Autumn 2017: I’m not writing this…..

Lead without a pencil…

I was going to write a long and thoughtful blog for the Autumn that was all about the highs and lows of life and work….

…..and about going back to Glasgow and being in the Beatson again for my check-up and blood tests, and about the side effects I’m suffering from now –  high blood pressure among other things…..and then I was also going to write about being in Queens Park Glasgow for the Rock Against Racism gig that was organised by the wonderful people from Govanhill Baths and how the last time I was at such an event was as a kid in the punk era at Victoria Park in what was really the Socialist Worker’s Party’s finest hour…..and how things seems to have gone full circle…and why fighting fascism and racism and standing up to ignorant bullies in these dark times is important….

…..and I was going to write about how much I’ll always miss being in Glasgow as it’ll always really be my home along with all the wonderful people we met and filmed with over the years, who shared their lives with us on a near day-to-day basis…

Glasgow stories extract…

….and then I was also going to write too about spending some of this Summer out on a sailing adventure as a SUP instructor/English teacher and surrogate Dad for a week to a group of troubled boys, along with some of the best yachtsman out on the Oresund and how much fun it was being in the company of them and of the wonderful Niels Snedevig – a legendary former head of DR TV’s children’s TV – especially who persuaded me to take part in the trip in the first place…

…..and about how that trip made me realise how even in the “land of milk and honey” the problems are the same as they are back in Glasgow, or anywhere else in the world come to think of it for our troubled and lost youth…..but then I was going to mention that the trip itself was a bit like being in a reality TV cross between Bevis and Butthead and Lord of the Flies….

A year’s supply….

And then…..I was going to write more – much more – about poverty, politics and austerity and what I’m calling the “poverty of the imagination” that exists now in the UK…..and I was going to write more about the crab and dealing with it as life goes on and time goes by and the things I believe in disappear or die….and that it doesn’t get any easier when you go for these “routine” tests – it actually gets harder…..as a human or a film-maker….

……which brings me also to not writing about the film I’m making with Jesper Jack and the House of Real and Marie Olesen here in Denmark – now that she’s left her 5 year tenure at the DFI called Legacy of an Invisible Bullet which I’ve written about elsewhere over the past 3 years….

…..and how it’s changed from being a film I thought I might never get to make into a film I know I will have to finish….

……unlike another film which I was also working on – for decades in fact – that has turned from being a source of hope and optimism – a real rough diamond – rather than a polished gem – of an anti-war story that was offering something special to the world and that probably won’t happen now – at least with my continued involvement anyway….

Why Goal-keeping is film-making….

…and of how what’s happened with that particular film project reminds me of what the father of “fly on the wall” film-making Paul Watson once warned me about how a really great documentary is made; Comparing it to an oyster with a piece of grit in it and how if the oyster and the grit treat each other with trust, respect and are nurtured they can create a pearl…

But…if the grit takes control it ends up poisoning and destroying the oyster.

I know it all sounds a bit like Eric Cantona’s in-famous “trawlers, fish and seagulls” analogy – but sadly it’s what’s happened…and I can’t see how I can make the film I set out to make anymore – which is I suppose an admission of failure on my part but in a lose-lose situation – where the trust, respect and love that are so important to any good film-making don’t seem to matter – let alone the unpaid graft, sweat and editorial integrity of the project….

Which brings me back to the pearl and the oyster……and that perhaps sometimes rough diamonds are best left alone…

Fuck the world (Refugee kid Zataari camp Jordan/Syrian border)

…and then I was going to write about football and film-making – or rather goal-keeping and film-making – but I’ve done that already elsewhere – and what makes for a good film about football anyhow…and why documentary film-makers especially should always be like goal-keepers rather than celebrity strikers….

and how the best football stories are always about people and what they do warts and all in-between life and death…

….and have nothing to do with a toxic organisation like FIFA, Brand endorsement or the “purposing of content…” for promotional or propaganda purposes…

Because in the end football like any other art form – which it is – is always about passion and passionate people – and that makes it political…

and Body-political especially……

….which also I guess means that Eric Cantona’s comments about trawlers aren’t so bonkers or very far off the mark after all….or analogies with oysters and pearls….

…..and that when I did ask Paul Watson what it was like to be called the “Father” of Fly on the wall film-making his response was:

“Doug! – Flies hang around shit or on dead people – and I’m the Father of a bunch of bastards…”

A week of Life…

….and finally I was going to write about being skint again and impoverished as a film-maker living in a foreign land – but I can’t do that because we’ve blown what we’ve been saving over these past few tough years on a serious surf trip that we always wanted to do, which involves some work, lots of play and a journey and pilgrimage of sorts to Jamaica and then on to Cuba….

…None of which I was going to write about…

But then sometimes…you just have to write anyway – don’t you…?

London: Waterloo Sunset Time….