Archive for January 8th, 2013

scrooge 1

by Allan Fish

It’s said that it was Orson Welles’ favourite moment in Citizen Kane.  The reporter Thompson sat in Bernstein’s office as the Chairman of the Board kills the time that’s the only thing he has.  He begins to tell a tale of how back in the 1890s he was on the Jersey ferry and saw a girl.  You know the details.  The white dress.  The parasol.  He barely saw her for a moment, but barely a day went past when he didn’t think of her.  All it took was a moment.

Can greatness be bestowed out of so little?  Our cinematic memory banks are full of such moments, individual shots, throwaway lines.  Yet we know these moments.  We know the director who framed the shot that won’t go away, or in some cases the DP who literally shot it.  For lines, we know who wrote the scripts.  The DP may have won an award for his work, or been nominated.  The writer, too, may have received plaudits.  Yet these are moments borne out of much larger wholes.  Yet what of the real moments, where the moment is all you have? (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1988/1998 429m) DVD2

Is that yoga?

p  Innes Lloyd, Mark Shivas  d  Alan Bennett, Stuart Burge, Giles Foster, Tristram Powell, Patrick Garland, Gavin Millar, Udayan Prasad  w  Alan Bennett  m  George Fenton

Patricia Routledge (Irene Ruddock/Miss Fozzard), Julie Walters (Lesley/Marjory), Thora Hird (Doris/Violet), Maggie Smith (Susan), Alan Bennett (Graham), Stephanie Cole (Muriel), Eileen Atkins (Celia), David Haig (Wilfred), Penelope Wilton (Rosemary),

Despite the various merits of the films of A Private Function, The Madness of King George and The History Boys, there can be no doubt as to Alan Bennett’s greatest contribution to screen history.  David Thomson called them depictions of shattered lives, “no matter that the broken pieces are held politely together in the way a humble soldier on the Somme might have held his privates in place waiting for a surgeon…they catch the woeful intimacy in which in the TV age lonely people talk to themselves as if in an interview.”  It’s easy to imagine that the first series of six took a lot out of Bennett, and the intervening decade before the next six not only saw an increasingly darkened view of the world, but a resignation with the state of television and its preponderance to sensationalism.  (more…)

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