On Chesil Beach : A Film Review

 

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On Chesil Beach

Directed by Dominic Cooke, Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley. Screenplay by Ian McEwan Based on On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.
Cast Saoirse Ronan … Florence Ponting, Emily Watson … Violet Ponting, Samuel West … Geoffrey Ponting, Billy Howle … Edward Mayhew, Anne-Marie Duff … Marjorie Mayhew, Rasmus Hardiker … Waiter 2, Bebe Cave … Ruth Ponting, Adrian Scarborough … Lionel Mayhew, Jonjo O’Neill … Phil, David Olawale Ayinde …, Wigmore Audience Concert Attendee, Bronte Carmichael … Young Chloe Morrell, Bernardo Santos … Cinema Couple, Philip Labey … Bob, Ty Hurley … Wigmore Concert Attendee, Oliver Johnstone … Ted
Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff, Samuel West, Adrian Scarborough.  Music by Dan Jones, Cinematography Sean Bobbitt, Edited by Nick Fenton, Production company Number 9 Films, BBC Films. Distributed by Lionsgate, Bleecker Street.
Duration 1hr 50mins. Cert. 15. Country United Kingdom. Language English.

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Short Navigations

This is a story told in three time periods and it begins and mostly occupies the earliest period and its immediate rub up to wedlock. Over 60% hovers around the earlier period. The later times are visited in reflection and as indications of how things have turned out for Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle).  The times change them irrevocably and the outcome of this story is far from the imagined prospect when we first enter the story as it reaches the honeymoon reservation of a posh hotel in Dorset overlooking the shingle headland or bar of pebbles that create an other worldliness of escapism and is harbinger of hope and romance.

Setting

Where is Chesil Beach and is it sunny and hot? ; not always a pair.  Well it is the jurassic coast of Dorset, Southern England and more notable for its shingle and Portland Bill and Portland stone, no sand is to be seen along it.  Apparently the crew where filming this in late autumn 2017 and it was obviously a chilling time but colour grading works wonders.

People in 1962

Both these young people are acutely sensitive to the sensibilities of the times and in their being born during the war are acutely aware of the dynamics of peace and a new frontier of a Cold War developing in the struggle for supremacy in Russia and Germany alongside its reconstructed allies and temporary reparations in European idealised modernity.  Both have first class honours degrees and Edward is a product of a teacher and headmaster father Lionel ( Adrian Scarborough). He has two siblings, twin girls born after an accident befalling their mother Marjorie (Anne-Marie Duff) now housebound, if not naked and watching the squirrels as people inhabiting her comfortable and mature garden.  A recent short film at the Belfast Film Festival concerned itself with dementia and was called Monkeys in the Garden. Not to make light of it, it too was a vision of how lives are affected by a moments occurrence or breakdown of the bodies defences.

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Portraits

We see the view of Edward through this revision in his life, in respect of his mother’s injury and his anger, which is a feature not currently present, is recalled in anecdotes.  Florence (named after the City? hardly the type given the austere ma and pop!) knows little about him other than his reformed side and CND encounters.  An academic he is nevertheless keeping tabs on the grosser forces within him, his aggression is a tool and servant but he feels inadequate as it is his intellect and inability to deduce his own belief system.  He is shifted of course by events and this is borne out over the going back and reveal of certain aspects of his childhood.  OK I said there were three time periods, perhaps there were others crept into for pathos.

For Florence’s story it is also interlaced with similar anecdotes with a delightful toff in the form of mother Violet, (Emily Watson), a constantly austere wannabe Jackie Kennedy alongside her status hungry and sometimes mysterious husband Geoffrey  (Samuel West) and easily rattled egotist electronics factory owner played in intentionally hammy fashion. Florence  is a music student with a leadership quality and is wholly wrapped up in the pathways music opens. Florence has attained a post of behind the scenes general dogsbody at The Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street which lasts three years. Her own aspirations in performance are fulfilled in lower recitals but cleverly she puts across a form of music which lasts.

Musics healing

I remember on the way home from work often passing the along the Wigmore Hall rear alleyway at a time uncertainty hung over the arts funding of that long established place and lunchtime performances by the and for the BBC Radio audience proved to be a cultural asset heavily embedded in good music played to the highest possible standard open for public consumption and egalitarian defiantly hoping against hope and Thatcher the continuance of the philosophy behind excellence as common property to be cherished.

The alleyway features here intact and unspoiled as before, its indentures prosaic and tangible despite the troubled periods seen through its existence.  It is a remarkable presence and feature of West London a little distance from Oxford Street and Harley Street.  Florence had the opportunity of assisting in performance as page turner to Benjamin Brittain and the evening performances had an international element equal in such a conservatoire atmosphere a smaller bolt hole away from the grander Albert Hall and Royal Opera House.  The atmosphere inside was a musical paradise and retreat.

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Notes as words

Throughout the film the choice of music is a stirring counterpoint othe emotional twists and turns and it is obvious this is a very important strategic tactic as it fills the cinema with a richness of audio pinnacles and troughs accompanying scenes of despair and unalloyed joy. Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Rachmaninov, Brittain, Beethoven all feature in the deliberate layering on us of a timeless appreciation of the emotions evolving. Were the music is at its height often the emotion is mixed and nervously exchanging between us and what we see a sense of elevation while it in reality is a one, visually which had none of the material a book can convey.  These are the awkward extremities of the young lovers own deeply felt disoriented disordered conflict of expectations.

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Mis-steps

Here I have to place my failure to accept, in large parts, the premise inherent in the novella.  I found the absence of enquiry or even a consultation of a Doctor by Florence off kilter.  There is a deficit and no dimension of mental disturbance in the mind of Florence whose horrible construct of the sexual act is a peculiarly obstinate block her life has not prepared her for. There was at the time a new emphasis on the workings of the brain and R D Lang etc. Freud preceding brought it forward into the public realm along with TV and middle class enquiry.  The book is able to push boundaries where a script will not allow and this film depends too much on the concepts of the viewer filling in the spaces and stiltedness of some of the imponderables.  The fluency of prose Ian McEwan is stretched to replicate in this screenplay.  On Chesil Beach she discloses in a speech, her anxiety in a long soul searching yet still unformed or fully expressed contempt of the actual response she articulated in circuitous explanation leaving Edward in a pale of despair.
There is a feeling the film does not convey the real problems on the side of Edward either. While we are left to assume certain things about Florence and then are unable to gauge the extent of hurt and damage they cause and with things also causing her uneasiness and tense suffocating anxiety. There is in Edwards situation a sense of male entitlement of sorts given his deliberations in the led up to the troublesome (more than) bedroom scenes. It would have been, either a sense of duty to perform or be heroic and actually create a magnificent, unforgettable night of continual passion and lovemaking (!) as if it’s something as a male he is programmed to do, he is also contemplating the strangeness of these feelings and unable to equate eroticism with the needs of his partner and new very virginal wife. Then it creates an emasculated reaction and even more harm. There is a chasm between their thoughts and the film does not deal with them sufficiently well to overcome the visual awkwardness. There is still in these times a fearfulness that the awkwardness and newness of the experience may not fit ideals. Those ideals are themselves at the root of the problem and the present day information and education. It depends where it is found and Edward is also a person whose intensity does not help which itself is not adequately explored. Florence has to ask about his character and that is supposed to be a formation of a judgement for a clearly clever woman?!

London, we have a problem.

The way the conversations are developed are very attentive to the authors intent and premise.  The question lurking is has he found a very unusual compelling story and is it to be seen as a wider component of the times and traditions, behaviours of the times.  With both having long spells in London and away from their parental conformity I thought it too much of a stretch to see them as hesitant, micro living reclusive people without own warnings and experiences overlap, usually and relying on their own lives experience which has dramatic absence.  Dorset becomes the past.  No place for Corset jokes.  A flaw is the inclusion of a later phase where shared living, in the 1975 period a collective and therefore contagion of sorts, fleshing out a sixties vibe in the seventies where – while sharing a bohemian household was frequent – the set up appeared forced.  In the sixties it would hardly have been less of a communal existence yet it was not explored or the arrangements for living not examined in detail.

Psychology undeveloped

Audacious as some of the story may appear; the exploration of the psychology at work having an unrealised importance, I felt a lot of the developing story had empty aspects, mostly concerning the limitations imposed on both of the experiences either had of life.  For present day young people this compressed uninformed pathway is unreal.  They are conscious as well as familiar with, such instinctive sexual stirring emotional decisions and are are empowered by numerous, almost too present, events of sexual diversity, behaviour and relationship guidance. Parental intrusion is not a problem and often is a shared appreciation of discovered evaluation. The advice is also overwhelming currently as the meaning of the bodies acceptance of itself is accumulated in a set of terms and outcomes, comparisons are often fluctuating between less obvious mental pictures.

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A lot of time is spent navigating the origins and the precipice we are on which is concealed within the story, in keeping with the dilemma of her heightened displeasure of the sexual act once it sets its seed inside her head in the inevitable pitch of consummating their marriage on their wedding night. This is a narrow filter unsuited to cinema as it is left hanging.  Even cinema itself is not approached although a nod to the times seen in the film which is in their orbit, A Taste of Honey shows a conflict of familiarity with sexual education.  The prospect is imagined and unreal and in her preparation she is compelled to refer to books which he4 younger sister who follows her every move, is equally excited about though not to the extent of imagining the meaning of the words outside her sisters own thoughts. Everything centres around the thoughts and wildest capture of ideas by Florence which she finds necessary and driven too by another set of conflicts which are not forgotten but suppressed. By taking the story through the motions of arrangement and outside diversions she is able to distract herself sufficiently to eradicate some of the worst until it becomes unavoidable once she is in Room 8 at the hotel and eager to please and share herself with Edward and embrace the moment. It heralds great stress and it is a staccato immersion into the ritual of love making which she and he have no notion of how it ought to serve them. Now they serve it and become overburdened lustfully not lovingly entwined.

Neither are practiced at the physical act of union and become transfixed by the prospect of it on their wedding night. Alone they discover that lives can become transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.

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Storytelling

In the bibliography of Ian McEwan there first comes, First Love, Last Rites as if it became a precedence of his novella On Chesil Beach. The straining loss of words is compellingly tale of tense human love and bonding past feeling.

THEY WERE young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. So the opening lines of the book draw us towards Florence and Edward in July 1962. Their day had joined their families in St Mary’s Oxford in a ceremony which went well including the reception and here having travelled in Florence’s mothers borrowed car arrived under a cloudy sky and with insufficient warmth to dine as planned outdoors. Instead they are together in the wedding suite dining and savouring the experience unique to both in many ways. In emphasis it is perhaps intentional to begin with the first two words in capitals in the book as they in the readers mind due some sympathy and empathy given their lack of worldliness. In fact it is not as it is a motif used in each chapter though none the less meaningful.

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When those times were presaged by moral virtue and humility it is only proper, as the Vicar might say, that they were chaste lovers on the brink of a loving long relationship not without reward for their sacrifice of self control. For Florence her talk with her Minister is an ordeal and both find it difficult to identify with each other and the preposterous notion of not getting married is one option Elizabeth takes as an absurdity. The pleasure quotient is not spoken of. Duty is the key instrument here and she is as first violin a leader in all she accomplishes. The prologue is not a good one.

Indulgences are meaningful only if they are satiated and lent great impact in the fact they are prove positive of unrequited love.

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Burden of the past

Belief is something neither have a great deal of time for. The realities of home life are its representation and compliant structure is the invocation. Some mores have it as a societal burden on pain of loss of a godly blessing.  The morality first coming from a Church and sanctified by a class of ancient ritual.

Ian McEwan compresses into a short novel the disturbance of tranquil exquisite expectation by moving into the bonding of a young couple empty illusion. The physical prospect of penetration was for Florence no longer a misty concept formed out of friends explicit stories or happenstance and part knowledge obtained by the troubling loud engorged actress screaming in high pitched orgasmic ecstasy engagement. Of Edwards pleasure and own needs she would have no knowledge only in his expression would she see his physical endurance while both would be marrying each other’s thoughts in their new union and one neither had felt before. Before the Vicar and hiring of the hall for the reception Florence seems to have mislaid her concerns until the moment of the actual aloneness.  If in the journey to the Hotel she was anxious it was suffused with the pleasure of filing away all the memories and even the road ahead was newly seen.  Observation does not seem one of Edwards strong points either as the anticipation is always countered by the more effervescent reality. Twenty two years have passed and new things happen all the time. These are however formative moments and ones to signal and lay down markers for the future they would share.

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Hidden Histories

Edward knew from University about the collapse of empires and his sojourn into conquering his love would have been shaped beforehand by a strategy to be a most humble and obedient servant to his new wife in satisfying her desires he would have comfort, not of a strange woman (The Comfort of Strangers another notable McEwan!) or innocent (The Innocent) passing encounter but a long to be lasting companion for life with all others forsaken. It is an occupied territory long held by Ian McEwan, this folly of loves testimony. Regardless of motive or morals he has attested to the problems enduring through many creative characters all having a degree of familiarity in our recollections but some are born out of sheer fantasy and the innocents here are in a realm which would have been common enough if borrowed thoughts and language are required to see it manifest in the pages.

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How accurate?

There must have been couples off to the seaside hotel with anxieties and pleasure equally mixed in a heady cocktail of expectation in earlier times, say the fifties and even earlier. Would protection be worn would they have enough passion or energy after the matrimonial ceremony and ritual acceptance of good wishes that heralded their journey into this future? They would not sometimes have had a rehearsal of lovemaking or been conscious of the powers within to see them comfortably through and in isolated limbo until they lay sleeping newly married and partly fulfilled in their dreams of finding a partner who became in that moment a formula for life. Improbable as it may sound or seem, the casting of Saiorsce Ronan whose previous collaboration with the authors vibe was her breakthrough movie, Atonement, and then as a fourteen year old, is once again fixed in the lines of the book.

Ian McEwan has described (at his lucid best) his twenty two year old bride ‘as bringing to mind an American Indian woman, a high born squaw. She had a strong jaw and her smile was broad and artless, right into the creases at the corners of her eyes.’ the remarkable aesthetic of the beautiful candescence that Siarsce Ronan can occupy the screen with.  In one publicity picture she is (freezing) on the Chesil Beach sitting with a forlorn gaze looking to embrace a situation that is exciting alarming and new while pouting over thoughts of days ahead. She fits the part remarkable as most illustrious actors do. having the facial balance and restrained openness and beauty which beguiled and captured truth of a kind rarely seen in cinema.  While sexuality was always present they each have, had an allure beyond that which is where this character is required to be in her worldly thoughts of beyond sexual pleasure and its meaning and wanting to know what that building block is in essence why they need to stick together.

Both are on the front of this dilemma as they are at twenty years old inadequately prepared in the era and societal cultural doctrines open to new consciousness. As adults together learning.

While watching, it is ones own knowledge and experience which fill in the gaps of language used by Ian McEwan in the book, a novella which is searching in this film to pass on the eloquent and carefully composited words and juxtapositions employed in the book.  Without self knowledge this film will not work and it is obviously crafted and made for a mature audience. With it als obeying seen in our media profuse times there is a connection to be made by the younger viewer and empathy is even more raw and intensely gripping. A sliding doors routine of what ifs.

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Weather the storm?

My favourite beach is at Blakeney in Norfolk where the seas-edge is forever moving, appearing to me as the edge of the temporal and physical world. That horizontal bent line which formers the outermost point is out further than the moving edge. The curve of the earth visible in the melding of the sky and seas infinity ingathered but going untouched out beyond us. Chesil Beach possibly has the same frontiers. There is the headland of Portland Bill to be found close by.  Behind it is the masons yards where hewn stone is cut and honed to facilitate a memory or vision to be put into a building.  Land is present there.  In Norfolk the elements see to it there is continual erosion.  No land is safe as the coast is claimed incrementally in tiny invisible motions of waves relentless cycle.  That turning of land into minerals swept away is almost the tangibility of the lovers quest to become another human being by having cause and effect.  There is no going back.  Immortality is attained while life is still present. Such are the promises and such are the illusions.

Conclusion ###3

It is difficult, particularly after ladybird to critique a film Saoirse Ronan is in and which she is on her game and filling her obligations and more.  Alongside an equally  strong performance by Billy Howle who goes through a more exposed later life, and with a very well cast supporting group there is a painful conclusion this film is not reaching the high bar it sets given the prose and narrative strength and form the original book achieves in spades.  No spades on this beach but a lot of digging and hiding of sensitivities none more alluded to than the core of the psychology Florence has become accustomed to.  There are few of any joyess parts and sadness is always present in particular what might have been.  The couple are ideally matched and are able to dispose of their similar but separate forms of middle classery.  They are intellectually matched but both are without the stronger need of emotional intelligence and it is obtained through hard learning.

Ian McEwan has created a new version of the story and my recommendation after seeing the film would be to visit the book if you have t altedy done so all that time ago.  There is a good display of the boundaries of film and story which is requires masters of the genre to overcome.  In the book those mis-steps seen here are not in the least visited and the beauty of language – the spoken words are few in the book and the reliance is on your constructing and building your own characters even visually and the casting has lent as much support as possible.

An enclosed compressed tale which it is hard to unravel.  Complexity exists though there are narrow confines expressed here denying access to what you have come to understand.

 

John Graham

25 May 2018

Belfast

On at Queens Film Theatre from Friday 25 May to Thursday 7 June 2018 and on general relaease.

 

 

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The Survivalist : A Film Review

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Writer and Director Stephen Fingleton, 2015, Ire/UK, Cert. 18. Duration 108 mins.  Cast. Martin McCann, Mia Goth, Olwen Fouéré and small plot parts by Andrew Simpson and others.

Entering a Bleak New World

This film was seen with a following q/a with Director Stephen Fingleton, so I begin with an early insight. I had noticed the beginning which is a flashback was a desaturated introduction and then some colour entered although barely making a difference – it was a subtle shift intentionally, confirmed, placed as an indicator distiquishing the following of the flashback as we are taken on a tension filled journey around the environs of a forest in which Martin McCann lives in a wooden shed with corrugated tin roof and among contemporary utensils with a make piece bed and shelving.  He is completely on edge.  He, despite the period he has been here, (more on that and the story later,)  he is still vigilant and carries a two bore musket which is highly serviceable and he also has what might be a shortened Bowie knife.  He is a figure like any frontiersman, hunting daily and without language could be in any forest of the clement kind.  Every day requires the same clarity as the day before.  It is a relentless anxiety.  He is what the French call on the qui vive, on the alert; watchful, and he is his own guardsman with a weather eye for trespassers. Twenty or so minutes pass as we become immersed and familiar with the scope, limited, claustrophobic and insular with little or no awareness of the eight mile horizon which is unseen. Tension is racked up continuosly and his isolation is set.

Polemic

There are few films like this around.  There are very few people in it.  The world the film exists in is a vision of what may transpire beyond a meltdown of our own planets occupation and making, of humans diminishing swiftly and on a downward slope as far as population is concerned.  At the beginning was the word and our planet became one on which mankind foraged and survived across land bridges moving out of areas cut off by the ice age into territories both unfamiliar and unpracticed means of acquiring the nutrition needed to live.  Ireland was a desolate place once and a fusion of two tectonic plates hence the bog land down its centre.  It gave up its forests once occupied for fuel, land, reclaimation and settlement.

The formula, premis is Fingleton coming down on the Collapse side (see obtain the 571 page Jared Diamond book of the same name at cpor.org › Diamond(2005)Collapse-How…) as it is unfolding and clear before 1985 or even earlier we crossed the threshold of planet debt. Stephen Fingleton has the Ulster cynicism gene imprinted meaning his vision is of a collapse scenario. Again I also believe he does not close off a route to recovery, for that is what it shall entail. The best potential for this would be total worldwide empowerment of women which he accepts is one part of the answer. (see also the Chris Martenson book The Crash Course from 2011 and updates for a wide analysis,)   

I attended a talk a day after seeing this which was a concise and very well spelt out analysis with it coming down on the less but ultimately more challenging thought of redress and reining back through advances in population control a lot of which depends on the equality across all nations of women thus could alter the course which would find its level below the present. 10,000 babies an hour added to today’s population. See http://www.garvincrawford.co.uk for a copy of the longer version. The talk will soon be on YouTube.

As illustrated in The Revenant it is very probable the Native American Indian came via. a land bridge along with, as my past review of it raised, their Appolossa horses.  A recent documentary underpins this colossally and with little naysaying, that the Appolossa horse originates, in the time scale of man utilising and forming nomadic connections with, in Kyrgstan and bordering China were they were also plentiful.  To survive there as here required a broad range of skills.

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Huge Narrow Scope

The film begins with a rolling line red and blue signifying population advancing almost vertically come the era of the industrial revolution.  Director Stephen Fingleton then takes his projection of the future as a story, not to say prophecy downward on that trajectory.  Enter the externals, a bit like Margaret Atwoods externals which I later raised with him and he affirmed saying it was a massive influence in writing the story.  There in The Handmaids Tale, read in several different contextual ways all valid, there is a ‘safe’ world where outsiders are used as numbers and for particular functions and within the confines of the ruled ‘safe’ world there are sexual tasks to achieve a continuing product of babies and assist the stability of the Survived.  In the final third others appear as do ghostly reminders of the past.  They serve anonymously to underpin the disease of destructive urges prevalent in hopeless states.  One hand to hand fight is another crossing point.

Meanwhile as is supposed in The Handmaids Tale, there are implied wars existing on the outside and all manner of danger is around.  It is this exterior our characters of a near future period exist within.  For eight years back we are shown in the opening sequence the demise of the brother to brother union and the sacrifice made to survive and then the present post collapse being now what liberals call the new normal is some eight years on in a shed, (it happens to have entirely been filmed in North Antrim and the entire sound track dubbed, itself a very definitive choice.  The soundscape is raw and as light has a surreal incandescence, sometimes beguiling and bewitching the mono soundtrack – there is only one speaker front and central, used in the film performance – a simmering engulfing detail landscape of sound is slowly raised out of the bed of the earth.  No music is used either.  Only a found harmonica and Miljia playing with sound as percussion to show her interior listening heart is conveyed.

Being on guard is for the good reason he is not and cannot be alone.  Someone will come and an encounter happens one day in daylight and he is inside when he hears noises and immediately drops the door bar and locks.  He looks through a tin reflective enough to be a mirror and hazy figures, two women appear to be standing in the middle of his vegetable plot.

Women of Persuasion 

Opening the door he sees two women, both on the limits of starvation.  They are mother and daughter, Kathryn and Milja played by Olwen Fouéré whose striking features of long white hair lean body and softly matured face articulate a knowingness and Mia Goth her screen daughter of an age barely into womanhood.  Her wildness, like the orphan in Les Miserablés and emerging sexuality, her lanky angular awkwardness is open and forming a response to what she sees in this world they now live in.  One where starvation is the norm, where violence happens.  It is where the trees plants flora and fauna are surviving without interruption and Martin McCann’s character, he has no  name in the movie – only names his brother, so we shall call him Orpheus, is asked to provide some of his crop in exchange for firstly trinkets then seeds.  Orpheus makes no demands rejecting what they offer then Kathryn cast up by implication her daughter who is aware of the forthcoming translation and steps forward while Orpheus decides to accept with perfunctoriness the offer.

Seeds are used as perfunctory and commodified trades including bodily fluids as the negotiation just taken place includes a breaking clause.

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A Wooden Bolthole

The three are filmed in the cabin and frank nudity and explicit, perfunctory exchange takes place which summons new reactions and implicit bonds of a joining contract where the three are bound in the survival game.  Orpheus is in charge and his musket a central theme of power.  For her own specific survival and for Milja it is less clear Kathryn what’s to be in charge and to obliterate Orpheus.  To do this will take nerve, conspiracy, swiftness, accuracy, daring and a lot of luck.

This is known as a post event movie and Stephen Fingleton eschews the preconceived barrenness of landscapes here to produce a fecundity of verdant and present forms of life which in his view, as far as mankind is concerned is best expressed, best symbolised by the Inuit tribes and in my own interpretation as a follow-on the Asian Mongolian and Native American nomads whose background was Asian and nomadic life being the link of all.  It transposes as the Ulster Museum struggles to point out a settlement of nomadic types here who became farmers as Orpheus has become.  Here they have and armed struggle group called the Indiegonous Race Etnic Allegiance whose an acronym escapes me.  They are like Peppers Ghost – unlike other dubious armed struggle groups – only appearing at their calling – on stage – deceptively harmful/threatening/pointless and of only fictional preciosity is a-ghastly, flagrantly, inhuman and mythological.

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Other natures

Our planet is challenged is the notion of the film.  Despite the over grave outlook presented by Stephen it is intelligent subterranean almost visceral realism charged with deep emotions of bonding within a family, caring and compassion and love expressed tenderly and unequivocally.  It sanctions goals but they are only to be accepted through agreement.  The narrative places several choices – and it is important to notice these polemic turning points when they subtlety arise.  They throw up questions of mere fate, desire, strength of character and ultimate sacrifice.  At the beginning of this paragraph I alluded to an overload of gravity. Very true. There is an absence of, and wrongly humour, and mere non-visual unspoken longing and bonding.  Only occasionally is there any clue to the bond internally of Orpheus The Survivalist, and Milja.

Milja uses her body to draw them closer as a more perfect bond. The nakedness at times when it’s not part of a earthly comeuppance is in both their state one of celebration of freedom as they bath and have time to breathe.  These times are few and the vocabulary of beauty and existentialist thinking and wondering are virtually minimal as dictates prevail. Nevertheless all thre characters use their bodies as an extra acting device unclothed they are of any time or place or origin giving only identify familiar through bone and flesh shapes.

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This is a tremendous film of quality with a hard path to redeem the ticket and entry to it.  To take in,cab sorb its rough and delicate transience, it’s life force is fragile and starkness of reality is summoned through Survival is uppermost your part of the deal.ccTo engage in its cinematic, provoking challenges.  There is one religious one, of serious contempt, there are bodies corrupted by violence and bloodily as well as the naturalistic settings and their stimuli.


Conclusion ####4

This is a formidable provocative apocalyptic film outside the genre of that overused adj. apocalyptic, it is beyond stereo forms of placement, heavily immersed in monolithic tableaux. Sound is a statement which initially is stronger than the visual as a mechanism of connection.  Then the visually deciphering of The Survivalist himself and how he lives comes in slowly.  In its pace also it moves deliberately slowing our senses down to engage with all its values.  They panoply of choices fighting among the trio is a woman man adventure, a power struggle of equal measure, of natural precedence, meaning nature is the master and cells and skin are interchangeable commodities.  It is, the film, at a cellular molecular level in a lot of aspects and the more you burrow the more you learn or will see.  It is a parable on life’s journey in that sense. It is begging to be seen widely and for the complexities to be drawn out of what appears on the surface only as a simple thriller and contemporary; dystopian and such appendages are not welcomed by either Atwood or Fingleton as the fiction is probably and horrendously contemporaneous as examples such as Isis and they are not alone, show.

One thing Stephen Fingleton mentioned and it features a core thrux of the film is commodity and entity in product which he is viscerally challenged as we all are by.  Except he attempts to make movies about them by I understand distancing himself from those stimuli when escaping (as a Surviavalist might, though without choice to survive this modern animal of entertainment come infortainment.

In for a penny in for a pound.  Except the pound is a barbed wire fence with you on one side and uncivilisation on the other.
I hope it receives the acclaim it deserves and is widely a success given its performances and messages that can be diversely drawn from it.  No reaction will have an equal and as ‘animals’ with a lot in common we continually surprise and alarm.

John Graham

3 February 2016

Belfast

The QFT show the film exclusively before general release around the 12 February 2016 when all sorts of wider audience will be devoured by it!

Their showing QFT is from  Friday 5 February 2016 to 18 February 2016 so it bridges the opening also.

On Friday 5 February Director Stephen Singleton and Martin McCann will be at the QFT screening for a Q/A

On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February Director  Stephen  Fingleton and key crew will be at those screenings.

So Stephen has a busy schedule immediately before he goes of to other films and some writing already in the plans ahead.

Go see hopefully with the Q/A elements.

Magpie is a prequel short starring Martin McCann in another guise directed by Stephen Fingleton which he advises is free online to view at the link www.magpieshort.com

Room : A Film Review

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Director. Lenny Abrahamson. Canada and Ireland Production.
Cert. 15. 1hr 58mins.
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Brie Larson as Joy “Ma” Newsome, Jacob Tremblay as Jack Newsome
Joan Allen as Nancy Newsome, William H. Macy as Robert Newsome
Sean Bridgers as Old Nick, Megan Park as Laura
Cas Anvar as Dr. Mittal, Amanda Brugel as Officer Parker
Joe Pingue as Officer Grabowski, Tom McCamus as Leo
Wendy Crewson as Talk Show Host. From the cast list you get the impression, correctly, this movie involves more than the two principals though they both excell and exceed all else about them. Jacob Trembly, is outstanding an intuitive as kids can be in depicting the central persona and how he has put himself in the character is for later enquirer to find out. In final credits after long thanks etc the names Christina and Jacob Tremblay are credited. This is appreciative of the real mother and son relationship on which film making is entrusted.
Suspended beliefs.                                                                                                                                                                                            This film adaption of the award winning best selling Emma Donaghue novel of the same name is a traumatic retelling of the narrative which has some linearity with actual abduction and hostage situations.image  Those of lone kidnap victims living long periods in isolation.  Some of mother and child situations, of several separated but confined in close proximity to each other.  Each and every one placed in a small environment year on year becoming part and element of the space they occupy.  Some carry memory and experience.  Knowledge alone is suspended and time has no authority or purpose as incarceration means endless endured living and existence. We are not in Ireland but everytown, for this, the film makers have taken us across an Ocean presumably to attract and it did, the American audience.  Fear travels.  The rewards are just lining up as this is an awesome traumatic drama by anyone’s stretch of template.
Noun
This is Room.  The noun is solitary throughout as other words tend to be. Wardrobe, Chair 1 and Chair 2.  Sink is attached to a wall.  Wall is sink wall.  Each object is a solitary item in isolation within the mind of Jack and his mother Joy played by with startling realism by Brie Larson who bears a striking resemblance to another of my favourite and compelling actresses, Marion Cottilard, for which she just this week received a deserved Golden Globe for her performance in this role. 
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The story is told from around the fifth birthday, no going back to how events arose or flashback is used making this very much a time conscious movie having some element of time passing observed and carried forward.  We are soon approaching the birthday and the story is developed by director Lenny Abrahamson on the basis of the screenplay put in place by Emma Donaghue herself. This is not a case of control freakery but the authorship creating during the writing a vision of what it might make as a film.  Diligently and eloquently the nuances, the said and unsaid scenes of the depiction of a mind being manipulated into a state of acceptance of Room as being the whole of existence is virtually incomprehensible from our perspective. However it is incredibly immersive. Twelve Angry men was directed in a jury room and similarly this is using objects and spatial awareness to engulf us in Room.  The film set for half the film.
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Hostage
Many themes of outlier satellite themes are in the tenure of film making from Dogma themes? Captive, The Town, Misery maybe, and portals through which we may pass along a Yellow brick road or into outer space and parallel universes or as the allusion and plot device premise utilised – a copy of Alice in Wonderland happens to be one of the objects in Room.  Thoughts of escape conjured up by the mild mannered costumeir David Jones nee Bowie of this world has entered to be free.        The young Brixton Jewish lad who once made Berlin his home and declared the world Low.  Lazarus arisen. Isolation. In Bowie’s words “Look up here I’m in heaven.  I can’t be seen.” It’s as if this is a place outside of the world, a transition space knowing and eating into the psyche of Joy who sees no way out. So many depictions yet none prepare you for what you will see or be absorbed in with this film which is instantly unsettling and grows adding weight to trauma heartfelt and witnessed.  To say it is claustrophobic merely scratches at raw cliche.  
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Room is a habitat of ten feet by ten feet which is usually the dimensions of a prison cell and it is within a shed.  
Silence observed
Lined with cork tiles,acoustic lined it is a forbidden tomb like abode.  Nature enters through a skylight as seasons come and go.  Night comes after day and electricity is feed into Room and captor ‘Old Nick’ provides pictures through a TV set envisioning a two dimensional external world.  A world simply of people who are flat and have coloured faces.
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The captor is a loner, played by Sean Bridgers, with a psychotic control power urge which he initially inflicts on Amy by kidnapping her and fathering, as meanings extrapolate, Jack. He enters Room frequently when Jack is at rest, most of the time.                    As Jacks birthday appears he asks mum for a present and is markedly confused he does not get the meaning of need and want.  Amy has objectives to keep both sane and her own personality is bearing down on her with questions of how to manage the situation when the captor continually abuses her and increasingly becomes less predictable and habitual.

Needs must when the devil drives and Amy begins to determine ways of solving the problem.
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There is a plot constructed by Joy and she calls on Jack to make believe once she has become more open about true existence.  In the course of living in Room Amy is required to develop the concept of the outside world which she does painfully and struggles as Jack does to create an imaged but believable world.  One which Jack can trust is not another lie given all before will become a lie. This is a transition which is a form of enlightenment.  Concepts of good and multiple universes come into play.  The stars are visible in the skylight but the near world isn’t. To boldly go where etc. becomes a reality and a necessity.

How they attempt to escape this is alluded to in trailers and the book is known to have outcome.  We come to the narrative expecting all sorts of possible outcomes all which involve mental and physical brutalised people. The deadliest harm and sick frequently encountered plots and reality themes are distinctly carried in the narrative with jeopardy ever present and lingering as we empathise from a totally inexperienced point of view of the flesh and blood people whose ‘lives’ we, during the film have become wrapped up in.

For the second half of the film this experience becomes reversed and unsettling.  The trauma continues as the world enters in.  To their lives and width of space expands and multiples of universes are presented.  How will their previously controlled, manipulated minds cope?  Amys mind has been also been shut away and her ‘rebirth’ is agonising and presents questions arising from the people she left behind and whose life’s have themselves inevitably changed.  Changing because of despite of her incarceration? This new boy a child Jack they never knew is in the new world.image
Love, freedom, perseverance
Parents, William H Macy plays Joy’s father now grandfather with ragged tousled grimacing being his reactive state and Joan Allen plays his estranged wife and Mum wonderfully, living with a new partner Tom McCamus as Leo. Macy seems to play troubled Mr Normal a lot of the time and though this is an every town movie successful crossing the Atlantic to Toronto of all places it is duty bound to throw up an Everyman to give the plot and the reader guidance.  Remarkably it works extraordinarily well with a line which struck me; and it occurs from a source which could be any character, has some insightfulness though not necessarily always, so to speak a level playing field.  It is the observation – “No one lives their life like nothing happened.  This (living) is one extraordinary happening and set of events.” Or words to that effect!
Conclusion ##### 5.
Other places. Remain the same.
There is something not spiritual about the film and probably the book but it would be impossible if not implausible not to think about duality and spirit of another guidance and driven existence on the other side in consideration with this film.    It is not prescient, co-incidental, interesting, telling that David Bowie has gone on a journey from which no escape is possible or no eventuality presents but it provokes thinking along the lines that Jack is a Child who fell to Earth.  Eventually we all leave the cinema or our front rooms matterafactly with a new idea or two derived from thinking having read or seen unsettling stories light our minds for a period.  The wardrobe of the universe is beginning to unravel before our eyes and we can but gaze in wonder and be a thankful witness.  Room is in several places at once without leaving our heads.  It conveys the brutality and fragility of existence and disassembled change brought about for God knows whatever reason.  Fate and fortune, misfortune and grace are all consuming and this is a very accomplished way of exploring the journey made and happenstance of lives. 

Opening on 15 January in the United Kingdom and at
Queens Film Theatre Belfast from this Friday 15th January 2016.

Runs throughout Remainder of January until 28th at QFT.
SEE http://www.queensfilmtheatre.com for details of times etc.
It heralds a new season of films and 2016 begins with this relatively mainstream movie in the period for awards and Queens Film Theatre as well as a plethora of Art House movies will be bringing more of these mainstream films along in the early part of the years programming. Already it plays out The Danish Girl which has been pulling in audiences and if you want to see ROOM BE SURE TO ARRIVE EARLY AND OR BOOK as I predict it will have audiences queuing up to see it. It truly is a remarkable movie and many praises should be heaped on Emma Donaghue for pulling the material all together so lucidly and engrossingly. Irish Film is in good shape as storytelling triumphs.

John Graham

13 January 2016

Belfast

Remembering David Bowie also
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Burn’s Night and Linenhall Library

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As it appens it is around 25 January.
Burns Night is annually celebrated in Scotland on or around January 25. It commemorates the life of the bard (poet) Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759. The day also celebrates Burns’ contribution to Scottish culture. Burns’ best known work is “Auld Lang Syne”.
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Here’s a poem of his te start we. (Ulster Scot’s it ain’t)
The tradition has it in 200 years to have a wee dram. That is a glass r two of Whisky. Irish whiskey is with the E.
There is a toast to The Lassie’s and The Lassie’s reply but in true tradition yill had te wait til Burn’s Night to get involved and in the mood.

O, My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose.

O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like a melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho it were ten thousand mile!

An anuther – this is superb and as clear today as ever.

Address to the Unco Guid.

My Son, these maxims make a rule,
An lump them ay thegither:
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise anither;
The cleanest corn that e’er was dight
May hae some pyles o caff in;
So ne’er a fellow-creature slight
For random fits o daffin.

O ye, wha are sae guid yoursel,
Sae pious and sae holy,
Ye’ve nought to do but mark and tell
Your neebours’ fauts and folly!
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,
Supplied wi store o water;
The heapet happer’s ebbing still,
An still the clap plays clatter!

Hear me, ye venerable core,
As counsel for poor mortals
That frequent pass douce Wisdom’s door
For glaikit Folly’s portals:
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes,
Would here propone defences –
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
Their failings and mischances.

Ye see your state wi theirs compared,
And shudder at the niffer;
But cast a moment’s fair regard,
What makes the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave;
That purity ye pride in;
And (what’s aft mair than a’ the lave)
Your better art o hidin.

Think, when your castigated pulse
Gies now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,
That still eternal gallop!
Wi wind and tide fair i your tail,
Right on ye scud your sea-way;
But in the teeth o baith to sail,
It makes an unco lee-way

See Social Life and Glee sit down,
All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmugrify’d, they’re grown
Debauchery and Drinking:
O, would they stay to calculate
Th’ eternal consequences,
Or your more dreaded hell to state –
Damnation of expenses!

Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames,
Tied up in godly laces,
Before ye gie poor Frailty names,
Suppose a change o cases:
A dear-lov’d lad, convenience snug,
A treach’rous inclination –
But, let me whisper in your lug,
Ye’re aiblins nae temptation.

Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman;
Tho they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human:
One point must still be greatly dark,
The moving Why they do it;
And just as lamely can ye mark,
How far perhaps they rue it.

Who made the heart, ’tis He alone
Decidedly can try us:
He knows each chord, its various tone,
Each spring, its various bias:
Then at the balance let’s be mute,
We never can adjust it;
What’s done we partly may compute,
But know not what’s resisted.

Now here are some forthcoming local connections and talks, local Burn’s Nights.

28 January 2016
The All Souls Belfast Burn’s Night which is a Charity event in The Rosemary Hall is a fine specimen of a Burn’s Night and it is a right hootenanny and the rest. What happens at Burn’s Night usually stays at Burn’s night until the following year when Auld acquaintances remember their behaviour as of the year before – or so I’m told.
Visit Facebook page AllSoulsBelfast as tickets are selling fast and numbers are limited. Cost is £15. See website or Facebook page for further details.

Arun the tun ther r sum more and the Linenhall Library have an event.
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There is also a talk on a historical writer of the Bards work given by Nelson MaCausland who I believe believes the urth is a mere 6,000 yrs owl.
I wonder what the Bard we’d HIV made o that!
Anyway you have to cut these guys sum slack if the end result is a greater understanding of a man you can go an discover more abut yersel.
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Are you wi me so fur.
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Linenhall Library

Here’s some photos of the Fountain Street Linenhall Library PoP – Up
Book sellers. It is a bit more rustic than Waterstones on the same street but it carries a fair collection of books in good condition and some rarities and esoteric works not found elsewhere.
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The decorative vibe about the place is the work of Damien Cash and his pleasant demeanour will ensure your book searching is not a forlorn one as his is an encyclopaedic knowledge of the book world.
His posters and other collected items are not necessarily book related and more ephemeral collectors items and inclined towards the talks and events which is another side of the Linenhall Libraries work.
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And this one is unbelievable.
It’s apparently a COMPACT version (2 volumes) of the Oxford Etc. Dictionary.
They should have looked up the word COMPACT.
So big it sits on the floor.
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John Graham

12 January 2016

Belfast

Le Mepris : A Film Review

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Director Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, 1963, 1hr 43mims, subtitled, Cert, 15. Fritz Lang, Brigit Bardot, Jack Palance.
Unreal brilliance
In the most stunning of places a trio meet to discuss changes to a movie.  The Producer, the Director, the potential rewriter  – scriptwriter and his wife.
Local World
For the beginning of the narrative the producer Jeremy (Jerry) Jack Palance is found at his former film stages on set in Italy with a dilapidated enterprise wound down and worn out studios. It is he claims pointedly his kingdom now a ruin. With each word the echoes of former cinema are torn rags and Fritz Lang as himself is not delivering the film Jerry wants and needs.
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Gone are the days of United Artists and independent is key and new formulas are embraced by film makers and demanded by cinema goers.  The sense of this reality plays out as a old and modern struggle which is comedic to begin with and hopeless inertia seems so set in on this venture all are engaged in.  It is of course Homer’s area of conjecture on fate, destiny and life, ‘The Odyssey’.  So many spellings and readings of the title are played with on clapper boards, posters, books that uncertainty is prime.
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Body beautiful
Initially we meet resident author Paul, husband of Camille.  Michel Piccoli and Brigit Bardot. They are in bed in the morning and the nude not naked Camille quizzes him on his perception of her.  Her awakening is a prelude to her questioning as the day goes on her real place and relationship with Paul.  Jean-luc Godard has cast a slightly troubled male partner for Camille to draw out the state of any marriage of sexual union.  Will it entail asking if the other loves them or will they find a set of silent responses like animals dropping their brow or leaning their head and moving their mouth in or out of a smile?   Or will it remain continual test ratified by lovemaking or rejection. Camille is questioning and is unreadable even to herself.
Restlessness and Compromise
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Godard plays to the stresses it puts on the viewers instincts to warm or dismiss the characters in the centre of things. In the second part of the film we are at the newly aquired flat where the reading of Camille although she won’t admit it. Is that Paul is using her to ingratiate himself with the producer.  Jerry acts as Poseiden perhaps.  Though he could be the benefactor of the left at home Penelope. Works each way.

Paul is essentially the Odysseus part. Lang is fatherly and learned in his assessments but comically inept at showing any brilliance in working with the Jerry contrived script that he brings to the film process.  A scene of straight talking about where they have reached takes place in a projection room.  It provides a theatre set for emotions to fly around the room.  

Infidelity

This is where Paul is challenged to become involved in something he needs only to satisfy what he believes may suit his ailing relationship.  The one that began ailing that very morning for no particular reason, unspoken ‘gift’ of his wife open to Jerry as passenger to Villa One! and Camille is none the wiser (to him) and maybe uncertain of her own covictions as to why it appears to becoming a shipwreck.

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Where the Odyssey leaves out truth and goes searching for as Lang recites, pursuit of learning, we are switched as lights of and on the trail of each story.  Godard does occasional cutting room forays into the near past and in a frame shows a piece of edited future.  He also catches Camille once or twice in partial darkness with her eyes piercing the cloth of the screen in luminous glorious singular gaze.  Whether through accident or design it is a shot that looks deeply to the interior of Camille and only Brigit Bardot would possibly have that capacity to draw you into her through simple singular framing of her eyes.
Fixation
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Journey
The journey in the Odyssey has many players and it is Penelope who is stationary. Caught on an island, Ithica, alone and under orders to entertain strangers bearing gifts.  Is Jerry to be the benefactor?  Fritz (I prefer M) Lang has many of the best lines.  Jerry has his thumbnail size red book of very decent beliefs to shar with everyone but is in Palance’s take of American producers not least probably from his own experience does not intellectualise his character too much but keeps him save and knowing what plays out.  He pump primes those around him with the decadence, visited, of money.  Palance could not work with Godard. And hated the work asGodard would not entertain his take on the American moguls. The film encircles the themes in many other reality connections.  Carlos Ponti wanted more BB sexual presence. Bardot wanted fun and to be working on the French new wave. She also despite having relatively few speeches evolved her own acting style and played the part of a woman needing intellectual equality and uses a brunette wig to signal this and acts as though her beauty is the spoiler. Go to Fritz for some script objectivity as Godard frequently explored the femme fatale and used BB too much to extepolorise this.

For producers came from theatres accumulated monies along the way which the more honest and creative Paul subsists through his gift which is constructing mysteries not plagurising historical narratives.  Paul is adrift and all too quickly appreciates the level of his relationship with Camille is at.  Throughout the film Godard uses left to right and back again for speeches between people which Fritz takes part in memorably and intuitively accurate in pacing and projection.

Others Views
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Casa Malaparte
Into each section of the film comes a love of location which ultimately finds itself at a truly remarkable and appropriate place.  One built by a novelist, diplomat who is alters his name along the way.  Visually the film is multi-layered with tropes of cinema, vaudeville scenes, back lot references in the art and exactitude of portraying what is ineffective a fictional account, the beautiful serenity of lingering on a human form which happens to be Brigit Bardot in all her exterior beauty.  The play on environments and in particular Godard’s strong rapport with built and natural scenery knowing when it is strong and instrumental in storytelling.  Colour is used in bold contrast.
Signal Signature Colour
 Again Fritz even gets to comment as a mere aside on the use of a colour to one of the actresses circulating within the drama.  It is fabulous excentuated by sublime weather where even the shirt and tie works with a linen or woollen suit.  Jerry wears, un- Jack Palance like a red woollen pullover as part of Godard’s visual mission control.  More absurdity and juxtaposed alternative to reality which the movie industry is renowned for and Godard unashamedly offers the con it to us on many subtle palettes. Chiefly his directorship as the supreme lead.
Sense of place Genus loci
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Some shots of action are subtlety sexually charged and little censorship of sexual discussion or interaction is employed with grace respect and good taste prevailing making it inconspicuously overtly sexual not

 pornographic and distracting.     A slipcase book provides the juxtapose of the two forms and Hollywood meets West Hollywood (pardon the Michael Connoly stereotyping – it goes with Paul’s real home keyboard) through ancient ephemeral depiction of the Kama Sutra in one or two overtly animalistic traits.  A scene includes a referencing, subtly ancient images of the porn Paul shows only tacit interest in, given it by Jerry.

Slipcase art
The location is itself an epic, famous and powerful influential piece of architecture.  Like a terracotta upturned boat, in the film it becomes a forth character symbolising in its dilapidated state, (it has thankfully been restored to a pristine gem of a building nestling in Capri where the never changing and always changing sea comes to its base.) a need for change and compromise as nothing stands still.  Pure elemental longing lust love present themselves no matter the surroundings and while isolation and focus is brought by the location, voyage of discovery in simpler ways of doing things, of needs and true rapport and connection are thrust forward changing the dynamic of the one person among others. Brigit Bardot, the one person is torn between her present and future desires.  Is she the sacrifice she believes she is in this male world?

Is she Penelope?

Visual mastery
Former illusions especially visible around filmmaking subvert the lives as Jean Luc-Godard explores and exploits the narrative to find ways of describing the innermost emotions and feelings.  Jack Palance is singularly determined not to loose his love yet in his role as producer he has – like Godard making a commercial international appealing film, certain values to set aside no matter how hurtful or destructive they may be in the scheme of things as they unfold.  
Architecture of unique beauty and inspired forms
Casa Malaparte is homage to destiny by Italian architect Adalberto Libera started in 1937 for the journalist, novelist and diplomat Curzio Malaparte. Born Kurt Erich Suckert, Malaparte’s name derives from “evil/wrong side” and is a play on Napoleon’s family name “Bonaparte” and clear what that intended.  Malaparte rejected Libera’s initial design for the house went on to build it himself with the help of Adolfo Amitrano, a local builder which they completed in 1942.
American Movies
Paul goes into it naively and learns more about his wife than he bargained for and he is therefore required to accept, even as an asset, this previously unseen need of his wife.  To be less shallow than a suntan or embodiment of beauty which is where Brigit Bardot, as Marilyn Monroe struggled, with the precarious value of provocative and erotic beauty simply held as the visual self which everyone adores and see degrees of wonder in. 

Brigit Bardot became reclusive and found her peace in an equally beautiful spot near St Tropez where she developed a sanctuary for cats and strays.  It is as if the beauty she clearly, not plainly, was became a burden on her mind, altering her sense of self and the value of intrinsic interior beauty.
Father of film
Fritz Lang’s ability, cinemas perhaps, to be the agent of learning; his frequent use of historical quotation and writings, particularly referencing the importance of residing in the present moment where the only reality that exists and matters, is central.  The feminine needs and desires are put forward as being utmost in obtaining the key to happiness with allusion to Gods active part, being close but not controlling is at the forefront of the analysis.  His quotations come in his little 1963 book also in part. He was involved at a time he needed the acting fee and his part is topping an era where film making has new routines and lost traditions.

However faulty it is all there is to go on and the apple And original sin presents the flaw of human acting firstly in the woman (Jesus displaying psychic traits believing himself as the son of God perhaps) displaying fashion judgement in plucking the fruit forewarned not to and binding to her by chains of regret the male psyche.

You could go on for days discussing and wondering about this as it is a staple of art and film without any end or  concept of reasoning outplaying another.  So films attract and stars who define the implications of our own values come streaming on our insatiable quest of self discovery.  Discovering beauty is a very giving life force with powerful incentive to desire it even more once the source has been imagined as found.  It’s there or here or possibly hidden if we were to lift that or this.
BFI re-release with Studio Canal
The BFI seem to think it is a cause worth salvaging and reworking for these times, 2016 appears and it is 53 years since it was made. Some of the following images take the place and its unintended symbolic awesome presence to project values against.  From glasses to scent to clothes it provides projection. 

To even take things further, the building is beguiling feminine like an emerging body rising out of the shoreline as a pubic carapace solid and fundamental. It is seductive and mysteriously many things.

Conclusion ##### 5
Absolutely superb film making as good if not better in this restored version and some fifty three years of being able to regard it.
Thanks to the whole unit who made this for us to see another day.

It is running now at Queens Film Theatre until this Thursday, the last showing presently and widely available and worth seeing on a cinema screen and to join in the laughs and reactions which are illustrative in themselves.

John Graham

5 January 2016

Belfast

Economics : Jubilee Explanation

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Jubilee Explained
People have been asking what is Jubilee and where does it come from.

Just over a year ago – on 14 December 2015 I penned the following words as an adjunct to the words delivered at St Martins in the Field London by
Dr Sam Wells St Martins Sunday Service 14 December 2014

It is based on biblical text and follows things such as the turning over of the moneylenders tables in the Temple and the wrongness of usary.

Clearly it is what is wanted by God of us as Jesus showed.

Here is the straight forward explanation he, Dr Sam Wells, used at St Martins Sunday Service 14 December 2014
It has been extracted by me again and given as inspiration to all.

It was especially addressed at Christmas Time as I have indeed followed by posting earlier this week an account on Economics : Jubilee which brings focus to all other aspects of Jubilee that discussion brings.

It is in our prayer

It is in our times as before
I was fine until I fell into debt
I was fine until I let things smother me

50% of Tower Hamlets children
Live in poverty the average salary
in the London Borough is £50,000
Cheque books have more to do with poverty
The bible shows everywhere within it
Ways of release that Jesus taught us

The times are temporal our forever joy
Never without time we are promised
Perpetual time.
The time we know through God
Perpetual time is my mind brings
Is time in Gods hands does not exist

In life as in death god makes us
Without separation No broken touch
Ever present in other peoples lives
The guidance given for us to receive
Trade and taxes levied on the poor
The poor with reason enough to borrow

Borrow and borrowed are debts trespasses sins
Glimpse followers of Jesus
The Good Samaritan, the prodigal son,
the people of the vineyard all in the presence
in that debt, that sin

John Graham
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Isaiah 61

Jubilee appears

Fields lay fallow every fifty year
No accumulation of wealth or debt
In every second generation all is wiped
Everyone went back to square one
The implications simple yet profound
Letting people free from the grip

Of the impossible possibility.
Christian Aid likewise St Martins
The spirit of the Church and Jesus
is upon it from bereavement
from ill health from Broken family lives
the Jesus we follow urged us all

Within his followers comes the vision
of the possible within the impossible
Anointing God you brought Jesus
Into our lives Transforming
God you gave people
Friends in Jesus united

Your spirit binds up the broken
Their relationships their feeling
of being unwanted in a world full of want
That minds can be calmed and clarity
Through Gods gift of Jesus. Bringing hope
Never forget your brother or sister

Never forget your own struggle
Or forget the way you are healed
It is not at once in a vision but in an eternity
It is always there not just about personal redemption
Not just about the human making sense of the world
The world needs no explanation

The world is within us as it is
Outside us the presence
It’s very existence uniting us as one
Knowing the universe is present in all
The ways of the world are Jesus’s way
Gods way to be with you this day and for evermore.

Used in Dr Sam Wells St Martins Sunday Service 14 December 2014

Carol : A Film Review

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

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

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Phyllis Nagy Screenwriter

John Graham

26 November 2015

Belfast

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

http://www.queensfilmtheatre.com will give further guidance

These are the present scheduled dates and times

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

Macbeth : A Film Review

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Macbeth The players – Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, David Thewlis, Paddy Considine, Jack Reynor, Elizabeth Debicki
Directed by Justin Kurzel UK/France 1hr 53 mins Cert. 15

Macbeth the concept.
In telling the story of Scottish Generals and Kings Shakespeare provides the genius construct of the weakness of all mankind.
Corrupted by evil at once the pyramidic value set in dominions across the world are cast forever into repeated downward failure to imagine the world without violence.
The repetition is beset long before the play is written or it’s many formulated interpretations, some set on distant continents, in modern as well as medieval times.
Without fail it is easily the most accessible work created by Shakespeare and here is a version put to film as another contender to open our wounds.
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Stunningly gripping
It is a mesmeric version, full of visually stunning broads-cape earthbound gravitas. It is full of magical otherness with the Witches tale, – and Thomas Middleton it is often said, wrote for theatrical guile the well known witches scene, Act 4, Scene 1 having Macbeth, now empowered with the formation of rule over all of Scotland, an encounter with the three witches who in the very first scene of the play had foretold his future.
They stir the cauldron – a Scots Broth of root of Hemlock, Gall of Goat, Finger of birth-strangled babe amongst other delicacies. “Though Palaces and pyramids do slope, Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure Of natures germen tumble altogether Even till destruction sicken : answer me To what I ask you”
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This asks Macbeth as the apparition of the witches, the satan like opposite ‘God’ he turns in his head, provide the prophesies wildly but close to the fate he will endure.
First apparition, “Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth; beware Macduff” An excellent and explosive Sean Harris.
Mercurial Macduff.
The potency of the prophecy equivalent to Caesar’s deliverance.

This film too has at the beginning another thing in mind.
Pay attention from the very beginning in other words!
It begins with a funeral scene which attests to the blood Macbeth and Lady Macbeth conceive as their future.
Justin Kurzell obviously wants us to not only consider the treacherous nature of alliances but the fruits of the unions chosen.

We see the witches proclaim “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”, in thick garrulous Scottish dialect which immediately requires your utmost attention.
It is language made to conceive ideas, truths, dilemmas, reversals and all kinds of twists and turns. It is without compromise we are fastened into the iambic pentameter of the astonishing insightfully transposed emotions brought through linear 8/10 vowels and dialogue. Instinctively Shakespeare has wrought and stretched occasional verses and speeches into everlasting contemporaneous floods of thought washing like Macbeths hands under the waterfall of natures presence.
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It is from a battlefield where we encounter the savagery of the generals Macbeth and Banquo played by Paddy Considine slaying the Norwegian enemy and his ally Thane of Cawdor. They return to the Scottish King Duncan the head of the slain for picking on the Castle battlement.

From that moment forth the darkness descends even more black and the figure of Duncan, an amenable righteous King, friend and fair governor, though how he achieved his own status is itself overlooked, – is played brilliantly by David Thewlis. Amiable affable David Thewlis is tall and ideal as this seemingly benign King.

The casting on all fronts is astute and faultless. Michael Fassbinder without one flaw is Macbeth the troubled hero. Lady Macbeth likewise. Marion Cottilaird is stunning portraying the malice as the evil cohabitant of the joint liaison both have summoned to seek for their contentment, symbols of their combined wisdom.
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It is faultless as soon as the conspiracies and parameters are set. They are set in the context of King Duncan’s choice of a successor which shocks Macbeth and is seen by Banquo as a fate with which there can be no real contest. Banquo has his son Theance in mind it seems and as his sons protector shows only practical contempt of Duncan’s actions.

Not so Lady Macbeth.
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The Pivot
The Castle interior is not a lavish set on a fairly low budget film but there is little to denounce as the story unfolds in speedy courses of original dialogue and scene setting speeches. The memorality and cadences are very clearly interpreted and the swift edit cutting, present from the beginning where we see sufficient landscape and facial expressions as to be wholly convinced of this period interpretation. The tonal colourscape of the film is as the highlands of Scotland have appeared it seems for millennia.

For modern Shakespearian audiences it is in film entirely manageable (will a directors cut fill in all the absent dialogue?! Hardly!) to absent, omit certain scenes, for example Lady Macduff and Ross and their metaphor laden discourse.
We are instead delivered immediately to the cut and thrust of the pulsating pace of the outcomes from the major characters.
Breathtaking and troubling nature at once mocking and providing lush life and long genus loci.
That’s Scotland for you and Macbeth is at home at best it seems in Inverness. From England will come to the other Lowland Castle an army set by Malcolm and Macduff.

Evil unleashed
The loss of self control and judgement is fast enveloping as indeed is the protagonist of evil, Lady Macbeth, herself while alone subjected to self doubt and conspiracies of internalised composition. This is in itself a power play of acting and actorial genius first imagined by William Shakespeare himself a doubter of the sovereignty in his midst.

Alternative themes
Primarily to be successful it was necessary for him to quell his own judgement and only to slightly if that infer the cosmos of his beliefs. After all The Tempest being his final play, act spoke of the alienation, not an underrated descriptor, of his own mostly hidden or overlooked Catholicism. I believe he had realised the difficulty of criticising the Monarchy as the reformation began to take root.
This play set when a period of calm in religious fervency was destabilized by these acts of ‘play’ evoked Kings pyramidic violence laden betrayal of the ‘truth’ seen in a possible ‘outlier’ of religious discovery, instead is encroachable and lost in this human failure seen in the dramatic form with an intensity never encountered before. (Or since you might argue)
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Justin Kurzell has excelled in delivering this drama so effectively and accessibly to the big screen. This is were it is meant to be seen – it so happens TVs are becoming so big as to encroach on Cinemas singular and specific medium! So see it in a large space on a large screen and be dragged into it without distraction.

You will see – for no other reason than visual stimulus – play on the majesty of spaces – the serenity of the truly unique environment of Ely Catherdral is invested and charged to acquaint us with ‘awe’. The light streams into a space which happens to be so close to London it’s almost Home Counties and therefore distinctly not Scottish or Glamis as to provoke the directors determination to satiate our thirst for context and meaning.

Conclusion ####+ 4+
Mesmerising, convincing and superbly acted and directed film of a classic narrative which will envelope all drawn into it, those repaired to be immersed in the surreality of the use of language, metaphor or other driven of a tale resonant still in this millennia. It is never open or close to acclaiming itself as a definitive version. That will never be possible as the whole circuit of present day culture hovers around subjects Shakespeare has left as a jumping off point for ‘the story’, our meaningful human quest of a meaningless or impossible act of judgement of origin and place.

Such is the deserved acclaim warranted of a film which has expanded the thinking and not wasted its opportunity to shift minds and awaken things long left to sleep – that we may turn to anew – to something that is already there unknown.

John Graham

1 October 2015

Belfast

Showing from Friday 2 October to Thursday 15 October 2015 at QFT Belfast
and over wider distribution venues.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya : A Film Review

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
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Director : Isao Takahata Japan 2013
2hrs 17mins. Cert. U.
For matinees at QFT on Saturday 11 (3.25pm) and Sunday 12 April (3.15pm) the English dubbed version will replace the original Japanese with English sub-titled version shown at all other times.
There will be a pre-screening talk given by Laura Shearer, Film Blogger, on Saturday 4 April at 6.00pm.
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Story telling in Long form Cartoon
This is a tale of discovery. Set a child down in front of it without them able to understand language, subtitles or the mixture of both with an English version thrown in and for two hours they will be mesmerised.

Albeit very confusing to see a child grow into a juvenile, be taken from what seems like a paradise and to see them proudly develop opportunities such as skills with music they could relate to the grim Lady hired teacher of all things proper. At every opportunity Takenoko (the name meaning L’il Bamboo) refuses to be Bidden by the Lady of her parents choosing. This Governess is caught between the post and the willfulness of the child.

The kids will relate to this. They may find the halting nature of the progress and attainment of happiness and may recall and miss the rural bliss left very much behind after Takenoko has become nearly woman.

One part of this Japanese animation directorial dynasty is Seventy Three the other Seventy Nine.
They give us a vision of indescribable Japanese culture. It assumes the form of the simplest graphic. Such that two dimensions seems a moving book opens in front of you.
The sweep of a pen lovingly held just so on the page where it is not word as Kipling choosing … don’t look too good .. Watch the things you gave our life for … of the story travels.
Miyazaki, who directed Spirited Away and studio’s acclaimed chief, retired last year, at 73, with his ninth and final film The Wind Rises.
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Drawing it out
Takahata’s time at 79 do the same arrives to this extraordinary painstaking animation drawn as an exquisite allegory for Japanese minimalism which I discovered in the Japan Exhibition some decades past in the British Museum compellingly exotic.

As mythical and as maddening as any Irish Lore
Around the same time I was considering how Yeats was drawn to No theatre and what that said about the theatre of Ireland as well as contemporary Beckett plays.
Did we citizens of the world recall through minimal line and mythological thanks portrayed to a creation we so fragile hold? Yes. The escape into imagination is ours to perceive.
Isao Takahata the renowned Director finds here the tradition of Studio Ghibli’s animation technique as ancient scroll-painting coming to life in water painting as a fusion of air and balance of colour and line.
Put over as charcoal it becomes recognition of our carbon, the human element of these sketches.
The mystical properties of the story are very evident. Even in the final act. The narrative is serious and altogether on the fine line between sadness and acceptance.
The charcoal emanates from the willow bamboo an internal minutiae seldom visited. The evocation of landscape also brings memory of forest smells.
The willow is, I call it whittling, cut to reveal not a point but an inhabitant.
Our Jonathan Swift is Lilliputian and visceral complexities – this is instead 10th century fable.
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Has it moral and folkish lore?
Out of the bamboo the whittler finds a naid to be taken home to his family home. The Mountain from which the Bamboo is drawn has but a short time to provide and a decade is required once a harvest by the population is gathered in. Those ten yars occupy the middle segment and the Mother and Father recreate for themselves, selflessly in the midst of their new surroundings some representations of the old life.

The parents are endearing and also confounded by what this peculiar world they are encouraged into developing as though given instruction from the Heavens.

They are unquestioning.

The children find the earth full of things which renew whereas the uh obtainable is how the wider world sets out its goals. Takenoko sets a task once the skills and assertiveness of her life takes hold.
That is in order to have someone win her heart which is the dearest wish of her family and the city expects she puts out a call impossible to answer but the elitist suitors overwhelmed in expectation of the hidden love of The Princess go forth on the task.

The kids have seen it all before in many a movie and cartoon. The floundering of adults in pursuit of the impossible and the inevitable volte face in failure.

But is it learning and why is it the insistence of The Princess who surely knows their is that thing called love to be satiated.

Beginnings
There the foundling becomes Takenoko who within a very short period identifies as a fully grown Princess.

Discounting thus rural bucolic existence as being her real life or natural home she veins to observe otherness laying beyond this majority view of Japan.

So what Japan do we see?
What psychology of Japan rises above the personal?
What authority of restraining the personal growth Takenoko is privy to there in the space frame of this illusory vestage of Japan’s primary pathos and art form. The format of Scroll enveloping the No dynasty of story telling in fable as religious instruction.
Variously within this genre is encountered all of Japan’s life. It’s corpuscles amphibious then earthen and token pots mathematical guile as form arrested on geometry.
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Pots are formidable excelling art trusting in simplification as domestic, well what is it rectitude, certitude, alacrity, hubric control?

That is an entire subject 73 and 79 year olds are familiar in exhausting but not running low on cabling their story driven creation of illusory cultural landscape.

The pen fades out the image of landscapes as they escape from or reach to the edges of Cinematic frame. It is reduction in cerebral thinking brought to make space for another non realised or unseen presence.

Where Gilbert and Sullivan feared to venture with their Mikado Emperor, looking like a Seventies power dressed pirate here, in the attempt of the Honoured family who take their dared for charge to the city begin to find
Takahata put back the child into the Princess whose rejection of the material forms advanced by city and patronage as her beauty revered and sought becomes burdensome is curated Japan in the animator a hands.

Takahata requires and sees this water level tunnage.
The under cut line of human the frog eye cut by a sight line we know – when we observe it split by the horizontal – it has both in mind.

Two parts to us Takahata’s us that is here imparted through timeless skilful animation.

Only animation could show this flourishing as Takenoto becomes a custodian of flowers for the life makers here prescient ancient creators planting her in minutiae along with the dreams to fulfill it are not dream archers but come to retrieve the life lived once the dream has another form to return her to her true will. The return to childness forever – Buddas are Indian and the Angel’s Christian emblematic symbols some are familiar with in these allegories.

I find this aspect of glory very wishy washy – all the films colour has gone – the new moon (and on 4 April 2015 a seventh appears!!!!!) is benign and over white and and primarily tiresome.

The world is not only screamingly beautiful in so many contexts – not this one – we manage not to see, the image of arrows as flowers penetrating solids or what lies next to the bedrock of trolls and goblins harvested in greater and more formidable accounts. The likes of Brian Cox need do the kids a programme on this one or Matthew MaConaghy explain how he manages to traverse the wormhole or black hole of whatever it is he finds in space outside his space suit in ‘Interstellar’.

Other Narnias are available as are quasi religious symbiotic attempts at national analysis fastened to cultural expression.

The immersion is acceptable but without the ability to feed the senses the Japanese themselves are advantaged in staging their exploration of their gathered historical collections are we westerners ever likely to presume anything other than a cursory appreciation.

Configure. Go figure.
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Conclusion ### 3.
It is a shape shifting movie in the sense it is splendidly harnessing a genre of which there is no equivalent. It is beautifully and evenly rendered throughout and sees us disappear for a while going along with its long depredation of a life long tale. It encompasses the entire ‘universal’ life of Takenoko – variously L’il Bamboo, the Princess of Kaguya and we spend quality time with her lovely parents.

We also learn crafts never dreamt of and the axiomatic of beauty in the simplest forms of nature as well as the most complex unknowns we encounter and appear to ignore that concept of for our immediate gratification. The splendid rendering is what acts as a cohesive form and in the story is to be found many meanings some inpenetratable and some no doubt traditional faithfully held forms of expression/belief.

Be careful you seek some prior story heads up if you intend to have it as children’s cartoon entertainment. Or use it to ask them what it’s all about.

But don’t be daft.

John Graham

3rd April 2015

Belfast

On at QFT from Good Friday onwards SEE QFT CALENDAR FOR EASTER CLOSING DAYS IF ANY. A SPECIAL SCREENING TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015. With an introductory talk.

The following is useful for kids show times though a child’s ticket price is not advertised or is it?!

For matinees at QFT on Saturday 11 (3.25pm) and Sunday 12 April (3.15pm) the English dubbed version will replace the original Japanese with English sub-titled version shown at all other times.
There will be a pre-screening talk given by Laura Shearer, Film Blogger, on Saturday 4 April at 6.00pm.

Sent from my iPhone

Religion : Something New

imageThe Disquisition.
For an idea to take shape it requires some exploration.
It happens as I was an attendee at a rare Sunday Evening Service at the Church I go to; it last had evening services a very long time ago, it shall remain nameless as in the following you will see convergence and assimilation is what matters.

The service was, as is often the case, the means to accessing and discussing these things.
I related to a reflection from a book I had just finished in which it had me considering the larger questions. Then came bigger questions once I began writing and coincidences started to occur.

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Something New?
From the heading to this opening section I have added a question mark.
Having read in a book of a reference made by the author concerning ‘Something New‘ I came to realise in the phrase something’s , that came in the later stages of the ‘The Pillow Book of Eleanor Bron’ a hidden detail. She has it seems accumulated, been holding back!, some of the more confounding things for this part of her book, like an actor having taken you through the immensely satisfying passages of the play – the pillow book has opened and insights that have not escaped her, she brings momentous challenges of thought as the heart of the ‘play’ in its denouement.

This observation by EB is the final act, but you are conscious it is only one book in her life and so much more is not revealed.
She is not going to spill the beans about the important stuff; namely her character assessment within herself and her opinions, true opinions on things past and present. No, only the bigger picture anecdotal entitlements we are able to access now we have them here written in this casual form!
Pillowbooks
Pillowbooks are essays on any subject that occurs to you in the course of writing. The object is to arrange the thoughts into common themes and to loosely take things chronologically give a rhythm of structure. The practice is ancient.

Something new? Well, when she has been rehearsing and improvising,as the American acting style of learning developed into, she notices something which illustrates much more than just acting.

In the manner of the writing of a Pillowbook a short title is used.
It comes in these last passages as ‘startling things‘ neither with capitals or bold but italisised.
em>startling things
‘….another actor who takes a piece of text or of behaviour and opens doors and lets in light that makes everyone, hilarious, with that delight that comes almost always not from finding out something new, but a shock of recognition of being emended of something so obvious that you know it, somewhere, all the time. If you can offer something back, and something back, and yet again, and on and on – wonderful.’
Other Meanings
From this you can take much besides the simple recognition Eleanor Bron is making as a ‘startling thing’ ‘something’ which climbs to a higher place. She leaves it at that while being exhilarated by the insight.
She has taken it, as it means so much more. It is reason for acting and portraying ideas before people as a kind of witness giving energy to every thing it touches.
To act out the intention and meanings of mere words is a glorious concept which assists our understanding of many things. The continual – see the repetition in the last sentence of her piece – is what she describes in leading up to this recognition as exhilarating.
Time
More can be gathered by looking into this thought deeply and in the context of mere religion and the universal.
Not being something new shows the existence, the prior truth as being the only something that matters. The truth inherent is that all already exists and it is finite not to be added to.
Therein is everything that ever will be in the future already here.
It is simply not yet fully uncovered.
The saying nothing is new under the Sun is only partially accurate.
The universe which we look back upon, through the achievements of science, is of past times.

The modifications we make through uncovering things and destroying things is a cycle within the existing time that is still. It is a stationary timeless essence of our existence. No time exists. Time being a concept.
The passage I refer to has in it the essence of this thought.
That all is in existence and as some prefer to reason, ‘ye must be born again’ that seems to mean return within.
There is no conflict in this saying as it contains the other thought or truth that is often referred to ‘nothing can be created nor destroyed
So in the saying, it unveils some truth as it was otherwise intended.
The Big Bang theory is complete. The theory is that the creation of – and the creator is the universe itself beyond the creation – time is nothing.
To envisage this concept of no such thing as time and we are within the creation which is without time is the central form which has to be perceived. (In a later part I refer to time as it is used scientifically as a means of connection and measurement.)
To conceive of the theory there is a Big Bang is the culmination of an unravelling of the constituent parts of our existence.

It has become so evident that there existed a moment when we ‘came’ into being – except from what we know of ‘mankind’ that part of the fluidity was not there in the exact ‘creative’ Big Bang – our existence was determined because of it, in and out of the Big Bang. It is what we are.
Creation
We will never have the capability of discovering the ‘creation’ of existence because we are within it. It exists as us and is the entirety of the universe seen and unseen for which there are to be no subtract ions or additions.
Our reasoning is to make discover what is and not to discover what will be.

The fluidity in the above paragraph is in reference to the form we take.

In this form It is as though we exist within the the two reflective faces of two mirrors each unseparated and each containing all the light.
Our universe being within those mirror faces melded and inexorably in the infinite moment continually rearranging in a time which is inconceivable.

Our own world is methodically based on lineage which casts back through exploration of a universe of billions upon billions of years in the formation.
It is our concept of time without any other instruction. No external, and that is all that we see, knowledge is transferred.
The sense of scale is ours through measurement alone. Even the nano level shows temporal differences around any measurement due to the fluidity of all that is in existence.

Our thoughts are conceived around firstly an understanding our own world and life within it. The conditions in which we exist and the powers of spiritual thinking adapt and provide the necessary formula for existence by our reliance on each other and on the regulation through ‘days’ of our lives.
Gaia
Whether you call this the theory of no time or of our phenomena is not of any importance. We live in a time within ‘no time’ where we have despite the insignificance of it ‘invented’ seven days for a week by division of a ‘calendar’ found in the behaviour of the planet in relation to the sun and moon. It is a stretched time where we have seasons and the planet ‘Gaia’
as a model of the earth self-regulating organism is a closer recognition than the one which is adhered to that has seven days. A day is the same in Gaia as the next day and the day after that.

In other words there is no need for a day to have a name and seven of those days advance and the same days name arises. It is not logical but a mechanistic set of conformities which deny us true revelation.
The possible explanation is that we fear that uncertainty while seeking uncertainty through destructive and immoral behaviour.
That of war and that of up recognition of Gaia as a base elemental truth.
Perceived
The cognitive pressures to learn and be able to create ‘everlasting’ conditions, the life after death hypothesis is but one as enlightenment and social realism which are forms of elucidation. Meaning is our questioning reasonings prevailing purpose.
We are the inhabitants in that moment of no time and within it we exist as the quantum parts of that creation.
To act on things we need some certainty and as constituent parts we evolve, are evolving within a frameless universe. The manifestations are a return to our earlier existence through the dissolution of this planet. The planet is a gathering of an immobile part of the universe.
Finite
It may seem as an infinity but it is of no time and the infinity exists only as a creation within something that is already here but we know nothing of.
For Gaia we assume the ‘laws’ of Titan, that ancient Greek god of the sun, represented as driving a chariot across the heavens; identified by the Romans with Sol.
Computed
There is a sweeping away of the many layers of our self deception and it is through the ‘advancement’ of theory which has collected and been revealing new things to us as our advance has led to new methods of learning, the patterns obtained through computing and the relevance of the anti-fragile world is pulling us into the centre of the Big Bang as it is key to our own understanding.

To not look for something new is a positive and it also defines for us a future which does not exist, only our cycle within the already existing is our life.
Now
In the Pillowbook it is the idea that something exists that you knew all along.
The recognition and revalation is exhilarating and it is driving you closer to that ultimate knowledge of your own existence and of not just something but everything. It is as is now.
Adam and Eve
Another aspect in the Pillowbook which drew me into this exploration, this examination of the thought it provoked is concerning the basis of all Religion. Love of one another above all else.
Primarily in putting the case for God as our proof is the greatest proof of all of our capacity to love in the beginning. From Adam and Eve, she explains in passage 203, –
‘Dorna insists there is only one sin. And that is not loving someone enough to be perfect – that is to say, to obey them perfectly. Starting of course with your parent, or parents. Adam and Eve did love their single parent -as much as any uncomprehending child, in those first days of life, does love the Being that feeds and succoured it; but if you disobey that Being it is akin to not loving it and this – seeming not to love duly – is the strongest spring of guilt. This is the real Original Sin.

Gods case and the case for all parents, is that Creation itself is the greatest proof of love.’

Here Eleanor Bron, whose Jewish sensitivity to Religious thinking has enabled and brought her a very well honed and considered approach to discerning hinges in light of her accrued life’s experience, again touches on elements which although totally without proof of concept or realism are harbours of faith of God as creator. They are disproportionately valuable in their wisdom. It is also a probable cause of the authors ability to perform complex roles in virtue of her disposition for learning and drama as a means of delivering understanding. It is warming to realise this singularity of direction is but one of the vast number of directions peoples lives take them.

Knowing your limits of love is a failing in the perfection known through God.

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Action at a Distance – Dice or No Dice

A History of Brief Time
In this time, several reflections can be made of advancements in science and by a small coincidence an exhibition opens this week in Belfast on the theories found by John Stewart Bell.
If a small explanation of his principle theorem is made it is this – Our world is non-local as sub atomic particles act on each other no matter how far apart. Regardless of relation in time or light.
Problematically it has of its relation to quantum theory one thing most evident.

The experiment of separation is achieved through fine distancing which in continuing the separation exacting care enables the exclusion of other forces. It is noted there is still elemental properties within a vacuum so for Jonathan Bell to create an experiment which removes all other elements apart from the sub-particles which ‘bind’ ‘repell’ is the outstanding advance which confirmed the theory for further proofs to emerge.
Event
It is only probability and has no certainty. It is not a deterministic theory in which the future can be predicted. In the circumstances Einstein was philosophically correct in believing the ‘old reliable’ does not play dice.
In this he acknowledges the very eventful – the proximity to being determined through all available present knowledge – as being immense.

Only the absence of this proof is deepening the void and creating an unbridgeable divide between this and the light connection unseen.
The chromatic sciences of art and nature, seen in the film ‘Mr Turner’ as prismatic light obtained through diffusion in glass.
That light passing through air which itself dissipates its colour and scatters before us principally blue which is the light we walk through.

Think of each oxygen particle and four other nitrogen colourless particles which we read through and breath in. Our connection to each other is made through the links of us sharing the same air at some point in different particles of the same element.

It is as though we are linked not only by design, homologous parts are shared between species and our ability to compress and arrange air through our larynx is what makes us able to communicate in a higher order.

That is all that separates us from other species and principally the chimpanzee. It is a reality which environment has stimulated.

Out further is the construct of our finite world within the Big Bang.

Rearview Science
Standing not in front of us but behind us – no science is found in – ‘the future’ – is what is to be uncovered. Swept away by continual trial and error we can connect things as they indeed form their principle.

The dimension of connectivity is physical and JSB John Stewart Bells theorem is the belief not the certainty that each sub particle influences the behavior of another far distant sub particle – [of the same composition?]

In measurement theory there is a held condition needed to allow value to be determined. It is the observance of sub-sets of conditions as they differ minutely. In such small size of variability and in continual flux that they are made invisible to the measurement and for its use.

Science is the discovery of the past not the discovery of the future.

John Graham

4 November 2014

Belfast

The Four Quartets by T.S.Eliot contains this beginning passage.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know.