7 December 2009
The environments in which our young silver screen heroes live is key to the story, their surroundings tell you all about them, and where better to see this than their own personal space.
This brings back early childhood memories of new best mates, playing out until dusk, going round for tea after school and then seeing their bedroom, was it as cool as your own? what made them tick?
Our young heroes of film and music are the same, even as a grown up you still want to peer into their own private space. It's all in the detail, and cinema has a great way of capturing this.
I feel another long winded post coming on, so sit back and relax, and why not eh?
I'm getting the knack of taking some dead cool screen caps from my dvds so I might aswell share 'em eh?.
We'll start with A Clockwork Orange, Alex De Large (Malcolm McDowell) a young ruthless tearaway in a modern, bleak Britain, who's hobbies are not like that of other kids his age, he's growing up fast, he likes fighting and things we shan't mention.
in a predicted future world, forget cd's and mp3's tiny cassettes will provide our soundtrack.
Alex keeps his liberated treasures in his bed side cabinet, and his pet snake Basil in the drawer next door.
Alex has an impressive set up, a great timeless art deco lamp, a wall of speakers, a nice collection of LP's, his Ludwig Van Beethoven roller blind, and the best quilt cover you are ever likely to see.
to get into Alex's little world, you need to know the combination.
Moving onto another young rebel, Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) in Quadrophenia.
Jimmy lives with his parents and sister, he's an office junior by day and a mod by night and weekend. Jimmy covers his garish, nondescript 60's wallpaper with newspaper cuttings of mods versus rockers mayhem, a reminder of what he wants in life, from his waking moment to moment his head hits the pillow the first and last thing in his day, carnage, beach fights and breasts.
Carefully cut out tit pics take up his wall space, a rite-of-passage for the bedroom wall of your average post pubescent young man. His mother still makes his bed and wanders into his room when he's late for work, she is unfazed by the impressive gallery of tits.
For a young mod, vanity, looking sharp and posing is important, a large mirror is essential.
Jimmy's collection of vinyl sit proudly next to his bed, his window faces a connecting rail line as he watches the world go by.
From mods to hoolies, in the original Firm, Gary Oldman plays Clive 'Bex' Bissell.
An estate agent by the working week, ruthless football hooligan top boy by the weekend. Bex has since moved on from his childhood manor, he's got a nice little modern house with his wife and young child. But his old space is still there, at his disposal any time he wants it.
Going back to his parents house, Bex's bedroom is as it was when he originally left it.
A shrine to his beloved West Ham United...
Old scarves and press clippings documenting West Ham's glory days, faces of past hero's completely cover the walls.
Cuttings when West Ham made the news for differing reasons are stuck to the wardrobe doors, available on request, but hidden from prying eyes.
Bex's toolbox is kept in the wardrobe too, it contains an array of weaponry, and some sort of paper work too, maybe a secret album of past and present 'faces' or jotted down phone numbers to arrange fisticuffs - and of course his telescopic truncheon.
Bexie practices for potential future confrontations by leathering his pillow where nobody can see him. Perhaps he's actually mental? we've all done it though, haven't we? haven't we?
Moving on to factual characters now, a young Ian Curtis (Sam Riley in Control) soon to be the lead singer in the band Joy Division, resides with his parents in a dull Macclesfield tenement block.
But this aspiring, yet altogether tormented young performer has his own space.
Boring generic wallpaper is masked by photos of musical hero's like David Bowie and Lou Reed.
a keen lyricist/poet is never too far away from plenty of influential reading material.
There are inspirational little quotes and one-liners stuck all around the room.
Words are important. Ian's desktop is full of encyclopedic knowledge, note the boxes of cuttings and ring binders full of lyrics, novels and poetry.
Eddie Adams, aka Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights) although fictional, it's evident this film is based on factual performers from porn's golden era of the seventies and early eighties. Eddie is a dropout, a kitchen porter and part time male prostitute, blessed with a rather large penis. By chance he is discovered by porn director Jack Horner, and alas, the rest is history.Clearly based on real bongo legend John 'Wadd' Holmes, before fame and fortune come calling, Eddie lives with his bickering parents, in miserable surroundings.
Eddie's bedroom is a time capsule of the era, he likes Bruce Lee, Serpico, a red Corvette which he later buys when he becomes successful, and of course pretty ladies...
in the States, any self respecting young man would have had the 70's pin up poster of Farrah Fawcett and/or Cheryl Tiegs, 'Dirk' had both.
a full length mirror comes in handy if you want to shadow box, or make it big in the porn industry.
Every one's going to see you naked, so you cannot be afraid of your own reflection. Confidence is key especially with a fifteen inch tallywhacker.
Staying with a very similar theme, and one it's clear to see inspired Dirk's persona. Disco dancing, womanising Italian American Tony Manero (John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever)
Stuck in a dead end job, with immature friends in a part of town boiling over with racial tension. Tony's escape from reality is disco, and for a while he's the king of the dance floor on Saturday nights.
chintz wallpaper is covered with images of the era, such as pin-ups, Bruce Lee and the Rocky film poster.
And, there goes that Farah Fawcett poster again, even his normally unapproving father approves that one.
And that's that. Next week we'll be studying what's under the sink of our favourite obscure reality televison stars. We won't really.