Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

before series

Before Sunrise (1995) was directed by Richard Linklater and co-written with Kim Krizan.   American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and French Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on a train going to Vienna.  They start talking and before long, engrossed in conversation, realise they’ve arrived in Vienna and Jesse must leave to catch his flight back home the next day.  On a hunch he asks Celine to get off the train with him and spend the day in Vienna. She does, and there we have it. Two early twentysomethings  talking, while they explore Vienna, closely followed by a companionable camera. Continue reading “Before Sunrise and Before Sunset”

Farewell Leicester Square

farewell leicester sq

Quite by chance the book I read for my TBR challenge and the film I watched for my TBW challenge shared a subject – cinema. Farewell Leicester Square, written by Betty Miller in 1935 and Cinema Paradiso directed by Giuseppe Tornatore in 1988, are both about young boys growing up in the early days of cinema and desperate to be a part of it. They both leave their home towns, only to return years later, as successful directors, when they hear about the death of a loved one. So I thought they could share a post!

cinema paradiso 2 Continue reading “Farewell Leicester Square”

The Village in the Jungle

village in the jungleIn October 1904 at the age of 24 Leonard Woolf set sail for Ceylon as a cadet with the Ceylon Civil Service.  He had with him a wire-haired fox terrier and 90 large, beautifully printed volumes of Voltaire.

He came back to England seven years later with Ceylon in his heart and bones and a growing disillusionment, misgiving and distrust of the British Colonial System.

‘The jungle and the people who lived in the Sinhalese jungle villages fascinated, almost obsessed, me in Ceylon.  They continued to obsess me in London, in Putney or Bloomsbury, and in Cambridge.” (Growing: An Autobiography 1880-1911. ) Continue reading “The Village in the Jungle”

Withnail & I

withnail and IThis has such a cult following, it’s always included in lists of best British films, and best comedies, it spawned a drinking game (matching Withnail drink for drink) and it’s quoted endlessly. My copy of the dvd came stuck to a Sunday newspaper as part of a ’50 films you must see’ promotion, so after years of looking at the cover I thought it was time to watch.

Written and directed by Bruce Robinson in 1987, it’s the loosely autobiographical tale of two unemployed actors sharing a squalid London flat in 1969, drowning their sorrows in booze, cigarettes and lighter fluid!. Richard E. Grant plays the flamboyant, alcoholic Withnail and Paul McGann is the contemplative I.  Fed up with their lives in London they decide to ask Withnail’s eccentric Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) if they can borrow his cottage in deepest Cumbria for a holiday, and so set off for the week. Joined later (and as a surprise) by the melodramatic aesthete that is Uncle Monty. Continue reading “Withnail & I”