The Face Stealer

Yes! *I* am the man whose face appears as she meditates! A page from my friend Simon Fraser’s comic strip Lux and Alby Sign On and Save the Universe, written by Martin Millar. Simon borrowed my face, John Woo style, to decorate his strip. Of course, back then I was thin and had long hair and round glasses. My replacement face is fatter, has shorter hair and glasses that are more… ovular.

“Don’t put that! Ovular. That’s not even a word.”

Simon, my best friend from art school, was in town on Thursday (he lives in New York these days) and we met up at the Gladstone Gallery, part of a meticulously preserved seventeenth-century house on the High Street, where his old studio-mate Andy MacIntosh has a show on (imaginary landscapes made from distressed metal) which I recommend to Edinburghers.

It is, of course, the time of the Edinburgh Festival. The Film Fest having moved to June, we were looking forward to being able to devote a little time to the other arts, but so far it’s hardly happening. But yesterday we at least took in Mr MacIntosh’s show, and the work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at the nearby Fruitmarket Gallery, where Fiona and I once planned to shoot part of this film:

Illustration by Simon.

Subjects under discussion were TV’s Lost, which Fiona and I just finished watching, The Wire, which everybody is watching except us (we will, we will!), MAMMA MIA!, HELLBOY II, and whether Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a foot. Also, plastic surgery: rumour suggests that Joe Pesci had to have electrolysis behind the ears, having had his face tightened so much that bits of ex-chin were sprouting stubble behind his lobes.


15 Responses to “The Face Stealer”

  1. Ivy Nicholson, a minor but not uninteresting Warhol superstar, gave Anthony Perkins the pajamas he wears in then opening scene of The Trial. She was besotted with Perkins at the time, as were so many others, while he maintained his maddening elusiveness.

  2. There’s a lovely reference to Bogart’s jammies here:

  3. I saw a clip of Pierce Brosnan singing in Mamma Mia! and don’t know whether it was one of the most shockingly horrific things ever committed to film or a brilliant casting coup!

  4. Simon the cartoonist says that the film gets the audience on its side to such an extent that their shared embarassment at Brosnan’s vocal performance binds them together still further. Which would be an interesting effect. And when was the last time we saw a movie star go spectacularly doolally like that?

    Nobody in Chicago was bad enough to be good.

  5. Well what really gets the audience on the film’s side is that it’s diesgned for people who’ve been singing ABBA in the shower for years. So in that sinse the fact that Brosnan “can’t sing” is pretty much beside the point. It’s very much a communal sing-a-long, and in that repects it relates to Distant Voices Still Lives.

    In an entirely debased commercial pop way of course.

    And no it’s not a “good movie” at all. But the DVD will make a nice stocking-stuffer if you have an Aunt who loves to sing “Fernando” and “The Name of the Game” as she putters about the house.

  6. I think Fiona might actually BE that aunt.

  7. I’d just like to state for the record that I DON’T putter about the house singing ‘Fernando.’ I’m strictly a late period Abba girl – their disco phase and the last sombre gasp of ‘The Visitors” And even then I don’t sing-a-long. Please retract that comment David!

    Thanks for the clip though David E. I particularly enjoyed Hugo right at the end with his tits falling out, being frightened by unexpected glitter.

  8. You’re welcome. Unexpected glitter works its magic every time.

  9. As someone who has the complete Abba CD set including the studo sessions (loving singing along to Hej Gamle Man!) and have on occasion been dancing round the house to Money Money Money only to find myself being viewed through the windows by shocked postmen/window cleaners and so on (fully clothed, luckily!), I’m sure I will share and sympathise with Brosnan’s embarassment!

    But I don’t know if Mamma Mia! will be able to reach the heights of Muriel’s Wedding (or even ABBA The Movie) as the ‘best ABBA film’! It does sound like a film made for the middle age women – they get Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgaard and Pierce Brosnan and the guys get….Julie Walters???

    And if they mangle ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ I’ll be very upset!

  10. I’m mean lucky that I was fully clothed – it is a given that the shocked postmen and window cleaners will have their clothes on!

  11. Not if they were being played by Robin Askwith…

  12. ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ was a highlight , but it’s certainly a film aimed squarely at middle aged women. Which is fine.

    As a guy I’ve always found Amanda Seyfried very watchable and it turns out she can sing too.

  13. Our late friend Lawrie was shown Muriel’s Wedding by his home help, and described it as “a film by idiots, for idiots.” Personal taste is funny. I like musicals and Abba and Pierce Brosnan but I never want to see them combined.

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