Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Cloverfield" / Truman's Water

I enjoyed “Cloverfield” rather more than critical opinion suggests I ought to. Starting out as a standard, whingeing indie-flick about relationships amongst young professionals, shot on a domestic camcorder, it quickly mutates into a visceral, heart-stopping, eye-of-the-storm thrill-ride, as New York is attacked by an inexplicable, unstoppably evil alien force. Some critics seem to suggest that “Cloverfield” is a dumb popcorn movie with a vaguely offensive 9/11 subtext; the truth is that it’s all about 9/11 (a dead giveaway being the fact that 9/11 is never mentioned), and its impact on individuals whose only crime is being vaguely prosperous Americans. Brilliantly realised, and a worthy addition, along with “No Country For Old Men” to the new genre of “Films About The War On Terror Which Don’t Mention The War On Terror”.

I paid tribute to the memory of John Peel by going to see one of his favourite bands, Truman’s Water, at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach on Friday. First on were local jagged post-rockers, Truckers of Husk, complete with cellist, and wordless jams in 10/8 time; surprisingly danceable, and one song, during which they were joined by a “choir” made up of pals from the audience, was quite moving. Next up were The Bugs (who announced themselves as being “from the home of Quarterflash”), one of those fashionable guitar-drums duos, with the twist that they swapped instruments from time to time; their songs ranged from the wistful to the punky, and seemed pretty charming on first hearing. The slightly more photogenic Bug turned up as bassist for Truman’s Water when the Branstetter brothers took to the stage and proceeded to lay waste to it with their strangely liberating, apparently semi-improvised, thrash-punk trippiness. Highly enjoyable in a “lose yourself in cacophonous unfamiliarity” kind of way.


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