Not a new time-travel TV show set on a peninsular in South Wales, but an allusion to my trip to the cinema yesterday afternoon.
Cambridge is fortunate to have three cinemas (and three theatres – more, under some definitions) as well as venues for classical and more allegedly popular music – and this flowering of the arts was one of the reasons I chose to make it my home.
My film-going preference is for the art house cinema, primarily because it offers a better quality of food and drink to consume around or during the film itself but also, as previously discussed, I do like to think of myself as a bit “arty” despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Arts Picturehouse also offers a much more “Waitrose” audience than the big chains: we cinema-goers are free, but everywhere in chains (to paraphrase Rousseau). Indeed, on my previous visit, upon emerging from the auditorium I found the public areas of the cinema full of elderly, rather well-dressed patrons which did cause me to wonder if I had inadvertently strayed into a parallel universe (as such folk are rarely seen at the cinema, and never en masse). A modest degree of reflection provided a more prosaic explanation for the audience than one involving the many-universes interpretation of quantum theory: the cinema shows live broadcasts of opera from the Met in New York de temps en temps, and so I was seeing an opera crowd.
Yesterday, I saw a flick called Kaboom: the reason for whose title does ultimately become apparent. This was quite enjoyable and decidedly odd (but I like an odd film – I think it’s how I recognise that it was “art”) and did involve its young participants exchanging frequent dry and witty barbs. I always feel real life needs greater use of witty rejoinders – but I fear most of us are unable to afford the teams of scriptwriters this would entail, nonetheless it is a source of continuing disappointment (that and the lack of proper romance). However, the film will probably be most remembered by me for the quite extraordinary amount of sex (involving almost every combination of 3 or fewer human participants) that was portrayed. It also included proper swearing, but was still only a 15 despite being a huge step-up from the PG animation I watched last weekend (which had no sex and only mild language) – this is clearly a very quantised (perhaps even logarithmic) scale of measurement.
I think the only film I had previously seen which attempted to get close to this volume of on-screen sex was Caligula (starring Malcolm McDowell, as I recall) which I was subjected to in the mid-eighties. I think this was supposed to be shocking and/or erotic (certainly I think it had garnered an X certificate – though would now probably be PG) but I’m afraid I found it to be exceedingly tedious with short interludes where it achieved the dizzying heights of merely laughable. Having recently read Suetonius’ “Twelve Caesers” (in translation once again I’m afraid) and so now knowing something about Caligula, I am amazed anyone could produce such an uninteresting film from his life.
However, perhaps it’s me – I am fairly sure that my interest in sex is significantly more modest than that shared by most of the rest of humanity (which I suppose is a good thing when it comes to continuing the species as I am currently – and fully plan on remaining – an evolutionary dead-end). I fear my interest in the procreative arts falls below my level of interest in ironing – something which I assume that most people do, but which I have no interest in watching or reading about. Talking of which, all my recent business travel means I have a stack of shirts awaiting my attention, so it’s time to get hot and steamy with something hard in the bedroom…