Jimmy’s End and Act of Faith

Being a huge Alan Moore fan, I had to check out his recent foray into screenwriting, with the two short films Jimmy’s End and Act of Faith.  (Both are viewable for free online.)

This isn’t a review. My main interest is simply determining what these movies are about, and more directly, what are Metterton and Matchbright suppose to represent?  It would seem that they are supposed to be God and The Devil.  The names seem a clear clue:  Metterton and Matchbright.  Metterton sounds kind of like the voice of God, Metatron, and well, I guess it’s not exact but a star is bright, and there seems to be a MorningStar, Matchbright sort of similarity in the naming convention.

I think the film said Metterton was the senior partner, and God would similarity rank above the devil in a cosmic hierarchy.
In a somewhat negative review Joe McCulloch says (http://www.tcj.com/this-week-in-comics-12512-why-does-herr-moore-run-amok/)

“All of this is decorated by the occasional magical symbol, and a probably magical-informed color scheme; my favorite bits were anytime a character slowly walks down a mysterious hall, eternally pierced by an eerie ringing telephone. Still, it’s in the service of a fairly sophomoric ‘passage between life and death’ metaphor, punctuated by little in the way of engaging vignette, although special note should be made of a periphery character, an angry bald Scotsman painted like a clown whose propensity for amusing statements left him incapable of communicating in any meaningful way. “Recently, these days, I just masturbate. And cry. Usually at the same time.” He is later spotted playing cards with Lost Girls artist Melinda Gebbie, after which no less a deity than Alan Moore himself takes the stage as Frank Metterton, the great I AM (as in “I Am that I Am,” or, perhaps ‘I, A.M.’), a screamingly high-camp metal-painted deity in golden boots who holds all the cast rapt for a poetry recitation that whisks Jimmy away into a concluding fade to white – modesty, one can imagine, might not listed in the Alan Moore filmography, although it’s hardly the first Moore work to put its writer front and center(-stage).”

I get the impression  Jimmy’s End was initially a one off story, but Moore was asked to do more movies so tweaked the idea to allow for a series. I found an article that says

As readers of Dodgem Logic #2 will know, photographer Mitch Jenkins took a striking series of portraits of performers at a Northampton burlesque review. He decided to film a 10-minute short featuring the dancers for his showreel and, wanting to help out a friend, Moore offered to write a shooting script. It was called “Jimmy’s End”.

As soon as word got out that Moore was writing something for film, people quickly got interested. Jenkins and Moore were approached by Warp Films (producers of Shane Meadows’ This is England and Chris Morris’ Four Lions), who offered to fund a feature version of the film.

These discussions grew to accommodate the idea of spinning off a TV series from the film, in the manner of This is England ’86. Moore said that initially he’d been dubious about how the story could be extended in this way but had now figured out a longer ongoing narrative.

Laconically, he described the premise. The story concerns a Northampton writer and occultist who is trying to take over the dreamtime of everyone in the Boroughs, before extending his influence over the country and then the world. Amidst chuckles from the crowd, Moore insisted that the series would expose his megalomaniacal tendencies once and for all!

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this project is the intention to create a really immersive fictional world. Apparently there’s a young animator producing work that will feature on TVs in the background of scenes, and there’ll be a soap opera that the characters follow called (rather wonderfully) Wittgenstein Avenue. Also, Moore’s story involves an online game which British software developers may wish to develop!


It seems like a treatment has been done of the feature film, and it may be produced, but I don’t know that a TV show will…

A funny thing is that a LOT of people are saying Jimmy’s End is derivative of David Lynch and its interesting that the soap opera in a show idea was used in Twin Peaks.  (Though that subplot in Twin Peaks wasn’t that great. I’m sure the concept could be improved upon.)

Apparently the location where Jimmy’s end is set, the “St James Working Mens Club” is a real place, and that’s the venue where the movie premier occurred.  (Link)  As far as I can tell, Moore added the word “End” to the name for the movie.

Part of what he’s doing is mythologizing his home town, or the particular place he happened to be in when he decided to make the movie.  

Personally, I think my favorite bit is the devil playing cards with God and saying “You’re being childish. I can keep this up as long as you can.” (If I remember that right.)  I also like the idea that there’s a place in Alan Moore’ hometown that can now be described as “That place where the Devil and God get together to play cards.”