All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Who is Tyler Durden?

Day 11: A song on the soundtrack of your favourite movie

Who is Tyler Durden? | The Dust Brothers

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From the moment I first saw Fight Club, late one evening in the autumn of 1999, I was smitten. Here was a film of such style, such power, such magnificence, that you cannot help but fall in love with it. It is one of those rare films that can only be described as perfect. The casting. The writing. The cinematography. The direction. Everything comes together with such grace and panache that you are left breathless in appreciation.

Fight Club, directed by David Fincher, is a film about an average man, so average that he doesn’t even have a name; in the credits, he is referred to as “The Narrator”. He lives a monotonous life where everything is “a copy of a copy of a copy”. It isn’t until the day where he meets Tyler Durden while traveling on a plane for a business trip that his life gets stirred up. Tyler is everything the Narrator isn’t, and everything the Narrator wishes to be. The Narrator focuses on material things, like how much he can buy from an IKEA catalog, while Tyler lives his life with the belief that “the things you own end up owning you”. Played by Brad Pitt, Tyler embodies the sex appeal that the Narrator (played by Edward Norton) wishes for, and as he works various odd jobs to get by, he isn’t tied down to a big corporation like the Narrator is. The big “twist” at the end of the film is that we find out that the Narrator and Tyler Durden are the same person. From a Freudian stand-point, Tyler represent the Narrator’s id, which is all of his unconscious wants and desires (Cherry). Throughout the entirety of the film, we see how the id, ego, and superego play out in the Narrator’s mind, and how Tyler represents every desire that he has suppressed, whether that be from childhood or adulthood.

~ from Freudian Analysis of Fight Club ~

One of the often forgotten aspects of film is the music. All too often the work of the humble composer is overlooked. The audience too spellbound by the visuals on-screen to pay attention to the compositions that fuel emotional reaction. John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Bernard Herrmann, James Horner, all have composed music for some of the most well-known films in cinema history. Yet so few know their name.

To honor the film composer I have, for today’s installment of the 25 Songs, 25 Days challenge, chosen to showcase a piece of instrumental score, rather than a song, from my favourite movie. Like everything else in Fight Club, the music, by pioneering duo The Dust Brothers, is perfection. It compliments the visual and emotional style of the movie, it burrows into your subconscious and refuses to let go.

It is a haunting, stimulating musical score that demands attention.


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Minimal Movie Monday

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For those of you who have been living under a rock (like I pretty much have been for several years :p) the idea behind a minimal movie poster is to capture the essence of a film as minimalistically as possible.

The idea behind this post is to put that to the test.

Below are twelve Minimal Movie Posters that have had their title/cast cunningly removed. How many can you identify? For if the artists have done their job properly, it should be all of them!

Oh, and just to be a little naughty, one of the posters is for a television series…but I’m not gonna tell you which one! :p

Minimal Movie Poster Montage


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Thirteen of the greatest film soundtracks of all time…

In last week’s Sunday Stealing I mentioned (as I’m sure I have before) my love of the oft-ignored film score. Many of the CDs I first purchased as a teenager were soundtrack CDs, so when everyone else was listening to Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Aqua and Chumbawumba, I was delighting myself with John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Anton Karas and James Horner.

Given I am still battling through writer’s block, I decided to share thirteen of my favourite film scores with you all. Most are movies you will have heard of, all are pieces of music worth acquainting yourself with.

Enjoy :)

Journey to the Island (Jurassic Park) – John Williams

One of the most recognisable film composers of all time, John Williams’ work has been heard by billions of people worldwide. Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, E.T, Schindler’s List, Jaws, Close Encounters…all instantly recognisable and magnificent pieces of work.

But none more so for me than this track from one of my favourite movies of all time.

Breaking of the Fellowship (The Fellowship of the Ring) – Howard Shore

Simply one of the greatest soundtrack scores of the last twenty-five years. I could create a Thursday Thirteen list purely from the soundtracks of this trilogy of epic motion pictures, but this piece has always been a particular favourite of mine.

The Third Man – Anton Karas

If you have never seen The Third Man you are not only missing out on one of the greatest films ever made, but also one of the greatest soundtracks ever made. Seriously, everything about this score is a delight. Cue the zither!

Why So Serious? (The Dark Knight) – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

One of the greatest Superhero movies ever made. One of the greatest movies ever made. So it’s fitting it also has one of the best soundtracks Hans Zimmer has ever composed (or rather co-composed) to score it.

Hanging / Escape (Plunkett and Maclean) – Craig Armstrong

My love of Craig Armstrong knows no bounds. Most will know him as the composer for Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge, but this track (actually two pieces joined together) has long been one of my favorite of his movie work. Stunning from beginning to end.

The Kraken (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) – Hans Zimmer

If you were to remove the sublime Journey to the Line from the equation, this is without doubt my favourite track from Hans Zimmer.

Scorponok (Transformers) – Steve Jablonsky

Will forever remind me of the ups and downs of Adelaide ’07 and of psyching myself up for job interviews. A cracking action score that is far better than the movie deserves (although, in all honesty, this and its sequel are two of my guilty pleasures!)

Love Theme (St Elmo’s Fire)

I will not hear a bad word said about this piece of music! Got that?

Point of No Return (Back to the Future III) – Alan Silvestri

Everything about this film trilogy was magnificent, especially Alan Silvestri’s superb soundtrack. Of which this track from the brilliant conclusion to the third installment is a highlight.

Elora Danan (Willow) – James Horner

Viewers of this seminal fantasy film from the 1980s will have seen Warwick Davis in action long before he lit up the screens in Harry Potter, Merlin and Life’s Too Short. Granted, it’s not a movie that is greatly loved (although I cherish it) but Horner’s score is one of the best soundtrack’s of the 1980s, if not ever.

North by Northwest Suite – Bernard Herrmann

Forget Psycho, this is the definitive Hitchcock score. A work of absolute genius and one of the finest film scores ever composed.

Prologue (JFK) – John Williams

Another classic, often overlooked track from legendary composer John Williams. One of my personal favourites.

and

Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) – Mark Knopfler

My favourite film score of all time. I love this track with an intense and fiery passion!

What about you? Are there any film scores (or composers) that rock your world?


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My Life in a Movie

Whilst exploring the rather magnificent blog Voices of Glass yesterday I came across this excellent post. Being a movie lover, an aspiring writer/director and someone’s who’s lived a life that would make a rather spectacular film, I have decided to play along.

If my life were a movie, this is what it would be…

1. What periods of your life would you want it to be about? Why those periods?

Given my love of unconventional narratives, there is no way I would allow a movie of my life to be made in an A to B to C structure. In fact, if someone decided to make a biopic about me after I died using the conventional format I would come back and haunt their ass!

To fully tell my tell you would need to cover everything, from the early days of naive childhood through the social anxious teenage years and into the dark periods of mental health and homelessness in adulthood. Only this could bring out the links between childhood events and how they impact upon events later in life.

In fact, let’s start the movie with my birth, Tristram Shandy style! :)

2. Which well-known actor or actress would you want to play you in it? Why that/those actor(s) or actress(es)?

Childhood:
Jackson Brundage because he kinda looks like child-me and shares the same mischievous energy I had at that age.

Teenage:
Tobey Maguire because he doesn’t really look anything like me but he could nail the nervous, socially awkward teenage me.

Adult:
David Tennant because he looks absolutely nothing like me but shares the same naughty glint in his eye that I do. Plus, he’s David Tennant.

3. Which well-known actor or actress would you want to play your significant other/partner? Why that/those actor(s) or actress(es)?

Childhood:
Hannah (my best girl friend and first crush) would be played by Caitlin Blackwood because she is beyond awesome!

Douglas (my best male friend and partner in crime) would be played by Pierce Gagnon because he is beyond awesome!

Teenage:
Kathryn (my sister) would be played by Kate Winslet because she reminds me of my sister more than any other actress.

Natalie (my school time crush) would be played by Nina Dobrev, because (ironically) they could be dopplegangers!

Adulthood:
Louise (my first girlfriend) would be played by Maureen O’Hara because no other actress would be able to capture her spirit.

Kathy (my second girlfriend) would be played by Vanessa Hudgens because they look a lot alike. Plus, it would be nice to see Hudgens play a darker role for a change.

Diane (my third girlfriend) would be played by Toni Collette because I can’t think of a more beautiful, talented actress to depict this woman.

In addition, from teenage onwards:
Meadhbe (my primary hallucination) would be played by Karen Gillan because they’re both Scottish and she has the range to be cruel and nasty whilst retaining her ethereal beauty and mask of kindness. Plus, she shares my birthday and is from Inverness :p

And other important people:
Annie (a good friend and object of youthful lust) would be played by Serena Ryder. Okay, I’m cheating slightly as she’s a musician, but I want Serena Ryder to play Annie in mymovie! Got a problem with that?

Grace (a good friend) would be played by Audrey Hepburn, because they share the same intelligence and beauty, have a more than passing resemblance and, in all honesty, who wouldn’t want Audrey Hepburn to play one of their friends in a movie of their life?

Sammi (a complicated friendship) would be played by Jenna Louise-Coleman because she always reminds of Sammi.

4. Which well-known actor or actress would you want to play your parents? Why that/those actor(s) or actress(es)?

My father would be played by Trevor Eve because he is beyond awesome and reminds me of my dad rather a lot.

My mother would be played by Maggie Gyllenhaal because she is beyond awesome and no-one else could pull this role off.

5. What era would you want it to be set in if not in your actual era? Why this era?

It would have to be contemporary; which given the need for 80s and 90s flashbacks would mean lots of wonderful fashion to showcase as well as provide a myriad of options for a corker of a soundtrack CD!

6. What would you want it to be called? Why did you choose that name?

Oh, tough question.

My first reaction would be All that I am, all that I ever was as it’s the title of this blog and would reflect the overall message I’d like to see in the movie. However, long movie titles are few and far between as these days people want short, snappy titles that they can tweet without taking up the entire 140 characters and/or reduce to a handy hashtag.

But you know what, screw the Twitterati, I like All that I am, all that I ever was so I’m gonna stick with that! :p

7.What genre would you want it to be? Why did you choose that genre?

If a movie were to made of my life that was pure drama it would tank spectacularly at the box office because (a) no-one wants to watch a severely depressing tale of a suicidal homeless person and how he became that way and (b) it wouldn’t accurately reflect my life.

Any movie about my life would need to include random faeries, an aerial dragon attack, the occasional spanking and sword fights. All but the spanking being things generally not seen in low-budget indie dramas about mental health and homelessness.

Thus, I suggest a new genre: Urfandacows (Urban Fantasy Dark Comedy, with spanking!)

This way, the heavy drama of MH/suicide/homelessness could be told within an urban fantasy world that depicts the continuing disintegration of my mental stability (hallucinations, mania et al!) Think David Lynch directing an episode of How I Met Your Mother that’s been written by the scriptwriters of Black Books and designed by the guys behind The Dark Crystal (with the occasional spanking!)

C’mon, who wouldn’t want to see that? :p

8. Write a one paragraph description/advertisement for the movie.

You don’t judge a book by it’s cover…so why judge a human by their circumstances?

9. Which one message would you want audiences to get from seeing that movie?

Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.

10. If they were to make a movie about your life – who would you least like to see it and why?

Given I have no qualms about sharing my entire life with the world in blog form I don’t care who sees a movie about my life.

The more the merrier, I say!