Saturday, June 28, 2008

Got back too late last night, plus it felt like Saturday for some reason. Edinburgh seems to be a haven for packs of drunks way worse than I ever noticed before. However, as long as they keep themselves to themselves…

So let’s rewind to Thursday. My friends Valerie and Greg run Music4Games which is involved with pretty much what it sez on the packaging. They’re great kids and 150% immersed in the medium. They fixed it for me to go see the Video Games Live extravaganza in Glasgow. I’d never played a video game in my life until two weeks ago. If you read my Stockholm report then you perhaps remember that I was trounced by a 6 year old Vincent Vahlberg at Wiii (how many i’s?) Bowling. Anyway, getting the chance to hear the RSNO and choir perform the soundtrack to these alien forms (to me) seemed like a good idea.

The Royal Concert Hall is the perfect venue for a show like this. Where electric, bordering on rock shows can sound a bit tame, the orchestra sounds full and crisp. Plus its very civilised, the polar opposite of the Barra’s. Being unfamiliar with the material, it peaked and troughed in terms of the visuals but the sound was phenomenal. Some of this gear is very John Williams in terms of grandiosity. Very nice but quite bland. It was the stuff that hinted at Mancini or maybe Percy Faith that I got a kick out of. At one point, I even detected a little Esquivel maybe?

This is composition like soundtracking a film. Built to evoke emotional ties to the visuals and my problem with a lot of the graphics is that they have the same effect on me as your average costume drama. It’s not the same as anime or straight animation. It also has that Lord Of The Rings vibe which I’m not down with. This ain’t a hobbit for me anyone? A couple of earlier games looked like Hanna Barbera cartoons, those I could get a beat on.

Essentially, I never felt quite so out of my depth since I nearly drowned in the pacific. It’s a pretty slick affair and while I dug some of the pieces, the rendered nature of the stuff going on with the screen just began to blur. It impeded being able to watch the players. That’s the musicians not the “gamers”. One person I did see during intermission whilst trying to scope out the M4G banner which wasn't there was the writer, Ian Rankine. I'm sure his creation, Rebus, would share my trepidation for the format being celebrated. All the evangelical zeal in the world probably won’t snare me into going anywhere near a console anytime soon. I am curious about these "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" things though. I might well take another spin with the RSNO though.

So, Friday (the day that felt like Saturday)… back into film festival mode and an early start. How do you feel about the smell of Truffaut in the early afternoon? Well the practically full house for “The Bride Wore Black” at 2.30pm were certainly eager. It’s a pretty good period piece and said to be the kernel of the idea seed that was "Kill Bill". Tarantino apparently claims to have never seen it but what the hey. It’s these stories that give it all a little mystery. Closing the Jeanne Moreau season, it hit the spot, great Bernard Herrmann score too. Thinks were looking up as Artistic Director Hannah McGill introduced it, finally it seemed like an effort was being made.

Couple hours to kill before Werner Herzog’s “Encounters At The End Of The World” in a very wet Auld Reekie trying to keep out of the rain. So, back into the red with regard to effort, no intro, no nothing lights down and away. I like Herzog but this is too long and his dry, piss-taking style sort of started to grate. Some of the underwater photography is mind-blowing and turns out that this footage was shot by Henry Kaiser. I think it’ll look pretty good on your flat screen TV. The soundtrack is by Kaiser and David Lindley who also did “Grizzly Man”.

Once more into the pissing rain and down to Haymarket, missed a train by two minutes and had to wait a half hour for the next one. This is the back arse end of beyond in terms of public transport but it’ll all be different when we become indie-fucking-dependent. At this point, I’m about 50/50 not going to the Bill Plympton screening tonight. There’s a noon screening of "The Cool World" tomorrow and those Hoodoo Gurus at The Liquid Rooms on Tuesday. I think I’ve had enough of the cinema for now though. I’m all cultured out.

But hey, the sun just came out so who knows. My spirit is in Borlänge, what can I tell ya...