The Neon Demon: review


This is a marmite number I would say.

In Drive, Nicola Wynding Refn made a stonewall classic that was so cool, so violent it just oozed class.  No real reference points although I think some people found it reminiscent of Heat.

In this latest outing however Refn is wearing his influences on his sleeve and most obvious of them all is David Lynch (in his Twin Peaks/Mullholland Drive era).

Again it oozes class thanks to the superb cinematography by Natasha Braier and this astonishing electronic soundtrack (following up his Drive opus) by Cliff Martinez.

It’s achingly slow partly so that Braier can seduce the film’s lead ( a very young looking Elle Fanning) with her camera,  and boy can she look stunningly beautiful (albeit verging on Lolitaesque).

The violence is slow in coming but eventually it does with an ending that smacks a little of Heathers.

The story is slight.  The theme is around natural beauty that only Fanning possesses. Her rivals on the catwalk world, that she breezes into in LA, have been nipped and cut to blazes in a vain attempt to preserve their once natural beauty.

Needless to say, they hate her; the new Queen Bitch.

Overall it feels  a little voyeuristic.  The treatment of Fanning verges on the uncomfortable and the plot is pretty weak.

But it’s a thing of beauty.  An artifice.  But so what?

Sometimes art survives on artifice alone.

This does.

Corbyn. Where now?


Jeremy Corbyn sidestepped the opportunity to carve Tony Blair into pieces yesterday.  What he didn’t say was as damning as what he did.

He described the outcome of Blair’s misleading of parliament as;

“an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext”.

He went on to annihilate the decision made by the House on the basis of fabricated evidence that Blair used to make his case and this further ripped asunder the already flimsy bonds that are holding the Labour Party together.

I deeply admire Jeremy Corbyn but I fear he is unelectable now and his days must be counted as leader of the party as it currently stands.

Certainly the PLP despise him.  But the membership do not because the membership, that core of what Labour stands for, are not really Neoliberals, they are socialists and so the outcome is inevitable.

The Labour party will split.

This, then, it seems to me, is the greatest ever opportunity for the regenerating Liberal Party.

I saw Vince Cable speak on a news debate a couple of days ago.  He ungloatingly predicted the return to relevance of a proper Liberal (not Neoliberal) party as the two ‘new’ Labour parties; one unashamedly Old Labour, under Corbyn, and one unashamedly New, New Labour, under whom I care not, split their already diminished vote.

The disaffected , who are neither, will HAVE to vote Liberal and if the Liberals can assume a proper Liberal centrist stance they could attract the non right wing Tories in droves.

A hope, I think,  rather than a confident prediction.

I’ll be there if this happens.

Tony Blair. Post Chilcot. The shame.


Tony Blair spoke to the cameras yesterday.

As he did so he shed voice tears.  Broken speech.

Declaring shame.

But not for what he did.

Not for unilaterally declaring a war that lost at least 150,000 innocent people their lives.

No, for what the others did. (Under his jurisdiction.)

The others that killed 150,000 innocent human beings.

He was unrepentant about what set this horrendous set of dominoes into motion, because he said;

“I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer.”  

How can he honestly believe the world is a safer and better place when we witness almost daily ISIS attacks on innocent human beings?  From Bangladesh to Baghdad.

He took responsibility for the decision, yes, but not the implications, or the outcomes.

“Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein, I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.”  

The words of a megalomaniac.

A Sociopath.

Instead he blamed others for the outcomes when he said

“I will take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse.”

i.e. military mistakes, not his calamitous strategic, sociopathic decision.

Chilcot concluded that the UK (Tony Blair) chose to attack Iraq;

“…before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.  Military action at that time was NOT a last resort.’

One mother called Blair “the world’s biggest terrorist”.

I think this is a step too far.

Yes, terrorists may be sociopaths, but sociopaths are not necessarily terrorists.

I believe Blair wanted to go down in history, like many of the great leaders of this country for defeating an enemy: winning a war.

But to win a war he had to start one first.

Oh by God he did that, did he not?

And like many great sociopaths he has a place in history.

A significant one.

Shame on you Tony Blair.