Ivory Tower

Chess We Can!

"What you just witnessed was my death," lamented Gonzales at around 1am this morning, but it felt a little more like the opposite. Yes, I saw the Anglopremière of Ivory Tower last night, Gonzales' bittersweet, autumnal début feature film about two Canadian Chess Champions (Triple Ceeeees!), also brothers, at war with each other and themsleves. Gonzales plays Hershall Graves, former chess champion and The Idealistic Hippie Brother, plying a victor-less take on the game that he dubs "jazz chess", whilst Tiga channels some of Tom Cruise's Frank from Magnolia for the revenge-capitalist War Machine Brother Thaddeus, who's apartment is awesome and who's TV is also a mirror (Want).

Peaches puts in a superb performance as the brother's shared love interest (although the less that is said about her wig the better). As you might expect, her character isn't the typical 2D trophy chick we're used to seeing, but she's not any kind of turbo-feminist puke-punk-characture either (incidentally, Peaches once vomited fake-blood on me in a hotel in central London but that's another story). Indeed, her character exhibits an alarming and disarming sweetness and fragility, and is easily the most "real" and likely the most relateable character for most people.

Certainly I, as a sometime egomaniac, narcissistic artist type found much to relate to in both brothers. Hershell's struggle with authenticity, spirituality, and not wanting to hurt people was beautifully, and tragically posed, while Thaddeus's struggles with power and superficiality were not only truthful and brilliantly entertaining, but perched atop a profound sadness bubbling away acidically beneath every moment of humour... of which there are plenty, thanks, according the the little Q and A afterwards, to Tiga himself, who rewrote his own dialogue in order to save himself from what could have been a huge public embarrassment had the movie turned out like many buddy-run projects.

The thing is... it did not, and even without the dark hilarity interjected by Mr Sunglasses At Night, this would still have been a fine work, able to stand proudly on its own away from the music, and the egos that inspired it. The movie is charming, affecting, emotive, playful, beautiful to look at, and boasts a fucking ill ass soundtrack, that any other movie on general release will find bloody difficult to come close to. Unless Hanz Zimmer's doing it, obviously, he's practically infallible.

Joey didn't get me pregnant, by which I mean he pulled out at the last minute (but I must forgive him, as he is a sweet and sensitive creature, and we did record some flipping bangers yesterday), so I sat alone on one of Screen On The Green's plush two-man sofas, and very bloody comfortable it was too. There was even a foot rest. The popcorn was a little stale, and the Guinness came from a can, but that those were the only quibbles I could make about the whole experience (well, those and Peaches' wig) speaks volumes. I look forward to seeing it again. With some fresh popcorn.

The Q&A finished at 1am, and I cycled home in the pissing, spitting, retching rain, and happened upon a mobile telephone device, blinking forlornly in a puddle. I returned it to its owner this afternoon on my way to the gym, and she tried to give me £20, and I refused it, then her boyfriend tried to give me £20, and I refused that too, and they both agreed that their faith in humanity had been somewhat restored.

My faith in humanity is rock solid, based on little solid evidence and a lot of conjecture, although you might remember that I lost my telephone around this time last year after getting so pissed at a wedding that I ran away from the party and my girlfriend without warning at around 2am and proceeded to go on some weird bamboozled adventure across London, wherein I managed to get into a fight with a taxi driver - actually maybe it was two taxi drivers - and totally left my phone in the back of his taxi. So I really wasn't expecting anyone to ring me the next day saying they'd found it in the back of a cab, apart from maybe the cabbie, who wished to track me down and pull my larynx out with his bare hands or something. But, lo, a nice young man who was about to have baby (well, his girlfriend was, obviously, dude's don't have babies, no matter what The Weekly World News and Tory HQ might have you believe) totally gave me my phone back, and I didn't give him £20, so I wasn't about to take it off of anyone else thank you very much.


Anyway, I am totally going to a wedding in bloody Grimsby tomorrow, so I shall try very hard not to go apeshit on whiskey and flee alone into the night like a greased piglet shot out of a cannon. It shouldn't be too hard, as I have matured an awful lot this past year thank you. Why, only today I bought one of those Digital Art magazines instead of a Spider-Man comic, and I deliberately put chopped vegetables in my mackerel and rice yesterday. Who'd ever have thunk it in a billion years?