10, Rillington Placei greatly benefits, first of all from the estimable services of perhaps England's best actor of that generation, John Hurt (whom you perhaps know for a comparatively lackluster performance in that Vendetta blockbuster) and secondly from very tightly written, crisp and altogether flawless ideal models of criminal insanity, the sort with round glasses on a round face that kills compulsively and is known in the colonies as a "serial killer", though really, it's right and properly regarding merely the necessary (and unavoidable) flowering of socialist bureaucracy.
He, Christie, is moreso than anything else the "new man" ; moreso than anything else the "model man". He's consunmatedly the "modern man", this plaid atrocity whose ubiquity is typically moderated by its intrinsic, definitional cowardice. The reason every government employee, every illiberal, deprofessionalized doctor (now called an "epidemiologist" I hear), each office drone everywhere isn't strangling babes in their fathers' ties is simply that... they dare not express themselves. It's not they wouldn't do just that ; it's not they aren't thinking, regularily, insistently, about doing just that -- they would, and they do. It's simply that they've not the gumption to actually reach their hand into the cookie jarii ; but this moderating flaw in their
soul inner pasteiii does not in fact change the circumstances, nor alter the structure of socialist reality : given it's inescapably an affair of little boys and cookie jars, the sticky paws appear a minor trifle in comparison. As long as you live a life limited to the docks, among longshoremen and sailors, do you specifically care if they also swear, or don't ?
The film itself appears made as part of some greater (and no doubt grandiose) effort towards eliminating the death penaltyiv ; its crispness very much derived of that ridiculously obsolete, entirely unsustainable British manner of lying through deliberate omission. Just as the various attorneys present "their case" in the film, wilfully misrepresented "without formally being false", just so the film makes some points which, while not actually untrue, are also not actually useful for their ungodly comingling with unadulterated crap. So what if it is "negative", if the shit's not present in its feculent substance but merely in the brown stain that substance removed yet left behind ? None of these people are respectable, the defense representative as much an antisocial liar as the offense representative, or whatever you call the crown in context ; both equally unable to be tolerated at the dinner table for very much the same reason the perpetrator can't be. They're all the same guy, really, ever-so-cleverly lying the same lie the same way, just one more illiterate than the rest. As each sweep of the broom removes some grime, dirt and mud it also leaves some behind ; the surviving filth isn't, for having been left behind in any particular one sweep, any less grimy, dirty or muddy than what was swept away. Just so the case with these turds, cleverly constructing "their point of view" because, supposedly, "out of the clash" of such constructed, "opposite" misery "the truth comes out in the end". From experience the only thing that emerges "in the end" out of the turds' contest is disgust, nor can I imagine what sort of mind came up with the notion of vying turds as epitome of gilt gloryhood. Who spends their time to construct "the right kind" of lie, anyways ?!v
Certainly a film worth seeing ; though in a purely cinematic sense it'd greatly benefit from actual consummation of the lesbian relationship and altogether a lot more frank nudity and direct forays into carnality, nevertheless that absolute necessity could only be satisfied at the expense of authenticity. There was in fact no meat, no meat to speak of, no meat at all on the dry bone of an "England fair" quite really as cramped, miserable and hopeless as all that.vi Notice how no-one's ever one foot apart from another pullulating worm, observe the foot-wide doorways and the complicated dances to permit movement in the narrow hive, and know that for all the jokes people from Los Angeles make about the New York closets, nevertheless London is (and always was) ten times more New York than that.
In fact, the continued existence of these sorry sods provides a perfect reason to not like tea.———
- 1971, by Richard Fleischer, with Richard Attenborough. [↩]
- You might perhaps endeavour to imagine the sort of spite they stir up in he who's killed any and all he ever felt inclined to kill. [↩]
- Have you ever squished a cockroach ? Did it make you wonder, like it made me wonder, how is it possible to have life powered by innards of indistinct, white-ish paste ?
My answer was that it's not really life ; yours doesn't interest me. [↩]
- The old story of trading boredom for boredom : if the cockroaches promise to be boring enough, can there be a promise made -- in the name of God itself, perhaps -- but anyways something along the lines of "life" also being boring enough, to match ? Why not ? Marriage having meanwhile "become" this dismal affair where she promises to be annoying and he promises to be impotent why can't the state follow in those glorious footsteps of its alleged constituency ? If "the people" promised to never ever ever express themselves, why couldn't the government promise in token exchange that nothing will ever ever happen ?! [↩]
- Ambitious cockroaches, that's who. [↩]
- Which is why Cool it, Carol is such an all-important film : not because it's also authentic (as it coincidentally happens to be) but because it's recognizably ideal. [↩]