Today, 5th March 2006, is my birthday. I am now 34 years old, but still feel like a confused 19 year old most of the time. Thankfully, at least I now know what I want to be when I grow up.
Here's the birthday card my loving sister Julie sent me:
It's a cry for help, I reckon. She wants the police to catch her, to stop her before she kills again.
Friday was a very busy day. "Did" lunch with Sir Danny of Stackshire (or 'stacks of Danny', if you prefer, I'm still not decided yet), then had a quick meetup with Chris and Jason, and went straight on to the Curfew meeting. The outline is going nicely, we talked about the tweaks and changes necessary, for several hours, making sure we hadn't missed anything. Got home at 9pm, thanks to tube delays, throat dry from talking all day, and tucked into a Subway sandwich before watching the end of Life on Mars again.
It really got to me, that final episode - I'm a sucker for anything where someone has lost their dad, because I always wonder what life might have been like if mine hadn't died when I was 5 years old. Would we have been best mates, would he have turned me into a footballing geezer with loads of swagger - or would I be exactly the same person I am today? I'll never know. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay about it, it was such a long time ago I'm not wracked with pain or anything. I barely knew him really, I was so young. But the moment where Sam finally unlocks his buried memory, realises what's going to happen, and the piano on the Bowie title track kicks in, I was just a mess. I literally sat on the edge of the seat for the rest of the episode. In the back of my mind, I knew how it was going to end, how it *must* end, but secretly hoped that it could all be fixed, that everything would be okay. Life isn't like that, though, it's horribly unfair, and sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it. Maybe I'm just a soft target for this sort of thing, but I haven't been able to get the episode out of my head since Monday.
Anyway, it's my birthday, so cash donations and/or luxury items to be sent, on a postcard, to the usual address. There is booze and cake in the house, even some multicoloured straws, and not many people can say that. I'm the birthday boy - who wants to touch me? I usually go to the cinema on my birthday, so today we went to see The Matador, which was a great laugh, quite touching, and contained a rip roaring performance from Pierce Brosnan. He was great as Bond, but I'm glad he's free to do movies like this now, he's clearly having much more fun. Go and see it, it's top stuff.
Jo got me the best birthday present ever - The Stanley Kubrick Archives. A fuckoff big book filled with photos, articles, interviews, and scans of items from the ridiculously large Kubrick archive - script notes, letters, diagrams, private photos, absolutely everything you could possibly want to know. It's the ultimate present for the ultimate Kubrick nerd, I'm so happy with it. He was the greatest director who ever lived, and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise. I had to take some photos of it, so you can understand just how massive it is. It came inside a special cardboard suitcase, with a carrying handle. It didn't have gift wrapping paper, it was placed inside a massive gift *sack*. Jo had to help me turn the pages, it's that big. Each section on each movie has a little tab so you can find it easily - the great man himself would have approved, I'm sure. The icing on the cake is a twelve frame film strip from a 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of Kubrick's own copies. I had to take some pics of the book, check them out here.
There's a fascinating article on the archives themselves, on the special boxes he had made to store them, and on his legendary attention to detail (including the room that at first glance is the library, but only contains books about Napoleon). It goes some way to explaining just why his movies were so layered:
"Somewhere else in this house," Tony says, "is a cabinet full of 25,000 library cards, three inches by five inches. If you want to know what Napoleon, or Josephine, or anyone within Napoleon's inner circle was doing on the afternoon of July 23 17-whatever, you go to that card and it'll tell you."
"Who made up the cards?" I ask.
"Stanley," says Tony. "With some assistants."
"How long did it take?" I ask.
"Years," says Tony. "The late 1960s."
Kubrick never made his film about Napoleon.
Check it out here.