Friday, 29 August 2014


Going by the embarrassing clips I've seen,  ALAN MOORE's
new film appears to be a low-budget, badly acted and poorly directed
piece of amateurish nonsense.  I can't see myself rushing out to join the
end of a cinema queue to see it any time soon - or buying the DVD.  The
bearded writer claims that Hollywood "clearly hasn't had an idea in the
last two or three decades" and  that it can "only recycle things that
have already been done, or adapt things from media where
they weren't intended as films." 

This from a man who has made a career out of recycling other
people's characters, and, in many cases, adapting them from books
for use in comics.  Surely a prime example of adapting something from
one medium for use in another for which it wasn't intended?  Apparently,
according to a recent  CHANNEL 4  news item, "Alan often
described as the best graphic novel writer in history."  Presumably by
himself, as it's not something I've ever heard said about him.  Sure,
he's written a few good superhero yarns, but he's also written a
pile of dreary, pretentious, self-indulgent p*sh.

I really wish that someone would call a halt to the relentless
publicity machine that continually seeks to present Mr. Moore as
some kind of literary genius.  He isn't.  He's an affable enough bloke
(when he's not slagging off  STAN LEE) who's had his fifteen minutes
of fame, but who now seems desperate to prolong his time in the spot-
light.  Go back to writing comics for teenage boys, Mr. Moore.  It's
something you can actually do when you have a good editor
who isn't afraid to say no to some of your wilder ideas.

 Or at the very least, give us all a break from your
  increasingly silly, self-serving pronouncements.


Colin Jones said...

My father used to say that if it wasn't for Psycho nobody would remember Alfred Hitchcock and I suppose Watchmen does the same thing for Alan Moore - I read Watchmen as a graphic novel in 2003 and it was a bit meh to be honest, I don't really understand the fuss over it but it's considered to be a masterpiece and was included in the 100 greatest books of the 20th Century by (I think) the New York Times in 1999. But what he says about Hollywood is true although I hear that same criticism all the time so it's hardly original.

Mr Straightman said...

Alan Moore is the most talented person to come out of Northampton, which is like describing someone as the skinniest person to emerge from a lock-in at the pie shop.

Kid said...

There's an element of truth in part of what he says about Hollywood, CJ, but it's merely a description of a process which he uses as a criticism. 'Hollywood' adapts books into films because some books make good films; the fact that they weren't originally written as films is neither her nor there. Also, to claim that Hollywood hasn't had an idea (note that he doesn't say a good or original idea - just an idea) is patent nonsense. Ideas are being thought up all the time by 'Hollywood' - the quality of them is perhaps another discussion.


I guess you've got no plans for visiting Northampton any time soon then, eh, Lee? I've nothing against him personally - it's just that he clearly talks nonsense on occasion, either because he believes his own hype or for the sake of creating controversy.

Mr Straightman said...

I come from Northampton, Kid.

Kid said...

Then quick - pull up the drawbridge.

DeadSpiderEye said...

He's right about Hollywood because in mainstream cinema, money makes films not people. It's not something that I think is open to serious contention really, big budgets have to chase established properties because doing otherwise is seen as too risky, that's because it is too risky. There is the occasional innovation but I can't recall a single throw of the dice from Hollywood with the big bucks, it's always something done on the cheap, that or it surfaces from a source outside the mainstream. Of course there're only so many times you can tread the well beaten path before people start to recognise the landscape and cotton on that they've being going round in circles.

I feel a bit sorry for Colin's dad, cos he should've watched: Rope, Spell Bound, Vertigo or any one of the half dozen other Hitchcock flicks that are better than Psycho. His observation does illustrate a point though, the pitfall of an artist (yeah I know "artist" is a trifle pretentious in this context) becoming closely associated with a particular work. I think that's probably the case with Watchmen because, although I think it's a great book, I get kinda cheesed off at the idolatry it's subject too. He's done better work, before and since but Watchmen is the one that seem to throw the hooks out for the fish.

Kid said...

I think you're missing the point 'though, DSE. To say that 'Hollywood' hasn't had an 'idea' in 30 years is overstating the case and insultingly dismissive of a whole bunch of creative people. If Moore's idea of an idea is to use other people's literary characters in 'an exercise in pornography' then he's hardly leading the way in the ideas department. He does exactly (perhaps even more so) the same thing that he accuses Hollywood of doing - recycles and adapts - yet just not as well as those he heaps scorn upon.

His greatest talent seems to be in self-promotion while bleating on about the attention he gets.

DeadSpiderEye said...

"...insultingly dismissive..."? Maybe, I haven't seen the material you're referencing, I do know that Moore isn't adverse to throwing the odd bone into the badger pit, so it wouldn't surprise me. I do think the core assertion is correct though, maybe I wouldn't express it the terms Moore chose but there is certainly a dearth of innovation in main stream cinema. As I mentioned though, that's hardly surprising when considering the stakes in film making, so it's almost something that doesn't need stating. Looking for innovation and new ideas from Hollywood is bit like looking for the topless girls in The People's Friend, not really a suitable context. I think though, I'd go further than Moore, there's been a certain retreat into safer narratives, ones that affirm our preconceptions instead of challenging them.

Kid said...

What I mean, DSE, is that it's insultingly dismissive of Moore to claim that in 30 years Hollywood has had no ideas whatsover. (Maybe we have a different interpretation of what an idea is.) CGI has allowed ideas to be realised in a way that they never could be before. Cinema is about entertainment (and making money), so obviously there's a bit of a formula involved, but to say that there are no ideas is akin to saying there's no creativity, which I simply don't agree with. Innovation? Talkies, stereo surround sound, 3D, people having sex for real in mainstream movies (not something I agree with, but it could be argued that it's innovative) - so there's certainly been innovation as technology allows. You mean stories? There's only so many ways to tell a story, I'd say, so perhaps that avenue's been explored as far as it can go.

From the little I've seen of Moore's small budget movie(s), I don't see much evidence of innovation in them, so he's perhaps not the best qualified person to criticise.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I've just been trying to catch up on Jimmy's End to make sure we're twisting the rope the same way...

Yeah I get your point about creativity within the context on conventional cinema but I don't get the sense that Moore's comments infer a total absence of such. I might change my mind about that if I see any of his other comments because I know that he's prone to a certain hyperbole. It's also true that what we regard as innovative is very much subject to own perspective, our individual prejudices and tastes.

I found the comments of Moore's, that I did find, a little inconsistent, in that he was decrying a lack of new ideas, while simultaneously attacking current development of narrative technique, that seems to me to be contradictory. I suppose though, that's indicative of his narrative style, which is highly attuned and can be quite detailed, even a little baroque in the intricacies of his narratives, but quite tightly conventional, which is his strength as a story teller. One thing about innovation, is that it doesn't always work, there is a danger of falling flat on your face. Perhaps one of the reasons I find innovation lacking is that tolerance of failure has declined quite sharply. It seems today that the slightest contentious element of a film, book or comic, will be instantly tweeted across the world by some pithy internet raconteur. That's a pretty tough atmosphere to chance you arm in.

Kid said...

I think that what Moore is saying is that 'Hollywood' (and I probably have a wider definition of what that word implies than he does) doesn't have its own ideas; that it takes its ideas for movies from other mediums, such as books, comics or graphic novels (or whatever). He says that as a criticism, but I see it as a statement of the obvious and wouldn't necessarily regard it in a negative way. Any source of ideas is legitimate in the pursuit of making money from 'entertainment' on the silver screen, in my view.

For example, because of the advances of CGI, whoever said "Let's make a film about Yogi Bear (or whoever), but instead of a cartoon, we'll make him look 'real' and mix him with live actors" - well, that to me is an 'idea'. Whether it's a good or bad idea, however, is (I suppose) subjective, but it's an idea none the less. As for 'innovation' (and perhaps Moore, again (or yourself), has a different definition of the word than I do) that's always hard in a sphere where giving the public what it appears to want (or demand) is the best way to make money in order to give them their next entertainment 'fix'.

I've never seen Brokeback Mountain, but given the subject matter, it could be argued that even making such a movie was 'innovative' in some way, in that it was a departure from the movies that Hollywood usually makes. (Unless you simply view it as just another romance film.) As were (at one time) movies which featured graphic sex and violence, and even swearing. Now, it's not exactly what I'd call being 'creative', but it was 'taking a chance' when those sort of movies were first made.

Take a look at the clips of Moore's latest short film on Channel 4 news. The half-hearted 'forcing' of some guy along a corridor by a woman clearly doing as directed, but devoid of any emotional investment in her character, along with the rather basic 'point and shoot' camera angles (to say nothing of Moore's embarrassingly self-conscious cameo) - well, there hardly seems anything innovative about it to me. It has all the hallmarks of the low-budget, amateur production that it is. I've nothing against someone who doesn't do something themselves criticising those that do when they're comparing what they're criticising to a comparably professional standard. However, when they're criticising something in comparison to their own demonstrably feeble efforts, then I think they're not only barking up the wrong tree, but they're also in the wrong bloody forest. Such a case is Mr. Moore in this instance, I would say.

When he stumps up the money himself to make a superior film (as opposed to funding his self-indulgent 'home movies' via Kickstarter) then I'll maybe take him more seriously, but for the moment, I'll regard his increasingly negative pronouncements on just about everything that he isn't personally involved in as the desperate attempts to be controversial and relevant that they so obviously are.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I'll have a look to see if I can dig something up on the film. What I have seen so far, doesn't actually show much. I have seen a trailer but even that was frugal with clips from the flim. Is it supposed to be released, I get the impression it's a pilot for a pitch?

Kid said...

From what I've seen, they should pitch it in the bin.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...