Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recent films

I've been listening to Alan Titchmarsh on Radio 2 and some wonderful choices of music. I can't think of many things that are more fun than spending two hours every Sunday evening playing a selection of my favourite music. So Mr Titchmarsh, if you ever need a stand in, I am your man!

As a slight compensation I have this blog, which while it may not be regular (which if you visit regularly you will have noticed!) and doesn't last for 2 hours (although it might take me that long to write each post) it is my space. This is my time and my place to share with those of you reading my favourite things or just my observations, inane ramblings or nostalgia...whatever takes the mood at the time.

Over the last week I've seen some cracking films. Starting last Saturday with a trip to Colchester to see Witchfinder at the Headgate Theatre. This film features a good friend of mine, Joe Sales, as John Stearne, assistant to the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. It is an amateur production but not in anyway in the bad sense of that word. You can read my review on Joe's blog here.

Last Sunday I watched Monster based on the troubled life of Aileen Wuornos, America's first female serial killer. It is a depressing film and one that like The Woodsman, simultaneously produces deep revulsion and feelings of sympathy for its central character. Its a morally complex and ambiguous film although its handicapped by a central lesbian relationship between Wuornos and Selby (played by Christina Ricci) that doesn't work for me. The affair between these two desperate women seems forced and I feel the actors are uncomfortable in their portrayal. It is still a powerful film and there are moments which are both chilling and sickening.

Yesterday I saw Bobby, Emilio Estevez's film on the events leading up to the assassination of Robert Kennedy in June 1968. It is clear that this film has been a labour of love for Estevez. It is beautifully crafted following the intersecting lives of 22 characters at the Ambassador Hotel on the day and night that Kennedy was shot and fatally wounded. It reminded me in its intercutting of characters and its slow build to a powerful, emotional climax of Magnolia, with all its characters, eventually thrust into the centre of the terrible events of 5 June 1968. I cried through the last ten minutes of the film, which is awesome in its power and pathos. No one left the cinema when the credits came up, everyone stayed to watch the first part, with pictures of Kennedy and his family shown alongside the names of the principal cast. This is a film that boldly states its message and while some maybe cynical of its idealism I found it's hopefulness something that inspires.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Alan Titchmarsh is okay, but as far as Radio 2 is concerned the controllers have decided to axe a Sunday night institution of mine, 'Your Hundred Best Tunes' at 9pm, with A.T. intending to reach out to the 'younger' audience instead.
This classic radio programme was hosted for over 40 years by Alan Keith, and then when he died Richard Baker took over. As one 'younger' devoted listener losing Y.H.B.T. is a sad moment.
PS: Thanks for the blogpage plug.