The Null Device
Tonight I went to see Pure, a film by Gillies MacKinnon (who also did Glaswegian tenement kitchen-sinker Small Faces and Kate Winslet art-house romp Hideous Kinky) about a 10-year-old boy in gritty East London and his heroin-addicted mother. The film was somewhere between Ken Loach's kitchen-sink social realism (particularly films like Kes) and Trainspotting; it had a touch of the pop-cultural sensibility of the latter (in a few visual effects), but was somewhat less light (though unlike many kitchen-sink films, it didn't offer a scathing indictment of capitalism/contemporary British society). The acting was excellent, especially from Canadian actress Molly Parker (she was the necrophiliac in Kissed some years back) who played the mother, struggling with heroin addiction. Meanwhile, Australian actor David Wenham (of The Boys) played the slimy wide-boy drug dealer/pimp, and up-and-coming actress Keira Knightley (she's in some Disney formula flick or something) played a teenaged prostitute. The musical score was by Nitin Sawhney, and alternated between traditional film-score territory (neo-classical synth-strings and pianos) and jungle/drum-&-bass-inspired beats. Well worth a look, if it gets local release (quite possible, because of the local-boy factor).
It was interesting to contrast the gritty, working-class East London in Pure, with its housing estates, drug addiction, teenage prostitutes and the mass ritual of the football match, with the almost Thatcherite upwardly-mobile neighbourhoods just a little further west in The Mother which I saw on the weekend.
As public-health-conscious governments/lifestyle fascists ban smoking in various public venues, some venues are starting to sell drinks laced with nicotine, complete with tobacco aftertaste. (via bOING bOING)
Distraction of the day: Tribe.net; it's a social-software thing, a bit like Friendster, only it's actually useful for things other than dating. It's a bit like the late lamented sixdegrees.com (now replaced by a commercial dating site which seems to have bought the original logo at a dot-com bankrupcy auction, but I digress), and has "tribes" (or interest groups) you can join (or create), as well as forums and listings.