What with aid convoys and soldiers being equally bombable and refugees being compared to cheap, disposable sweets (as well as the usual, everyday cruelties that seem to be getting increasingly heartless), I’m asking for some kindness this week.
Maybe we look to films for excitement and challenges, so there aren’t too many that have kindness at their core? I’ll suggest The Sessions, based on a true story, in which a professional kindness is also a personal one.
What kind of kind film would you recommend?
The RR playlists for this topic concerned Ulysses, Avalon, Xanadu and so on, but I have chosen it because yesterday’s news item about the report recommending legalisation of cannabis in the UK for medicinal use demonstrates that the Home Office still believes in the old myth that cannabis is a harmful drug (whose active ingredient can only be turned into a beneficial drug by a profit-seeking pharmaceutical company).
Please indulge yourselves with LOTR, Labyrinth, vampires and monsters, if you will, but I’ll kick off with Calvary, a film based on the Bible story which juxtaposes reality and irrational belief to good effect (imho, as usual).
I was hoping that we’d done hubris or hypocrisy but no, the nearest I’m going to get to this week’s gob-smacking example of both is scandal.
OK, there are no oranges or gimp masks involved, but the revelations about Mr Vaz’s private tastes have scandalised many newspaper editors and once again chipped away at the image that people in politics are beacons of truth and integrity.
At least he didn’t break the law. Dirk Bogarde did, and did so when homophobia was not only accepted but expected. People were scandalised by a lot less back then.
What films about scandal get you worked up?
I could have continued down the list of topics from week 1 but that’s something of an endless quest methinks…
So, following Shoey’s lead, I’ll pick a topic relating to the news*: greed. It doesn’t have to be greed for money – there are plenty of films about greed for power, sex, food and so on – but I’ll kick this off with Scorsese’s amoral romp, The Wolf Of Wall Street. It’s crammed with greedy, grabbing arseholes, but they did seem to have fun.
What films about greed would you recommend?
*A fruit-based company might have to shed less than 1% of its $200bn (no, sorry, it’s now $230bn) stash.
I’m reading, and enjoying, ‘The Road to Little Dribbling”, Bill Bryson’s latest book, it’s a sequel to 1996’s ‘Notes from a Small Island. I found myself Googling his name and there among the results was his participation in Desert Island Discs, a program that I used to listen to many years ago. Listening got me thinking, which seven titles would I choose were I ever put in that predicament. I could trawl through near 10,000 titles in my iTunes picking ‘possibles’ and then editing that list down to seven, that would take weeks, or I could just pick ’em off the top of my head; I chose the latter. And then I thought this would be an interesting post for the Spill, we have a group of dedicated listeners all with very clearly defined musical tastes, so the question is, were you to be confined to a desert island for the rest of your life, which seven titles would you take with you?
OK, so it is Wednesday morning, but I was a bit busy yesterday and forgot the challenge.
This week I am once again going for a name that people might not immediately recognise, but if you Google for a picture of her, I am pretty sure that most of you will know who she is.
Anyway, this week, my featured starting point is Claudia Fontaine and here she is performing some lovers rock back in 1981;
There is a playlist here which will hopefully work.
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….