Surprise, surprise, my attempts to keep this blog updated with regular posts in 2020 failed. Mind you, I can’t take all the blame this time. A certain microscopic nasty caused what we might call ‘some disruption’ to all our lives last year, and although I had (and continue to have) a great deal to say about the situation, much of it was probably best kept to myself. Or, to be more precise: best relegated to the fiction-forming part of my brain, ready to emerge years from now in a short story or novel.Continue reading “Best Films Of 2020”
Ever since I first came across them, I’ve been haunted by these words from Michael Ondaatje’s In The Skin Of A Lion: “the extreme looseness of the structure of things”. I can’t remember what context they were in – I can’t even remember very much about the book – but they emblazoned themselves on my soul with what has turned out to be pretty solid permanence.
To me, the phrase has always been about embracing uncertainty, about giving oneself up to not knowing, to an absence of control, to smallness, to transience, to greyness. And I suppose that’s why I’ve been dwelling on it a great deal in recent months. Because if there’s one thing the current pandemic has flagged up – and goodness knows, it’s flagged up more than a few – it’s that some people really can’t cope with uncertainty.Continue reading “In The Skin Of Uncertainty”
I have been able to write nothing about the current situation. Nothing and everything. I have written nothing about it explicitly. And yet it has emerged in everything that I’ve written.Continue reading “Contempt Is Corrosive”
It’s time for good thoughts. Well, it’s never NOT a time for good thoughts — what I mean is that it’s time for them to be focused on a specific area. The Novel – about which I’ve been very quiet – is now ready to be sent out to anyone interested in reading it. And then the other process begins: the quest for an agent … Continue reading Ça Commence
At this heart-fracturing moment, we say that we did the best we could. But maybe we didn’t. We marched. We signed. We petitioned. We emailed. We tweeted. We posted. We talked and talked and talked. We sang. We shouted. We chanted. We honked. We hooted. We hollered. We stickered. We t-shirted. We badged. We bannered. We leafleted. We postered. We tried, we tried, we tried. … Continue reading Brexit Day
He wonders about the ways in which people can be made to feel unworthy. The first thing he thinks is that he doesn’t like that word: unworthy. It doesn’t really seem to capture the core of the feeling he’s trying to explore. Would ‘non-worthy’ be better? Or ‘non-worthwhile’? What he’s trying to get at is a sense of a lack of value. Valuelessness. But in … Continue reading Voice
He sits on the edge of the bath, biting his lower lip, hard. They mustn’t hear him crying. His hands grip the bath tub tight, knuckles pushing through the skin.
He tries to think about nothing but the force of his grip. On the bath tub. The coolness beneath his hands. His eyes squeezed shut, pushing the tears out. Liquid streaming down his face. A few drops falling onto his legs. But no sound. Not a single sound emerging from his mouth. His wide open, silent mouth.Continue reading “Seated”
The year ends, and so does my little film review project. It started with a pope so perhaps it’s appropriate that it finished with two. Many thanks to those of you who took the time to read these little scribblings. Below I’ve put together a list of my favourite movies of the year. As I watched 71 in total (the lowest number for the last … Continue reading My Favourite Films Of 2019 + The End Of The Reviews
If theatre is better at exploring ideas than film is, perhaps that’s why The Two Popes feels as though it would have been slightly more comfortable at The National. Or maybe it’s because it consists of little more than conversations between Pope Benedict and the soon-to-be Pope Francis as they wrestle with their differing views on the role of the Catholic Church. But it would … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 71: The Two Popes [dir. Fernando Mereilles; 2019]
Towards the end of this latest, mildly indie-flavoured adaptation of Little Women, Amy berates Jo for always pointing out the former’s flaws rather than appreciating her strengths. With that in mind, I ought to state that Gerwig’s take on the 19th century classic is handsomely-staged, warmly played and mostly engaging — there’s a generous, affectionate Ang Lee-esque, Sense & Sensibility glow over all the characters … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 70: Little Women [dir. Greta Gerwig; 2019]