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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gentelmen to Bed

This morning I returned our borrowed copy of The Trip, a feature film edited from a UK TV series staring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Since my local independent theatre, Film Streams, is showing it this week, the Writer thought a blog detailing our enjoyment of this rare comedy (maybe only rare in the US) has had us clutching stomachs and tears all summer.

Privy to the studio screener of this film--the kind that blinks yellow text to keep it from being pirated--I've only seen the film through once. But that one time more than either Jaye or the Writer who have repeatedly called for certain clips to be played over and over. Its worth going to see if you are educated in British literary and film culture. Throughout there are references to Shakespeare, the Brontes, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge to name a few.  

Though the film ends on an unresolved and melancholic note, the charisma of Coogan and Brydon is full of nuanced secrecy, leaving an audience ready to watch it over again to grasp the meanings of what they so carelessly toss around without footnotes. The numerous impressions of actors alone need a rewatch to pick up all the names. Though the film does not look as appealing on paper, we have made a list of five subjects us Yanks learned and enjoyed from this film. The video at the bottom of the page has nothing to do with anything listed. It just happens to be out favorite clip.

  1. The main points of argument in debate over whether Wales or 'The North' is culturally better.
  2. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a drug addict and a derelict husband. (While this sounds normal enough for a writer, the fact that Coogan had planned a romantic night with his girlfriend in Coleridge's house lends irony).
  3. The complexity of Michael Caine's voice as it has evolved over the years. (There's a taste of these impressions in the trailer)
  4. The unlikely fact that fine dining can be found in peasant villages in the middle of nowhere in 'The North' complete with young attractive women from foreign countries, though people probably would be surprised to find the same thing in Nebraska.
  5. It gets cold enough in England to wear parkas even when there is sunshine and no snow. 

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