Sunday, 29 December 2013

Looking back

It's that time of the year when our newspapers and the various television and radio stations carry out their reviews of the year.  Highlights of the year - no, highlights is the wrong word.  Memorable events would be better phraseology, especially as two of them were deaths; those of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela, two of the most influential leaders in the late 20th century.  At the other end of the spectrum, many in this country rejoiced at the birth of Prince George.  OK, that may not mean much to you, but I am a monarchist and I am happy that the future of the Royal Family is seemingly secure.

There's no point at all in me looking back over the past year and reminding myself (and others) of significant occurrences: there weren't any.  Or of there were, they can't have been that significant as I can't remember them now!

Another thing that one sometimes sees at the fag end of a year is a list of the 50 or 100 best.  That list may be of books or films or records or whatever, possibly that have been published or released during the year - or maybe of all time.  If I were to produce a list of my favourite films, for example, that would have to be of all time.  I don't remember the last time I visited a cinema, it was so long ago.  If the Old Bat and I want to see a film, we either wait for it to be shown on television or buy the DVD, usually waiting until the price has come down to what I consider a reasonable level.  But if I were to produce a list of my favourite films ever, I would have to plead that the list be limited to three - and I would not want to place those three films in order of preference.

A Man For All Seasons dates from 1966 and has an Oscar-winning performance from Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More.  Probably the best single-word description would be 'historical' as it is neither a comedy nor a romance nor, really, a tragedy.

Completely different is West Side Story, that lively musical based loosely on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet but set in New York and featuring teenage gang warfare.  But surely this musical is so well-known that there is no need for me to elaborate.

My third film is The Cruel Sea.  Many people consider this film, dating from 1953, to be the best war film ever.  But it is more than just an action movie, covering as it does a range of emotions and personal foibles: cowardice, courage, duty, persistence.


Yesterday was showery, some of them persistent, but I managed to dodge this one I saw coming up the Channel.

No comments: