Monday, 26 November 2012

I Tube | An Act of Faith: Alan Moore and I

It's been some time since Alan Moore really, truly moved me.

Don't misunderstand me: I admire the man in many senses. He has a pretty brilliant beard, and his work ain't too shabby either. But when in readiness for the three Century singles I went back to the beginning of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I got no further than The Black Dossier, which so bored me that I started skipping entire sections.

I can hardly express how utterly unlike me that is. For better or for worse, when I read something, I read it deliberately. I do not gloss; I don't know how to. But The Black Dossier's endless academic digressions drove me to distraction, so when I finally finished it, I was in no hurry to move on to the next volume. I haven't touched a single Century since, and it's been at least a year.

But now, between Moore's bravura introduction to The Vorrh - which I recently reviewed for Tor - and Antony Johnston's excellent adaptation of his screenplay Fashion Beast for Avatar Press, I find myself game for a touch more Moore. A quick Wiki says his next thing is The Moon and the Serpent Bumper Book of Magic, which sounds pretty terrific, but between now and whenever that graphic novel surfaces, he's written a short film.

Jimmy's End itself isn't out yet, but Act of Faith is. Intended to act as a curtain-raiser to the main event, in the great tradition Pixar brought back, it "unveils an isolated corner of the modern night, where carrion crows become the only comforters and it's a quarter to eternity."

I should stress that this description, lifted from the official site, is pure silliness. Instead, Act of Faith is a twisted 15 minute film about sex and suicide, starring a single actress and set in a single small space.

I'm going to say it's not safe for work. But if that's where you are at the moment, I'd urge you to save the link for later.

Otherwise, have at it immediately, please:

Well, what did you think?

Admittedly, the thing begins rather badly, but beyond the dodgy voice actor playing Faith's father, and the off-kilter camera angles, and the point about belief the short rather rams home, I enjoyed Act of Faith awfully.

Moore's script goes exactly where you expect it to, yet still it surprises; as the central character, Siobhan Hewlett is singularly riveting; overall, the atmosphere is fantastic, in no small part thanks to the soundtrack; and ultimately Mitch Jenkins' direction achieves the very voyeuristic feeling one imagines Moore was working towards. After a few minutes I simply submitted to this film, and Act of Faith's fuck you of a finale paid back my investment with interest.

I had mixed feelings about Alan Moore before this cunning curtain-raiser, but now I'm unbelievably keen to see Jimmy's End myself. I'll aim to alert you all as and when its creators make it available.

In the interim, it'd be great to hear from any other Alan Moore admirers out there. In fact, in my extended absence from the comic book form, I missed a great swathe of his work - other than Fashion Beast and a little of The League, I haven't read anything of his since the halcyon days of America's Best Comics - so I'd be interested to hear what, if anything, I'm missing.


  1. Enyone khows what's the last song called?

    Great video. Thans for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Dodgy voice actor? That was Michael Knowles from It Ain't Half Hot Mum. And Come Back Mrs Noah. Actually I'm not sure if the problem is with the voice acting or Alan Moore's tin ear for dialogue spoken by ordinary folk. Its hardly his greatest asset as a writer.

    Black Dossier is beyond tedious but don't let it put you off Century which is far better and significantly less annoying.