Monthly Archives: October 2006

Two Comments

One

I had an email from Dave Bradley, Editor of SFX magazine, a few days ago. He’s currently on sabbatical in Paris, the lucky pup, and he’d just heard that I’d quit Total Film. His reaction?

“Holy departure, Batman!”

I laughed until tea came out of my nose.


Two

Here’s a text message I received the same day from my mate Andy Watt, the twisted artistic genius (and I mean that in a nice way) who illustrates my SFX column.

He was having a Really. Bad. Day…

“Don’t you just love it when you miss a train because the twat in front of you is booking a ticket for next week and takes half a fucking hour deciding which way round she wants to sit, then you finally get your ticket which takes all of 60 seconds, run to the platform to see the train doors close and the train drives off while you jump up and down half-naked shaking a club shouting, ‘kill kill kill’?”

I think the answer to that is: “No.”

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Ten Interesting Things That Have Happened To Me This Week (with number ten being the most important)

1) I Got An Eyeful

I went to see Tim Finn play at The Scala in King’s Cross and stood so close to him that every time he thrust his hips I nearly got a faceful of crotch. And, as much as I love Tim Finn (not quite as much as I love Neil Finn, but near enough), it was hugely embarrassing and I totally ran out of places to look.

2) I Saw My Film Debut

I watched Neil Gaiman’s A Short Film About John Bolton after finally getting around to buying it from America three years after it was filmed. It’s a creepy little movie, made all the more intriguing because I’m in it! I even speak. Just for a minute. I’m an art gallery guest and I comment on some of John Bolton’s vampire paintings.

Now, if only Neil could reissue the DVD with the right name on the end credits – I’m listed as Jayne Setchfield, because I was there with SFX‘s Nick Setchfield, and Neil got confused when he wrote my name down. I’m even listed on the Internet Movie Database as Jayne Setchfield! Neil has since apologised, and I guess it’s kind of funny, but I’d like to point out that I am not, nor have I ever been, married to Nick Setchfield.

Although having Neil Gaiman as the vicar at the ceremony would be kind of cool, I have to admit.

3) I Accused A DJ Of Having No Sex Life

I did a live interview with BBC Radio Northampton on Friday morning. The DJ said he was thinking of going to see Kevin Costner’s new movie, The Guardian , that afternoon, and I cheekily told him it was a date movie and he should go with a girl: except that from the sound of him he probably didn’t have one. He made some comment about his girlfriend currently having a puncture, to which I replied, “Hang on, it’s 10.10am and we’re live on air. What kind of show is this?”

I wonder if they had any complaints?

4) I Rediscovered An Author

The new issue of SFX is in the shops NOW and contains my interview with Victoria Clayton, nee Victoria Walker, who wrote two books for children in the early 70s that have been out of print ever since… but which are being republished now thanks to Neil Gaiman and myself. Please read it, then buy her books from http://www.fidrabooks.com because they’re wonderful!

5) I Danced Around A Shop And Then I Danced Around An Underground Station

I got a quote on the paperback of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys!

And I got a quote on the poster for a fabulous new film called Mischief Night!

Apologies to Biddy and Mike, who stood and watched me dance in public as I made both discoveries (once in Forbidden Planet and once at King’s Cross). It must have been rather embarrassing for them, poor chaps. Still… cool-o-rama!

6) I Stole From The Ministry Of Defence

I filmed a segment for my second BBC4 programme in a month, this time for The Cinema Show, in which I talked about Brazil and Alien and a film called Zeta One which I still can’t believe I watched all the way through. The filming took place at an abandoned MoD base in Chertsey (Silent Witness, Hyperdrive, Jekyll and a Holby City spin-off are being filmed there, too).

The BBC sent a car to pick me up from work in central London. On the journey to the base the taxi driver told me his entire life story – and I mean entire. He even told me about the operation he’d had on one of his testicles and how he’d missed the final episode of Babylon 5. It could only happen to me, couldn’t it? Still, he was a nice chap, even if he did talk a load of bollocks (arf!).

The filming was great fun and the base itself was fascinating: a collection of asbestos-filled crumbling buildings and signs saying things like, “Stay out of firing range” and “Bomb shelter”. Apparently the base was used for top-secret weapons research or somesuch, which probably explained the creepy feel. The BBC producer said she felt like she was on a set from Doctor Who and she was right – I could just picture the Cybermen striding down one of the deserted corridors. Which wasn’t a nice thought once it got dark outside.

I stole something, too – a sign detailing what personnel should do in the event of a mortar attack. I thought it was terrifying and intriguing all at once, but hopefully innocuous enough that the MoD won’t come after me for nicking their property or breaking the Official Secrets Act. I was going to hang it on the noticeboard at work after my colleagues thought it was brilliant, but it’s bloody scary and I don’t want to freak anyone out. Or, y’know, have someone steal it when I’m not looking. Bloody thieves (cough).

After the filming, the cameraman (who usually works on Jonathan Ross’s Film 2006) gave me a lift back to Richmond because he lived nearby. He couldn’t understand why the GPS in his car wouldn’t work as we drove through the base; it kept flashing “ERROR!” until we went through the gates. I’m proud of the fact that I sussed out it was because we were on classified MoD ground and he didn’t.

7) I Mourned A Pussycat

My mum’s cat, Polly, was put to sleep at the grand old age of 18. Never again will my mum hear her hooooowwwwling because the central heating isn’t on and she wants to curl up in front of the radiator.

We’ll miss you, little Pollywog.

8) I Found A Hiro

I watched episode four of Heroes. And loved it. Hiro (Masi Oka, left) is my new hero, while Peter (Milo Ventimiglia, below) is a dead ringer for my friend Martin. Except without the green fingers.

9) I Considered Never Speaking To My Friend James Again

He lives in LA and spent this weekend doing press junkets for all my favourite shows. Which meant not only did he meet Jason Dohring (Logan) from Veronica Mars but also Goran Visnjic (Kovac) from ER and, yes, you guessed it, those lovely Winchesters from Supernatural. He asked Jensen Ackles a question about mullets on my behalf, so I’m grateful to him for that, but…

…he texted me two minutes ago to tell me that John Winchester himself, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, popped by to say hello.

Hmm. I like Jeffrey more than all the above men put together. I even got season two of Grey’s Anatomy – which I don’t like – for my birthday just so I can watch all the bits with him in (and they’re wonderful). When I spoke to Jared Padalecki on my birthday (still recovering from that, by the way) he told me Jeffrey was in Ireland right now, so I can’t believe he was right there in a room with James a short while ago.

AND I WASN’T.

Sigh… one day, Jayne. One day…

Which brings me to:

10) I Quit My Job

I’m leaving Total Film on 1 January to become a freelance journalist/sub-editor.

I feel as though a huge weight has lifted from my shoulders, although quite how I’m going to pay my rent, my bank loan, my credit card and all my other bills over January and February (until the cheques start coming in) I have no idea.

Any spare tenners can be sent to me c/o Total Film until Christmas.

And that’s all the interesting news for today.

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Of Crumpets And Couches

Okay, before I go on, I have to belatedly mention that two weeks ago Total Film entered a quiz night hosted by Barry Norman and won. Here’s the picture of us and Barry to prove it. Notice how his hands are firmly on my shoulders? I think he was clenching them in fear of Neil, the guy on the right, whose expression in this photograph will never, ever fail to make me laugh. It was a great night, although the first prize of a trophy and free cinema tickets for a month was a little ironic seeing as we all go to the cinema for free anyway. Still, gift horses and mouths and all that.

So, Biddy went home yesterday after a week glued to my sofa. We had a ridiculously good time, only leaving my flat twice: once to see Pan’s Labyrinth (which is just ohmygod wonderful and scary and sick) and once to go for a bracing stroll along the riverbank at Twickenham because, if we hadn’t, chances are we’d have lost the use of our legs. The rest of the time we watched copious amounts of television (Heroes, Lost, Supernatural – of course), the odd shit movie and the odd good one (Grizzly Man). We also demolished a small mountain of junk food… I feel sick just thinking about it. By some miracle, though, I weighed myself this morning and I’ve LOST two pounds! I’m not sure how it happened; perhaps it’s a Dorian Gray kind of thing and there’s a picture in my attic of me looking all fat and lardy. If there is, then I’m never moving house.

I kept notes of all the daft conversations we had over the week and fully intended to turn the experience into a silly SFX column – something along the lines of “Jayne and Biddy watch all the latest US shows in a DIY couch potato session!” However, there was a gaping hole in my logic because when you watch something new you don’t tend to talk much because you’re concentrating on it. (Especially when you watch three episodes of Heroes and all you can say about each one is, “That was FANTASTIC!”)

So that idea fell flat, but I still have all the notes I scribbled as we re-watched season one of Supernatural. And here they are, in…

The Jayne & Biddy Supernatural Couch Potato!

Biddy [during the episode ‘Hook Man’]: “She must sleep really soundly if she can’t hear her roommate’s eviscerated guts slapping on the floor.”

Biddy: “Those sweets are really hideous, aren’t they?”
Jayne: “Yes. Want another one?”
Biddy: “Go on then.”

Jayne [after watching a character called Riley get shot]: “Well, that’s the end of the life of Riley.”

Biddy [after Jayne points out the size of the door locks in the Winchesters’ car]: “You get big knobs in an Impala.”

Biddy: “Have you ever noticed how Jensen Ackles blinks really slowly?”
Jayne: “No. How the heck do you notice something like that?”
Biddy: “Um, I was trying to pause him on the DVD because he looked so purty.”

Jayne [during a spate of bad weather]: “Is there anything better than sitting and watching Supernatural with your best mate during a thunderstorm while eating Jammy Dodgers and drinking a cup of tea?”

Biddy [thoughtfully]: “I think Dean’s far too manly to use a brolly.”

Jayne: “I can’t believe you’re actually obsessing over whether a man can squat in a jumpsuit without squashing his knackers.”

Biddy: “Bleeaggh… I feel sick. Which must mean it’s time to crack open the Haribo!”

Jayne [spotting a familiar piece of furniture in the episode ‘Dead Man’s Blood’]: “Oooh, I’ve got a filing cabinet like that! And, sadly, that’s the nearest Dean Winchester’s ever going to get to my drawers…”

Biddy: “Why is there a wet dinosaur in my bag?”
(Admittedly, you had to be there for that one.)

And finally…

Jayne [after a phone call from the BBC]: “My crumpets just went cold while the BBC asked me lots of questions about Brazil. Isn’t life strange?”

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SAMEBRAINITY!

I learnt a new word the other day. You know when you realise you’re thinking exactly the same thing as the person you’re with? That’s SAMEBRAINITY, folks. I intend to use it all the time, and always in capital letters, too, because it’s that kind of word.

My best mate Biddy is staying with me this week. Over the next seven days we have 600 hours of DVDs to watch, nine tonnes of crap to eat and two sofas to slowly mould to our prostrate bodies. It’s been fun so far, the kind of fun, in fact, that has you giving up on wearing eyeliner because the tears of laughter are making it run down your face in rivers.

Today we’re heading into central London for a pizza and a film screening (Pan’s Labyrinth) and I was just sitting here secretly wishing we didn’t have to leave the comfort of my flat and experience the real world again.

Then Biddy wandered into the living room and muttered, “I don’t wanna go outside.”

SAMEBRAINITY!

It’s such a good word, isn’t it?

SAMEBRAINITY!

I can’t stop saying it.

SAMEBRAINITY!

Maybe I do need to get out of this flat.

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