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Before it was picked up by ILC Pictures (handlers of Urban Ghost Story, among others) Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry caused a minor furore on the film circuit. Most distributors turned it down, prompting leading man Nick Moran to dash off missives to all and sundry, pleading for its release.
It's easy to see why they were nervous: as with his debut feature, Dublin-based outlaw yarn Crush Proof, director Paul Tickell would rather chew off his own leg than compromise his vision. As Moran says (with more than a hint of past grievances), "Malry... isn't some Mockney film, or romantic comedy." In this visually audacious, updated adaptation of the short novel by cult writer BS Johnson (who committed suicide in 1975), Moran plays the eponymous, none-too-gifted nerd, waging war on his enemies - real and imagined - using a simple, if highly effective credit and debit system.
Before the first hour's up, callous bosses, and others (including the Inland Revenue, the newsagent who sold his cancerous mother her cigarettes, Ben Elton and Oasis) have been duly filed away in the 'debit' bracket, and 'credited' with anything from a bomb through the window, to mass murder via the nation's water supply. (Media terrorist Chris Morris is a 'credit'.) Though shot well before 11 September 2001, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry is bizarrely prophetic in places too
with its scenes of terrorism, governmental panic, and planes over the
Middle East (direct results of Malry's extra curricular activities). By the time "God" has been singled out for more than a Chinese burn, Malry's fate is a foregone conclusion.
Interwoven throughout is a joint storyline - set in the 15th century and concerning Leonardo Da Vinci and the Franciscan monk who originally dreamt up the Double Entry system - though this works less effectively.
Following up a true original like Crush Proof wasn't going to be easy, but Tickell has just about pulled it off. Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry is a demented hybrid of Billy Liar and twisted Nietzschean excess, and every frame crackles with energy. The film is further enhanced by a terrific soundtrack by Auteurs frontman Luke Haines. Just don't expect to enjoy your hotdog.
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