This is the Story of the Review of the Trailer of the Film of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’

Over at ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ official movie site you can now view the first proper (i.e. non-teaser) trailer to the film of the book of the radio series.

I’m not convinced that it is good. The trailer, that is; I have heard good things about the movie itself, including a description of a second, more English, trailer that instead of mkaing the film appear to be an action comedy portrays the story as being about epic, weird things, usually about people with names that, if not faintly ridiculous, are wildly apocraphyl.

Marketting the ‘…Guide…’ film was never going to be easy because it is not your average story. It starts with the Earth being destroyed and ends with a riff on the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, with the pun being that we know the punchline but not the rest of the joke.

Thus we have what I will call the ‘American’ trailer… Still, I have hope. Apparently one of the deleted scenes on the already planned super-DVD release of the film is of Martin Freeman (the silver screen Arthur) playing his role as that of an action hero.

I suspect DNA would have liked that.

Sloughing of the Skin

Today I recieved my copies of ‘Black Petals’ number 50, the very issue in which my story, ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ has seen print.

‘Black Petals’, a glossy covered A4 horror ‘zine located in the USA kindly took ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ off of me for a six month period for all of you, the public, to read and enjoy.

The story features a piece of art that shows that the artist, Billy Tackett had read the story before committing pencil to paper (always a good thing). I had no idea what the associated image was going to be for ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ and this piece is far more appropiate to the story than I had hoped for (and had been believed possible, from comments elsewhere about art in ‘zines). It captures the essence of narrative and probably does (I say probably because I know the story far too well to be able to comment properly) hook the reader in.

It is also oddly appropiate because ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ is a story about art and the effect it has on the both artist and the artwork.

Whilst I would hardly call it my favourite story it does have some nice touches that I am proud of. It didn’t end the way that I thought it would, and the original version had a subplot involving a next door neighbour who visits twice, both creating some interesting questions about the phenomena.

(In an ideal world you would all be singing the ‘Mamamnah’ song right now….)

However, the subplot added little compared to the amount of words it took up, and the ending the narrative forced upon me made more sense than whatever it was I had hoped for.

One down, countless more to go.

Hey, Asshole! Link to Me!

The Thing
Originally uploaded by Brain Stab.

I am what is commonly referred to as a fidget. At work I have a specially fashioned fidgeting implement, made of an oversized paperclip and a hair pin someone left in my office. I call it The Thing. Whenever my left hand isn’t otherwise occupied, I’ll be twiddling it between my fingers in defiance of the tendonitis brought on by three years working a cash register as a student.

This little tic extends into non-tactile areas as well. I am, for instance, unable to go a week without fiddling with this blog in some way — re-organising the sidebar, adding functions, signing up to blogging services and so on. And now we have a links section.

Selected by the Brain Stab contributors via a mostly democratic process, they are subject to change in accordance with our mercurial dispositions. The first batch consists of blogs belonging to people we know, quality sites everyone should be visting at least once a week, and barely redeemable shit. You can sort out which is which for yourselves.

Obviously, this exercise is for the most part a naked ploy to get people linking back to us when they see our URL showing up as a referrer in their hitlogs. It’s so much easier on Livejournal: Just purge yourself of all dignity, beg to be put on others’ Friends lists, put up with tantrums and bitching over who you put on yours and away you go. Grown-up blogs require you to do your link whoring with a little more subtlety; being not so much a link whore as a link high-priced-call-girl. So make with the reciprocating, assholes — just no kissing on the lips.

The State of the (Local) Art

I must admit that when I see the words ‘Local content’ in re TV I tend to run for the hills (or valleys). For, you see, I have been burnt by local content. However, this has meant that I have not allowed myself the pleasures of recent note that have graced our screens.

I should have known better; two of my favourite films of all time are New Zealand productions, and many New Zealand television shows, in the past, have captured my attention and made me think ‘Wow; we can compete with the bigger markets.’ Unfortunately, a few modern sitcoms have found me contemplating the state of my navel, or, in extreme cases, inspecting the back of my occipital socket with a rusty screwdriver.

Thus I have seen only one episode of ‘The Strip’ and only heard the good news that is ‘The Insider’s Guide to Happiness.’

Of the former I had had doubts; having been to school with Jodie Rimmer and knowing her family has made it difficult to adjust to her as an actress. All I can keep thinking is that her grandfather is a good Catholic and that the fruit store Bill owned in Belmont was down the road from a butchery I have very fond memories of. Hardly the kind of critical appraisal you want to stick with you when her character goes off chasing some businessman’s third leg. Of the latter show I just didn’t even consider giving it a chance, condemning it ‘Category: Crap’ without a by-your-leave.

Which is all very bad of me, since as a writer I really should be seeing what my country is producing.

Believe it or not, but New Zealand is a good place to be a writer. Oh, it has vices if you are interested in researching particular genres and the arts elite here is far more British than American, but New Zealand, as a location, is well regarded when it comes to produce drama. The Cinema of Unease, our particular speciality, is sufficiently different from the world’s fare that it has a cult status overseas. Not mainline success, true, but try and find a university student from the UK who hasn’t spent several weekends in a row watching ‘Bad Taste’ religiously and you will be in for a hard time. This extends, somewhat naturally and unnaturally, to the editors and producers of the media itself. ‘Postmark New Zealand’ can often mean the difference of ‘Won’t read’ to ‘Might read’, and when you consider just how much more opportunity that gives in the marketplace it suddenly takes on great value.

Still, location is not everything; mundane stories are mundane stories wherever you are from, and even the following line, ‘As far as I can tell, you may be the reason why God and the little baby Jesus cry at night’ remains better than Stilton sauce sex no matter which country you are from.

Back to TV.

‘The Insider’s Guide to Happiness’ was a show I was convinced, having seen or read nothing about it, would be a fluffy romantic drama. It turned out not to be, seeing that it dealt with time travel, resurrection from the dead and reincarnation. Brave stuff for prime time TV, and handled, so I hear (my watching of the show was limited seeing that it had an overarching plot and I came in late), with ease and a careful balance of pathos and bathos.

New Zealand, it seems, has matured (again) in re its TV production. Like all countries we continue to produce large amounts of fluff, but now you have the option, on at least one channel, to see quality Kiwi unease in 4:3 (or, for the more adventurous producers, 14:9 or 16:9).

Pity that it is somewhat harder to get into that writing game than it would be in Blighty…

Also, someone needs to hurry up and start releasing more local content on DVD.