Monday, October 10, 2005


'Proper Horrorshow'

I was at the cinema last night watching David Cronenberg's 'A History Of Violence.' It was very, very good, I really enjoyed it, but the experience was almost ruined by the adverts before the film even started.

Now, look. I go to the cinema a lot. A lot. I've seen my share of bad adverts, adverts that made me want to leave. I gritted my teeth through the forty-three times I saw that Orange advert with Darth Vader proposing a film. I refused to throw rocks at the screen as I was confronted by people bouncing through a city on giant Maltesers. I didn't kill the man next to me when he laughed at that advert for Surf Tropical where the old woman washes her bloomers in a glade.

However, last night, I lost it. I couldn't believe what was in front of my eyes. It was an advert for a new jeans brand (called, vomit-inducingly, &denim) which was a retelling of the Romeo & Juliet story. It went on for six minutes, which wouldn't have been too bad, but some genius had decided to make it a musical, and I had to listen to Tamyra Gray and Mary J Bilge pounding out screech after screech after screech, getting ever more unlistenable. The woman next to me asked her boyfriend 'is this the movie?' I don't blame her - about five minutes in, the thing felt like it had been going on for an hour.

I love soul music. I do. Yet this was just yelling, at a very high pitch, very, very loudly. It was awful.

Predictably, it has come with a press release. This is possibly the most fatuous document I have ever clapped eyes on:

'There's clothes. There's jeans. And there's a significant difference. While clothes come and go, a favourite pair of jeans can stand by your side, for years or forever. It's like a long mutual relationship. A love story.'

No it's not, it's a fucking pair of jeans. Stop yelling! Get over it. If you rip them, or get shot in the hood, as happens in this pile of excresence, or whatever else, just buy another pair. It's not a life partner. 'Forever?' They're out of style in six months! AAAARRRGHH! Leave me alone, you spawn of Satan.

'&denim is not just a collection. It's a brand. And since a pair of jeans is the only kind of clothing where true feelings are involved, we want to create a soulful brand over time'

Who are these tossers? Why do they need a six minute, abysmal quality musical to tell me that they're deluded twats? I never, ever, ever, ever want to see this again.

I would seriously suggest you think hard about visiting the cinema until you can be sure the coast is clear, and this blot on the horizon has evaporated in the manner it so richly deserves.


This was far, far, far more disturbing than the violence in the film. That was a snowy morning in comparison. If you really love jeans that much, see a psychiatrist.

Don't get me into another rant about advertising. I'll start quoting Bill Hicks again...

Out of interest, was the film itself worth seeing? It's the only film I've heard about recently that's even come close to making me venture back to a cinema...
Actually, yes, it really was. I wouldn't say it was an all-time classic, but it's Cronenberg back to his Fly/Scanners best, and Viggo Mortensen really is exceedingly good in it.

It's a thought-provoking piece of work, and a very good character study. My only complaint was that it didn't end so much as stop. If the film was a sentence, it would have ended on a comma. Still, I'd definitely recommend it.

It is a little violent in parts, it's worth remembering.
Thanks for the warning Steve. I was going to go to see this one (on the strength of Kermode's enthusiasm), but now I'll make sure I arrive five minutes late.
He was very enthusiastic, wasn't he? It was very good, but I'm not sure it was a 'contender for film of the year.' Still, well worth seeing - and yes, you won't miss anything be being five minutes late. Sounds like a plan to me.
Steve, the press release copy brought back to me one of the very good reasons I quit my HND Communications course way back in the mists of time. How can human beings think in this fashion? The banality is soul crushing.

I just know this is how Tony Blair thinks, 24/7.
I know. It's crushing to think that people might actually believe this shit. Just reading that press release made me so angry I had to go for a walk.
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