Merry Christmas and a quick film round up

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It’s been a while. I’ve been hunkering down and getting attuned to the long wait before THE SEA’S release next April. Will I, too, be released? I’m reading a lot and, of course, watching movies: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR, GRAVITY, Joss Weedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and ANCHORMAN 2. Quite a diverse bunch. We can write off ANCHORMAN 2 straight away. I’m well disposed to the un-okness of the comedy but there’s a desperation about a string of gags in search of a story that undermines the whole thing. Please, Will Ferrell – don’t do another one. MUCH ADO…? I have a problem with big screen Shakespeare at the best of times as the editing is a distraction from the poetry. This modern L.A. setting does nothing to dispel that for me. If you’re going to do Shakespeare on screen, then somehow you have to break the text open to new imaginings, not just put on snappy suits, ties and frocks and pretend. OK, to GRAVITY. I liked it: I empathised with Sandra Bullock’s utter spacesickness and her growing realisation that she had to let her grief go before she could return home. Same basic story as THE SEA, in fact! Pointless showing off from George Clooney is a necessary box-office demand, I suppose. Finally, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR. Well, this strikes me as a very complete and honest exploration of a lonely and intelligent young woman’s life. Something that is regarded as a great cinematic subject in France and film poison by the gatekeepers here. Her sexuality, her relationships – girlfriend, parents, colleagues, her ambitions and tragic love are all beautifully and patiently unfolded before us. I look forward to watching it again and understanding more.

Just finished reading the new translation of Simenon’s Maigret story: THE LATE MONSIEUR GALLET. In my dreams I direct the movie. In the meantime it’s time to break out the port and stilton and watch a real comedy: SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (the original with Terry-Thomas). What fun!

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