Friday, July 17, 2009

The Age of Stupid

Opening this weekend: The Age of Stupid, directed by Franny Armstrong

Synopsis from the film's website:

Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking back at “archive” footage from 2007 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

Okay, very succinct. More expansive (and entertaining) is Armstrong's bio on the site:

Franny's directing career began in the primary school playground, aged 7, when she wrote and directed the play "Who Killed Mr Fisher?" based on the hit TV show of the day "Who Killed JR?". (Mr Fisher being the class teacher and first to his feet in the standing ovation that followed the premiere performance.) But triumph turned quickly to disaster with her next production, "Shambles the Wonder Cat", when, noticing that lead actresses get way more attention than Directors, she decided to replace best friend Sharon with herself in the coveted role of Shambles. Unfortunately this led to the second strike seen at North Ealing Primary School in the year 1979 - the first being a more traditional teachers' union action over pay - and a memorable protest involving 10 girls from class 5F marching in a circle round Franny chanting "Sharon is Shambles, Sharon is Shambles". Franny wasn't forgiven till the next school year, when she pinched some BBC headed paper from her dad's desk and convinced the headmaster to read out in Assembly a letter she'd written to herself from Jim'll Fix It saying that the girls' latest show - a full-scale production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cats', with Sharon in the lead role, naturally - was to be performed on the real West End stage.

At the age of 11, Franny's dreams of becoming a farmer were shattered during a much-longed-for family holiday on a Welsh farm when her favourite cow, Piggy - the solitary brown cow in a herd of Fresians - was led away for slaughter after slipping and cutting her udder. The farmer explained that it wasn't economical to pay the vets' fee of £30 to sew up the 2-inch cut and that it made business sense for Piggy to become beef straight away. Franny and her sister Boo became vegetarians straight away. Several months later, Franny lost an argument with her Welsh granny about whether Christmas wrapping paper should be orgiastically ripped & discarded, or carefully unpicked and folded neatly for next year. Being unable to find any flaw in Granny's logic, Franny conceded defeat and became a lifelong environmentalist. Shortly after, her conversion was complete after she again failed to win an argument - this time with her mum who proposed letting a homeless man move into their house - and became annoyingly self-righteous on social justice issues as well.

There's about 800 more words to the story here.

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