TRASH TRIPLE BILL: BLACK & WHITE CLASSICS

CLERKS, from left: Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jeff Anderson, Kevin Smith, Brian O'Halloran, Lisa Spoonhauer, 1994, ©Miramax Films

Scroll this

Because life seems to have drained of all colour, you’re gonna ride it out this weekend by having some much needed ‘me-time’, so we’ve selected the best three films to watch back-to-back-to-back. We’re nice like that.

Theme: Black & White Classics

This triple bill is best enjoyed with a dirty glass of beer, sat behind the counter of your local convenience store, stock counting all the snow globes…

Film One: Citizen Kane (1941, Dir. Orson Welles)

Everything you’ve heard about this movie is true: mise en scène; non-linear narrative; ambitious camera movements; over lapping dialogue; make up; visual effects; and on and on and on… That this is Welles’ directorial debut at the age of 24 gives me serious anxiety about my own achievements (or lack thereof). Not content with being behind the camera, he also takes the lead titular role of the newspaper magnate and displays a level of acting beyond his years. Visually impressive, some how wonderfully fresh and absolutely still relevant in today’s media culture – if you are someone who refuses to watch Citizen Kane on the account of its age and lack of colour, you don’t deserve eyes. Gouge them out and fuck off.

Trash trivia: The original nitrate negatives are gone; they were lost in a fire during the 1970s. Which fittingly is round about the time that Welles was burning every bridge in Hollywood and scorching his career into the ground.

Film Two: Clerks (1994, Dir. Kevin Smith)

This mid-nineties indie classic broke out of Sundance so hard and fast you can still see the scars. A day in the life of two local convenience store clerks and the characters they serve (including the first appearance of Jay & Silent Bob) was made by Smith and his mates in New Jersey and should be considered DIY-Movie-Making-101. If you have gouged your eyes out, you’ll be ok as Clerks is as visually interesting as a blank piece of paper; the true genius is how it sounds. Smith my not know how to tell a story with images in the same way Kubrick, Lynch et el can, but bloody hell can he put dialogue into the mouths of his Gen-X characters that just rings with idiosyncratic authenticity – this is how you and your mates talk about life, love, Star Wars, porn, toilet paper and lasagne. Filthy, cheeky, lovable, effortlessly cool, creatively inspiring and completely endearing. This is the Citizen Kane of independent cinema.

Trash trivia: The first draft of the script was 168 pages. We assume 129 pages of which contained the word ‘fuck’.

Film Three: Sin City (2005 Dir. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller)

Made before the big comic movie boom of the last ten years, Sin City is something that the others are not; the Batman, Captain America, Iron Man etc movies are mere adaptations – this is a moving comic book. Never has a truer translation of comic-page-to-screen been created. Dubious, violent and sexually charged characters are rendered in CGI enhanced black and white – often literally black and white – with the odd popping juke-box colour thrown in to devastatingly gorgeous effect. Essentially a noir anthology flick, an ensemble cast feature in three loosely interconnecting stories set in a part of town you’d rather not visit. Bruce Willis manages to retain interest long enough to not only cash his pay cheque, but give one of his top 5 performances as cop Hartigan; Elijah Wood is creepy as mute Kevin, a perfect foil to his chatter-box, doe-eyed Frodo and Rosario Dawson reveals a harder, powerful side with her portrayal of Gail. Elsewhere, Mickey Rourke steels the show as dumb-as-fuck Marv, who is really an updated Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Marking the last truly great Rodriguez film, this ain’t your grandpa’s noir, Sin City is brutally beautiful.

Trash trivia: Because of the way the movie was shot, Mickey Rourke and Elijah Wood never met until after the film was released. They then married and moved to Utah.

Let us know what you think of the films – @MoveToTrashUK

2 Comments

  1. Definitely need an outsider shout out for the Ian Curtis biopic Control. Incredible method-like acting of the man himself, matching his enthralling dance style with mastery.

    • Deffo one that’s been on my ‘to-watch’ list for a good long time.

Submit a comment