The trailer for Charlie Brooker’s Screen Wipe makes it look just another cynical TV review show padding out the digital schedules. And maybe it is. But I love it.
What made last night’s Charlie Brooker’s Screen Wipe so good to a nerd like me was the homage to Mike Leigh’s Naked. Mike Leigh received an honorary degree from Salford University the day I got my real degree. We were told he was being honoured for doing ‘Mike Leigh’s thing’. Mike Leigh’s thing was referred to several times during the introduction, so even the parents were tittering. His acceptance speech was rubbish: ‘I used to visit the cinema on such-and-such-street, or was it on so-and-so street?’
Anyway. A couple of years later, Naked, one of the greatest films ever made, hit the big screen. In this nihilistic feast, unfeasibly well read and articulate working class drop-out Johnny (David Thewlis) runs away from Manchester, where he’s due a right good kicking, to London. Here he looks up his ex and pisses on her (and everybody else he meets) chips. The film score sounds a bit Michael Nyman, but not so overbearing (a good film score should support the action on screen, barely noticed by the viewer; something Nyman has yet to master).
It’s Andrew Dickson’s score that accompanies Johnny as he limps off into the gutter (he gets that kicking anyway), from where Charlie Brooker is ranting (in the style of Johnny): ‘Balls to aspiration, it’s a tosser’s mirage. Far better to just sit here and sneer at the lot of it, isn’t it, eh?’