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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In The Club

posted by on June 12 at 15:21 PM

The man in the image is the director of a British movie called Surveillance.
siff155b61004316.jpg When I talked with the director, Paul Oremland, in SIFF’s hospitality lounge near the top of W Hotel, he shared this piece of information with me: “In the UK, a person is photographed, caught on camera at an average of 360 times a day.”
I was astonished.
“But it doesn’t end there. In the UK, the government can keep track up to 50 million license plates a day.”
I was doubly astonished.
“But it’s not just the government. They other day, I took money out of a cash machine and 15 minutes later, I received a call from my bank in London. They just wanted to make sure I was in the States.”
I was triply astonished. The UK has become one big eyeball.

As for Oremland’s film, Surveillance, which shows today at 4:30 pm at the Egyptian, this is what we, The Stranger, wrote:

Fact 1: Paul Oremland’s dramatic thriller follows a young gay Brit led by a chance one-night stand into a twisty government conspiracy. Fact 2: Britain’s been making better gay-themed films (and more subtle dramatic thrillers) than the U.S. since the dawn of cinema.

I wonder what Grant Cogswell has to say about that?
SIFFcd27139a9f1b.jpg Cogswell was in the lounge, drinking wine, talking with a Scandinavian director, talking with his director, Daniel Gildark, and talking with me. At one point, he told me that his film, Cthulhu, has much changed since its test screening a month or so ago. “It’s far better and clearer.” Be it so or not so, the poster for Cthulhu deserves some sort of SIFF award. It’s a perfectly mad image.

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Part of it began with the IRA bombings that began in the 70's and struck mainland UK. There are cameras all over the place there.

Best brit political thriller is by far Loach's Hidden Agenda. It is about the colusion between the British security forces and the protestant murder gangs.

Posted by SeMe | June 12, 2007 4:04 PM

“But it’s not just the government. They other day, I took money out of a cash machine and 15 minutes later, I received a call from my bank in London. They just wanted to make sure I was in the States.”

This happens here, too. One time I was at a little boutique and purchased $400 of clothes. The register was in the back, out of customer view, and as the guy was coming back from the register, my phone rang. It was my bank, asking if I'd authorized a $4000 charge. The shopkeeper was holding the receipt showing he'd canceled the charge... but the phone call got to me before he did.

It's all magic computer algorithms, watching for suspicious activity, but yeah, it's a monetary transaction, of course it's all logged. That's not really surprising to anyone, is it? (Creepy maybe, but hardly surprising.)

Posted by no one in particular | June 12, 2007 4:35 PM

Banks now EXPECT you to call them before you go abroad and use your credit card. Otherwise they just might DENY your transaction. I spent an hour in a LIverpool gas station learning this the hard way.

Who the fuck do they think they are? Checking up on me over a 20 quid petrol transaction. Fuckers.

Posted by DOUG. | June 12, 2007 4:51 PM

I actually don't really mind my bank calling me over such things. Helps keep people from stealing my money.

As for photos and what not. I kind just have a "eh" reaction. Not really a fan, but absent abuse its not really something I am going to care to much about...

Posted by Giffy | June 12, 2007 5:04 PM

It's too bad Surveillance was a bad movie.

Posted by Andy | June 12, 2007 10:07 PM

Cthuhlu ... with Tori Amos as an evil cthulhoid breeder ... oh yeah!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 13, 2007 11:09 AM

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