I’ll continue following Shoey’s train, as I said I would last week*, and ask for films about lies.
My first thought was Festen, in which terrible truths are revealed at a wedding, but that may be more about keeping secrets than telling lies (a bit of nit-picking that also rules out Mike Leigh’s great Secrets And Lies). I considered Compliance, in which an unseen authority figure lies to see how easy it is to humiliate a burger shop employee (answer: all too easy), but have settled on Philomena. It’s the true story of how the Catholic Church in Ireland lied (and continued to lie for decades) about the fate of the babies they took from ‘unwed mothers’. It’s shockingly good.
What films about lies would you recommend?
*Oh, no I didn’t….
I sense Shoey’s RR:Revisted series is perhaps running out of steam, so I’ll consciously uncouple it from my movie follow-up series and simply pick topics from the Marconium. Until we all get bored…..
The first RR topic ever (and Shoey’s first re-visitation) was Change and the second one was School. An obsession of the US film industry – just watch those hormones kick in! – British and European takes on the subject tend to be a little more serious and/or sinister. Lindsay Anderson’s If, for example, or last year’s The Falling, from Carol Morley:
What school-based films would you recommend?
Plenty of classic films about sport, from This Sporting Life, through Raging Bull to Chariots Of Fire and Rocky. Plenty of documentaries, too, from Senna to Dogtown and Z-Boys to Hoop Dreams and the hypnotically boring Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
The best ones are about the egos and emotional journeys, of course, not the actual sport, which can be a tad grubby and sweaty (other types of film do this more entertainingly, imho…). I’ll pick a couple of fairly recent ‘based on a true story’s: Moneyball and The Damned United.
What sport films would you recommend?
There are a couple of Hitchcock classics featuring trains (The Lady Vanishes, Strangers On A Train), there’s a classic European film about sabotaging one the title of which nilp will remember (and the similar-ish Frank Sinatra vehicle, Von Ryan’s Express), there are Bond and Cary Grant films featuring them and there’s a Wes Anderson misfire/masterpiece set on one (The Darjeeling Limited)….. but I’ll pick Festival Express, the documentary about a bunch of artists travelling across Canada to play music, featuring the Dead, The Band, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy et al.
What train films would you recommend?
This week’s RR Revisited prompted me to do my Ancient Mariner bit and promote Living In Oblivion, my favourite film about dreams, yet again. Then I thought this could be a way to give Spillers some ideas about how to distract themselves for a couple of hours in a time of global insanity and crap summer TV….
So, if there’s sufficient interest, I’ll ask for your favourite films on whatever subject Shoey picks to re-visit. So far, mine are:
John Cusack in High Fidelity
Anxiety: Inland Empire
Summer: Vertical Ray of the Sun
(aka At the Height of Summer)
Separation: 127 Hours
The Sea: A Hijacking
Dreams: Living In Oblivion
What are yours?
The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have – five years after its inception – released their 59-track, six-hour tribute to the music of the Grateful Dead, Day Of The Dead, to raise money for the HIV/AIDS charity Red Hot. Underpinned by The National, over 50 different artists and bands have recorded their versions of Dead originals, covers they made their own and even a couple of ‘inspired by’ tracks. The avowedly Dead-hating and -agnostic Observer/Guardian critics gave it 4 stars; from the other end of the telescope, as a Dead-lover, I think I agree. Continue reading
All I know is something like a bird within him sang
All I know he sang a little while and then flew on
That’s how Phil Lesh sings Bird Song these days, changing the song’s subject from Janis Joplin, as originally written by Robert Hunter, to Jerry Garcia, who died 20 years ago today, having just turned 53 years old.
Hunter wrote the lyrics soon after Joplin’s much more premature, heroin-related death and they are little more than an amazed reflection on a mercurial talent – a more articulate version of ‘Wow, man, she sure could sing!’ Their application to Garcia’s playing (and, to a lesser extent, singing) is entirely appropriate.
Look and listen: