(empty NFT3 = good coffee break)
The first day I was told: "You'll make a great librarian one day." I had ordered, categorised, and labelled a small room of christmas-like boxes (a task I fully embraced seeing as I rarely extend my full breadth of anality to my own objects). Nice dvds, books and PR ephemera mostly. Some of the latter was odd: Quasimoto rolling papers. Some of it was beyond great: Gondry / Faggioni's 'A Ribbon' Banhart video (one of his few I can stand).
The NFT's illogical partition structure makes for good exploration. Whilst snooping, I found the below images visualising the next phase of the building's development. Apparently the entrance is going to be next to the National Theatre. Some of them are shaky; I'm a rusty detective.
Charlie Chaplin room.
I've also acquired a new hobby; observing the comings and goings of filmgoers from behind an information desk. It is a pastime I enjoy perhaps a little too much. There's an elderly lady who comes most nights and reads a thick tome on Greenberg in the foyer. There was another who lectured me on the downfall of the BFI and local identity; "You're not From South London, you've just lived there most your life. My mum lived in Peckham all her life, but she was From Jamaica." (the genes vs environment debate has an upcoming personal expiry date.)
Then there was the manga crowd, who weren't hard to spot; they had costumes (compulsory feature: exciting headwear). Our favourite wore hot pants and space boots despite torrential rain (I admire dedication). In the toilets of the after-party on HMS President, we learnt many tricks of the trade (don't look too much like the real thing: you could get sued).
Watching films whenever there's a spare seat ain't half bad either. Interestingly, I enjoyed Ghost in the Shell 2 more than Thumbsucker.
Ghost in the Shell 2 (or 'Innocence') for all its clunky philosophical musings (Descartes perhaps lost in transit) was beautifully animated (hand drawn+CGI), the intricate textures and variety of styles overwhelming. Can't claim to know much about manga as a genre, but it was gorgeous and I haven't been burdened with such an overtly ethical (if somewhat tackily handled) narrative in a while.
The main failing of Thumbsucker is that it lacks any sort of tonal coherency, which made for quite a collar-shufflling experience. The heavy-handed, condescendingly repetitive namesake motif alongside trite 'teenage-angst' symbolism/dialogue would have done my head in if it weren't for the light comic touch of Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves. Who would have thought. And it all started so well, with beautiful static landscape shots of the main locations. Maybe Mr Mills should stick to 2D.