1. Never be afraid to let your audience know how to feel
Glitter‘s not a particularly subtle film or one that’s hard to follow, but you can never be too careful. So at selected low points in the plot, Mariah crashes in on the soundtrack with a song that opens with the line “Dear God, it’s all so tragic”. It first happens when child-Mariah is abandoned at an orphanage which, you know, is sad. And then later the same song illuminates an odd moment when Mariah stares at a drunk woman in the street. Helpful.
2. DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
To attend a glittering reception, Mariah’s Boyfriend Max Beesley decides to wear an unbuttoned shirt that shows off alarming amounts of chest. Even if you fancy him, it’s a bit much for a formal do. This wardrobe dissonance is only equalled later on when Mariah goes for a drive into the country in search of her long-lost mother, wearing an evening gown and heels.
3. Nobody smoked in the eighties
Glitter is set in the 80s. You know this not just because the background music is peppered with the likes of Blondie and Frankie Goes To Hollywood but because at one point someone actually says “This is the 80s!” for no very good reason. So why aren’t all the bars and clubs wreathed in a smoky fug, with people accidentally jabbing lit ends at each other on the dancefloor? It’s because the Hollywood rule of smoking applies, and so only the morally suspect character gets to smoke. And even he excuses himself from a room to do it. Honestly, in the 80s everyone smoked at their desks, on buses and at all times and places in between.
4. ADD PATHOS WITH AN ANIMAL
The cat that Mariah scoops up when storming out of her relationship with Her Boyfriend Max Beesley comes as a bit of a surprise. We’ve not glimpsed it before and it seems to be there solely to lend the scene a whole ‘You’d better believe I’m really leaving!’ vibe. And we never see it again after she’s arrived at her sassy friends’ apartment with Tiddles in one arm and not so much as a bag of kitty litter in the other. They probably strangled it.
5. Music transcends location
In one extraordinary scene towards the end, Mariah sits composing a melody (with her MOUTH) while across town her now Ex-Boyfriend Max Beesley starts bashing out a new song on the piano. They’re both in the same key, which is already a less than 5% chance fluke, but incredibly they also seem to come up with exactly the same tune. Later, Mariah lets herself in to Max’s pad, and has a look at his handwritten sheet music on the piano. It must be an incredible discovery. To find that a level of quantum entanglement so precise and unlikely as to border on magic has occurred is a scientific leap that changes everything for humanity. Mariah’s response is pictured.
I research YouTube’s most popular topics so you don’t have to!
“Funny Cat taking Bath” To forcibly wash a pet is to strip it of its animal nature. “What the fuck is wrong with coating myself in my own sweet saliva?” they seem to say with their little paws. In this introductory example of the cat bath genre, kitty’s rage is wonderful to behold, and its Total Wipeout style slippery escape bids are thoroughly entertaining. But the video could do with some editing: at the start, at the end, and especially in the middle section when the cat calms down and we all suffer lotion longueurs. 2/5
“Mick (the cat) takes a bath” Mick’s owners have found a unique and mediaeval-looking way of making sure he doesn’t escape from bathtime. Laugh at him if you will. Pity his mewlings, oh yes. But wait for his release. As he fills the camera frame in the final moments, paws outstretched like a monster revealed in a Doctor Who Part One cliffhanger, you know he’ll have his revenge. 3/5
“Cat Regrets Entering Bath” And we’ve all seen this one. If not, where have you been?! The internet’s that way. The only thing funnier than this classic cat/baby/bathwater conjunction is the legion of YouTube commenters underneath it who’ve convinced themselves it represents some sort of animal abuse. 4/5
“Sphynx kitten’s bath time” Another very popular video. And you can see why the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. This one’s as fearless as it is hairless; it wants to manipulate the water, to operate the controls, to understand why the water’s going down the plughole… OK the Egyptians worshipped any animal they happened to notice having a shit in a bush. But it’s a cute kitty. 4.5/5
“Cat in a bath… “The Torture Room”” At last – editing! And how. This is a slo-mo treat from start to finish. I like how the cat is shown a painting of some majestic leopards basking on a riverside at the start as if to say “See? You can enjoy water and be savage!” Although it is the least savage cat you’ve ever seen, which is part of the point. My favourite bit is the close-up on the eyes at 1:02, capturing that look in a pet’s eyes that says “How could you betray me this way?” YouTube doesn’t get any better than this. 5/5
Posted in YouTube Watch
Nature is cruel
Why DO cats like eating fish so much? Yes, their evolutionary ancestors must have hunted to survive, but fish? I can’t imagine any relative of the domestic cat having the attention span to sit around on a riverbank, trailing a paw in the water for hours on end. Five minutes and it’d be off following a bit of dandelion fluff or licking itself under a bush.
No, the idea that a fish is a cat’s natural prey is about as logical as the idea that they must like spaghetti because so many ancient cats lived near wheatfields. Well, that’s logical if you imagine that the wheatfields were often buffeted by strong gusts, blowing the crop into a neighbouring FIELD OF FALLING ANVILS where it got crushed, then onto a nearby ice floe where it happened to get wet enough to become dough and then got accidentally rolled on by some passing polar bears getting dry after a swim. And some poor kitty still has to make the bastard sauce.
We all know they like fast-moving shiny things (WHO DOESN’T?), but there’s nothing fast-moving or shiny about the slurry that comes out of a pouch of gourmet cat food or the brown-grey flakes in a can of tuna. So by rights Puss should be craving a daily risotto stirred through with lashings of nature’s fastest and shiniest creatures, the lovely silverfish.
And what do the silverfish eat to get so shiny? Glue, tapestries, the corners of photographs and bits of discarded hair and dandruff, says Wikipedia. Which, as you couldn’t make it up, means you may as well say they eat mercury. Metal-eating creatures aren’t common, and mercury’s deadly poisonous, but I think we can all easily picture some sort of illicit silverfish speakeasy they can sneak off to after a hard day’s cardboard-chewing for a drop of the silver stuff. They know it’s bad for them, but they can’t resist the gleam; like humans with a blue Bacardi Breezer or a big sniff of poppers.
Speaking of our own ridiculous cravings, let’s not laugh at the other animals’ eating habits quite so readily. We’re the species that came up with oxtail soup, after all (note to readers outside the UK: yes). We take an ENORMOUS shaggy lumbering animal, and someone, a nice person at Heinz I assume, keeps hordes of them breeding, presumably filling up vast aircraft hangars all over the country, in order to harvest ONLY their delicious tasty tails. And that is the logic of a cat.