Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Exit wounds by Rutu Modan - at the Plan B Graphic Novel book group

I made it along to this months book group and we were talking about Exit Wounds, a book that I wrote about when I read it in 2007 (see here).  I had to re-read the book because I didn't really remember it and thankfully it's a pretty smooth read and I got through it in about an hour.

Exit wounds is a beautiful book to look at.  The art is clean and it flows well.  I've been re-reading Tintin recently and the Herge influence is clear.  Some people felt that the simplicity of the faces in the book made it difficult to gage the emotions that characters were expressing but generally most people liked the art.

The story proved slightly more problematic for some people.  A few expressed the opinion that it didn't really go anywhere while some were struck by the 'kitchen-sink' reality of the story.  There is a big hole in the book as we never meet the absent father who is the McGuffin of the book.  His absence is a real feature of the book.  I have a theory that the titular 'Exit wounds' are the psychic wounds that the father creates as he leaves the lives of the various  women he has relationships with.

Again, this is a book that I would recommend to people.  It is an easy read if not a great read.  It's enjoyable but it's not a masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

NEDS - DVD review

I approached Neds with trepidation.  I was born in Glasgow, I grew up in Lanarkshire, I went to school with a lot of neds and I own a flat in Glasgow.  I didn't see this film in the cinema because I thought it would attract a dodgy crowd.  I've finally caught up with it on DVD.

I think it's a good film, possibly even a great film, but it could be difficult to follow if you don't speak the language.  It follows a young boy as he finishes primary school where he has academically excelled and starts  secondary school where he falls in with a bad crowd.  Outside school he starts to hang out with a bad crowd and get into trouble.

I recognised the characters and situations in this film.  I've seen people end up like the characters in this film.  It was very real to me and at times very upsetting.  On a personal level, I've been threatened with a knife, kicked in the head and I've had my carry out stolen from me.  I know how all that feels although I'm lucky that I've gotten away from it.  I felt that Peter Mullan and his actors have created a great film that is fairly true.

As I watched the film I was struck by a real feeling that if I have children I would want to avoid them putting up with all that sort of shit.  I guess that means moving to the country or something.  The events dramatised in this film still go on in Glasgow and other Scottish towns on a weekly basis.  Our society is fucked up.  If you disagree, read the newspapers or the BBC website.

The film ends ambiguously but it's a good ending.  You can pick your own ending.  I hope that the main character did well after all of this.  Having read other reviews on the internet I know a lot of people didn't like him but I hope he gets a second chance.

This is a story about how your environment fucks you up.  Well worth seeing.  Use subtitles if you need to.