Saturday, August 20, 2011

They Came From West Memphis

It's nice to just close over the blinds and get on with it when the Summer has been such a dreary affair. Cold and damp. Very typically Irish, at least my little corner of it anyway.
I spent the week proofing my second novella and hope to release it in the coming weeks. Like Sonny Strange, it will consist of close to 10,000 words and 13 chapters. Unlike Sonny though, there will be no pick-up.
Cripple tells the story of a man who, blighted by a childhood memory, goes off the beaten path before someone less fortunate attempts to make him see the error of his ways. I wrote it as a film a few years back. I spent about 6 weeks in pre-production only to see the damn thing succumb too, yes you've guessed it, a downpour. That is the nature of that beast. Having struggled to get it all together and then for that to happen. It was at a time when it was all systems go, there was money to pay crew and get things done faster. That was before the wallop. If it's all about timing, well mine sucked.

To be honest I haven't been tuning in much to what's happening this week. I know the stock markets are all over the place and Europe wants more power but can't agree on much else. Almost feels like our faith is sealed. I'm just not even going to think about that.
Cross water the fallout from the riots continues and it is the harshness of the sentencing in some of the cases that have some human rights groups up-in-arms.
Two men who incited a riot over Facebook were jailed for four years each even though the riot never took place. I'm sure a community order and the public humiliation that went with that might have sufficed. It's a tough Justice system in the UK. Plenty of failings over the years. And with the hacking scandal leeking out slowly the behind the scenes, containment of that particular hive of wasps must have the spinnies in overdrive.

During the week I viewed a few documentaries online. One was a 4 hour epic called The Century of Self. Extremely thought provoking and definitely in many respects cements long held views on just what a sorry way humankind has been manipulated for the best part of history and to no extent as well as in the modern day.
If any random readers have a few hours to spare it's well worth watching. Makes an absurdest approach to life that little bit more, shall we say, satisfying.

Years back a friend and I came across a documentary floating around one of the channels on the TV. Paradise Lost tells the story of a horrific triple child killing and the subsequent jailing of three young men who became known as The West Memphis 3. A second documentary, Paradise Lost 2 questioned the guilt of the three men jailed for the horror. One of the three, Damien Echols was actually sentenced to death and has spent the last 18 years on death Row.
This week the trio pleaded guilty to murder and were released on time served. With the third part of the documentary due for release in just over a month the timing of the release could not have come at a better time for Director, Joe Berlinger who together with Bruce Sinofsky have documented the story for the past 18 years.
One feels the story has not fully reached its conclusion, but having weighed up the evidence subject to the documentaries, one would feel though justice seems to have finally been done, other injustices in the case have still to be addressed. But it sort of weighs up my little weekend weather let-down those few years ago and sends it into insignificance. 18 years of any life is a long time to give, be it at the mercy of a state's justice system or the art of filmmaking. Both are worth an endorsement any day of the week.

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