I once met a man who wore a toga and handed out business cards describing himself as an ‘Architect of Togetherness’. I smiled and thought to myself, ‘you’re a tool’. But it did get me thinking: what would be my dream job title?
In my current job I’m less important than a female Liberal backbencher, but my title is the deceptively pimp ‘Executive Officer’. That’s right. Executive. Officer. Each of the two parts pimps in its own enchanting way, while still fusing together to form a delightfully pimp whole. Let’s start with ‘Executive’. It says executive bathrooms. It says executive massages. It says executive jets. I could go on. And I will. It says Executive Council of Australian Jews. Then there’s ‘Officer’. Let’s not bother with Officer.
There is at least one guy in Australia with a better job title and his name is Warwick Ross: Vigneron / Filmmaker. He makes wines. Presumably gets a solid staff discount on them. He also makes movies (sorry, ‘films’). And in Red Obsession, he’s made a movie about wine. Way to combine your two passions, Warwick. Synergy? 1+1=3? Legend?
Now, did you ever wonder what impact China’s rise has had on the Bordeaux wine industry? Me neither. But Warwick Ross wondered. And he hired Russell Crowe to wonder, out loud, in his hickory-smoked voice, as the documentary’s narrator. Incidentally, did you ever wonder what Russell Crowe’s job title is? It’s “Russell Crowe”. His business card looks like this:
Russell. Crowe. Three syllables, each one better than the last, crescendoing to a black bird which has traditionally been used as a symbol for death. Power move by his parents.
Now, Red Obsession is one helluvan interesting documentary about China’s growing appetite for Bordeaux wines. Some viewers will be interested by the China angle. Some by the growing appetite angle. And others by the Bordeaux wines angle. Geometrists in the audience will just be frothing at all the angles.
For me, it was the characters. First, there’s the French winemaker who grins like a man who’s just drunk a bottle of Bordeaux wine as he describes the ‘so much love’ he brings to his wines and the ‘vibrations’ he feels in his ‘terroir’, before mentioning that he did, in fact, just drink a bottle of wine. For lunch. There ya go.
Then there’s the Chinese sextoy billionaire with a $60m wine collection. Or the middle aged lady from Hong Kong who giggles like a schoolgirl as she recounts this one time? At a wine auction? When my arm got tired from bidding? So I just bid $1.5m on the bottle because I wanted it! HAHAHA.
And would you believe Francis Ford Coppola even makes a cameo? Good, because he does. Like Warwick Ross, Francis makes wine and films and makes a brief appearance in Red Obsession to wonder (out loud) whether his bottle of French revolution era Bordeaux was ever tasted by Lafayette or Jefferson. When I was a kid I got a fancy old Selmer saxophone for Christmas and I wondered whether it was ever played by Coltrane. Turns out it wasn’t.