“The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell
I have just finished watching my first Michael Haneke film, “The Seventh Continent”. Take an average family, any one will do, and la-di-da life for them is working out fine (at least it looks so from the outside) and then one day they snap. A (bizarre?) fascination of mine is to wonder how far one can drive the brain before it finally does something really radical and gruesome for no matter how sweet the morning there’s always an evil wind blowing sawdust. Maybe it’s the boss/colleague who’s a jerk or maybe it’s the wife/husband/.. or it’s something as innocuous as losing at love. Then one day one begins to detest the pantomime called “Life” and to rage at the farce: the endless kissing of butts, bows to Popes and to black stones in the East, the politics of sex and making friends and all the games that people like to play. You can have values and integrity and never be counted for anything but make a billion whichever way and you’re a friend of the good, great and criminally good-looking.  My fascination is this: when the brain begins to go off the rails is such a one a fool for being so certain of the banality of living or is one wise for doubting life’s purpose?
Culture, Musings

Les Miserables

Les Miserables, the film. Stirring story and a charged production. But I hope I never have to see another work by Cameron Mackintosh. Jesus, every song is the same frigging tune; nearly drove me mad. And it was rather quite fascinating watching French commoners with pure English accents. Vive la France! That said, it was one of a very select number of films I have ever watched where people actually clapped at the end; and I think they were clapping, not because it was finally over but, because they thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been #1 here now in Britain for how many weeks? I’m glad I saw it but I think I’ll pass on the stage production.

Vanessa Redgrave & The Oscars

How Vanessa Redgrave wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar after her performance in Coriolanus is beyond me! The film may not be to everyone’s taste (though it is indeed quite a superb and visceral enaction of Shakespearean hubris, envy and tragedy) but VR was magnificent. And so was Ralph Fiennes. That’s life, I suppose.