The Dark Side of the Earth: October 5th, 2010

“Hey you, get your damn hands off of her!”
Yes, Back to the Future was re-released in cinemas last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary. For some reason Universal decided not to publicise it in any way, which was good, since it meant there were relatively few arseholes chatting and getting up to use the toilet. Unsurprisingly for a digital presentation, the picture was unnervingly sharp, which didn’t do the ageing make-up any favours. That minor niggle aside, the film was as wonderful as ever and a joy to behold on a big screen. As Col suggested, perhaps all filmmaking should cease now and cinemas should just screen great old films instead. Indeed, my local arts centre is following the eighties nostalgia trend by showing another cinematic masterpiece this Friday night: Ghostbusters.
It seems nostalgia is the theme of this post. On Sunday I went to Malvern to help my old schoolfriend Chris Jenkins move his stuff into storage at his mum’s house so that he could go off gallivanting around the globe for sixth months. This house, and more so its garden, was a key location for the original The Dark Side of the Earth, and seeing it again brought back many memories of that shoot – which was now almost fifteeen years ago – half my life ago. Christ, I’m old. There may be something very special coming to this website for the fifteenth anniversary, so look out for that.
After moving Chris’s stuff, he and I and the mono-monikered Jeff went for a curry, then on to The Prince of Wales. For those of you who haven’t been following by journals since 2001 (and who can blame you?), The Prince is a magical place where dreams are made, scripts about Star Trek happening inside a Cow are written and lots and lots of Trivial Pursuit is played. Well, all that stuff used to happen back in the day, anyway. None of us had been there for years, but I’m happy to report that, although it’s undergone some cosmetic surgery, somehow a pool table has been squeezed into the tiny lounge, and there’s a sign about free wi-fi over the bar, the vibe is very much the same. People with guitars and bongos were jamming randomly. I didn’t see anyone feeding beer to a dog, but then I guess the dog is probably dead by now. Best of all, when we asked the barman if they still had Trivial Pursuit, he disappeared round the back for a few minutes, then came back bearing the very same set we used to play with, complete with the newspaper cutting about the game’s inventors that Matt Hodges put in the box about ten years ago. All is right with the world.
So, to come finally to the subject this blog is meant to be about – The Dark Side of the Earth. It looks like time travel has got to be removed from the script. It’s really hard to see it go, but it just makes things too damn complicated. I’ve got until the end of the week to write the new draft, a deadline imposed by my wife Katie. You see, I act like a small child when I’m writing – sulking, throwing things around, whingeing “I don’t want to” every five minutes – and she just can’t take it any more. And frankly, neither can I.

The Dark Side of the Earth: October 5th, 2010