He Died With a Felafel in His Hand

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

It just struck me, falafel is the tasty chick pea mix, did they actually
mean 'kebab', as in, a falafel kebab in his hand?, it
doesn't make much of a difference I guess

dir: Richard Lowenstein

He died with a review of He Died With a Felafel in His Hand in his hand…

I always intended to write a review that started thusly, and now I’ve finally achieved that lofty ambition. I am a simple man, after all, with simple tastes and simpler pleasures. It doesn’t take much to amuse me, but it takes much to maintain my interest for more than a few minutes at a time.

He Died With a Felafel in his Hand is one of those classic books, like Trainspotting, like the Bible, that’s more of a collection of stories than a story with a single protagonist and a clear narrative, which, in the hands of cinema geniuses, is transformed into a story with a protagonist and a clear narrative. The book, by John Birmingham, is a funny collection of the kinds of nightmare Australian sharehouse experiences which should (but probably won’t) close the book on writing about such stuff for future generations.

The film takes some of the material and transforms it into a story about an aimless young chap called Danny (Noah Taylor), who lives in a number of sharehouses, and has a bunch of hangers-on and ridiculous experiences. The story starts in Queensland, moves to Melbourne, then finishes in Sydney.

One of the opening scenes is of someone taking a swing at a cane toad with a golf club. With the sound of the impact, and then the splat, we pretty much know this flick is going to try desperately hard to be ‘out there’.

The other part of the opening is a scene where someone sits with a felafel held rigidly in their hand, presumably dead whilst watching the ABC program Rage. Golden Brown by The Stranglers blares at top volume as Danny loudly asks him to turn the volume down, before realising that the felafel-clasper is dead.

The story then jumps back several months to Queensland, and the protagonist’s 47th share house. Housemates argue about the latent homosexuality in Reservoir Dogs in between bucket bongs. New potential housemates turn up out of the blue to take up residence in cupboards. Menacing debt collectors menace the residents over the non-payment of rent. One housemate is a giant bean bag of a man, who spends all his time sitting in a bean bag sternly operating the remote control to the television. Another lives in a tent in the lounge room, whilst another seems to be trapped mentally in Apocalypse Now. Danny’s friend Sammy (Emily Hamilton) seems like the only sane person in the entire house, but that’s only because she has glasses on and reads a textbook most of the time.


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

you all have better things to do than this...

dir: Kevin Smith


The question burning on everyone's lips is not "Will I be selected for Big Brother II?" or "Just how does someone sow their lips together?", it is moreso, considering the grand opening of the aforementioned Kevin Smith film in Australian cinemas yesterday, that question remains "Is Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back better than Dogma?"

The answer, like any good cocktail, is mixed at best. Smith has taken the sacred duty of satisfying the dictates of his ego to ridiculous extremes, to the point where he now has made a film about his other films, a self-referential exercise in self groin rubbing that represents an increasingly tightening spiral of self-indulgence. Couple that with a breathtaking amount of pettiness on his part, and you are left with a bloated,
embarrassing film that occasionally works brilliantly, yet more often than not stinks like week-old entrails in the sun.

Not content with the screen time he and his good friend Jason Mewes have had in the past, he's decided to up the amount of time they appear to the point where they are practically in every scene, with hilarious results ensuing. An arguably simple formula can be applied to Kevin Smith films, that being the greater the
amount of time Silent Bob and Jay appear on screen, the worse the end result.