My 33 hour door to door trip back from Melbourne (Melbourne - Sidney - Bangkok - London - Bath) gave me a few hours of film watching…
There are a few bands that I really regret not seeing live…
The first was the Sex Pistols, who I had a chance to see in 77 but I turned it down for some reason - god knows why! As it turns out, the gig I had the chance to go to (in Uxbridge I think??) was on the tour where a lot of the gigs got banned by local councils, so even had I gone along I might not have seen them play - but I still regret missing it anyway.
The second was the Smiths, who I listened to intently for a while but never had the opportunity of seeing.
The third was Oasis, who played in Bath immediately before their early Glastonbury show - I don’t remember which year. I ran a Web noticeboard at the time and someone offered a single ticket for sale which I could have bought without even putting it up. I didn’t - I don’t know why. I lost interest in Oasis sometime after that but suspect that seeing them live at that stage in their career would have been fantastic.
Finally, I wish I’d seen Joy Division. Not that I was ever a totally massive fan. But it seems to me that Joy Division are iconic in representing a certain period of UK music history and that seeing them live would have been something to tell my grandchildren…
Control is well worth seeing, particularly if you lived thru that period in the UK, even more so if you liked that kind of music. The soundtrack is fantastic (I’ll need to watch it again somewhere with a decent sound-system cos watching it on the plane left a lot to be desired). Gritty stuff… it’s not exactly a fairytale kind of story. One those films (like Apollo 13) where knowing the ending doesn’t detract in any way.
I confess that I’ve never succeeded in reading the whole of an Ian McEwan novel, finding them boringly long-winded and not worth the effort. Unfortunately, for me at least, that got carried thru into the move of Atonement. Not that there was much wrong with the three leading performances… for the record, I’d be happy watching Keira Knightly sitting on a chair doing nothing for an hour and a half. I expected her to be not very good in this role, but actually she was.
But somehow the storyline in the film just didn’t do it for me - I expected more substance at the end. Oh well, I must be out of order here, seeing as it has just won a Bafta and all…
In the Valley of Elah
I wouldn’t normally have chosen to watch In the Valley of Elah but the woman next to me recommended it. The two leads are very good (Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron), Jones particularly so. Susan Sarandon in support is also good. The film deals with the dehumanising impact of modern warfare, particularly the impact of the war in Iraq. Powerful stuff - there’s very little glory here and the anti-war message comes thru loud and clear.
It is let down slightly by the confession scene towards the end which, for me at least, didn’t ring totally true. But well worth watching in spite of that.