I have a cold

But the sore throat it started with is fading a bit. Maybe it’ll be a quick cold.

I will just mention that the still above reminds me of a curious fact. While location scouting CRY FOR BOBO, from which the image derives, ace cinematographer Scott Ward and I trekked around Pilrig Cemetery to find the right spot for Bobo’s funeral. Avoiding the nasty office building overlooking one side, I settled on this view because of the big pipe-things jutting from the wall. During the take we actually stuck smoke bombs in each of them, hoping for a little Ridley Scott atmosphere, but you can’t really see it.

What was weird is that the real grave on the left was for somebody called Cairns, and the grave on the right was for somebody called Watson (my partner’s surname). This seemed both deep and creepy.

Years later, I went back there to take a photograph as evidence, belatedly, but both the office buildings and the pipes were gone, removing all landmarks. I was forced to circumambulate the graveyard, like Eli Wallach in THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, only with a less fey running style. Yet although I could find several Cairns tombstones and several Watson tombstones, I couldn’t find any together. I suspected they all got moved about during the construction work that had removed the adjoining structures. I pictured a gigantic chess game involving the use of forklift trucks and Google Earth.

28 Responses to “I have a cold”

  1. Nice hommage to Keaton’s COPS!!!

  2. More like a direct swipe!

  3. Always steal from the best.

  4. But above all…steal!!! Grabbing and riffing off gags creates a rich healthy tradition.

  5. I think the most sublime example of irony(and poetry) that I’ll ever see was in a rainy cemetary in Berlin. A crisp, perfecly carved monolith of shiny black granite, wet and surrounded on the ground by a bright yellow carpet of fallen leaves.The only thing on the face of the stone was AUF WIEDERSEHEN in gold letters.
    After taking a few photographs, my camera fell apart, the f-stop button popped off and the lens loosened form its casing….. as far as uncanny experiences go, but yours is quite a doozy.

  6. Oh, that’s good, but this is my REAL uncanny experience — https://dcairns.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/polteroid/

  7. That’s all good and well. But i have a cold too.

  8. My cold’s worse than yours. Because my cold’s in me.

  9. Lawrie seems like he was a wonderfully kindly person, and just the person you’d want contacting you from the spirit world. I’ll have to go back to the recent post about him.

    Glad you liked the anecdote. There seems to be some almost magnetic relationship, (whether attraction or repulsion, I’m not quite sure) , between film, the actual material, and the afterlife or thoughts of it. I don’t know if the spirit world and digital photography have the same tempestuous relationship.

  10. Oh, since digital camera came in there’s been a flurry of “spirit photography”, but I’m afraid most of it’s just digital artifacts.

    Movies are quite literally a way for the dead to talk to us. I have a knee-jerk skepticism about all things spiritual, but I’m also amused and entertained by genuine mystery…

    Lawrie was a lovely man. He would say the most shocking things, but there was no malice in him. He gave a fascinating insight into how a generation I’ve barely known, except through my grandparents, thunk about things. He was completely irreligious, but believed in respecting religion. He had no sexual or racial prejudices, he just couldn’t be bothered remembering the politically correct terms for anything. “I’m a dirty old man, but I like to think I’m a witty dirty old man.”

  11. >Movies are quite literally a way for the dead to talk to us. <

    Of what Ed Wood understood, he understood this.

    My wife's from England and she too talks about the rapidly disappearing generation of people like Lawre.

  12. Christopher Says:

    (barking Eugene Pallette voice)WHATS ALL THIS COLD BUSINESS!?

    ooo contrary to what others say…I love clowns! =;O)

  13. I guess the above post allows me to use the following quote:

    “You moved the headstones, but you didn’t move the bodies!!”

  14. It certainly does.

    Cry For Bobo is designed to unite people who hate clowns and people who love them. It unites them in the realisation that this kind of movie is now way to build a career.

  15. David and Brian, I have a cold too, it’s far worse than either of yours, and yet I dragged myself out in a blizzard to attend The Edinburgh Secret Society, the events of which must remain shrouded in mystery (although sacrificing that goat got a bit messy).

  16. Christopher Says:

    beware the clown at midnight!

    I used to have a friend in high school who’d tell me his parents were circus clowns…Then I’d go over to his house and it was the most perfect typical suburban middle class home with normal looking mom and dad..but I darn’t ask them..Was y’all circus clowns?? =:oB…oh no =:oo

  17. Bobo’s not just any clown, he’s a clown with a Scottish burr, which to me serves to elevate his comic potential. And then of course this is multiplied when you include his wife and cohorts. Love the burrs, they’re the icing on the cake.

  18. Bobo’s actually the only non-Scot, although he is a northerner. And I think he’s picked up a trace of the accent since he’s lived here so long. I liked his northern tones, thought they gave him the air of a seaside entertainer: should’ve got him to unleash that a bit more.

    The detective’s accent really works for me: he represents the joyless, puritan side of Scottish culture, evidenced in our support for grim social realism. I should have called him Inspector Loach, but I couldn’t resist homaging Stanley Baker’s character in Hell is a City.

  19. Was it pardonable for me to laugh when Bobo’s clown tie started spinning as he was being hit with bullets? It was a touch of extreme humor I couldn’t resist.

    I showed it to a friend who may have a wall of action films on DVD, but couldn’t even catch the Little Caesar reference. He liked it, although he termed it “creepy”. He didn’t understand why I was laughing at various points and I didn’t explain.

    If you had named the detective Inspector Loach, I might have got the reference, but I never saw the Guest film.

  20. Oh, it’s ALL meant to be funny. Was slightly alarmed when people said it was moving. One comment, “It was almost too beautiful to laugh at,” did make me happy though. All through development, the execs were looking to make sure it would be “emotional” and I just wanted to make sure it was funny, because if not, the rest wouldn’t matter.

  21. I found it almost all funny, but a few jokes did whiz past me as also a small bit of the dialogue did. My friend, however, I have no clue as to why he didn’t laugh much. Creepy is not a word that even remotely occurred to me. Maybe he has clown phobia. As you can imagine, I never watch films with him except under duress.

    I’d show it to a bandmate, but I looked at his DVD shelf and his taste in film is even more egregious.

  22. There are not only jokes but whole plot points that don’t work… you can’t see the tiny fish on Bobo’s plate when he’s at home in front of the TV — it just looks like a Paisley pattern on the porcelain. And that kind of mars the later joke when we see the swag from his great stick-up.

    Generally I’m glad we overstuffed it with jokes, but a few of them did get lost in the muddle.

  23. Yes, that was one joke that whizzed past. I was wondering why he had an empty plate. Small YouTube screen probably exacerbated some of those misses.

  24. Well, that one doesn’t even work with 35mm projection. It needed to have FINS to look fishy enough. Or it could have been a fish skeleton, that might have worked.

  25. Didn’t think BoBo was creepy, or sad. The production values struck me most for such a short film, the color and the way the frame was used for comic effect. The cavity search was startling.

    Somehow I see BoBo going back in time and doing a Rob Roy sort of thing.

  26. Mark McDonnell, who played Bobo, was pretty startled when I showed him his identikit picture (made it myself with a polaroid of his makeup test and a photocopier. “That is TERRIFYING,” he said.

    Vaguely thinking of writing a few posts about my adventures in filmmaking — might even be able to distill some principles out of it, but mostly some funny stories. Bobo was the most fun I can imagine having making movies. Stressful as hell, but fun. Production values were down to a generous budget, a dedicated and skilled crew, including lots of unpaid help, and a determination to find ways to do anything that seemed worth doing.

  27. I would venture to say that the cavity search gag is very Freudian.

    Thanks, look foward to more stories about the making of BoBo

  28. That was a pretty uncomfortable gag to shoot, for most of those concerned, especially the guy under the desk passing objects out…

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