Viper Squad Ten

[ Monday, February 16, 2004 ]

Can I fill your void
Starbuck [22:59] Comments: 0 []
I was watching the BAFTA's last night, being a sucker for such things. But its added to a seam of long-running low-level frustration within my mine(d).

Since its debut last year I've been desperate to see Touching The Void, Kevin MacDonald's drama-documentary depicting the true story of British climbers Joe Simpson & Simon Yates' disasterous attempt to scale the 21,000-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes (Peter Bradshaw & Philip French's Guardian reviews of the film can be found HERE).

Unfortunately, unless you live in London, its often pretty damn difficult watching the films that you might want to see at the cinema if they're not thrust into the multiplexes by the cartel of "blockbusting" movie distributers. I'm one of the lucky ones - there's a couple of Arts Centres near me which show independent or second-run films. I had tried before my holiday to get tickets to see it at Warwick Arts Centre, but to my dismay it had sold out over a MONTH in advance. Which just goes to show how many more tickets they'd sell if they put the bloody thing up on more screens out of London. It was on at the other local arts centre for a weekend whilst I was on holiday, but no doubt it'd been sold out there for weeks as well anyway. And now... that's it, according to the wonderful Teletext cinema listing finder. There's no sign of life.

I've become fairly resigned to missing the films I badly want to see. But this one I was more desperate than normal. I love a good "man against the elements" hardship story. (I might say that they elicit that same fantastic feeling of overcoming overwhelming odds that things like Watership Down/The Animals of Farthing Wood/the Lords Of The Rings managed, but without the slightly unrealistic talking animals and trees; but then I'd be a berk to do so.) And the world seems to want to grind my face right in the misery of the situation. The film's been repeatedly mentioned a little too favourably in the British media over the last few months, just to remind me how good it is. In the French papers last week I read yet more trés bonne reviews about it. In Val D'Isere it turned out that they were actually showing it one night whilst we were there (though we'd already booked a meal for that night). At the airport a couple of nights later someone was looking like they were very much engrossed in the book. They keep throwing awards nominations at the thing. And then last night it wins the Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year. I think its all a conspiracy to make me miserable.

I live in hope that all this continued interest will force the industries hand, and get it a decent release. But I don't have that much hope.

(17 APRIL UPDATE: Ha haagh! Ignore all of the above, suckas. Got some tickets for it in APRIL!)

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