With two kids and a job and a band, I don't get to watch many movies. But it just so happens I've seen three in the last few days, and - fortunately for me - not one of them was a waste of a valuable movie-watching opportunity.
Brothers of the Head (on DVD now) is a mockumentary about a pair of conjoined twin brothers in late '70s England, who are essentially sold to a showbiz impresario with the idea of turning them into teen idols. But they have ideas of their own, and their band (the Bang Bang) winds up as an aggressive proto-punk outfit, with the boys wringing maximum shock value from the knot of flesh connecting them. The music, written by Clive Langer of the legendary Langer/Winstanley production team, is surprisingly great - I wish I could find the soundtrack, for the song "Sitting in a Car" alone. Harry and Luke Treadaway, the real-life non-conjoined twins who play the conjoined twins, are perfect - sullen and sensitive at just the right moments. They manage to make the two twins into distinct personalities without resorting to, like, funny hats or something. Mixing faux-archival footage and talking-head interviews with the occasional surreal sequence, the movie isn't for everybody, but if you have any interest in punk rock or carnival sideshows, it's pretty fascinating.
Another unheralded young Brit who gives an awesome performance is preadolescent Thomas Turgoose, star of This Is England. Not only is it the best skinhead movie ever made - it's also a gritty, moving look at life in a hard-edged Northern English town during the grim, grey early '80s. It's showing at the Tivoli for one week only, starting Friday, August 10 - if you like the trailer, you'll love the movie.
On a completely different tip, I took Veronica to see Ratatouille on her birthday. I found it funny, atmospheric, engaging, lovely to look at - great, really. I'd gotten a little bored with the surfeit of computer-animated kids' features, because so many of them now are, you know, kinda crappy. Ratatouille shows the genre can still be as exciting as A Bug's Life and The Iron Giant.