Bath Film Festival 3 – being listened to

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Saturday 5 November 1664

...and so with my wife to the Duke’s house to a play, “Macbeth,” a pretty good play, but admirably acted. Thence home; the coach being forced to go round by London Wall home, because of the bonefires...

None of your Health and Safety in those days then. Just watch out! Shakespeare’s play written in 1606 could as well be written for today’s politicians. The key to the main theme of the play is that excessive ambition will have terrible consequences.

*****

Someone cancelled a garden job on the grounds that I might have an accident and she could not sleep for worrying. Never mind that I have given assurances and will not work alone. It was an awkward property in that all the tools had to be taken through the living room and up stairs but we have done worse. It was two doors away from the garden from hell, ibid. I was looking forward to it but – you win some, you lose some – is and always has been true.

*****

And so to part 3 of our film odyssey. Today’s films are:

Dark River

Clio Barnard is widely considered one of our finest contemporary UK filmmakers, ‘the spiritual heir to social-realist master Ken Loach’ – CineVue. Set against a rugged Yorkshire backdrop, her new film stars Ruth Wilson as an itinerant sheep shearer returning to the family farm, bequeathed by her father (Sean Bean). She finds the farm run down by her brother, who undermines her at every turn as the troubled family’s history explodes into the present. This powerful family drama is a virtuoso piece of film making: ‘there’s scarcely room here for improvement at the level of craft or performance’ – Variety.
IMDB review

My review – irrespective of the details of who owns what in this down market sheep farm, the lesson is that a bad case of child abuse can remain with the victim all their life. The father of the victim had sex with her and then blamed his condition on her. Neither she or her brother could engage with each other normally. She because of her trauma and he because he could not summon up the courage – as the elder brother – do do anything against the father. Gritty and gripping.

Most Beautiful Island

‘A short, stressful, and utterly spellbinding debut that transforms the immigrant experience into the stuff of an early Polanski psychodrama’ from ‘a cinematic juggernaut in the making’ – IndieWire. Director Ana Asensio also stars as Luciana, a young Spanish woman fresh off the boat and trying to find her feet in Manhattan. Several demeaning jobs barely pay for her seedy, roach-infested apartment, so when a friend offers mysterious but lucrative employment, she jumps at it – and Asensio’s social drama begins to morph into something altogether darker and stranger. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.
IMDB review

My review: how easy is it to descend into chaos especially in a city such as New York. Live by the sword or get swallowed up. I will not spoil it for you but what would you do if you were a young girl offered $2000 cash for an evening’s work and no it is not prostitution or drugs. You will have to find out.  The whole was believable and as I have lived in NY NY I can confirm that it is authentic.

We are getting into quite a routine. I shall miss the festival when it finishes. The experience is not unlike Wimbledon tennis or the world cup not to mention the Olympics. I am a sucker for the big occasion.

*****

No profound thoughts today. Last Sunday’s guest sent me a lovely text message saying how much she appreciated our hospitality. That was great but we were only doing what we normally do. We did not put on act or special show.  As my preacher of old said “The greatest gift to the world is to be yourself”.   Posers or actors need not apply.

On the topic of being listened to I feel there must be a way of creating environments where people are able to speak and feel listened to. Surely not rocket science.  More of that anon.

*****

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