Thursday, June 30, 2005

No Gods And Precious Few Heroes *

I was thinking back on last week's brief conversation I had with SWP geezer Martin Smith tonight, particularly on his comments regarding upcoming book on Frank Sinatra. A very very brief research finds me concluding that, while Frank (for that is what we call him) was never a party member, he was very much a fellow traveller. That apart, what I did find was an interview he did for Playboy back in 1962 and I think it's fascinating reading - not sure why, I just do. The interviewer questioned Frank on a whole host of subjects - disarmament, revolutionary movements in Cuba and southern and central America, poverty in the US - but what I zoomed in on, this being an unhealthy interest for me in recent times, was his comments on religion. I give you the Q&As on this subject below, but, if you would like to read the full interview, go here.

"PLAYBOY: All right, let's start with the most basic question there is: Are you a religious man? Do you believe in God?
SINATRA: Well, that'll do for openers. I think I can sum up my religious feelings in a couple of paragraphs. First: I believe in you and me. I'm like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life -- in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. But I don't believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. I'm not unmindful of man's seeming need for faith; I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel's. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle. The witch doctor tries to convince us that we have to ask God for help, to spell out to him what we need, even to bribe him with prayer or cash on the line. Well, I believe that God knows what each of us wants and needs. It's not necessary for us to make it to church on Sunday to reach Him. You can find Him anyplace. And if that sounds heretical, my source is pretty good: Matthew, Five to Seven, The Sermon on the Mount.
PLAYBOY: You haven't found any answers for yourself in organized religion?
SINATRA: There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I'll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alex andria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably
misguided and probably evil as well. In India they worship white cows, monkeys
and a dip in the Ganges. The Moslems accept slavery and prepare for Allah, who
promises wine and revirginated women. And witch doctors aren't just in Africa. If you look in the L.A. papers of a Sunday morning, you'll see the local variety advertising their wares like suits with two pairs of pants.
PLAYBOY: Hasn't religious faith just as often served as a civilizing influence?
SINATRA: Remember that leering, cursing lynch mob in Little Rock reviling a meek, innocent little 12-year-old Negro girl as she tried to enroll in public school?
Weren't they -- or most of them -- devout churchgoers? I detest the two-faced
who pretend liberality but are practiced bigots in their own mean little spheres. I didn't tell my daughter whom to marry, but I'd have broken her back if she had had big eyes for a bigot. As I see it, man is a product of his conditioning, and the social forces which mold his morality and conduct -- including racial prejudice -- are influenced more by material things like food and economic necessities than by the fear and awe and bigotry generated by the high priests of commercialized superstition. Now don't get me wrong. I'm for decency -- period. I'm for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday -- cash me out.
PLAYBOY: But aren't such spiritual hypocrites in a minority? Aren't most Americans fairly consistent in their conduct within the precepts of religious doctrine? SINATRA: I've got no quarrel with men of decency at any level. But I can't believe that decency stems only from religion. And I can't help wondering how many public figures make avowals of religious faith to maintain an aura of respectability. Our civilization, such as it is, was shaped by religion, and the men who aspire to public office anyplace in the free world must make obeisance to God or risk immediate opprobrium. Our press accurately reflects the religious nature of our society, but you'll notice that it also carries the articles and advertisements of astrology and hokey Elmer Gantry revivalists. We in America pride ourselves on freedom of the press, but every day I see, and so do you, this kind of dishonesty and distortion not only in this area but in reporting -- about guys like me, for instance, which is of minor importance except to me; but also in reporting world news. How can a free people make decisions without facts? If the press reports world news as they report about me, we're in trouble.
PLAYBOY: Are you saying that . . .
SINATRA: No, wait, let me finish. Have you thought of the chance I'm taking by speaking out this way? Can you imagine the deluge of crank letters, curses, threats and obscenities I'll receive after these remarks gain general circulation? Worse,
the boycott of my records, my films, maybe a picket line at my opening at the Sands. Why? Because I've dared to say that love and decency are not necessarily concomitants of religious fervor.
PLAYBOY: If you think you're stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?
SINATRA: No, let's let it run. I've thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I've said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don't want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock's running."
* Dick Gaughan

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Happy Birthday *

This blog is one year old today - thanks tnr for reminding me.

*No, not the standard traditional one, but the classic song by Altered Images!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Insight *

Read this article by Barb Jungr from the latest edition of the online magazine Spiked - Darren can tell me, but I think this is the predecessor of Living Marxism, the most bourgeouis ultra-leftists on the planet. I do enjoy the odd peice on their website, nevertheless.

*Joy Division

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers

Aw, that's sad.

Streets of London

I've spent two days tramping through the above-mentioned.

Day one started after work when I first of all went to the gym and had a great 90-minute workout. Then it was a walk through Russell Square, past the British Museum, past Congress House and into the Virgin record store. I spent a hell of a long time scanning the rock and pop section. At one time, I think I had over 100 quids worth in my hands before thinking that I should be a bit more conservative (as in conserve some of my wages - this being pay day, by the way) and returned some great sounds to the shelves, so no Best of the Small Faces, Thin Lizzy's Greatest Hits and one or two other sounds this time round. But what I did buy was excellent: Horses and Wave by Patti Smith, plus Repulsion Box by Sons and Daughters (this bought even though I had never heard any of their stuff before, but thought from comments made by both John at C&S and TNR's Jim that they sounded interesting). And also bought the new Foo Fighters and Nine Black Alps for the boy.

As for Patti, these were bought after seeing her last week - supported by Steve Earle - and have made me think: "Shouldn't I even just give a brief rundown of events?" The answer is, of course: "Yes!" So...

... woke up last Sunday (day of the gig) with a bit of a hangover in friend's house after spending a rather splendid evening over at their's for dinner and lots and lots of drinks. The lot of us, plus kids, then proceeded over to fancy restaurant for "brunch" (yes, I know, what a horrible middle-class term). Remember the weather last weekend? Yes, fucking hot hot heat! Restaurant packed with rich people and us waiting half an hour for a table. And us waiting fucking ages for drinks (non alcoholic - it was before 12 noon). Have some alright scran and then off to home, but not before 'er indoors drops me off at pub at end of road where I drink pint of cider in record time - in fact, I get through the door at home at the same time as 'er indoors and the boy. I then think of ways how I can get out of the day's task which is to put up a wardrobe which was bought at Ikea previous weekend and which has proved not suitable for its intended place in the boy's room. So into our room it goes. After an hour or so of watching cricket, feeling totally exhausted from hangover, breakfast and cider, decide that I cannot avoid putting wardrobe together. I start sweating. I started sweating a lot. I start sweating and don't stop for the next four hours. So I get it finished and, thank fuck for that - Reidski now has new wardrobe, big fucking deal! Have cold shower and out to see Patti.
Liaise with fellow gig-goer Brizie and decide to meet at NFT bar. Get along there well before him and have one look at huge queue at NFT bar and decide that we won't get drink here. I have quick look at the second-hand book stalls while waiting but get well pissed off at the crowds and noise coming from hippies banging drums and then put call into Brizie to say we'll meet at the main bar of Royal Festival Hall, where I bump into SWP national secretary Martin Smith, where I berate him for being an ultra-left lunatic much like the ultra-left lunatics who picketed a meeting he had organised 48 hours previously. He then tries to impress me by telling me that he's bringing a book out about Frank Sinatra and the period of his life when he was either in or flirted with the Communist Party of the USA. "I look forward to it," I say.
Brizie then saves me from trot-hell and in we go. Before he goes, however, Martin says that tonight's show will see a joint performance by Smith and Earle, while I had understood it to be seperate sets - it transpires that Smith knows as much about music and he does the class struggle.
Smith (Patti that is, not Martin) comes on and introduces tonight's opener. I miss her name, but woman comes on plays mad tune on piano (imagine a politicised Lyndsay de Paul and you get the drift) followed by mad tune on guitar. She was entertaining, in the wrong sense, but not quite mind-expanding.
Luckily, Earle is another dish altogether, but before his arrival, Patti makes her only mistake of the night by reading an excerpt from Jim Morrison's American Prayer - shite poetry from a shite singer, over-rated twat that he was.
Earle takes his art and his life very seriously, being a true political activist as well as playing some mean tunes. He gave us some crackers tonight: Rich Man's War, Fuck the FCC, Comin Around and a blistering version of the spoken word Warrior, all from the recently released Revolution Starts Now, plus Devil's Right Hand, Someday and one or two others from his back catalogue. Earle was good, he was very very good.

Then it's Smith's turn. And what a turn we got. Full of beans and energy throughout her set, dancing all over the stage and praising her backing band at every given opportunity., she put in a great performance - backing band included original PSG members Lenny Kaye on guitar and Jay Dee Daugherty on drums, while the quiet guitarist at rear of the stage having a set turned out to be Tom Verlaine. This was one tight band and they had to be as Smith is not prone to just belt out the songs as they appear on record, but improvises and takes a journey right through her entire vocal range at times. Dancing Barefoot, Ain't It Strange and, dedicated to those civilians and soldiers who died during the ongoing Iraq war, Peaceable Kingdom. We would have liked a track or two from Horses, but she saved them for her performance of the classic album which is on as I write. We left with no disappointments. But not before encore where Smith and the band were joined by Earle for versions of two of his classics - Copperhead Road and Transcendetal Blues, the latter being a beautiful duet with Smith. Earle then departed and Smith and the boys raced through a cracking Rock n Roll Nigger.

So...back to my trek round London.

Got out of Virgin and popped into pub for pint and a rest of my weary limbs (okay, mainly just for the pint) and made the mistake of opening the covers to the two Patti Smith CDs I had just bought, cos, short while later I paid a visit to Fopp where said CDs were less than half price than at Virgin. Oh well, it's only money. Learned a lesson - always visit Fopp first! In Fopp, I decided to buy a few more things, so in my hands went Sly and Family Stone's There's a Riot Going On (inspired by music from this month's Uncut), Sham 69's Tell Us The Truth and two books: Simon Reynolds's Rip It Up And Start Again and something else that I can't manage to recall right now. Up to the till to pay and the machine wouldn't accept my card, no matter how many times the shop bloke tried, so nothing else for me. Off home where I joined the boy and 'er indoors on the sofa where we watched the night's offering from Glastonbury. Highlight: a brilliant set from The Killers. Lowlight: the vastly over-rated White Stripes (whose set included some song that went along the lines: "I'm thinking about the doorbell" - profound, not). While sitting watching all this, it then struck me that the price I paid in Virgin earlier in the day sounded like too much, even taking into account the fact that I could have got Horses and Easter half price elsewhere. So, checked the receipt and, blow me down, but they only charged me twice for the Nine Black Alps CD.
So, got up on Saturday and decided to pay visit into town again and thought I would take the opportunity to go to Rail Europe travel centre in Piccadilly to book my train to Barcelona in August as their web site never seems to accept my order. On popped Sons and Daughters on the CD player and, fuck me, it's excellent, so didn't mind that the Jubilee Line was down and I had to traipse make my way to Piccadilly through Mayfair and St James. I have to say that I had never in my 17 years in the big city ever passed by this area before and I then realised that when celeb gossip sheets describe celebs out shopping in the West End, this is exactly the area that they mean. Needless to say, I looked well out of place around these parts. Got to the Rail Europe travel centre and found that this is a company which is as useful dealing with them in person wasn't going to be a good experience as very beautiful woman on door says that it will be at least a one hour wait to be served. Reidski thinks: "Fuck that," and goes off to try to reclaim my money from Virgin, which proves extremely easy indeed. After few pints in town, go home to watch the new star of British tennis get humped. Go out with 'er indoors and the boy for curry at new (alcohol-free) Indian restaurant. Food was ace. We then head home to watch Glastonbury and, at the same time, I write this horrifically long post. Highlight: Kaiser Cheifs and Razorlight. Lowlight: BBC cutting coverage of Razorlight's set so we could watch the truly god-awful Coldplay. Yeauccchhhh! Now that I think about it - highlight: Johnny from Razorlight introducing a song by saying: "This is a song about motherfuckers."
There, that's two days in the life of Reidski! I'm going to bed.

* Ralph McTell

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Conversation *

1. The total volume of music on my pc:
No idea - but probably not much cos I don't use my computer for music that much. You see, I'm a bit like this.

2. Song playing right now:
Sisters of Mercy by Leonard Cohen

3. Last album I bought:
ehhhhhh, oh, yes, I know, it was Lullabies to Paralyze by Queens of the Stone Age and Showtime by Dizzee Rascal - both for the boy. It's actually ages since I bought any music, in fact look here for the date and what it was I got and for a bad memory that I've been trying unsuccessfully to erase. I'll do something about my record collection tomorrow on pay day.

4. Five songs I've been listening to a lot:
Freddie's Dead by Curtis Mayfield from the fantastic Uncut CD this month that I banged on about last week; Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra, again I've mentioned this one before, try here; Stan Bowles by The Others; All Of My Friends Were There by The Kinks from the Village Green Preservation Society remastered CD which came out last year; The Revolution Starts Now by Steve Earle.

5. Passing this along to:
Anyone who reads this and hasn't done it! There's so many contributors to C&S these days that some of them should do it!

* Joni Mitchell

Monday, June 20, 2005

Wonderful *

Just got in from an utterly stupendous gig - Patti Smith, supported by Steve Earle. Fucking amazing. More on that either later tonight or in the next few days.
Only popped in to say that, as I was hanging around the bar in the Royal Festival Hall waiting for my fellow gig-goer, who do I come across but SWP national secretary Martin Smith, whose exploits over the last couple of days have been linked to by Darren at Inveresk Street. I used to go to college with Martin back in the early 90s and, believe it or not (coming from a former Communist Party member like myself) always found him to be a pretty nice geezer for a trot. Although, when I heard my name being shouted this evening, I didn't exactly burst out in a fit of pleasure and joy when I saw who was shouting me. Anyway, as I say, it was Martin Smith. "How are you, Reidski?" he asked. "Not bad," says me, before enquiring into his promotion of zionism at the party shop Bookmarks couple of days ago. "Can you imagine me promoting zionism, Reidski?" I must say, I couldn't and treated the whole episode as if we were back at college and hearing him advocate a sit-in at the refrectory over someone only getting a B- for an essay as a mark of the upsurge in the revolutionary and political consciousness of the working class. I used to see such things as an excuse for lazy teenage good-for-nothing middle-class wankers to get out of lectures!
So Martin tells me that the picket outside of Bookmarks was staged by a bunch of loonie ultra-left nutters. I believed him. But I also commented that he was a loonie ultra-left nutter as well.
I'll come back to this post soon hopefully and include some useful links, if you ask nicely!

Postcrip: It seems that I was way off the mark - it gives me a lesson that I shouldn't comment on a subject unless I do proper research - so go to this link of Darren's to read what the meeting was really about. BTW, a former jewish trumpeter whose political ideas and dreams about the future of Palestine and how Israel should be subsumed within that state differs from a group calling itself Jews Against Zionism hardly merits a fucking picket outside an ultra-left bookshop, however much I abhor the SWP. This really is a tedious debate among the ultra-left anorak brigade, so be warned those who haven't read about it yet.
*Adam and the Ants

Friday, June 17, 2005

Did You Hear What They Said? *

What do you mean you don't read Uncut magazine? It's by far the best music/film magazine around. Well, which other magazine features this lot in just about every other edition.?Or gives you a chance to win this band's latest DVD? Or, in its film section, gives you the chance to win this, or this? It's simply brilliant. The best thing about it, though, is the free CD every month. Over recent years, it's introduced me to countless music from bands old and new. This month's offering is entitled "The Original Funk Soul Brothers - And Sisters!" and it's dynamite. James Brown, Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, Ohio Players, Joe Tex and Bobby Womack - go buy, you won't be disappointed! I'm going to get my downloading fingers at the ready and expand my record collection now.

*Gil Scott-Heron (his father played for Celtic, you know!)

Anyone Who Had A Heart *

As may have been spotted on the left-hand column by some of these, I finished Edward Gibbon's little classic Christians and the Fall of Rome the other night there. I say little, but it took me about two weeks to read its 90 pages. A superb tract it has to be said and quite revolutionary it must have been in the 18th century when first published. I agree with the blurb on the back which declares that it "remains one of the most eloquent and damning indictments of the delusory nature of faith."
I picked it up in this shop the last time I was in Glasgow - and I'm glad my three quid went on the book rather than yet another can of cider on the train I was about to board home.
Anyway, my post isn't about that book, it's about the book that I picked up off the shelf to read next.
The title tells me it is Looking Ahead by Vera Panova, but further research tells me it was originally called Kruzhilikha, named after the factory at which most of its characters work during the closing months of the Great Patriotic War. In looking at the inside front cover, it informs me that Panova won this prize for her efforts for Looking Ahead. I also loved the inside back cover which tell us that Panova won a prize at an "all-Ukrainian Contest for the best collective farm theatre play." Now, I'm sure there must have been strong competition for that one, but, Panova won out nevertheless - good girl!
I'm a quarter way through it so far and it seems a good read - if you're lucky I'll keep you updated, but don't hold your breath!
Where'd I get this book? I'm almost certain that it was given to me by a former fellow member of my local Anti-Apartheid Group circa 1990 who was in this lot. His dad, an old commie like myself, had departed our mortal coild so, trot boy gave me a pile of the old commie's books, an act for which I have been forever grateful - and even more grateful that I haven't seen him since!

*As sung by Cilla Black

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We Shall Overcome

Just saw this quote from Darren Fletcher and, for those who don't know, he plays for Scotland and he refers to next year's World Cup finals:

"You don't want to be sitting at home watching your pals playing in the World Cup when you are not. We are all looking forward to holidays this year but no one will be looking for one next year."

Keep the faith, Darren, I love your optimism!

Monday, June 13, 2005

shit for brains asshole geezer *

This is what the Duffer says of my meme invitation:

"Reidski, it isn't just the charm and elegance(!) of your invitation that forces me to decline, it is also the unfortunate circumstance that I haven't the remotest idea what the questions mean! Oddly enough, I had meant to mention these irritating, and erminally boring, questionaires that are doing the rounds in my Sunday Rumble, but the 'little memsahib' started rumbling herself and I was forced to quit. It was 'la ullsenberg', wittering and twittering at warp factor 10, that put me off them for good. The are, really and truly, an ego trip , and a chance to show off your cultural ccoutrements, er, that is, using the ord 'cultural' in the widest possible sense. So, idski, no offence but as our American cousins might put it - go 'meme' yourself!"

So, with any luck, that's the last we'll hear of the amdramsoc bloke!

*Song from the little known All Duffs Are Duds!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

We're the Kids in America *

If you thought that was mad, try this other story from the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Mother shut boy in basement to protect him from pit bull
12-year-old was killed by family dog; owner sees death as tragic accident
but defends the breed as loving pets"

*Kim Wilde

All The Young Dudes *

Check out this madness. I particlarly liked the quote: "You losers wouldn't know God if he stared you in the face. Get on back to Kansas with Dorothy and Toto."

*Mott the Hoople (written by David Bowie)

Oh My Golly *

Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Alburn has a few words here to say about the Live8 beano and it seems from the likes of this that he his not the only with some gripes about the event. And I can say nothing more than I agree with the young Mr Alburn et al. Anything which has Geldof and Bono involved must be well dodgy.


Unfair *

I believe that, when a blogger is meme'd, then they have an obligation to answer the questions, so... thanks tnr!! I'm usually up for these silly lists, but I have to say that this one didn't quite interest me cos I have never really been into comics and superhero shit (probably cos, as a kid, we couldn't really afford them). But here goes anyway ...

1/If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? (Assume you also get baseline superhero enhancements like moderately increased strength, endurance and agility.)
To introduce a more equitable world economic system in which each according to their ... err, bollocks to that.
What I really want is to be able to make sure that the Scottish and English premier leagues are never decided until the last game of the season, at which both Rangers and Manchester United, who were both in the driving seat going into their respective matches, blow it, leaving this lot and this lot to win their respective titles in the last minute of the last game of each and every season.

2/ Which, if any, 'existing' superhero(es) do you fancy, and why?
Wonderwoman as played by Lynda Carter cos she's pure dead gorgeous - that's the easiest question that I have ever had to answer in my entire life.

3/Which, if any, 'existing' superhero(es) do you hate?
Spiderman, as depicted by Tobey Maguire, cos he's a right moanin' faced wee shite.

4/ What would your superhero name be? (No prefab porn-name formulas here, you have to make up the name you think you'd be proud to mask under.)
Bawheidman, cos that's what I am - for those who are not Scottish, a bawheid is someone who would do something like this.
5/ Is there an 'existing' superhero with whom you identify/whom you would like to be?
Unfortunately, I "identify with", rather than want to be, the above-named Spiderman as depicted by Tobey Maguire cos, like him, I am a moanin' faced wee shite. I would definitely like to be Red Son, of which I had never heard of until linked to it by tnr. And I also like the looks of the Black Panther, who I came across while doing this meme.

Pass it on. Three people please, and why.
Ardee - cos I pass everything on to this wonderful human being.
Jane - cos she needs every encouragement to carry on blogging.
Duff - cos he's a right wanker and if I have to waste my time doing this shite then I don't see why he shouldn't.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday Night *

I'm off to see this lot. I'm sure to enjoy it, but, if anyone mentions this episode, then there'll be trouble. Review may follow tomorrow.

*No, not Elton John, but Whigfield.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Magic *

Why go to bed when you can blog instead? I say, let's blog.... I listened to a great CD of tracks I downloaded last night, so I share these tracks with you.

  • Nancy Sinatra: Bang Bang (one of the most atmospheric songs ever produced); These Boots Are Made For Walking (always a favourite of Reidski); Son of a Preacher Man (exellent); You Only Live Twice (lovely orchestral sound).
  • Nancy + Lee Hazelwood: Summer Wine; Leather and Lace; Did You Ever - what a combination these two make. One the one hand, Hazelwood is all smoke and whisky, while Ms Sinatra is sweetness personified - or so I like to think!
  • Scott Walker/Walker Bros: Jackie; No Regrets; Make It Easy On Yourself; The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore; 30th Century Man; Amsterdam - do these tracks need any comment?
  • Richie Havens: Freedom (live at Woodstock); Follow the Drinking Gourd (with Eric Bibby and Linda Tillery); Peace Train - a true guitar hero.
  • CSNY with Joni Mitchell: Woodstock (I was there, maaaaan!).
  • Jefforson Airplane: White Rabbit (not as good as the In Prague version, but a classic nevertheless).
  • Arlo Guthrie: Coming Into Los Angeles (live at Woodstock - always one of my favourites from Woodstock).
  • Nick Cave, Scott Walker and David Sylvain: Jobriath (Walker on top form with the vocals).
  • OMC: How Bizarre.
Now I'm sure you'll all agree that that is one fine selection of music. And, yes, I know that OMC is the odd one out, but what a great pop song it is.

*Hugh Masakela

Bad *

My blogging activities have ground to a halt in the past week or so. It's that old "my-brain-is-empty" feel that I go through every now and then. So, the first thing that comes into my mind tonight is: "Watched the film Dirty Pretty Things on Saturday night and thought it as equally as bad a film as Gangs of New York (see previous post). While its intentions may very well have been good, the execution was appalling. Terrible script, implausible storyline throughout and, generally, scenarios which just would not happen in reality. In saying that, you could sense that the main actors - Chiwetel Ejiofor and Audrey Tatou - can do the business, but only with better tools to work with.
Ejiofor is supposed to be an illegal immigrant who seems to work both day and night and, although the reason why he had to flee Nigeria is explained at one point, it is never explained why he has not applied for asylum - very strange! Not only that, but - and don't read if you don't want to know the end - absolutely no reason or explanation for why he returns to Nigeria at the end of the film cos that's where his daughter is. Wouldn't it have made more sense to have sent all the money he was saving to his daughter to get out rather than simply use it to go back again where his life is supposed to be in danger?
And on to the lovely and gorgeous Tatou. And I mention the words "lovely" and gorgeous" cos I can find no other reason why this well known French actor is playing the part of a Turkish asylum seeker. And, again, I don't recall any explanation why she is seeking asylum. There's one scene involving Tatou's character where the cartoon character immigration officials - greasy, unshaven, uncouth invividuals (yes, I know immigration officials can be bastards, but that does not mean that they are a bunch of slobby lumpen loonies) - who pounce on the overcrowded sweatshop she is forced to work in. Now, you would expect that a packed out sweatshop inhabited by cheap foreign labour would be ideal territory for immigration officers, but, no, they only have interest in one individual.
The whole film is stupid and doesn't make sense in any way whatsover and has no redeeming features to be recommended - in a word, it's shite.
I'm sure I'll have a better time tomorrow night when I accompany Messalina to the Renoir to see The Consequences of Love. And I'll tell you all about it afterward.

* Michael Jackson