Panic Au Village

I am totally loving A Town Called Panic today. I love the crudity of the modelmaking, the simplicity of the animation, and the childlike spontaneity of the storytelling. And I like the postman’s scarf. What a scarf! I just bought a scarf from Primark which I thought looked swish but now I think I need one made out of plasticine. And I want a pony.

I have very bad toothache today. I prescribed myself cocodamol and Campo Viejo Rioja and lots of it, so although my tooth still feels like Satan himself is plucking at the nerves in the hopes of turning it into some kind of despicable enamel-and-meat harp, my brain is taking a lovely fluffy holiday and I want a pony and I want to play ping pong with an Indian.

There’s a nice little interview with the creators of Panic Au Village here.

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Robot Man

This was the first single from The Aliens, made up of two ex-members of the Beta Band and King Creosote’s brother, and isn’t it amazing? Gloriously meaningless and catchy, it mashes 60’s pop with 70’s funk and I’ve just been robot dancing round the room and looking very cool indeed while I did it. And the video is just a big, happy mess. The Aliens never did anything else this good, but never mind. This’ll do, won’t it?

I am a sketch robot man today – written four, one more to go before bed. It’s all for a super-secret job which I almost certainly won’t get, but if I do… oh man, if I do…

The Woman Who Loved A Tree

“Fucking amazing” – Marc Price, director of fucking amazing zombie film Colin.

Made in 48 Hours, from script to screen. I think it’s the best-looking film I’ve been involved in – it was great fun playing with the Sony EX3 camera we borrowed (even though it took us a little while to remember to focus the thing). The script’s ok – can see lots of little bits we could have improved, but it really was written on the fly so it is what it is, man. The performances – can’t fault ’em. Just brilliant all down the line. Anyway, hope you like it. CAUTION – it’s a bit rude…

James Harris says…

Oh God. Teesside art, culture and budgerigars zine Making It Look Accidental issue 2 launches tonight and there’s an interview with me in it. Criminy! Way to alienate your key demographic. I really was in a tetchy mood that day.

The rest of the zine, incidentally, is brilliant. Funny, rude, life-affirming stuff. Buy it! Read it! Just remember that when I talk about the human race, I’m probably not referring to you.

Get both issues of Making It Look Accidental here.

The Woman Who Loved A Tree

The weekend before last Miss Laura Degnan and I made a film for the 48 Hour Film Project in Newcastle. At 7pm on Friday we were told we had to make a mockumentary (I know, but it was a totally random genre allocation) which included a mirror, a tree specialist called Pat Dobson and the line “I can see it on your face”, and we had exactly two days to do the whole thing.

At 10am on the Saturday we had nothing. Literally no idea what we were going to do. At 12pm on Saturday we had a carful of people driving up to Newcastle to shoot a heartwarming tale of love and leaves in Leazes Park, with an unfinished script and a brilliant camera which Laura and I had no idea how to use. And at 7pm on Sunday we handed in the seven minute epic. It’s got everything! Talking plants, a man watering himself, a tree with a tie on it and lots and lots of lovely swearing. Like, really good swearing. We’ll put it online soon, I reckon, so you can see what you think.

Anyway, last Sunday was the screening and awards ceremony and… We won! We got the audience award for best film, plus jury awards for best film, best writing, best directing and best actress for Beth Wilcock, who played the eponymous Woman. Plus we got special mentions for the music (Tree Lovin’ by Tim Marshall, written and recorded on the Sunday morning) and best actor (for me and my Hawaiian shirt). The film goes on to compete at the Miami International Film Festival in March. Can anyone lend me 37p towards the bus fare?

ps You can see the film here

I’m James

Illustration hurriedly scrawled for issue 2 of Making It Look Accidental, Middlesbrough’s latest zine, which launches at 7pm on Friday 22nd October at Writers’ Block on Albert Road. I’m interviewed in it. I seem to remember I was in a bit of a grump that day, so if I happened to, say, wish death on the whole of the human race during the course of the interview, and I’m not saying I did, but if I did, I take it back. A lot of you I wouldn’t even want to see maimed.

I’ll be doing a “turn” at the launch, maybe a reading or some jokes, or… dunno what exactly, but maybe see you there? Unless my wish comes true, of course. Apologies in advance if it does.