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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

The World's End (2013)

Oh, crumbs. This is the first movie I remember seeing after I left my ex-husband. I loved it. Saw it a couple times in theaters. Bought the DVD. Could never bring myself to watch it again, but until tonight, I couldn't really figure out why.


My memory of the movie was that I loved the first two acts and it stumbled in the third. Watching it tonight, the first act was too painful. Gary too real and too pathetic (and brilliantly brought to life by Simon Pegg). Act Two is brilliant. Whip smart, almost too quick, bitingly insightful. Act Three hit me like a ton of bricks tonight. The desperate need to have A Thing. Clinging to a sense of self through Completion. Crumbling under not lost time but Lost Potential. The inalienable human right to be a fuck up. To Err is Human.


Looking back it seems silly, or something, but I was despondent thinking that I was a screw up because my marriage ended. Thinking that I was broken because my husband was abusive. I couldn't believe that it was 1) not my fault or, somehow worse, 2) okay to fail. And this movie, actually a love letter to accepting your own failings, was really painful at that moment.


All of that personal stuff aside, this movie is fabulous on so many levels. The design (blue on the characters who become blanks, saturated blue notes throughout, which is why it angries up the blood that this is the green Cornetto movie...), the soundtrack, the score. The fight choreo is sooo strong and every time I've watched it I've been so stoked to see Nick Frost get his moment to shine. He kicks an incredible amount of ass and it is delightful. The fabulous choreography, particularly the "Alabama Song" sequence, done by the incredible Litza Bixler.


All of the actors in this film are so perfect in their roles. I'm such a fan of Martin Freeman. Eddie Marsden is honestly the best drunk I've ever seen on film. His whole arc is shockingly heartbreaking. Rosamund Pike is so perfectly engaging in this - this film is the reason I will never watch Gone Girl because I like liking her this much. I also always always always get a kick out of Spaced alum making appearances. Mark Heap, Julia Deakin, Michael Smiley all just make me grin when they show up. My kingdom for a gif of Mark Heap waving from the bar.


I go back and forth on the Blanks. The way they move: perfect. The glow/siren: eh. The "modern art": pbbbt. The Light: kind of a meh reveal but Bill Nighy is everything and the exchange that it allows from Gary and Andy makes up for a lot. I guess it's all worth it for the journey but I wish the very end felt like there'd been actual growth for Gary. That he goes back for the Blanks of his childhood friends is.... really disappointing (though probably very real). There's so much solid rhetoric on growth and acceptance and then... he's cowboying around with memories? Kind of a shame.


Golly. I guess I'm a little more on the fence about this one than I'd thought.


Watercolor and gouache. 9x12" on paper.

Takeaways:

-This was not the art I wanted to do for this movie this week. I have something much grander in mind but my brain, heart, and body just couldn't do it. Which broke my heart. Lots of tears shed but I'll just take the time that one needs and do it right. I suspect there would have been more tears had I tried to force it.

-This is the World's End answer to the piece I did for Shaun of the Dead nearly a year ago which is crazy. While it's not the art I wanted to do this week, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and how clearly I can see the growth in the last year (though Shaun was a better piece than I remembered it being). It forces my hand a bit for Hot Fuzz but I can always make additional art. That's allowed. (Just reminding myself. I can be a great silly about these things and it helps to write it down.)

-Even after I gave myself permission to not go insane trying to do the other thing, I was still petrified with fear this week to just get started. I ended up doing the whole thing on Sunday morning because I had to. I wonder how much better it could have been if I had moved earlier. But that's a nasty game to play with myself. I'm trying to make a link to this movie and the fear I've been overwhelmed with this week. Not just with this piece but with getting off my ass and working on my application for grad school (due in just over one month not that I'm obsessively counting). Or getting excited about my next costume design. Or the fact that I don't know what I want to do. Grad school, sure, but why and what next? I'm a human who adapts very well to large scale change in my life but the other side of that is I panic a little when things are fine. I swing between certainty that the floor is going to fall out from beneath me at any minute and thinking I'm a failure because I'm not thriving more in these pleasant moments of smooth sailing. If I do well (enough) when things are rotten, why am I not THE BEST AND THE RICHEST AND THE MOST SUCCESSFUL when things are fine? Again, a nasty game to play but that's where my brain has been. Will my work be enough for grad school? Am I too self-taught? Am I not creative enough? Will I be dismissed for doing what's essentially "fan art"? I just need to do the thing and stop answering questions that aren't for me but I'm stuck. I'm just stuck and scared. And I'm tired.


Tonight, we're watching one of my favorite Pixar films: The Incredibles. Very excited to revisit it and cuddle up on the couch with my favorite person and a pizza.


I hope you have a wonderful week, dear reader, and that you feel confident enough to do that thing you need to do, but comfortable enough to know when it needs to wait just a little longer.

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