Posts Tagged ‘British’

The Force Review (Channel 4)

October 14, 2009

Now I enjoy a good police documentary. Not that I’m a big fan of the police you understand, or some kind of voyeuristic justice-fetishist who rubs his hands at the first sign of a wielded truncheon. No. I just like watching people get arrested in their underwear in front of a camera crew and 16 unformed officers who, at four in the morning, have just made kindling out of their front door.

Watching bewildered suspects attempt to blag the 5 ounces of coke on their coffee table is comedy gold!

“s’not mine”

So imagine my bewilderment last night when I tuned into the first episode of The Force (Channel 4); a new three-part series that follows Hampshire Constabulary working their investigations. Anticipating a Bravo-esque police-pantomine show, it soon became apparent that those juvenile expectations weren’t going to be met.

Directed by BATFA winner Patrick Forbes, The Force is a sombre, calculated affair. In the first few minutes, we are taken to Basingstoke and full-on launched into a grisly murder investigation headed up by Detective Chief Inspector Jason Hogg (pictured).

The details of the murder are brutally frank; the badly-burnt body of a female, killed and stuffed into a suitcase is found on a rural Hampshire backroad. Unable to even identify the body, Hogg and his crack-pot team of forensic experts are faced with a seemingly impossible task of ascertaining a motive and catching the culprit.

No dramatic house raids, car chases or topsy-turvy arrests in the street, then.

Nonetheless, The Force proved enthralling viewing as piece by piece, phone call by phone call, Hogg and Co. built their case; a car registration plate here, an address found there. The slow process of gathering evidence illustrated in full, arduous glory.

The camera work and split-screen editing was excellent, working with the ominously sparse Jazz sounds to add dynamism to some otherwise static and dry scenes. What was most interesting though, wasn’t the Grisom-like collection of DNA from the crime scene, nor the electrostatic gathering of dust from the suspects wooden floor…

It was how familiar, as an office worker myself, detective work looked. It seemed bland, familiar and governed by process. There were no butterfly dissections or sexy mixed-race assistants. Just Microsoft Word and rice krispy squares.

In all, an excellent documentary that whilst macabre and chilling, also captured the tedious nature of police work.

Watch it here:

The Force



Damien Hirst – ‘The Dead’

October 9, 2009

Image courtesy of BNTL

Damien Hirst launched his new exhibition ‘The Dead’ at Other Criteria last night. The show consisted of thirty new works, each a colourful extrapolation of his indulgent 2007 ode to bling, ‘For The Love Of God

To art outsiders like me, ‘The Dead’ to all intents and purposes, is the ‘iPod Nanofication’ of one of Hirst’s most controversial works.

How Hirst can even claim there is any kind of artistic notion or message behind these prints is beyond me. They are egotistical; the self-satisfied splatterings of a blagger. There is no exploration, analysis or interpretation – only trendy colour and a stark reference to death.

Image courtesy of BNTL

On the flipside the absence of meaning – which will undoubtedly be sited by art critics as to why this work is so great – isn’t in my opinion strong enough to justify it’s inclusion in a gallery, let alone the price tag. Hirst’s fascination with death has become a parody. A T4 special.

For a proper, detailed write-up of Hirst’s shortcomings, read Robert Hughes’ excellent article here


Cemetary Junction Teaser

September 25, 2009

Cemetary Junction is the new comedy from Merchant and Gervais. You know the style by now. Looking at this little promo here; I don’t think they’ll be redefining themselves anytime soon. Then again, with the amount of awards received from said style; who can blame them?


Giggs – UKHH Saviour?

September 21, 2009

Am I the only one that doesn’t ‘get’ Giggs? When I hear that cold, lobotomised delivery and those simple word association metaphors (Take off your whole head-top…Hannibal Lector) I can’t help but cringe.

And yet, people are going crazy for this guy – he’s been on Hell’s Kitchen, Collabo’d with The Streets and is frequently the subject of keen discussion on forums. What is it that I’m missing here?

Giggs (real name Nathan Thompson) is a rapper from South Peckham, London, and a member of rap collective SN1 (which, before you ask stands for Spare No 1 and is not a Swindon postcode as I previously thought!) He has released a handful of mixtapes and albums, the most notable of which, Walk In The Park, received a BET award last year.

In mid 2008, his single ‘Talking the Hardest’ was released to much aplomb and arguably Giggs’ breakthrough tune, although its success was in no small part due to being built around a little-known Dr. Dre beat originally made for Stat Quo.

Since then, his standing in the UK rap scene has gone from strength to strength. His violently indulgent alphabet rhymes seem to bypass any hint of ‘Frank Bruno’ parody and instead strike a chord with many young Grime and Rap fans.

Despite an outwardly shy demeanour, Giggs’ Wikipedia entry states that in 2003 he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for gun charges. So perhaps his appeal is wrapped up in being authentic and real – living what he speaks. Which is fair enough.

The point here is not to protest about Giggs’ ultra-blunt gun and drug-dealing bars, or question his authenticity. But, the fact is with the lack of any vocal urgency, call to action, musicality or insight into that street lifestyle, how are you meant to enjoy his music?