Playing Nintendo With God Channel 4, Tue 29 Jun, 11pm.
suffering from HIV/AIDS without it
kill for? Well, you get a man who unashamedly describes himself as
How do you make a film about kids
coming over all worthy, tugging at any heart strings available and pouring on the kind of gloopy sentimentality that Oprah would
’not a worthy kind of director' and let him loose with his camera.
The man in question is Paul McGuigan whose previous work on Irvine Welsh’s The Acid House and on Scottish sectarianism in Football, Faith And Flutes convinced Channel 4 that here was a director who could open up a serious subject without turning people away - the subject being Camp Sunburst, a Californian haven for the first generation of US adolescents growing up with HIV.
’We’re not standing on a soapbox, we’re just presenting something,’ insists the 35-year-old
McGuigan. ’My wife had seen an article about the camp
in Elle magazine and she thought it was about time I did something more worthwhile than sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.’
And so, McGuigan went out to see the camp for himself in 1995, a little wary of what he might find. ‘One of the things I was worried about was that it’d be
this happy clappy all-singing all-dancing place,’ he
recalls. ’So, I went in with that Scottish thing about, you know, "don’t touch me, don’t hug me or hold hands at break-time", but it wasn’t really like that.’
What McGuigan found were people who had been thrust into a situation over which they had no control but whose consequences were a daily reminder (the
= title comes from a phrase used by one of the kids to = sum up that constant struggle by imagining it as a
computer game with Fate).
Computer virus: Playing Nintendo With God
Twenty-three-year-old Crystall was infected by an older boyfriend who was perfectly aware of the risks. Fourteen-year-old Samoana is sassy and truculent but, along with her younger brother, is a carrier from her mother. John is sixteen years old and infected by a blood transfusion — the disease and his fondness for crime and drugs is worrying his mother witless. They are all taught to get on with things by considering that they are not dying from, but living with AIDS.
The film’s power and the way it gets away from the spectre of worthiness is to concentrate on the details of everyday life and the hassles of being a kid whose parents will constantly embarrass or restrict you. Does Paul McGuigan imagine a Camp Sunburst springing up in Scotland?
’There’s room for a place like that here but you’d have to call it Camp Might Be Sunny Sometime. Or Camp Dour.’ (Brian Donaldson)
presenters bringing the uniquely grubby experience that is the grandaddy of all festivals into nice clean living rooms across the country. Far from looking to closet herself away with the VIPs, vol au vents and running water backstage, she yearns to get down and dirty with the ground troops to glimpse the likes of REM, Texas,
bands,’ she laments before enthusing:
which is always amazing.’
BBCZ & BBC Choice, Fri 25—Sun 27 Jun; Radio 1, Thu 24—Mon 28 Jun, times vary.
Radio One DJ Mary Anne Hobbs has not allowed her Glastonbury enthusiasm to be dampened by a
110 THE “ST 24 Jun—8 Jul 1999
Bogroll with it: Glastonbury
couple of years of hell and high water. Only a hardened festival veteran could recall with such affection ’crawling through the trenches, nipple-deep in mud and sick,’ and have the insight to recommend that newcomers remember to pack a hearty supply of bogroll. Hobbs will be one of a team of BBC
Can such a visceral experience really
Blondie or The Corrs. ’Unfortunately when you work in these situations you 3 don't get a chance to see very many ;
’Hopefully I'll get to the dance tent, r
be captured on TV? ’Glastonbury
always sells out really fast, and it is expensive,’ Hobbs muses. 'lt’s also logistically incredibly difficult to get to.
For people who can’t get there, it will
give a very real atmosphere.’ Still, the full sensory
overload perhaps lacks just one thing. i 'We need a scratch-screen for next year, i
so you can actually smell the stench of the Portaloos.’ (Hannah McGill)
sense of thej
l STAR RATINGS ; ! *tttt Unmissable l t * it * Very cod 2 , i "at Wort a shot i l *t Below average I 1 it You’ve been warned .
Celebrity sofa surfing. This issue: Rhona Cameron
What is your favourite show? Seinfeld and Larry Sanders - both are works of genius.
What do you eat/drink while
watching TV? I watch TV constantly when I’m in so I don’t eat during my viewing, otherWise I'd be like the Side
of a house. Perhaps the odd Bushmills with ice if it’s late.
When did you last cover your eyes at the box? The new Madonna Video on MTV, because she’s too sexy and l couldn’t cope. j When did you last weep real tears at the TV? After the Madonna Video, for I knew the chances of ever being her
lover are so slim.
What is your first TV memory?
Hector’s House with Zaza leaning over the fence saying ’Silly old Hector.’
Who was the first telly person you
had a crush on? Toni Arthur, the Play Away presenter.
Favourite/most hated advert? I hated that smug couple on the fucking Spirito Di Punto ad. I love the BT ad ~ when the family are embarrassed because there are elephants shagging
on the TV. Greatest cartoon character of all ; time? Homer Simpson because he’s
got a funny and big heart.
What do you have on top of your TV set? An incense holder and sticks and
a copy of Elliot’s Guide To Home Entertainment.
Who is your favourite newsreader?
I like Moira Stewart. You’ve got to
have decent lips to be a newsreader. What is your favourite TV theme
tune? White Horses.
What show do you stay in/rush home from the pub/miss church for? lwouldn’t miss church for anything. Luckily, I can go there and still be home ‘ for the EastEnders Sunday omnibus.
Who would you like to see on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch? Rachel and Monica.
I Gaytime TV, BBCZ, Tue, 77. 75pm.