Carol : A Film Review

Director, Todd Haynes, Cast, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, Cory Michael Smith, Carrie Brownstein, Kevin Crowley, Nik Paget.
UK/USA/France. Duration 1hr 58mins. Cert. 15.
The Price of Salt
Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel “The Price of Salt,” is a love story set in an impassioned fire of attraction, longing, desire, openness and discovery. Therese the younger attraction to Carol our central character, is played by the dreaming, longing attentive Rooney Mara who is a shopgirl seen in a Christmas of that age. Shopper Carol Aird played by the top to toe extravagantly dressed, furred, Cate Blanchett is no less a striking image. They share a moment in their roles in the bustling Department store parting with no more than a shared connection of each’s attractiveness to the other.
Therese Belivet is looking through Carol and seeing a mirror image of a confidence she admires, possibly aspires to and reflecting her dreaming youth and beguiling imagination of what is to come. Therese is almost lynx like and mercurial with natural beauty and open eyes. If Carol has a mask it is her assuredness which carries her through despite her inner demons and uncertainties.
The art of attraction is a frisson of design found in a world view and here reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. Seen as we have the recent ad with Hepburn restored in a dark chocolate chauffeur driven role, it is a hard act to follow. We are brought into a confident arena of New York space in which Therese is a foal and Carol a fully developed throughbred ace and pilot of her generous friendships including Abby (Sarah Paulson) who is besotted though an instrument of Carols muse.
Abby is a muse from an earlier stage of the decade long marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler) Carols omnipresent ex-husband whose remaining love for her is always a danger and sometimes unmanageable presence due to their daughters upbringing bringing with it all the confusions a young child has to cope with when their mother and father live apart.
Abby entered the collection of relationships we learn near the 7 year itch.
She has moved on remaining friends but Harge uses her as sabre to thrust control over Carols life in bring up their child.
Higher or lower
Highsmiths men never are (Ripley excused due to intellect?!) ones who garner sympathy when cast as villain nor hero when cast as saviour.
Her own complex personality not so much causes her not to ‘know’ men but to never be driven to use any insight preferring to view the female role in its complexity. That is the writers, perhaps even virtuous, gift – to so describe and construct a female character as to have every bone and sinew flex and appear real and so powerful. Carol is a brilliantly composed, rounded – in the sense the flaws and rawness are clear, – even the coyness, control in the lovemaking scenes – when she is in command is done with a finesse of restraint and therefore creating more depth and characterisation in place of the written word.
Perfecting the Story
The narrative sweep of the film has two core turning points.
The first is when Harge makes things difficult for Carol to hold onto
Mood and Period Pitch perfect
Therese has a casual boyfriend whose (Highsmith again reigns) besotted and dullard view is thrust into wider confusion for the young girl finding female attractiveness a better option, also another companion also fancying her, a journalist friend, Dannie (John Magaro) on The New York Times, whose more realistic view contains a view of Therese for her skills – she has an ambitious photographers eye and it is cultivated in several ways – beautifully involving the look of the film – and he encourages her wider and higher than her own vision by his access to the newspaper and it’s oeuvre. Talking of which Harge is also a character lifted into a role which takes a lot of playing. His blinkeredness concerning business and success – evident through the lifestyle they both can live in separation, and the controlling freakery he uses as lighting the blue touchpaper Carol is struggling with concerning her array of feelings and values makes for a memorable and persuasive part. It cannot be easy playing the villain though the otherwise I’m sure, charming Chandler might coyly retort ‘it’s tough but it pays well!’
Similarly Dannie is a good part and when it is shown he watches Sunset Boulevard a lot – to see what’s not being said – that point serves the silences we come across.
The masterly Todd Haynes has prepared for us several emotional hammer blows while at the same time created featherlight moments. Music is the oeuvre for two most telling pieces of love visualisation when it’s used in singular tonal orchestral refrain with close up to set it apart and capture the moment. If anyone else spotted that code within it I would appreciate knowing otherwise I’m out on a limb! The direction is superbly slow and measured. Never are scenes broken up by constant reframing but single long shots are frequent. In them the sides are sometimes brought in by corridor, door, booth, to create almost a square, asymmetrically at times which gives the sense of looking in on a part of the story which is intimate and out of our participation. One such scene is late on at a family gathering at home when mannerisms are affecting and behavior is saviour end as story.
Her friends are not in short supply. Out of the book the conservative Highsmith is elevated and our vision encapsulated by the real lovers in thrall is a never overtaken image.
Once viewed once smitten as they entwine as transference of each other’s adoration. Pure and erotic and poetry captured by the cinematographer, as accomplished by the storyteller, Highsmith, the screenwriter, Phyllis Nagy and Todd Haynes weight of delivery.

Conclusion #####5
This film will endure for many reasons, it’s consummate excellent resume and cast, it’s exploration of the sexes and the period stifling orthodoxies of times past. It shapes the New York scenery and the dominance of commerce as a tool to reconfigure America after the War. Optimism outside of McCarthyism is pronounced as the bold confidence of the seemingly open land of opportunity provides insufficient soul and lacks retrospect.
Hides are tough and role play counts a great deal. Honesty is another tool which you use or set aside to preserve the status quo and perpetuity of the age of normal. Cinema of the time was not reflective except for the likes of ‘Whose afraid of ..’ and steamers of the passionate clashing with the errant youth but in the mainstream and novels of this kind were rare taking on marginal live and sexual mores. The delivery of this is therefore fresh and new hitherto unseen in such awesome depth and the playing of all involved is brilliant in conveying the masterful artful direction of Todd Haynes and even the clothes are spectacularly neat conveyances of human structures and fashion. If only someone would add a splash of mud or dirt on car hubs, wheels, and let the windscreens dirt up a bit it would be perfect as a film!

Phyllis Nagy Screenwriter

John Graham

26 November 2015


At QFT Belfast from This Friday until 10 December 2015 so no excuse for not seeing it and maybe a couple of times! will give further guidance

These are the present scheduled dates and times

This Week
Fri 27th Nov – 6:20pm Fri 27th Nov – 8:50pm
Sat 28th Nov – 6:20pm Sat 28th Nov – 8:50pm
Sun 29th Nov – 6:00pm Sun 29th Nov – 8:30pm
Mon 30th Nov – 6:20pm Mon 30th Nov – 8:50pm
Tue 1st Dec – 6:20pm Tue 1st Dec – 8:50pm
Wed 2nd Dec – 6:20pm Wed 2nd Dec – 8:50pm
Thu 3rd Dec – 6:20pm Thu 3rd Dec – 8:50pm
Fri 4th Dec – 8:50pm
Sat 5th Dec – 1:00pm Sat 5th Dec – 3:50pm
Sun 6th Dec – 7:50pm
Mon 7th Dec – 8:50pm
Tue 8th Dec – 8:50pm
Wed 9th Dec – 8:50pm
Thu 10th Dec – 8:50pm

War : What and Why


– noun

ascription of human passions or feelings to a being or beings not human, especially to a deity.
Also, an·thro·pop·a·thism.

—Related forms
an·thro·po·path·ic [an-thruh-puh-path-ik] , adjective


This is a virtually extinct word or absent from our daily conscious.
When associative words appear in newsreels or in cinematic revivals of horrific human cannibalism the word anthropophagi appears as a cast of the group who consume human flesh.

Programmed to fear
Consider the plight of the human brains thoughts when it comes down in a wilderness ‘in the middle of nowhere’. The human mind turns to its programmes of survival.

Consider that escape or discovery is slipping away and hope is narrowing then other extreme thoughts enter the mind. Many times humans have killed or scavenged from the ones who do not survive and who die through natural causes. Groups may even create among themselves the resort to killing other outsiders who stand apart, ethnically, class, or nationally.
They adopt the pretext of group difference to give credence to a new view and purpose which is validated as a group not individual intention or act.

So far we are reaching a point where this analogy is creeping towards a comprehension which implicates acts of War.

The primacy of division and difference has been around so long as we have not found mutual means of survival which have been flung far and wide to the measures of adoption of agrarian or anthropological advantage and access. Every location and human is unique in possibilities. The sum is also different.

The worlds diversity has not so far allowed its range of resource and limitations to be stabilised within the compass of mankind. Nevertheless each day and each generation and precisely because their is before us, time in motion, a forward thrust, regulated by a Universal system of perpetuity, every human experiences newness.


Evolution is driven through and beyond perpetuity by other than natural ‘laws’. Our governance, ourselves create and restrict parameters and choices disintegrate or generate the possible outcomes alongside the natural laws we have no control over.

The narrowness of our minds is our limiting hub. Without collective agreement there shall always be disharmony and this is sent to the extreme act of killing and preventing others from surviving as a race or construct beyond the deity they the war makers have any likelihood of encountering or experiencing. It can happen though they are the only ones to love first themselves and to inspire change from within. Never despair of it not happening because with or without you, at a time near or far it shall happen. Neither an optimist nor a pessimist be.

The presence of a deity is the core relief and prophetic savior of our world.
Send division among people through in acceptance of one deity and creator and the continuity of behaviors will not halt.

This is where the word cannibalism and anthropopathy have an implied resonance as conveyors of truth and understanding.

More material evidence can be discovered by advancing and transposing the immediate concerns more locally and in its many formulations.
The application of this is not secondary but a telling component of the principle thesis.

There is much to think on but reason and asking the question why is key to bringing about change and reversal of the use of war as a means to deliver peace within humanity.

Change needs to start within the individual.


John Graham

24 November 2015


The Wonder of Science : 1600 light years


The image

Discovery of a solar system

 We have a moon and it circles is as we circle the sun so when little images detected by microscopic light changes observe something close (but literally 1600 light years away) our astrophysists get excited.

Here is their excitement

There is a peculiar system 1,600 light-years from our solar system. It is composed of two brown dwarfs, massive objects too big to be planets and too small to fuse hydrogen and become stars. But that is not the strange part: Scientists have now discovered a Venus-sized planet around the smaller brown dwarf. 
A rocky planet orbiting a brown dwarf has never been observed before. This system is therefore thought to be either a scaled-up version of a moon going around a planet or a scaled-down version of a planet going around a star. The ratio between the mass of the host brown dwarf and that of the planet is the same as the ratio between the Sun and Uranus and between Jupiter and Callisto (its second largest moon). The astronomers argue that this suggests the same mechanisms formed Uranus, Callisto and the new planet. 


Planets and moons form from an accretion disk, a rotating ring-like structure surrounding a larger gravitational body made of dust and gas. Over time, these materials coalesce into large objects that we recognize as planets and moons. The latest discovery indicates that the formation of objects from accretion disks are similar for planets, brown dwarfs and stars.
OGLE-2013-BLG-0723B, the name of the object in question, orbits its host in about 400 days and at a distance of 50 million kilometers (31 million miles). It is 30 percent less massive than the Earth and only slightly less massive than Venus. The discovery and its importance were published in a paper in the Astrophysical Journal.  


Find out more on

Comment content!

The thing that finds things

Looking through powerful lenses can be done with computation taking up the visual perceptions beyond the human.  They spot the change of light when the two pass and apparently there are also two dwarfs to observe.

The spooky thing it apparently takes around 400 days to complete a circuit.

The whole formation of planets requires hydrogen to make one.

So out there even more stranger planets will exist.

A stranger being one you don’t know.

John Graham

17 November 2015


Gueros : A Film Review


Mexican Comedy, Subtitled, Cast, Tenoch Huerta, Sebastian Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris.
Duration 109 mins. Cert. 12 but check for details.

Gueros, which was co-produced by Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal, has picked up a number of top prizes at the film festival circuit over the past year, including the Best Cinematography prize at last year’s (14) New York City Tribeca Film Festival.
Director Alonso Ruizpalacios
Music Epigmenio Cruz
Güeros is Mexican slang for a person with light hair.
Is everything clearer in Black and White?
Ridley Scott’s man on Mars, ‘The Martian‘ has pulled in half a billion $ in revenue so far and it comprises he says the four cornerstones for ‘Movie success’ – Emotion, Action, Humour, Drama.
This film is an antidote to that box office film which is entertaining and outstanding in its breathtaking speed our of imaginative escapism, making no matter how good this film is it instead it sets it’s self up as firstly an attempt at portraying visually the reality of life in Mexico, Mexicans, Mexico City. It has aspirations in other words.
Secondly it produces a narrative of stream of consciousness through a little boy, 16 with an observational trait. His choice of T – shirt carries the slogan in English, ‘don’t look back’ and carries a small cheap 35mm camera which he snaps key token turning points in the story.
It begins mischievously with a bucket of water ballons and the dropping of one on a pram introducing the ex-girlfriend of the boys brother and himself as the water bomber.
In 4:3 format the film maker carries on through standard sequences of running as a means of defining neighborhood and propulsion.
Rather than this it becomes a statis and exposition of a type of, stereo type of film camera work and we see the next part where the disillusioned and uncontrollable water bomber is shipped of to the main city by his mother and so begins an odyssey. It dispels backwardness of a type which hinders Mexico while acclaim it’s realism. It uses the aspirations of the Student politics to attach its narrative drive to and to juxtapose the exterior relentless daily competition with the Americanisation epoch of capitalism.
Solely in taking this on it replicates it. As indeed the filmmaker has with the homage to Francois Truffaut among others.
A scene depicts the bourgeoise at a film festival party, (within it, the environs, racism as the title Gueros implies, is extant as it is implied wherever people have fears formulating them with barriers of one kind or another and it manifests in a small standoff at a leisure/ornamental pool) were the poseurs simultaneously forming sweat beads on their foreheads, or by being coked and liquered, for local culture and filmmaking it stands representative of an elitist set (as representing modernity of the City and it’s values maybe) in an outing for recognition amongst themselves. It propels careers while discarding the semblance of the task of constructing a compelling contemporaneous story reflective of history people and truth telling. The elite decide fashionable vehicles from the TV stations – Ana is deflected by this journey – from commandeering the TV stations as an extension of the Guerrilla radio she has commanded interest through her broadcast passions.
If it is of value then so be it but this film still lacks the strength of the idea held within it. The narrowness of character is possibly to blame. Heroes and anti-heros innocence and stereotyping female roles is a negative slant to the film.
Into the Mexico tenements we are taken next where his older brother is staked out high in a municipal slum block, sans electricity, lift, facilities for normal living. Sombra (real name Federico) is his brother and his friend Santos sit around a table as they explore aimlessly their place in this City at the time of the students strike of 1999. So setting the time period.

Surreal elements of nuanced close up with a crushed spider opening Sombras flat door, by magic eh!, notions of French film outré panning in single shot and returning to orthodox and overhead outdoor filming as a discourse takes place with Aurora, an autistic girl in the flat below who they trick into supplying a lead for electricity are the closest we get to any characterisation.
That is a bit harsh, apart from from early indications that Sombras has health problems concerning visions of a marauding tiger, little is developed in each character. An implied metaphor of the conditional state lived in. Pawing at his senses of truth and idealism, linked to the Students despair and antipathy with the system and it’s degrading corruption and lack of control. It therefore prefaces the downward decline of state and control and exploration of its people witnessed presently.

There is an inanimate object harnessed into giving some narrative and it is a backwards sentimental journey used as an allegory of the filmmakers set of concerns.
To move or not to move
A philosophy is hinged upon concerning adventure, moving, travel, exploring, absorbing, challenging you the viewer to consider how much is changed in the person and the alternative of standing still and observing that orthodoxy that has everyone chasing their tails so to speak.

Except it is done through a cassette much loved by their father and once again music as in many peoples lives, instinctively or otherwise, comes to the rescue or at least as a consolatory medium. It has a complete focus and intention and works pleasantly as the vehicle for this story.
The flat is departed when they decide after seeing the cassettes author is in hospital in a dated newspaper go to find him at whatever hospital it seems he is at.
Getting in gear and exploring
So the journey starts. Misfortune, misdirection, meet ups (with Ana the Student activist and ex of Sombras, as they jointly embark on this adventure and homage to eulogise over the forgotten artist hero of their fathers and no the sole messenger of the consciousness and philosophy they imbue.

Like a rock star such as Keith Richards without the dough, Epigmenio Cruz has genes which perpetuate his survival and after a chronic illness has departed the hospital. Despots and desperadoes frequent part

Here comes a very audacious eloquent stirring film with constant engrossing thoughts and provocative notions. It is a stimulating story told in three parts each special and haunting. From the home both the principal character, a young Tomás And his mother have a parting of the ways.
Is it a road movie? There is movement of a kind which is symbolic, through the hospital encounters, the Student political statements and anthropological diatribe offered in this miniature society depiction, the roundabout journey of over old ground seen differently, to the denouement of the journey and it’s objective.
The use of bit part non-actors, and sometimes I thought the principles were playing into this by ad-libbing, is a rustic charming piece of surreality.
While consciously putting forward the film as non reality it assumes another dimension as art work. The pleasantly shot cinematography by Ruizpalacio enhances it extensively and the evocative provocative auditory (I had to cover my ears during one droning sequence) with acoustic traditional Mexicano music was complimentary for the most part.

Music as originated by a real Epigmenio Cruz was strikingly beautiful and helped choreograph the films movements.

Conclusion ###3 #### 4 if your a film buff interested in variety (not the magazine) etc
This is a film short on real narrative and development of character. Within its self imposed narrow constraints it exposes the measure of live as lived in certain places. Unique as Mexico is it has universal authority but was been willfully or savagely brutalized by the events that are the passage of time and new life discovery. No religiosity as might be a refugee creeps in but a fundamental string of ideas though not pearls exact an emotional and willing warm response.
There is poetry in it fine film making excellent acting and the reward or one of them is a well framed soliloquy in the final elements which is exemplary on several levels. The speech is akin to Plato or Cicero as ‘agnostic’ philosophy goes to my mind. It is a semblance of order in disorder.

John Graham

18 November 2015


On at QFT Belfast from this Friday 20 November 2015 until and including Thursday 26 November 2015

Check for other releases and films, events for this Season for mostly intelligent blissful entertainment and to banish the woes of winter and to be sure of times etc.

The Wonder of Science : Sight Restoration

bcpb  Worldwide Assistance Programmes

Science Alert reports the following.

As it is a copy I have made I do so with the offering of the charity for donations to readers who wish to follow it up. ;

On this site you can obtain information on this the British Council for Prevention of Blindness.

This picture shows you how.

A little while back I covered the loss of sight in a film blog.  It concerned a country which us a no go area for the British Council, Indonesia.  It was a salutary tale.
Researchers in the US have developed a new drug that can be delivered directly into the eye via an eye dropper to shrink down and dissolve cataracts – the leading cause of blindness in humans. 
While the effects have yet to be tested on humans, the team from the University of California, San Diego hopes to replicate the findings in clinical trials and offer an alternative to the only treatment that’s currently available to cataract patients – painful and often prohibitively expensive surgery.

Affecting tens of millions of people worldwide, cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become progressively cloudy, and when left untreated, can lead to total blindness. This occurs when the structure of the crystallin proteins that make up the lens in our eyes deteriorates, causing the damaged or disorganised proteins to clump and form a milky blue or brown layer. While cataracts cannot spread from one eye to the other, they can occur independently in both eyes. 

Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes cataracts, but most cases are related to age, with the US National Eye Institute reporting that by the age of 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract, or have had cataract surgery. While unpleasant, the surgical procedure to remove a cataract is very simple and safe, but many communities in developing countries and regional areas do not have access to the money or facilities to perform it, which means blindness is inevitable for the vast majority of patients.
According to the Fred Hollows Foundation, an estimated 32.4 million people around the world today are blind, and 90 percent of them live in developing countries. More than half of these cases were caused by cataracts, which means having an eye drop as an alternative to surgery would make an incredible difference. 
The new drug is based on a naturally-occurring steroid called lanosterol. The idea to test the effectiveness of lanosterol on cataracts came to the researchers when they became aware of two children in China who had inherited a congenital form of cataract, which had never affected their parents. The researchers discovered that these siblings shared a mutation that stopped the production of lanosterol, which their parents lacked. 

Hanae Armitage at Science Mag

So if the parents were producing lanosterol and didn’t get cataracts, but their children weren’t producing lanosterol and did get cataracts, the researchers proposed that the steroid might halt the defective crystallin proteins from clumping together and forming cataracts in the non-congenital form of the disease.
They tested their lanosterol-based eye drops in three types of experiments. They worked with human lens in the lab and saw a decrease in cataract size. They then tested the effects on rabbits, and according to Hanae Armitage at Science Mag, after six days, all but two of their 13 patients had gone from having severe cataracts to mild cataracts or no cataracts at all. Finally, they tested the eye drops on dogs with naturally occurring cataracts. Just like the human lens in the lab and the rabbits, the dogs responded positively to the drug, with severe cataracts shrinking away to nothing, or almost nothing.
The results have been published in Nature.


“This is a really comprehensive and compelling paper – the strongest I’ve seen of its kind in a decade,” molecular biologist Jonathan King from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told Armitage. While not affiliated with this study, King has been involved in cataract research for the past 15 years. “They discovered the phenomena and then followed with all of the experiments that you should do – that’s as biologically relevant as you can get.”

The next step is for the researchers to figure out exactly how the lanosterol-based eye drops are eliciting this response from the cataract proteins, and to progress their research to human trials. 

Another thing, visit the Science Alert site where new outcomes and interesting roads to discovery are continually brought to your attention.

John Graham

11 November 2015


Peace and goodwill to all mankind on this day of Remembrance.

Wild : A Film Review

imageRevisit anew
Here is a review to accompany the Sky Movie Premiere screening (already debuted on the Channel) of a 2014 film which features the dramatic travelogue of a very well constructed role occupied by Reese Witherspoon.
This is a variously, I enjoyed this at the time of its release and was able to let by certain cinematic indulgences mainly to do with pace and momentum as principally the tale is such that it is much to do with internal challenges.
The writing is also exposed to this but I was able as I say to give it a lenient pass in the visible lift Reese Witherspoon gave the whole movie.
So the song is behind you.
On a dark desert highway? Eagles? No!
One thousand one hundred Miles? Bruce (Almighty) Springinhisstep? Yes! Possibly but this is the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs along the Western spine America from the Mexican to the Canadian border.



A young but not faint hearted Cheryl Strayed at the age of 26 set about meeting herself as the song goes by putting down her footprints on the trail in 2006.
It then became a book of recollection, of memoir which made the bookshelves and impressed many who read it.
To see it on the screen directed by The Dallas Buyers Club’s man, Canadian Jean-Marc Vallée and to see the brick hard character of Reese Witherspoon get into the story as the eponymous heroine Cheryl Strayed is a very satisfying start to journey on.

Slightly more mature in years would be accurate to say as to opine Laura Dern as her mother Bobbi, of 46 is more akin to a sisterhood projection in our minds, it’s barely time for the history of TV’s first tidy occult feature Twin Peaks to rest as a classic in the vault, we are entwined with the mother daughter relationship without falter anyway as Laura as Bobbi takes to adult learning at Cheryl’s school this becoming fellow students and de-Facto sisters.

In comes a writer for the Dallas Buyers Club evidenced type Jean-Marc Vallée exhorts the need for and a damn good script to lavish a story worth telling on us, comes forth from Nick Hornby with the wit, the wile, the guile to take us on this footsore journey. One step at a time is remorse sly it. The first false move on the actual trip is not enough to stop it in its tracks but enough to show us the immensity of the intent and drive needed to carry on.
This spine of the Pacific is a well traversed route. It is an honorable route, it is full of reward in exchange for endeavour and onto the big wide screen we are gifted the lush and gorgeous US hidden away from the prisons, malls, airports, drugs, good/bad/both itineracy of randomness Dallas showed and lives became a cropper with.

Set aside the executions and industrial waist expansion ethos besetting contemporary America of now and ration off some slice of the frontiers scope envisioned back then. Back when the nature was little different and the trail was for expediting sure fire distance conquering.

To acclaim Reese Witherspoons playing of this troubled woman as she confronts all that makes up herself is not in the least undeserved. Uncannily, like Matthew Maconaghy did in Dallas among other films, Reese Witherspon gets to become the glorious actor she has longed for the parts to show us she is immensely talented. Just as Matthew got to become that actor so too delivers Reese. A prolonged unsentimental, troubled, conflicted, driven woman is how we see her initially cope with life’s bad knocks.

Flashbacks to the several layers of domestic and personal difficulties Bobbie has encountered is recalled by Cheryl often on this journey.

There is a gulf between the experience Cheryl is paradoxically having, foot trodden and all, and the interior life had by Bobbie. The immensity of landscape is the first counter contrasting value but what is landscape but personal memory and memorial lye this is set down in every wide sky open throw of the lens beautifully capturing this story as it unfolds.

We get to see the Mojave desert, the Eagles territory, Northern California’s ski slopes to the misty forests of Oregon, not Philidelphias ‘walked a thousand miles/ Just to slip this skin’ as one astute viewer found his vital signs touched by. It is grafted on America. Every bite a bite gained. Relentless fruit from the nation of space to live which has commenced lusting after it’s freedoms by defining a few moves that are not.

The film is able to show and tell a story with immense fortuitous gift of memorial making. It provides us with a ticket on the road where the speech is infrequent, where the soundtrack is familiar soundful walking hawking bygone way past longing gone music immaterial until you met up with it again. A tale of special singular aristo with many broad and expansively beautiful and challenging themes which will reward the attentiveness it deserves.

It is likely Reese Witherspoon will gather in some more deserved acclaim on this successful period of work she has been engaged upon of which several more items are set to roll our way again soon.

It is mature film making with a real story at the heart of it and I see the USA trying really hard in Cinema to overcome the riches advanced on the small screen which has hours of detail and restrain to dwell upon the character movie actors have fairly brief spells to put across.

This makes the mark as a film of strength alacrity sensabiltity discovery and beauty inner and outer.

Well worth seeing before you travel on yonder.

John Graham

10 November 2015 revision


He Named me Malala : A Film Review

He Named me Malala Director Davis Guggenheim, Cert. PG. 1hr 27 mins.

This is Malala
The film is a documentary and part animation of the rise fall and rise again of the young Malala. She is interviewed by Davis Guggenheim over a period allowing her to narrate her one story and allow us into her interior home life as we also meet her inspirational family.

Some may see this as a campaigning movie but as Malala enters her 18th year she is considering the options for university along with millions of others and she will strive as an individual and not as a celebrity speaker to take on board all that education means. The right wing deplore her as self occupied and have sterile as expected reposts which are easily dismissed. So what of the film?

Her father is Ziauddin Yousafzai and he along with his wife presumably named Malala after a mythical woman who inspired and drove Afganistan people to fight against English imperialism. Not much alters in truth but this source of inspiration lay deep within her father obviously and his ability as a teacher not alone teaching Malala but at his own independent school, one he set up taught his pupils to question, reason and dispute anything which did not accord with their conscious.

The early life is told by animation in part as is the reenactment, in the style of the recent Persepolis complete general release feature film though there is muted colour and playful dreamlike sequences. The narration continues as Malala quite descriptively and spontaneously weaves a picture of her life.

Her father in an early aside suggests they are two souls in one. It is the union of their souls and harmony on things which is compelling and propelling the strength of their common beliefs and consequently their achievements.
Of the most critical, central almost fatal event which thrust Malala into our world consciousness we are gently taken towards it through the journey leading to the actual event in 2012. It is not only because the bloodshed and detail is shocking and may be too much for the younger audience Malala and Davis Guggenheim wish to reach but as a means of telling how she became a thorn in the side of her assailants the Taliban, the story takes us into the little known or less widely known penetration of the Taliban into the beautiful Swat valley in North East Pakistan and homeland of Malala.
Islam beside us
The truth about Islam is known and has been known for thousands of years and the place alongside other religions and faiths is one of harmony and tolerance for all except the misguidance used by a small virtually non-Islamic for the most part corrupting its core beliefs.
Only through the dismissal and manipulation for power and control have any violent insurrections of perfidious uprisings arisen. The religious faith and continuity of religions is always carried forth by the people who without ministers or partial influence carry internally and forever consciously the intimate knowledge inherent within.
Of course there is a component of teaching which Malala has received but and one of the first to provide testimony of this is quoted here – to cause or influence (someone) to accept an idea or feeling (usually followed by with ): Socrates inculcated his pupils with the love of truth. is the inculcation inbred.
It is harrowing, gripping and life affirming to watch this film reveal a side of humanity which has been suppressed and troubled by constant power based treachery. The news agenda which Malala became apart of is shown well before she became targetted. Her use of media as a fifteen year old under constant threat and continual oppression at school and suppresion of her right to speak her mind alongside women and children universally led her to become a voice to the world – she became the anonymous broadcaster through the internet of her plight as a resident of the Swat valley on the BBC Radio World Service. She would be able to transmit daily dairies as as voice within the occupancy by the Taliban. Her pen name was Gul Maki.

Here are a few of the messages she has since brought out as her driving wishes and thoughts.

‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’
‘There is a moment when you have to choose to be silent or to stand up.’
‘We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.’
‘When the world is silent even one voice becomes
How to respond
Malala Yousafzai sets a task for us. She acts and provides with admirable focus and selflessness a centrality of goodness and willingness to change the harmful tragic parts of our world and human behaviour.
The honorable and right thing she suggests is inside us to find as she has found through the ability to learn and accept the clarity of focus and direction the supreme being and giver of life has provided us with.

This film enables us to learn further and take in the universality of our own difficulties and recognise them as failures to confront them and being silent.
There is no problem with activism and the voice will have inherent value the more it contains the truth and not lies.
Bring Education to all.
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being outspoken about her country’s education system. The Pakistani government spends seven times more on its military than on education. The Taliban banned girls from attending school. Pakistan’s literacy rate is among the lowest in the world, with the number of school aged children who don’t attend school is second highest globally.

Malala survived and is now the youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel peace Prize for her activism for female education. This is the story of Malala’s fight for a right to education and freedom.
From the website of comes this –

Buy a T-shirt for $25 to support girls education in Pakistan. To order email at malalafilm (at) gmail (dot) com

Download online by clicking this link: Vimeo on Demand

Organising a screening of Malala: A Girl From Paradise is an easy and effective way to support. Call a community to action and get your friends, neighbors and colleagues engaged in supporting girls education.

Feel free to tell us about your plan to hold a screening in your community, school, college or university. We’ll mail you a DVD of the film for your screening event.

– Join us on Facebook.

– Tweet about us.
More information
Please note: The movie is rated PG-13 due to the violent attack on Malala; no on-screen violence is portrayed in the film. However, it is recommended that, for children 4th grade and below, parents exercise discretion as to whether their child should attend the film.

Stand #withMalala is a global, multi-platform social action campaign that will accompany HE NAMED ME MALALA. Like over 60 million girls globally, Malala struggled for the basic right to be educated. The combination of poverty, violence, and tradition holds girls back, limiting their individual potential and stifling economic, social, and political progress for their local communities and the world as a whole.

You can visit to watch the movie trailer and to get involved with the campaign as a family. #withMalala in support of girls’ education.
Activist Malala Yousafzai (R) and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai (L) attends the premiere of “He Named Me Malala” at the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, New York, Sept. 24, 2015.

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate with her mother, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, left, and the younger of her two brothers, Atal. Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures
Kailash Satyarthi (born Kailash Sharma; 11 January 1954) is an Indian children’s rights and education advocate and an activist against child labour. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (lit. Save the Childhood)

Conclusion #####5
An outstanding treatise not just on human rights and equality but an exposê of the terrorism used by the Taliban and their suppression of women and denial of education to children in a section of a nation not controlled by the state. The depth of reporting the truth, the dangers of freedom of speech, the extent of oppression a few armed people can bring to many who disavow violence is palpable and horrific. The messages are universal and the strength of will inherent in the vast majority is once again shown. Malala and her Father have shone a light in a dark corner opened our eyes to hidden unspoken horrors and provided hope for countless thousands as the struggle which is being won continues. The film is one example of the openness of this century and the continuing expression of individuals who bring to the many the suffering being inflicted in previously virtually untroubled locations. Living in peace is not a right but a principle of life.
Foremost is the true heartfelt religiosity of Malala and her Father. Not prepared to condemn others visions of their spiritual faith but to commend it to the same supreme creator as present in all humanity.
Civil rights follow from Human Rights and are to be our goal.

John Graham

5 November 2015


At QFT Belfast from Friday 6th November until (inc.) Thursday 12th November 2015. Screenings normally at 6.30pm but check beforehand,
There is also a talk/Introduction being given on Friday 6th November by Carolyn Mason, Chair of Amnesty Belfast local group.

The Lobster : A Film Review

Cast Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia imageColman, Ashley Jensen, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw
DIrector Yorgos Lanthimos
Genre Comedy, Romance, 118 mins
Cert. 15 Country. Greece, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, France

The synopsis of The Lobster is one of mating in which our Greek director summons up in two halves basically future environments of firstly a hotel where ‘The City’ encourages singles to go and meet up with prospective partners. Secondly the movie goes outside the hotel to the woods were the romance obstacles unfold. To be without a partner has its drawbacks according to the sisterly Olivia Coleman proprietress and manageress of the hotel. Splendidly four or five star and located in – well imagine Kerry and the palatial Parknisilla near Sneem – and you won’t go far wrong. All lakes and mountains, hillsides, woods empty roads etc.
Colin Farrell is our principal singleton having lost his partner and on checking into the hotel is set 45 days in which to meet his match.
His deadpan black comedy approach is very effective. He even instills a surreal way of speech which is manifest among all the characters here. It is one of perfect annunciation and lightly clipped dialogue. A narration is used in the beginning as a storyteller describing basically their vision of the adventure Colin Farrell has as his leitmotif which as he soon discovers is the nature of adopting a disguise, a guile which will extend his time and chances of success in the mating game. Isn’t that always the way of it! Only to be untruthful in even the slightest way has her a modicum of fatality as a consequence.
Spoilers None
For you to be immersed in the full effect of the film I am NOT going to give you any account of how the title is represented. Instead I will skirt around it by giving some information on the creature itself and other oblique observances. Try as I might I cannot impart a reason to let you know what your in for as this tale is grotesquely and simply bizarre funny and futurist absurdist storytelling.

Identity is ensnared among a rag tag and bobtail of fellow date travellers.
We have the groups of females and males in this hotel who are troubled by finding themselves without a life partner for whatever reason and ‘The City’ functionaries have it as a requirement for the ‘corporate’ good and ease of operation a standard which is in this futurist world a stable norm.

What has become of us? The future asserts we need in pursuit of happiness something other than the Jeremy (Ca) Bentham epoch of the best public policy is that producing the greatest happiness. Private behaviour need be of the right moral act and that which produces the most happiness for the people it affects. The nineteenth century enlightenment. At another extreme is the shatter zone philosophy of Schoenberg that ‘we suffer through being born’ nothing is availing to happiness.

This film features for reasons that will become quickly apparent, legions of the animals of the type – perhaps the writers inspiration, the arc of the story (sic) – ‘the animals went on two by two’ – no similarity other than that! – appear throughout in their settled comfort or habitat of the Kerry skies and hillsides. Frequently visitors too. They appear as a tableau of a menagerie of beings, reminders of our companion creatures ever present unless carelessly extinction is abroad or in house.

Merits are on the roster of the Hotel lodging. All newcomers are able to extend their stay, and chances of ‘survival’ by joining the group trip to the nearby woods to hunt literally loners or the fringe radicals who somehow have evaded being caught up in the societal dictatorial modes operadi for living a stable existence and seeking and obtaining their own survival.

Partnerships under the circumstances take on a further dimension of dependency beyond the norms of individuality found in all sorts of marriages. Maggie from extras is a female recruit whose habit of offering her ever replenished supply of biscuits on anyone that she is remotely attached to. She also does a line on offering inducements that are off limits in the Hotel and is herself in need of others at a cost she has found appropriate.
The self realizations are mostly visible and the characters adapt rapidly to the situation they find themselves in.
So has the secular socialism failed, the hubris of philistine culture prevailed, the oedipus of anxiety angst driven corrective religion and pacifism vanished? The welter of happiness is the prisoners dilemma of co-operation.

We are not allowed to see ‘the City’ dwellers lives. We are able on a few occasions to see their homes. A visit to Mama and Papa for one reveals a seemingly (blissfully perhaps?) couple who play classical guitar and are entertainers with felicity of Spanish historically reference times gone by music. The same meeting finds a couple inspired to display their bond slightly beyond social mores.

The film is magical horrendous infuriating dis-abandoned realism reconstructed outwardly complex standards and disposed morality.

The snap bite of death is ever present and comes in many forms.
Expect blood, murder, dismembering. Expect some scenes which are heartfelt and absorbing as empathy strange as it may manifest is released.

In the throes of Colin Farrell’s (David’s) survival we are introduced to the nameless woman narrator, that is to appear in the second half all trashed up but glitzy in attractiveness Rachel Weiss.
At first, Weisz’s character tells us David’s story, then she becomes a central part of the story alongside David. This is strongly lifting the level of the films sharp narrative. The development of the revealing personality divisiveness is resolved in true Romeo and Juliet determined belief in a partnership no matter how it has evolved. Even exchanges of gifts of a kind!
My second half review filling diatribe
Daliesque (Salvador)
How do you like your decapod? Afresh from the saline and dull green and alive. A creature with a life in the sea. One large pincher for grabbing another for crushing. This extraordinary creature might be seen as a wonder of our varied existence and plainly not designed for eating though it has gained the hostility of being edible being boiled alive.
A worse death cannot be imagined. How surreal is beauty if not alien?
A concept of beauty I am now inclined to believe is the lobster. An astonishing machine for living as we are. Who wants t o be a Lobster seems to be the surreal connect and as Dali reflected they make a good representation as a telephone. Something sublimely surreal is they live to be 100 and if you extrapolate that in crustacean years does that make them thousands of years old and they circuit the globe avoiding lobster pots?
Blue blood allegedly? I once took from a wedding list a set of Lobster cutlery as their gift of choice and posh food was the entrée for a menu featuring quails eggs and a stunning wedding feast. The cutlery I eschew as apparatus, as I cannot conceive the thought of the killing of this creature no matter how centuries old the tradition has become as being necessary.

Suspend all concepts of love
Out of the director of Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos mind came a concept for a surreal near future world which has gathered in a stellar cast of inhabitants.
Rachel Weisz, sans husband Daniel Craig, chooses her roles very carefully and has been known to buy up rights to books such as Thirty Girls which is a story about the Ugandan resistance army in the vien of realism she found in 2006 movie The Constant Gardener which gained her an Oscar.
Stunningly attractive and far from the glamourous image she has to convey an ordinariness and moderately staid business like character here.

It is asking a lot as a scenario and it asks if love is found when you overcome self inflicted ideas on the obstacles or after you breakdown those self inflicted obstacles. Rachel is known as Short Sighted Woman and plainly has a physical handicap to overcome. People change in appearance over their lifetime so maybe she has no hang ups on looks. If only that were true were would …
Kindly she is dealt sufficient sight to discern a little of the concept and make up of her first Romeo. Remote from the New York vehicle she shared a stage last year with husband Daniel and counter point Timothy Spall in Pinters Betrayal this is a surreal set of problems we encounter and unearth.
It is a thriller of take no thought of tomorrow lest we lose the initiative type of thing! Is it about seizing the moments love and trusting in it?

Pop culture cinema and the makers
Take with you to the Cinema the theatrical tapestry of modern film anthropology. From the Daily News reveal of Frank Sinatra caring for and carousing at the table, Marilyn. The cocktail mixers in place, the effervescent Schweppes, with label, Quinine distilled, asking her to come to his futureproofed home at Lake Tahoe and provide the dreams she filled her loneliness with. Or the red carpet on a Sunday, rugby weekend where you would rather be in a warm place watching sporting history unfold if not at the event, rather than standing in black suit and bow tied with your arm on the waist of Kate, she in the fullness of a masterpiece A. McQueen dress which defines glamour and faithlessness.
Or the dreich downpour and walking in the rain to the next moorland scene in an Aussie cagauole and hear in the distance someone shout action.
The reality and unreal juxtaposed as we enter the contrivance of the cinema accepting its twists and turns suspending belief and summoning new ones.
This film will similarly place randomness alongside statis and neither will seem as clear as was once the case. Nor should it be. We have been allowed imagination as a birth right and such is the distinction we want underpinning – otherwise it is dreich.

The soundtrack of the movie is both perfect and annoying. Some songs and classical soundscapes are very effective while other elements are intrusive and snarling. Bring on blue eyes and Polka dots and moonbeams, East of the Sun, begin the Beguine, Poiniana, I fall in love too easily or any song as solitary testimony of the luxury of loves happenstance.
Conclusion ####4
This is a film offering generous helpings of fascinating entwined lives and the surreal interactions are wisely contorted – through the voices and practicality of the language and dialogue – it’s attractive setting in the midst of abundant beautiful landscapes well photographed (Thimios Bakatakis’s) and the modernity of the fast evolving – construction traffic makes it appear, though it isn’t presumably, Celtic Tiger Ireland. Ireland constructed an incredibly false but real vision of itself as it redesigned its future given the bankroll. Plenty there in itself to think about desires and wishes.
Much to play with here beyond what you will see but it is ann insatiable polemic. After you.

They are.

John Graham

22 October 2015


IS ON AT QFT FROM 22 October 2015 and selected dates.



Suffragette : A Film Review

Directed by Sarah Gavron Written by Ali Morgan, Cast. Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Glesson, Anna Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep, Sam West, Romola Garai, Finbar Lynch and as the son of Maud and Sonny, Adam Michael Dodd.
Cert. 12a. General release, 106 mins.

It took a long time for the struggle of the Suffragettes to make any inroads on equality and the right to vote. It was as Emily Pankhurst played by Meryl Streep in little more than a cameo role, says at on point in the film 50 years to the period the film is set. Gone is Queen Victoria and in comes with the new century 1901-1910 – Edward VII House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and 1910-1936 George V House of Windsor. Even then it spans the two monarchs before full rights are obtained in 1925.
The struggle therefore of women was immense and when equality remains an issue across the world along with conditions of employment and minimum wage manipulation for the workforce we can say the struggle continues.

Film making and performance.
This is a film constructed around a principal focus. A family backdrop.
The employment in the East end of Maud Watts played by the very youthful looking Carey Mulligan.
She takes the role exceptionally well with dry cynicism, stoic resolution and calm reflection on her own experiences while married to fellow laundry worker Ben Whishaw whose role is a pit of vagueness and ignorance compared to Mauds. She short life has been little else other than servitude and the awakening is in the beginning full of concern for her boy and her fragile position as basically slave to the working environment.

Quickly the range of the film is established as the surveillance of Suffragettes enters under the Home Office Minister Benedict Haughton played superbly by Sam West; his wife Alice played by Romola Garai is one of the key agitators and is in my opinion one of the best performances of the film alongside Mr Ellen played by Fingal Lynch giving a contrast of actorial and character representation which sadly was lacking in spades in the rest of the parts. Helen Bonham-Carter is represented by whatever her eyebrows, cheekbones, feel like at the time. Her likeness to David Cameron is striking. Chief of the Special branch Brendan Glesson as Inspector Arthur Steed is neither one thing or the other and under performs as only he can do. Hardly an emotion other than ‘what did you expect’ passes his static facial grimace.
Grim times
The grime of London is clear and there is a contrast of the formal dignified appearance of the better off locations well captured by the cinematography around the town but the ‘action’ scenes are frenetically choppy including the rawness of the denouement of the chosen climax.
It is difficult to represent the period with large numbers but it is only a minor flaw and wisely there is use of Pathe footage of the milestone moment at the end. For certain tastes this film is not sufficiently graphic but when no one has tackled the themes or come close to depicting the reality of the times, only some individual dramas have the essence of the period on film, it is very useful in bringing attention to this milestone for women’s equality. Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth recently seen on film, partly told of political participation in life and the intervention of War which itself represented undemocratic choice, told possibly the power of newspaper as public propaganda over a considerable time. Nothing changes in that regard despite the volume of social media.
Voting with your feet
Uprisings begin from the bottom up and this dramatic account of the Suffragette movements mobilisation to attain Votes for Women is a laudable attempt at filling in an otherwise neglected period of societal change.

Wars and economics along with politics dominated almost exclusively by males are the hegemony of the battle accounts we are familiar with.

This film nevertheless is a staid and stiff whalebone corset of a movie given no features of women of other races who were also prominent East end activists of the cause are portrayed. Even references to slavery are set aside or dampened for the American viewer when it plays to those audiences in pursuit of Academy recognition.

Centrally we have a great performance from the cast however with principal protagonist Maud Watts played blazingly by Carey Mulligan. For fire is everywhere in the energy of driven intent. Nothing will be done to stop this uprising. Hence the name highlighting sufferage.
When this period was alive the campaign related to a working class population of some 70% working class.
The Proli
From another source very recently I discovered the meaning of proletarian arises from the word proli which refers to women.

I think it relates to proliferation. The production fecundity of women as able to miraculously bear children! I am petrified in case I offend! So elucidate any observations you have please!

In essence the women were regarded in the definition as the source of the working population. In order for a state of capital to survive it had to have produced the proletariate. Eager to place a class upon the enterprise they then centrally became a middle class bourgeoise which is French in its classification or origin. The imposition of middle class values was a mechanism for the well of to maintain separation and control over the masses despite their obviously being in the minority.

the bourgeois class.
(in Marxist theory) the class that, in contrast to the proletariat or wage-earning class, is primarily concerned with property values.
Into this arena again ignored by the film was one Keir Hardie, the founder of the Labour movement and because he was such a bad parliamentarian and was much better out on the stump and traveling all over the United Kingdom explaining Socialist Labour he naturally became conscious of the women’s movement.

Again little is said in this film of Keir Hardies relationship, because in essence it was alive, with Emmiline Pankhursts sister Sylvia that he was a central agitator and strategist for her and their campaign. Along with The other sister Christabel was a less physical protagonist depending on her brain and intellect perhaps of a wider problem. Class.

Instead of the wider contexts I explain above the film depends largely on a narrow band and triumvirate of women in the three cast members of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Marie Duff.

The middle class connotations are explicit in the foreground of the central characters but Maud is the one who is cast to convey the apparatus under which working class women endure work as a means to live.

Shop floors are not exactly the sole place of women’s employment as service and subservience, exploitation existed on many fronts and collectively greater than any shop floor, factory etc.
2015 you will notice is a time when the global phenomenon of Secular Stagnation is evident as a factor of numerous economies as the failures of capital to produce a stability in living conditions as growth is sporadic and incalculable. Forecasting economics and using industry is as in the early twentieth century was a contest of ideology.

Economic credibility
Secular stagnation was a spur to growth and exploitation in the early twenties and the conditions for labour and wages was intense.
Remarkably the class system was rooted in the United Kingdom by an failing alliance with Victorian values as assigned by the monolith of Monarchy.
It is extraordinary that this was overlooked by the suffragettes but due to its lack of political nous. Instead it faced off masculinity instead of monarchy. The ruling class having no disposition for sex or predication for leaderships as long as they maintained the separator ion of wealth accumulation and control over costs prices and taxation.

This film is like a cleansed BBC Series introduction aligned with the apatite for Downton Abbey. Similarly extrordinary. It avoids most concerningly the absolute dismal and short lived ordinary lives of the vast majority of people under the severe oppression of their existence.
Education, Church and Political controls all mitigated to underpin the State and afflict it’s burden on people. The immorality of this is starkly and naively absent from the true depiction of this struggle. It was as Kier Hardy was aware tied into companion journeys of workers rights and conditions.

The Victorian era had died in 1901.
Here was a time of seismic change.

The record
From Brittanica this reference comes.
In 1908–09 Pankhurst was jailed three times, once for issuing a leaflet calling on the people to “rush the House of Commons.” A truce that she declared in 1910 was broken when the government blocked a “conciliation” bill on woman suffrage.
From July 1912 the WSPU turned to extreme militancy, mainly in the form of arson directed by Christabel from Paris, where she had gone to avoid arrest for conspiracy. Pankhurst herself was imprisoned, and, under the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health) Act of 1913 (the “Cat and Mouse Act”), by which hunger-striking prisoners could be freed for a time and then reincarcerated upon regaining their health to some extent, she was released and rearrested 12 times within a year, serving a total of about 30 days. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, she and Christabel called off the suffrage campaign, and the government released all suffragist prisoners.

It was not until much later her goal would be achieved. In 1918, women over the age of 30 finally won the vote.

It should have been a moment of triumph for the Pankhursts – but it was tainted by the estrangement between Christabel, who was becoming increasingly right-wing and Sylvia, who remained true to her father’s ideals of pacifism and socialism.
The Representation of the People Act of 1928, establishing voting equality for men and women, was passed a few weeks before her death.

The Liberal Pankhursts had five children – three daughters, Christabel, Sylvia and Adela, and two sons – Frank, who died young, and Harry, the youngest, born in 1889. Though Sylvia adored her father, both her parents were preoccupied with politics and family life was distinctly austere.

Political agitation was Emmeline’s real love. ‘This is what I call life!’ she remarked to Sylvia in 1905, planning her retaliation as the first women’s Franchise Bill was talked out in Parliament.
Sylvia was characteristically shocked. In her mind, social reform wasn’t supposed to be enjoyable. As the struggle for women’s suffrage began to involve more violent and extreme demonstrations, a rift opened between Sylvia and her mother and elder sister.

Emmeline, and particularly Christabel, were keen on showy violence. Christabel was seldom in the thick of the action herself.
She argued that she couldn’t be an effective leader from prison, and at one stage fled to Paris in a series of dramatic disguises, which delighted the Press.
But she saw violence as an effective campaigning method, and was particularly keen on arson – she once sent Sylvia a note demanding that she burn down Nottingham Castle.
Perhaps this story is next because the Sylvia story is also an account of Socialist warfare and she corresponds with Lenin and removes herself to assist the Ethiopian dilemma of self governance when she provided support for the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, who was forced to seek refuge in Britain after his country was invaded by Italian Fascist troops in 1936.
Conclusion. ### 3
This is a good introduction to the Suffragette struggle an though confined to delivering a very important movements milestones through a small family micro narrative is sufficiently broad to see the extremities of the opposition, the protagonists for the vote and the upsurge of labour consciousness as to be believable and therefore worthy conveyance as a film, it only is a soft sanitized version.

Nevertheless it holds up for being no more than a dramatic account and shapes as a general aperture to many unfamiliar with certain aspects of the Suffragettes and the conditionsrevailing in this recently industrialised country before the onset of war.

John Graham

14 October 2015


On at QFT Belfast from Friday 16th October until 29th October and on general release from 12th

The Wonder of Science : Neutrinos

It is a week without a film to review though I watched on a large screen the film about the Stasi ‘The lives of others’ which is not exactly fun (unlike Goodbye, Lenin) but is one very strong piece of important believable cinematic narrative.

So instead I put over a piece of science news after this intro.

The Nobel Prize for Literature, it was just announced, went to a lady – one of the few if any to receive this particular award, from Belarus where the leader this weekend achieves his mandate with a thoroughly extraordinary 95% or thereabouts vote. Her novel is a fictional/non-fictional – you decide re telling of interviews following her earlier use of the form and you can find the details by looking at the Nobel Prize website links.

Nobel Acknowledgement
CND is not Corbans New Democracy or indeed Can Nuclear Deliver but was a symptom of the Cold War standoff which concerned our lack of control over Nuclear fusion and what is now called Nuclear Proliferation.
‘Nations’ are already armed to the hilt across the planet to make meaningless any strategic inroads to depletion of stocks of nuclear functioning weaponry.

So it comes as no significant shortfall that one declaration of world wide scientific and other knowledge based and intellectual achievement comes under the temple of Nobel patronage. The Swedish scientists institution for awards was started after his death in 1896 in 1901 from largely arms derived finances and it scopes out a plateau of highest achievement in several fields as judged by peers and experts of suitable standing.

Into this piece of world demography comes this year the award in the field of Physics recognition of the discovery made in the crust of the earth – so far down as to avoid the interference of earth surface radiation or any kind of radiation that became the foundation of work leading to the breakthrough discovery of what happens to the energy emitted by the Sun as electro neutrinos as it crosses the universe to earth.

Prof. Kajita and McDonald win the Nobel prize.
The leading researchers at Japan’s super-kamiokande and Canada’s Sudbury Neutrino Observatories were studying neutrinos coming from cosmic rays and Sun for nearly two decades. These neutrinos are created from supernova explosion, from death of stars, to reactions in nuclear power plants and naturally occurring radioactive decays. (Para quotes my mystery scientist!)

All calculations previously opined 2/3 of the energy had dissipated in some way or been neutrialised on its journey but how?

It seems it on leaving the Sun or as any other expulsion like a death star there is a conversion into two other types of neutrinos.

Australians, even those Rugby playing types you see demolishing teams on the way to placing an Ovid shaped ball at the opposite end of the field or pitch known as the tryline call a Sunbeam an unused kitchen utensil left over at the end of the barbecue or what other means of food consumption they happen to be indulging in.

No the Sunbeam or Sunray to be specific is both heat and light from the Sun which is about 93,000,000 miles away. (I remember the day our science teacher at school pretended to calculate from the clinker covered hockey pitch on day the sun could be seen in our northern location, the distance with a rather large tee square he someone managed to lift out of the drawing masters class without him realising, and with a string and blackboard diagram by trigonometry ascertain its relation to us.
All we got were sore eyes looking directly at the sun for too long, sporadic incidents of headaches induced by same and nausea brought about by wearing a School tie while gawping between him and said object.

Japanese scientists have proven the hitherto theory of depletion by experiment. See the photo at the top kindly posted by my scientific advisor who again must remain nameless who brought this achievement to my and a wider audiences attention.

While he was boiling his breakfast egg, (egghead!) or demarking the line to which his skimmed milk must reach to correctly enrich for taste his simply oatalicious Museli or comparable breakfast cereal is only a guess but it is this fascinating adjunct.

In releasing potassium from our bodies as an everyday occurrence we release around 5,000 neutrinos (per second) simultaneously as our own little radiation burst. Fancy that. If we all stood together and released them simultaneously and into a reflective device goodness knows we might even put another hole in the zone layer or if a double decker bus – hopefully empty see its top deck severed at the stair poles and the rest disappearing in a Cloudburst. (A good tune you will find on spotify by the way by Niagra – or perhaps the other way round – the long version is best!) so it is another mystery as to how we are our own little nuclear fusion devices but I’m sure my specialist scientific advisor will keep me across this in due course should other insights arise. Unless of course they might lead him to his very own Nobel Prize. Not entirely unlikely.


For this achievement to gain some (it clearly is not short of clarity of importance) I offer something which came up on the Morning Daily Service today on R4 which in pointing out our earths crust tell tales as it were on the Dorset Jurassic coast (there are even closer examples nearby to me at Larne for instance) giving us an understanding of a time wheel if not a history of exact scientific evidence as to its formation, we were reminded of the destruction initiated in Syria of the Palmyra monuments which is also attributed by some accounts to Russian bombing. These are small indictments considering the plainly inhuman aspects of killings and wanton population depletion in places like Aleppo. People cut down like wheat in the fields.


Reproduced from a newspaper photo by Associated Press for purely illustrative context.

Aleppo grass
Johnson grass2

a sorghum, Sorghum halepense, that spreads by creeping rhizomes, grown for fodder.
Also called Aleppo grass, Egyptian millet, Means grass.

John Graham

9 October 2015


The views expressed are entirely my own and no inference or any connections to others is meant or intended as attributable to anyone.