Dreams of a Life


Carol Morley has come up with a really interesting idea.

She’s written and directed a documentary about the mysterious death of a beautiful West Indian 39 year old girl (Joyce Vincent) who was a major hit with the lads “People said she was as good looking as Whitney Houston; I thought she was more attractive than that.” and had hundreds of friends and admirers and a huge family to boot; four sisters.

The film is not so much about how she died but the fact that it took three years for her body to be discovered.  In her flat.  Watching her TV which was still on.

No Electricity company shut her utilities off; the council never chased the rent; no one complained about the smell; none of her friends visited; none of doting ex’s; none of her family.  Nobody.

Carol Morley builds a documentary mixing dramatised re-enactments of her life and “Touching the Void” type real life storytelling to get closer to the truth than the police ever did.

It’s a fascinating idea and in places nicely shot with some interesting music (although hardly a career high for ex-Magazine bassist Barry Adamson).

Why then is it so unengaging emotionally?  Why do we not really care about poor Joyce Vincent?

I think because the story is dragged 30 – 40 minutes past is tell by date.  It’s just far too long.

It’s a shame because I really wanted to like it and applaud almost everything about it; including the fact that it was funded (in part by the Irish Film Board!?) and the incredible detective work that Carol Morley did to unearth so many of the people in Joyce Vincent’s life when the police found not one of them.

In the end, it just makes the police look ridiculous.

And poor old Martin, the batchelor who lost the love of his life.

Bless him.

Greed. And why it’s bad for you.


Did you see The Bank Job on Channel 4?

Brilliant.

For a week the winning contestants in each nightly episode collectively pooled their night’s winning money into a collective pot.

Tonight the five finalists duelled one another in a process of elimination until only two were left.  (Two greedy blokes as it turned out.)

One was a lucky and hopeless player, the other a cool cat who thought he had it in the bag.

But the producers of this magnificent Game Show had one last twist up their sleeves (it transpired they had two in the final denoument though.)

So, each finalist was given two boxes with about £230,000 in one box and Trash in the other.

The next bit was tricky.

They had to decide if they wanted the full £450,000 or were happy to split the winnings.  But they couldn’t say it outright, they had to convince the other that they would share or that they were gambling for the lot.

The deal was, they gave their opponent either the box of Trash or the box of dosh.

If only one handed over the dosh the recipient took the lot.

If both handed over the dosh they spilt it.

But if BOTH handed over the Trash they BOTH lost and the dosh was split between the other three losing finalists.

What would you do?

Me?

I’d take my chances on my felllow man and assume that he too would rather have half than nothing and hand over the dosh, after all there was a two in three chance of losing by not taking this approach.

What did the greedy chaps do?

They both handed over the Trash and both left empty handed.

Served the greedy shites right.

A triumph for Channel 4 and a lesson in humility for all involved.

Shame on them.