It’s a measure of the extent to which children’s TV is ignored by the mainstream media that Craig Roberts and Yasmine Paige, the highly talented stars of Richard Ayoade’s beautifully wrought feature debut, Submarine
, are being described in reviews as newcomers, when they’ve both been paying their dues on CBBC for years. Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s novel, it’s a tragic-comic rites-of-passage tale focusing on not-entirely-likeable Swansea schoolboy Oliver, his pursuit of the troubled Jordana, and his attempts to save his parents’ marriage - the always excellent and deliciously awkward Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor, neither of whom, mercifully, attempt the accent - from the tawdry attentions of hilariously tacky lifestyle guru, Paddy Considine. Taking its stylistic cue from the French New Wave, rather than the U.S. gross-out teen-movies with which it might be compared narrative-wise, its visual fussiness is entirely in tune with the central character’s self-consciousness and intellectual pretension, and Alex Turner’s lovely songs provide a welcome, sensitive counterpoint to the central theme of profoundly flawed, emotionally unintelligent masculinity. An excellent supporting cast of familiar and unfamiliar Welsh faces, too.
I was lucky enough to attend a rare performance by long-lost local heroes Soft Hearted Scientists (favourites of BBC Radio Wales’ Adam Walton) at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach
a couple of days ago – dreamy, psychedelic electro-folk in the Gorki’s tradition; and we even got a free CD. Supporting was JR, aka Jemma Roper, formerly of Sammo Hung (and behind the bar at the much-missed Barfly), who offered up some characteristically quirky songs, accompanied only by a guitar. The word “pleasant” sounds almost like an insult, but it’s highly appropriate for an evening of classy, subtly experimental musicianship. Five minutes walk away, Kylie was playing, which is the only possible explanation for the relatively low attendance.
Labels: cardiff, cinema, film, gig, music, review