You can’t go wrong with solidarity on a day like today.
And when there isn’t as much of it about as we could do with, it can be necessary to timetravel.
I watched the film Pride over Christmas, because it was on television. If you’ve seen it you know how heartwarming it is. How warming of just about anything it is. And how much we need this right now.
This week has been hard in several ways, and the only solution I could come up with was to introduce the Resident IT Consultant to Pride, while it’s still available on iPlayer. (Five more days, people!) I could tell he had his doubts as we started, but by the end we blubbed side by side, the way you do when you’ve been watching an extraordinary film; one based on true events.
I’m sorry to say I was far too unaware of this when it happened in the mid-1980s. I wish I’d realised quite how big it was. But glad I had no idea how much we’d need this today, when things have changed for the worse.
If you need something to take your mind off things today; try Pride.
Posted in Blogs, Film, History
Tagged Andrew Scott, Ben Schnetzer, Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Faye Marsay, George MacKay, Imelda Staunton, Jessica Gunning, Joseph Gilgun, Paddy Considine
It’s enough to break your heart. You know that might very well be you one day – unless it already is – and that day is getting closer every minute.
I read the Guardian interview with Raymond Briggs at the weekend, and it was refreshing to discover what someone like him is like. I suppose we ‘knew’ it already, through The Snowman and Father Christmas, but meeting his parents and the young Raymond is far more illuminating.
The book is tremendously powerful. I’m trying to work out if the film is more so, and I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I prefer the book. Somehow they became overly loud in my mind, when I could hear them speak.
But it is still a marvellous film, and it does a great job of showing us the middle half of the last century. It’s not everyone’s 20th century, but I guess many people will recognise their lives, or the lives of a generation before them. We were discussing whether people like Ernest and Ethel could really have done so well materially, but I reckon you could, if you had a steady job and lived carefully. Once you had your cooker or your sofa you had it. No need for new ones all the time. And by the time they bought the car, the mortgage will have been paid.
It would have been easy to see this as proof of how much better we have it now, except I believe it proves we’re heading in the complete wrong direction.
It’s probably a fair assumption to make that most Swedes would like to live in Carl Larsson’s home. And of those who don’t, quite a few might not actively object if they ended up there.
I have friends who used to live next door to Carl Larsson’s home, and it was they who gave me this book, by Torsten Gunnarsson and Ulla Eliasson, about his house for my birthday this year.
In a way Swedes don’t need books like these; we seem to be sufficiently familiar with Carl’s home anyway. But the pictures are nice to look at, both the photos of the house and the paintings by Carl. And looking at them we see not only a home that would still be just about perfect to move into, despite it now being more than a hundred years later, but it looks pretty much like some house many of us have known at some point in our lives.
It makes me think of my grandfather’s house, which was nowhere near as big or fancy, and it was more recent, but there is still that Larsson vibe in my memories.
Swedes know the house from countless postcards and Christmas cards, not to mention Christmas wrapping paper. We have all torn pictures of the garden or the Larsson family in our eagerness to see what’s inside our parcel.
At some point I talked to Nick Sharratt about this. Maybe when he heard where I come from, he told me about having slept in Carl’s bed. It appears visiting artists can do that, under some circumstances. When I heard about it I felt this seemed quite reasonable. But I understand the bed was short. Nick isn’t. Oh, well.
The bed is in the book (and somehow I can’t stop wondering what the guest artist does when visitors who’ve paid to see the house turn up.)
As I said, Carl Larsson’s style is never wrong. Except it wasn’t his, but his wife’s. She did all the work, and we still know it by Carl’s name.