Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Friday 11 September 2009

Pollard (n.) A noisy bird, common to the North of England, noted for its incessant raucous calls and gaudy plumage. It is reported by Northern twitchers to be on the decline as it has not been spotted as regularly in recent years.

I had to go back to hospital today for a CT scan. It wasn’t as scary as I thought, although I had to drink a litre of water beforehand and then get injected with iodine, which gave me an odd warm flush.
Later, I met up with the Ugly One and we hightailed it to the Vue at Shepherds Bush to see ‘District Nine’. I was very impressed with this film, which attempts to break the mould of the mainstream SF film. Stylistically it looks very different to other contemporary films, beginning as a collection of Tv media clips showing the arrival of a space-ship above Johannesburg which is housing a population of dispossessed aliens. In some senses very similar to Alien Nation, this movie goes further, demonstrating a xenophobic attitude from the outset where the aliens are settled in a segregated township, where their superior technology is milked by Nigerian gangs who pay them in catfood.
It is, pretty obviously, a thinly-veiled comment on racism and segregation, made all the more chilling by the complicit attitude of the media and the government.
It is not, surprisingly, a depressing film, and rattles along at a fair old pace, mixing action with comic moments, following the transformation, both physical and ideological, of the central figure, Wicus, a kind of South African Rob Brydon.
Refreshingly, the cast are all ‘unknown’ actors and without exception do a sterling job. No doubt, had Hollywood taken this on as a major project we’d have had it set in Nevada with Nicholas Cage as Wicus and William Hurt as his evil father-in-law. It would have been all the worse for it.

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