Sunday, January 08, 2012

London Belongs to Mia

[Unfortunately, youtube/Warner Bros appears to be blocking this vid. almost everywhere except in the UK. You'll have to click and see whether it works for you. My apologies if it doesn't. (Shakes fist in general direction of LA.)]

Andrea Arnold's instant-classic second feature, Fish Tank (2009), is the story of 15-year old Mia (Katie Jarvis) who lives in a housing estate near Tilbury on the edge of Greater London. 'London Belongs To Me' is a bizarrely-not-on-youtube-anywhere, track from Saint Etienne's classic debut album, Foxbase Alpha (1991). My video brings these two personal favorites together, I hope productively (and not just punningly). Fish Tank of course has its own musical agenda (Mia dances mainly to hip-hop) and Saint Etienne are more middle class/college/central London than Mia (and SE's title comes from a central-London-set 1945 novel, which was apparently well-filmed in 1948). Still, I think the pairing works. Maybe it's Arnold and Saint Etienne who are simpatico, and, of course my short vid. favors the severely beautiful (and Mia alone) above the more cumulative, tense and desperate (and Mia in conflict with others) aspects of Arnold's vision, thereby skewing matters towards SE's wry, near beatific take on London life. At any rate, all Saint Etienne Fans need to see Fish Tank, and Mia/Katie Jarvis fans (who are probably into Katy B nowadays) should explore SE generally and Foxbase Alpha in particular. And Katie Jarvis needs to act again! Cast her somebody.

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