French actress Adele Haenel walked out of the Cesar Awards last weekend when Roman Polanski was awarded ‘Best Director’ for his movie J’Accuse (An Officer and a Spy). Footage of her exit, including her gloriously continental expostulations, was posted to Twitter and went viral.
Do you remember what you were doing when you first saw This Life? Did you discover it when they did the reboot in 2007? Find the DVD box set in a charity shop? An 8mm film in your Nan’s attic?
Or like me, were you drunk on life (and copious amounts of cider) in 1996, distractedly tapping your fingers on the night bus bell as it might somehow speed up your journey to your room in your parents’ house where the latest episode would be waiting for you on VHS, probably with the beginning or end missing?
No one expects the #MeToo movement to rise and fall without criticism.
Nor should they.
An inexplicably popular daily newspaper published a piece about Millie Bobby Brown’s meteoric rise to the coveted plinth of Young Hollywood this morning. Accompanying photos of her body in size adjusted designer dresses and soft feet sliding about in high heels is much breathy prose about how ‘her parents sacrificed everything’ to help their daughter follow her dream, including moving from Bournemouth to Hollywood and not having enough money to eat.
In short, all the trappings of a traditional rags to riches story you can read with your lunchtime sarnie and imagine for yourself/your child before reality sets in and you realise you’re going to spend the afternoon trying to remove crumbs from your keyboard again.
When was the last time you watched a film without having a clue what it was about before you started?
Time is so pressing these days and there are so many forms of entertainment competing for our attention that it’s almost essential to watch a trailer before committing two hours of your ever decreasing lifespan to something that turns out to be utter rubbish.
For example, if I hadn’t seen the trailer for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage which includes a scene in which Vin Diesel drives a motorbike through the sea, I might have accidentally gone to watch it.
Then I’d be dead and you wouldn’t be reading this.
Imagine, for a second, that you don’t exist. Not in any meaningful sense of the term, anyway. You have consciousness, you have awareness, but no body, no sensation, no emotion. Like that scene in The Matrix where Neo wakes up in that vat of slime and realises he’s basically one fancy battery among millions.
I recently wrote a piece for my other love, The Football Ramble, about the minefield that is celebrating a sporting achievement by someone who espouses unconscionable views or, as is more likely these days, inappropriate sexual behaviour.
You can read it here, if you care to, but I know many of you instantly drop into a coma when football is mentioned, so I’ll precis it.
I conclude that there has to be a separation between achievement and the individual, because the alternative is to fully endorse everything the subject has done in their life, even if you don’t know about it.
It’s not a comfortable position, especially when you’re dealing with the likes of Tyson Fury, but what alternative is there? To not admire anyone or anything ever, in case the person involved turns out to have views that differ from your own?
I’ll take my chances, if that’s ok.
When I were a lass, film premieres didn’t really exist.
I’m kind of glad they didn’t, too. I can’t help but feel the lure of the original three Star Wars films, which has remained constant throughout my life, was augmented by the inflexibility of the stories and the character roles. They existed within the films, and my job was to recreate them as faithfully as possible within the constraints of a deep pile bedroom carpet.
I’m putting this here.
I don’t want anyone who knows me – whether in real life, via social media or even just as a distant shape in cyberspace – to say they haven’t heard about this or haven’t had the opportunity to watch it.
If you choose not to watch it, that’s fine. That choice is part of the wider principle that Jon Stewart is articulating in this monologue and one I will defend to the best of my abilities.
Be proactive. Or reactive. Think about it first.
Make it a conscious decision to do jackshit.