100TH POST
Before I start my latest rambling entry, this is the 100th post I’ve put on Walls and Bridges. When I began to write my blog on bloodinthegutters, the site that I used to share with my friend Bill Baker, I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Over a year on, hopefully it has become a little bit more focused.
Last Monday I went to a press screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Directed by Andrew Dominik, responsible for Australian film Chopper, and starring Brad Pitt as James, the film hasn’t done well in the US box office. That’s not surprising as I think the audience was expecting a fast-cut action film with Pitt as a Jesse James with all guns blazing. For me the thoughtful and elegaic nature of the film came as a very pleasant surprise. Pitt as James at the end of his life inhabits the character brilliantly and Dominik sketches a relationship between the outlaw and his killer Ford that is credible and impossible to turn away from. Pitt’s James is a charismatic sociopath but a fallible man nonetheless. This is not Jesse James mythologised: you sympathise with him at times but he is not seen here as a Boy’s Own legend. Dominik has realised the world of the late Wild West with rare charm and skill and so the film is measured with an elegant pacing that makes you think long after you leave the cinema. Casey Affleck as James’s killer stays just the right side of annoying and the parallels that the director draws between the James Gang and the Ford brothers is an interesting one with Sam Rockwell on fine form as brother Charley Ford. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an intelligent and well-made study of a historical icon in his latter years and although the book by Ron Hansen that the film is based on takes a fictionalised line on what actually happened (because no-one knows the true story), the film’s speculation never rinsg untrue to the viewer. Pitt deserves an Oscar nod for this movie, no question, as does the director for what is a very admirable piece of work…






MORE SLR PHOTOS
I took my camera with me to work again today and took the DLR in my lunch break to Island Gardens and then walked the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to by the Cutty Sark. The light was great and I took some nice shots. I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m glad I invested in my new camera…
So here are photos in the Greenwich Tunnel, Greenwich from the Isle of Dogs side and by Greenwich Maritime Museum…






GETTING THE BIGGER PICTURE
After putting it off for about eighteen months or so, I bit the bullet on Sunday and bought myself an SLR. It’s a Nikon D40x and it’s a really nice camera. I took it out for a wander around Docklands in my lunch yesterday and so here are five of the shots I took. I’m going to really enjoy playing with it. I’ll be taking it to Ireland next week when I go for the Dublin comic show. So here are some pics near Heron Quays in Docklands…


A GOOD WEEK
It’s been a decent week. I’ve done another five days of subbing at the Indy, which went okay. I’ve also thrashed out some things about next year which is a bit of a relief. Firstly, I’ve just arranged distribution for next year’s TRIPWIRE Annual through Borders in the UK, which will significantly increase both our profile and our print run, which proves the momentum is continuing. I have also had a chat with Mike Conroy at CI. During the Birmingham comic show in October, we discussed upping my role at Comics International over the next year. But I have given this a lot of thought and with the increased publishing schedule of TRIPWIRE and the fact that Mike wants to take it in a different direction to the one I would like to pursue, I have chosen not to increase my involvement. I shall still be writing for CI and subbing but I was obviously not the right fit for what he has in mind. The TRIPWIRE progress has got me excited though and I should have an announcement about a proper pagination by the end of this month…
I went to see 30 Days of Night at a press screening about 10 days ago. I have been mulling over what to say about it and whether it’s worthy of a review here. But the problem is that there isn’t a lot to say: it’s one of the most graphic and bloody films I’ve ever seen on general release at the cinema,it seems fairly faithful to the graphic novel and I’m glad it’s had a good show at the box office. It was visually engaging but not what you’d call an enjoyable evening…
I’m off to see Jesse James (or to give it its full title: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) on Monday evening, which I am actually looking forward to. I’ll give you my verdict in the next post…