Next week we have the official launch party of the Christmas book – A Feast of Christmas Stories at the Swan Hotel in Arundel. There will be cake. If you would like to attend, please let me know. It’s at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday Nov 6th. You will be able to purchase signed copies at the introductory price of £6 – a perfect stocking filler. Beryl Kingston, one of the contributors and our Chindi Patron will be introducing the proceedings.
This week, I have been taking it to various retail outfits and had lots of interest locally. On Monday morning, I will be joining Beryl, at Pinks Ice Cream Parlour in Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis, when she introduces her latest book, Citizen Armies. Maybe I will also be able to sell a few of our book.
As the weather and night draw in, we have turned to the TV to see what new films are around. Although we have the cheapest cinema around and we like to support it (where else can you go to the cinema for £3.50?) we have Netflix and as of yesterday Amazon Prime. We have watched 3 films which I would surmise are all non-commercial and works of conviction and love – all fascinating but flawed in their own way. I would call them worthy rather than entertaining.
- Laundromat with Meryl Streep – an odd film with mixed reviews which is based on global tax avoidance and the Panama Papers. Less glitzy than the Big Short – it educates the viewer with a series of vignettes. Maybe it intended to shock but if you have read enough about this issue, it confirms what we already know – that greed and money always leads to corruption.
- At Eternity’s Gate – a biopic of Van Gogh. I loved seeing the paintings come together as the actor playing Van Gogh puts paint to paper. It’s an intense film as Van Gogh descends into and out of madness. I did feel that I knew him much better as a person through the actor’s interpretation of him. Reviews again are mixed.
- Peterloo, directed by Mike Leigh – I missed this when it came out a year ago and was delighted to see it on Prime. I mention Peterloo in two of my books, The Digger’s Daughter and Ranter’s Wharf. Peterloo was a massacre which ultimately never led anywhere. It should have done but, like the Newport Riots, it was successfully brushed under the carpet, however, it was a small step in the long battle to attain the vote. The film is so utterly worthy that without looking at the reviews, I can tell how they are going to play out. Its focus is mainly on one ordinary family from the time their soldier son returns from Waterloo, broken in spirit. The family is as dreary as the setting, both in language and emotion. They exist – no more, no less. All their efforts go to staying alive and finding bread to eat. Around them, the key characters of the massacre proclaim with passion, although the viewers’ sympathies are directed at those attempting to change the system rather than the magistrates and factory owners. The speeches are erudite and speak for themselves. Visually, it’s a stunning film, it’s an angry film too but it finishes flatly – maybe because it didn’t change anything. There was no retribution for the yeomanry who attacked the unarmed crowd with sabres. Life was cheap after all. Reviews here.