Life begins at 60?
Since I retired I have become a writer, flower arranger,judge for Yorkshire in Bloom assisted in and presented on a local radio station, volunteer on an allotment for adults with disabilities and help to run a social enterprise with profits going to mental health charities etc etc
I live in West Yorkshire and spend much of the summer at the Yorkshire coast.
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
A Fortnight of Films
rarely visit the cinema (or go to the pictures as I call it), but just recently
I have seen a plethora of films, all of which I enjoyed, experienced in a
different venue and had their own merits.
part of the UK Jewish Film Festival I saw the droll Blumenthal:
Celebrated playwright, Harold Blumenthal, has
passed away after succumbing to cardiac arrest while laughing at his own joke.
Now, Harold’s estranged and jealous brother, Saul, must confront his personal
hang-ups to deliver himself from an epic bout of constipation. Meanwhile,
Saul’s wife Cheryl and son Ethan must grapple with their own personal obstacles
through a set of circumstances so improbably ironic they might as well have
been lifted from one of Harold’s plays.
have also booked for Hava Nagilathis week which finishes the
festival in true celebratory style with obligatory dancing.
Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie
Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more, Hava
Nagila (The Movie) follows the song from the shtetls of Eastern
Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine
to the cul-de-sacs of America. It
excavates the layers of cultural complexity with humor, depth and heart –
traveling the distance between the Holocaust to Dick Dale and his surf guitar,
sometimes in the same sentence. It stops at key places – Ukraine, Israel, the
Catskills and Greenwich Village, where Belafonte performed a hopeful version in
the late 1950s, only to be countered by Bob Dylan, who butchers the song in his
Hava Negiliah Blues. The film covers Allan Sherman’s parody Harvey
and Sheila, and Lena Horne’s civil rights anthem Now – both set to
the tune of Hava
Nagila. The film spotlights Italian-American crooner Connie Francis, who made
the song the first track on her famous album of Jewish favorites; and Glen
Campbell, who released an instrumental version of Hava on the B-side
of his theme song from True Grit. It also dissects the proliferation of pop culture
references to Hava
Nagila in film and TV and brings the song up to the present, where it’s a
rallying tune at sports games, a hot dance number in nightclubs and a global
a more cultural note, I saw the superb Encore Screening of the National Theatre
Live production of Habit of Art with
the late Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances De La Tour
Benjamin Britten seeks advice from his
former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined
meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and
interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer. Alan Bennett’s play looks at the
unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity
and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately,
on the habit of art.
If you have not yet sampled these NT screenings, I would
recommend them highly at a lot less cost than a theatre ticket.Go on their website for details.There is an intermission just as in the
theatre, when we eat our sandwiches and cake with our drinks, and an interview
with the director or producer.
Last but not least, we saw the wonderful Philomena with marvelous actors Judi
Dench and Steve Cougan.I didn’t know
the story beforehand, so I won’t tell it here, unlike some reviews which have
Next on my list is not a film but a dramatic production
which is being performed in railway stations all over UK.It’s called Suitcase and commemorates the 75th
anniversary of the arrival of the Kindertransport from Nazi Germany, which is
how my aunt arrived aged 11 (see my post http://thirdageblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/goodbye-to-very-special-lady.html
for her story).We also attended the local
75th Kristallnacht Commemoration where her granddaughter lit a
candle and we heard the personal experiences from others who came over in the Kindertransport.