Sorry that this is a bit later than usual. Dirk was enjoying the crooning delights of the nation’s favourite bearded-labrador, Guy Garvey and Elbow on Friday, in an intimate gathering of 20,000 in Manchester’s MEN arena. A good time was had by all, although Tesco saw a sharp decline of sales in the region.
Last week, the Dirk Malcolm film club got together to watch a topical screening of THE CHINA SYNDROME (1979) with Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda as reporters exposing the dangers of nuclear fuel. The film was made famous by the Three Mile Island incident that took place months after its release. The idea that a chain reaction from a nuclear meltdown would result in a hole being bored in the earth is still hanging over every news bulletin surrounding the crisis in Japan, thanks to this film, rather than anything substantial such as facts.
It belongs to a distinct, seventies genre that emerged as ‘the corporation’ increased and New Hollywood’s appropriation of counterculture made its coded protests. Many of them are essentially a replay of Ibsen’s ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE where profit is put before safety (see JAWS). It’s a genre that is ripe for revival.
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions, but trust no one.
IT’S A CONSPIRACY!
1) THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974) Master of the genre, Alan J Pakula, directs Warren Beatty in this assassination conspiracy thriller that uses montage to a startling effect.
2) SILKWOOD (1983) “Streep on Cher lesbian action” is a summary that will bump up the visitor stats, but does not do justice to this thoughtful bio-pic of a hard working, hard living metallurgy worker who investigates the factory where she works.
3) CYPHER (2002) An intriguing film that uses the conventions of the genre (particularly THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)) to send its protagonist into a world of industrial espionage to find that the rug is constantly pulled from beneath him.
4) HIDDEN AGENDA (1990) Ken Loach’s political thriller that is a thinly veiled examination of the ‘shoot to kill policy’ in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.
IT’S A CON!!
5) LOOSE CHANGE (2006) The internet is the father to a million conspiracies and this is one that managed to gain some currency … a film that suggests that the plane that hit the Pentagon on 11th September 2001 was a cruise missile…. mmmm There are people who consider it a compelling case in spite of no evidence which goes to show that “You can prove anything with facts.”