On a neglected side-street of Manchester’s city centre, Gorilla sits quietly in the surrounding sprawl. To its right, past a tunnel perfectly sculpted for a stealthy, drunken evening piss, lies Dog Bowl; a bar teetering on the edge of achingly hipster, offering ten-pin bowling as a cacophonous aperitif to overpriced culinary dirge. Given that even the local trams feature caricatures with Monopoly Man moustaches, it seems an inescapable aesthetic. While the stereotype can cause an itch when you’re handing over double for a Jameson and Coke, it’s a welcoming and, eventually, comfortable world to sparsely visit. Within Gorilla, where that sub-culture seems defined, Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger proved, in more ways than one, that assumption is all too often erroneous.… [continue reading]
It’s somewhat of a truism that we all put on masks for public consumption. The only question is, to what extent? While some people hide behind a thick barrier of curated character, others are closer to the knuckle in their personal portrayals. I believe, however, that everyone is guilty, by and large, of relying on fictionalised exaggerations. With the advent of social media, this loss of individualism is only encouraged. There’s a truth behind us all, of course, but to whom is it ever truly visible?
It often works in gradients. For example, your workplace small-talk colleague will probably meet a grander illusion than, say, your parent.… [continue reading]
Gregg Turkington‘s Our Cinema Oscar Special should have been a triumph. Instead, Tim Heidecker found a way to derail proceedings regardless of his absence. It could have been an evening of insightful movie expertise; as we’ve come to expect from its host. What we ended up with was a travesty. Of course, Heidecker has a history of live meltdowns. I had deep hopes that his personal issues wouldn’t fringe on another Oscar Special. Unfortunately, On Cinema has become nothing more than a kind of therapy for Heidecker. That his chaos can extend to the cool waters of Turkington’s winning criticism should be a concern for us all.… [continue reading]
When Entertainment premiered at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, the response it garnered was somewhat predictable. Numerous walkouts peppered its first showing, indicative of its uncomfortable confrontation. Certainly a test of patience, it’s a work that demands significant effort on the part of the audience. However, this is a recurring feature of the creatives involved: director and writer Rick Alverson, star and writer Gregg Turkington and writer Tim Heidecker. It’s easy to take against their approach, labelling it as pretentious and lazy. The sad truth is, that would be all too often accurate of others. In their hands, Entertainment is a prime example of the finest of its kind.… [continue reading]