Watched FOUR LIONS last night, the latest film by CHRIS MORRIS, the brain-damaged genius behind JAM and BRASS EYE and a million other things. It's a comedy. About suicide bombers.
But! It's not half as offensive as you might think, and actually quite sad. The film follows Omar and some of his friends as they plan to blow themselves up, with Barry (a white wideboy who's converted to Islam) coming up with the bright idea of destroying a mosque (to make everyone "rise up"). Don't worry, they don't blow a mosque up, because Barry is an idiot. Omar isn't, and we see his family life, and genuine desire to 'do good' by sacrificing himself. He talks about 'nutter bombers' and draws a very clear line in the sand between those and 'honest' bombers. It's a complicated, intriguing look (not quite an 'insight') into scared and confused religious types and what motivates them.
There's also no gore, even though people do get blown up, which is a peculiar but refreshing visual idea. It lowers the tone of the violence, if you like, to cartoon levels.
Also, the comedy element is never at the expense of religion, but at the bumbling efforts of the main characters to do things according to their beliefs. A couple of the main characters are similiar lovable dummies, with Barry being a bit too intense to be realistic (though his religious fervour is palatable) but otherwise the film operates in our reality. There are also some sly digs at how the police can overreact and target the wrong people, including a wookie death (yes!) and case of 'mistaken identity' (sort of).
Being working on BRICKSVILLE, my zombie novel, and have recently passed the 41, 000 word mark, and the first "zombies" have just appeared. The real zombies will pop up a bit later on, however. I'm quite excited now because I keep grinding to a halt writing it, though I know where the story's going, but at the moment I'm steaming ahead. Woop!
Without giving too much away, the story involves a 'storm' coming to a small Arkansas town and bringing? causing? zombies and mutants to appear! A piece of flash fiction, that's been accepted but not published yet, features a central scene from the story, whilst a short story (that is being prepped for publication) follows a character mentioned in the book, as he deals with 'the storm' in another country. Ooo is that a spoiler? Hardly.