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Saw Boyhood in the FACT cinema in Liverpool last night.

Absolutely beautiful. Quickest three hours of my recent life. Profound, remarkable and important.

Provoking questions about a life lived, the film is as much about parents as children. I thought the final sequence with Patricia Arquette struck a particularly sad note because she seemed to feel her life had been worthless, had added up to nothing but actually the achievements of her children, her own career, her impact on the Mexican plumber, and no doubt on the many she had taught, showed that even a low key, seemingly minor key life, can be responsible for magic. She should celebrate, not ache.

I recognized the journey of Ethan Hawke’s character. From a desire to live, to burn, to be mad, to be one of Kerouac’s children, giving way to real life, compromise, acceptance, and a job in insurance. He played the changes beautifully, as he always does. His relationship with Richard Linklater has been the greatest part of his career. I have followed him all the way, from the shy character in Dead Poets Society, to the funny, warm, intellectual wannabe of Jesse in Before Sunrise. Finding echoes in him in the roles he’s played and the way they have grown.

The film was profoundly moving and richly thoughtful. I felt like I might cry at various points, not because of a single moving point or outcome, but because of the overall sense of progression and the perspective, unique because of the singular form, which bore a life aloft and showed it to us as it is really lived. In the quotidian, in the small details, in the dull eventlessness which marks most lives.

Beautiful and blessed.


Gena Rowlands photographed by Leo Fuchs on the set of The Spiral Road, 1962


Great photo. Wonderful actress. See Another Woman for her in a different time but equally coolly beautiful.

Gena Rowlands photographed by Leo Fuchs on the set of The Spiral Road, 1962

Great photo. Wonderful actress. See Another Woman for her in a different time but equally coolly beautiful.

(Source: julia-loves-bette-davis)

Volume 2. Gorgeous. Intense and painful, but finely wrought. A vision of an unexpected hell. Piling drugs upon drugs. Whirling, urgent, needy and lost. A sad but funny tale. 

I’m tempted to read all five of these in a run but liking breaking them up and making the series last.

Volume 2. Gorgeous. Intense and painful, but finely wrought. A vision of an unexpected hell. Piling drugs upon drugs. Whirling, urgent, needy and lost. A sad but funny tale.

I’m tempted to read all five of these in a run but liking breaking them up and making the series last.

Shit the bed. It’s London.

Just this.

Just this.

Kelvingrove in Glasgow. A million memories.

Kelvingrove in Glasgow. A million memories.

Aug 8
We are at the Beacons Festival. My first festival. Hoorah!

We are at the Beacons Festival. My first festival. Hoorah!

Aug 4
Saw this with the kids. So proud they wanted to watch it. Ike in particular has an interest in the black American experience that comes from watching Roots as a tiny kid. Seeing that helped inform all three of them. They were gripped by the story but shocked by people being hated for their difference instead of celebrated for it.

Ike has taken a real interest in Malcolm’s story and I said I’d check if the film was suitable. I have seen it two or three times but remembered drugs and some sex and wasn’t sure, but I checked online and general view was it would be fine and educational. There is a fair bit of swearing but we never mind that. They know to filter and it’s in context.

They loved it. Three hours of black struggle and civil rights and I have three kids of 9, 10 and 12 watching intently. I felt so proud they could sit like that and watch something so complex and deal with the issues, debate them, listen, care. When he was shot and then when the kids stood up and said “I am Malcolm X” and then Nelson Mandela came on I had a proper cry and the kids all smiled indulgently at me. They love it when I cry at films.

A dazzling achievement by Spike Lee and a great film and a lovely afternoon with the three coolest kids I know.

Roll on our visit to Harlem next Easter.

Saw this with the kids. So proud they wanted to watch it. Ike in particular has an interest in the black American experience that comes from watching Roots as a tiny kid. Seeing that helped inform all three of them. They were gripped by the story but shocked by people being hated for their difference instead of celebrated for it.

Ike has taken a real interest in Malcolm’s story and I said I’d check if the film was suitable. I have seen it two or three times but remembered drugs and some sex and wasn’t sure, but I checked online and general view was it would be fine and educational. There is a fair bit of swearing but we never mind that. They know to filter and it’s in context.

They loved it. Three hours of black struggle and civil rights and I have three kids of 9, 10 and 12 watching intently. I felt so proud they could sit like that and watch something so complex and deal with the issues, debate them, listen, care. When he was shot and then when the kids stood up and said “I am Malcolm X” and then Nelson Mandela came on I had a proper cry and the kids all smiled indulgently at me. They love it when I cry at films.

A dazzling achievement by Spike Lee and a great film and a lovely afternoon with the three coolest kids I know.

Roll on our visit to Harlem next Easter.

Aug 2

Maggie and Me by Damian Barr – review | Books | The Guardian

Lord forgive me for being such a book whore. I was stuck in the car for 5 hours the other night on the way back from Stoke and I thumbed through my phone and found this.

So I started it and whilst I haven’t yet finished it, it’s hijacked my reading big time. It’s a slim volume so expect to finish tomorrow, but it’s beautifully done. Funny and moving, it makes light of what is an horrendously abusive young life for Damian Barr.

He paints it so richly, so certainly, with such tenderness despite the awful pain, that you are embraced by the warmth of his glow through the long hard times. If he can bear it, you can. And actually, loads of people live like this, every day, every where. This is ordinary life for so many people. It’s not strange or bizarre, just absolutely quotidian. But an awful quotidian. Though one anchored in achievement, in overcoming, in becoming. We are all in the process of becoming. This particular becoming is just harder, more profound, beautifully realised.

Superb.

Album of the week. Oh, the blissful silences between the haunting notes. The simple complexity. The complex simplicity. That voice. That piano. 

Some Other Time may be the most perfect song ever. Glistening like snow on the lawn. Can’t get enough of it at the moment. The whole album is under rated and magic. Explore.

Album of the week. Oh, the blissful silences between the haunting notes. The simple complexity. The complex simplicity. That voice. That piano.

Some Other Time may be the most perfect song ever. Glistening like snow on the lawn. Can’t get enough of it at the moment. The whole album is under rated and magic. Explore.