I don’t know about you but it has just occurred to me that during the last few days of our almost-self-isolation, we have been eating better than ever before. Is it the careful meal-planning? Or maybe just the fact that Mr Guylty is at home – and he is a better cook? 😂 So, today’s update: I have muted any keyword connected to “virus”, “covid” and “corona” on Twitter because for the first time in my life I am beginning to understand what “anxiety” is and how it is fuelled by the information overload. We’ve been told what to do, we are doing what we can – a lot of the rest is TMI for me. I need to get on as normal as possible and *not* panic. Basta.
And the first order of the day is – continuing the Distraction Challenge.
2. Which film/series do of Richard’s you think is underrated?
I am going the obvious route with this one. Urban and the Shed Crew. It is underrated in the sense that it never received the uptake it should have when it was first presented to the public via Leeds Film Festival in 2015. And upon its second premiere at Newcastle Film Festival in 2018, it even came away with an award for Richard as best actor, as well as the People’s Choice Award for the best film. It baffles me to this day that no one – no film distributor, no TV channel, no streaming provider – snapped this film up. Granted, it is not a comedy, and it deals with society’s margin groups – and therefore not a crowd pleaser as such. But it never even received the chance to become a critical success. And I don’t think that the later legal issues that are apparently still keeping the film out of distribution, applied back in 2015. But it has everything a compelling film needs – an emotionally affecting story, a heroic main character, sympathetic characters, a relatable setting, a competent film maker, a bestseller book it is based on – and a talented leading man with a name worthy of spelling in big letters on the poster.
My verdict in 2015 was “that this is a story worth telling and the film is a great attempt at raising awareness for the ongoing problems it addresses. It stays faithful to the real life story, a few changes in sequence notwithstanding, and it takes great care to depict the real, living protagonists fairly, respectfully and with sympathy. This is not a finger-pointing film – it makes no judgment on the victims, but tells their story. Appropriate and commendable. The characters are discernibly the real people Hare described in his book, and despite leaving out some of the central problems of the real shed crews’ existence (early sexualisation and prostitution), the hardship of their lives in underprivileged circumstances and under threat of drug abuse is unflinchingly presented. While I would have preferred a grittier realisation of the story, the more conventional approach of the film-maker might make the film more susceptible (and digestible) to a mainstream audience. Ultimately, that is the goal – by packaging the challenging story and its difficult themes in a smooth, digestible format, more people may be reached and distribution could be widened. It is to be hoped that a distributor will be found – or that the film will be picked up by a TV channel where it ultimately might sit better than in an art house scenario.”
I stand by that.
Second order of the day: Have you seen all those wonderful videos of Italians singing across their balconies to keep the morale up? Well, Ireland doesn’t really have (that many) balconies, but that doesn’t keep us from sharing music.
Sorry about the (lack of) sound – it was too windy up there on the second floor. That’s my son in self-isolation (because one of his flatmates was at a party on Friday where he came in contact with a girl whose mother was subsequently tested positive), playing for the passers-by. Not that there are many now… The show must go on!