Joe : A Film Review

imageDirector:David Gordon Green, USA, 2013, 1hr57mins, Drama, Cast:Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter.

Deep South Hotheaded Guy New cards please.

Are you after ‘residually serious moments’ for contemplative special insight delivered at a slow pace? A critic suggests this is a return to a promising style of direction by David Gordon Green after a detour into the wider audience diet of comedic films and TV.

The critic, – (I don’t class myself as a critic, being more interested in unravelling the morality tales and seeing life inflections in cinema having the nerve to expose things we normally eschew and fail to confront) – tells of this film as ‘slow cinema is no more real than fast cinema.’ Having taken cinema wholly to heart as unreal I guess that is why I cannot become a critic. The critic goes onto elaborate – ‘It is another artificial convention.’ Getting it both ways is a critics preserve.

The detour took David Gordon Green away from needless comparisons with Terrence Malik and Tree of Life a 12a was also set in Texas with a male figure from a fractured background. It was intimate and epic while this is Intimate and constrained. Would you say Brad Pitt and Sean Penn carried that film! Such is the limitation of markers. I would also say it is good for a director to put himself between other film gates by trying other very different film ‘topics’.

The Masterstroke

The first thing to rave about in this film is the placing of the fine actor Nicholas Cage in the central role as Joe, a man who looms over his own shadow brooding about what he sees in himself. What he sees is more instinctively reached as he had time previously in the penitentiary for accidentally on purpose putting a hole on a knee-cap of someone. His physicality is in good shape which fits the part perfectly. So much is played out through the ‘moves’ and body language. He has learnt of to express exactly how he feels. Only when he is within snapping distance of exacting violence does he conceal the red hot fire inside. There is a formative scene well into it that has him giving improvisation lessons to his unsentimental nurturing of Gary, Tye. His co-star described below. The dialogue seems to be off the cuff every now and again which gives the spoken word authenticity and the scenes slip accordingly smoothly on.

Texas Tapestry

He is cast as the ex-criminal reformed and in and out of potentially settling into the rural Southern normal not so routine lives many find their reward in. This is rural rolling Texas we guess, with him living the woodsman’s life in a illegal scheme for cutting down trees. It is kind of legal to remove them as they have to be dead and well he and his gang of around eight easy going black workers have the method worked out. The lack of racial tension is nuance against disadvantage.

Bad Moves.

David Gordon Green sets about interleaving the live of Joe with another group based around Gary, Tye Sheridan, a 15 year old whippet of a lad with quicksilver thought and imbued respect of his place in the order of things ingrained by self preservation perhaps through living with his family of drifters who are homed up as spent cartridges empty and alcoholic. Tye Sheridan is equal to the acting of Cage which is saying something. Joe becomes aware of the abusive father, literally a drafted in hobo Gary Poulter, cleaned and set into bat redirtied as a thoroughly hateful a vengeful father.

I wonder how the interview and screen test went for that. What an exploitative ex-homeless story this casting is given the performance is formulaic and shows little in the way of acting ability sadly.

Watching a hobo play a hobo is like watching iron fillings scratching across a plate towards a magnet. Simple as.


Gordon Green layers the separate lives on top of each other as the book may have done. It is very compelling with each spoken off screen thought of Joe mirrored in the figurative actions in Gary’s home struggles. Joe is seen flat out on his couch complete with a hound dog ‘throw’ across its back where he lies after the graft and the King size bourbon bottle has dispensed a few measures.

He coughs as an ex prisoner with nothing to do all day but roll a few ounces. A recurring weakness which his box zippo adds amusement to. The interweave is handled remarkably well, not over played, nothing is, everything is straight up in your face material. It is accomplished deftly and the filmography places each location on message and directorilly astute. Joe is a sociable guy and can’t give up his whorehouse calls nor his dogs dependancy on him. It is an American Bulldog Bitch that lives under the stoop on a chain of only so many links and is a loud doorbell when any visitor calls

It seems this scarred dog is the only female he doesn’t treat like shoes. An ex-girlfriend re-friends him and he kind of puts a marker down for her not to get to homey.He is not in the least unkind except the whole nine yard misogyny.

What makes this film exceptionally compelling and challenging is that it deals with the cockamamey nutcases around the next boardwalk and on the junked veranda in a frame of Joes normal life. He has to sit on, rationalise his new found controllable framework. It is key and is on the edge always. In his own words, again a self intelligent diagnosis, he craves restraint. Having the job, the team working for him is the day time restraint.

Where does this film go?

Texas has a lot of road and we are on that road often as the circles and tailgated jobbing careworn people carrier – it is a lodestone for the film – I loved it and Gary loves it – is has the wheels to go the dirt track route, the backwoods homestead route and a well visited Madison County type river crossing bridge. Except this has seen better days. The types and suspension look too well cared for though as it throttles over various terrain and has the survival qualities like the dog.

The film is totally about Joe staying out of trouble while he leads the life he is dealt with little rancour. There are several black twists in the closely held script with a very, very, Texan (apologies ye all) twist close to the end. The darkness enters and is played out in headlights.

David Gordon Green holds this film together cohesively with a fine acting performance with few flaws. The creative storytelling marks out Joes life as close as imagined in a contemporary social depression. The metaphors in use closing this film are practically kitsch irony and heavily laden with bathos of a black comical kind. it would be wrong to put the film down as a misanthropic dilettantes Texas black art film. It may even ratchet it up a notch or two. It does it for me on reflection.

Trees grow on you when your not looking. Be prepared for the odd placement of social piraña psychology and screen central satire. Gary becomes a focal point with his pathological father becoming jealous of Gary’s independance and wear-withal. The forest is where the gang, the deforesters, Joe, Gary’s world becomes isolated and the team act as a team. A few more minutes could have been spent as a few of the team in the odd scene were clueless at the job.


The clearance and ruthless finality raising these trees in the forest and seeing his orders followed by his team gives him this overbearing pseudo spiritual presence over the small kingdom that is the forest. The workers stick a poison to kill the tree which also signifies their subsequent uprootedness. The trees are a useless species and they make way for standard pine. Pinewood. Are we near Pseuds corner yet.

A mid review aside!

A weird sideline, Saturday I learnt the local go to shop Gardening wise no longer stocked stump removal chemical. I hadn’t know such a destructive thing was on sale. It does and is not stocked as the shop 50 or so years on the particular road has to close as corporate supermarkets are killing their business so relocation is deemed the answer. The life of that tree is uprooted to be planted elsewhere.


For this film to work Nicholas Cage has to render himself into this brooding soul whose moral equipment goes missing frequently. The shoring and misogyny is ever present and he feels at home in the forest. Of his formative background we know little and the director one suspects might be having a bold look at another pasture in The Tree of Life.

Only metaphorically I suspect but none the less David Gordon Green is establishing a reputation once again in the same mould. Raising the formative years question relates to a core element of the story. A young man comes to him with only a sharpness of attitude but Joe gives this troubled youngster a job as he is conscious of the difference it could make to Gary, acted assuredly and convincingly (real!) by Tye Sheridan.

He proves invaluable and hard working straight away with this proving an asset to Joe whose underlying paternal guidance and protection skills kick in. The critic (PB) for aficionados lamely says Nicholas Cage ‘carries’ the movie. For the sake of points accreditation of the film you could say Joe is level with David’s directorship without which the performances would not command our immersion in this beautifully dark at most times melancholic of spirit but invigorates me with once again a feeling of the importance of environmental balance which is reverentially foremost here. Gary is also on this level and commanders his own place in the story and responds to the old hand that is Nicholas Cages robust actorial confoundingly convincing dynamic. Leaving Las Vegas has been mentioned as his last best performance. Maybe so.

I think it was a brilliant film which Mike Figgis realises (sic) a dream like operatic semi human performance from Nicholas Cage. It was like an ensemble performance almost of the recently late lamented namesake John Cage in its singular epoch visionary take of the US depicted. Elizabeth Shue was the angel at his side and a vision of unreal womanly beauty. I remember broken glass as the defining watershed. Reality behaves like unreality in our world and unreality turns on us. They say, cliche?, that each perceived view is different, making it a blessing when the lines converge sufficiently for a common value to be obtained and shared.


This is a terrific powerful film with very strong performances also from the supporting cast.  The police and gang leader for example.  The hobo is not a good depiction as it is derivative and hackneyed even though Poulter knows exactly what he conveys.  He has a golf swing he practices often and Ian Poulter need take no tips from him.  Apart from the mess he inhabits it is electric and harrowing with twists, as I say very Texan right up to the off the wall, road end.


Worth seeing a few times Cage and Tye are brilliant except one bit I wasn’t convinced by of Cages very near the end. Can’t tell.  Good viewing.


John Graham

30 July 2014


QFT begins in August and they may rebook it as I think it will be popular.

See latest programme.


Freedom for Palestine


Also called Holy Land. Biblical name Canaan. an ancient country in SW Asia, on the E coast of the Mediterranean.
A former British mandate (1923–48) comprising part of this country, divided between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt in 1948: the Jordanian and Egyptian parts were occupied by Israel in 1967.

A native or inhabitant of Palestine.
Also called Palestinian Arab. an Arab formerly living in Palestine who advocates the establishment of an Arab homeland there.
Today in Belfast another gathering marched in Solidarity with the Palestinian people to the American Consulate. In the leafy Stranmillis area near our river Lagan. People of all backgrounds except religious extremists, bigots and right wing supporters of the Israel occupation of the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea joined the march of

The West and Israel particularly the rich ruling class elite now fear the threat a mass movement in support of Palestine and a revolt Hamas nor Fatah can control. Such a movement would inspire the oppressed and poor working class, the youth across the Arab world throughout the Middle East.
The. Israel regime like many states in the Middle East hang on to power through harsh repression and lack of rights.

Protest against the proxy war waged against Muslims and in particular the support for the Israeli war machine which has up to the record in today’s newspapers caused the following deaths since they began their warfare in response to attacks by groups not under democratic control in Gaza.

Infanticide and Genocide by Israel
800 + Palestinian dead. Mainly civilians and 120 + Children.
33 Israeli Soldiers have been killed in 18 days mainly in Palestine

Around 150,000 of the Palestinians seeking refuge from bombing in Gaza have been placed in territory itself under bombing and attack.
Including 15 people killed awaiting transport from a school by UN.
Destroying a Region and a Community of 1.7 million
Half of Gaza City is like an Tsunami hit it. A Palestinian living in Belfast is in regular contact with his family and passed on the widely held view by independent observers that the Ceasefire in action for 12 hours is worthless. Operations continue and the plight of recovering bodies from the destroyed half of Gaza is extremely harrowing as well as dangerous.

The Israel war on Palestine comes as they try to effect their own rule on this part of the contested Middle East.
The right wing Islamist leaders of Hamas and their allies of the secular Fatah are all pro-capitalist who will NOT advance the Palestine cause so giving Israel an excuse to slaughter innocent people in the pursuit of the uncontrolled.

The Israel Government is supported by Great Britain, United States of America who abstained in the vote calling for a long cessation of the violence. While USA provides Humanitarian aid it hypocritically in the shape of Obama ignores the right wing USA citizens bankrolling and proliferating the ghastly Fascist power of The Israel regime. Within Israel there are many, many against this form of action, of the very land occupation on which Israel treats the rest of the worlds judgements with contempt.
Lebanese reaction
In the Lebanon there is no concerted support for Palestine despite the Muslim majority. They closed down their TV broadcasters (8) for one day in solidarity with Palestine and broadcast as one a debate and wide discussion.
It was as ineffective as an Arab League meeting. Full of wild promises and no outcomes. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live without rights of living conditions and welfare.
Millennial Communities and Settlements in Concert
Since the Syrian war caused such upheaval in Lebanon which still has three years later not equipped its people with democracy able to confide in its own moral tide. They are aware that Palestine is undergoing the eradication of millennia of historical communities. They are aware of the same situation in Iraq where the extremists have thrown the Middle East back into Damdani Taksai and the factioning into the charismatic.
The faiths Sikh and Hindu are not as one and the latter has every right and belief to practice what is known as blind faith. The practice of religious faith is for each individual to be guided through God not through man.
He or she must respond to their inner God given strength
Similarly the driving out of Christians from Iraq and other parts of the Middle East defies their own basic Religious beliefs and defies God in being tolerant and to love all humanity.
Sectarianism as normality
The Lebanese are in a mire of media whose one day joint solidarity retreats, and that is what it is back to factions of sectarian hatred and debased rhetoric of fellow human beings. This more is very similar to our own dog days here in Northern Ireland. The living standards of Lebanon vary greatly with a population of immigrants from Sri Lanka and Syria oppressed by many citizens of Lebanon exploiting their lack of access to the same priveliges and rights of education and equality through displacement.
Following the war in Syria Lebanon has lost its ancient ways.
If it does not retrieve its sense of self identiy for better or for worse it stands to be implicated in continued Middle Eastern malfunction.
Not Anti-Semitic
Today the people who came out to support the Palestinian cause for its re-established state of it people for its deserved and purposeful future were of all religions. Quite possibly there were a few of the few Jewish here in Belfast there.
Condemn Religious Hatred.
The first speaker spoke for all of us in fulsomely condemning the attack on two nights of the Belfast Synagogue. The movement of people for Palestine is not a movement of anti-semitism. All faiths have their faiths and their belief systems and we surely and clearly exist under one God. That God is divided equally among the 6 billion and rising people of this earth. those to follow will know the ultimate outcome of war is death and destruction and that we need continue in every way we can to eliminate violence of all kinds.
Not in our Name
From wrongful imprisonment to destructive corrective and detention systems to the segregation of races as a means to rule and divide we need to continue the struggle against these sins of humanity in Gods name.
Not in our name called Americans attending today.
Reporting Losses
The losses in Palestine are added to with around 3,700 being injured.
At one point the figures concerning the Palestinian death toll reported that of 492 dead there were 406 of whom were civilians. There were in this number 129 Children and 69 Women.
Reporting Without Truth Analysis.
The BBC have in Northern Ireland in particular portrayed this conflict in a manner which belies the truth of the overwhelming brutality of Israel in its quest to eradicate the Palestine they do not occupy from the Palestine they do occupy and have aborted the very wishes of God in the place of Jesus’s birth and crucifixion. They have obliterated any connection with God in seeking the annual action of the people neighbouring land that fled original from theirs own annexed lands.

How could the USA act so immorally in supporting Israel?
Bring on an Intifada throughout the world
There will come an intifada of the Palestinian people who will receive the support akin to the support for Nelson Mandela in the struggle for freedoms in South Africa which continue to be stymied by the people whose selfish needs come first. The people are stricken with politicians of hypocrisy unfit to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela.
The people of Palestine deserve our support.
Sanctions against Israel should be employed by every citizen of the world.

Boycott Israel Goods.

Protest to the BBC.

Protest to the USA.

Support the Palestinian cause.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world
Mahatma Ghandi

Do anything you can to bring peace.

Do anything you can to bring this occupation to an end.

Read the top banner line under which this blog was first established.

Be at One with the One God.

John Graham

26 July 2014

Mood Indigo : A Film Review

20140723-150334-54214920.jpg A romantic fantasy.

Directed by Michel Gondry based on the book

Froth on the daydream by Boris Vian. French. 2013. Cert. 12am. 1hr 34mins. This version is the reduced one. Less 30mins. It seems audiences were considered in some locations to have insufficient capacity for a possibly more extended film.

Cast. Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou, Gad Elmaleh, Charlotte de Bon, Michel Gondry. also Aissa Maiga as Alise, Sacha Bourdo as La sour is, Natacha Regneir as La marchande de remedies, Philippe Torrenton as. Jean-Sol Parte, Alain Chabret as Gouffe.

French avant-garde surrealism internalised.

Obvious Deception

When I see an image I believe in it or reject it. The above image I saw fully equipped as a part of a narrative we know nothing of. We do not know the associated story if there is one. I remade, copied it and made it less dark than the original Yet it remains placed in the kind of time frame, era, as Mood Indigo I think. I read the light flickering as moonlight and the woman deep in solitary reflection. The Incline of the steps seems to be a natural balancing place when we should be expecting her sitting on a level surface. This I believe is what subverts the consciousness with us believing in the story from the start BUT on closer inspection something odd and still more unelained is in front of our eyes but we cannot see it for looking. The artist may know.

Enclosed Mind So is this film undirecting us to the internal story? Eternal ….spotless mind… Sleeping are the directors comfort zone and this peculiar auteur omnibus is nothing more than a book rendered into drawn images, sketches of the expectation of the written word. Then the special effects are to be expected. Executed. Animated. Some of the sketches may have made it to the screen. Is there another way of presenting this love story that would rely less on trickery and be through time shift, location being totally surreal and more like the Parisian emigre Beckett an approach? How was the Japanese version (Kuroe 2001) approached, I haven’t seen it or read about it?

Nature marvels before us.

The auteur is of course the writer and his developed story is of the limits of pleasure in the most sublime of circumstances and the narrative literally unravels into small elements. No control of the natural world is possible. It is as Jean Rhys observation in Wide Sargasso Sea on the part of the pubescent Antoinette – of all things natural being better and at a level above us.

She opens her thinking on Jamaica –

“And if the razor grass cut my legs and arms I would think ‘Its better than people.’ Black ants or red ones, tall nests swarming with white ants, rain that soaked me to the skin – once I saw a snake. All better than people. Better. Better, better than people.”

That in 1966. On pre-war colonialists. Boris Vian has imaginably, consciously as other artists did, must have formed art by re-telling our ancient placation with animals when they were given as the bible once proposed joint dominion or was that Jesus and the bible elevated us. It would not surprise me if that is part of the logic, if is can be so called, that is driving the book, therefore the film; the imagined takeover of the superior forms organic and innate Garden of Eden universally prodded, cajoled and capitulated too, there is fundamental sadness in the foibles of humanity as the film iterates.

Pacifism Left Bank

The plainer style of filmmaker has no mainframe reference of philosophy or even more the intensity of daydreams or preternatural functions of he human being. To a writer whose output is not confined to the literature of his own kind Boris Vian is a satrap of the College of Pataphysics – (a version of imagination indulged as counter psychology to the philosophy of the cuckoldry of JPS who is the target in the film of arch mockery) – in which the imagination is King. It is enchant savage on the Rive Gauche. Whether he was a subordinal of any kind when he died aged only 39 he was never aware of it. More evidently he would appear to attend to the modifications he sought to make WITHIN the SYSTEM. The songs he wrote chiefly Le deserteur lamented on the hypocrisy and futility of war and he cleaned up the world musically by endorsing jazz and co-producing concert performances of Duke Ellington – enter Mood Indigo – and the impossible to define preternatural talent Miles Davis.

When I saw Mlles Davis play in London he was at the tightest of tight in playing sublime occasion filled music and it was very possibly fueled by a little cocaine. Of the trumpet and the cocaine both required the lips to be licked incessantly to obtain the note sought inside or out, we were none the wiser! A Mrs Davis appears as well as the good director himself as a quack Doctor when a malady strikes and Nicholas who is connected everywhere recommends him. Still the same breakdown of instinct to a level obtained no where else was the kind of thing Boris Vian would have experienced by his extraordinary reach and it informed his writing as others informed their art. That Paris era was drenched in a polyphonic saturation of ideas we now incorporate at leisure and unwittingly into our own life’s as a cultural narrative.


The animation of this film together with its digital effects are very drawn from Alice in Wonderland as are the nuances of the sexual liberty found on an edge of fantasy and the reaction the author draws from his own disaffection given the interpretation of JPS. It is beseeching a mortality on one railtrack or another. Boris Vian has deep condolences for his own musings of his soul. Where is it and it is in that branch of Pataphysics he became in thrall to? Morality has its kingdom and this breathing living love story is the quintessence of faultless love. In other words it is as a Grimms fairy tale amidst the horrors of reality

Grimm never saw television, nor saw a picture except the Dantesque paintings and mind altering folklore told in a canon of religiosity. Never content with simple things Vian paid homage to his surrealist imagination in ways he could not indulge visually which is where the filmmakers he worked with up to his untimely death never reached the vision as he saw it. When the animation is less dominant when the love story enters its sense of wonder the film gives us some respite from the over vexed visual orgy of indulgence that is delivered by a vast team and not the bricolage handle given. Thankfully this saves the treatment of the book. It is not to be savaged to morte after all.

Film Bricolage

This film is misunderstood firstly as a book of 1949 that has become cult reading.

Therefore film directors, Michael Gondry – has been described as a bricolage director – have a hill and trough to transcend into a pictorial spree. It is distinctly misleading to term a director as bricolage unless they pear isolated as a few who do their own thing. Bricolage – DIY or DYOT. Each Director needs to do his own thing in order to deliver the film. He has not written the story The plot is entirely transposed and the draft of visual effects are, and this is where realisation might provide invention, the outcome is a brocade of embroidered surface. Very little depth develops and as a love story it is carried by the narrative which only just shows, is revealed awkwardly and incoherently as a montage of colour washing out of the lives encountered as it becomes that much darker as it progresses from its lighthearted opening scenes.

Actors Sublime

In this we have a rich man servant, the same modality in a new century of master servant with Colin, Roman Duris aided by the brilliance of his entrusted, Duke Ellington lookalike, Omar Sy. Is it racism abhorred? The friend Colin takes his cue from is Chick, Gad Elmaleh. Colin is very rich and as well as being handsome – Boris Vian was himself a very attractive Parisian appearing as the Cardinal in ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ so he couldn’t be more defining of the dominion in a ‘Godlike’ role! He seemed unconscious of this through neglect of himself and became so fraught with intellectual burden and drive he summoned his death it would appear. The love appears on Colin’s list of needs; it became so when Chick found himself a girlfriend, in the coquettish subtle beauty of Chloe, Audrey Tatou. How do you do AT justice as her acting is delicious and a convincing panoply of emotion almost always. The meeting part is delivered well, withstanding the super animation found necessary by the director and entourage.

It has in it the introduction of a party host whose art of being a gem amongst pebbles Isis, Charlotte de Bon is bristling with witty entertaining playful hospitality. In a further later part she morphs into another this time an intelligent purveyor of Colin’s floral needs. The love becomes as full and promising as ever can be imagined. Then tragedy appears. The world or the Gods have played a cruel trick on Chloe to the most unfathomable depths of humanities conction. The unexplained phenomonen takes their future lives on an inconceivable journey as a counter to the love and adoration of each other. It is so well configured as a proposition – the novel clearly pushes the reader into new realms of understanding themselves and humanity – it requires any filmmaker to take that journey forward not only by rapier emotional depiction of the splendid cast but less for want of a better word gratuitous indulgence in mimicry with objects and the domestic life. Normal is not the default state and it is a reliance on creating a vision of normality and then subverting it where Michael Gondry lacks vision or creative license. The only blessing is his budget might have drawn in his unconscious behaviour after the indulgent overplaying of extravagance, in an overcooked first part. Creative propping, set building displays of collected montages of tried and tested decadence, photographic ‘pleuritic’ disgorgement, taxidermy and sensual stock period truth is one thing but as other it fails to convince as. I return to the requirement for you to suspend any annoyance with trickery and obvious CGI and relate to the proximity of the other in your own minds eye. Get a Chemical reaction? I hope so. Films not only pour visuals into the visual cortex indeed, they stimulate the nerve ends of memory and perceptions of accumulated thought the person who is you relies on.

image The film takes us around memorable parts of Paris and the Saint Germaine and bohemian lanes. There are more trees than ever in the beautifully planted central Paris and surrounding adroissments. Part of the over cultivation of nature having taken over as the love story extends. We see the machines of offices where life goes to waste and a compositors inter web thing as a unfunny long joke. We see cretins on the wood pile. Through a fence amusingly we see the new roots of Paris at the awful but now demolished Le Halle. The hyped lift up to the sky takes in Notre Dame and continues wearisomely as another piece of bonding. The authors take? Few methods of digital merriment are overlooked while the mouse in miniature within Colin’s household keeps a mousicum of order while scuttling hither and tither on across the Rue Balzac or wherever in the train like 4th floor compartment. Upper deck is poop deck for sleeping and it is amorphously engaging after most trickery subsides.


Conclusion ###3 had it the extra 1/2hr who knows? Not this time around. Mood Indigo is not inaccessible. It requires something of a visual submersion, maybe less immersion in the constant over developed imagery and reliance on your own approximations of the unseen but underlying concepts and human patterns of behaviour. It asks how we savour life and extend ourselves a carefree indulgent indifference to our outside with the consequences always coming back and with the inevitably destructive revisiting of our expectations fantasied. By seeing it in the Cinema, even given the dimensions of Widescreen HDTV it will be more than worth taking the trip to see it at a Cinema. Primarily you may delight in the visuals in the beginning and throughout.

The book is apparently one for adolescents which also has not come across as it is a French passage of life book savoured and imagined in a myriad of ways. The Froth of the Daydream takes us into our subconscious. Last night I had a dream, a small element in glorious technicolor and correct elaborate detail, of which a trip involving touching down in a 747 cargo plane which was piloted by Mick Jagger and he and I were the only human passengers on board. Instead of the usual calling with Airport Security etc, not that we were hiding anything, he decided to drive home in the plane which was to Farnham. As we got near Farnham corridor of Hedges loomed in over the narrow road and Mick steered a down the middle with the wings cutting evenly and as a municipal hedge cutter would trimming the hedge. A lorry with a huge painting roped to the trailer behind stopped at the opposite end where we were headed. Mick said ” Thank Christ for that” and on we went.

Several other totally different scenes we dreamed continuing the story. Everyone has bizarre dreams and hopefully they are as vivid and as up disturbing as can be. The Froth is sometimes in the daydream but even stranger things are imagined and appear in separation from everyone else. By show don’t tell rules this Film is explicitly harbouring on the margins of that idiom. Where is the don’t tell? It may not make you one with nature and may have a lasting divergent affect on any horticultural ambitions you may hold.

Provocatively we are given sumptuous interiors, they also become smaller.  The Hausmann ideal Paris and the boulevard acquaintance with the order that town planning brought an already astere correctness with a modicum of socialist racism intensely disliked by the likes of Francois Mauriac (Therese). Read Memoires Interieurs if you haven’t for a sublime insight to the French and this mans self deprecating non autobiographical account of his genus loci. To think my French teacher put me off French by his airs and failures of communication in his native language.


John Graham

23 July 2014


QFT beginning in August.

Check new programme – issued last week in July for times and dates.

The Orange

imageThe Long Road 12 July 2014

While I watched the parade at a stall for teas, coffees under a Gazebo, where funds for under resourced groups mainly in West Belfast were raised, there had gathered people who have been coming to the same spot for decades to see the Orange pass.
Much of it is Heritage and Tradition. A lot of it is politically charged with the swipe taken at Protestant culture by the traditions of the Catholic faith. Except the faith has in a lot of cases on both sides died and is far removed from the early days of marching.
The occasion is for some the only day of the year when God comes into their thinking. The detachment from the Church – the Orange is not a faith – has been due to the paradoxically poor expression of brotherhood in God.
The Orange could and should be respected as an organisation which if a foundation of Protestantism did not exist until a political reason arrived onto which allegiance could be forged around the principles of Protestant faith. In doing so it usurped the separatist forged differences of the spasmodic dogmas of Protestantism by forging a cross credal union.
Its fault still lies in its failure to note its own origins yet it must be given respect for its remembrance to things still not comprehended but which are dormant awaiting leadership.
Unrecognised Soldier
Both sets at other times of the year celebrate using military insignia, often as memorial attached to the recent troubles and warfare. The present use of uniforms for example of the Somme soldiers and Home Rule personnel have a clinical, sanitised, mythical presence which when they fall out leaves a bitter taste of the real soldiers deaths being used in this political role. Many died for God knows what. Of those who came back so many lies were spoken about the war, many no longer knew not only about the war but about life. Many avoided the Easter Rising because they were alongside other, the greater number of Irishmen aiming to bring the war to conclusion. The fact is the Irish Government denied the loss of numbers who fought for Britain until last year and now the Queen and the Irish President can’t wait to commemorate all dead in memorial gardens.
These times being so removed from then they cannot agree on the present.
Currently an estimated 250,000 ‘British’ citizens live in Ireland while around 425,000 ‘Irish’ citizens live in Britain. Both Governments treating the population with long accustomed arrogance and concealing the truth they hold witness to.

The Twelfth is a unique celebration of identity found grounded in the Ulster plantation which has a pronounced Scottish dimension. Why is that one asks? Surely there were many Scottish here before the Plantation. Many supported as a hired fighting force the Earls and Kings of Ireland. They traded as the Welsh did as fellow Celtic kinsfolk.
The trading was essential and it attracted the English and as it was to prove it was a fertile ground for exploiting rich lands by conspiracy with the Church of Ireland and under the direction of The English Pope Hadrian I the instruction was given to Henry III to invade Ireland and take possession of the lands so they would obey Rome and use the Roman coin which was beginning to lose its currency due to trades without coinage and settlements without proper jurisdiction.

Theft of Land
The force of English Rule was founded on theft of land and Church rule which prospered through tithes and taxes which they imposed for the principle of Religion and God. The more so when the Church of Ireland drew up doctrines based as they considered the tenets of God. The Church of England was the superior voice and it led the tyranny which affected ALL parts of Ireland. Some parts of the Orange are stuck in the preissuance of the New Testament and still consider text such as Leviticus 6 in reference to being hurtful to a neighbour that follows atonement in the order of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering. Blood need no longer be splashed on the alter inside or outside the Church. Truth atones.
Compared to the devastating denial of self governance; Daniel O’Connell among the first to fail achieving the goal of removing the yoke of Religious control which was a conspiracy of both Churches and which remains to this day, the Plantation was a land grab which split Protestants who in many a number left Ireland unable to expect rule of equality for all.
In the main they went to America and as the Ulster proud Scots and Anglicised Puritan Protestants will have you believe they went as pioneers not asepple getting out of a cruel regime and colonial part of England’s spread across the globe.
Even the English left and among them Thomas Paine and together these new Americans redefined God and strived and achieved the goal of an end to slavery while the likes of Abraham Lincoln had to be brought to the table under Gods will.
Impestuousity harbours hate
I had to listen to an impetuous commentator address some people not used to the Parades and with his crystal ball; I really think he believed what he was saying, he told the group there would be violence to stay away from areas particularly the Ardoyne. He advised them that anyone with black skin would likely be a target. Such unwarranted and frankly offensive comments were intolerable then and even with the benefit of hindsight are accusations against the Orange which the commentator has no particular insight to offer. A middle class reactionary voice was heard and allowed to offer particular advice. I was disgusted and hold no sway with this complete mis guidance being allowed to perpetuate without question.

He also put the whole marching occasion as anti-catholic which shows an ignorance of history if not a quick method of assigning disapproval of the Protestants of 1690 who are unrepresentative of Protestants today. We were not in for a lecture thankfully but to describe it collectively as Anti-Catholic misses on several levels the pre-Darwinian, pre-enlightenment and pre-self rule in these islands that still do not have self rule.
Sovereign Rule
Sovereignty reigns and the USA is a republic with the development being attributable to people of Ireland which includes the visionary philosopher from the North, Thomas Hutchenson. Influential on Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, David Hume and the forefathers of Americas republic itself.

The commentary of some fails to realise the delusion under which Protestantism is today manipulated to provide the powers of the realm with their autocratic rule. In the same position is Catholisism which despite the dreadful godless Machiavellian devil conspired leadership is today asking its people to subscribe to sectarian politics through their religious portal.
Thinkers and God
Albert Einstein was not afraid of God and profoundly as Galileo did and his own words are as revelatory as his science it would seem.
‘I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.
I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details

Just as the Orange and Republicanism Memorials enact the history of the past the prevailing element lies within realising Gods need for us not to be divided and that by creating division through religious differences, themselves a sham on truth, that discovery is not made by embracing a culture to oneself as a self required affirmation of identity but in fact the opposite is infinitely more revelatory in realising all others are you.
The you exists outside yourself as you treat others.
that relation you have with ever living human being is actually more God affirming than relating to a dead human being.
How ever hard it is to detach the mind from your actual antecedents it is in the body. The vessel carrying your soul and informing your mind that carries those parts of ancient heritage.

Einstein is asking and thinking what is the antecedent? who is the thought if us?

Take another thought relating to the war, this time the Second World War.

The words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1983 in London explained a lot
‘Since I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have already collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have contributed eight volumes of my own toward th effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not have put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.
Despicable Leaders
This present society has memories of hate driven violence and loss of life.
There are thousands who have died and many, many injured and a society traumatised through their collective witness.

If you have one vision of the so called factions leaders the crowd turn up braying acclimation to a howling man not knowing where solid ground is and casting lies out as new thought.

Having been subject to the hate filled rhetoric fuelling at his will and sanction violence against fellow human beings of another faith Ian Paisley has been another demicloth, so too the opposite despots and the crisis of identity precurors such as Martin McGuinness and Gerard Adams both creatures of wild hatred born of insolvency in civil liberty within their evil conceived dogma of killing as a method to raise mankind. They are like hunched dogs with spinosa of a primeval forgotten urge left bereft of meaning and conjoined in ignominious hurt laden values.
They do not require our forgiveness only God can forgive. We are asked by God to realise this is their only act of contrition and is in need of public witness.

The preceding deaths of Irish and as Solzenitzen points out the irreproachlessness of violence when confronting God, the deaths are colossal in comparison with this era, even with the population numbers on the planet being much smaller in previous eras.

The strange reflection has to be the suppression of truth by forces which control and make choices. No one doubts the hegemony of the very few who have secured their wealth through centuries of greed and misrule but it remains an area few actually regard as what makes them make their own choices on creating division. They are fed a history which few if any understand or care to understand yet God is in their mind if they would simply listen for the true word.
The Orange need find purpose in stopping government fracturing of city neighbourhoods brought about by insufficient investment in schools – there is an obvious lack of investment within Belfast in certain areas leading to poor standards – and a move away to other areas outside together with Planning policies which mothball areas then set about preferencing schemes which cater for the cash rich and non of which is affordable for people with long attachments to an area. The schools are no longer strong educationally and cater for mainly immigrants and newcomers whose expectations are not yet matured.

Where the areas are worst hit are in the failure to address neglect and produce structured replacement, instead the piecemeal ensures upheaval and transition to an identity free zoning.
No-one would be wise in suggesting more mixed housing, in the terms used here, would not benefit us but when there is a wholescale breakdown through neglect of housing need; it should be remembered in the past many families of each religious faith lived in close proximity without the rancour devised by terrorists, the divisions are emphasised by huge empty spaces and road, peace wall divisions. The task of the Orange is to represent the aspirations of hope and faith not resentment.
Remembering Battles is one thing but the heart of the Orange is widespread expression of freedoms and joining with others who likewise do not adhere to the creed of one religion. The rural communities know the freedoms involved and long were witness to their neighbours religious authority exploiting them and producing the vile doctrines of division while behaving atrociously under the protection of their Church hierarchy concealing criminal abuse and debased practices. They also need be aware the nature of their own and mediate for truth in all parts. That is what did set Protestantism apart but do any recognise this?
The Field
The cry across fields, and they can be from either persuasion, is of fighting for liberty and freedom. The Protestants acclaiming ‘the sacrifice made for freedom and democracy.‘ AGMGL while recalling the division of the nearby border known for ‘suffering and heartbreak down the years, along with the sickening glorification of terrorism with the parade last year in Castlederg..’
Both sides repudiating the other and remaining bigoted and divided with their own fellow countrymen. They claim a loyal gathering under loyalism to Unionism which shares power with terrorists and convicted killers all in the name of freedom and democracy while supporting the continued repression of the truth. In the name if God. An uncontested lie being told.

Religious Dogma
What is the Orange? It is hard to tell because its origins which recognised the tryranny of Roman Catholism, regarded religious faith with a primacy based in the Bible allowing freedom of thought and conscious while being respectful and considerate to their neighbour. It also abhorred achohol and gambling and sinful occupations. There are sermons during the Second World War locally which underlines the connection to a sovereign nation without considering how that link was founded and maintained. It became obvious and in common view it was a Unionist conspiracy to maintain its lucrative dealings with the crown and use gerrymandering to maintain its rule. That is never discussed of expressed by the commentators.

They are too rapped up in the conceit of themselves and of the local current politics to offer any worthwhile implement able advice. So far removed from equality and bearing they cause the embitterment to continue as it is another days news.

On a day when a highlight of a FGM was to lambast the PSNI for not prosecuting an MLA for hanging onto the grill on the front of a Police vehicle, name checked always as Land Rover, that Chinese vehicle, instead of admitting there was just cause to stop the progress of the vehicle as it had not forewarned of its actions and that a stupid driver carelessly and criminally drove the vehicle on. The FGM was considerate of the Queen traveling up the Crumlin after visiting the jail this year to see for herself how the Queens highway functioned. The lack of Catholic residents and the briskness or otherwise of trade in the shops would have been eminently thrilling he might have thought. Very important issues for working class and culture defining for the Orange also key to education.
Absurd Commentary
The commentator, another, who regards himself not so much a NUJ member, far too political that but holds the card of as an independant thinker beholden to no one, and an incursion on independent thought, has obliged us with his joy unconfined, well he has one gripe, later, in trouble being absent in 12th Marches.
He misses the point that the clear purpose of the peacefulness of the parades, also missed by the crystal ball gazer, violence ensured practically, how good to be wrong – no harm – except a so called adviser called it before foreigners as a practice of hate to be played out before them. The gripe of the latest commenter not journalist was to demand an apology for the burning of placards of politicians and of terrorists, except he called it burning of flags and election posters.
‘Stop all this nonsense!’ He clearly is a radical thinker and again defuses the main picture admirably, draws a wage and creates a place for the next set of standard renditions taught in the school of mediocrity.
The narrow path
A road home is a road home and any prelatic announcements from bigots has a shameful ignorance of their fellow human being.
When no Offence is given no Offence can be taken.
Ditch the joint Sovereignty
The Orange is possibly defined by a medicoracy led by the Black.

John Graham

14 July 2014


Paws for Thought


Skin of different colour
Dedicated to Gunner and Eliot.
Ministers of Dog in developing countries, England and Ireland respectively.
Hot Dogs
This week has been hard for those unused to the heat. Working in this weather and many have to outdoors can bring tiredness and mild heat exhaustion.

You will know that this work and I am thinking of work in the fields so well executed through years of practice bears fruit of some kind.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.’ (John 15:4)

We as friends of all things human can be consoling and a companion when too much self reflection is going on, You can usually tell by grumpiness or a raised voice and nothing seems to be going their way.

As we know as the master and sent by the Chief Kennel Carer the world for them is a complicated place, poor souls. Never a day goes by without a fresh worry. That is when I act calm and hope they too take the hint.

The Lord is always there and is there for everyone. All you have to do is whistle and The Lord will be at your side. I was worried myself the other day when I heard about a new dog that might be coming here.

Firstly it is MY patch and the scruff may not even be related, may take up loads of room and eat all the food. Mariel thought there is enough to go round and if it didn’t wash or was uncouth then she would soon tell it it was unladylike.

My ears pricked up when I heard it might be a Lady and there was me prejudging the situation. Most I have known have smelt so sweet have doey eyes and are easy to romance so a smooch works out both ways. I call it validation but some call it love.
Both of us could be the others kind.

The point is you see if you jump to conclusions, to digress – I jumped in the air 10′ 6″ last week caught a soggy ball and all to impress the ladies who weren’t best pleased as my breath stank – then you can be badly hurt and hurt others.

By refusing to allow someone to live in your community, to bring the variety if their own habits to a place you clearly don’t OWN you are only making things worse for yourself. Why for yourself? I hear you ask. Well simply because you are denying yourself a new vision and also denying yourself the opportunity to share each other’s vision of GODs creation.
This is GODs universe and we are here but a short while so getting along is only a problem if you make it one.

All bring things you cannot
The creation like the pooch I was fearful of may have a different coat or skin than me and may not be able to leap 10 ft like me but can run twice as fast but not for so long, it becomes clear the only vision needed is the vision of GOD.

Many colours and varieties of people as us Dogs have different skin.
We might have suffered by having the Dog eugenisists try and screw up
various races of us Dogs forgetting Huskies like the cold and dislike Barnes Common racing, whippets hate running in circles and greyhounds at Wimbledon, how pointless is that and as for mastiffs only looney air guitarists like them.

Whatever the colour the blood runs through us all the same colour.

We look to GOD sometimes to repair our road. Damage always occurs with traffic up and down a road used by many. By allowing each to use it and that means groups to march up and down freely singing their songs so long as they are unhurtful it is their right. The Notting Hill Carnival is now well fixed and multi cultural.

In that place Belfast there is no tolerance of others just a victim hood to be asserted.
Every time annual parades occur they get territorial. The Ardoyne formed by Thomas Andrews Linen Mill was to provide jobs instead of war. It symbolised the peoples induction with modern means of living.

The symbolism is not unique and from the Andulucian horse trail I memory of Jesus and the celebrations along the way to the more secular and at the same time religious affirmation of Mexico’s All Souls’ Day to Maypole pagan festivals all culture needs expression. It’s diversity is what is us.

Blimey we were able to turn around the mass eugenic experiment of the dictator and ethnic killer Hitler and return to our path, our road yet deranged people think their religion is more important ant they are right and more important than GOD ever made us. When no offence is given none can be taken.

It is clear to us Dogs that we have these differences as humans do but they refuse in many places and at many times to abide with GOD.

Simply GOD asks us to go the way of loving thy neighbour and giving your thoughts over to Jesus to show you they way. Reading, reflecting, talking, acting, all the fellowship of ALL mankind is the redemption from the world that provides us with our living.

When we refuse to do harm we have reached a goal and can say to others it is the way without fear. Fear is within.
The soul is in you and when the world has reached the point when ‘Our Kingdom Come’ the soul will have done its job.

The job of the soul is to be your witness here on earth. Should you reach the highest goal and be at one with GOD the soul will have done its purpose. It will have been with you as GOD is and the light will not fade.

Listen. Observe others. Hear. Love.

So be it.


Paw note

Eliot and Gunner are real Dog but they are usually too occupied to sit down and write about their thoughts though are being to do so. These views are my own and I have only the inferior understanding of a human beung therefore can only put these views across as insights from observing these fellows. They are as wise as us it would appear and have no inclination to make an atomic bomb thank goodness as we may be in serious trouble. The thought never crossed their mind which makes me think of them as superior.
Pity they are so hard to train and wash.

Written from and idea inspired by
the Reverend Elizabeth Hanna
Writer, Photographer, Theologian extraordinaire, Wise (owl) peace maker, friend maker. And her actual dog called Eliot.

John Graham

10 July 2014

The One Hundred Year old man : Film Review

imageThe 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared.
Dir. Felix Herngren. Sweden. 2013 1hr 54mins. Cert. 15.
QFT Fri 18 to 31 July and other decent venues?

Life’s too Short. The titles too long. Fact is he didn’t disappear as he roams

Allan, Robert Gustafsson, is a man of many parts and with some important bits missing. He thought of himself as a new Alfred Nobel; that is the model I’m taking, when he was about seven when he discovered the destructive, universal changing power of Explosives.

This was such an wonderful discovery to him he would in a few short years master it. Maybe his education could be described as short but he was self taught as far as the dynamite type thing was concerned. So from aged seven to about nine, possibly ten. There is some vagueness on dates.

This film has taken stories of Allan’s life as also world defining as the posters press releases try to lift its reach, in that he met many dictators, misleaders, despots, through his engagement and know how about blowing things up which the many world Warmongers or begetters loved.

All eras in his life are covered and sometimes irratatingly – instead of sticking to a tension which appears in the present we get transported away from a sense of urgent jeopardy – the director kicks in another apparent story filling piece of what is despite his reckoning non essential information.

Allan had no sense of shame or even purpose or drive given perhaps due to his fathers extraneous one man world enlightenment. We are treated to set pieces of his fathers parallel misguidedness.

Talking of which Allan sets out on his Life’s too short to be sitting in a nursing home waiting to be patronized (the film) or possibly abused, Ill treated (real life) so figures out very little about the bit called the future and the bit called living.

Malmkoping Swedens Everyman homestead.
On his hundredth birthday the film starts with his moping at the thoroughly regimental, good things are dull type living in the nursing home and the over active mind of the heart of gold nursing supremo who is his chief human contact and he has a brainwave.
Whether he planned it or not, the not is proven later by his adventures, he opens his own living room window and takes a chair onto which he climbs, sits on the ill and swings his legs in the direction of freedom with inappropriate footware except for going to the toilet in.
The title gives this bit away. Either way not suspenseful.
Allan subsequently does a lot of dwelling on toilet etiquette which is not the usual cinematic avenue to deliver wisdom, and it doesn’t.
There is something Germanic about his affliction with toilet matters and something Germanic about the experiment or wilfully idiotic diagnosis of a Doctor poor Allan’s meets at an important stage in his life.
It alters his place in the tapestry of life.
Suffice to say he is aware of the difference as he queries people on their own habits.
It makes for a few jokes but is not again of any real interest. Not even as a shape forming thing. No one could have cared less except Alan.

The language, subtitles issues and spoken is just about OK as English creeps up from time to time. Also linguistic oddities occur, bye means hello, hop in means get in and everywhere he ends up appears to be moronsville.

The life necessary
Allan is responsible for lots of important things and he has for good or bad indifferently helped people.
Mostly inadvertently as he did when he joined the Spanish Civil War as he had been handed his best job ever of blowing up very large things including bridges and he could conduct himself authoritavely as he knew more about bomb making than anyone.

In the plot – essential you know this – he gets on the first bus with a suitcase he is supposed to be attending to for a person using the toilet. More loo.
He, decides is to strong a word, thinks the bus will go without him so rather than leave it unattended, he takes the suitcase onto the bus with him.

His bus has taken him to a place chosen only by the amount of change he had to pay at the station and at this end of journey, his escape plan now complete and executed with absentminded success.
Here, in this place of isolation and very little sign of life he wanders as he roams into a meeting with an avuncular stranger who likes his absentmindedness and lack of any idea of the future.
The man is a bit of a hermit and retired.

Before he has finished his new friends offering of a meal the inquisitiveness in them divulges the importance of the suitcase and explains sudden popularity. These chaps have custody of the … What is it?….hence the number of people with a necessity of locating bringing to Allan and his co-conspirator it a number of mishaps.
They occur at regular intervals which they end up on the survival side of, it makes the story last longer one thinks.

Polis or Wallander where are you!
Several incidents involving the suitcase and its keepers have the police force of this Swedish backwoods imitating Inspector Clouseau and not Wallander. This is the side story replete with derringer do’s and don’ts.

For a long film it has a pace which makes it survive as plot twists and bait is laid while the time shifts, unedifyingly irritants, the Atomic bomb is one of Allan’s success stories though many would disagree. The episode looks like a poor TV sketch and is a sub-genre Marty Feldman.
Allan is played by Swedish comedian, Robert Gustafsson. I didn’t know they did comedy but have realised of course the invention of the flat pack is a joke we haven’t just got yet.
Revealing the Elastic Old Age
If it were not for the makeup, which is a botched makey uppy centenarian and seems no one is trying to seriously convince? I would have thought it a reincarnation of the old swagger himself James Garner as he might just be now.

Make up is a problem as is animal rights.
A little love story develops which is about as sexy as it gets. The topic is off limits for some reason to Allan but you might catch on why very quickly.
Allan is instrumental in nurturing this relationship and brings some Marjorie Proops style advice to Benny; she was the sixties seventies go to relationship guru and all round agony aunt. How come they were called agony aunts.
We have come along way.
Allan uses common sense, as Marge did, to advise on the match between a Benny thirty something directionless adult and a farm girl Gunilla, well I can’t find another role for her, whose daring good Swedish looks, animal husbandry and pronounced curves seem like manna from heaven for Benny.
This encounter takes the form of a mere of road sojourn when the petrol gauge flickerers towards empty.
It is the cheapest trick in the script writers canon and the director treats it like a circus. His sense of camera direction is all over the shop and bizarrely we never get any interiors much as I would have liked to see Gunillas Boudoir in the flesh.

Where shall I insert a biblical reference or tale of human limits when the whole universe is unexplained, in so far as Brian Cox can have us regard the metaphor Infinite Monkey Cage. I can’t aspire to such heights of thought given the foregoing which appears to explain almost everything.

Some things are out there. Allan suggests his Mum had it right – it is not a plot spoiler just a Bon mote to listen out for. Its given in a couple of versions paraphrasing “life is what it is” told you it wasn’t a spoiler.

Look out for a bearded Lady, Allan on Sonja but not in the biblical sense, as I told you he does not go in for that sort of thing and in this case it would be unforgettable and possibly terminally something.

Conclusion ## to ### 2 to 3

There are many parts of the globe covered and I have a few favoured places but not necessarily in the circumstances that these folk seem to get into.
As a comic episode it is endearing and sometimes LOL stuff and May interest readers of the book in revisiting the story. It is no more that areas ant comedic slapstick adventure set in modern times and is no ‘Modern Times’. It is the aurora borealis in black and white, info. point the film is in colour, It may be interesting to look at but it’s not like the real thing that is slapstick and is about Grand epoch finding themes.
Hope you like it and find the jokes as I did.

John Graham

10 July 2014


QFT Fri 18 to 31 July and other decent venues?


Art Therapy Thursday + Sequel

Platform Arts
Becoming Imperceptible by Molly O’Dwyer is on at the Platform Arts Gallery and. Active Art Studios at 1 Queen Street Belfast Studio 4 to 23 July 2014
Openings Mondays to Saturdays by ringing the bell at the front door.

Art is in Places we know

Once you touch the art, not physically of course but allow it to communicate to you, it begins saying new things. It often says them in the same manner as the last encounter. That is that nothing, absolutely anything never remains static. Our bodies adjust to time by becoming less elastic and unused joints matriculate everyday commands sent from the internal messenger who takes occasion rests and joins in the requested task as and when it sees fit. That could be as late as the following morning but as ever it acts after something else has happened. This is an abstract I took out if Molly O ‘Dwyers work which is a sense of what she calls as the shows title, Becoming Imperceptible. The work is a glorious combination of daily, day night observances chiefly over Dublins skyline with a domineering Sam the ham Stephensons megalithic tomb for the banker on Dame Street simultaneously pointing skyward and like an arrow stabbing into the central crust of hubris Ireland.
The main projector screen at the end wall of this long space shows a 14? Min loop film using a HD camera which has splendid depth of field as well as handling the detail passing through as a moving canvas. This is further minutiae of material blown up in scale to view intimacy the so called imperceptible we take for granted from whatever source. This is the wood on floors, frame working in timber and concrete and fragmented tarnished, soot perhaps, picking out the now imagined cosmos scape of surfaces ragged and full of randomised solidification.” alt=”20140704-204431-74671112.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” />
Stillness never moved so slowly is another message taken. Dogma and design expressed by material content again Becoming, Becoming. Never static. Especially the black shimmering light show within the city nighttime of on/off technology perhaps inferring life some automated. Molly O’Dwyer creates the juxtaposed fraternity to the city by placing minutiae in the space. Scenes of allegorical domesticity, of fabric material found in habitats. A pair of hollowed out blocks sit on the floor like mini lounge chairs and sit facing each other. They contain from her renovated house fire cement hacked of now in respite with a cadence of charred excision and exorcism. The decay fire licked cement rough and sedum tart in is armchair now cool. Chilling in the space life gone up in smoke.
I rest my case temporarily, this is a beautifully conceived installation. MO’D and here I recall another, the late DO’S taken from his family life far too early. Dermot O’Sullivan who worked on many of the buildings under the Platformed sky of Dublin. Work on Vicar Street part of his pride and joy of Dublin. This is abstractly a collective installation perhaps as it sidetracks without leaving the city the engagement amongst humans. First the humans then the buildings she seems to resonate.

The work here is very successfully placing our sense of scale in this installation with an immersion in the barely tangible. The thin connects we make becoming fluid in the chemicals we use in or heads where they fit precepts. These same chemicals storing them as strange inconsequential images. In our heads no moving projected images instead the moon of the fluid arranged into recall of some of the images Mollly O’Dwyer has here splendid in their otherness. The firecement in context is particularly a unique fashioned piece.



The work here is very successfully placing our sense of scale in this installation with an immersion in the barely tangible. The thin connects we make becoming fluid in the chemicals we use in or heads where they fit precepts. These same chemicals storing them as strange inconsequential images. In our heads no moving projected images instead the moon of the fluid arranged into recall of some of the images Mollly O’Dwyer has here splendid in their otherness. The firecement in context is particularly a unique fashioned piece.

Miasma. James Fennel

The artist is performing an act by tensioning cords, from his as he stands, to fixing points away from the wall at about his own height facing it.
This is a self encounter with his own ‘Psuedo Miasma’ flowing down the slopes of the natural fibre ropes onto his chin is replicating one of the core performance art experiences. That is ones which involve self endurance and the shift that occurs when the own body begins to reject and challenge the inner person to repel the action.

Being performance it follows the biblical philosophy of ignoring the tyranny of the final product and the immersion in running the race ignoring the source.
Watching, witnessing I notice in many past locations the act has been freakishly disturbing for many viewers.

The whole piece is both recoiling and encouraging.

Added August
Having visited this exhibition few times the separations between the pieces becomes more distinct. In reading material the fence, a jagged boundary is seemingly representative of a barrier to a body represented by a block of wood.
A forced consideration given the artists interest in dance and still attraction in a balletic form, in this it is far removed from the barrier that is the invisible sheet at the proscenium arch, our safety curtain.
Molly O’Dwyer may have a love of ballet as I do having spent many nights at various world class performances while I was in London.
This is a constant in ballet, not that revelatory, with the exceptional modern Macmillan following the master Ashton and the overseer Dame Ninette de Valois, portrayers of the light on stage of dancers interpreting Petipa and Diaghilev and so many others, with the Fonteyn’s Nureyev’s Seymour’s stilling life in a second then rushing into choreographed thrilling dance.
A critic or more academic view was taken of the fence dance floor in a childlike quantum leap ‘it’s transformatory energy explodes’.….fence v dance floor. Quaint acceptance of the narrative sought of the piece. Quite a bonkers reaction based on narrative and a stage design incomplete. No aspect of rear?
On reading this it is beyond the mountainous terrain that viewer and significantly, reader of the script makes, – the incumbent piece to be extraordinarily representative beyond its installation.
The piece also missed two sides, what that configures is anybody’s guess with an open question arising. As a dance floor it is meaningless.
As a metaphor barely tangible. I like the awareness but not the execution of its illusion.
Dance beats the artist hands down and you only have to look at backdrops, stage design of the early works of Fredrick Ashton to see how significant this plays in the very modern pieces he left us with.
In Ashton’s Monotones 1.2, Persephone, Symphonic Variations, these are clear elements of any dancers ability. Not an interpretation represented in wood.! Or a Pavlova.
To extend these elements the credibility is art trope and as I point out above is opaque nonsense and is this adulterated into a dance floor and defensible is accords mentomony to this work as the artist is simply making a statement however crudely it is executed. The critics and allegory given it in writing on it are bound for pseudes corner as much of the commentary which evades the conflicts going on putting such pieces together in one space. It is almost a biography exhibition, retrospective done in a tight frame of time and thought.
The dance floor material enters the main film much shorter than I first thought due perhaps to the darkness and shadows light altering in the gallery as other videos play out. The dance floor is evident and it is the scale which creates the force of this video. It is very noticeably architecturally experimental (Stonehenge is the assembly of three stones some re lifted into place in the past two hundred years so that analogy one critic obtains is more blissful shortness) with the structure formative and scaled to this screen projection giving as mentioned earlier blown up to this scale to reveal the intimacy of the materials and their interaction conceiving the architectural space. The point is the construct enabling us at this scale, not mentioned I but it thought its essential worth giving us a vision of the erceptible. Is that not what the Becoming Imperceptible is in this core piece what it is about? The soot marks rather than lenses looking at you are the ground on which the structure occupies. Almost a room in space.
ART greater than NEW VOIDS
It takes some getting used to the artificiality of language used in many arts of the Art world and it remains the prerogative of the artist to lead


Archive by Herita Kioski and Niina Vatanen.
There are two Finnish photographers in the front space. They have taken the nationally highly regarded social archive and created by interventions and light touch the strong figures and groups from a lost era. Each is from the period between 1940 and 1970 generally. They are a homage to a rigorous harsh environment lived in with insouciance finely tuned and work intensive management of their north war harded country. As a native both the artists and the photographer are warmly appreciative of their homeland and their home folk.
It is interesting in the first place these self creative artists; a small portion of their own sourced work is on show, have used this national figures work and put their own response on it by physically applying a variety of visual interventions simultaneously spanning the past onto the present contemporary. This is an examination of photographic communication, giving further context and without subverting disrespectfully the basis source work, they concern the viewer with the distant country and through the technique chosen where they are as a people as evolved. Is industrial, agrarian life at odds with technology? Has past technology also offered particular challenges to the generations refracted in these pictures?


Palimpsest. 12 artists

Into the large ground floor space the bifurcated spaces are approached right room first. A splendid photograph is itself an arresting image given it’s role to convey the parameters of art here. Uncredited, the hoses own work? Or the contribution of the organiser curatorial Mir Jami Schuppert whose name is almost artisan and eclectic! The bifurcated Part One brings us again into contact with the terrific irreapealable forms of work Ursula Burke bring us her soul concerns and acute observations in superb little pieces like three dimensional cameos encountering occasional contact with ink. Go see these works and cherish the particular groove taken.

The large room has one column of tiered refractory type glass. No decoration it seems. You imagine how it would perform under a shower and of its fragility. Being indoors and without any outside to trouble it we can see it would if it behaved turn into a field bath for birds. This is offering a few more thoughts and sound could make it reverberate and although it reminds you of bells perhaps it is only a ‘bell’ in segments of the tower. Maybe it should have been kept back for the diversity of the RUA show invite where it could have been staged more formidably. As with pieces like this, being surrounded by work which is not itself short of presence it rather looses out. It is a familiar problem when art in this city is given so little space as outlet for new challenging art in as this is a refined sculptural shape requiring and deserving of long viewing.
On the opposite side of the mid wall of this bifurcated space a talk on modern art and it’s problems from public funding lack of engagement and a wide contingent of artwork requiring attention. This was delivered in semi darkness from a lit lectern and animated screen which the speaker talks to across the room. No eye contact possible. It is as though the text is speakers corner though I purposely paid it no attention preferring the animation of speaker (altering) and the viewer and passed through. A coil of Boat rope was carefully arranged in mid floor as a materiality of the artists bound rejections or attachments?

PS2 Papergirl Belfast
The guerrilla girls are at it again. As such the work has left the room the artist is not here. It has been taken down and handed out. Did you get something. Is it part of a new, old, newish collection? Will you tell someone about its origin, will you try doing a piece yourself? We need you to be artistic. It explains you better than a visage you present us with. While it is special it is not the you you are.Bring paper man he is folding in isolation.
One can only fold ANY size of sheet 7 times. Try it and join the pointless.

It may come in handy as therapy. It is  short but sweet.

John Graham

7 July 2014


Taking the Final Journey

imageSt Peters to Milltown
No longer can injustice plaque the life of Gerry Conlon. He has left us so young in his sixtieth year after suddenly cancer was found when a bout of pneumonia had put him in hospital. On everyday he had sought out and helped those who like him were wrongly jailed or discriminated against.

He abhorred privelige and he knew only to well the difference between rhetoric and the action. For this he became a force against prejudice, unveiling the protocols of all factions in power. His life was turned by the framing of the British Government of him and the others known as the Guildford four. I was closer to Guildford that night than Gerry Conlon as I lived in Surrey at that time. Gerry was actually in Dublin.

I was shocked as many were of this atrocity in a quiet town in Surrey. In my local in the town where I worked, which had given me a job, we shared the shock and tried to figure what intent and purpose lay behind it or indeed what possibly could this bring to the resolution of Ireland’s troubles.

Many things in common
To the English I was a Paddy an Irishman as everyone from the North was viewed and barely, if not at all, would there be any ill will or reference to being of the same mind as these murderers, as they understood these criminals were of a class of psychopathy that lay apart in so few but caused so much destruction.

Many older memories of the wars would surface in talk, the reason to again voice concern carried always, that it too needed to be laid in the past – as acts memorably unconsiable – given the cost and the earlier reckoning with a monster of a movement in Nazism and genocide.

There were real stories that I heard of the Second World War told with ferocity for the waste war brings and I felt moved by the direct honesty in contrast to its absence from the miserable human beings carrying out worthless damage and destruction as directed by people searching for an identity.

These speakers I heard were real ex soldiers lucky, they knew, to return.
The ideas they had were modern and equipped the generations subsequently. The Labour Party became suum cuique potentially but other powers conspired against it. The prayer in this era was real and supplicantry. Petitioners for a better future came in many forms, CND, Unionisation, Hospital and Education priorities raised, Cooperative agrarian, agriculturally and commercially. This was the life the Conlons gave their endeavors to as did many Ulster people. The Black and Masons though in the background, subservient to a monarchy that despised its baseless fraternity and were attentive, retained, and lauded the differences to fill their pockets.

There was a betrayal; once war was put behind that none expected, by bigoted racist wealthy zenophobes including the segment which attached itself to the conservative legacy of Sovereign alliance, the despots like Powell and his core hatred of other nations while he caused it to be hated from afar without reason.
This view is engrained in others of this as a basic racist part of Europe and it came while others considered universal human rights. This memory is held by some still externally and underlies those developing nations its own self determination though it is also a passenger of violence.

Why Torture?
Why did the jailers see it fit to torture Gerry Conlon and the others? Why was he tortured? What has altered in the state? Why is that the instruct of Jesus to love thy enemy so problematic to the merciless few?



War is not the answer
This was an England with the people belonging to the traditions of equality and fairness, charity, fortitude, justice which hinged on cooperative complex arrangements. This a country framing a society which had brought out its sense of responsibility for the peril of others in the War and the Great War.

The fact others within their society used this set of values to establish a hierarchy of abattage and a country or set of post war countries on a permanent state of alert and continued engagement in the proliferation of weapons.

Where war had reduced men to the level of animals the future spoke of the baseless and without thought of the principles given through God by Jesus all groups were destined to disintegrate and become solitary in thought. The unity of purpose brought about by war was lost by the fact war did not explain the Word and God had for many left us to our own devices and the atrocities carried out by man were set apart from the promises of the Bible on this vast world affecting scale.

Ever since these those wars counties, groups, cities, towns, rural holdings were formidably aware of the loss war brings and they took up that calling or so it seemed on the surface for the memory of the fallen.

The fact that so many of their number that were lost had not the glory of the country at their front but the comradeship of the fellow troops in the reality of war, focused on an army advancing towards their families and annihilating families they did not know but knew as human like themselves. A global catastrophe was happening and its apparent cost or outcome could not even become clear until the facts surfaced, when surrender was achieved from the protagonists of violence.

It was a day of remember for us all on Saturday 28th June 2014 one week after Gerry Conlon passed away. To be among those there, to witness his life and passing, was making connections on so many of Gods signs.
The funeral was a final part and his fellow detainees carried their brother in love towards his rest. The higher Church was subdued by this witness, it gave back the spirit to the people this day on whose witness faith had risen to testify to our joining in the worship of God to the father of all things.

The orations were of the Bible and of memory but also when the address was given by Gareth Pierce it was a testament be reminder to us all we should never give up the just fight for Gerry’s sake, as others, as he had given his life in every respect to fighting this fight for and on behalf of others.
It was a leveling of the Word as human expression made us commonly accept that urge to be in our lives real. The Gareth Pierce tribute will be remembered wherever it is heard. In this place which carried so many Conlon family memories it spoke out beyond the walls.

Spiritual Resonance
The disciple Peter 1:2-11 actually responds to us knowing the failings often faced so requiring focus; to be constantly reminded of our role on earth in relation to each other. The important areas for spiritual development he urged – and you if you can replace your spirit source as it speaks to you – growth in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. (2 Peter1:5-7)
This is invaluable to us, it is fundamental we discover this renewal of the areas told through Peter. The abundance of return by adherence to this is unbounded and is immeasurable and the fruits of this knowledge of the truth path of God will be evident. The real rejection of this is the destruction all witness presently in the absence of belief. This is the true tenet of Gods Word.
A simple theological message brought by scripture of the narrow path we are asked to keep to in order to reach enlightenment. Sharing this is part of the message and that is exactly what Gerry Conlon was about in his short period of freedom. He tackled fiercely with true love for the human ever injustice and hurt and harm he came across. He implored, appealed to the unjust to respond and act as their souls tell them to. He never gave up.

This was a country the eventual victor, which probably used secretly torture to obtain information from captured soldiers. Just as the Nazis used
unsanctioned methods so the other armies would be also torturers.
This was a world facing annihilation on a vast scale.

In peace time those instruments are not part of a resolution. They are the product of policy. They continue to be used and will be used while we allow it to happen in our name. By not speaking up and heeding the likes of Amnesty International, a group outside of the UN conspiracy of Nations, the torturers and leadership destruction will not be stopped. History must have its outcomes and this adherence without learning how to avoid continued cycles of violence and cycles of killing young future generations perpetuates the human decaying mind.
The History is taken. It is not appreciated in Gods terms nor is it learnt.
Without reference to the God principles of which it is the fortune of history to have brought into the light for us, the perpetuators of the cycle have many years and recurrences of destruction ahead for us.

The power of god is the power of loving thy enemy as you love your neighbour. Is it the case that this suggests our neighbours themselves are as flawed as us. It does of course. It advances the possibility that we are often close to violence. The word of God asks, implores us to act by communicating IN the laws of God, to tell the story and basis of why we are asked to deal with our lives in a way which is to cause no harm to another.

Just as Ireland has over centuries sent men through poverty and through need to countries to fight and fall the English they sometimes fought alongside were on that line between life and death also.
The future sometimes reveals things and falsehoods of the pursuit of war while also advising how much human barbarity has been avoided and brought to a halt as a result of war. The cost is learnt also.

There is no basis of justification on the one hand for the bombing of which Gerry Conlon was falsely accused along with the three others of causing and on the other no basis for framing individuals of the crime. To charge them with crimes they did not commit, to continue once framed with a paucity of evidence and false statements to punish them through a facade of court trial with the cruelty of torture once convicted is an indictment of the whole system the British Government had constructed since the wars.
This being a throwback to madness of monarchy created using the protection of the reputation and subsequent propaganda all focused on sovereignty and religious service to the Crown.
This was also not the Great Britain the lost generations had fought to uphold and in whose name countless policies were subvened.
How could this happen except through the vile instructions found in the many layers of control of the Government, with its secular instruments and agencies, whose aims are for the retention of the sovereign power in use since Elizabetan times. Except this was not Elizabeth I but Elizabeth II whose service has been wrapped up in the second World war and the subsequent recovery. Without accident or design the status quo has been held to, without fail and in misguided allegiance to former goals and objectives.

The monarchy being also overtaken in their primacy by advantages taken by groups of unlikely victors in the spoils of war and their uncontested wealth accumulation.
Firstly sovereign depends on subservience and adherence to ancient outdated and misinterpreted manifestations taken from the scriptures. There is no such demand on those that have overtaken the role of sovereignty. Wealth also depends on the removal of religion and Gods values.
Hardly can a hypocrisy be so flagrant yet so ignored and so attributable.
They collectively not only have devoured any reputation of fairness they have set back to medieval times any possibility of hanging on to the equality and justice which the Bible has led us deeply in instruction despite of and however twisted and contrived exhortations made outside the true Word.
The discussions is warped and removed, mostly through choice of the people with most to loose and answer to, from the inate values which most of us are born with and are born into systems of variance which removes meaning from Gods word and replaces it with dogma and doctrine divided and divisive. This is clear on all continents.
The hypocrisy endemic in English Politics is no longer its own master. It is driven by the machine of knowing, the attachment to the written laws without any analysis. Total dependency is supreme and poisonous.
The ‘Bon savages of war’ are given their instructions still, as before except no longer will the so called savages take the certitudes of the Nations interest as their inner most value, more important than tenets of God found in the many alternatives to the Established Church. They as servants defending nations are sons and daughters of Victims more read to tell the real time purposes in place. In countries where analysis is undermined and the local press act as functionaries of the aggressor or not at all the people cannot be expected to realise the depth of their mis guidance.
So apparent is this the regimes they are allies of become dictatorships rapidly, once the initial surge and adoption of no going back has occurred.
They are taken prisoner by a cause and it is not one of freedom.

This world has many prisons filled with people whose reasons for being held are corrupt. Mexico oblivious to Human Rights, the USA also running a prison system which responds to Courts. 95 percent of court cases, or thereabouts, are convictions. These convictions are based on plea bargaining. The justice principle is not in place. Instead any case on which plea bargaining is rejected by the defendant it is then subject to the most draconian measures and sentencing regimes it is possible to enforce.
Then the prisoner becomes isolated within the incarceration with the minimum of priveliges and humane treatment. So when the USA speaks to others of their treatment of citizens the clear response would be to ask The USA to rid itself of such in humane unjust practices and prove to the world it upholds the values it expects of others. Instead it hectors and prevaricated while opposing nations which do not fit their own image of principles.

Religion in the USA has forgotten largely the morals and ethics which have evolved from the Bible and the Word of God.
They replace God with extraordinary visions of damnation and hellfire where there is no such instruwith religious practice by zealots unable to adjust to their neighbour.

Reading and making connections is in Religious terms required continually as it is accepting the flaws exist in mankind and we therefore need to re- associate ourselves daily in faith for the future of mankind.
At the forefront of Nazism was a belief in the principle of perfection which has never had a rational nor any element of goodness. It has been again taken by religious zealots of many diverse religions to be their own salvation without the fundamental realisation they too are flawed in the eyes of God and only God will be their salvation. It does not reside in the destruction of others.
Human nature carries in us not ultimate perfection. Our desire to express our community in societies of many shades, colours and unity is an outward expression of the inner denial. Within God resides in us.



Gerry Conlon had much to challenge God with but he chose instead to challenge his fellow man, his community, the world he knew with the ethics and believes which came to him naturally from his beliefs in the principles of good. This is perhaps a commitment made in respect of the devotion given to God by his parents to their own faith. Though in prison his mother prayed every day of his detention to God for his release and for justice to be found. Through the extraordinary devotion of his advocate Gareth Pierce who maintained the unparalleled presence of social care and support he undoubtedly needed after 15 years of intolerable hurt and harm.
Gareth Pierce acted selflessly in maintaining the connection with those she secured justice for. Finally at rest in paying tribute to his life and extraordinary tenacity she spoke about his having departed this life victorious. Gerry Conlon left this temporary world with his dignity and integrity intact.