Friday, 13 March 2015

film review HYENA

'Good policing doesn't necessarily mean doing everything by the book. But as the business of crime in London turns to favour the Albanians and Turks, how does a "good" policeman survive?'

Michael Logan is a corrupt cop on the take who gets caught between his own colleagues, out to shut him down, and a pair of Albanian traffickers. Does a good job of portraying the sleazy side of London, and the casting is great - the Albanians and Turkish gangsters, and the equally thuggish cops, really look the part, and the best scenes are where they relax on big sofas making chit chat and exuding menace. Great soundtrack by THE THE... while I'm generally in favour of this grittily realistic style, some horrible violence and rape make it quite tough to watch in places.  

The writer/director has clearly read the same books on police corruption as I have, as I recognised some of his research. Though he could have done a bit more, I wasn't quite convinced. 

But - big spoiler - it's got a shit ending. The cop is about to confront the Albanians - they're armed, he's armed, they've got his girlfriend hostage - and then it just stops. Like a novel that's had the last chapter ripped out. The audience in my cinema were tutting in disappointment, as was I. Even a bad ending is better than no ending. So everyone walks out of the cinema saying how disappointing it was. Way to shoot yourself in the foot, filmmakers. 

quick petulent aside - so another writer director project that looks good, is written a bit flat but coasts some distance on directorial flair and casting, then falls apart in the second half. Like every other writer/director project ever. I wish directors would stop writing, cause they're crap at it.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Writing a Book

I am writing a book. I have already sold it. This is much better than writing with your fingers crossed, just hoping that someone will pick it up. I can set myself deadlines, research properly, budget...

First draft I call draft zero, cause it is just looking for a story - writing for the sake of it, taking the characters out for a walk, goading them to a fight. Not worrying too much about where it is going at this stage.

I usually start on paper, and write lots of dialogue between the characters - getting a sense of who they are, and a rough idea of the plot. Just keep them talking.

All the scene setting and the prose can come later.

For me a scene only works when people are talking. Like today I wrote about this cop telling a guy that a relative had died. It was okay. But it came alive when I put them in a situation where they had to wait around, so they had to make chit chat, and the cop starts telling the guy about his holidays, cause he can't think of anything else to talk about. It's really banal dialogue but because the situation is dramatic, it works. I think there will be lots of such chit-chat in this book.