Saturday 4 October 2014

Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life

Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheuren Ungeziefer verwandelt.
- Franz Kafka, Die Verwandlung1

Me:  So, that was Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life written and directed by-  Oo!  Hazel Pethig.  Ah, sorry – she did the costume, she didn’t direct it.  It was directed by someone else but we’ll get to that.  First off, I’m intrigued about the fact that you’re now ‘a Healer’.

Him:  What?

Me:  You’re ‘a Healer’.

Him:  We should make them guess what that means.  The world, I mean.

Me:  Why is it that every single creative avenue that I wander down – that’s in any way successful – has to involve somebody who’s a Reverend of some description?

Him:  I’m not a Reverend.

Me:  Well, what are you then?

Him:  A Healer.

Me:  And how does that work?

Him:  Same as being a Reverend.

Me:  Ha!  In what way?

Him:  It’s just a cooler name. 

Me:  And?

Him:  What do you mean ‘And?’?

Me:  You got to explain this.

Him:  I don’t.  Let’s just change the subject.

Me:  To something other than your ordination?

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  But you are… ordained?

Him:  Yeah.  And if multiple people get ordinated at the same time-

Me:  Get what?

Him:  Get ordinated.  You have to say that, otherwise the joke doesn’t work.

Me:  Ha!

Him:  That’s co-ordination.

Me:  I like that.  Okay, it probably wasn’t that funny but-

Him:  It was hilarious.  It was comedy gold.

Me:  Fried gold.

Him:  Murray Gold…

Me:  Yes, let’s not.  So, we’ve just watched Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which was written and directed by Peter Capaldi.  How familiar are you with Metamorphosis?

Him:  I know it.

Me:  I think…  Have you read the original?

Him:  No.  We only read a bit of it.

Me:  Thousands of-

Him:  It’s not that long, is it?

Me:  It’s fairly short.  Thousands of years ago, which can’t be right, when I was living on top of a hill next to a park… 

Him:  What was in the park?

Me:  Trees.  Elderly people.  White dog poo.

Him:  What type of trees?3

Me:  Unyielding trees.

Him:  Unyielding with rage?

Me:  That’s why I’ve got the bizarre triangular scar on the front of my head.  Anyway, in school, we watched this odd theatrical version of Metamorphosis – written and adapted by Steven Berkoff.  Tim Roth was in it and it was set in a jungle gym.  Tim Roth was in it, so was Berkoff…  Saskia Reeves.  The last time I saw Berkoff, he was acting alongside a Menoptra in David Fincher’s version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  He also turned up in Brass Eye.  And annoyed some folk at the Edinburgh Festival recently.  Interesting fellow.  Saskia Reeves cropped up in a film called I.D., which was very good.  She played Luther’s boss for a few episodes as well.  Anyway…  Peter Capaldi won an Oscar for that.  Can you see why?

Him:  You tell me.  Don’t spoil the fun.

Me:  Ken Stott…  I’ve been talking about A Touch of Cloth this week and I still think that my long-running prejudice is correct in that Ken Stott was the only actor who could play Rebus.  I’ll have to put a link here to The Payphone Story.  Ian Rankin once walked past me.

Him:  Did he just keep walking?  He didn’t turn around and say, “Hello”?

Me:  Weirdly enough, he didn’t know who I was.

Him:  Peter Capaldi knew who you were though.  The time you saw him.

Me:  Ah, he didn’t know who I was, but he knew that I knew who he was.  And he knew that I knew that he knew.

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  It was a very strange moment.  Unlike the time that Sylvester McCoy walked by me on a Cardiff street.

Him:  Wasn’t he on the phone?

Me:  Yeah.  And – another one – I got stuck behind Richard E. Grant in Edinburgh.

Him:  Did you just give him a big hug?

Me:  No!  I was having my lunch, sat on a bench in Princes Street Gardens and he was sat next to me.  So, naturally, I’m thinking, “That’s Richard E. Grant!  He’s sat next to me!”

Him:  And you said all this.  And then you turned to him and said, “Hello…”

Me:  I was very careful not to say it out loud.  Kept in my head.  So, I waited until he’d gone, and this is where it gets embarrassing-

Him:  And then you went over to his table?

Me:  No, it was a bench.  Do you remember any of the times we’ve been to Princes Street Gardens?

Him:  I think you’ve just made it up.

Me:  The first time we went, we were given a gauranga sticker and a guidebook to the afterlife.

Him:  Am I supposed to know what any of these words mean?

Me:  Largely, yeah. 

Him:  What’s Princess Street Gardens?

Me:  Princes Street Gardens.  When you get off the train in the centre of Edinburgh and you walk up – Do you really not remember this?

Him:  Why did they give us a veranda?

Me:  Gauranga.  No, they gave us a veranda and I’ve carried it around ever since-

Him:  You kept it.

Me: -in my notebook.

Him:  We’ve decided to put it on top of the garage.  It’s a good place to relax.  On the veranda.

Me:  On the gauranga.

Him:  What’s a gourengi then?

Me:  I was trying to catch my train back to the Arctic-

Him:  What is it?

Me:  A train?

Him:  Gourangi.

Me:  Gauranga.

Him:  Whatever, what is it?

Him:  No, tell me what it is and then cut it out.  If you must.

Me:  Click the link.  I ended up stuck-

Him:  What is it?

Me: -behind-

Him:  What is it?

Me:  -Richard E. Grant-

Him:  What is it?

Me:  -walking down- It’s a greeting.

Him:  Like when you walk into that shop and they slap you.

Me:  What?  The Disney Shop?

Him:  No!  When you walk into a Lidl and they say, “Have you ever been Lidled before?”

Me:  “Have you ever been harvested before?”

Him:  I’m sure that’s what they say in Lidl.

Me:  Isn’t it supposed to be pronounced 'Lidl'?

Him:  They don’t say that in the adverts, so I don’t say that.  That’s not what the cool kids say.

Me:  Anyway, cricket was good.  Did you enjoy Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life?

Him:  You know, you can’t type up those different pronunciations because they’re all spelt the same way.

Me:  I’ve sorted it.  Did you notice the way that the window in Mr Kafka’s room, looked an awful lot like the one in A Christmas Carol?

Him:  No, I didn’t.  But that’s because I wasn’t actually looking for things like windows out of Doctor Who’s A Christmas Carol.

Me:  Well.  Did you enjoy it?

Him:  For the sake of further-

Me:  No!  Let’s not go there.

Him:  Did you enjoy it?

Me:  Yeah, I thought it was really good.  Can you see why it won the Oscar?

Him:  Can you?

Me:  Yeah, I think so.

Him:  Explain.

Me:  It’s well-written, it’s very well-filmed and…  It’s possibly more imaginative than a lot of recent Doctor Who.  And that includes recent Doctor Who that I’ve very, very much enjoyed.

Him:  Really?  That?

Me:  I thought it was good.

Him:  It was alright.  Made in 1873.

Me:  It was made in 1873.

Him:  As you can tell by the roman numerals.  Lots of people wouldn’t know that’s 1873.

Me:  It’s weird isn’t it?  The Romans had no concept of ‘zero’ – the Maya did – but the Romans branded the BBC.

Him:  What did the Romans do every tenth year?

Me:  Y’know BBC Television Centre?

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  Did you know it’s been sold?

Him:  Sure.

Me:  I… No, I didn’t see Harry Hill there.  Dead Ringers.  Um…  I was supposed to go and see Have I Got News For You a couple of times, but I had to give the tickets away…  That almost ties us in with Stephen Fry.  Brace yourselves, hippies, that one’ll be along next week. 

Him:  Oh no.

Me:  This week…  The BBC logo was removed from the front of the building.  Do you know what the last thing filmed there was? 

Him:  You told me and I’ve forgotten, so it obviously wasn’t important enough to keep.

Him:  There y’go.  It wasn’t important enough to keep.

Me:  That’s one way of looking at it.  I, for one, wouldn’t denigrate Monsieur l’Gatiss.

Him:  ‘Mister the Gatiss’?  It’s ‘Gatiss’.

Me:  ‘Gatiss’.  That’s what I said.

Him:  You said ‘Gatiss’.

Me:  I didn’t.  I said ‘Gatiss’.  I can’t speak French.

Him:  You just did!  You went, “Mshoorrrlegeteee.”

Me:  Right.

Him:  “Aueeaueeau.”

Me:  No!  Stop that!  Make a noise like a honking mule.

Him:  “Aueeaueeau.”

Me:  Lovely.

Him:  Mrgh.

Me:  Mrgh.

Him:  Mrgh!

Me:  Mrgh!

Him:  MRGH!

Me:  MRGH!

Us:  MRGH!


The larch.

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