Advertising and Secretaries…why Mad Men is so seductive

Ok so it’s not a movie, but I do not care this show is fucking awesome that it deserves more than one mention. For once it is completely and utterly addictive and draws me right into this 1960s world that I just want to live in because of the fashion with men in suits and women in gorgeous frocks, take me there now. Yet there is so more to this show, it is completely seductive, you’re not sure if you love or hate the characters, you want to know if they are good or bad or just in between. I guess this is what draws you in, you want to know more you want to uncover all those office secrets, all the things that happen between secretaries and their cocky male boses, in this truly repressed society, well for the women anyway.

Don Draper, do i love you?

Don Draper, do i love you?

Basically this show is about office affairs in all manners, whether it be daily advertising pitches or love affairs, it is a complete tangle of knowing looks and hidden smiles, where nothing is really what it seems. Especially concerning front man Don Draper, the mystery man that nobody knows anything about but loves and admires anyway. It is this plot that drives you through all thirteen episodes in a mere few days or a few hours, well that is how it feels until you realise that it is 2am in the morning and you have spent the last five hours in the world of office politics. This show is beyond slick from the soundtrack to those lovely pressed suits and high contrast cinematography, with that whole 60s love affair, oh man i even just love the furniture. Yes it may be that I am in love with this Tv show because it is no irristably good, so good in fact that I could spend my whole life watching this show and be extremely happy. I have always founnd myself living vicariously through Tv shows it started with Gilmore Girls, then Scrubs, Dawson’s Creek, but this, this is actually good, in terms of everything it is no trashy teenage Tv show it is everything a Tv show should be and I seriously doubt there is any other Tv show that could possibly match its brilliance. It is filmed well, acted well, and looks fantastic, take me back to the 60s please, please, please.

those irrestably slick advertisers

those irristably slick advertisers

It is really hard to find anything wrong about this television show and I recommend everyone of you out there to get a copy of this television show, as long as you do not steal it off me because then I will have to hunt you down, because I now do not think I could live without it. Ok, so it may appear that I am going slightly over the top and yes it may seem familiar I always fall into the lives of characters and get completely addicted to other tv shows but this is so completely different because it is so good that it should be played at the movies, on a big screen it looks that amazing, using long takes and being creative for once showing us that this is everything that television should be and just isn’t, but then I guess that Mad Men would not be a special treat that I feel I can keep all to myself, because that is what it feels like. The men in this show are so completely self absorbed and think that they can get whatever they want as their women secretaries float around them typing on those typwriters, in fact I feel like thorought the show I am constantly hearing typwriters and telephones ringing, you barelly get a rest. As for the other women they live their lives as gossipy housewives, looking down upon divorced, single women, while their husbands are having affairs with every other woman in Manhattan. The question is to ask, will they ever learn? Will the husbands ever become truthful to their wives or will it just continue. Ah, I wish I had season two, I want to know what comes next!

the men and their servants

the men and their servants

Yet, there is so much more to this show than just love affairs and office politics there is the secrets and bitterness, that is so subtle that you only discover it when it is eventually revealed shockingly, and then you realise wow that was going on all the time. This is because each character within Mad Men is subtelly important even if they do not appear in a few episodes they will return and shock you, or you will realise a little more about their character, and yeah maybe they are a bit smarter than they appear. This is especially the case for all the women in this show that are so underestimated by the men around them who look at them like a piece of meat rather than a person, this point is so perfectly articulated when Peggy Olson is sitting at her desk and all the men walk past casting a glance here, a wink there, all edited together so well to reveal that these men are just looking for women to sleep with, another perk of their advertising careers- cute secretaries. The real great thing about this show, well apart from everything that I have just mentioned is the subtle rising powers of the women around these men, they are beginning to suspect and realise that everything is not ‘swell,’ (oh and this phrase another reason why I love this show) there is much, much more going on than anyone could ever imagine. Watch the men get so terribly angry as the women move up conflicting with their manly security.

So watch this show, get hooked and then tell me about the love you feel for it, and if not I will keep it to myself, because I think I bear the secret to a great tv show.

Love will tear us apart

After watching Anton Corbijn’s film Control for the second time I realised what an amazing film this is. One that has definitely moved up on my ladder of favourite movies. The film is about the lead singer of Joy Division- Ian Curtis, following his struggles through illness, love and music. The film is poetic with chilling voice-overs by Curtis, (played by Sam Riley) that are extraordinarily poetic about the trials of life, spoken criptically, that makes this movie so magical because it is subtle in it’s precision, right down to the final act.

silhouetted Sam Riley performing as Ian Curtis

silhouetted Sam Riley performing as Ian Curtis

Visually this film is amazing, where every shot captures a moment in time, like the film has been mapped out by a series of photographs aiming to capture every intricate detail of Curtis’ life. It truly is phenomenal and makes this film so incredibly cool, with smoke twirling in the air as musicians chill on worn out couches in high contrast black and white photography. It appeals to me on so many different levels, but then maybe it is just me. Yet, again do not get put off by the black and white nature of this film it was made in 2007 and actually shot on colour film, later to be transformed into black and white because Corbijn thought it would capture Curtis’ character better. This is a fine point to make Curtis in colour just would not seem right, and it felt this way when I watched ’24 Hour Party People’ immediately after, I thought this is not depressing enough it is not capturing the inner poetic notions of Curtis that ‘Control’ captures so precisely.

Apart from all the depressing is some brief brighter moments, such as Curtis’ renound unusual dance moves and childhood drug stealing from the elderly. These moments are probably the brightest parts of the movie, so therefore I would not suggest this film if you are looking for an uplifting film about joy and happiness, because from this film you wont get it. However, if you like music and music history then you’ll like this film, especially since it is based on Deborah Curtis’ (Ian’s wife) book labelled ‘Touching from a Distance.’ If you’re not a music buff go see it just for the cinematography because it is in its own almost heart breaking way beautiful in depicting the gorgeous town filled with blue stone buildings and the ‘cool’ lives that Joy Division lived.

old styled couches, Annik played by Anexandra Maria Lara

Performance wise I had never heard of any of the actors, which is what also makes this film work, there is a freshness about it you are not seeing the same old people in the same old roles. It makes the film more about the musicians rather than the actors portraying them, which makes it special we don’t think about the fact that it is Sam Riely playing Ian Curtis we believe that this is Ian Curtis. For me acting is about filling the role appropriately and believably and in the context of this film realistically, because these actors are depicting real people in real places. Deborah Curtis played by Samantha Morton is convincing as the struggling wife of a musician, we feel her pain as we listen to her worried, teary phone calls. The absolutely gorgeous Alexandra Maria Lara who plays Curtis’ lover Annik Honoroe is fantastic, moving from eager hobby journalist to asking Curtis the real questions, searching for whatever lies beneath. However, Curtis himself played by Sam Riley is without a doubt the stand out he is thoroughly convincing and thoroughly mysterious, we never truly unmask his character, we never truly comprehend his struggles, nor his poetic rantings used as voice-overs that are subtle in their precision. The performances truly add another layer to this movie, giving it true emotional depth as we watch Curtis’ relationships with people, that in some way circle around his misery without truly grasping its seriousness. It is subtle, if not anything else, it is no ‘American Beauty,’ where everything is layed out before our very eyes, it almost conveys Curtis’ life metaphorically, slowly unpacking his life through a series of photographs and words.

“I wish I were a Warhol silk screen hanging on the wall. Or little Joe or maybe Lou. I’d love to be them all. All New York’s broken hearts and secrets would be mine. I’d put you on a movie reel, and that would be just fine.”