Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
i have difficulty in essaying a short description
at the core of the film is john gielgud delivering, or rather, exploring the text of shakespeare's tempest, the text so slowly and delicately phrased, with much joyful repetition, so that it gathers meaning with each newly heard utterance
the story is presented as if through a prism of the printed culture of the times ... in episodes that are presented as if coming off the pages of alchemical books in the enchanter king's library ... maybe it was greenaway's and gielgud's meditation on the lost riches of superstitious imaginings
it was certainly gielgud's last big statement on the beauty of words
to make thing even more enigmatic, and for me more enchanting, the whole performance progresses within a stately whirl of dance and music, much of it inexplicable, much of it exquisitely beautiful, everything being staged in what might pass for a polymath humanist's laudanum hallucination
i saw it several times in the early nineties but have never been able to acquire it on dvd, and i can't remember the last time there was an opportunity to see it in a cinema
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
a few weeks ago, in a small village high in the sierra de gredos, as i walked along the street looking for the little shop that sold affordable beer, i passed the entrance to a narrow alley that came down from some houses above the road.
there were no steps, but a steep smooth concrete ramp and, as i passed, a very small boy with plump rosy cheeks and huge bright eyes, a face enlivened with laughter, and with chubby dimpled knees above rolled down socks, came running down towards the top of this ramp
as he reached the edge he crouched, and stopping, held out his hands with palms up
in the centre of each palm there rested a bright dark cherry
as he stopped, so the cherries rolled forward over his outstretched pudgy fingers and dropped on to the ramp, and accelerated down it
was he a born gambler, merely curious to know which cherry would be favoured by the laws of chance to roll the farthest ?
or was he an infant scientist ? ... perhaps a kind of reincarnation of galileo, or maybe of richard feynman ?
richard who ? ... click on the link
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
As midday approached, in "Jane Austen Country", and as a heavy shower ran away from the sunshine, an exultantly glittering oak dominated the middle of a passing field which was strangely bejewelled with thousands of cornflowers. The oak's low canopy was wide enough to make a deep shadow for some young beef cattle, every one glossy black, and their ears clearly profiled against the bright distant landscape whenever their heads turned to watch me.
The radio in the cab of my truck was playing an interview with Ray Davis, a gentle man who was describing with some tenderness how Kirsty MacColl had recorded his song, which begins, "Thank You For The Days", and as he puts it, “Made it her own”. And then, just as she began again to sing that unforgettable first line, so my truck was swooping past a huge shining cornfield that undulated along a low hillside whilst the shadow of one tiny cloud went dancing off like a ghost over the waving corn towards the distant wooded hills.