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5 January 2005

My throat is a nest for birds of broken glass; my head both aches and oozes at every orifice. I am, in a word, sick. And trying to work none the less, but see how easily I am distracted?

Yesterday-my-birthday I was not so much distracted as distrait. An abominable thing happened to me in the morning; I went to the cinema, where they showed me Alexander. And yes, I had heard that it was a turkey, but hey, three hours of young men in tunics: couldn’t hurt, could it...?

Ow. It is truly a dreadful thing, a mismade patchwork with no sense of what story it was trying to tell, a miserable framing-device (poor Anthony Hopkins, shuffling around as old Ptolemy giving history lectures to his scribes), riven with Oliver Stone’s familiar love of conspiracy theories and some of the worst dialogue you will hear this year, even including the next Star Wars horrorfest.

It has an intermission; when did you last see a film with an intermission? (Actually, I can answer that: it was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, where the break comes just as the car goes over the cliff. Fabulous.) Because we were a press show, I assumed they would just go straight into part two of the abomination, but no: the curtain came down, the lights came up. No one sold us ice-cream, but the manager came in to ask if it was as bad as he’d heard. We assured him it was; he said they were actually expecting people to walk out, at this mid-point. A wiser man than I would do exactly that; the second half is worse than the first.

No matter. It happened, it is over, I need never see it again. I am a year older and a tad wiser than I was. Rest of my birthday was fun with friends; this morning, I went back to the cinema. Just to take the taste out of my mouth, you understand. Today it was Vanity Fair, and maybe it was only in reaction to yesterday’s agonies, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. It’s been sweetened up a little, but that’s okay; I was in the mood for happy endings. Something has to end happily, for someone, sometime. I really do believe it won’t be me.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.