirit of the season.
A clue to your first homework assignment
Also, and slightly more poignantly, it is worth to note that both were book adaptations. Both were adaptations of big, best selling and insanely popular books. Some of my several trains of thought have been pondering this, indeed, reading back over my columns and reviews I tend to return to this issue. I even tried to summarise this in one of my earlier columns, as have other columnists. It appears I have an obsession. So, with that in mind I would like to announce that from two weeks from now my column will have a little more focus. I may as well explore what I have been skirting around again and again for almost a year now and with any luck enhance YOUR pleasure of watching movies at the same time. My lightly geeky love of film will be blended with my freakishly nerdy love of literature.
My mandate will be explained fully in my next column along with a slight visual makeover. I am very excited by this and I am excited for you guys too. So, please, I would like you to come back in two weeks time to check out Xavier's Book Club.
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|Xavier's Book Club|
Every other Saturday
Xavier analyses film, literary. A bizarre melding of books and movies.
Xavier lives in Scotland where it is very cold. He spends his time writing about live bands and people dreamt up in his bizarre imagination. Quite huggable .|
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Xavier Jones-Barlow by clicking here.|