Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Why I need followers of film

Catching up on Film Family Fun.

This week, two treats. First, Longitude. You know the one. It's where Michael Gambon took 31 years to build a working marine chronometer, and Jeremy Irons took thirty seconds to have a nervous breakdown.

This work offers no alien monsters or blood-lusting dinosaurs at all - okay, just the odd swinging corpse - but is perfectly suited to the gentle and cultured scholarly leisure pursuits I am trying to inculcate in my home educated young ladies, through my film soirees chez Grit.

Or at least it is, once I have the bastard incalcitrant telebox working, and after I have yelled at the gritlets who are hiding in the cellar hoping I will forget about it all and let them carry on playing the damn horse game.

But as I say, it is essential viewing for we wanderers in history, geography, and navigation.

The gritlets did remarkably well, so something kept them going, and it wasn't me getting them out the cellar with my tales of how films can be useful and beautiful, delivered in an intonation that sounds like Mother Superior sat on a cloud. It was the dramatic tension of the whole film that held the attention of my three 13-year olds. Here they can witness the passion a marine chronometer can bring about in a human soul. A highly recommended viewing, if you like narrative history, or you like marine chronometers, or you read the book, or you never saw it the first time round. Except don't start to watch it at 9pm. It's three hours long.

The other media treat this week was Richard III, Laurence Olivier version (1955). Totally brilliant, made better because we grouped up with other home educators and made a lolling-on-the-sofa afternoon of it.

But here is a clue why I am so persistent; why I routinely suffer my little children with their media education. It is not for their general or specific improvement. It is so I can spare them the obligations of old woman small talk. They can visit me when I am aged 90 and they 50; safe in the knowledge they can bring along an old Laurence Olivier or a Michael Gambon to keep me company, and it will keep them sane.

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