Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

I stayed here for a few nights back in the 1990s when the sign looked like this:

Some year later I joined a good humoured online piss-take about the place and its specially featured COLOR TV. Someone thought they might even have phones too! I think I can see Bobba Fet coming down through the trees on the left; someone else could see it too.

Today I reminisced and had another look at motels in Asheville. Note the original COLOR TV sign has been retained. But of course. Such magnificent artifacts can be overshadowed in size and glare but never surpassed in the annals of good taste:

Looks like a set for a remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, though you couldn’t beat Bob Rafelson’s 1981  version  with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.

Apart from my virtually total recall of every scene and piece of dialogue from the whole of The Outlaw Josey Wales, there are many other short movie scenes that are easily recalled at random moments or when prompted into the mind’s eye by some other image or sound or remark. Two of them for me involve Robert Redford, the first is when he has just told Paul Newman, aka Butch Cassidy, that he can’t swim so he’s not going to jump into a river at the bottom of a gorge to escape from the rapidly approaching posse (“Who are those guys?” It’s all coming back). It’s just the look on his face and the seriously embarrassed, reluctant nod, in the instant before Butch bursts out laughing. Brilliant and one that just comes randomly from time to time.

The other one is going to come and go regularly if the current hot weather carries on. We’ve put up our “summer” curtains in the back room and they sometimes blow gently in and out the french doors. Every time I see that, there’s Redford again, aka Jay Gatsby, on a hot afternoon, floating on his airbed in his pool, turning at some sound to look back through the gently moving curtains hoping desperately that it’s Daisy come to him, having left Tom Buchanan for good. Of course, his tension is not ours, as we have seen Scott Wilson, great piece of acting, aka George Wilson, approaching, taking a revolver out of a crumpled brown paper bag, sweating, shaking, reeling from seeing his own image in Gatsby’s mirror while the curtains continue to blow gently in and out around the revolver blasts and Gatsby dies.  Here’s a few shots of our little curtains, images dwarfed by those in the film but enough to take me back through that whole wonderfully constructed scene.

         Screenplay F F Coppola. Why am I not surprised.

Great film, great book.

Today was split into several distinct sections, each reflecting a particular aspect of life as I have come to know it in recent years. 1. Domesticity: cleaned the stove. This was no ordinary clean. Last night partner had contrived to spill warm, therefore liquid, beef dripping all over and into the front doors of our cooker and onto the floor. It instantly solidified. A project loomed and at 0630 hours I made a start. Lots of self tapper screws and swearing later, together with all-purpose cleaning fluid, Brillo pads, scrubbing brush, dust pan and brush, Fairy household soap, paint scraper, tea towels, mop bucket and hot water, the cleaned up sections lay drying out as I showered, dressed and left for my 2. Literature, history and art of the first world war group. Wilfred Owen was the main subject of a wide ranging discussion and reading. How and why so many joined and died I shall never understand, even given all the reasons offered today such as poverty or patriotism.

Soon after I got home, an old colleague from work (from which I  3. retired eight and a half years ago) visited and we exchanged news of ourselves and family members. It transpired that we may arrange a visit to the new college which has replaced the old one where we once worked, which has inturn been replaced by a Sainsbury’s! It’s quite weird these days driving past the site of the buildings in which I spent 21 years. They were razed to the ground last year and the supermarket shot up in no time.

After my friend had left for work (she is still at it, part-time in a new job, resolving to “be” more and “do” less) I moved into 4. food – cooking and eating – this time a mixed grill, as I had missed lunch and was very hungry. Lambs liver, dry cured bacon, 3 small tomatoes, an egg and toast made a great feast, washed down with a cup of tea.  Partner has prepared a large rice pudding, as we have accumulated a surplus of semi-skimmed after starting to use very tasty un-homogenised milk from a local farm via the health food shop. This goes along with adopting dripping, pork and beef, for cooking. Apparently cholesterol is okay this week. Always thought so myself and will do so until the day I keel over with blocked arteries.

Late afternoon time then allowed a catching up with Facebook news of 5. Offspring. Daughter’s had another successful day presenting training to a professional audience in Dublin, whilst son has posted pictures of several of his university friends of a dozen years or so years at a small reunion the other day in London, as well as news of his dream involving a falling out with Jamie Oliver. I commented with my dream last night of chatting with Paul Newman about his films which is my 6.  Just managed to creep slightly ahead of partner in our game of Facebook’s Scrabble, called Wordscraper.

On account of all the above, 7. the house itself, (currently decorating a bedroom), took a back seat today, except for putting the lampshade back up, having finished painting the ceiling and wall  yesterday. The new brass toggle light switch looks good against the new “grey tints” paint. And I see it’s back to 1. Domesticity again, then.

A wide variety of activities have concentrated the mind wonderfully over recent days. Walking on snow and ice for a start – all thawed away now.

Barbara has had her bone density measured this week and we were disconcerted to say the least that the result shows a 40% loss of density in the last 12 months, attributed by the nurse to the now totally sedentary state of Barbara’s mobility. Apparently astronauts undergo similarly drastic losses when weightless in space, as their albeit limited movements don’t exactly count as exercise.

Then there was the meal on Tuesday at the Dun Cow in Dunchurch with brother Bob, sister-in-law Jane and nephew Ben, to celebrate Bob’s 70th birthday on 2nd December. Very enjoyable. The trip down the M6 to Rugby and then Dunchurch was remarkable for its views of the frosted-over landscapes of Staffordshire and Warwickshire / West Midlands. Such Christmas Card scenes we (Barbara and I) have only seen once before, in the film Doctor Zhivago which was our first date in 1967!

I have so far recorded 3 vinyl LPs onto this laptop using a new USB turntable, a new toy which was suitably and masochistically satisfyingly fiddly to install and get working properly. Have since screwed up the playback system on this machine, temporarily, by playing back a programme off BBCi Player, switching on Sound in the Control Panel to “a HDMIdevice” as detected when I started the playback and could only hear sound through the laptop’s speakers. Lost the speakers altogether but now recovered through helpful forum on the topic, involving .ini, .dll, .pnf and .sys files, whatever all those are. Still can’t see USB Audio Codec listed as a choice in Playback- it has disappeared; plan to seek it out in due course, but it doesn’t appear to be necessary just yet. Wonder what will happen when I engage the Audacity programme to record another LP.

I had an extraordinary evening of music last night with friend Dave at the Victoria Hall, Hanley where we had Smetna’s Overture from The Bartered Bride, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 featuring the miraculous soloist Nobuyuki Tsujii and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 From the New World. The orchestra was the BBC Philharmonic.

Received the annual missive from 4th cousin Don Granter and his wife Pam in Australia; their address now has an e-mail in it so I sent them a link to my photos from the Family gathering in Warrnambool in April 2001.

Received a “Have a nice day!” kiss on Facebook from Karen Barlow, another relative, this time a little nearer home in Worcester, England, where Dave lives as well.

A really bad headache over the last 24 hours can probably be put down to the over-strong cup of instant coffee yesterday morning. Feels now like I was kicked in the head about then by a particularly upset mule and the damage is only just subsiding. It didn’t spoil the orchestral concert though.

Out again tonight to see The Town, the latest Ben Affleck movie set in Boston, USA.

Watched and enjoyed two-thirds of Peter Bogdanovitch‘s documentary on Tom Petty last night. Another delight of the BBC’s superb website and still an hour to go. Anyway the documentary included the thought by one observer that creativity such as Petty’s is often associated with the artist’s loss of his (sic) much loved mother at an early age and a poor relationship with his father, both the case here. The clues, it was said, are in the underlying bitterness, anger and sorrow in even some of the more upbeat songs he wrote and sang. Not always discernible by me but the voice itself nearly always has it. I go along with all that but not with Larkin’s “They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. Sad bastard. Good poem though!  Am now listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on Spotify. Excellent.

Bought loads of fish today at Morrisons in Crewe, which I hope is going to be a regular event. Anything we should know about some awful facts on Morrisons and/or their fish? Probably something. Invented an alternative to the phrase “rogue apostrophe” – “Crewe comma”. And I see  Morrisons doesn’t have one.

Recent tests show we are clear from breast, bowel, cervical and prostrate cancer between us here! Working on a few other things currently though….

I guess parenthood is one of the major features of my all-time favourite movie and heartbreaking short story – “Tomorrow” by William Faulkner. The whole thing is breathtaking, literally, especially Robert Duvall’s portrayal of the central character.


Thanks again Bill (and Horton Foote).