Have A Think #9: Do You Like Music?

This time, a practical exercise. Here's a situation - you might have experienced it already - you mention Eccleston to your acquaintance and find out that you're talking to a person who has never heard about him. Hasn't even seen him in films without knowing it was him. And as the circumstances dictate, you have not more than ten minutes to explain and illustrate - if you want, make a pitch - and introduce your friend to Chris Eccleston.

You have all and any material you could think about. What would you use? Pictures or stills, extracts, video or audio? What's the best representation? If you've already tried it out, how did it work?



joanr16 said...

I've already tried it out a bit on my brother-- Hollywood-jaded suburban father of teenagers. For some reason a couple years back I happened to have control of the TV remote while visiting his home, and me being me, I went searching through 1,248 channels until I found BBC America. I came upon the "Boom Town" episode of DW, in fact the wonderful scene over dinner in the restaurant, and let it play for a minute or two.

"The BBC brought Doctor Who back a couple years ago," I said. "It's been a huge success."

My brother knows a little something about me and Doctor Who; when, in 1979, I told him I was going to a DW convention in Los Angeles, he made the connection with "Trekkies" and said, "So I guess that makes you a 'Whooie,' then?"

But now he just glanced up briefly from his book. "That's nice."


"This guy, Eccleston... I like him even better than Tom Baker."

My brother must have remembered 1979, because he glanced up at the TV a second time. "Huh," he said. "Really?" Then back to his book.

I sighed and pointed the remote. As much as I needed a Nine fix right then, I moved on.

Last month, however, while on an errand in the car with my brother, we got to talking about recent movies. I asked if he'd seen Slumdog and he had. I asked if he'd seen Millions and he had. In fact, he turned out to be quite intrigued by the whole Danny Boyle oeuvre. He volunteered he'd tried to watch 28 Days Later but was grossed out by parts of it. He mentioned how much scarier Boyle's "zombies" were than the usual raggedy-faced staggerers.

"Yeah, and then the heroes escape from the zombies," I said, "only to find the soldiers, who turn out to be--"

"--Worse than the zombies," we said in unison, and laughed.

At that point I should have mentioned that Major West = Doctor Who, Isn't that interesting? But we arrived home, the dogs were barking, the sister-in-law was talking, and I chickened out.

But I have a wedge issue now: Danny Boyle. Even more reason to hope for future CE/DB collaborations.

Plus, my 14-year-old niece is starting to show her own attraction to British actors and period drama, so I see some hope for the family there. I need to lend her some DVDs. Just not... er, Elizabeth or Jude.

¡Oye Cristóbal! said...

Great scene to jump in. Has your brother seen anything from classic Who?

Danny Boyle - that's a really good idea. Almost everyone has at least heard about Slumdog. I understand your brother hasn't watched Shallow Grave, so you could offer him an adult version of Millions - should also yield a good discussion.

What do you think of showing your niece? Although children now watch all sorts of things on TV, I don't think I'd have a wider selection than three or four films, depending on person's maturity, with only Doctor Who being a no-brainer - but then again, sci-fi can be not everyone's bowl of tea.


joanr16 said...

Truly, there isn't much in my CE DVD collection that I could show my niece. Too many "teachable moments" best left to her mother.

Let Him Have It, maybe? She'd fall madly in love with twentysomething Chris. (The scene in the shed, when he's swaying to the song "Wheel of Fortune," that would do it right there.) The hanging scene is hard even for me, but it happens so fast there's little time for psychic scarring. The film brings up discussion about capital punishment and justice, and my niece is very bright and passionate about such things. Finally, there are those cool early-Fifties clothes, hats, and hairstyles (she wants to be a film/theatre costume designer one day).

I do think she could appreciate Doctor Who. She'd love the Rose character. She'd enjoy the humor. I doubt the weirdness would throw her at all.

Her dad, on the other hand, is 95 percent science fiction-impaired. He'd recognize images from classic DW, but I doubt he's ever seen more than brief clips, if that. His confession about trying 28 Days Later was quite surprising. Such is the power of the Boyle, in my brother's demographic.

But I already know my opening line for Thanksgiving dinner next month: "So, have you guys seen Amelia?" My brother's family lives in Kansas, not very far from where Earhart was born.

¡Oye Cristóbal! said...

Let him have it - I was thinking it too. It is indeed a hard film, and it would be necessary that she knows precisely what it is about, especially if, like you say, she would strongly feel for Derek.

You're right that the hanging scene isn't graphic, but the context, the family's reaction, and the implications of it happening so fast, it really gets to you.

Interesting what you say about the power of Boyle. He has a reputation?

Probably the inbuilt aspect, that in almost all Danny Boyle's films there are inconspicuous instants of magic realism, is also what corrupts the impervious shielding of any sci-fi-impaired viewer.
That and the flair.

Do you think the answer could be 'Yes'?

amlpage said...

i simply tell them he was my 1st doctor. and they usually go, "ohhhhhh!" and if they don't get BBC tv culture--well, it may be a short-lived friendship ;)

¡Oye Cristóbal! said...

Hi amlpage and welcome to ATBN.

Yes, there's definitely that danger, but there's also always hope for 'Mine too!' =)