Your Life in Cinema

We just love new recruits here at Picturenose Towers, and we are *delighted* to have acquired the talents of the erudite and charming Sophie Glaser who, to open her account, muses on why perhaps we’re all much better off without a film director pulling our strings. Take it away, Sophie.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, or you know, Friday just before lunch, my mind was wandering around unsupervised and tripped on a bizarre thought. Being of the un-censoring sort, I immediately shared my musing with my 200 closest friends. The thought itself is very simple: ‘Aren’t I lucky that film directors don’t get to direct my life?!’

So, here’s the sales pitch:

If you enjoy realism, please try our special offer on Brian De Palma. A heightened sense of the dramatic and the underplayed would mean that you might not even notice it at first, you might even forget it, until a dreaded angle shot came at you. Suddenly the suspense would hit you, then Al Pacino or Robert De Niro or some other high-priced method actor would gun you down.

Supposing this happened, you wouldn’t really have much of a life left, aside from maybe a nice split-scene soliloquy in which someone remembers you fondly as the other frame lounges over some piece of scenery. All in all, four out of ten, would not recommend to the faint hearted or Kevlar-less.

If you aren’t too keen on realism why not try our implausibility offer; a Michael Bay-directed life. Imagine, if you will, a car. It sits in an oversaturated frame of an inner city parking lot, it explodes, you make a joke. Now imagine your favourite aunt sitting in an oversaturated frame in a comfy chair, she explodes, you wear a grim expression. Imagine your dog (added sats), he turns out to be working against you. You drop him off a building, he explodes, the building explodes, the city explodes. You walk away from it in slow motion, you make a death-joke that you can’t hear because your ear drums are bleeding. Cut to black.

Perhaps, on the other hand, you prefer your life a little less loud and a lot more macabre. I recommend the Burton life: you are Johnny Depp, your wife is Helena Bonham-Carter, and you live in an igloo made of quirkiness. You are quirky. You have two children, they are Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. They are quirky. Your lives a quirky. Everything is bloody quirky. Take your quirks and quirking quirk off.

Sorry, I got mildly distracted there – sticking with the peculiar, let’s move on.

A David Lynch-directed life is…complex. You stare into the mirror, or is it staring at you? You take a fishing trip with your dad and his buddies, you catch a midget dressed as a mermaid who warns you of a great evil. In the background, a cow knocks over a vase. Your life ends with heavy synth music.

Of course, much better Lynch than M. Night Shyamallamallamallamamamapijama; you are a mild-mannered nobody. Your life is uneventful and tedious. You have no redeeming qualities. Suddenly you can see ghosts/find a mermaid/start dying from pollen allergies/ruin a film, this leads you on a journey of introspection and yet more boredom. SUDDENLY SPACEMONKEYS WITH SQUID GUNS! Also, it turns out that it was the stapler that sabotaged your relationship, not your mind-numbing blandness.

Personally, I would go for the more traditional sort of director, maybe Frank Capra. Yeah, good ole Capra. Your life is okay, you have 2.4 children and you are married to a 1950s housewife who cooks, cleans and looks as she should (none of this opinionated stuff). You play baseball with your son, and you teach your daughter the value of shutting the hell up, and the baby of indeterminate sex remains in the pram or crib at all times. Your life gets rough, but everything ends up fine and you hug everyone, safe in the knowledge that as a white male you are the supreme master of the universe. You may now high-five God.

If Capra is not for you, then try Ridley Scott, the prime example of how the mono-myth can be fun in space or in Rome. You are Maximus Decimus Ripley, Petty Officer to a destroyed ship, space marine flunky and you will have your vengeance, in this sequel or the next. You spent much of your time covered in sweat in an impossible situation. Finally you devise a cunning plan to vanquish your foes. You crawl through a vent with your trusty companion Hicks, and a small girl played by 6’3″ Djimon Hounsou. You arrive at the centre of the hive and face off with the Alien Queen played by Joaquin Phoenix, and you blow him out of an air-lock to the space lions. You die, but everyone else lives happily ever…oh no, wait, they’re all dead now too. All in all, I feel as though there are maybe some flaws with this pitch.

I suppose in reality the best would be to just allow Woody Allen to direct us all – what’s the worst that could happen? We’d all be socially awkward, and eventually find some measure of happiness. I thank you.

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