As research for what will hopefully be my next book project I have been rewatching a number of cold war era sci-fi movies like Earth vs The Flying Saucers, War of The Worlds and, of course, The Day The Earth Stood Still. My early research for projects starts in a wide circle before I focus on the main subject allowing me to make connections and contextualize and maybe cast some new illuminations from my vagaries. This is why my Rufus Wainwright book's index includes Morecambe and Wise, Donald Barthelme and Bramwell Bronte amongst many others. (By the way you can pre-order here but why would you when there are still 5 months before it's published).
All of this is almost an apology for having gone to the IMAX to watch the dire Keanu Reeves remake of TDTESS.
I am not the greenest man in the world. But I don't eat meat. I think that allows me to drive around a lot and probably take at least 6 transatlantic flights a year before my CO2 levels equal that of the average burger muncher. Probably. So, aside from the animatronic acting style of Keanu I was mostly annoyed by the new enviro-twist to the plot and the bizarre (I guess, alien) logic that suggested humans aren't actually part of the earth's eco-system. As far as I see it mankind is perfectly within its evolutionary right to wreck the planet without needing Keanu sticking his orb in.
Unforgivably bored by a sci-fi blockbuster and generally disgruntled by its total lack of flair compared to the movies I'd been watching all week I wandered into Tate Modern to check out the latest Turbine Hall installation. You reach the art by pushing through a curtain of red and green plastic strips that are surely intended to conjure up the fantastic world of 3D movies. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has brought a kind of post-apocalyptic dormitory feel to the space with row after row of iron bunk beds, the sound of dripping water and a huge screen flashing cut-up scenes from sci-fi movies. In front of the screen is a giant apple core (by Claes Oldenburg) which gives the impression that outside the halls the world has gone Food of the Gods crazy, next to this is a weird dinosaur and a mobile made of silver dog-monsters (by Maurizio Cattellan and Bruce Nauman respectively). It's like being inside a bunker at the end of time and is evocative and entertaining and many other things that The Day The Earth Stood Still 2008 is not.
Kirk Lake is a writer, musician and filmmaker. His published books include Mickey The Mimic (2015) and The Last Night of the Leamington Licker (2018). His films include the feature films Piercing Brightness (2014) and The World We Knew (2020) and a number of award winning shorts.
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]