Good Friday, Ghost Film Column…

It’s Good Friday. Have a Bloody Mary. (Or don’t. Feel free to drink whatever you want.)

Usually on Fridays a film column I’ve written goes up on the Den of Geek website. Today that is not the case because it’s a holiday and the DoG crew are taking a well-earned break (they more than deserve it and have James Woods’ approval). It’s also true that the day devoted to marking the crucifixion of Jesus calls for a more sombre mood. Trawling out my silly pop culture ramblings would probably be a bit tasteless and inappropriate… maybe.

Anyway, that’s why there’s no column on the Den of Geek website today. Still, in case there’s some regular reader (there’s a slim possibility you might exist!) out there at a complete loss today and in desperate need of an article, I’ve got something for you. Below is a substitute stand-in – ‘The James Clayton Column’ that isn’t a Den of Geek column but an empty filler to keep you going over the Easter break.

It’s basically a shortened shell of the sort of thing I usually write. I took a quick sweep across some old columns and deconstructed them a bit to see just how they work. What follows is a sort of template – a blueprint for a column that lacks actual content – built on the patterns I perceived.

I promise that next week’s will be better. In fact I promise that all future columns will be better. Anyway, here’s a standard James Clayton column/self-crucifixion exercise for you to enjoy. Enjoy and, erm, happy Easter break…

A new film is coming out. I’m excited. It looks promising. Reference that goes over people’s heads.

I’m excited because it reminds me of something else. Remember that film? I recommend that film. Allusion to obscure film. Lots of alliteration to emphasise just how awesome said film is. Some verbose gushing. Star Wars reference.

Back to new film. Mention of director and lead actor. Fanboy gushy moment praising lead actor. Says everything but “damn I wish I was that actor ’cause they’re so damn cool!” Tries to eloquently sum up their mystique. Fails and quickly moves on to a Star Wars reference.

Tenuous linking of new film to a vast important theme which is what I really want to talk about. It’s my opinion that it’s interesting and crucial. Hypothesis and question about nature of the film industry and reality with hedging words like “maybe”, “possibly” and “perhaps” to prick potential of coming across as arrogant or absolutely correct in my conviction.

It relates to other recent film. (Something in brackets as an aside. Most likely praise for film I’ve actually seen and not the new film which I’ve not.) Attempt to draw out the theme and discuss it in wider context. Pulls out a few more examples from other films – some that everyone’s seen and at least one that no one’s seen. Makes body horror gag. Hint that I like violence. Puts self down by raising possibility that I’m disturbed. Possibly disturbed by watching films. If in doubt, Star Wars reference.

Starts to get deep. Pseudo-intellectual waffle. Touches on some deep philosophy or mysticism. Retreats with “but this is not the time or place to discuss that”. Back to main gist if there was a main gist.

Comes back to pose some questions but, once again, uses hedge words so as not to come across as over-opinionated and egotistical. Really drags out the questioning. Makes a jab at the capitalist system, the industry and the unthinking idiocy of mainstream audiences. It makes me sad.

Puts forward a radical plan. Wishful moment of wanting to do something crazy with own life or the film industry. Star Wars reference. Gag that goes over everyone’s head. Some more fanboy gushing full of alliteration.

Inarticulate ramble about the magic of movies and how great everything is. Mini-manifesto moment. Possibly a Star Wars reference. Raises film I’d intended to talk about in the beginning and possibly a literary reference to look extra-smart. (Something in brackets as an inconsequential aside that only amuses self.)

Back to new film that has just been released and has inspired the column but has nothing to do with the main thrust of the column. I’m excited. There are big themes out there being tackled in movies and it’s interesting. I hope you agree or that I’ve made you think. Star Wars reference. I love movies. Sappy sign off.

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