That, you will have recognised immediately is the theme to Film Night because I have been to the pictures twice this week – oh the life I lead – and wanted to tell you about both of the movies because they are a bit off the beaten track.
This is a Ken Loach documentary about the creation of the Welfare State after the war. No, come back, it’s really interesting. When people came back from the war in 1945, they were unwilling to return to the crippling poverty and systems that they had lived under before. So they ousted Churchill (fascinating footage of him being heckled at a rally) and voted in a Labour Government and began to change things. It isn’t the most balanced thing I have ever seen. It completely ignores the way that the country was when Margaret Thatcher took over. Even I remember that you couldn’t bury your dead or get your rubbish collected. Also how genuinely afraid people were of the power of the unions. This sometimes seems to suggest that she broke up a happy Socialist utopia just for the benefit of eight rich people in Mayfair and I don’t think it was quite like that was it? However, there is a warning about the National Health Service and the the benefits we all enjoy. Should, I think be required viewing in all classrooms.
A Late Quartet
You know, sometimes a film comes along and there are no lasers or time travel. No one gets their head sawn off or buries anyone alive. People just act. Really well. And they use that acting to tell you a story about people that is moving and makes you think and is uplifting. This is one of those films. One member of a quartet who have played together for twenty five years is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The film revolves around the way these people react to that. New York never looked more beautiful. Everyone is as cool as a cool thing on a very cool day and that’s it really. It’s enough. Highly recommended.
Go away. Eat cake. Be reassured that the film industry is not ready to jump into the handcart to hell quite yet.