Very Jenteresting #1: Electric Graffiti

I have many strings to my bow. STAND UP. WRITER. FILM MAKER (2:1 in Film & Television Production at Greenwich University), NOVELIST (unpublished), MODERN ARTIST, EDM MUSIC PRODUCER (big in Finland), PHILOSOPHICAL EXISTENTIALIST (at least I think so). I’m gifted, basically. I’ll make no bones about it. But lately, I’ve felt compelled to add another string to that bow, a bow that is becoming so tautly stringed that it’s beginning to buckle inwards on itself. It can probably take 2 or 3 additional strings at max.

So, as well as all those metaphorical strings (yes, they’re metaphors. I’m actually referring to my personal skills & achievements) I’ve decided to add PROFESSIONAL CRITIC to my ever expanding oeuvre. Every now and then, I see a film, or hear a piece of music, or think about a traumatic memory that I am COMPELLED to write about. So with that in mind, I’ll wrap up this admittedly overwritten, yet undeniably insightful introduction and present to you a new semi-regular editorial I am calling:

VERY JENTERESTING!

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Although, I doubt that’s possible!

 

VERY JENTERESTING #1 : ELECTRIC GRAFFITI 

Let me paint you a painting… (I’ve chosen to correct the original, and flawed colloquialism ‘paint you a picture’ because pictures are more commonly drawings or photographs. Paintings are painted. It’s not as catchy, yet. But I feel confident that in time, society will come to adopt my usage)

…the year is most probably 2004, and I’m sitting in a Secondary School science classroom. There’s a gas tap in front of me, emitting what can best be described as a light odeur de gaz due to its being twisted the wrong way one times too often. Our teacher, who for privacy reasons I’ll refer to as “Mr Giill” has just been carefully removed from the classroom by two portly school nurses following a diabetic attack in which he threatened to cut a student’s balls off, while brandishing a big wooden stick used for opening high windows. If you’d have told me at that very moment that something would happen next that was even more entertaining than the spectacle I’d just witnessed, I’d have called you a liar, and possibly a spod as well (as was popular at the time). What do you do when there’s half an hour of a lesson remaining, and the teacher is hypoglycemicly indisposed in the teacher’s lounge? You call upon that oldest of teaching aides, the wheeled television/VHS combo.

The film which followed changed my life…

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Electric Graffiti – 1996. Dir – Patrick Veale 

The film opens in a burst of full, high octane ENERGY. Kids, carrying spray cans and cider bottles are running away from something. But what? They’re running from some other kids – but as we will come to discover, they’re also running from responsibility.

One minute in, and a young boy is looking for his dog, who’s just run off. We can assume that the dog has run away because it senses something is array. Dogs are known to hear and smell things we humans cannot. I believe Patrick Veale is trying to demonstrate to us, the viewer, that dogs are not to be trusted. This dog in particular seems to guide the boy toward an electrical cabinet, which the boy then steps into and… well, I’m not really one to spoil major plot points from films. I implore you to watch the film yourself, and experience it with fresh eyes as it was intended. But basically, the boy explodes.

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A dazzling special effect, with stellar make up work.

Jen’s Standout Performance: Mr Erickson, the Scottish Engineer (actor uncredited)

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“If that did happen, a hell of a lot of power has gone exactly where it shouldn’t go. It goes bang, explodes with an incredible ferocity..” 

The film manages to build tension not only with it’s harrowing injured child plot, but also manages to interweave gripping subplots – such as how long will the hundreds of potential homes have to go without electricity while this investigation is sorted out?

Without ruining the film, there’s a killer twist towards the climax which not only manages to warn against the risks of electricity, but also delivers a scathing message about the dangers of graffiti culture & gang warfare. A cinematic circle is drawn – a chain of events bonded by blood. This is high concept stuff, comparable only to the tragedies of a little known writer by the name of Bill Shakespeare.

Much like a hand electrically scolded to a metal chain, this film is truly gripping, and I award it the highest possible rating currently available: TEN JENS OUT OF TEN.

SEE THE FILM BELOW:

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