‘The Longest Week’

By Sunday, August 31, 2014 0 Permalink

If only someone would have said that a penchant for Bach was the hallmark of a maladjusted, commitment averse fantasist I would have perhaps adjusted my classical music playlists all these years. Michael Fassbender's character in Shame, Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs and though rather more caddish than wicked, now Conrad Valmont  in 'The Longest Week'. After what seems to be a flurry of posts about death I thought some cinema might be a nice change. As I have watched a lot of excellent films lately it seems ironic that this review is for a fairly unremarkable one. But it is perhaps easier to write a playful review for a whimsical film than to dissect the deep and powerful ones. Nonetheless 'The Longest Week' kept my interest mainly due to the interesting script. Engaging banter is as rare in real life these days as it is in the movies. I am ...

‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society’

By Thursday, August 14, 2014 0 Permalink

Over the last few days there has been increased discussion about suicide sparked by the sad loss of the American actor/comedian Robin Williams. I resisted discussing anything about what I view as a fact of life, and sat back only to find the outpouring was superficial and lacking in real knowledge. Such discussion needs considered reasoning based on experience rather than hypocrisy or pity. However, knee jerk reactions are generally lacking in any reason and based on misconceptions which do need to be addressed for any informed debate. Suicide is for many the epitome of autonomy and ownership over one's life. Therefore it deserves a decent discussion. His suicide while sad is no more or less significant than any other but it is the knee jerk social media outpourings about it which means that the topic gets the attention for this moment. Until the next 'thing'. Every day you can find a news item about a suicide ...

‘Friendship is not a big thing, it’s a million little things’

By Sunday, August 3, 2014 0 Permalink

To write of another death in my life seems almost absurd, yet here we are again. My dear friend Andrew Dodge died last week after battling a long illness. He was, thankfully at his home in the USA with his beloved wife by his side. I was told of his worsening condition only a few months ago and I'm pleased I decided to visit him immediately in person while he was in London. Humans need to remember that saying get well soon on Facebook is not the same as a hug or seeing people face to face. Ever. It is also naïve to ignore the issue of mortality. I could be sorry I don't have more photos of us, I didn't see him enough or even be resentful that all the awful people we knew are still here and the good ones go too early.  But the only thing I could really regret is not appreciating ...

‘The Meaning of Monty Python’

(warning-  this post features gratuitous Python references) Last night I was lucky enough to be at the O2 Arena to watch the Monty Python Reunion show and once the pain in my face had subsided from smiling and giggling, it has left me with a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness. Also, a huge sense of relief, as although I'd been eagerly anticipating the show, I was concerned that maybe trying to recapture something of the past would end awkwardly and they may somehow tarnish their reputation. It most definitely did not and if anything it reinforces the idea that nostalgia is not misty eyed longing for the past because it was better, it is bringing the best of what you loved into the present moment and relishing in that simple joy. Especially if that was childlike mischief. I'm not one prone to nostalgia, hyperbole or fangirl behaviour so my praise is entirely ...