Vita and Virginia

Went cos I thought I ought to know more about Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, writers and part of Britain’s radical and feminist history.
Knew the film had lukewarm reviews, but thought it was important to go.
The movie covers the period of their love affair, and the writing of a resultant novel called “Orlando“.
Radical maybe, but also posh (terribly so), and dealing with literature at a level I don’t know about, so yeah, I’m lukewarm about the film too.
But no regrets about going. Too long for some, but there’s a lot to cover.
And beyond the story and the themes covered, great sets, fashion, locations and motor cars. Wiki. Guardian.

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Booksmart

Booksmart is so unreal. Where do they get all these 18 year olds with huge talent and very developed personas? Like Mean Girls, they all show capability for meanness, but unlike Mean Girls they all have a chance to shine. And the valedictory speech is human. Some great comedy – and in particular, the animation piece – feminists punished by becoming Barbie dolls. I laughed even though I don’t care about the teen melodramas and I don’t get school graduation ceremonies. Go see. Wiki. Guardian review.

Photograph

All the reviews I’ve found, treat this movie as a dull version of Bollywood. And the main premises – male seeks female cos of family pressure & cultural expectations, female suffers cos of family pressure & cultural expectations and the relationship seems too unlikely – suggests it is.
Yet this film has a riposte for each of the cliches, including a grandmother who doesn’t believe her own propaganda and the story has mature & responsible answers to the dilemmas posed, including the student just saying no when a teacher hits upon her. No dance scenes or shiny sets – instead the locations are “Thunderbirds dirty”. Universally judged as too slow, Mumbai is a city sustains the interest and the poverty is given form that educates. The final scene puts the sword to the cliches of Bollywood films – that you don’t need to see it to know how the story will pan out.
The film is not Bollywood, but contra-Bollywood. (Or am I wrong?)
Time for an equivalent Hollywood movie that does the same to superhero movies; and an equivalent reality check for British soaps. Go see and be prepared to drift through the slow story. Wiki. Guardian review.

Bandstand is back in proper use

The bandstand on Victoria Embankment is back in its original 1920’s livery.
The stage is in use again, although the 2 productions I saw needed audience interaction.
Hoping to use the bandstand in use for more than 1 day at the next Riverside Festival.
Tragic that 3 fires in less than a year hit the ward in less than 12 months; all incidents associated with the chaos of people living rough lives.

The Lehman Trilogy

Scenes from the play and Lehman Brothers staff carrying cardboard boxes on the day of the 2008 crash.

Explaining the growth of brokering, the middlemen, who add a margin by holding the basic commodities for others to buy, through the story of a 3 Bavarians and their family when the moved to the United States.
And at the end, you meet the traders who moved in in the last 40 years and only cared about immediate profit and loss, and created the crash.
By then, the family had gone.
Great performances and one unforgettable scene – keeping on dancing to keep the value of your stocks high.
The roles played by 3 men and the rhythms in the script strengthened by a pianist.
Broadcast to Broadway from London’s Piccadilly Theatre, this is one not to miss, but other dramas do better at explaining the problems and crashes caused by finance companies the last 40 years.
Wiki. Guardian – 5 stars.