James Governor's Monkchips

Hallam Foe: private vs public in the age of voyeurism

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I seriously enjoyed the new film Hallam Foe, which I saw, in rough cut, last Thursday. I will likely buy the soundtrack, when it is out, which is always a good sign. But what is the movie about?

We were asked not to review it, so I won’t. But I will gesture to the subject matter.

We’re all voyeurs today, aren’t we? If you watch TV you can’t get away from it. For those without TV consider yourself an edge case. Our “realities” are mediated by the… media. YouTube is really ThemTube.

Not only are we voyeurs, though, we’re also exhibitionists. That You again.

I remember when Jerry Springer first came to the UK I wondered where he would get people to come and spill their guts. Sure enough though it turns out that Britons were just waiting for a chance to let everyone know their foibles. We will happily disembowel ourselves in public, day after day, in return for our 15 minutes.

Hallam Foe is a movie that constantly challenges the boundaries of private and public. Its a series of punctures to the membrane between what we consider public sphere and what we consider private. This is why Hallam Foe is a perfect project for Hugh McLeod.

He talks about punching through corporate membranes, or at least making them permeable, so companies can actually talk to their customers. Let your guard down and win customers. Be a little sloppy but have your heart in the right place. Vulnerability has a power. That is what Hallam Foe is about.

Bloggers – tend to live a lot in public. Where do you draw the line though? Are you giving away too much? That is a very Hallam Foe question. Its a question we’re all wrestling with.

Jack Straw wants to know what’s underneath the veil. What is hidden, what is hiding?

One of the movie types that deals with similar issues is the Private Eye and Undercover cop genre. Think of Someone To Watch Over Me. The moment when the bad guys turn up at the undercover cops house and threaten his family- while the hero is screwing who he is supposed to be bodyguarding. Public and private constantly interlace.

Hallam Foe is a movie for our times because vulnerability has a power. Maybe its just a coming of age movie. You decide.

disclaimer: I rushed this piece.


  1. I hadn’t previously considered the film as a blog metaphor but it seems to work on the vulnerability front.

    Thanks for coming along on Thurs, glad you had a good time and ta for writing about the film.

  2. Done deal.

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