I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Welcome Zach; goodbye films

ZACH stays the night while his parents abandon themselves to pleasure. He arrives with Missie, the elderly Cairn terrier whom Lucy says resembles Rosemary's Baby. Missie wanders the house expressing misery plus something else I'm unable to pin down.

Of course! That's it!

VR TAKES Zach to Hereford to buy a book which his parents say is too expensive. Aren't grandparents lovable (and subversive)? At Waterstone's VR lets Zach find the book himself while she trawls the cheap deals.

A (male) customer asks how old Zach is. Six, VR says. The man says, "Six! And he's already buying books."

Later I descend from the computer into a tranquil living room: VR prone with The Guardian, Zach head down over his new acquisition. "Me and my grandson," says VR ever-so-slightly smugly.

Last two films at film festival
I wish. If you make a wish at a point where two Japanese "bullet" (ie, TGV) trains pass each other it comes true. Eventually two groups of children, separated geographically by parental divorce, fit this project into their busy, cramped, talkative, speculative, reflective lives. Two of them, already forced into adult ways, crystallise fleeting childhood; all help create an ever-changing mosaic of modern Japan. Director Hirokazu Koreeda famed for managing child actors. I'll say.

A last quartet. New York. For forty-five minutes a good absorbing movie as members of long-established string quartet, talking persuasive musician talk, rehearse LvB's "favourite" opus 131. And react to news that one of them is succumbing to Parkinson's. Then their supposed personalities are permutated in a ludicrously confined mish-mash of bonking, betrayal, parental failure and unconvincing melodrama. Super performances from stellar cast (Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir).


  1. Surely Missie doesn't think he/she is going to be sacrificed? Is there a good story about your neighbours you haven't told us? Go on, give us another clue.

    That's two "stellar casts" I think in these film reviews - bit of a cliché phrase I think.

  2. Did I say that? How unkind. One does not of course actually see Rosemary's Baby, it is out of shot in the black-shrouded cradle, left to the horrors of the imagination. I perhaps thought Missy, in a certain photo, looked a bit like I imagined R's B to have looked.

    There was another Devil's baby film where one does see said diabolical infant, I think, can't remember which, possibly that Dennis Wheatley-based one with a very young Nastassia Kinsky. I seem to remember it had a black hairy face, or maybe that was Brian Blessed in another film.

    Anyway, have a lovely time with bookish grandson.

  3. Sir Hugh: You extrapolate far too far. Unwilling to dot the is and cross the ts, I was merely adding resignation to misery. Perhaps fraudulent resignation since the so-called Turin shroud was carbon-dated a couple of decades ago and the material was found to go back only to the 1700s.

    Stellar - cliché? How about shorthand? It is not meant to be complimentary merely to say that the cast includes stars, as in film stars. My review amounts to 72 words and includes the title, a summary of the plot, my judgments and a list of the important actors. It's supposed to encourage/discourage other viewings and, if possible, provide an entertaining read. I need every word.

    Lucy: Not unkind at all. Brilliant. Although I am a Polanski fan I have not seen R's Baby since it falls into that category of entertainment (voodoo, fantasy, Middle Earth, etc, etc) which I dislike. Nevertheless I knew enough about the plot to say that your judgment clicked. And you were right about the phrase's provenance. I posted a pic of Missie years ago that consisted of a snarling face emerging from a ball of fur. Yours was the mot juste.