The Life of David Gale

Arrive back at new flat at 8pm. Self is weary, broken, emotionally drained like formally-wet-now-stone-cold-dry sponge. Flat seems quiet which self prefers as self far too exhausted to speak to other humans. Self unrobes, throws clothes to corner, clambers into bed and watches climax of first season of The Wire on laptop. Self disappears quickly into abyss of unconsciousness.

Self wearied because last two days spent without bed or The Wire. Self’s last shift at now old workplace occurred on Saturday evening (self now unemployed member of society) which entailed high octane expression of sentiment exchanged with fellow-but-now-ex-workmates Valentina et al. and old-flatmate Johnny. Old-flatmate Johnny ringleader of bid to prevent self from making rehearsal for Nöel Coward play at 10am on following morning as well as making self too exhausted to appreciate Kevin Spacey play Richard III at The Old Vic which self’s parents arranged tickets for several months ago. Old-flatmate Johnny dastardly when drunk.

Old-flatmate Johnny, just when self has constructed plan for escape from National Theatre balcony (where self has been gathered with work friends throughout night and into dawn) to self’s flat for three hours recharge, suggests completely unwarranted trip to Greenwich. Work friends revealed as co-conspirators in Johnny’s rancourous plot and self forced onto 188 night/dawn bus to attractive area of London. Johnny and Johnny’s extremist team force self to climb hill towards observatory. Autumn of self’s discontent reaches inglorious winter when Johnny and Johnny’s extremist team decide they all want sleep. Self exasperated by sudden switch in mood since self long since seeking sleep, but self knows complaints are worthless as self already stuck in Greenwich. Self and Johnny and Johnny’s extremist team rest beneath branches of Greenwich tree for short while before returning to central London.

Self somehow survives rehearsal and rewards self with iced Crabbies at pub near theatre with small portion of cast of Nöel Coward play. 5pm arrives and self joins with self’s parents to take in Sam Mendes’ Richard III. Whilst blog not theatre blog but film blog, self thinks brief comments on Shakespeare play suitable, as blog post will soon describe self’s experience of watching other piece of art starring Kevin Spacey, The Life of David Gale.

Self admittedly slips occasionally into semi-slumber whilst watching play, but only during boring bits. Un-boring bits include Mendes’ use of loud drums, Mendes’ decision to present play as tragi-comic, Kevin Spacey being on stage, battle of Bosworth field, Kevin Spacey dangling dead upside down from theatre rafters and Kevin Spacey’s unpredictable accent. Kevin Spacey has also perfected grotesque limp for role of hunchback King which combined with withered paw and walking cane give his disabilities distinct appearance of being weapons. Kevin Spacey also makes piggy King look cool:

Self big fan of Ian McKellen portrayal of pork monarch, but Ian McKellen portrayal very different in approach to Spacey’s, so self finds it difficult and unnecessary to compare and contrast two performances. Over all, play tower of strength.

Wake at 12pm following day feeling not remotely guilty because self has dragged body through two days of drinking, acting, culture and Greenwich. Decide to limp about room doing domestic chores whilst watching excellent essay on capital punishment starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet. Self saw film in cinema when younger, and again on self’s birthday when film released on DVD, so film close to self’s heart, not least because film directed by Alan Parker who self sees as God-like.

Kate Winslet interviews Spacey because Spacey on death row AND foremost abolitionist of death penalty. Coincidence? Certainly not. Alan Parker’s editors use annoying MTV cutaways to switch between past and present. In past, Spacey likes having rough sex with students from university. In present, Spacey promises Winslet that sex with students not typical of character. Winslet unconvinced until she spends more time with Spacey and learns that he’s loveable cuddly lecturer with conscience rather than horrible rapey lecturer. Richard III wouldn’t approve. Richard III thought conscience was word coward’s used.

Spacey amazing at flooring Republican governors using clever rhetoric and famous quotes (that aren’t from Richard III):

Governor: Alan, let me say something I always say and I’m gonna keep on saying. And that is that I HATE killin’. That’s why my administration is willing to kill to stop it.
Spacey: So, you don’t subscribe to the idea that ‘a good state is the one that protects its most despised members?’
Governor: It’s a nice liberal idea. But, like most nice liberal ideas, naive.
Spacey: It’s a quote from you, Governor. From your first state attorney campaign
Governor: [flustered] You’ve got me, Professor. But let me, in my defense, offer YOU a quote. Winston Churchill: ‘If you’re not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart, if you’re still a liberal at thirty, you’ve got no brain.’
[studio audience laughs]
Spacey: So, basically, you feel, to choose another quote, ‘society must be cleansed of elements which represent its own death.’
Governor: Well, yes. I’d have to agree.
Governor: Did I say that too?
Spacey: No, that was Hitler.

Despite panhandling for public approval using well-picked quotes, Spacey becomes unpopular following revelation of sex with student. In present, Winslet and and Winslet’s intern friend go on tour of crime scene where Spacey allegedly raped and suffocated Laura Linney. Self surprised to see pudgy member of Bridesmaids cast Melissa McCarthy playing punk chick who lives in murder mansion. Melissa McCarthy, self realises suddenly and euphorically, also in Ryan Reynolds film The Nines, acting totally differently than in other two films. Self in giving vein and thus concludes Melissa McCarthy excellent actress.

Apparently, Spacey murdered Linney using method known as ‘secure top’:

  1. Make victim swallow key to handcuffs.
  2. Put handcuffs (self wants to type ‘bracelets’ instead as handcuffs referred to as ‘bracelets’ in The Wire) on victim’s wrists, behind victim’s back.
  3. Place plastic bag over head and secure using gaffer tape around neck.
  4. Victim suffocates to death knowing key (literally, actual key) to their escape inside them.

Self thinks murder technique torturous, but along with Aaron Sorkin-like throwing around of quotes earlier and film’s overall important theme, self thinks film impressively researched and put together.

In flash, film goes back into flashback using flashy flashback technique. Bad news bears for Spacey because Spacey’s wife wants trial separation. Whilst Spacey foremost Texan death penalty abolitionist, self would like to be foremost London trial separation abolitionist. Trial separations never work. Trial separations are unnecessary preamble to inevitable actual separation. Trial separations are gentle way of one person avoiding guilt and one person being confused. Self’s point proven when Spacey’s wife says “I sent you an email.” Thoughts and feelings in modern age expressed by impersonal digital emoticons. Self’s feelings of sympathy very much with Spacey, even though Spacey on death row for rape and murder and self has just seen Spacey slay entire play’s worth of people to become King.

Self impressed by film’s attention to detail when Linney visits Spacey in university office: notice sagging shelves due to weight of books:

Self becomes stir crazy when Spacey initiates alcoholism. Self never good with moments like this in films. Alcohol abuse presented as debilitating, life destroying, grotesque and hurtful. Self thirsty. Self immediately leaves house and by sheer coincidence is invited out for drinks with Nöel Coward castmate Dawood in London Bridge. Self goes, returns, sleeps, wakes, watches staggering last half hour of The Life of David Gale. Perhaps “staggering” too strong. Impressive. Self reflects on career of Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey’s life pretty staggering. Self’s life not staggering or impressive. Still, self’s life better than life/death of David Gale, and self’s kingdom worth at least more than horse. Perhaps self would be more content if self adopted Richard III’s approach to life. Self certainly has leisure enough for such grandiose antics. Self could entertain fair, well-spoken days, determining to prove villain and hate idle pleasures of said days instead. Self probably won’t. Self has trouble enough smiling, let alone murdering whilst smiling.

Well, bloggers are no good doers.

About josh-in-reel-life

Often disgruntled blogger.
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