Chapter One – Chapter Three (Swedish Dismorphia and Nazi Jokes)

Show Me Love (originally called Fucking Amal in its native Sweden) was one of my favourite films of the late 90s. The story of two teenage girls, one the geeky, one cool, who rail against their provincial existence and eventually fall in love. It seemed made for anyone who had a Smiths poster on their wall and would be a good companion piece to My Summer of Love. Director Lukas Moodysson then made Together, the story of a seventies commune which made excellent use of ABBA’s SOS. Moodysson  was complimented by Ingmar Bergman which led some people to think his destiny was to be the new Bergman. As you might imagine, he became bleaker. Lily 4 Ever was about teenage prostitution and Hole in My Heart, where a son watches his father make an amateur porn film. Container, his “distressing art piece”, has been on my shelf for about a year. It was £3 from Fopp and my enjoyment of his first two films meant I still have enough fondness for his work to risk another afternoon of gloom.

I think I have gone beyond chapter one of the Container DVD, it is still mumbling on bleakly in the background. It is a film for people who consider Derek Jarman’s Last of England to be Britain’s answer to The Cannonball Run. If it was in one of those dark corner projection rooms in an art gallery you might be wooed, there are things you watch in the dark projection rooms of galleries that you would not watch in an Odeon. American actress Jena Malone narrates over images of a fat hairy man with body dismorphia and a selection of wigs. She uses one of those monosyllabic, whispery voices that mean some words are just broken sounds.

It feels like being trapped on public transport with someone who is boring you, but whose story seems so confusing and their tone so melancholy that you have to keep listening, fearing that if no one is listening to them they will stand up and start stabbing their wrists with their mother’s scissors.

After chapter one, I thought this could safely go to Oxfam to surprise a charitable cineaste, but I’ve left it on in the background and it is becoming one of those annoying things that I should get rid of and yet…

I think it’s for people who are old enough to have taken that Morrissey poster off their wall, but still have a scrappy NME advert for Suedehead stuck on a shed wall.

(I think it might be better if you listen to Container rather than watching it)

Should I keep shouldn’t I keep? The first quandary.

There are two chapter One books today, both bought in Chapel Allerton this morning. I needed to read the first chapters quickly so I could take them straight back to the “we help animals” charity shop before I leave Leeds tomorrow.

Wit as a Weapon by Ego Larsen is from the Leeds Library Services, sadly discarded in 1997 and with a cover using a George Grosz illustration, this already has the edge on being a keeper. (this is not the cover illustration but is a George Grosz)

The book is just five chapters and 108 pages long and gives the brief history of the joke being used by the oppressed to laugh at their oppressors. Chapter One has a Kremlin joke, a Nazi gag and some Diogenes schtick. It also comments on the lack of good routines taking the piss out of Oliver Cromwell. This will not return to the poorly animal boutique.

Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective is a bulky book probably intended for students of marketing , but as I am a perpetual student I thought I better buy it. It is a study of role theory in consumer behaviour. Chapter one has much on brands and demographics. It includes tables on “Variables for market segmentation” breaking down geographic, behavioural and psychographic  and EU Priorities for Consumer Policy. These go well with figure 1.2 – The pyramid of Consumer behaviour. I

At this point I am imagining that this book will be the lynchpin of some ruthless satire on the banality of western civilization so I’ll keep it. A few months in 2011 I’ll find it in a corner and think, why did I buy that? Oh, probably because it was orange, had some lurid pictures of European magazine adverts and I had some sort of intention to use it for thing that I had forgotten about by the time my train went through Peterborough.

Next gigs – 23/9 MAC, Birmingham 25/9 Rondo, Bath 27/9 Glasgow Stand

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3 Responses to Chapter One – Chapter Three (Swedish Dismorphia and Nazi Jokes)

  1. kateweb says:

    It might be interesting to see how many books/DVDs you buy during the year versus how many you get rid of – whether on balance your library’s actually shrinking.

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