Adam Buxton and Garth Jennings’ 90 second film, shot on what seems like a very dangerous beach, always makes me laugh. Guitar Wolf are the self-styled “World’s Greatest Jet Rock & Roll band”. They take about 6 rock cliches and make it noisy. Too awesome to tune their instruments and happy to approximate the English lyrics, their Y-Tube clip of “Summertime Blues” is as entertaining as the homage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxlS919JTS8
Promo and film director Garth Jennings made a good fist of turning “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” into two hours of cinematic entertainment. I’m a devotee from the radio show through the books to the TV adaptation. With increasing age there has come an unlikely maturity. I am less precious now when Hollywood raids my cultural treasure chest (see also “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas” & “A Scanner Darkly”). To do the saga justice any director would need, at least. double the time and that is not going to play well at the provincial popcorn palaces. Inevitably the humour ended up somewhere in the mid-Atlantic but I do look favourably on the work of messrs Def and Rockwell. Of course, as is the way of the world, the new Marvin the paranoid android is not as good as the old Marvin but…life, don’t talk to me about life !
At his next turn at bat Jennings knocked it out of the park with a more modest but more successful movie.
“Son of Rambow” is better than that trailer. A coming-of-age film about friendship, family, imagination and the allure of Sylvester Stallone, set in 1980s England it uses broad emotional strokes which can be over-sentimental and nostalgic. However the creativity and energy of the story-telling allied to the charm of the two lead actors gives the whole a heart that is lacking from Michel Gondry’s contemporary take on guerilla film making ,”Be Kind Rewind”. To compare “Son of Rambow” with “Kes” is a little unfair. Few films capture the unleashed potential of children and the poignancy of growing up as well as Ken Loach’s classic. It is more a “Gregory’s Girl” type of deal, an uncomplicated British story told with wit and verve which is entertaining and fun. In the 2010s we should take our fun where we find it.
Jennings and his partner, Nick Goldsmith, are currently taking a break. Unlike Gondry (who I do like) they have not been offered the super hero movies or to get to direct Audrey Tautou. Since “Rambow” they have made commercials and music videos. I hope that they do get the opportunity to make more movies because it’s in them and it’s got to come out.
Here is a Garth Jennings video from 2005 for “Hell Yes” by Beck with more charm and more robots.