diamond geezer

 Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Screen 1: The Football Factory (18)

I decided to kick my inertia last night and went out to see a film. A year and two days is quite long enough to spend out of the cinema (although for the last couple of months I suspect I was only hanging on to reach the year milestone out of sheer spite). There was one particular film I wanted to see, except it's not released officially until the day after tomorrow. So instead I went for the local option, a delightful vignette about Chelsea and Millwall football supporters. To add extra realism I went to a screening at the UCI Cinema in Surrey Quays, just a bottle's throw from the New Den. That could have been half the cast I saw drinking outside the redbrick boozer by the station, it was hard to tell.

The Football Factory is a charming tale about a group of good mates with a soccer fixation. They drink together, go on coach trips to far flung stadia together and enjoy nothing better than a little light boxing in the street. No nasty knitted scarves for these gentlemen, they wear only the finest Pringle and Burberry, often liberally splattered with haemoglobin. Their drink of choice is lager, and lots of it, but they down a lot of coke too. Admittedly their language is rather colourful, but nothing worse than you'd hear in the first minute of Four Weddings And A Funeral. All in all these fine friends love life, almost as much as they like kicking it out of other people.

We follow Tom, a fug about to turn firty, who finks filosofically about the frill of freatening behaviour but is forever in the fick of any frottling and frashing. He works down the florists with a racist psychopath, is touchingly devoted to his right-on grandad, and is having premonitions that the gang's young apprentice is about to meet his match. Which, in this case, is a third round cup tie. Appropriately the film's exactly 90 minutes long, and mixes in just enough humour with the bleak unforgiving violence and pathos. Some wooden acting in parts, but any film that plays the Jam's Going Underground over the closing credits can't be all bad (even if the usherette waiting to collect the litter was glaring at me to leave by the end). Home win, 2-0.

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