Well, it’s all about movement. Forward motion. That’s what I’m telling myself. I’ve just finished a whole ton of work, and now I’ve got just under an hour (or possibly over- the timing is somewhat flexible) before I’m going to be interviewing Saul Metzstein, the director of GUY X, and the star Jason Biggs. It’s my first job for DVD Review in a while- something I’m extremely glad of- and things are going okay elsewhere. Next Wednesday… well, next Wednesday is the Critics Circle Awards, where I get to do the “Award Ceremony” thing and hang out at the Dorchester. Everything has to be done once, and this is my chance for doing this- anyhow, I found out this week that I’m going to be on the same table as actress Sophie Okonedo, and master illusionist (or however he likes to describe himself) Derren Brown- who George and I actually saw live in 2004. This is, frankly, going to be weird beyond belief, but we’re both in need of a serious night off so we’re going to do our best to enjoy it.
Also got this e-mail- which I have to share. This is one of the reasons why I’m so glad I’m still in touch with my friend Tris, as he has the ability to illuminate areas of the pop culture sphere that I really didn’t want to know existed- in this case, the “video concept album” that accompanies the solo project of one Mr Barry Gibb- the near legendary (and terrifying) Now Voyager. Tris, being a Bee Gees nutcase (he takes the piss out of them, he knows they’re ridiculous- but he loves them to bits anyway, which I absolutely respect) was always playing tracks from Bee Gees solo albums at me as a surreal form of torture, and the Now Voyager solo album is, to quote the script of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, “every shade of wrong”. And now, some enterprising DVD label have decided to issue the accompanying “video album” to truly show that the apocalypse is only just around the corner.
I now hand you over to Trissy B, who has some things to tell you about….
All it is is a glorified pop video. You can certainly tell it’s experimental.
Story goes like this.
Barry drives an old Merc into a river and wakes up in a swimming pool with Michael Hordern and keeps asks him “who are you?” and “what am I doing here?”
Just what I thought.
I can now see why the album cover shows his Gibbness standing by an indoor swimming pool.
Then it goes off into a series of apparently unrelated pop videos
“I Am Your Driver” features Barry as a spacecraft captain with Corn Flakes stuck on his forehead. At the end of the sequence a big hand grabs the space ship.
After seeing that, Sam went to bed.
Then Barry goes off and pretends he’’s Hornblower for “Stay Alone” (with Maryam D’’Abo!!!).
There were a couple of other vids in the middle that I have forgotten already, oh hang on – “Lessons In Love” has an old geezer giving a bunch of roses to a hotel porter and telling him to give one to everyone in the hotel. Porter then proceeds to abseil down side of said hotel.
There’s another where Barry takes a tramp down a corridor and makes him look through small doors in the wall at things like circus acts. Then the walls are made of rubber and other people start pushing their faces into the rubber wall, closing in around the 2 characters.
“Shine Shine” also melted my head a bit – Barry dives into the pool and emerges (wearing an unmarked white suit) in a swamp in Miami and then wanders into a wedding! As he sings, the guests all freeze around him, until he reaches the anthemic chorus(!) and they just start partying around him!
“Fine Line” is even funnier in video form than audio – Barry pretends he’s a 50’s rock star playing a live gig. Problems is, you can’t make it appear genuinely 50’s with such an 80’s sounding song and production values.
Possibly the most surreal bit, is the sequence for “The Hunter”.
Barry wakes up on a bed, watching a ceiling fan, accompanied by the sounds of a helicopter’s rotor blades
Sound familiar? Oh, the horror
I don’t think anyone could take him seriously as a Vietnam veteran, even if he does wear a bandana and vest and looks a bit grubby. Then most oddly of all, a gang of east end bad guys break into his flat and drag him off in an old Jag.
Then he wakes up and he’s back at the wheel of his old Merc. It was all a dream.
A nightmare for everyone else.