October 2014


Beware the switchers

Just a short blog entry this time as there is a point where we all need to spend our energies elsewhere and for me this is the last time I will talk or even think about this subject.
I have experienced something twice now that calls in to question my role as an emotional advisor when the going gets tough for others and I have given the type of person who does this act a name. I call them switchers.

Here’s what happens. At some point in the past a person who would normally not seek your council approaches you for advice. Although you find this unusual you still allow them your time and hopefully help them. You now feel that whatever distance there was between you and the person you were advising has gone and you are able to talk freely in a more open and adult manner. Hold that thought for a moment.

What happens is that in the passage of time that person will normally return to the “me” economy we are all so comfortable with today and past deeds no longer count. A kind of social business as usual attitude when their world is fully intact. When they return to “me” world their memory of your past efforts are, in the least case, forgotten or in the worst case angered against.

This is worrisome. How are we meant to gauge who to help in the future if your help will be used against you later on down the road? We all know that it is human nature to take kindness for weakness but to do so for emotional gain must be a new low surely? Are we now at a point where material gain is not enough and we must now try and crush other peoples spirits or act in a grandiose way above our fellow man to feel better about ourselves?

What I can only predict and I am sure I will see a lot more of in the future is a greater distance between those who help for no reason or gain and those who abuse such help. There is an economy of scale with these matters meaning there are far more people who need help than there are helpers.

Those of us who are exploring our own sense of self are able to use the internal dialogue to reach out to the right type of help. Some will use the help of a guru of sort who must be good because I am spending money on their services. Others, will use certified practitioners to “off load” whatever ails them but if your moral compass is off course then you will interpret the help you receive incorrectly and feel that to raise yourself up you must do so on the shoulders of other. The problem with that. The shoulders you stand on will tire of your abuse.

In this fast acting Internet world it is very easy to react without thinking as long as you realise that the same thing will happen to you and it will not be the easiest of situations to deal with if you are unable to have the right internal conversation first.

The Festival Diary – it’s emotional

So onward the festival weekend went and with no screening at the Southbank it was once again off to Piccadilly to harvest the best that Raindance can offer. Luckily, due to a little festival burn out I had decided to take the easy route and commune with other wary soul journeying through the desert of creative thought.
So after a quick visit to the Raindance cafe it was back to the cinema to see ‘Hinterland’, a slow burning road movie it which not a lot happens but says more than most movies about our relationships and how they sometimes “devolve” over time. It has a real charm about it which makes the end note of the movie far more touching than a lot of movies which try to force an emotional response on you.
After another long gap the movie ‘Cesar Chavez’ dealt out a history lesson on the civil rights leader who changed the way in which migrant workers were paid and treated. It has some stand out moments but in the main the story is told in quite a straight forward fashion considering the stella cast assembled which goes to prove that, although this was not a bad movie, A big name cast does not guarantee a big emotional experience.
And talking of emotion the last film I saw on Saturday was meant to be shown as part of the Raindance MA short film program. ‘Beyond The Cage’ tells the story of two MMA fighters Alex Reid and Tony Giles as they prepare to fight each other in a match. The impression I had of the sport and of the individuals involved were shattered into pieces as they explained their prep method but also their highly emotional reason for their drive towards fighting. Tony spoke in a mini Q&A after and I really get now how personal struggle can work for and at time against you but his drive and determination plus his endless support he feel from his son to do better has left a deep emotional crater that will be hard to fill for a long time.
Sunday mornings shorts program offered some light and shade with the stand out film ‘Mr Invisible’ a bench mark of things to come from the film making team.
The feature ‘Fourever’ showed the darker side of long term friendships (a theme that has ran through the festival on and off screen as of late) with the main protagonist tricking his friends into a home party situation with disastrous consequences. A very slow starting moving at first and a technically difficult film to watch it eventually fumbled its way to some very “ah-ha!” moments later on down the line. Then after more networking and my second hot meal of the festival I took in the music documentary ‘Take Me To The River’ which open our eyes to the joy and pain of the Memphis music scene and it’s bi-directional effects on the wider community. A gala screening packaged with a Gig at the 100 Club made the night worth the headache the next day.

Bouncing back to the BFI on the Southbank Monday morning and the morning screening of ‘Kelly & Cal’ show the more surreal way in which love and infatuation knows no bounds. Even if the one of the would be lovers are physical bound through disability the story still wrapped us in a realistic but cute version of suburban hell.
Meanwhile after a quick Raindance cafe pitstop I sat through the UK Funds talk which still had some supprises even for me. The comedy ‘Down Dog’ with Nick Moran told the story of a man wrongly told he has a year to live who decides to try and turn his life around and reconnect with his son. Funny. Not laugh out loud funny in my view but the kind of comedy that I am sure Sky TV will lap up.
After a very short breather I was invited to the screening of the new Richwater film ‘We Still Kill The Old Way’, a comically at time dark tale of revenge and urban gangland style warfare with the older generation taking on a careless youth gang. For me it was a welcome break from the claustrophobia a festival environment can be. Also. They ran out of space at the ‘Boozin N Smoozin’ event so at least I was left completely out in the cold. Not that anyone would purposeful do such a thing……would they?

To round off this diary entry quickly both screening at BFI, ‘Queen and Country’ as well as ‘NAS -Time Is iLLmatic’ we’re both fresh and worthy of the bouncing around between the Sourhback and Piccadilly.
At Raindance and my film choices were not going well. Both ‘The Ninth Cloud’ with Michael Madsen and the later screening from Sadie Frost ‘Buttercup Bill’ were too out there for words. Luckily the Gala screening of the Manchester United mockumentary ‘United We Fall’ round the day off with at least one hit on planet Raindance.

It has been a weird few days during this festival time as the highs and lows of people energy can draw blood if we are not careful. Film can be a very emotional medium both on screen and especially off screen…..if you let it.