Saturday, January 10, 2009

No, THIS is England.

When I was living in England, I worked a temp job in data entry for a little while at a copyright licensing agency. I thought it would be like my favorite show: David Brent would be my boss, Tim and I would bond over torturing Garrett until our fallout due to a mutual crush on the receptionist Dawn. Well, perhaps it was a little like BBC's 'The Office' but I was sitting at the quiet table in the corner where nothing ever happens and everyone just keeps their heads down and works. There was a sort of Keith character sitting across from me; Robert was an overweight pimply guy with a passion for junk food, picking his nose, and anything else he could do to just let loose. Actually, I did serve the real Keith when I got a much better job at a pub in Fulham, and it would seem eczema is a weakness the actual actor suffers, but I digress.

It wasn't a very social place, as everyone usually worked with headphones providing their own soundtracks. Since data entry is about the most monotonous work you can do, I would constantly have a window on my desktop playing youtube videos. This is where I watched most of the hilarious series that is 'Peep Show,' the stars of which are actually the Mac and PC guys in the English versions of those commercials.

At the time, Shane Meadows' film 'This is England' was just being released and had a lot of press. I really liked the trailer, but something was missing: the Clash song from which the film got its title. I would often find myself at work watching the trailer with the youtube window on mute while I listened to the song. They must not have been able to secure the rights to the song, or perhaps the filmmakers don't like obviousness as much as I do, because it works brilliantly. I've put together this demonstration:

See? Anyway, I didn't see the actual film until I got back to Canada, since sustaining an existence on a data entry wage in London didn't really leave room for the theatre going experience. What stood out in the film to me was a good soundtrack as well as some great performances by the young cast members and by Stephen Graham (Tommy from 'Snatch') as the crazy Combo. I'm not sure I liked it as much as the trailer though, perhaps I'll have to watch it again.

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