We got this along with ‘Made in Dagenham’ from the library. It’s an unusual film for these days in that it doesn’t have a strong narrative or ‘big parts’ for stars; there’s not even much in the way of stunning scenery, though they do the trenches well – it’s just that the focus is off the humans and on the horse. It’s hard to say why this film is so compelling; it just draws you in somehow. At the start, Holly pronounced it ‘soppy’ (she’s never slow to offer an opinion, rather like her father) and after a while I almost agreed with her, but then the story changed and I began to be hooked. It’s a picaresque story – moving from one situation to another with a central character, rather like ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ as the horse moves from one ‘owner’ to another. I say ‘owner’ in inverted commas because I kept being reminded of ‘The Horse and his Boy’ where the boy is told more than once that the horse is not ‘his’ any more than he is the horse’s boy.
It’s as though the horse in ‘War Horse’ owns all the humans too – people take a back seat in the filming while the horse is centre-stage, though without any inappropriate anthropomorphism or sentimentality. The climactic scene where the horse is caught in no-man’s-land in some barbed wire and a German soldier comes out to help a British Tommy to free him is one of the most brilliantly understated cinematic climaxes I’ve seen.
Go watch. Watch it now.
Interestingly, I found it is scripted by Richard Curtis, which explains the almost-soppiness and perhaps also why I kept being reminded of ‘Blackadder 4)
And so to bed. And now, this morning, the question is…
Can We Panic Yet?
Yes, it’s time to panic NOW!!! Because if you didn’t already know, the world is going to end on Friday, December 21st. This is according to the Mayan Calendar* which runs out on that date and therefore…zzzzzzzzzzz oh, hell I can’t be bothered with the rest. You can look it up yourselves. I can only assure you, in the tart manner of Professor McGonagall responding to a prophecy of Sibyl Trelawney, that if the world ends you need not read this blog.
Meanwhile, today I shall be mostly… beginning to re-read Proust. Sadly we are all out of madeleines. But we do have Beer and Carols tonight, at the Western.
So come along if you’re around.
* PS in an interesting footnote, ‘maya’ in yoga means ‘illusion’…