We would like to spend a few days here.
I love this but where is it?
In no particular order:
“The Tree of Life”
“La Quattro Volte”
When I was a geeky proto-palaeontologist I was an avid reader of sci-fi and still am. Clarke’s ‘Imperial Earth’ was a favourite of mine, especially for it’s description of a futuristic communication and organisational device… Oh, how I longed for something like this to exist. And now, 35 years on, I write my witterings here on something not dissimilar. “The ‘Sec was the standard size of all such units, determined by what can fit comfortably in the human hand. At a quick glance, it did not differ greatly from one of the small electronic calculators that had started coming into general use at the end of the twentieth century. It was, however, infinitely more versatile, and Duncan could not imagine what life would be like without it. Because of the finite size of clumsy human fingers, it had no more controls than that of its ancestor of three hundred years earlier. There were fifty neat little studs; each, however, had an unlimited number of functions, according to the mode of operation - for the character visible on each stud changed according to the mode.”
So, my skin starts to crawl and I start to get a little antsy as soon as the X1 bus reaches Narborough trout lakes. I try to squeeze some joy from the slo-mo stop-motion effect of having watched the Georgian manor house undergo refurbishment over the last 20 years I have been making this intermittent journey. But to no avail.
So last night I paid £8.50 to see a preview screening of Ozon’s ‘Potiche’ at my local Picturehouse… with a £2 supplement for the live satellite broadcast of a Q&A session with Ozon and Deneuve to follow. Excellent. What a brilliant idea - it is so great to be ‘included’ in such events when you live in the back of beyond as I do…
The film is excellent and very, very funny indeed - in the same vein as his ‘8 Women’ and a lot of early Almodovar: a technicolour pastiche/homage to the day-glo polyester 70s. Gorgeous to look at.
But, oh my god, how ashamed and appalled I was of being a witness to the car-crash horror of the ‘exclusive Q&A’ that followed. Poor Ozon. Poor Deneuve. I apologise, on behalf of our nation, for the poverty of the questioning and the seemingly Heat-magazine-inspired tone of much that was asked…
Is it any wonder that we cannot compete cinematically with our chums across the channel, when all we can muster to ask such a wonderfully creative pair on stage is centred around how ‘old’ Deneuve is or how ‘inexperienced’ Ozon is… (sample question: “As you have appeared in over 100 films and are therefore very experienced, what advice do you have to offer someone as inexperienced as Ozon?”; “Ozon, you were merely a child in the 70s but Catherine you were already an experienced actress by this point. What do you remember about it?”… *sound of me retching*)?
Oh yes, and my favourite exchange:
Interviewer: It is so amazing for us to see the image of such an icon as yourself Catherine doing the washing-up at the start of this film
Deneuve: Not to my friends it isn’t
Pfffff…. No wonder both were rolling their eyes and shuffling in their seats. Seriously, NFT, if you are going to bother getting people together nationwide for an event such as this have someone with an ounce of cinematic sensibility to interview them and take the hint from obviously (and understandably irritated) guests when to move on from the banal level of questioning that was on display last night.
Tiger Moth, Minsmere June 2011