Seriously, I've decided that to give myself a fighting chance, I'm going to blog about stuff I've been watching lately.
For example, t'other weekend I went up to Sheffield for blazingskies' video games on big wide screen telly night. That was good fun. Admittedly I'm not really much of a gamer, but as much as anything else such nights are opportunities to chill out with awesome geeky people. And anyway, a major part of the evening was watching Coraline, which I must confess is a film I'd not really thought about watching (I've a generally high regard for Neil Gaiman, but haven't sampled more than a tiny fraction of his work), but I'm glad we saw it because it was a wonderful film, one of those warped dark fairy stories that Gaiman does so well, and incredibly well made. Also, we then stayed up until the wee small hours playing Rock Band, as Becky's got the microphone, two guitars, and drum kit controller. I played bass in our little band, which was named Kingdom Chaos.
After returning from Sheffield, as is fairly traditional, I watched The Full Monty, which I always enjoy.
And then, I decided to watch Priest, which I'd recently backed up onto DVD-R (something I've been doing with a lot of my old tapes lately). As the opening credits rolled, I realised that it had Robert Carlyle, Lesley Sharp and Tom Wilkinson in the cast, and Paul Barber's in there too. Which as they're all in The Full Monty as well, seemed rather heavily coincidental. I know that I saw the film when it first came out in the cinemas, but I don't think I've seen it since (IIRC its TV airing was when I was at university, and I doubt I did much more than just bung a tape in and hit record), and...it's the story of a Roman Catholic priest struggling, as the blurb puts it, "with his homosexual tendencies", and...there's a bit in the film where Father Greg (Linus Roache) tells Matthew (Wilkinson), "I'm not one of your Guardian articles," (or words to that effect), but to be honest, the whole film - written by Jimmy McGovern - comes across like a Guardian article. I'm pretty sure its heart is in the right place, and it's certainly a well made film, but it seems as if McGovern decided to write an issue rather than a story.
Also, alongside the main plot - new priest Father Greg gets arrested for sexual indecency in the back of a car with Graham (Carlyle), and gets kicked out of the parish, but Father Matthew sticks up for him - there's a subplot involving a local teenager who's being sexually abused by her dad, and Greg finds out but is bound by the Seal of the Confessional not to tell anyone, even though doing so could stop it from happening - and when the girl's mum (Sharp) finds out that he knew, she pretty much blames him. Like I said, very much a film based around issues, but Steven Moffat had written a "teenage girl sexually abused by her dad" plot much more subtly in Press Gang a few years before, and Russell T Davies would go on to a decent gay drama without sledgehammering issues home in Queer as Folk a few years later.
On the other hand, it does feature one of the most realistic depictions of Christian doubt that I've ever seen, as Father Greg, tormented by the decision he must make - whether to break his oath or keep quiet about what Lisa's dad is doing - yells at the crucifix on his study wall, "don't just hang there, you smug, idle bastard! Do something!" That moment has stayed with me these last fifteen years, and it's not going to go away in a hurry.
Tomorrow, probably FlashForward...