Brighton Fringe: Now!

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

This is the sort of show that makes you wish there was some sort of Corgi-type registration scheme for comedians, to ensure the patently unqualified don’t inflict their semi-coherent ramblings on to innocent audiences.

In Now!, Matt Willis-Jones presents a trio of quirky, well-made films – but the self-indulgent banter between them really is the most unfunny, unfocussed jibberish.

His premise is that we are aliens infiltrating humanity, and he is explaining how the human race works, via his movies. But so flimsy is this idea that he keeps forgetting it, repeatedly correcting himself from saying ‘we’ to ‘they’, which all adds to the picture that this ineffectual speaker has little idea what he’s doing.

He has some vague stoned-student type ideas, such as the concept of money being a giant confidence trick, which he tries to get across through flannel so convoluted and wordy that the idea of a thought crystalising into something as pithy and insightful as joke seems a very long shot. And so it proves.

Oslo-based Willis-Jones should most definitely stick to his films. Two presented here are set in clinically cold office spaces, creating a style of eerie detachment for his languid tales of the offbeat, which unfurl over episodes as long as 15 minutes. They have a wryly amusing, Twilight Zone-like feel, and are certainly works of interest, if not hilarity.

The third, about the aforementioned space aliens, is visually stunning in its psychedelically coloured B-movie glory, but the trippy look is matched by equally strange narrative and dialogue, which proves distant and unengaging. It is the sort of film that would make for impressive nightclub visuals, but rather pointless when it has to occupy your full attention.

Still, it was better than the ill-considered ramblings Willis-Jones presented afterwards. He should set his alien translator to ‘funny’.

Review date: 17 May 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Brighton The Lectern

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