Phil Gyford


Monday 23 December 2002

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A spur of the moment decision yesterday evening resulted in going to see the film Avalon an hour after my train slowed into London. I think Matt, who pointed the movie out a while back, said afterwards it was almost exactly what he didn’t expect. It was almost exactly what I did expect of an Existenz-type story shot by a Japanese anime director in Poland. I won’t say more about it because you should see it knowing as little as possible.

Just like Existenz it left me on edge, unsure where or when I was, looking sideways expecting the scene to shatter into pixels at the edge. A segment of Verdi’s Requiem swelled out of my iPod as I walked to the bus stop, echoing the film’s overpowering choral theme. I stood waiting for the bus, glancing behind me occasionally. I stared at the buildings lining Shaftesbury Avenue, wondering if the monochrome shells separating the street’s glaring neon and the angled roofline could be constructed from a small set of standardised graphic blocks without anyone noticing. The bus zipped east at unusual speed and I kept my eyes alert for every spot of light, from the string of colour traffic lights marking the route to the gentle Nokia glow on the cheek of the Japanese girl in front of me. The moment I sat at my computer I heard the rapid thuds of a helicopter outside the building.

This morning I’m still a little jumpy, ready for the world to tilt and shift into another place…

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