TSP2012: Radioman

Radioman. Mary Kerr. 2012.

Whaaa! Another documentary! I’m developing a hatred of documentaries…

But mostly American ones. This one in British, by Mary Kerr, and it’s good. But you have to wonder about whether this film will do its subject any good or whether it’ll just… make him so public that he can’t continue to live his life.

But it’s certainly the most star-studded documentary ever in the history of ever, so I guess the film-makers had fun. But he’s still getting parts, so perhaps this film did him no harm.

I found this film on Amazon Prime.

OK. this is the last Tilda Swinton Project film in this catch-up batch. See you next in… a couple of years?

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2017: Letters From Generation RX

Letters From Generation RX. Kevin P. Miller. 2017.

OH FUCK! It’s an American documentary, So it’s an incessant barrage of pedestrian imagery, where they try to keep the interest of bored viewers by putting in as many edits in per second as possible replete with “action reenactments”.

I just loathe the “sentence fragment with dramatic music playing beneath” documentary aesthetic.

Tilda Swinton does her best to class it up, but it’s just horrible.

I’m not quite sure what this documentary is about, because it’s unwatchable, but I think it’s about how Prozac (and other SSRIs) makes people kill themselves.

It’s a propaganda piece against anti-depressants, and for all I know, everything it says is accurate. For all I know, it may be effective. But after spending an hour on the evils of Big Medicine (probably accurate, if one-sided) they then present the solution for depression and mental problems:



This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2011: Genevive Goes Boating

Genevive Goes Boating. Lucy Gray. 2011.

This short (narrated by Tilda Swinton) can be found on Vimeo.

It’s a kind of fairy tale/parable thing.

I really like the way it’s made: The home-made-aesthetic scenography etc, and it is interesting, but I didn’t really get much involved. I guess the fairy tale thing just doesn’t work for me.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2017: Okja

Okja. Joon-ho Bong. 2017.

I remember there being some controversy about this film at the Cannes Film Festival because it’s a Netflix film. That is, it wasn’t released to movie theatres? I think? And they changed the rules to exclude such films afterwards?

Anyway, I signed up to Netflix to see just this film, and I’ve remained signed up for a year afterwards… without seeing much of anything on Netflix, because, let’s face it, Netflix sucks. Outside the US it’s just a cruel joke, which in the US it’s a slightly wittier joke.

But they got one year’s worth of money out of me, so they’ve got that going for them, I guess. (I’m assuming that all the rest of their films suck.)

But this is good! It does go somewhat off the rails (mostly due to Jake Gyllenhaal (my first thought when he appeared was “Geez, Jason Schwartzman isn’t as likeable as he used to be”)) and it’s got huge pacing problems, but there are some really exhilarating and moving scenes in here.

The plot doesn’t make any sense whatsoever (when evil corporation Monsanto I mean Mirando I mean Monsanto creates a super-pig through GMO, they obviously won’t create something that takes ten years to get to a market ready state; instead it’ll take two months from gestation to slaughter and be in agony the entire time), but I don’t think that makes that much of a difference.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2014: The Gospel According to St. Derek

The Gospel According to St. Derek. Andy Kimpton-Nye. 2014.

This documentary can be found on Youtube here, here, and here.

It’s a quite traditional documentary: A theme is established, and then they get a series of people talking about that, and then a new subject, and then pretty much all the same people talking about that new subject. It’s OK, but it fails when the director tries to replicate some of Jarman’s mannerisms, doing super-8-like stuff with video, and it looks horrible.

“We got about four films made off the back of being Derek’s last film.”

Hm… some of these interviews seem very familiar. Did I already watch this? Hm… Oh yeah! Many of these interviews were also in Life as Art, which was made a decade earlier.

But this is a different film.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.

TSP2016: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

The Seasons in Quincy: Fout Portraits of John Berger. Bartek Dziadosz. 2016.

This is a documentary film in four parts (with four different directors) produced by The Derek Jarman Lab.

I know nothing about John Berger (but I’ve probably seen a couple of films based on his… work?), and this is not a film that makes any attempt at contextualising him. Instead the first (and longest) bit, written by Tilda Swinton features herself talking to Berger as an old friend, telling vague anecdotes and sitting around his kitchen.

Still, even if I had no idea what they were talking about most of the time, I was kinda fascinated.

The second bit was supposed to feature Berger, but his wife died just before they arrived, so they filmed some nearby farms instead and had Swinton (I think) recite some Berger texts over. It’s great!

The third bit is a straight-up debate about neoliberalism interspersed with footage from the countryside. And some more texts. It’s nice.

And the last bit is the most sumptuous one. They got a helicopter in and did a lot of aerial shots of Khan-cee. And you get to hear Berger more, and he sounds interesting. Then the film follows his son for a bit, and then there’s a long sequence where they harvest some raspberries.

It’s really good.

Oh! The last bit is directed by Tilda Swinton!

She should direct more stuff.

Anyway, perhaps I should pick up a Berger book or two.

This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.