I was going to write about Alan Moore's Providence when Show Pieces popped up in the mailbox a little more than a week ago*. Verdict in terms of final delivery: nice†. It's particularly satisfying to finally get a hold on the soundtrack, considering that I was one of those fellas who looked all over the net for Broken Dreams ever since hearing it on Act of Faith.( Broken Dreams (by Vince Shannon and The Black Notes):Collapse )
I had to wonder though, especially given the project's modest budget, how oh how did the team go about securing the rights for all these songs? It wasn't until I looked up the credits section the book when I saw that Moore had in fact written *all* the lyrics to the songs, which added an extra layer of meaning, considering that he had written the screenplay too (and had a say in where the songs should be played). Maybe it had been mentioned before in some interview or other, but I missed it.
( Dreamland (by Marv Cougar & The Blondes)Collapse )
Reading through the songs, I realize that I've forgotten how good a wordsmith Moore is, because there are quite a few good solid pieces in here. It also becomes obvious that Marv Cougar & The Blondes' Dreamland is meant as a companion, albeit a creepy one, to Broken Dreams.
It's hard not to look at these songs and not see them as being addressed to Faith alone, given that Broken Dreams is played in the prologue. Matchbright's sneer, in particular, comes to mind. Honey.
And therein lies the problem for Show Pieces for me, in that it's weakened by the inclusion of two leads, Siobhan Hewlett's character inadvertently drawing so much attention upon herself in Act of Faith that it diminishes James' entry in the title piece. The audience is told of James' earlier transgressions, nay, it's screamed at him across the room by a clown who's suffered a broken marriage, when a separate piece could have been better utilized to fill the role, even if it was merely hinted at obliquely. Instead, Faith gets another chapter, Upon Reflection, although her story is nowhere to be found in His Heavy Heart. Actually, for myself I would have been satisfied with one or two flashbacks of James' past during clown Guantanamo washdown, the camera looking up at James' menacing face as he dispensed violence to an unseen partner.
I've not sat down to watch the theatrical version, and maybe seeing it without the two other supporting chapters might go some way into changing the ultimate flavour of the story. But then again, maybe it won't. In this case it seems like Moore has effectively written a movie using the comic book format of instalments, rather than concentrate on the delivery of a single piece. But then again, it's called Show Pieces, rather than Show Piece.
*In case those of you who, like me, have signed up for more rewards and cannot find them anywhere inside that sleek little box, it's because, according to Lex:
The plan was that all backers receiving the boxset would receive all their rewards together. When the boxsets were manufactured it became clear that they required a bespoke cardboard box which could protect them in postage. This meant shipping the other rewards separately.
We have been working though the boxsets over the past two weeks and all of them have now been shipped. I have set this week aside for packing and dispatching the remaining rewards.
No sign about that Metterton and Matchbright Make You Sick stretchgoal, however.
†Mine's the regular edition.