The Mule, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, Writer Nick Schenk, Director Clint Eastwood.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0019n5y/the-mule

Based on a true story (kinda, but not really). An article in The New York Times reported that Earl Stone, aged 90, had been convicted for transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel. If Earl Stone had been aged 30 or 40, or even 50, there’d be no story. The story is in his age. He was just doing what a man gotta do.

You have, for example, Brian Cox leaving the Scottish islands and chasing Patricia Arquette in Rory’s Way. This is meant to be a wry look at getting older and the aging process.

Anne Reid getting up to the naughty with a bearded (James Bond) Daniel Craig in The Mother.

Glenn Close, The Wife, standing behind her man, who is not much of a man and more of a meme dictionary with nice hair.

King of Thieves, The Hatton Garden job pulled off by old codgers Michael Caine, Tom Courtney, Michael Gambon, Charlie Cox, Jim Broadbent, Paul Whitehouse and Ray Winston.

Going in Style, a remake of a heist movie also starring Michael Caine. Morgan Freeman is the lead, as he’s always going to be. The premise of the movie is familiar. Like Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, old age brings with it baggage and no pension pot. Make my day, becomes make my pension please, or we’ll take it anyway. But, of course, they’d never hurt anyone in the taking. They’d be kind and courteous. Christopher Lloyd brings an aged geeky angle and the glamour comes from a youthful looking Ann-Margret (remember her?)

It’s not difficult to get Clint Eastwood to look ninety. He just looks like he always did. But older, when younger. Then, of course, there are the ladies. Just because Earl is ninety…girls a third of his age go for him…two at a time. Wow. Hmmmm. But he’s still loyal to his wife. Still a straight talker. He did the jobs for the best of reasons. He lost his business and home. His pal’s place burned down, but Earl provides. Earl always provides. That’s the moral of these stories. Everything goes to shit, but the old codgers see it out in Clint Eastwood style barking at the judge he’s guilty. Of course, he’s guilty, he’s Clint Eastwood protector of the faith.  

My Loneliness is Killing Me, BBC iPlayer, Next Big Thing, Series 1:7, directed by Tom Courtney and written by Michael Richardson.

scottish bafta.jpg

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00039vv/next-big-thing-series-1-7-my-loneliness-is-killing-me

This short film won a Scottish BAFTA, which pleased me because I’d met the writer, Michael Richardson, a few times on a writing course I got turfed out of for not being able to write or spell bafta. Fair enough. I often go off in daft tangents that have no relevance.  It’s not Dennis Nilsen, killing for company, and blocking the drains with body parts, or, bottle blonde, Britney Spears belting out that anthem of the pre-teens.  But My Loneliness is Killing Me is, as the title suggests, a bleaker vision of our society.

Everything about the film is dark. It begins in a gay disco. Elliot (Luke Elliot), on the dance floor, is dressed like a woman, but he’s a man. Elliot propositions another man in the toilets, but is rejected because the would-be fuck-friend, ironically, prefers his men to be men.

Jack (Jamie Robson) is fucking another man, a knee trembler in a dark, locker-room. He checks through his stuff, his wallet and money gone, but he’s still got his wedding band.

Jack is back in his penthouse apartment, looking over the night lights of Glasgow. Meal for one.

Eliot hooks up with Jack over the phone, as easy a Pizza delivery. Male for one.

‘You got somewhere better to go?’ asks Eliot.

Jack beats a retreat, after they meet. It’s a repeat of what happened to Elliot in toilets of the disco. Elliot warns him he’ll not get anybody at this time of night. A fuck-you and fuck-me of the iPhone generation.

Selfies don’t mean selfish, but a way of getting your hole. Jack fucks Elliot, but then feels that tingle down below. Yeh, he’s lost his gold ring and checks his reflection in the mirror of the toilet. Symbolism. Elliot ends up in a bath holding the gold ring. Enter Gandalf. Yes, it’s Lord of the Rings. Well done Michael Richardson. Now, after BAFTA, to conquer Mordor. The ring that binds us all. But watch out for the orcs.