A book-keeping Billy Liar starts his own Fightclub-like crusade worthy of the Unibomber....
Christie Malry's Own Double Entry should get a rare reprieve from the vaults of British film obscurity, a rare thing in British film, particularly as it came out during the attack of British idiotic Indies, out-and-out failures, mostly funded by the Taxpayer (e.g Shooting Fish, Rancid Aluminium, Lock, Stock.... etc).
Most of those films came and went. But Christie Malry, based on the novel of cult English experimentalist novelist BS Johnson, and in which Lock Stock actor Moran plays the lead, is the best of these, although ironically it was never released or given any attention, presumably due to its playful, po-faced attitude to terrorism, which would never play post 9/11 (it was made before those events). This in itself is ironic, as Christie is an interesting study in terrorism, a sort of book-keeping Billy Liar who starts his own Fight Club-like crusade worthy of the UniBomber, which attains an added poignancy post 9/11- after all, in the film, made remember in 1999, Christie's surreptitious efforts help start the second Gulf War (and he is portrayed by the media as an Arab).
I understand some of the criticisms of the film made by others below, such as Christie's unbelievable jobs, although Christie's bizarre double-entry system- e.g. "debit: Wagner's Lack of Sympathy: Credit: girl at butcher's shop smiled at me", to my mind makes him a more believable character- after all, he is hardly a balanced character.
I can add some more myself (the failure to update the seventies novel to the present decade, leading to weird anachronisms- a result of lack of funding or attention in art direction?). But I also believe the film is a brave attempt at finding intelligence and depth in the British indie.
Tickell is clearly an admirer of Greenaway, and this shows throughout, in the film's theatrical flair and sense of the visual, as well as the oddball eroticism, all part a way of understanding Christie's abnormal psychology. This is particularly evident in the 'historical' sub-plot of the film (the development of double-bookkeeping in Renaissance Milan by a priest with links to Da Vinci).
And I think the acting is marvellous throughout, particularly the Renaisance Italians and Shirley Ann Field as Christie's mother, and Moran, while not a brilliant actor, clearly works hard in the complex task of being Christie (he says it is his best film, although I don't think there's much competition- with the exception of Puritan, another little known British Indie with Moran at its centre).
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