Tuesday, December 21, 2004

"You spend your life watching others live theirs, but what does a voyeur see when he looks in the mirror?" (Saw)

This past week I have rediscovered the dual thrills of big-screen cinema and cheap arse Tuesdays. I tend to avoid the cinemas, catching only a handful of new flicks a year and generally waiting for the DVD release or the cable premiere and it really isn't the same. Last Tuesday I saw Garden State -- a sweet, off-beat love story essentially about waking up to life, with a blissful soundtrack featuring the likes of Nick Drake and The Shins. Today I caught Saw -- the stellar debut from two Melbourne boys named James Wan and Leigh Whannell.

Saw was excellent. A sharp thriller that was at turns tense, emotional and comic. I love the horror/ thriller genre but am hard-pressed to recall the last time I actually saw a good one. Usually I emerge from the couch or the cinema disappointed and feeling somehow cheated, but not today. The Saw experience for me wasn't just a cinematic one tho, it triggered emotional cocktail of nostalgia, pride and envy.

Nostalgia because seeing Leigh again reminded me of Saturday morning telly. Of surreal, early morning walks down the ABC corridors to make up, strolling down Selwyn Street to the ABC studios with him to catch the premier of Dylan's short-lived Friday night variety show, The 10:30 Slot ("The Slut... that's what we're calling it around the office," Leigh quipped to me once), sitting next to Leigh on a fluroescent couch in an Elwood house/ TV set, squinting into bright camera lights and trying to discuss the Alex Garland novel The Beach in a way that was simultaneously laid-back and witty. Leigh was the age I am now when he was Recovery's resident film reviewer. I was 16 when I started there, too young to fully capitalise on the experience. Now five years later he's doing what he always wanted to do, and in a big, Hollywood, all-star cast kinda way. That's the envy right there, I guess. He had, not just the talent, but the guts and drive to write a feature film. I can't seem to write anything longer or more scintillating than a shopping list. So what of pride? Well its silly, I had nothing to do with the success of Saw or its spunky, talented scribe. I haven't even seen Leigh in three years. Yet I'm proud of the man. I actually am.

Ah, but they grow up so fast.


Post a Comment

<< Home