Friday, March 18, 2016

Hundred Mile High City

From Ocean Colour Scene.  A big hit in the UK and a terrific song if you're driving at 2am, you're tired and you still have one hundred miles to go.  It's also the theme song from Guy Ritchie's 1998 debut film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  Ritchie's first two films (the second was Snatch) are loads of fun to watch and introduced THC to Jason Statham and the great Vinny Jones.  Both films are about low-life London gangsters and they're basically the same movie except Snatch features Brad Pitt as a gypsy boxer with an incomprehensible accent, which is saying something because most of the dialogue is pretty unintelligible, and the memorable, and sorely missed, Dennis Farina.

Vinny Jones (from Mirror UK)


  1. A lot of what goes on in Mr. Ritchie's movies is really music videos & gags or short sketches. He has very serious problems with plot, which is surprising: Classically, comedy has the tightest plotting. I think that's because comedies ask us to believe some obvious, ridiculous impossibility. It takes airtight reasoning to move from that to a plot resolution, or else the audience will eventually despise comic poets. I think this is evidenced in our times...
    Now, the thinking in sketches & jokes is a good thing, as well as the embrace of pop music so far as it makes comic vulgarity work in an understandable mode. There are problems, however. Brit-pop was sometimes fun, but it was almost always groundless. It was an age of waiting for the world to be over. Rock ideology had collapsed in the '80s; no new movement had any ideology; no more lies could be told about musical progress; but the taste for novelty proved harder to quench than the taste for rationalizations. So you end up with music that does not really make sense for a story or for a community--unless it's movies about the musicians or their audience!--& that again hurts the integrity of a comedy.

    I wrote about Mr. Ritchie's movies on my website, trying to show the use to which comedy is put; it comes down to rationalizing crime by ridicule or bursting all the bubbles, piercing all the inflated pretense typical of gangster movies. That also connects to audience expectations--the movies have to thrill & amuse, but they also make an effort to make people somewhat less moralistic.

    Let me close with what I think was the original brit-pop act.

  2. Here's the OCS song I like best:

  3. They were strange for a brit-pop band because they sounded more American than English, which was the British invasion thing to do against which the punks rebelled.
    Also, after a few bars, I think they quote I am a Walrus--or maybe it's just the slight jauntiness in the singing that makes me think of it...