Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Thursday, October 09, 2003


Always so much i want to blog about, so little time. i was just rereading (which reminds me of the Kerouac point i keep saying i'm going to make, but never do; maybe tomorrow) my list of movie sequences (catherine, please, please don't regret that you opened this spigot and now it doesn't seem to close . . . . it will, i promise, as soon as the pressure drops some in the pipes) and i had one of those experiences of suddenly seeing an obvious and powerful connection between seemingly disjoint pieces that, to my embarrassment, have been sitting in front of me, waving and making faces for years. I mentioned parenthetically below that the dance club sequence in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting is an homage to Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, specifically to the Korovo Milk Bar ("Milk plus-- vellocet, drencrom . . . to sharpen you up . . .) sequences. Not only does Boyle lay out and paint the club's back room to match the Korovo (same words on wall), but he also opens the scene with the same slow 10mm-lens knee-high reverse dolly shot. It's a brilliant (um, i mean, extremely pleasurable) scene for many, many reasons--as those who've seen it can attest (those who haven't, please just do). But my favorite part has always been the music, especially, as I say, the thermonuclear eighties dance songs "Temptation" and "Atomic," the one seque-ing seamlessly--as if dj'd--into the other to marvelous effect. "Temptation" has an obvious (if not heavyhanded) topical appropriateness to the scene: in voice-over Renton remarks that his heroin addiction had long kept him from feeling much sexual desire, but now, having kicked the habit (at least for while), he is strongly feeling it again. When I would teach the film, I would point out how careful Boyle was to pick a song whose lyrics respond so directly to Renton's thoughts. OK. So, reviewing my list just now, I started wondering who in god's name performed it. Eventually, it popped into my head (from i wish i fucking knew where, 'cause there are a lot of other things there i really need): it was an OHW band called "Heaven Seventeen." Some corner of my eye was still near my parenthetical note on Boyle's debt to Kubrick. Click. Bang. Omigod. For christ's fucking sake, "Heaven Seventeen" was a band mentioned briefly in one scene in . . . A Clockwork Orange! When Alex picks up the teeny-boppers at the music store, one asks him, pointing to an illuminated list where the names are clearly displayed (not far from a prominent copy of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey), "Who you gettin', bratty? Goggly Gogol? Johnny Zhivago? The Heaven Seventeen?"

OK, so i love Danny Boyle even more.
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