Monday, May 24, 2010

Working Hard for the Money

It was one of those heavy weekends. Heavy sky, heavy head, heavy feet. Everything ached with the sheer heaviness of it all, and when I finally made it home, I hardly had time to hit the sofa, and pour a hair-of-the-dog beer before my eyes were losing it for me. I woke with the tele on, and it was like watching the inside of my own life. There was something delirious about it - the fat man with the seventies tash, flying in and out of New York on the redeye - making the most of the inflight catering, first class of course, leching at the air hostesses knowing that he'd always be invited back. The colours of the neon New York skyline - and then - as if jolted awake by a loud noise - coming up short in a pub in west London. Could almost smell the cigarette-whiskey seats. What's that? I can hardly hear it. Turn up the sound. A kicking soundtrack. Some Joy Division, some Gang of Four, some faggott disco music. John Self looking at the camera, looking right through the screen at me, as if to say, "I'll have you son."

So I experienced it, part one of the BBC's adaption of unfilmable Money, with Nick Frost well-cast as loser John Self. The period detail was just about right, and the colours of the sets and the filming gave the whole thing a bit of a hallucinatory hue. I can hardly remember reading Money, it's been so long ago, but Amis's classic always had that slightly dream-nightmare-like quality to it - as if any scene that went on for too long could be wished away in a hangover. So, halfway through, I watched it in the right frame of mind, half falling asleep like Self himself. I look forward to the concluding part.

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