Serena : A Film Review


Cast : Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Sean Harris, Ana Ularu, Sam Reid, Conleth Hill, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Christian McKay, Philip Zanden, Ned Dennehy.

The pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are is a proven combination. Having been made in 2012 by the Director and part Producer, the Danish attendee to close detail and a comprehensive storyline without too much diversion is Susanne Bier. A distributed is clearly now in place and we get to see what has been held back for a few years.

This is a period drama set in East America, the North Carolina Forests, soon to become State Parks. The time is 1929 and the colonial fore bearers are gone and the land is allocated on a lost continental basis. The victors took the spoils of much land and the forests were an enormously valuable natural commodity. Like the mining, oil and agricultural wealth grasped post civil war, some winners were founded sufficiently to create their own banking systems.

The character George Pemberton (Cooper) is a young entrepreneur with a vision for making heaps of money from deforesting large sections of forestry which is mainly relatively cheap and easily accessible Pinewood.
He has enlisted a partner to share the risks and also to be an additional pair of eyes.
This is the redoubtable, advisor Buchanan (David Dencik) whose homoerotic attraction to George is a slow burner ignited by the return after a trip to retrieve more funds from a Bank, of George with a wife. Swept up from an encounter his sister who is in the closed elitist society set, is the formidable attractive, fair and astute alluring Serena. The fair fine features of Serena are not reduced as she puts a white horse through its paces.
Her commanding positive teamwork with the animal are enough to impress George from a distance. George’s sister gives him the tale of her loss of her entire family. From her father a large scale timber baron whose empire was many leagues above the North Carolina operation George has started.
To call a woman feisty is I am given to understand an unfettered insult and demeaning as often applied ingloriously to women.
Hot, quarrelsome, courageous and single minded on the other hand can not have those accusations leveled and it is only part of the character summation this beautiful horsewoman turned married woman.
In marrying she thinks she finds her soulmate and fellow adventurer with plenty of common direction and interest.
As a partner in business George is confident of what she can bring outside the house. The comparability of the couple have no sexual shortcomings and she quickly becomes pregnant.
As an operator of business from a horse or in her boots on the hills she carries every action out without error. Her countenance is accepted.
The person who we see most put out by her presence is the directionless Buchanan. There are a couple of head woodsmen that all three rely on to enforce their instructions

These are familiar actors which is a feature of this film.
II is odd to see Douglas Hodges as a fiery logsman with a passable impression of a doughty American shouting the odds of the new America.
Also the squat doleful Toby Jones is cast as the righteous Sheriff of the adjacent town. He is implausibly plausible given the cock a manny story.

Sean Harris and Rhys Ifans are the two dependable.
Rhys Ifans under his ten gallon hat does a mean meany oddball.
Serena accepts his judgement if not his outsider withdrawn, need to be an outsider. Rhys paces alongside things. Rails freshly laid. Logs freshly felled and houses freshly inhabited. He acts feral (not unlike the feral under-panted 4W+1Funeral wimp) as the other dependable Harris we recall from the newly released ’71 in which he plays the Long haired beatnik guised Spook of her majesties finest. He is here an only mildly less savory self interested pugnacious beetler in the wood pile.

It is a right ant-heap and by way of relation Serena sends for a trained Eagle to take care of the snakes which have killed several of the needed workers.

The first section, well over halfway into the story little hens of any consequence. The anti-romance is played. George does not meet her expectations and is easily given instructions without being aware of them, she has a major plan in mind. She has to in my mind emulate and better the achievements of her lost Father. The Father lost in the fire and the ghost of the loss of an entire family explains much of her driven nature.
She is not conscious of this herself and is therefore not able to forgive readily for minor transgressions.
George on the other hand is reflective and cautious. Serena is the risk taker.
When the film becomes a highly intense crime thriller it is complete with murder, conspiracy, corruption and revenge all told.

A side story involves George’s child conceived with his ‘maid’ the delectable Rachel (Romanian actress Ana Ularu), whose continued presence upsets Serena on occasions, despite her instruction to George when she realises, as soon as she arrives that this past and child exist.
Only occasionally does she have cause to make anything of it but on the triangle swings several twists.

Serena is at the centre of this melodrama and with flawless imperious portrayal of restrained imploding self confidence the magnetism I for one see, as many others recognise, Jennifer Lawrence delivers a brilliant performance with the panoply of emotions suited to her poise and beautiful face and stature. It is a character that for the reasons addressed earlier requires the unbelievable passage of the story at times to be delivered in the manner which makes you think of the wider possibilities.

To this it has to be added the impression I took of Bradley Coopers performance was it was wooden not only in the material but delivery. He may have drilled to much; making him out at times was a problem hopefully most didn’t experience. Don’t worry as most of the best lines are Serena’s. Rhys Ifans just comes out with cliches through clenched teeth.
The forest as it turns out is in Czechoslovakia – presumably they have stopped deforesting large sections of North America and now have a preference for Fracking.

I would like to see Jennifer in a political Drama. I wonder if she would play the courageous life of a French woman scorned and driven to show the guys what women can do in Politics. Beware what you wish.

The story turns into a very suspense driven implosion of the relationships which have taken you to the North Carolina timber rough sawn America.
The lush scenic background of the Smoky Mountains and the attention to costume detail are (Czech shoot aside!) very natural and give the film the cosmetic of convincing cinema.

Conclusion. ###3

The full dynamic of the film is from my viewing the character of Serena shaped by the events. That makes it succeed on a couple of levels but it has some one dimensional aspects which takes away from what could be a more incisive film. If the one to one scenes between George and Serena were more complex; after all it becomes a complex relationship.
The challenges and the difficulties of making a life in this territory is there but folk like Toby Jones who succeeds in making a Good guy fighting for the locals acerbic. A bad turn – I dread to think how he will turn us against Captain Mainwaring – yes currently being filmed and Michael Gambon – is the hired ace to play a Buffon – how does that work? What the hell is happening to the Film Industry.
Can you not rely on the actors to choose their parts wisely and to embrace the craft of cinema without looking at the paycheck first?

This film will appeal as a kind of un troubling drama and will hardly bring down too many trees. The he digital age. Will newsprint ever cease?

John Graham

23 October 2014


On at QFT from Friday 24 October to 6 November 2014
Check times

This Week
Fri 24th Oct – 6:40pm
Fri 24th Oct – 9:00pm
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Mon 27th Oct – 6:40pm
Mon 27th Oct – 9:00pm
Tue 28th Oct – 6:40pm
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Wed 29th Oct – 6:40pm
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Thu 30th Oct – 8:50pm
Fri 31st Oct – 6:30pm
Sat 1st Nov – 8:40pm
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Mon 3rd Nov – 8:50pm
Tue 4th Nov – 8:50pm
Wed 5th Nov – 9:15pm
Thu 6th Nov – 9:15pm

Scent of Dust as Memory

imageNo poverty of Poetry
Such is our fortune in Belfast and on this island to have a people who know the immense importance of all kinds of Poetry it is treated with great appreciation by many in the community.
Writers readers alike, aplenty, axiomatic, liking and writing mastery alongside the double jointed realism of words limitations which yield and weld solid lines and canons in some hands, none to many, greater than Michael Longley who would tell you winking there are far better than me.. Not a quote more a guess.
Those revered Poets to last longer and as art; in concert with the words of the poet Austin Dobsons lines -
All passes. Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne-
The Coin, Tiberius.


Of another art once said-
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
So warns us wisely, of the stature less statuesque words descending a page, onto another and an other. You know the kind.
Another accolade if such trite words are necessary, in ML poetry is he himself readily puts out, is the brevity he favours. Ten volumes and the rest of writing in other forms will go far in quenching the thirst born in the mind satiated like Jameson alongside the friends absent and around.
Two pillars Seamus Heaney and the building stands with the hand reaching down holding the air supporting our own Coliseum. To put no finer point on it. It stands and time no respecter is confusing as once again it’s yesterday.
The sounder this becomes; the brevity, when ML has found each cast of a poem embarked on.
The works of Oscar Wilde have many subsequent orations and many times assiduously pertained in the oddest contexts. The learned teacher in ML will know education itself is a limit so future forgotten teachings evinces the confidence of memory deep and putting the matter at hand to rank and order however forgetful you maybe.
Reflections within poems are so.
The poet offers in precision of line material and insight further heights of connection rapidly flowing in the rafters of your mind.
They construct the architecture with words modern ancient and of others souls reworked as the devil and spirit of God or fashionable disbelievers.
Poems made of things.
The poet pulls the strings.
Telling by reading
ML reflected on a choice of coma, of a lateness in putting down a written word which prevented him as poems dictate a measure found once writing to be obeyed Homer like, restraint, from appending or including favourite common local names of flowers or a roll call of a places collection of villages, even the outlying hills.
This book of Poems is sheer wordcraft.
From the title ‘The Stairwell’ unexpectedly set in America. Others cast out visions if that shore from this edge of Europe. Several rest in Mayo others next door. The scaffolding has been up and down for years in this immensely career defining passage of a book given the changes most recent.
At the heart of the murmurations.
ML is a bit like- but not an ultra obsessive kind who becomes fixated on a particular thing it eventually becomes the scene of his destruction; – that person the brilliant Architect Charles Jeanneret. Corb. who so admired his once lover Eileen Grays house it called him – once rejected – to reside across from it merely or fixedly to admire its motionless form in the ever changing storms of the south of Frances environ. ML has a penchant for having the Homeric sensibility enter into his mind as a route through to the thought embedded taking shape. Sometimes the direct reference, other times the tonality.
Form of ‘The Stairwell’ is a piece of mastery to invert the accomplishment without pretence of any countervailing realisation. It simply is a modern and timeless work. Like most binding capturing time present for presentation the work cannot nor did carry all. Once completed the new building had gathered another Poem ‘Starling’ like nature requiring another roost. The willow bends but tends not to be uprooted so the building takes on another outlier. The ever near birds and continuing memorial a memory throughout this work of ML’s twin late brother Peter the practical Engineer whose perimeter had also no boundaries but a place to live. That place coastal North East England.
A place honoured and mythical by ML’s account in that here and now.

Footnoted prologue.
The QUB Great Hall was full as full can be 9 October 2014; hereafter remembered besides, as the day UKIP attained their first MP to sit on Commons benches. From one perplexity of unknown Politics in a querulous affectation known in daily passing as Democracy. The Battenburgs at tea were sweet as catastrophe and Wall Street took in the other other places recitations on the day today.
To all and forcthe next they have to be cited and marked. ML no less interested in the matters all around kept out the world beyond the ex-gothic famine dated college walks fenestrated to let in an approximation if a calm place outside mothering by. Tungsten lights competing with the hanging rings of candesent mock flames over our heads.
The appointed time was forward by enough time to see the gathering and ML emerge, circulate, visit the Chancellors facilities in case discomforted mid sentence or between the amplitude of anecdotal, or as allowed, some rich story and reasoning accompanying the muse.
At a point when he hesitated once, allowing an audience member who was making a discreet to most eyes exit, he proffered advice assigned for such occasions, by I think it was the discretionary lady Enda, that the best way to internalise any conjecture of slight was to put it down to the persons likelihood of a weak bladder.
Astute he shared it and on other occasions sequestered Gynaecological footnotes or birth notes. By sense or sheer persist acne he also placed a footnote on the poem dedicated and about his long neighbour, present this evening, the eminent and retired paediatrician Claude Field who shared
His anemones as a gift to the divide between their houses. A growing act which like nature occurred with an unexplained self will. He made, in the poem, he relates, CF of the age of 93 prefrontal to abide with the Poems rhythm to replace CF’s correct age of 96. Another act appreciated no doubt, having 3 years in limbo perfectly still and held all the time in natures revered presence alive and still.

I dislike long introductions and set about a Poem I had recently come across in the style of its own manifestation. Of that see the authors apology at the foot. A tactic to reach the bottom – you can skip as Churchill when sometimes asked about a book he recited – “I have read it- in a general way” so mea culpa.

Summer brings occasional dryness
Through the ever open door
Wave after sunlight wave of dust
Has come indoors to lie in shade

Will it be disturbed this day?…..
It may lie until tomorrow, after sleep
shall I sweep or stir it with a cloth, maybe
gather a small community of dust

No. The dust may be a friend blown in
Returning after many years as visitors
Or the scraps of other nature maybe
Flowers or perished bark oak alder or beech

From where? the Yorkshire hills carried ?
Or Skye or the Hill of Slane? Curragh Plain
Could this dust be a warrior, sailor, Holy man
Or a victim of Gods refrain

On walls, doors, picture frames, a layer cast
Like a exotic creature in watchful rest
Regarding, replenished, open eyes observe
Around each room the dates unveiled past

Sun framed through garden window bars
over the threshold worn and grey
Light splits, spills on the table bright
Revealing on polished hardwood the dust

A dining rectangle, two triangles
Hesitation brings a thought
Wet a finger draw the fish in dust
With the open eye, the unscaled dead
Fish in air stare fixedly aghast to die

Psalms call the morrow on, Sunday
Simeon cradling the infant Jesus
Prophesies Jesus to die happy
Jesus looks up, shares the moment long

When winter calls the dust stays on
I let it rest, memory merges past
with the future skin I cast afloat
Bedfellows with the stories shared

Like a mind the cells link life’s
art of obtaining evaluation of
Dissent or assent? ever graduated
as education espouses to each an end

That theory becoming more, a fact
Prepared for long it will repeat
Gods patten revealed in halos last
Circling floating crowns, dust to dust.

All along the peace a layer outside
of snows crystals representing as life
bound water in constructed frames
To speak of all the kingdoms, us,
of futures evergreen, free words

John Graham
After ‘Dusting’ by Viola Meynell whose work is kept by Jacob Dallyn
VM who ‘imitated’? ‘translated’ a Poem by Theophile Gautier.

In the words of the beautiful Sade – ‘Is it a crime’ what price contentment?
Striking up a few words should be compulsory but wait then it would seem a chore which it clearly isn’t but it does bind you to the limitations of langauge and inform how that can be turned to advantage.

Ida : A Film Review


Directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. Black and White. 12a
Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Paweł Pawlikowski
Filmed in Denmark, Poland Released 2013, Language Polish.

Music by Kristian Eidnes Andersen
Cinematography Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Agata Trzebuchowska as Ida Lebenstein / Siostra Anna
Agata Kulesza as Wanda Gruz / (ciotka) Aunt Anny
Joanna Kulig as a singer
Dawid Ogrodnik as saksofonista Lis
Adam Szyszkowski as Feliks Skiba
Jerzy Trela as Szymon Skiba
Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she is advised to visit her Aunt Wanda an odd fish, who is a Magistrate formerly of higher office who is us widowed and seeks uncomplicated friendship but who has been or wasn’t up to adopting her sisters child and now she responds to a call by the Covenant as Ida is about to decide on her future.
Meeting her Aunt comes with a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

This is a journey from child to woman as a rite of passage of an orphan whose childhood began in war torn Poland and her growth into the woman whose character is internalized and is full of history never opened to her. The journey is archaic and modern with a clash of intrinsic values occupying the new Poland and Ida alike.
The step back both in time and to another form of Cinema has many moments of brilliance and other times mild censure. The censure is mostly the sometimes over reliance on image when for example close ups take it on another course, having been as a viewer, immersed to that point in the sparseness of the space filled voids of interiors and exteriors. It upset the subtlety of space and the narrative occasionally.
It is simply a beautiful film despite the minor irritations and perhaps because the subject is a face of Polish history without the complexities of managed versions of history as has been prevalent ever since the Holocaust emerged.
Single stories are well delivered as here are so fundamentally important as an antidote to the propaganda.
A journey ‘Through the Narrow Gate’.
This was the title of a Karen Armstrong book as she proceeded to take her vows and enter a convent aged seventeen She came from a Worcestershire family full of life. For a calling that takes as a requirement of giving up hope in their body for Christ. To remove their own feelings, we observe, sit watching these Nuns sit as they eat and commune in the dining hall at the start of the film; these Nuns who have sacrificed for God another life.
Their austere surroundings and daily rituals and consumption of the fruits of the earth at the table provide this film with the Levantine societal structure, like an extraordinary behemoth animal living among the other human beings and residing in the plain Convent while worshiping in the idolatry of the public spaces of the Churches.
Vermeer Beauty
There is little wonder this film, Ida, has enormous beauty. It has the revered beauty of Ida herself. A young spare thin girl with a magnetic countenance of beauty. Pawel found Anna in a cafe. He found the story in reflecting on his childhood. the period when Poland was recovering from Stalinism.
To Poland the world was now a newly opened book and the imagination stretched in all directions not least in all the art forms.
He directs as though he cannot get away from the Vermeer paintings of mirrored rooms, real earrings, draped beds and florid glass.
Bewitching, displacing, functional, beguiling, it is all those and more.
This was the pared simplicity of the Convent life. It has the skill of a master film maker assuredly, in his first embarkation of a narrative set in his homeland, a depiction of that society, that intercourse with life following the war and the preparedness to be shocked while carrying on with the visceral life at their fingertips. He avoids a lesson in history. The film despite this outlines this expertly and acutely takes us there.
For us unknowing of the minutiae we are given memory held in the body of this generation.
I use the metaphors of Levantine and Behemoth as the clumps of Churches in Eastern Europe, Russia and modern Europe sit in the landscape as huge regarding animalistic symbols. Even in Northern Ireland and throughout rural Ireland the presence of Religion is not only the invisible cloak of ancestors but the large dominant presence in flat landscapes and hills of Churches. The Convent is a feature you would not miss.
Ida cuts into this reality. The shock is also it is so modern and commanding, being set in a seldom apparent Poland of the sixties and perhaps the absence of colour enhances this. A culturally curious dissonance.
Of its very austere tableau it creates the light and air of the breathing living space with, the form of the Covent like a regal moth with folded wings, as the roof over their lives. The only acceptance Ida will require is the acceptance of these Nuns and as her future companions.
That journey is the the same here as Ida is sent from an orphanage where she has grown up to find her last remaining relative, an Aunt Wanda who is a former Communist Prosecutor and was disregarding initially of the dilemma faced by Ida. Choices are self made. The purpose of consulting with her is to place her own life in context and it appears quickly that we can understand she has a Jewish background and the Holocaust features prominently in her family life.
The theme of the film is the basis of choice in the eyes of the startlingly filmatic, thin features of the aqua line face and stillness of character which Agata Trzebuchowska portrays vivaciously. Her sexuality is escaping her body in stray invisible sensual gestures and with an adult gravitas, she knowing her duty within is to allow this element of self to surface to proliferate, propagate, generate amongst the people of this new world, that which she encounters where it surfaces, emerging. To follow her every move seems natural as the intriguing curiosity of the viewer and the viewed is where the art falls on each.
This discovery for us is through the visual and body language of Ida in this life and when the road trip happens upon the rhythms of a dance – on the road a hitchhiker is picked up – and turn trance like with a trio of the Aunt, the hitchhiker, and Ida all conscious of her beauty and entrancing bloom.
The scene into the city is important as there now is a another human being whose easy nature Wanda nourishes in the experiment of triggering notions in Ida of herself. It lasts only a minute or two but it is essentially there, gently story telling. The gift of the film is in these small magic moments.
It is so heartfelt also when a simple act of Ida and Aunt Anny sitting relaxed on a sofa sees them connect softly over the very act of caressing memory.
It is such a broad gesture in a tiny filmic simplicity it truly relates as nothing less than truth. That and the fact the are seeing the people gone.
The hitchhiker gives a relevance to this newly encountered world where other forms of love are found.
All life which seems so much full to the top with strange interactions and the happenstance, perchance radial whirlwind which heads of in unexpected directions and is the normal life of all outside the Convent.
4:3 Top heavy Lower burden
4:3 is the Art house boxed like screen compact used. It is the frame which draws you into a room like observance and claustrophobic presence even in the Polish forest.
The frame very seldom moves. This is not intrusive as we tend to accept the story as if we are looking through Pawels eyes into album of pictures which he them animates for us, shaking the pages, the leaves to reveal another part of the story. The implement the profound simplicity of a film well made and of gathering wisdom.
The black and white is not only the religious contrast of God of the light and the human of the darkness, it assembles contrasts across the frame and pronounces the fabric of the buildings, furniture, landscape and the air sitting over tables and drawn through windows, through trees and along cloisters. Very deliberately the repetitive theme of a person occupying, on many occasions, only the lower third of a frame builds a heaviness laden with the Poland under their feet.
This is a land, so wonderful, yet hiding destruction of lives and pushing the past into the faces and memories with relentless haste. A continual reckoning. Something we are so aware of, the refusal of the past to retreat.
Dave Duggans words ‘ The dead abound the dead abound, How do we keep them in the ground?’.
When Pawel decides to place a character in the top of a frame and talk down to another lower and whose face is close conveying the reaction to the spare dialogue he equips you with an imagined heightened realism. The top of stairs in the Hotel where they take time to discover the past is often used.
Of the significance of these little moments of the higher spirit seen in the elevated person and the person beneath we/I may dwell too much.
Inwardly the film may indeed be looking for answers but on the surface it plays out the harsh wider reality of connivance, of treacherous endeavor and the ultimate failures of humankind into which Ida is craning her beautiful delicate neck to discern where her future lies and how it, this, that, all, everything becomes a real proposition to discover.
War and Hurt
In war everyone gets hurt. The victim and the victor are never the same and they live afterwards with reconciliation happening in each and every cell. Agata Kulesza is a harrowing beauty with a great tragedy of her own which is immeasurable.
The fact is her Aunt is embroiled in the litany of vulgarities of war presiding over a conquest seeking righteousness, new faith in justice, after the new dawn when fresh souls are born to become new victims of war. Truth is the elders choice, to find it where before it never was clear. The mustiness of that preference John Newman has of a veil being our foil is lifted; that veil which kept our fear of others less apparent than was actually the case.
The violence an ever present being.
It is out there and Wanda is intent on delivering as much truth again as she feels ready to give to Ida. Through the lanes, along the roads, Wanda drives a very old car which is her very own rust bucket and is cast as another character I feel as it points to this being a road movie to some true extent.
Wanda is also framed gorgeously in the cars windscreen and in the role of the person in the driving seat of the film. In the cars seat she is comfortable as it hugs her and she has a coy relationship, almost Cronenberg like a gear shift or two down. Another fascinating relationship usually with a cigarette in hand or something else.
Film Cuttings
There is a lovely old cinema; the film has me thinking of earlier times. I never was a light blue (I wish) no matter how much a difference that might have made of me but I spent many a weekend in Cambridge and loved the old cinema which I hope is still there and relatively unchanged.
Apparently Wiggenstien had a habit of going to the Cinema a lot when he was in Cambridge and he took with him buttered toast to eat during the film. That must have been interesting for him and those around him. Consumables never really caught on with me in the cinema but it apparently is a requirement even in the esteemed echelons of philosophical critique or was he hopeful not to be taken by the escapism Cinema provides.
If you want a great depiction of Cambridge in a time post Darwin then look out for Period Piece by Gwen Raverat if you haven’t come across it. She illustrates it showing the house in Cambridge the Darwin’s of whom she is but one grew up. It not only tells the story of her family and her own life and relationship with Cambridge growing up but it puts neatly into context another viewpoint on Darwinism and its progenitor if that is the right plume. Her own illustrations and freestyle writing made the book when it was first published a very good seller with this ingenious story telling of a prominent family life. Publishers decried the fact Charles Darwin wrote in a dry style but famously and irredeemably the basis of scientific expansion.
####+ 4+
This is a very human tale and it posits the mystery of God alongside our mysterious world and the sacrifices made. The events are seemingly random and immense yet the fragile human appears as strong as a stalk of living growing corn in the field. As the corn it is cut down and rendered into something other.
The beautiful playing by all involved, the principles never fail to give the best of the story gives this film an almighty puch. It is vivid and surreal watching this near history rand the viewer is left with another film which will last long in the memory.

John Graham

1 October 2014


On at QFT from Friday 10th of October and through to Thursday 16th October 2014


The History Makers


Not in My Name

The rejection of Liberal Democracy has taken decades. It has been seen unable to infiltrate Ancient Civilisations. Advanced nations hinge progress on Hegel cloaked in the enlightenment. The restoration is fought for in lands destroyed by science. Irrational causes weaken human nature twisting contorting God. In the present you can choose between the orthodox theories leaning towards the Hegel – Kojeve pole suggested by Fukayama oft revised for the new revolution of synthesis of natural products, a legacy of recognition if ever there was one or the lottery of the notion of the last man in the box of Nietzsche or if you prefer the lyrics of Alice in Chains their song man in a box has unorthodox meaning.

Man in the Box

I’m the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Won’t you come and save me
Save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

I’m the dog who gets beat
Shove my nose in shit
Won’t you come and save me
Save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker

He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

Some claim it is an anti-cruelty to animals (the specific desire of United Irishman and Minister William Drummond) which the song has been interpreted being about with those taking that meaning believing us to be born in a box fed basics.

“Read the lyrics. It’s not new territory. It’s not a political thing, like railing against the church or a faith. It’s just “What the fuck? Really?” There
are some things that don’t work here anymore. Can we incorporate some facts into our belief system? Can we be nicer to each other? Can we accept somebody that believes something different than you, and we can try not to hurt them if they do?”
These are the bands Jerry Cantrells words.

Then there is - “We went out to dinner with some Columbia Records people who were vegetarians. They told me how veal was made from calves raised in these small boxes, and the image stuck in my head. So I went home and wrote “Man In The Box” about government censorship and eating meat as seen though the eyes of a doomed calf” – Layne Staley words.

The song is also interpreted as an shout out for the homeless and a homeless man related he thought it was about his life living in a box.

They wrote of the denial of Christ which is as close as any philosopher got and is a surreal vision from another generation trying to understand the world they live in.


Ax an instrument of axis inflicting arbitration congress on the world by denial. Splinter time into history and revolution. The periodic table collected dispersed into minds reaching the central processing unit and replicated in theoretical programmes of its nature.
Harvest out of and into degradation are the components of infinite displacement. The nano challenge to the macro intensively depicting the history of reason undercast by futile liberal ideas reflecting humanities soul.

As Hegel preceded Darwin, Hawking has preceded infinite distillation. In his era conflict has become democracised and restraint has no border or boundary. The soul cries out on behalf of the dead who know the nature rejecting the biotech advance and its indulgences. Instead they know not how similar and reflected their imagery is as they use the ax to destroy their fellow humans. Hawking has seen a glimpse of God leaving his mind intact as he compensates for time encroaching on life unmet by the return.
Given to the man of Luciana, given to mankind, given by the grace of God.
Luke 11: 2>4
The Lords Prayer



TdyYrLove wrote on songmeanings

Now let’s look at the chorus. Feed my eyes is a reference to the Book of Genesis Chapter 3.

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

This parallels the “feed my eyes”. Adam and Eve ATE from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and they’re EYES WERE OPENED.

But now they know good and evil and this is a very troubling fact. They immediately realize they have disobeyed God and “denied their maker”. The chorus begs to reverse the clock and “sew them [opened eyes] shut”.

“Jesus Christ” – blatently brings about the belief in which God is True. “Deny your maker, he who tries, will be wasted”. The “wasted” is a reference to Hell. This sentence is a warning, for those who deny their maker.

“Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut”. This goes back to Genesis Chapter 3. After man has eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God banishes them from the Garden and closes off their way to the Tree of Life.
By TyrYrLove

It may seem ridiculous to be analyzing song lyrics but art is an expression of things we cannot explain by other means. But even more meanings are apparent.  It applies to the Prisoner and the Prison and the waste of as Lord Denman had it of human life, sacrificed to show a societies disdain/disgust at a crime.

And in the languages of Russia who had their access to religion made common interpretation in the 15 th C the following are their versions of the Lords Prayer which seems to transcend boundaries as you would expect if you were paying attention.

Russian Lords Prayer versions


Source: “BASHORATI KHUDOVANDI MO ISOI MASEKH. Injil Akhdi Jadid.” Noviy savet na tadjikskom yazykye.
The New Testament in the Tajiki language. (1983)
Contributed by Wolfgang Kuhl – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Source: “Das Gebet des Herrn in den Sprachen Russlands” (“The Lord’s Prayer in the languages of Russia”), St. Petersburg, 1870.
Contributed by Harri Mürk – E-mail




John Graham

1 October 2014


The garden of Eden is here unseen by the many whose eyes are shut.


In Order of Disappearance : A Film Review


Director Hans Petter Moland Norway 2014 1hr 57mins

Cast : Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Sverre Hagen, Bruno Ganz, Hildegun Riise, Peter Andersson, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Jakob Oftebro, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Jon Oigarden, Gard B. Eidsvold, Goran Navojec, Jack Sodahl Moland. (Norwegian, Danish, Serbian, English dialogue) Cert 15.

Think Shakespeare. Comic/Tragedy Lear, Macbeth, Titus?  and add more Gore.

In a white landscape of the plains which cover with snow and a routine develops to clear the open roads for conveys of cars to tail the snow sweeper we add some more white dust in the form of Cocaine and the whole film lights up in technicolor jaundiced portrayal of dark violent people.

Nils Desparandum

The central character leaning over the steering shell of his elevated cabin, this immigrant, Swede? , paradoxically turns into a violent man as is the context of most of the genre of revenge crime thrillers. Here Nils, Stellan Skarsgard, characters second name the unfortunate Dickman.
His family was his wife and son, Ingvar is a young guy working as an airport runway baggage collector and this being the hub of the incoming trade, never troubled by local police or customs, he comes close and closer still to the illicit trade.


This matter of fact place with its matter of fact underground drug traffic and distribution network – the cities are divided up between the blow in East Europeans, the Son of the last local dealer King who is the prepostrestly vain, acidic, juvenile, psychopath, vegan, ponytailed neat bearded tall thin Duke who goes by the name of Count.  What a character we are going to have before us?  Absolute lunatic.                       This is the awesome performance of Pal Sverre Valhheim Hagen playing Greven based no doubt on Scandanavian nightclub pseudes who hover with malevolence and drugs and he rakes up their idea of control a million times. If you look like a Dane and their Swedes Finns whatever and vice versa they beat the crap out of them. Giving tem guns is an entirely different matter.

The comedy is his mantra and all the dark, black, sardonic idiotic irony filled screen filled lunacy is generated from him as a lunatic cyclone once the trades are broken and certain revenge is up large and central course sty of the revenging Father.

It is obvious from a third of the film on their is comedic drenching with the absurdities built on formulaic responses of the moody gangsters. Each time someone goes missing it is down to Nils whose disposal method is unique and Sopranos’ish and Godfather sleeping with the fishes.

The white Norwegian’s including the pale Count are racist in the extreme and behave themselves as misfits in a country with natural and socially developed ideas.

How does it set up?

Nils has a very routine job when snow falls in his part of Norway. He is responsible for making the roads passable and keeping them that way all through winter. The yellow snow plough, the cabin and the monotonous white landscape are for most expectations a whiteout which the director will have to clear and turn the monotony into a thriller. A crime occurs and it is Nils extent of grief which the familiar Stellan Skarsgard an elder statesman of Scandanavian cinema has all the skills to express the great loss his son affects has on him. The world is in his mind cruel to the Everyman character, a familiar trope explored in many a film. Coping is the thrust of the initial timeline of the film.

Nils is not framed with any particular interests, we see him in the gloomy winter, he probably has a few fun moments!  Like fishing, walking climbing or painting, we just don’t know.  His wife is almost forgotten in this but clearly she is just as distraught as he and she fails to recognise the massive change in Nils while accepting his odd behaviour.  It could have done with a bit if more development but this is not a TV series and this is the Genre it most relates too in our precepts about Scandanavian thrillers and odd ball crime. They got it from our Telly! So did The Sopranos! The best RV used to happen in The British Isles.


The Foreign Bastards

Certain things begin to happen and not in the expected order while this film blasts on violently and at a ferocious pace.  It is absorbing and shocking in a bizarre way and would have been  good box office in the USA as well as other dominions as there is an appetite maybe due to the absence of real investigative journalism – the wars are the focus quite rightly of the more penetrative journalists and we hear of their tragic experiences daily.  It is a point though as we depend sometimes on fiction for the exposed truth.

Our appreciation of drug wars are meagre and at a distance but under world crime is right beside us in the everyday with the daily reports of heinous crimes becoming hard to conceal and a raft of consciousness has reached the surface concerning us all.

Into the fray comes a great performance, Stellans is superb I forgot to acclaim, with Bruno Ganz as the Serbian Godfather Mobster known as Papa.  The observation regarding the homey names is raised. BThe crew he has working for him are performed according to racist tropes and his craziness is a gem of macabre filmic criminality and psychopathy. Lots of deaths shooting and jeopardy in case you hadn’t gathered from the above. All delivered in truly good cinematic form.

Conclusion. ####4

This is a highly developed; far from the precepts of Nordic Cinema, replete with an excellent cast.  It has lots of small asides and comedic reflections on the state of things. They are basically out of hand and no-one has a clue how destructive they are in the local context which this film shapes up to.  It is beautifully photographed and snow ploughs always make a god throw directing our eyes wider and we have them opened in a strange if slightly, well far out tale of human calamitous failure to control our basic flaws.  Go see but take it with a large glass full of Nordic snaps.

Tak. Tak. Tak.


On at QFT From this Friday 12 September to 18 September 2014


Art : Water the Obverse Land


Land the Obverse Water
Nights draw in as we pass through giant sky’s.
There are immense spaces and water stretches that fall on an eight mile horizon. Sand dunes picked up by winds knitted and made solid forms by maram grass and man made groynes. They nestle people and birds. Swimmers walking long stretches of sand to reach the sea. Our rugged coastline on West and Northern shores cut into bays of rocks with strands of open space for large waves to descend and run along sand.

Human scale is refigured in the water and on land of uninterrupted horizontal view. Some of the local independent galleries have between them happened upon art which configures the interaction had in outlying experienced land and water.

Golden Thread Gallery shows a collection of Gary Shaws Semaphore flags redressed and displayed after an earlier appearance during last years Belfast Culture Night. That night were it, Culture, all comes out to play and is tucked up to hibernate in the wider publics imagination until the next years event. Events are often overlooked and undernourished in Belfast. Only around thirty turned up at The Strand in east belfast to see one of Ireland’s finest contemporary traditionally nurtured musicians Donal Lunny. How come?



The legacy of Egon Schiele in Cesky Krumlov and at the top a filched image but I’m sure they will understand!

Little Kingdoms – Part One : Cesky Krumlov : Catalyst Arts
We come to the fringes of East European Cities as a marker of the their neighbouring conurbations cut off from them as identities of a different kind. This is the area of narrative for imagination to take over and diversify through remnants of art. There are three parts to this little Kingdom Series carrying works by members of Catalyst themselves, none of whom it would possibly be, that ever visited the location of the header. Translates? Pesky Crumbs Lovebed.
So each is attempting to plot a course of relation using the tiniest of fragments of the behaviours, objects, topography, built environment, legacy, flora, fauna, you would expect to see or have referenced and advanced some human observations

Models by Elaine Leader is the Imagined collection of 1:200? scale architectural style models of built objects and screened spaces. Each having a function, an observation post, a lifeguard type tower, a funnel, a pit, transportable screens, portals, stairs, all recognisable and fabric of many formless towns and these are spread randomly as an act of impermanence and fragility. Being a lovers of the interrelation, codes, complexities and design of built environments particularly their reluctance to be universally appealing or intrinsically local the ‘movements’ of architecture abate and disintegrate once they embark – and China’s obsession with derivative movements as extrapolations of their own wishful future – on journeys beyond the authorial origin. It is a very well conceived work which lends credibility immensely to the ambitions of the project by nailing the other of art in one part.
Could a piece of paper make that imagined.
Two years ago by Michaela Butler Imagines it as black and white A4 sheets of undistinguished graphic images overplayed, inverted and positive, negative shapes. Is is possibly an expression of comparison of a history. That would fit and is purposely vague but shapes are defined and present perhaps then and now.
A fucking good poem is like a bomb by Vicky Smyth Imagines it as a poetical kingdom with a poetic population on the outside concerned with the focus of medieval cities. At least that became my interpretation. The bard of Castleblaney used poetry as bomblets. The little clusters dropped worldwide to cause collateral damage everywhere and anywhere.
In a country once populated by shepherds weaving words while sheep grazed to grow weave and industrialised poets laid against the hulk of ships in a cathedral of echoing riveting workers few words baulked the revolution of blood letting making the fuck word as idiotic as Johnny Rotten using the noun as an interjection unpolished as this non-functional title. It seldom is true and intensively a personal fucktional word delivering no addition to the alluded too truth that good poetry is actual literal truth.

IMG_3440The broad cast of the bap man
Bap Breakdown by Mike Harvey Imagines an artist exploding. His work is inhabiting the space within the Little Kingdom with video of gestural hooded confined person, ironic in the evidence of grievances executed in the back lands, civilian inhabited badlands which know no limitations. Another video gestures pony behaviour. The spoilt kid with two fingered arm and self mocking pratfalls which alludes to giving us nothing to learn if viewing continues. More productive than the counterpoint of negative seen in video is the very good line drawn portrait paintings and on a shelf – another plywood enthrallment? Is irony continuing in this school of artists?!. – is centrally a leaping body which is is an expression of confinement and exuberance as well as apathy in subdued black and white roughly executed. It is effective as are the numerous paintings. Mike Harvey has constructed on the floor against the wall of the exhibit again centrally a rack, three racks to library some of his assorted images. They require looking at but the racks obscure. This is quite act that like a library requires you to have a ticket, but like pictures defy being handled. They are also in real form very beautiful tender portraits of evident personality which offers the prospect of further advances as intimated by glimpses of his work in again muted colour. The colour works could be In themselves a catalogue of human observation of faces as understood by all artists as being the idiom of conversing with the other. I thought this work was the show stand out piece so far and is on many levels effective and has assured presence withstanding the t-shirt marketing outreach.
@jacquelinewylie twitter followers 30.09.14 by Jacqueline Wylie Imagines the out there unknowns. The identities of her twitter followers are listed in what appears to be Gill Sans font replete with the large @ symbol. I suggest unknowns as most people are not entirely aware of their twitter followers or facebook followers by dint of the preoccupancy of simply facilitating connections across wide platforms. Twitter is that dark stalking horse that cultivates avarice and quick soundbites and gingersnap raw words. Writing a tweet can be so tiresome I’m sure it is widely agreed and for writers the words have to be King. There it is then, Jacqueline Wylie has it, on an AO size white 180gsm ish sheet hung with a galvanised bulldog clip free at the bottom a Little Kingdom defined as many in the chosen location may the self same have encountered the syntax plainly in b/w.

IMG_3449A contemplation of where to begin climbing

Rubberneck by Martin Boyle Imagined and challenged many adults.
It is physically a set of very small wall climbing grips to encourage you to climb a small height to ascertain what is on the ubiquitous plywood shelf. This one no larger than a postcard. is there a postcard on it?
On the floor in front lay what looked like a Primark receipt for £9.99 but I take it it was an inadvertent decoy! A very tall man had the ability to peer down on the shelf and passed it suitable for his children to ascend and discern. Having asked what they saw it was evident it was a figure of derivative kind. They knew of Elvis I imagined (I made that up) all 42 years of living and it is clear he was not in this building and with 100% certainty never had been.
Only by accepting the challenge is it ever possible to find out something.
Never rely on other people only yourself can be discerning.

IMG_3537Instagram collection this place and others.
Transfigure by John Robinson Imagined a portal constructed from softwood 2x100x50mm framing of an aperture about 2.4 x 2.0 metres tall.
Sandwiched between the frames as a shapeless plastic opaque curtain was a couple of sheets of billowed plastic membrane. Where does the transfigurement take place? On which side of the portal? It has a few random strokes of blue paint internally. It also is grounded and escapes beyond the frame as an overflow. My interpretation, hardly enlightening was of a Tsunami effect of a flood through a doorway. It was not what John Robinson had in mind. The irregularity and frozen character of the work could have many interpretations.
Cause and Effect by Katrina Sheena Smyth Imagines Memorialising the statis of the person in loci. That statism being the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. It all involves the loci of the Catalyst Arts Store room that emporium of capitalism hidden in the bowels of the building never seen by the free paying public narcissists blind to the I provirus of the Arts Council inflicted Values.
Of course that is probably not what Katrina Sheena Smyth but you never can have any certainty were she is concerned because she is a very concerning young lady in of course the very best sense.


If only I looked as good in a sweat suit. I last wore one at Helston Regatta w/skiing and scared the children with my thin form. The folk of Cornwall fill themselves with Cornish Pasties.

Platform Arts Top Floor

Nothing Great Is Easy by Lisa Stansbie  


Amphibious Amorphic Antthropologies Ambiguously Atrophied

When you have been to Mount Olympus and known the dimensions mankind can traverse in around three hours, apparently 26 miles or thereabouts and put it to practice you ascertain a value scope for the land mass on which we live. It then follows what is the other the sea all about. The tide alone is not it. The surge of the Bristol Channel in height and as a race inland and out again is a mere bauble when there are oceans that out rank the land. Ships, boats, planes have all perished taking with them a body of people so one goes to water off shore with respect and plenty of uncertainty.

The lithe luxuriant artist Lisa Stansbie has been both a marathon runner and latterly an open water swimmer. Fragility is not I suppose a familiar word that endurance athletes worry too much about. They measure potential hazards, predict patterns of nature and plan meticulously for a performance of human endurance in exemplary self challenging mystique. Like a boxer stepping up the purges of self encapsulated talents and energy willed into battle against another force known to have an element of torturous behaviour that may go beyond ones own if not respected and correctly defended against. It is a substitute for a multitude of levels of sports and like taking flight on an animal, galloping a horse over obstacles or in a caravanseri up a hill or along a trail it is elemental.


the crown ofr King or Queen

The top floor of Platform Arts is a space filled by Lisa Stansbie of Objects, Video, Photographs and Print material all referencing the art of Swimming and in particular open water Swimming. I would love to swim properly but the last time was a lido in Newmarket which was dosy dosy on a summers day. Before that in open water i got a shock and nearly taken out to sea near Deauville in Normandy and the shock was enough to remove all water confidence overnight. Next day i could not go in the water.

No such trepidation from this very accomplished endurance athlete who is equally adept at producing all kinds of communicative narratives and art installations to emphasise a point.  Also Lisa Stansbie wishes it seems to celebrate things through art and narrative to such a degree she passes it on by the medium of teaching at Huddersfield University.


AT SWIM ONE BIRD. The composite drawings – symbols of swimming and invention of machines for waterborne propulsion.  Superb set which also appear on the stairs and  in the escape route stairs of the gallery so the artist is frothing with ideas!

AT SWIM TWO BIRDSegon at swim

This room or large Gallery space is neatly laid out with the articles telling a story of the very specialised sport of endurance swimming in open water.  Whether it is a river or an estuary, lake or the open sea it is a sport i imagine can quickly change elementally. One large trade photograph or stock image of wet suited male swimmers with flippers, cap and goggles dominates the mid gallery.  It is surrounded in the rest of the gallery by layouts of water bottles and floats.  There is a neon yellow crown which attracted like moths people to be photographed in a halo pose, the here representing here the king of the water in a water community somewhere far distant and memorialising the person overcoming the strength and control of the water.


Waterborne is a book by Diana Gleadhill, a woman based in County Down who is also very very keen on open swimming.

If I leave the writing about the exhibition which is very well conceived as a set of confrontations with our humanity and the things we bring to engage in challenging natures forces, well this is a glorious starting point and will take you a long distance and be with you for a long time if you appreciate the context setting and the wide cast and generous disposition of the artist.

Waterborne carries a few poems and written material which fits here in context.

Ever drifting down the stream -

Lingering in the golden gleam -

Life, what is it but a dream?

Lewis Carroll    (After Edgar Alan Poe and ‘All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream?)


Full Fathom five thy Father lies;

Of his bones are coral made,;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that doth fade

But suffer a suffer a sea-change,

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell;


Hark!  now I hear them — ding-dong,  bell.

William Shakespeare.

this one I like best

Boats sail on the seas;

But clouds that sail across the skyAre prettier far than these.

Christina  Rosetti



John Graham

9 September 2014



Bounce: Expression on Life


Disability is only the Introduction
In seeking to describe the phenomenon that is the Arts and Disability Forum Belfast week long events I thought of the glass ceiling. Instead the forum has the capacity to have everyone engage with disability issues and reflect on very ones disability of one kind an another. So I came up with the concept of us walking uncomfortably on our own eggshells. No-one is immune from a disability and health issues encroach into everyone’s daily existence. Disability rights have meant there has been an annexing of disability into categories and a spectrum of mis-functions. There arises a collective of the separation on each form of disability which is summoned to lobby and integrate with the medical and emotional practices that need to be confronted.
Experience Expressed
Expression in this pieces title is Experience mostly recited through the vast array of arts medium seen, heard, signaled, felt, spoken, tasted is of all the sensations acting on us.
It gives each a sense of understanding, appreciation, acuteness, a things worth, security, isolation from the world and nature which is our space.

Bounce happen to collect a body of people whose disabilities have given them insights and factors to contend with others have only partial awareness of. By expressing their life and using it as an abundant well of emotional penetrating intelligence the life we live in is greatly enhanced and appreciation while understanding is only part of the interplay all enjoy the fact complexities of being are infinite.

I for one cannot imagine the millisecond upon millisecond of a severely disabled persons life, building those evaporating moments together into billions and trillion billions of time it is hard to imagine but it is traveling along every bit as linear as anyone’s. The split seconds alter when bodies behaviours are interrupted, disconnected from the signals of a mind whose life has been managing another story than the one we are used too. Inexplicably so, uncontrollably signals are pushed along damage of the creation of God to persist in exacting all that is good.


If these spasms could speak by Robert Softley A Creative Scotland with The Arches production. Producer Bruce Strachan Director Sam Rowe.
In performance the capsule that Robert Softley has put together as an active one hour play is astonishing in its connectivity and guidance. Where ignorance and unknowing are challenged; the audience in the first instance want to be informed and share collectively and internally the feelings washing through the space Robert occupies and envelops. He packages up from other disabled persons individual stories drawing them into his own story.
Characteristic of a pragmatic Scotsman he self deprecatingly takes the piss out of his different set of issues in contrast to most of the audience by starting out with the fact his speech is imparted and on a backdrop screen methodically and incrementally his words are scattered as text up on the screen. We notice later on that this is replaced as we learn quickly Roberts mode of speech irregular as it may seem.
Cerebal palsy is not a word or disability it is easy to get your tongue around he points out and he builds a picture of food and drink parameters that he needs to fuel his very very active body spasms which are un programmable and as a consequence proteins are burnt to deal with the amount of convulsions no matter how small or insignificant they are at different times.

Robert asks the audience to consider his body this way and to note how muscle toned it makes him as he surveys the arrival of some additional fat or paunch like middle age spread. Explaining his sexual desires and his hitting it of with partners of the same and different sex, the dialogue satiates our desire to know how his sex life differs. His life he says is of being continually horn but with some random nods and sex organ dis behaviours to cope with which only enlighten and displace the daily routine and the puts in place a rationality that this is like all urges of the kind pleasure filled and satiating. He gulps with delight and spits out, not literally you fool! his diatribe on the ups and downs and sideways and back enjoyments and pains of sexual pairing. Everyone is filling the room with laughter and feeding back to Robert our own heartfelt anxieties and our stumbling onto unexpected locations of pleasure with sparks and flames burning and going out when something pisses on the love from our immutable senses.
A love found by looking is his message.
Everyone shares this connection and the boundaries and eggshells are forgotten as we throw our vocalized laughter and cheers as a prove life of encounter with Robert. Our feelings and consequently our appreciation has been taken to another level in this seemingly minor act of theatre. It is immense and will long remain with everyone in the room.
Medical Know How
Expressed and implicit in Robert Softleys story is to educate us all and to share with individuals coping with variations of mis-function how important for them to have a voice and use it. A proposal by Doctors to have him fitted with calipers to stretch his legs as a teenager told of the reaction this had from Robert. Strongly he refused this treatment allying it to pain and pointlessness completely misunderstood by health care professionals.
You could feel the grief in the room of folk considering what those who have not been able to assess and voice their views must have suffered not simply endured. Such was the graphic means and theatrical sharpness this and other basic acts of mindless physicians trying to make corrections – and Robert compared their approach to fixing cars – were driven like nails fixing us under the impressed gravity of the facts conveyed succinctly and admirably by Robert. It was more than observational humour or light touch statement making. It was multi-coloured content, beneath the flesh irascible contagious warmth for humans and our multitude of cords and nerves were ironically fixed and furiously delivering in rapid superenergised rapid sequence to our minds, the Cerebal cortex it elevated the continuum of the evolving panoply of emotions building and building in fre spaces of our minds new information linked God knows how between us amongst us and in us.

In line with the collective who run TenX9 once a month in Belfast, check website of the same name, they joined ADF to put together a TenX5 co rising five people from the disability community and create an audience for them to tell a story elation g to their lives and let us know moe about them.
As with the ethos of TenX9 what is said in the room stays in the room as some stories are very personal and those bold enough to get up can rely on their being privacy for the story which is used to educate the audience and fill the person involved with a level of confidence and in an intimate surrounding. Like a large dinner party without the after gossip and back over the shoulder asides and I think I’ll leave it at that.
The individuals needless to say were very very thought provoking and had highly personal tales to get across with an audience in the Lyric Naughton Studio supportive and receptive of every word. I will remember the people long after and met some again at other events.

Let me Stay by Julie McNamara
Julie is a one-woman whirlwind who has a story to tel of her mother Shirley, Queen of the Mersey’s journey into Alzheimer’s disease.
The Naughton Studio again came into effective use, this time with the bleachers pulled out, providing a conventional stage, raked seating setting.
Now Julie began immediately throwing herself into her mothers part, indeed shoes came up as frequent personality quotients from slippers to high heels to shiny gold specked show stoppers. Shirley came from Co. Down and found herself in Liverpool and a husband who was a dandy spotted the very attractive youthful Shirley and that was that. Her singing and theatrical drive found her in clubs and on the Liverpool social circuit. Shirley’s songs were played and a texts screen captured every word on the circular set.
The set had a semi circle of layered boxes which served as a projection screen and Julie waltzed us through the life and times of this still perky woman who is now a woman of closed inner sacrum recognising another set of parameters so different from the past. Memory has locked things away never to be brought out again but music is a constant pleasure for Shirley as she recalls all the best songs from the glory days.

This is a tender loving biography for Shirley which is adored by wide audiences as it fits into so many people’s own struggles with Alzheimer’s in their family. None the same and everyone as complex a set of issues to deal with.

Julie McNamara has sat down with the idea and talked over the stories Shirley would want to have in the Play we now see. From Song choices to the very beautiful montages and visuals we are hearing it from Shirley through Julie. The boxes break up the images sufficiently enough not to make it intrusive and the dignity despite the newest tendency of Shirley to speak her mind using the F word as a gobstopper, and why wouldn’t she be entitled to pour out a few expletives if they polished out a few home truths about the world seen through her eyes.

It is a very effective piece of theatre and drama of social disability and coping. I certainly hope it reaches a wider audience and we have a lot to thank Julie McNamara for shining the light on the subject.

Borderline Project by Shiro Masuyama
This was an installation within a two bed caravan parked alongside the Lyric which Shiro adds to and has been adding to since about this time last year. It comprises a caravan of two distinct nationalities expressed in each side, by half, through everyday domestic bric a brac and memorabilia. It is kitchen without the kindness and as an artist obviously very insightfully observant about how Britishness and Irishness are expressed through the design of food wrappers, Tayto v Cadburys, from Tea Canisters, Lyons v Barry’s there is a proliferation of shock candid evaluation going on which is end idly taking all of us to task in the accumulations of our lives.
It is dizzingly daft and at the same time profoundly good subjective art.

If you want to know more another daft project had Shiro Sheep shearing and the photos of the result and his reversal of fortune for the piebald sheep is another piece of originality he lays claim to.


One of us must Die by Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell
Enabled by The Disability Arts Touring Network and DaDa Fest.
I didn’t get to see this couples play unfortunately but I add a note or two.
Kiruna who has dwarfism met the sardonic abnormally funny comedian Gareth and they connected. Married and living in London, Gareths British,
Kirunas Australian, and no they don’t live on the Earls Court Road or anywhere close, they create stories which relate to our latent body fascism with a special place for a gun.
Whether its deliberate for a Belfast audience I can assure you that’s not the case but they have it in for ignorance and there is no better shout out needed.

ADF don’t stop there, the year has many outreach and on site events from the headquarters in 109-113 Royal Avenue which once was Hercules Street.

A very pleasurable feast of from people who’s life’s are without question very different and more challenging than the majority. It was an honor to be given the opportunity to be a part of the collective good atmosphere and vibe of incomparable people and every success is wished for continued Expression on life by these folk and all who are similarly energised to reach out.

John Graham

3 September 2014


Obvious Child : A Film Review


Director Gillian Robespierre, USA, 1hr 25mins, Cert 15

Cast: Jenny Slate as Donna, Jake Lacy as Max the one night stand, Gaby Hoffman as Nellie the roommate and BF, David Cross as Sam another comic friend, Gabe Liedman as a comic and gay friend, Richard Kind as Jacob Stern Donnas father, Polly Draper as Donnas Mum, Paul Briganti as Ryan, Cindy Cheung as Dr Bernard the Planned parenthood clinician, and where would you be without a bookstore in Brooklyn, Stephen Singer as Gene.

Intensely Absorbing
Viewing this film went in a flash. It is such an absorbing portrayal of a subject which has every community and ever woman and man who have personally been confronted with an aborted pregnancy and those that haven’t drawn closely into the central issue. It consumes ever emotion delivered by the quality of Gillian Robespierres penned story. It happens when she also has found an unguarded uncompromising new romance that is unsettled from the outset.
It illuminates and conspicuously puts the issue of abortion front and central in this compelling film.

Never simple never more real.

If anyone thought every woman who became pregnant from whatever circumstances believed she did not carry a possible life and that the egg carried is fertilised is plainly not in possession of reason.
Reason has it that the body of the woman can carry or physically abort that fertilised egg. It stands to reason that choice exists. It is a choice only one person can make and one no one should make for her.

Maybe it has been without question; never a concern or a possibility.
Which judgement is the previous line about?

It seems the power of control and oppressive treatment of the woman is behind the anti-abortion mind. The time in which that decision is made is often when loud voices and lobby groups lay siege on other people’s bodies.  They are less inclined to go to war one suspects as it too can define a bodies value.  Nevertheless perversely they trust their judged ownership over others lives.
How does that feel? Not knowing on which side even the question above falls.
Of the woman finding out what is required for her. Of what the fertilised egg which she has is as a consequence to her future. Only the woman is privy.
It is possible to abort in a very short time and it is clear the proximity of health care providers to the newly pregnant will make the decision more enabled in the event it is wanted. Being impregnated and fertilised is a sexual eventuality which happens in a millisecond. The sperm swings into action and like a thought arriving jointly in consent of intercourse the possibility it takes on a life of its own as a sacrificial match igniting a fire, is transformative. Wanted suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, without the drawbacks.
No other thing is determined. Sex makes children but children are not always the aim or the intention and we are privileged as humans to enjoy sex without the premeditative state of child making being the purpose of sexual intercourse. Intercourse is provocative, unprocreative, erotic, a sensual course of actions motivated in all manner of couplings and is a means of creating connections of our senses with another’s.



The Donna Dilemma

The place Donna performs is a fairly regular Brooklyn Bar. It has a pre-graffitied unisex toilet with the comedy in the curtained off back room enroute to the loo. This is where, if your senses are numb enough after or before a few beers you can expect humour droll and troll shaped with comedy so dry you think you have been stalked.
Is there a sub-genre in comedy foe female comedians to tkalk about men and women’s pants, the inside ones used for filtering fart jokes and cheesy wot’sits masquarading as hooky discharge. Next up variations on bake-off for snooker players who despise FGM and outrageous homophobic jokes.
Yes there’s not a lot of it about but Donna aka Jenny Slate has a better comedic breath than this film and Edinburgh Fest Daggers portray.

Pro Choice Brooklyn

One good choice Donna has made is the living in Brooklyn which hopefully is as friendly as the vibe of direction, that even on a cold day the parks have a slick black safe path to walk along and with the legend that is – not the idiosyncratic Bookstore she works at from which she is is to lose her day job through a rental hike or lease termination of this engaged bookstore building – the Brooklyn Book Fair which draws thousands each year.  There is a playful semi disregard of the future for this twenty year old and it all gets very conspirator when er boyfriend of late at the comedy club confesses to having paired off with a confidant of Donna’s making one bad judgement turn into two.  This summons the wine fuzzing scene.  The scenes are approached in a very old fashioned way as are the face and wide shots and convention seems an intrinsic device to put a context to the morality tale which unfolds.

Max played by Jake Lacy is the straight guy who walks into the bar one night and strokes up a fairly routine conversation and after awhile she bonds enough to do an outdoor bodily function before they move onto smarter bodily functions and it wasn’t farting earlier, that is dancing.  It goes up a gear and there’s your story.

Mr Max as an easy going pleasant, no sides personality which is not sufficiently complex for Donna we figure.  It so happens he can’t do too many wrong things without apologizing and making amends somehow.  How would her life cope with that we are asked to consider as each step unfolds.  We also are neatly put in the position of having no gripe with Max making us unable to off load a guilt trip abortion exit on him.  No it is straight down to Donna and Jenny Slate puts us through the ringer as well as constructing a possibility of last minute withdrawal, at least I had it thus and I must also admit I did not cover the predicament mentally by laughing about it.  There was not the comedy Fest a lot of reviews have alluded to but a thoughtful appreciative audience engaging with this monumental decision being taken inside this vulnerable twenty something’s head.

Intensely moving Drama

The timeline is believable with over two weeks of intense self reflection and questioning this point in her life where career isn’t a word she needs lock too, it will be sometime before she gets one and the part time comedy just got way too close and vulnerability shakes her core.

Paper Mountains

On Friday last a 2014 award winning newspaper carried on its National page 10 a film review (shoving as it sometimes does with Venice, into a different arena, that of Political incisiveness?) which had 5 stars, for the film The Look of Silence. This film OC featured in its Friday review section received 3 stars in text failing to carry paragraphs. A feature writer had a week or so previously written incisively on Obvious Child with some emphasis on how in the past, ’80s etc the issue central to this film was part of a sub-text, never prominent and the time we are in is newly ‘Hollywood Conservatism’. It also is taken as a very funny independant film which thankfully drops the ridiculous message of romantic comedy.

The writer obviously, in line with her forthcoming book on Hollywood Conservatism, touched on an aspect of the film which indeed shows the full focus of this lead Jenny Slate playing in an film narrated environment which is an unhindered pro-choice, un-hectoring society except for the straining Health care Clinician who; and a neat inter-racial, the only one evident, puts across the truth she, Donna, has to consider the options available. Donna has brought the decision to the clinician already made on the basis of her options and loudly asserts “I want an abortion” without volume but with fully fetched directness.

That actually is the message of the film. The woman choosing what happens within her body. As only for a quick rejection replacing fuck bitten condoms and double vision eyes whacked on JD as opposed to the earlier crying session of wine drunk from a jam jar after her break up the condition would not exist. Not all on the same day you understand.

Conclusion #### 4

This is a far reaching film which will find audiences of many nations and of different cultural, economic circumstance meet the film at the heart of the issue of aborting an embryo at an early stage of pregnancy.  It is not complicated by many variables hence a late abortion, a mis-function based abortion, or a mental breakdown, level of immaturity or other pressing reasons.  It is a film constructed around a simple message. That alone it is the woman whose body carries the egg who must decide.

It does carry its load lightly knowingly with the device of laughter but it is a film which carries with it social realism and provides and carries wisdom.

To be found at nationwide cinemas and at

QFT Belfast from Friday 5 September to Thursday 11 September 2014

Well worth seeing.


John Graham

3 September 2014


All this Mayhem : A Film Review

imageBrothers Beyond
This is the story of skateboarding brothers Tas and Ben Pappas who reached the pinnacle of their sport in the nineties.
There never hold back testing themselves and their own endurance.
From an early age the sons of a Greek father – Australian mother, parents who frequently rowed and hit each other, frying pans et al passed on the franchise of violent behaviour. Dad Pappas also taught martial art classes and took them, learning Aikido amongst others where the pressure points can be used to snuff out a life. They became experts in the more block violence aspects strands of Martial Arts by putting opponents six levels above them on the floor so often they were banned.
Getting Wood
So they turned to an oblong of wood with twin castors either end and found it also was so much fun they scorched every opponent and skateboarder they encountered in the suburbs of their home city Melbourne through sheer natural ability and darker who gives a ….. attitude.
Off their Heads
The place was full of energy and escapism through unconventional sports and border like punk meets rock star hedonism. Not much is detailed about the treatment of the women around their early days and from what we see it was almost a practically male bondage motive that led to the dangerous behavior especially around readily available drugs, first cannabis then Cocaine in what seemed like very pure form unadulterated by headache tablets or other digestion powders etc.
Teenage Nirvana
Two years separate Tas and Ben. Ben is two years younger born 02/09/75.
The rise and record of their supremacy was all put down on the camcorder VHS tapes, mini tapes of the day. The footage was the prime source of their sporting bravado and the ultimate proof of the moves practiced day after day and the collective self worship of this fringe freelancer sport.
Seeing themselves in these visual acrobatics off of the half pipe came up extraordinarily Frank and honest when seen on tape.
That was the pure side of the tape. On the other side of the tape was the hard knocks and intensity of competition but with it at least in the domestic Australian scene everyone looked out for each other’s backs and the more ounces of illegitimate and let’s face it body destroying herbs and narcotics inflicted and deepened addictions and connections between the highs of the skateboarding and the after glow effects of partying with stacks of drugs blurred their ability to distinguish which was responsible for which high.
I will repeat that one another way – doing drugs and sports adrenaline where each delivering especially inconceivable unrealities.
Half Stoked
It was a low and a basement they would find it very hard to climb out of.
From the bottom of the half pipe if off your board and off your mind you have to climb those steps again to reach the adrenaline peaks craved.
The push was the adulation and validation they got.
Videos wold show their intense liberating skill set and it was and seemed real and a pure buzz. Wicked, Stoked, all mannerisms and actions had what we now call tags. One which cropped up a lot was ‘Barnes it’ a totem for not giving a …. when push came to shove when confronted with a challenge and going for it regardless.
America Calls
Lots of money could be made from the marketing and sales of merchandise so it was one brother followed by the other who decided to rock up in America with little other than a dream.
The Pappas brothers went on acid trips and lived in a skateboard park in a room that would trip out a celibate monk or temperance loving priest.
Either way they became junkies of the highest order. High being the witless word they described as. The aim was to topple the top skateboarder in the world, Tony Hawk represented in the cauldron of the US and skate city San Diego. Hawk was the apogee of the sport and dominated to such an extent he wisely bought into ESPNs franchise of the rights and it all became a very serious set of propositions and the circuit of skateboard lifted off with its high octane freedom of expression and obvious skill set easily followed and stupendously in keeping with the superficiality of the era.
A nightmare of addictions, business fault lines and personal challenged all kicked off.
As Tas says near mid point in the documentary ‘That’s the day it all kicked off’. The pipe was bored out to churn them up and deliver things neither could imagine. Also very early on Tas says regarding looking back, ‘Theres my side, there’s your side and there’s the truth.’ Simple as.
For a man looking back on things his brain is capable of remarkable things given what he’s been through.
You watch this documentary and you will see what he and Ben went through
There are times when it just seems so stupid and ultimately screaming don’t do it momements. Their gauges are way off the meter with the cocktail of indulgences they gather in however and this cocktail overflows with disastrous results.

Australia and St Albans
When they cover each other’s backs each has a personal life rarely spoken of until it enters into and screws up alongside the choices made in business as well as drugs which is always, always their biggest liability.
The return to Australia happens frequently with the return becoming more bringing back their home St Albans up front again. The memories are their but this too has change since they’ve been away and they return individually with one making a bad call which ensnares him.

Eighties still the Seventies
The early days were a kind of backdraft of the seventies kitsch and pomp with a poorly expressed hard rock/punk invention that was feed on a diet of Australian self preposterous framed identities. It was the embodiment of Who we are – This is the ……. who we are! The country basing itself on its sports as an identity to wear. Into the bargain a Marsupial gets to be used as a play thing. It looks like a Wombat which is bigger than a badger does not eat meat apparently but don’t tell the boys that. It is by a small margin and the vegan tendencies of the Wombat that their knackers don’t get caught between its front teeth. It still need s to chew and it chews on something less fragile.

Conclusion ###3
Who knows what cans of videotape, reels of mini video camcorder recent history of people’s lives are stashed away. Rock music? WaterSports? Climbing? Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll lives? Or endless footage of building Garden sheds or landscaping the field out the back? Some have emerged to small acclaim but this will interest youth and those of the era alike.
It is a harrowing story which needed to be told and was there for the telling.
Ably edited and drawing on practically all resources available to illustrate it we see a never before shown unadulterated record of the lives of these two brothers spanning from their elastic youth up to their mid twenties and just beyond.


Australian Crawl

James Reyne
I remember an Australian band; I for one who found INXS too Australian and derivative. I heard them once while at a party a mile away while they performed at Wembley and it sounded like a concert definitely only for folk who liked their pop rock simple. The Australian band I remember, and who were better in my mind, was fronted by a singer called James Reyne, an Irish surname, who you would cheerfully throttle as he had the looks you knew would draw a crowd of very attractive and no doubt smart Sheila’s. It only became tolerable as he had a tendency to wear a mullet at one point.
The songs good songs I remember were songs that could be written for skateboarders at a stretch.
There is an anthem about 5 minutes long called Reckless which I won’t forget easily and another celebratory song called The Boys light Up. Very typically Australian and of the time, the eighties and the band summed up their Homeland better than INXS with James Reyne more typically, if that is not to pejorative a word, a truer son of Australian than most. Some of the output was pretty ordinary though. It may have been James Reyne got caught up in the hedonism of his fame, I don’t know the story.

Two Days, One Night : A Film Review

imageDeux Jours, Une Nuit. Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne -Belgium/Italy/France, 2014. 1hr 35mins. Drama. Cert. 15.
Cast. Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne. Simon Caudry, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin, Olivier Gourmet.

French Blue Collar Cotillard
Here is the European Community giving everyone a nervous breakdown to meet the targets set by the technocrats and consumer narratives made plain by the ethics and (im)morality of the likes of Germany and GDP GB.

In order to bail out bond holders each of the contributing countries listed above, workers have faced austerity and a collapse in living standards which is so diverse and indiscriminate it makes vultures, hedgehogs, moles, wolves and peacocks plus out of the populus churning out the next thing needed.
Societies Malaise
This is apparently shot mostly in Belguim. Marion Cotillard as Sandra is in practically every scene. She is the everywoman whose shoes you have to walk a mile in and take the walk she does, catches buses, and goes all round this everytown – it is a mix of urban suburban environments with life and the everyday happening all around her. This invisible secret we encounter everyday. How is that person or this person coping and caring in their lives that you pass and know only by sight? What sorrows and what happiness is carried unbeknown to you? That is a powerful strategy of the film. For no outside contact to take place and the the story to walk through the seemingly ordinary but extraordinary counterpoints is surely part of the orbit of the vision.
She may stop a stranger to ask directions but then is is done in such a mannerly way as to fit those anonymous people right beside Sandra in terms of their own narratives and ongoing concerns and focus. A shared existence.

She has to reverse the ballot which went against her return over one weekend so setting in train a gamut of different levels of dignity.
She as we learn has been thwarted from going back to her old job in a vote that precedes were we arrive.
She must also retain her own recovery from depression which saw her absence over a stretched period from work.
This is a strong social narrative entirely believable and very well constructed and delivered through realistic dialogue (subtitled) and a superbly executed performance of vulnerability and stream of emotions by Marion Cotillard.
It is wrong to rave above acting when the point of the film is to expose the social matrix which is at play in contemporary France/Belguim.
Nevertheless she gives a bravado engrossing performance making a viewer immerse in her complex dilemma. If she returns how would she be treated having made those she works alongside forego their ‘bonus’ sweetener? One of many thoughts to arise.
Vision and Bite
The Dardenne brothers open the film as Sandra rests. She has taken an afternoon nap and it appears she relies on anti-depressants which slow her down and cut out the rawness of the life in front of her.
The hand held camera in the house she lives in with her husband Manu, Fabrizio Rongione, and preteen daughter and son reveals a nice home with an economic dilemma and desire not to succumb to the prospect of not returning to her job.
Manu also reveals in his support and driving her to some of the addresses the support Sandra has needed and he has given unquestioningly.
In the workplace labour relations and unionised personnel were jobs are clearly defined sits the small business at the heart of the story – Solwal – solar panel production, which like manufacturing throughout Europe is dependant on the structures in place throughout the union now weakened and which also protect the CAP of the farming communities which amounts to the bulk of EU expenditure to put cheap food on each’s plate.
Conditions of Labour
Sandra has overcome her latent depression and ventured to return to work only to find the work environment changed. That change is the factory can now operate as 15 not 16 meaning she is no longer able to be accommodated unless the additional ‘bonus’ to those covering for her absence and making those remaining, work with ‘recalibrated’ attitude and with fear of falling into a place like Sandra agree to forfeit the bonus.

Workplace representation in these countries still hold sway but is extremely localised, there is an arrogant foreman who tends to take the figures of production as a small token of the workers capability so pushes their work into strictly controlled roles with little latitude.
This is workplace stress of a kind the brothers Dardenne wish to point the arrow at and unleash the drama of the effect on people’s lives the routine work coupled to austerity in the scheme of things affects almost everything they do. So perverse, it is treating the product ‘Solar Panels’ as a life force which must not fail at the cost of diminishing lives meaning.
Faith in People
Sandra has a hunch circumstances conspired against her and she is encouraged by a colleague who agrees a fresh ballot is possible, so they seek out the factory manager Mr Dumont, Baptiste Sornin, to ask for a new vote. He takes the concerns of earlier possible influence outside accepted practices used by the foreman as plausible and he agrees.

The priori am of the film is the real form of humankind when placed in a position to, and it occasionally is made reference to, to love thy neighbour so in their hour of need can you deny any help you can give the,?
The boundaries are different for each individual on which we given clear evidence as this is the engagement of the film.
Obduracy and Insight
We also are given an insight to our obduracy and fickleness in degrees. What happens though is that through it all Sandra finds for us deeper meaning. She carries on whatever the outcome forgiving and loving without question every single one of her fellow workers. The intensity of the overwhelming love she, everywoman, has for ordinary people and their lives is striking and godlike. She hears them and takes away their sin. It is the cost her own resurrection and vital for her well being that she is willing to pay the price for giving that love.

Sandra chooses with total loving support of Manu, to put the supposition to her former workmates of either relinquishing their bonus to let her be able to return to her job or for them to hold onto it thereby voting against her return. Manu has held things together for her and the children and Sandra has that to adjust too as well as the reversal confronted.

How would you feel if something which has arrived in your hand, through it would appear, your good work, not through the disposal of a former employee and it is a mere reward not incentive? It incentivised each to feel valued and to not be liable for redundancy presumably so being much more productive.

This is a strong depiction of human dignity under pressure. It is replete with tales of conflict at each employee reached and constantly challenges your line of thinking will creating a precipice looming and the prospect of failure always coloring the encounters. Drama comes in spades with the purpose of living questioned in a modern fable. We are beyond conditioning ourselves or is that a lie we construct to protect ourselves from the ever near strike of fate.

The film comes with advanced modern invective of our present 21st century sense of European purpose. It reinvents the social model and is a mirror back on society and the limits of ethics, morality and origins of expectations.

Conclusion ####4+
A living harrowing question about our modern lives is luminous in the screen we look up to and we engage through the ever present spiraling roller coaster of emotions brilliantly expressed and it is the single most important element in delivering its complex twists, by the imaginative way Marion Cotillard takes on board this role.
The complete cast are in tow with this in a story of a team collective.
There are lessons to be learnt through this purposeful film and it will offer different outcomes in keeping with the expressed individuality which shines vividly. The Dardeene brothers have actually made our understanding by the gifted handling of a subject which in other hands could have bombed without producing context and meaning.
Do not let the brightness lure you into thinking a shining brilliant tale is to be laid before you. For all the light darkness provides a contrast.