Donnie Darko at 15

Early in Donnie Darko, Drew Barrymore reads to a high school English class from Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors”: ‘It was as though this plan had been with him all his life, pondered through the seasons, now in his fifteenth year crystallised with the pain of puberty.’ My own pubescent pain is itself crystallised in memory by the approximately seven second shot even earlier in the film that begins with the opening notes of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”, as Jake Gyllenhaal’s eponymous 16 year old wipes the sleep out of his eyes, riding his bike in pyjamas down Carpathian Ridge, a perfect encapsulation of the entwined angst and optimism of adolescence. Continue reading

17 Again: Seeing Japandroids and The Gaslight Anthem through two sets of eyes

 

I’m the eldest of three sons.

There’s a significant age difference between my brothers and I. My usual line for explaining this away is that, in a reversal of tradition, I was the accident. Anthony, who’s come to be known as Anton, is seven and a half years younger than me. Gerard, born in March 1996, is almost a full decade younger than I am, having been born in May 1986. The day he was brought home from the maternity hospital was the day of the Dunblane shootings. Our dad, picking me up from the school bus, seemed torn as to which was more important that I know first: that my three day old brother was home safe, or that, forty miles away, a man had killed several children whose average age split the difference between us.

It’s been a strange experience, watching Gerard age. Not only are we much more alike than myself and Anton, but the ten year age gap is an uncommonly round number for this sort of thing – for whatever reason, it’s much more jarring to realise that the equivalent of every milestone Gerard reaches is now a full decade in my past than it was to see Anton hit them. It’s been like a mixture of the end of It’s A Wonderful Life and a body-swap comedy: I’ve effectively been able to rewatch my own teenage years play out through Gerard, only with a new decade’s worth of technology, culture and political contexts imposed. Continue reading

‘Hey Chris, where the hell’s the podcast?’

First off, don’t take that tone with me. Secondly, yes, as you may have noticed, there was no new episode of the Seen Your Video podcast uploaded on Monday. There won’t be one this coming Monday either. I already posted about it on the show’s Facebook and Twitter, but realise that that reaches a combined total of 66 people, many of whom overlap, so figured I should probably post something here as well. Continue reading

‘The latest in a series of indulgences named for Replacements songs’

 

So. Hiya. Welcome to Seen Your Video, the latest in a series of indulgences named for Replacements songs. In my head, this is going to become a weekly podcast/maybeblogaswell?, but one step at a time. Let me talk a bit about what led me here, first off. Continue reading