Tag Archives: film

Is teen pregnancy funny?

Juno is about a cool and collected, yet geeky, teenager. Juno’s best friend is a decidedly more geeky, but charisma-heavy character called Bleeker (Michael Cera, Arrested Development). At the start of the film Juno quickly finds out that she is pregnant to Bleeker. Initially Juno plans to have an abortion – and with the suitably amusing scene at the abortion clinic out of the way – she quickly realises that an abortion is not for her. She decided that adoption may be the way forward, and quickly finds a couple she likes the sound of in the classified ads.

Juno Film Poster

The tirade of consequences weave an intricate tale. Despite a kind of inevitability that ensues throughout (you almost know the end right from the start) it engages, amuses and ultimately gratifies the soul. I can appreciate a different point of view, some would be marred by the fact that at the core of this is a teenage pregnancy, some would find the use of music and deliberately overworked cosmetics tacky, certainly some peoples sense of humor might not be matched to the comic elements. However for me all of these things were actually spot on.

Before watching Juno I was a little apprehensive; I thought that it may be too serious. I was concerned that the severity of the issues at hand would not be offset enough by the skill of the writing and cinematography. I was wrong, definitely wrong. It works fantastically. The sound track, the writing, the performances; it works. Funnily enough looking back I think it works because of the severity of the issues. Seeing how the dialog and the lead actress work through the issues of teenage pregnancy really brings an amazing warmth to the film and also I feel it actually allows the movie to address the issues but without being nauseatingly depressing.

So, in this case at least, teen pregnancy is funny. This is the best film that I didn’t watch in 2007. Unfortunately that not only means that I didn’t watch many good films last year, but it also means that a high standard has been set for 2008, and I’m finding it increasing difficult to enjoy anything else I watch!

I loved Juno’s Dad’s nick name for her, Junebug.

Hypercondria Movie

While “researching” my Hollyoaks concept I came across a similar idea, but simply supplementing Hollyoaks for Hypercondria.

Again, like the soap operas, I suffer from this terribly. Horrendously in fact. And so do many of my peers. I think it will work well!

I think the Hypercondria, Hollyoaks and Commuters are all good ideas. Maybe the three could become one longer film?

Hollyoaks Film Idea

I’m quite a sucker for TV soap operas. At the time of writing my only two serious addictions are Neighbours and Hollyoaks. One of the strangest things when dealing with a soap addiction is the oddity that normally the lower the quality the more enjoyment that is derived from it.

I massively relish the abysmal acting, scripting writing and production. Without the poor elements it would be much more unpleasant to watch these programmes.

I’ve spotted various members of the Hollyoaks cast in my lifetime. The first was a sighting of “Sol” (Paul Danan, star of Celebrity Love Island) in Liverpool Airport. I also saw a bloke who played a rapist at the weekly comedy showcase, Mirth on Monday, at Iguana Bar in Chorlton. After some thought I figured that I actually know a lot of people at at some point or other have seen a member of the Hollyoaks cast in-the-flesh.

For sometime I’ve actively been asking people if they’ve had any encounters with the sub-celebrities that make up the Hollyoaks cast, and sure enough, loads of people have seen them. Each report usually comes with some kind of amusing story as an accompaniment.

I’d like to make a movie using Hollyoaks as a starting point. My plan is to interview people (friends and strangers) asking them if they’ve ever seen a Hollyoaker. I’ve never tried anything like that before, but I reckon it could work out great. It also fits within my self-set remit of working with (to use the technology phrase) “user generated content”.

Cosy Cosilli

Whilst writing I’m listening to Happy Snail by an artist called Cosy Cosili, also on Creaked Records (my record label). Its really quite funny, the album is about a snail, also called Cosy Cosilli. Although word-less, the music certainly makes me think of snail-based things. Its great! You can listen to it on last.fm.

Commuter Stories

I love “The Commute” and hate it all at the same time. I don’t do it anymore, at least at the moment, but when I did I saw the daily monotony as a horrible chore but also recognised some kind of beauty in it. To explain; despite the abject terror it sometimes creates, not to mention to terrible frustration, it does signify “our” (the West, I guess) amazing talent for organising things and “progress” (whatever that means).

As well as the symbolism of what the commute represents, I love the patterns. The same as the cycles of the moon, the seasons, the tides (which are of course linked to the moon and the seasons) – almost everything in the natural world operates in patterns and cycles of some kind. We have created our own similar patterns. Of course they don’t just exist with the daily commute but that is the particular example I’m interested in.

There are many different ways I could take my interest in the subject, but the thing that really interests me is how if you embark on a regular daily commute everything is almost always exactly the same, but it is always a little bit different. Subtle change is constant, but virtual-constancy is permanent regardless. NB sounds like another Dylan lyric, it is brilliant:

Talkin’ World War III Blues, last verse:

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin’ around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time,
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time.
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.”
I said that.

I’d like to explore this with a documentary film, taking the same route each day; to notice and remark on the things that stay the same, the things that change and document encounters.

My problem with this, is that I don’t think I have the guts to actually do it. I’m quite shy around most people. Maybe I require a bolshy partner.

Anyhow, plenty of other things to be on with for the time being….

Speech Play Ideas

I used to live with a linguist and we often chatted about how words were formed aurally, psycho-linguistics and etymology. I’m also just personally interested in accents and what people sound like. I’m sure my interest stems from being born in Yorkshire, and growing up there, but having parents who both spoke with fairly bland southern accents. My accent has now become amorphous to whatever environment I’m in, but I used to have a significantly different accent to my peers and friends at school. I never felt stigmatised, but maybe it sparked this interest. Language in general and particularly links and differences between the European languages also intrigue me.

I’m considering the idea of dissecting some words into their component syllables, then writing each syllable in a variety of different ways. Each “iteration” will only have one change from the previous one. For instance with the word “singleton”;

Sin – gle – ton

Cin – gle – ton

Cin – gal – ton

Cin – gal – town

Cyn – gal – town

Cyn – galle – town

Cynne – galle – town

Cynne – galle – touwn

I thought this would make an interesting animation manipulating the form of the words as they appear on the page. Also I think it would be a nice documentary-style film asking people to read through the different versions, but out of sequence. The idea with that would be that they were not entirely sure what the word they’re trying to say is.

Maybe a combination of the two formats. Who knows, this is just an idea at the moment.